West Ham captain, Mark Noble has told Arsenal captain, Granit Xhaka to leave the Emirates after confrontations with Gunners fans.
Xhaka threw his arms up in the air and cupped his ears after his substitution was greeted by boos during their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
He was also seen mouthing “f*** off” at the Arsenal fans and removed his shirt before storming down the tunnel.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery had called on his captain to issue an apology to the fans, with many pundits urging the club to strip him of his captaincy.
The Switzerland captain, however, released a statement on Thursday explaining why he reacted that way to Arsenal fans.
Xhaka claimed that the life of his wife and child was threatened by some fans of Arsenal.
Speaking to the Standard, Noble said: “Granit has taken a lot of flak for his reaction. But I did have some sympathy for him.
“I know what it’s like when things are not going as well as you would like because, if you’re a manager or a captain, fans tend to aim more criticism at you.
“It’s a tough one and a fine line because you’re trying your best, but if you’re booed by your fans it is inevitable that your confidence will take a hit. I’ve had it myself, but the bottom line is that everything changes with results.
“Obviously, Granit has made mistakes and sometimes his discipline may not be the best, but the way I’ve always seen it is that the fans pay their hard-earned money, they go to the games and they have a right to express their opinion.”
Noble added, “In all honesty, the best solution might be to tell his agent, ‘Look, they don’t like me here, so maybe it’s best if I go and play somewhere else.
“There would be a lot of takers for him because he is a quality player and it does seem, from the outside, that his fellow players love him, both as a professional and a person. If I was him I would say, ‘I’ve had a great time here, but it’s not worked out recently and it’s time for a new challenge’.
“I remember Slaven Bilic telling me, ‘Once the box is open, it never closes’. The chances are that, if he makes one bad pass in the next match in which he plays, they’ll be on him again.”
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