Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka breaks silence
Arsenal’s former captain Granit Xhaka has broken his silence to Swiss paper Blick, after his recent troubles with the Gunners.
Xhaka hasn’t been seen since he was subbed during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
The Swiss midfielder was booed by fans when his number came up against the Eagles.
Xhaka responded by throwing away his Arsenal shirt and storming down the tunnel.
Arsenal fans dished out ‘abnormal & excessive’ treatment vs Crystal Palace
The statement which is likely to garner the most attention was the following from Xhaka.
The reporter said to Xhaka:
You published a statement after the incident. In it, you wrote that you suffered serious verbal abuse. “I hope your daughter gets cancer,” was one of the horrible phrases on social media.
Xhaka responded by saying:
Yes, that’s true and these are just a few examples of the vitriol poured on me and my family. But let’s face it, we’re talking about football and a captaincy.
I know that means the world to a lot of people here in London. And I’ve been one hundred percent behind the club and my role as a player since I came here.
I’m proud to be playing for this big club. I’ve said how much it means to me on more than one occasion. But we’re at a point now where I have to say clearly that we ought to take stock and make sure that things are not getting completely out of hand.
Throughout my life I’ve always represented the values of fair play, respect and loyalty. What I experienced here has nothing to do with that, it was abnormal and excessive…
As a member of a team, I’ve always been aware of my responsibility to the club and the fans and always treat the fans in London politely and take time for them.
There won’t be any other opinions on that and I’ve been behaving this way since I’ve been in the public eye. And if I get constructive criticism or even more vehement insults, I try to take them calmly and objectively.
As I said: If we perform badly, you have to put up with it. I know that all too well from Basel and also from Mönchengladbach.
But what happened here is abnormal and excessive and there can be no justification for it.
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Does Xhaka have a future at Arsenal?
Many have speculated that there’s now no way back for Xhaka in north London.
However, the midfielder doesn’t seem to subscribe to that narrative at the moment.
Asked about how his life has been since the Crystal Palace incident, Xhaka said:
You could say things have been a bit frantic. Last week in particular was a very special emotional experience for me.
But I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments. For my club and of course for the national team…
After a difficult start, I played a lot and overall I’ve had a great time at Arsenal.
My family and I also feel very well in the city of London. The events of the last week don’t change that at all…
You can be sure that I’ll keep fighting and putting myself out there in every training session. I feel that last week has been dealt with and I’m ready.
— BLICK (@Blickch) November 9, 2019
Xhaka on being booed by Arsenal fans
The Swiss midfielder also revealed his feelings on being booed by Arsenal’s supporters:
When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me.
It was very hurtful and frustrating. I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me.