Granit Xhaka insists Arsenal are motivated by criticism and is ‘sure’ they will improve despite winless start… as Swiss midfielder slams critics for trying to ‘kill’ the confidence of players in Mikel Arteta’s squad
- Arsenal have suffered back-to-back defeats by Brentford and Chelsea this term
- It is their worst start to a campaign in the club’s illustrious 118-year history
- But Granit Xhaka insisted the criticism will serve as motivation for the players
- The Swiss was heavily linked with Roma this summer but has signed a new deal
Granit Xhaka insists Arsenal’s players are motivated by the criticism that has come their way following their winless start to the new Premier League campaign.
The Gunners compounded a 2-0 defeat by Brentford on the opening weekend of the season by losing Sunday’s London derby by the same scoreline against a Romelu Lukaku-inspired Chelsea.
It is the Gunners’ worst-ever start to a season in the club’s 118-year history, with Mikel Arteta’s men sat in the bottom three beyond the first game of the campaign for the first time in 29 years.
Granit Xhaka insists Arsenal’s players are motivated by criticism after their winless start to the new season
Xhaka and Arsenal suffered a second straight defeat by a Romelu Lukaku-inspired Chelsea
But former club captain Xhaka appeared confident that the Gunners have what it takes to turn their poor form around and accused critics of trying to ‘kill’ the confidence of some of the players in the squad.
‘Of course,’ the Switzerland midfielder replied when asked if the team are motivated by criticism.
‘A lot of people try to speak and to kill a little bit the players and the team but the strongest thing to do at the moment is to be together, and only together will we be stronger and give the results on the pitch after.
‘We want to achieve something big, of course. After two games a lot of people are speaking about this team and about this club but I will say, no season finishes after two or three games.
It is the worst start to a campaign that Arsenal have ever made in their 118-year history
Xhaka has captained Arsenal at the start of the last two games and has signed a new deal
‘We still have games in front of us, we know we have to improve a lot of things and I’m sure we will do that.’
Xhaka – who impressed with his country at Euro 2020 – was heavily linked with a move to Roma before signing a new, four-year contract until 2025 at the Emirates Stadium.
The 28-year-old was stripped of the captaincy nearly two years ago after an infamous incident against Crystal Palace where he told fans to ‘f*** off’.
But he has worn the armband at the start of the first two games of the new season in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the starting XI, and insists he will continue to ‘give everything’ for the club.
‘I’m very happy, I’m still here,’ he added. ‘I’ve signed a new contract of course and I want to give back, first of all to our staff, and then after to our fans.
‘They know I will give everything – in every game and every training session. So yeah, I think we have to show that as a team soon.’
The Switzerland star has led the Gunners in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L)