Switzerland national team’s director Pierluigi Tami has expressed his concerns over some of the criticism levied on Granit Xhaka after his red card against Burnley on Sunday, in an interview with Blick.
This isn’t the first time Xhaka has been on the bad side of Gunners supporters. His infamous outburst last year almost cost him his Arsenal career, but Mikel Arteta’s intervention brought things back to normal.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was one of the first names on the team sheet in the second half of last season. He played a big part in our FA Cup triumph, and it looked like he would be a key player for us this term as well.
However, things haven’t quite gone as smoothly as he would have liked. Thomas Partey’s addition combined with Mohamed Elneny’s return from his loan spell pushed Xhaka down the pecking order.
The African duo played a key role in our best performance of the season at Old Trafford last month. However, injuries and illness forced the pair out and Xhaka found himself back in contention.
The Swissman started the game against Burnley on Sunday. Arsenal looked on top early in the second half, but a moment of madness from Xhaka gave the visitors a huge advantage.
Xhaka has been heavily criticised by fans, pundits and the media for his actions. Many have urged Arteta to sell him in the January transfer window as well, and that has irked the Swiss FA.
Switzerland are worried about Xhaka
Tami said: “We are worried about our captain. The criticism of Xhaka is increasing, which I don’t understand. Because he’s probably under pressure because of the criticism, I’m not surprised what happened on Sunday.”
“Xhaka had played such moments in the past and then played very well again. He is a role model for us. I was surprised how positive Xhaka is towards his teammates and also about his level on the pitch. Xhaka’s consistency is important to us.”
Tami says he doesn’t understand why Xhaka gets criticised at Arsenal. That is a huge shock to everyone that follows the club every week.
Yes, some of the criticism Xhaka has received in the past have been unfair. However, what he did on Sunday cost Arsenal a much-needed victory and that is absolutely unacceptable.
It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds in January. Inter Milan are said to be interested in his services and Arsenal are reportedly prepared to listen to offers should they come in next month. That puts Xhaka’s future in danger and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sold next month.