Granit Xhaka hits out at critics who are making Arsenal midfielder look like an 'idiot'

Mark Critchley
The Independent
Granit Xhaka has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League: Getty
Granit Xhaka has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League: Getty

Granit Xhaka, the Arsenal midfielder, believes that his critics are trying to make him look like an “idiot”.

Following his move from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer, the 24-year-old’s introduction to English football has been hindered by disciplinary problems.

Xhaka, who has received nine red cards in the last three years, has already been sent off twice for his new club and missed seven games through suspension as a consequence.

The Switzerland international has been roundly criticised for his tackling and tendency to pick up cards, but Xhaka himself feels such criticism is unfair.

“What has really affected me is the source of the criticism and the form of it,” he told 24 Heures, the Swiss newspaper.

“They were not from my club, but from former players who do not know me, nor did they know Arsenal.

“People who know nothing about how I operate have attacked me and made by look like a foolish idiot.”

Xhaka also revealed that, while he is confident he will be a success at Arsenal, the pressure of playing for one of the Premier League’s top clubs differs from that which he experienced at Gladbach.

“What happens here, the daily agenda of Arsenal, is very different from what I experienced in Monchengladbach. They are almost two worlds apart. Three consecutive bad performances [in England] and hell is unleashed,” he said.

“The expectations are huge: winning the Premier League, winning the Champions League and winning the cups! If you cannot do it, then criticism does not miss you, and it happens everywhere.”

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