Granit Xhaka hits back at Arsenal critics after Tottenham draw

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Granit Xhaka 0:23
Granit Xhaka believe he was unfairly criticised after the north London derby

Granit Xhaka has hit back at his critics in the wake of the north London derby and insists Arsenal deserve more credit than they receive.

Xhaka came under scrutiny at the weekend after he fouled Heung-min Son to give away a penalty in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

Arsenal fought back from two goals down to secure a point at the Emirates and Xhaka says the Gunners have been unfairly criticised for their start to the match.

"Of course critics are always here," he said. "The north London derby, I think we had a good game. I made a mistake with the penalty but if you saw the game, we could have won.

Granit Xhaka makes a point to referee Martin Atkinson during the north London derby
Image: Xhaka says Arsenal are unfairly targeted by critics

"We had a lot of chances but this is football. Nobody speaks about the chances, nobody speaks about how many we missed. They always speak about the mistakes.

"This is part of football."

Xhaka is away on international duty with Switzerland, who face the Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday - live on Sky Sports.

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Live Euro 2020 Qualifiers

Switzerland are without Xherdan Shaqiri, who has asked not to be considered for international football in order to focus on his Liverpool career.

Reports in Switzerland have suggested Shaqiri is unhappy with manager Vladimir Petkovic's decision to appoint Xhaka as captain of the national side.

Xherdan Shaqiri
Image: Xherdan Shaqiri has made himself unavailable for Switzerland in order to focus on his Liverpool career

However, Xhaka has played down rumours of a growing rift in the Switzerland camp.

"I can only speak about how important he is for this team," said Xhaka.

"He is a great player, great quality. He can help us in every game and we are very disappointed that he is not here.

"But we have other players as well who have quality.

"I don't want to speak about why and what happened, because I don't know the reasons exactly, but we've lost a big player for these games."

Sky's Guy Havord spoke to Palao Laurenti of Swiss Radio who hinted there is a problem with Shaqiri and the national coach.

Laurenti said: " It was a big surprise because he's one of the best national players for us.

"It doesn't look like he's having the best time at Liverpool, he isn't playing very much.

"There are some rumours that the relationship between him and the coach are not so good.

"He expected the captain's armband and people think Shaqiri is angry at the decision.

"We do expect him to return to the squad after the two qualifiers against Ireland and Gibraltar."

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