French Arsenal legend backs Granit Xhaka despite fans' outrage

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Former Arsenal skipper and invincible Patrick Vieira has backed Granit Xhaka following his recent altercation with the fans. Rumours have been circulating that Xhaka will leave the club in January but Vieira has backed him to return stronger.

He told The Guardian: “I feel sorry for him because he [was] the captain and he’s going through a really difficult period and really difficult time at Arsenal. I think we have to remind ourselves that he’s achieved a lot since he’s at Arsenal and he deserves a lot of respect.”

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“When you’re a player and don’t perform the way you expect, you get frustrated about yourself. And sometimes you say things or do things you regret. I find it really difficult a lot of ex-footballers have jumped on him and being really negative towards him – it’s too too easy. I know how good he is and he will come through this difficult period because he’s a strong man, he’s a good player. And he will show how good he is,” he concluded.

Vieira had his fair share of problems with Arsenal fans at one point of his career. However, he is still remembered as one of our most successful captains ever and Xhaka could still be the same. The Swissman, like Vieira, wears his heart on his sleeves and emotions got the better of him against the Eagles.

Xhaka has to play:

This by no means condones Xhaka’s behaviour on the day but what he did isn’t inexcusable. Unai Emery handled the situation very poorly as his captaincy should never have been in question.

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Arsenal have been extremely poor in the games that Xhaka has missed so far. It would be in Arsenal’s best interest to have him back on the pitch after the international break when the dust would have settled.

Emery has very little margin for error at this point and needs to put his strongest players on the pitch. Xhaka is undoubtedly the best at what he does and keeping him on the sidelines for much longer would be a huge mistake.

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