Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has laid into the club’s players as they put in a poor performance in a 1-0 defeat away to Aston Villa last night.
The Gunners have recently enjoyed some big results with surprise wins over both Liverpool and Manchester City, the latter of which saw them make this season’s FA Cup final.
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However, it’s been a miserable league campaign for Arsenal, with manager Mikel Arteta achieving the unwanted record of guiding them to their worst finish in 25 years as they can now no longer finish higher than eighth place.
Xhaka, though, was quoted by the Evening Standard as slamming his team-mates for the poor mentality they showed at Villa Park, insisting they didn’t stick to the manager’s gameplan.
“In my opinion you can’t come here and play like this. It’s not good enough and you can’t play with this mentality,” the Switzerland international said.
“It was not enough to take something from today, and we knew if we won today, the last game if we won as well we could have got into the Europa League. But now we have to win the FA Cup and we have more pressure. But we will do everything to win the FA Cup now.
“Yes, we have a gameplan and we know they (Aston Villa) are very strong on set pieces, but we did too many fouls near our box, too many corners against them and we didn’t play our gameplan. They were more aggressive than us and deserved it.”
While Arsenal fans will be glad to see the players owning up for this poor display, many will be wondering why standards dropped so much again after such impressive results against better opponents in Liverpool and City.
Clearly, the mental aspect of the game is one Arsenal have struggled with for some time and it’s crucial that Arteta can solve this issue over the summer if things are to improve for the club next season.
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