Arsenal star Granit Xhaka claims he is 'deliberately' made a scapegoat

Granit Xhaka claims he is ‘deliberately’ made a scapegoat amid criticism of Arsenal star’s ill-discipline and insists ‘it WON’T break me’ after midfielder hit out at online trolls for sending vile abuse to his family

  • Arsenal star Granit Xhaka claims he is ‘deliberately’ made a scapegoat by critics 
  • The midfielders’s discipline record and value to the team has been questioned 
  • Xhaka has been sent off three times and had ill-tempered displays of petulance 
  • However, the Swiss international says criticism sent his way is disproportionate 
  • Xhaka recently hit out at online trolls for targeting his wife and daughter 

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka believes he has ‘deliberately’ been made a scapegoat by his critics, but the Gunners star has defiantly insisted negativity will not ‘break’ him and that he will always ‘come back stronger’. 

The Swiss international has had questions levelled at him over the duration of his five-year stay in north London, particularly of his disciplinary record and value to the team after joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.

Xhaka, 28, has set himself up for failure on occasion, with a number of unnecessary red cards and ill-tempered displays of petulance. 

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka claims he is ‘deliberately’ targeted as a scapegoat by critics 

The 28-year-old’s disciplinary record and value to the team has been queried in recent years

He has been dismissed three times for the Gunners, most recently against Burnley last December after throttling Ashley Westwood, and in the reverse fixture he gifted the Clarets a goal after a poor pass across his own box, but Xhaka claims criticism is deliberately sent his way. 

‘You have to live with criticism in football, but there have to be limits,’ he told Blick.  ‘There are other players who get red cards, but they don’t get criticised as much as I do.

‘I sometimes feel that with me it is deliberately made into a bigger issue than it really is.

‘But it won’t break me. I overcome it, and this time it has made me come back stronger – no doubt to many people’s surprise.’

Xhaka has not always helped himself, with ill-tempered displays of petulance harming the star

Xhaka was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy by former boss Unai Emery in November 2019 after an angry confrontation with the Gunners masses after being booed off against Crystal Palace. 

He recently opened up on the vile abuse that was sent his way following that incident, with his family targeted by online trolls. 

‘If I showed the others what they write, I think I have to close my social media, everyone has to close social media,’ Xhaka said last month. 

‘I say that before and I will say that now and in the future as well, it is only about me. I am the guy who is on the pitch.

But the Switzerland international says that his detractors will not ‘break’ him in a defiant call

Xhaka recently opened up on the vile abuse sent to his family after his confrontation with fans

Xhaka has called for abuse not to extend to families after his wife Leonita (left) and daughter Ayana (centre) were targeted

‘It is not my wife, it is not my little one, it is not my family. So if you want to criticise someone, no problem to criticise me like a person, like a player. But don’t make the other people involved because they have nothing to do with my job. 

‘I wish I could meet the people who write me the things, to sit with them, eyes by eyes and to ask them, ”why are you writing things like this?”’ 

‘This is not acceptable. So you have to open our eyes and to look after this a lot, because I think you kill the football like this if the people start to speak about a player or their families or things like this.’ 

The Arsenal star took to social media to front up after his costly mistake at Burnley this season

Xhaka took to social media following his gaffe at Turf Moor, telling upset fans that he shared their frustrations.

The post read: ‘I hold my hands up for their goal and I’m sorry for the mistake. That’s football and right now I feel just as frustrated as all of you.’ 

The Swiss has bounced back from that episode to nail down a starting spot under current boss Mikel Arteta. 

The Gunners have struggled for consistency this season and languish in 9th place, but the north Londoners can still end the season with silverware having advanced to the Europa League quarter finals this month. 

Xhaka is hoping to help Mikel Arteta’s side to the Europa League title at the end of the season

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