Granit Xhaka has responded to the criticism that he faced after Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham in the North London Derby last weekend.
The 26-year-old was singled out by many pundits for his general performance but specifically for the foul which led to a penalty for Spurs.
Fortunately from an Arsenal perspective, they were able to battle their way back into the game and claim a share of the spoils, but few were impressed with Xhaka’s performance in particular.
As seen in the video below, even Gunners legend Ian Wright raised his concerns this week, and it’s difficult to disagree with the points that he made on the Swiss international regardless of whether or not Unai Emery persists with him and still has faith in him to play a pivotal role.
'Xhaka shouldn't be made captain simply because I think he should be focusing on his own game rather than the captaincy and all the responsibilities that come with that'
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) September 3, 2019
However, that doesn’t appear to be troubling Xhaka too much, as he has responded to the criticism that he has received since the game and has seemingly decided to brush it off for the most part except for admitting his mistake in giving the penalty away.
“Of course critics are always here,” he said, as per Sky Sports. “The north London derby, I think we had a good game. I made a mistake with the penalty but if you saw the game, we could have won.
“We had a lot of chances but this is football. Nobody speaks about the chances, nobody speaks about how many we missed. They always speak about the mistakes.
“This is part of football.”
It is part of football but at such a high level, players with the experience and important role that Xhaka has in the Arsenal side can’t afford to be making such mistakes so regularly.
If Emery and the Gunners wish to break back into the top four, they’ll have to cut them out and perform consistently well, and so time will tell if the Spanish tactician makes a change or continues to believe in Xhaka and keeps him in his starting XI.