Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has hit back at his critics following his display in the north London derby against Tottenham.
The Switzerland international was heavily criticised after the game for his reckless tackle on Heung-min Son that handed Spurs a penalty.
The Gunners came back from two goals down to draw the match 2-2 at the Emirates but fans and pundits alike were left baffled by Xhaka’s actions.
Speaking on Sky Sports during the game, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville slammed the tackle as ‘madness’.
“I don’t think I’ve ever watched Xhaka where he hasn’t made 50 fouls per half,” he said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that, from an experienced player.
“Has he not been been booked yet, Xhaka?
“That pre-match feeling before the north London derby that the shift was heading back to Arsenal has been blown out of the water in 40 minutes. Harry Kane emphatic with the penalty.
“Madness from Xhaka. An experienced player who never becomes experienced. I’ve seen him do the same thing week in, week out, season in, season out.”
Xhaka has since admitted his mistake via social media, taking to Instagram to send a message to the fans after the game.
But the 26-year-old, who was handed the captain’s armband for the game, insists the criticism is not entirely fair.
“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.
“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 currently away on international duty with Switzerland, who face the Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday.
Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Watford in the Premier League on September 14.
The Gunners have started their league campaign with two wins, a draw, and a defeat to Liverpool.
Boss Unai Emery will be desperate to help the club return to Champions League football this season by either winning the Europa League or by finishing in the Premier League top four.