Former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has hit out at the club’s fans for bringing a “bad mood” to the club after he reacted angrily to being booed by the Emirates crowd.
Xhaka was seen mouthing obscenities and gesturing towards supporters after being hauled off in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and was subsequently stripped of the captaincy and has yet to feature since.
He released a statement detailing the abuse he and his family have received from Arsenal fans and has now claimed that their actions make it harder for all players.
“When my shirt number lit up on the board of the fourth official and then broke jealous jubilation of their own fans, that hit me very much and stirred up,” Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick.
“It was very painful and frustrating. For me, this reaction is still incomprehensible, especially in this vehemence and how extremely hostile I was here.
“Since I can remember, the fans are an integral part of my sport. And I have a lot of respect from the beginning for the commitment and hardships fans take to help us players.
“Justifiable criticism of them makes you grow as an athlete. And the power and energy that they put into the game makes every athlete love football even more.
“I feel like part of a big football family. ‘But when you get scolded by this very footballing family in times when you are already being attacked massively, it hurts a lot.
“By that I do not mean that I can not stand criticism. If I and the team do not play well, we have to listen to it and work on it.
Arsenal are now without a win in their last five games in all competitions following Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Leicester.