Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has hit back at former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra following his criticism of the club’s mental strength.
The Gunners again suffered an away defeat this time at Bramall Lane as they fell to a 1-0 loss to Sheffield United – their fifth in 10 games on the road.
Their opponents were much the better side throughout the game on Monday night and Arsenal’s performance and mentality in particular was met with plenty of criticism, not least from Evra who was a guest on Sky Sports’ MNF.
Evra claimed that he always believed Arsenal to be like “babies” when the former French defender would play against them and that their weaknesses meant that he always felt his side were a step ahead of The Gunners.
“I used to call them ‘my babies’ 10 years ago, and they are still, when I look at them and think they are ‘my babies’… that’s the truth – I’m not being disrespectful when I say that.”
Speaking after the game, Xhaka appeared to be far from pleased with the criticism his side has suffered throughout this season and he took the time to address Evra’s comments.
“A lot of people they speak too much. It is not the first time he has spoken something about us.
“I have a lot of respect for him as he was a great player but you have to be careful what you say. But it is not only him – a lot of people speak a lot of bulls*** about us. It’s always the same.
“For me it is strange as they were in the same situation as us, they were players as well. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not always good but every week they speak bulls*** like this every week.
“I tell you the honest truth, I’m not interested in what people say and speak. We have to speak in our group to improve things and work hard and not listen to these people.”
Sheffield United’s winner came from French striker Lys Mousset’s second goal for the club after Jack O’Connell headed down an Oliver Norwood corner.
Xhaka felt that the goal was “too easy” for the Blades and that if Arsenal are to achieve their top four goals this season then they must beat teams like Sheffield United.
“I think we did a lot of good things and they had one chance, and it was a goal.
“But it’s too easy, you shouldn’t lose a game because of a corner or a free-kick. We have to improve but there were some good things as well. In the end if you want to be top four then you have to beat Sheffield.”