LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 24 – Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka believes the criticism he has received from former players is unfair because they don’t know him or the club.
Xhaka has been slammed for his disciplinary problems by the likes of former Gunners defender Martin Keown who stated that manager Arsene Wenger “is going to have to work with Granit Xhaka and teach him how to tackle.”
The former Borussia Monchengladbach player was sent off against Swansea City in October, and during the win over Burnley in January, but he insists the level of criticism is uncalled for.
“What hurt me a lot was the source of the criticism and its form. It didn’t come from my club, but from former players who don’t know me any more than they know Arsenal,” Xhaka told Swiss media, according to ESPN FC.
“People who don’t know anything about how I work attacked me by making me look like a brainless idiot and nasty.”
Elsewhere, forward Alex Iwobi has urged the club’s supporters to respect manager Arsene Wenger, calling the Gunners faithful “impatient”.
Wenger, who has managed the London club for more than 20 years but is out of contract at the end of this season, has seen calls for him to step down intensify recently as the team’s results have taken a downward turn as the they find themselves out of the top four in the league and out of the Champions League.
The Frenchman has said that he has already made his decision, with reports suggesting that he will sign a new deal to stay on at the Emirates Stadium.
Nigeria international Iwobi though says the players are just as frustrated as the fans.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Iwobi said: “They need to have a bit more respect, in my opinion.
“I mean, he’s been at the club for 20 years, he’s achieved a lot, obviously they’re a bit impatient with the results and where they want to finish.
“We also want to finish there, we want to win the league like anyone else. I can guarantee we are trying our hardest.
“Whatever happens we are the players, we affect the result. We don’t really look at the banners or what fans are screaming, we focus on trying to do our jobs on the pitch.”