Granit Xhaka finally responds to criticism of his role in Arsenal’s Anfield collapse
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 17
The Gunners were also criticised for winding up the West Ham crowd (Picture: Getty)

has rubbished suggestions his actions woke up the crowd against Liverpool last week and played down claims ’s time-wasting fired up fans on Sunday.

The Gunners have opened the door for in the title race over the past week after twice forfeiting two-goal leads, and .

It is the first time a team at the top of the table has done so in back-to-back matches, and on both occasions Arsenal were accused of assisting their opponents’ comebacks.

On Merseyside last week, the north Londoners were totally dominating the contest until Xhaka decided to throw out an elbow at before going head-to-head with the right-back.

A previously quiet Anfield was suddenly a cauldron of noise and the home side levelled moments later, before netting a late equaliser in the second half – and, in truth, were unlucky not to claim all three points.

Xhaka was pilloried by a host of pundits for creating a flashpoint out of nothing when the game appeared to be in Arsenal’s hands, .

A week later and the team’s approach when leading was once again under the microscope, with the side appearing to time waste – something that, once again, riled up the home fans when they seemed primed to turn on their own players after a terrible start to the game.

Arsenal forfeited another two-goal lead at West Ham (Picture: Getty)

But Xhaka has dismissed criticism of both his scuffle with Alexander-Arnold at Anfield and Arsenal’s time wasting at West Ham and does not believe either issue played a role in the two collapses.

‘Listen, we don’t really care about who is waking up the fans or not,’ said the Swiss midfielder following Sunday’s 2-2 draw in east London.

‘This is not our job. They are supporters for West Ham or Liverpool.

‘If they support the team or not, it’s not our problem. But we allowed them back to 2-1 too easily. The 2-2 is too easy. And like this, we didn’t win the last two games.’

After the draw with West Ham, a had questioned his team’s mentality and killer instinct in his post-match press conference, although Xhaka disagreed with his manager’s assessment.

‘It is not about the mentality. For sure, it’s not,’ said the 30-year-old when asked about Arteta’s words.

‘If something is not going well, it is easy to show the finger to someone else. Now, it is time to be together because there are seven games to go.’

On whether he is worried by Manchester City, Xhaka added: ‘It’s okay, we are not looking at them. Let’s win our games first and, if we win the rest of the games or we don’t drop points – you know what will happen better than me.’


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