By 90Min
September 23, 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has called on fans to get behind midfielder Granit Xhaka, after the Swiss international was taunted by a number of supporters during Sunday's 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Xhaka was withdrawn midway through the second half, and a section of Arsenal fans could be heard sarcastically cheering as the 26-year-old made his way off the pitch.

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Speaking after the game (via the club's official website), Emery insisted he has been hugely impressed with Xhaka this season and called on fans to get behind their captain, rather than criticise him.

He said: "My opinion is we need our supporters and we need our supporters helping each player but our responsibility is to transmit our capacity, our spirit, our commitment and behaviour. And Xhaka is doing that.

"He played very well on Thursday and also last week in Watford he played with a good individual performance. Today I changed him because on Thursday he played 90 minutes and I prefer to use fresh players.

"Xhaka is very good player for us. He has a very big commitment here. He is improving and I am not asking the people to support him but I am sure that he is going to achieve the best thing individually and collectively for the supporters to help him."

However, he did go on to praise the fans for getting behind the team as a whole. Arsenal were down to ten men after Ainsley Maitland-Niles' red card, and Wesley's goal after 60 minutes ensured they were a goal down as well, but late goals from Calum Chambers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned things around. Emery was eager to recognise the fans' impact.

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He told talkSPORT: “You can speak a lot of things in 90 minutes, one for example here is we could feel our supporters.


“Together, we played more with heart in the second-half, because we needed that, and really that victory is very important. We felt very strong with our supporters and had confidence to attack and take some risks.”

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