5.5 C
London
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Xhaka: Arsenal fan relationship will ‘never be the same’ after clash

Must read

Closing arguments begin in the Trump Organization tax fraud case

Closing arguments began Thursday in the tax fraud case against the Trump Organization, which is accused of a sweeping, 15-year scheme to compensate top...

Medibank Hackers Declare ‘Case Closed’ As Hoard Of Stolen Data Is Released • londonbusinessblog.com

The cybercriminals behind the Medibank ransomware attack have published what appears to be the rest of the data stolen from the Australian health insurance...

Coinbase says Apple forced it to remove NFT transfers from its iOS wallet

Coinbase has accused Apple of forcing it to remove NFT transfers from the Wallet app on iOS. On Thursday, it tweeted that Apple...

Hour One’s $20 Million Deck • londonbusinessblog.com

Over the yearshas Mike Butcher covered Hour one a number of times here on londonbusinessblog.com. The company uses AI to create text-to-video solutions...
Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.
G

ranit Xhaka has revealed he is still haunted by his “nightmare” clash with Arsenal fans in 2019 and admitted their fractious relationship may never be fully repaired.

Speaking exclusively to The Players’ Tribune, Xhaka has revealed he still dreads walking off the pitch at Emirates Stadium after a defeat.

The midfielder infamously clashed with his own fans during a home match against Crystal Palace in October 2019 after they booed him off the pitch, with Xhaka responding by cupping his ear.

The 29-year-old was stripped of the captaincy and was ready to leave Arsenal until Mikel Arteta, who replaced Unai Emery as head coach that December, persuaded him to stay.

“When I got close to the tunnel, I looked up at the fans sitting there — and this is the part that I will always remember,” Xhaka told The Players’ Tribune.

“When I close my eyes now, I can still see their faces. I can see their anger. It’s not that they don’t like me. No, it’s different. This is hate. Pure hate.

“Was I wrong to do what I did? Yes. But would I do anything differently if it happened again tomorrow? Honestly, I don’t know.

“Still to this day, if we have lost, I hate walking those last metres to the tunnel, because I still recognise the faces. The same people are sitting there.

“So now, I just keep my head down. I lived through that nightmare once. I don’t ever want to do it again.

“Today I know I made the right decision, absolutely, because I’m still here. But I can’t pretend that my relationship with the fans will ever be the same, because that moment will always be in my heart.

“It’s like broken glass, you know? You can piece it together, but the cracks will always be there.”

Xhaka also revealed his parents and agent were at the Palace game as he was due to discuss a new contract the following day. His father told him to leave Arsenal after the fallout with fans and Xhaka literally had his bags packed ready to go.

Granit Xhaka clashed with Arsenal fans during a match against Crystal Palace back in 2019

/ Getty Images

Xhaka was also pursued by Roma last summer, with Jose Mourinho keen to try a fresh approach at the end of this season, but he is settled at Arsenal now.

“Arsenal is still in my heart, 100%,” Xhaka added. “I want you to know that whatever I do on the pitch, it comes from the right place.

“If I am late in a tackle, it’s because I’m fighting for Arsenal. If I lose my temper, it’s because I care. Sometimes, maybe I care too much.

“Obviously you can never predict the future in football, but I do know a few things. After this season, I have two years left of my contract.

“I still love this club. I believe Mikel is building a great team. And I want to achieve something special here.”

Opening up on how close he was to leaving Arsenal in 2019, Xhaka said: “My bags were packed.  The passports were out.

“I was done with Arsenal. Finished. There was a contract on the table from another club, and all I had to do was sign.

“I had talked with my wife, Leonita, and we had decided to leave. I was just going to say goodbye to Mikel, and then we would board the plane.

To feel that level of hatred and disrespect, I wouldn’t want it for my worst enemy.

“I have to be honest about that. I’m an emotional guy. To feel that level of hatred and disrespect, I wouldn’t want it for my worst enemy.

“Was I going to let these people have it their way? These people who think I am worthless? Who hate me? No. That’s not who I am. My head had left Arsenal, but my heart had not.

“My heart was telling me, You can’t leave this football club like this.

“Obviously, I am not captain of Arsenal any longer. But I can promise you that I will still act like a captain, even without the armband.”

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Closing arguments begin in the Trump Organization tax fraud case

Closing arguments began Thursday in the tax fraud case against the Trump Organization, which is accused of a sweeping, 15-year scheme to compensate top...

Medibank Hackers Declare ‘Case Closed’ As Hoard Of Stolen Data Is Released • londonbusinessblog.com

The cybercriminals behind the Medibank ransomware attack have published what appears to be the rest of the data stolen from the Australian health insurance...

Coinbase says Apple forced it to remove NFT transfers from its iOS wallet

Coinbase has accused Apple of forcing it to remove NFT transfers from the Wallet app on iOS. On Thursday, it tweeted that Apple...

Hour One’s $20 Million Deck • londonbusinessblog.com

Over the yearshas Mike Butcher covered Hour one a number of times here on londonbusinessblog.com. The company uses AI to create text-to-video solutions...

How taking solo retreats is beneficial for founders and entrepreneurs

Opinions expressed by londonbusinessblog.com contributors are their own. A while ago I flew from Minneapolis to Panama City and then took a water taxi to...