After Granit Xhaka stormed off at the Emirates, throwing away his club captaincy, there were reports that a number of Arsenal players went to see him at his house. He has now revealed what they said and some other stuff.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Fulham FC at Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Fulham FC at Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Asked by a reporter from Blick, the Swiss newspaper, about the players who came to see him at his house, he replied, “Yes, that’s right. Some of my teammates came to see me and I thought that was great.

“They encouraged me to not let it get me down. And above all they pointed out how many Arsenal fans around the world didn’t like the way the fans reacted in the stadium and condemned it.”

Other highlights from his interview include:

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal leaves the pitch after being substituted off during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 27, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal leaves the pitch after being substituted off during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 27, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

On whether he should accept abuse because he’s so well paid…“For me, the two things are completely unrelated. And it’s not a licence for insults. Everyone should practice respect and decency towards their fellow human beings and use criticism correctly, regardless of status or income.

“As a member of a team, I’ve always been aware of my responsibility to the club and the fans and always treat the fans in London politely and take time for them. There won’t be any other opinions on that and I’ve been behaving this way since I’ve been in the public eye. And if I get constructive criticism or even more vehement insults, I try to take them calmly and objectively.

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (C) celebrates with Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (L) and Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka (R) after scoring their first goal, decision of off-side overturned by VAR (Video Assistant referee) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 30, 2019. (PAUL ELLIS / AFP / Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (C) celebrates with Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (L) and Arsenal’s English striker Bukayo Saka (R) after scoring their first goal, decision of off-side overturned by VAR (Video Assistant referee) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 30, 2019. (PAUL ELLIS / AFP / Getty Images)

“As I said: If we perform badly, you have to put up with it. I know that all too well from Basel and also from Mönchengladbach. But what happened here is abnormal and excessive and there can be no justification for it.”

On his time at Arsenal…“For me, looking back it’s been very positive for a long time. After a difficult start, I played a lot and overall I’ve had a great time at Arsenal. My family and I also feel very well in the city of London. The events of the last week don’t change that at all. I’ll continue to stay positive, give my all to an even greater extent and prove that I’m an important part of this great team.”

NAPLES, ITALY - APRIL 18: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal prior to the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg match between S.S.C. Napoli and Arsenal at Stadio San Paolo on April 18, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
NAPLES, ITALY – APRIL 18: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal prior to the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg match between S.S.C. Napoli and Arsenal at Stadio San Paolo on April 18, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

On if it was easier for players before social media…“What do you mean, easier? Eight years ago there was already heavy criticism by the fans and the media. But what has changed through social media are phenomena such as «shit storms» that can overrun you from one minute to the next.

Also new is the cloak of anonymity you can use to attack players without fear of any consequences. And above all, it is new that certain moods and statements on the social platforms are often just adopted uncritically and are no longer checked or questioned. It’s quite extreme. I’m ‘old school’, I like personal interaction and often take a lot of time for our fans if they want to have a selfie or an autograph.

You can read more from Xhaka here, including how he seems to be getting ready to return to the Arsenal first team.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.