Strong words from Granit Xhaka (29).
The ex-Arsenal captain takes on his own fans!
In an interview with The Players Tribune, he reveals the deep dislike that Gunners supporters have shown him in the past.
The background is a game in October 2019 that changed everything. Arsenal only played 2-2 against Crystal Palace after leading 2-0. Xhaka is replaced as captain after about an hour – and mercilessly booed and whistled at when he leaves.
The ex-Gladbacher remembers: “As soon as I moved towards the outside line, they booed. And it wasn’t just a few, it was a whole curve. I was shocked. I had never experienced anything like that before.”
Xhaka continued: “As I walked to the tunnel, I looked the fans in the eye. I will always remember that. If I close my eyes I can still see their faces. i can see the anger It’s not just that they don’t like me. It’s hate, pure hate. I wouldn’t wish that level of hatred and disrespect on my worst enemy.”
The Swiss then received a lot of hate messages on social media and just wanted to get away from the Gunners: Xhaka: “My father said to me after the game: ‘It’s time to go!'” Xhaka was almost gone , sat on packed suitcases. But the current coach Mikel Arteta (40) managed to change his mind.
Xhaka: “I liked its warmth. He was honest and direct. clear plans. I realized that I can trust him.” And so the Swiss still plays for the Londoners.
Xhaka has only one hope for his Arsenal time with regard to his own fans: “I know that we will no longer be best friends, but I hope we can treat each other with honesty and respect.”