Football

Granit Xhaka irked by Patrice Evra’s 'babies' comments on Arsenal's mentality

Swiss midfielder rubbishes pundit's claim that Arsenal have a historic mentality problem

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has hit back at Patrice Evra after he labelled the Gunners as " babies", following their 1-0 defeat by Sheffield United yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Lys Mousset poked home the winner from close range on 30 minutes on his first league start, ending Arsenal's eight-match unbeaten run.

The defeat continued a poor run of away form for Unai Emery's team, who have not won on their travels in the league since the opening day.

Former Manchester United defender Evra accused Arsenal of having historic mentality problem, after yet another inconsistent start to a league campaign.

Evra famously called Arsene Wenger's players "babies" after Man United beat Arsenal to reach the Champions League final back in 2009 - and he repeated his comment as a pundit on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"Sheffield deserved the win, but I'm not surprised about Arsenal," Evra said.

"I used to call them 'my babies' 10 years ago and, when I look at them now, I still think they are 'my babies' and 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."

However, those remarks did not sit well with the Arsenal captain, who said there was no mentality issues and that the "bull****" talk needs to stop.

"We have to stop talking about (the mental side of the game) and bull**** like this," Xhaka said.

"It's the same whether you play at home or away - you have to win and show big character and not look for the same excuse.

"A lot of people speak too much. I have a lot of respect for Evra because he was a great player, but you have to be careful what you say. It's not only him. A lot of people speak a lot of bull****.

"It's strange because they have been in the same situation as us - maybe it was sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but like I said, if you speak bull**** like this every weekend, then what they say doesn't get respected."

Meanwhile, manager Chris Wilder hailed his team, after the Blades picked up their first home win since Aug 18.

"For the club to host a game like this, the magnitude of it - to play well and get a win is massive," Wilder told Sky Sports.

"We limited them to a few chances and we backed up a good performance with a good result."

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