Arsenal and Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka has spoken out about the abuse he receives on social media.
Xhaka is something of a polarising figure at Arsenal. The 29-year-old has proven that, when at his best, he is a quality central midfielder who can help Arsenal control a tie.
At his worst, though, Xhaka is erratic and makes rash decisions that often see him sent off in key games.
Regardless, though, the abuse that Xhaka, any many other players, so often receive from faceless accounts on social media is unacceptable.
In turn, now, the midfield metronome has spoken out about social media abuse, insisting that he will decide when he leaves Arsenal, not fans on social media:
“I say always [to] myself, ‘The only one who can stop me is myself’,” Xhaka told an event hosted by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust. “Of course, injuries and things like that stop you as well, but nobody can stop me, not the people outside.
“This is why in my head I am so strong. I say that always [to] myself as well, ‘I decide when I leave, nobody else, not the fans, not the people’.
“When I am not ready, I will leave. As long as I am ready and I feel good, and I feel I can help the team, I will be here. But because of the people? Because of a bad message? Because of the bad stuff they are doing, speaking and writing? No chance.
“The one thing is if you see the people face to face, they will never tell you something bad. This is what makes me upset.
“I have been in this ‘business’ since I was 17, nearly 13 years, but I have a feeling that the abuse at the moment looks like it’s normal.
“For me, it doesn’t help anybody and I think this is something we can improve on, a lot.”
Arsenal set to face Watford
Xhaka and co. are now set to face off with Watford this coming Sunday.
It represents a huge tie for Arsenal, and Mikel Arteta will no doubt be praying that Xhaka and the rest of his teammates are able to keep their cool.
This comes with the Gunners in possession of a very poor disciplinary record that has seen them receive 15 red cards during Arteta’s time at the helm.
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