Granit Xhaka Says Patrice Evra's Arsenal 'Babies' Criticism Is 'Bulls--t'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2019

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:   Granit Xhaka of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Arsenal FC at Bramall Lane on October 21, 2019 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka has hit back at Patrice Evra's claims that Arsenal are "babies" following their loss to Sheffield United on Monday, with the Gunners captain labelling the criticism as "bulls--t."

Arsenal were well below their best at Bramall Lane, with Lys Mousset's first-half goal enough to earn three points for the newly promoted side. It was a defeat that continued Arsenal's inconsistent away form under Unai Emery.

Speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, Evra said little has changed at Arsenal since he came up against them as a Manchester United player, and he questioned their appetite for a fight:

"Sheffield United deserved the win, but I'm not surprised about Arsenal. I used to call them 'my babies' 10 years ago, and they are still, when I look at them and think they are 'my babies'... that's the truth—I'm not being disrespectful when I say that.

"They look pretty, but they don't look like a winning team. They like playing good football, but I was so happy to play against them, because I knew I was going to win." 

Following the game, Evra posted the following clip of his analysis on Twitter:

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When told about the remarks after the game, Xhaka disagreed, per David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.

"A lot of people speak too much," the midfielder said. "I hear he speaks something against us. I have a lot of respect for him because he was a great player. But you have to be careful what you say in those situations as well. It’s not only him; it’s a lot of people. They speak a lot of bulls--t about us. It’s always the same."

Per OptaJoe, Arsenal have found it difficult up against teams that are new to the Premier League:

The loss means the Gunners missed the chance to go third in the Premier League, and the manner of the performance will prompt further questions of Emery, who is struggling to get a consistent tune out of the team.

While Arsenal have some exceptional attacking talent in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette, they were easily blunted by the Blades on Monday. That's been a recurring theme for the team throughout the season, with Aubameyang the only consistent threat in the final third.

James McNicholas of The Athletic noted Arsenal have had a variety of problems when it comes to their defensive play:

James Benge of Football.London commented on a performance that lacked grit from Arsenal in Sheffield:

The arrival of Emery was expected to make the Gunners more cohesive, as his teams have previously been renowned for their balance and organisation. However, the side have been unable to forge a set identity under his guidance.

While he's still just over a year into the role, Arsenal supporters would have no doubt expected more progression from their side, especially after some big spending and encouraging acquisitions in the summer transfer market. Comments like those from Evra will only intensify the scrutiny already on this set of players.

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