The Swiss midfielder is confident the Gunners can still enjoy a successful season despite losing their first two games
Granit Xhaka has slammed Arsenal’s critics for trying “to kill the players” after their London derby defeat to Chelsea, while also confirming that he has signed a contract extension at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal followed up their 2-0 defeat at Brentford on the opening weekend of the new season by losing by the same scoreline at home to the Blues on Sunday afternoon.
Mikel Arteta’s side are now 19th in the Premier League and it has been suggested that the Spaniard will be axed if they continue on their current trajectory, with a number of first-team stars being accused of not performing for their under-fire manager.
What’s been said?
Gunners captain Xhaka is among those to have seen his contribution questioned, but he thinks it is still far too early for any harsh judgements to be made.
Pressed on whether Arsenal can use the outside negativity as a motivational tool, the Swiss midfielder told the club’s official website: “Of course. The other way is by staying together.
“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. We still have games still in front of us, we know we have to improve a lot of things and I’m sure we will do that.
“I don’t think the season is over after two games. We know we lost the two games and we are very disappointed, but we have still many, many, many games to go.
“A season never ends after two, three or four games. We know we have to do better things, but this will come soon, and as I say, we have to believe in each other so we can come out from this.”
Xhaka confirms new contract
Xhaka was heavily linked with a move away from the Emirates earlier this summer amid reported interest from Roma but Arteta has insisted that he will be staying put.
The 28-year-old has now put an end to any speculation over his future once and for all by revealing that he has already extended his contract at Arsenal, with an official announcement now imminent.
“I’m very happy, I’m still here,” said Xhaka. “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, and 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.”
Xhaka will be back in contention for a place in the Gunners’ starting XI when they meet West Brom in the second round of the EFL Cup in midweek, with that outing coming just three days before a crucial Premier League showdown against reigning champions Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.