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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

'A lot of people talk a lot of bull****' - Arsenal captain hits back at critics after Blades defeat

The Gunners went down 1-0 away at Bramall Lane last night.

Granit Xhaka during last night's Premier League game.
Granit Xhaka during last night's Premier League game.
Image: Richard Sellers

GRANIT XHAKA HAS said that claims Arsenal are mentally weak – such as those made by Patrice Evra, who branded them “babies” – are “bullshit”.

The Arsenal captain was speaking in the wake of a 1-0 away loss against Sheffield United, in which a goal from Lys Mousset was sufficient to give the Blades a surprise victory at Bramall Lane.

In their last 17 matches away from home, the Gunners have picked up just four victories, undermining their challenge to push for a Champions League spot next season.

Following the latest setback, Evra launched a broadside at Unai Emery’s team.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports. he said: “I used to call them my babies 10 years ago and they still are when I look at them. That’s the truth, and I’m not being disrespectful when I say that. “

It’s just the feeling I get with this team. They look pretty, they look good, but they don’t look like a winning team, they just like playing good football.”

Xhaka responded swiftly to the criticism, stating: “I have a lot of respect for him because he was a great player, but you have to be careful what you say.

“He knows these situations well, but it’s not only him. A lot of people speak a lot of bullshit and it’s always the same.

We have to stop talking about [the mental side of the game] and bullshit like this.

“I’m sorry to say that, but for me it’s the same whether you play at home or away – you have to win and show big character and not look for the same excuse.”

Xhaka hinted that Evra faces the prospect of losing credibility as a pundit when asked if such comments from former players can be considered cheap shots.

“For me it’s strange because they have been in the same situation as us – maybe it was sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but like I said, if you speak bullshit like this every weekend, then what they say doesn’t get respected,” the 27-year-old said.

Arsenal are fifth in the Premier League, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and 10 behind league leaders Liverpool.

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