Granit Xhaka has been a chatty boy while away with the Switzerland national team, giving a number of revealing interviews on his racist allegations, Arsene Wenger, pundits and his red cards.
Firstly, the midfielder spoke about the two 5-1 defeats at the hand of former Bundesliga rivals, Bayern Munich and even suggested that Arsenal are as good as the German team.
“Bold, yes. But I feel (that Arsenal are as good as Bayern),” he claimed, speaking to Blick.
“And I am annoyed by the defeats mainly because I have good memories of Bavaria. We were able to beat the Munich team three times with Gladbach. And I do not think Gladbach is on par with Arsenal. So…”
The 24-year-old went on to speak out against his critics, saying that he doesn’t let it bother him.
“That does not bother me,” he told Blick. “I do not mind so quickly, I cannot destroy anyone.
“What annoys me is people who call me dirty, dumb, and brainless. You don’t not sy such thinks about someone you don’t know.”
He added, ”This is my game. If I take it away, I am no longer the same.
“I’ve analysed my position exactly. It is true that many fouls have taken place behind the centre line, which means 60 to 70 meters away from my own goal. That’s too far away. That has to stop.
“But I do not go to the square and pull my foot back before the two-fights.”
However, Xhaka is convinced that he’s getting different treatment from Premier League referees since picking up his ‘bad boy’ image, bringing up Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s elbow against Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings as an example.
“[I have] No idea [why my critics think I’m reckless],” he insisted when speaking with Der Bund. “I only know: I do not destroy anyone. They can write and talk about what they want. I know my qualities, and the boss knows them, or I would not be where I am today.
“I think I have a bad picture with the referees. I saw two red cards this season, okay. But if I compare this with the actions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has not even seen yellow for an elbow, then I have trouble with it.”
When asked if the referees were giving him ‘special’ treatment, he added, “I will not get rid of this feeling – as often as I have been punished with yellow for the first foul.”
The Switzerland international also claimed that he believes Wenger is staying at Arsenal.
When asked why, he said, “I cannot answer that. I only know that he is an outstanding coach, an outstanding guy, enormously open and direct.
“Unfortunately, it is only in the football that the actual situation is considered and what is forgotten is the past years.
“The people demand that Arsenal bring a title, especially the championship. But they forgot that some new players had to be integrated with us – and that there is no coach who can be a master with many new players right away.”
Finally, something else Xhaka was asked about was what really happened during the airport row, which led to him being accused of being a racist.
After labeling the accusations as ‘totally absurd’, Xhaka said, “Afterwards, I spent four and a half hours at night at 1am at the police station: interviews with all parties involved, checking the papers, etc.
“It was the first time I was really baffled. I thought: This is not [real]. And asked my fiancée and my brother-in-law: “Where is the hidden camera?” It seemed to me.
“During interrogation, the assertion came to the table that I had cursed the employee as a “white bitch”, not a “white dog”.
“There was something wrong. I assumed that this story would be kept secret.
“But the next day, boring, it looked different: headlines from England to Spain, and the whole thing dragged on for days.”