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Granit Xhaka responds after Gary Neville criticism over his tackling

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has responded to the recent criticism levied by Gary Neville by stating that he cannot influence the opinions of other people. The Switzerland international conceded a penalty through a reckless tackle during the recent north London derby and Neville had branded the challenge as disgraceful.

Spurs went 2-0 up following the penalty scored by Harry Kane but the Gunners managed to salvage a draw after a tremendous comeback thereafter. Speaking to reporters, Xhaka said that he can only make the difference on the playing field while acknowledging that he made a mistake contributing towards the spotkick.

He added that the Gunners had created several opportunities during the course of the derby but pundits generally tend to focus on the mistakes, he continued: “It’s part of football, there are a lot of people that talk a lot. I cannot influence anything and I do not want to. It is not my business. "My job is to perform on the pitch. I know that I made a mistake in the penalty. But nobody talks about the many opportunities we have made, only about the mistakes.”

Xhaka has been a constant in the centre of the park under manager Unai Emery and he has been unofficially named as the captain of the team. Nonetheless, the Swiss has the tendency to occasionally make blunders on the field and he has conceded more penalties than anyone in the Premier League over the past three years.

This has contributed to the criticism from the fans and pundits alike, and it remains to be seen whether the midfielder can sort himself out during the course of the campaign. Xhaka has nearly four years remaining on his current contract with the north London giants. He is currently on international duty with Switzerland for the Euro 2020 qualifiers.