Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has invited Watford striker Troy Deeney into the Gunners’ dressing room to check their balls.
Deeney famously said after Watford’s 2-1 win over Arsenal that they lacked ‘cojones’ but the Swiss midfielder would like to be given the opportunity to prove otherwise.
“I don’t know Troy Deeney personally but this has to do with respect,” Xhaka told The Guardian. “If he believes we don’t have cojones, he can come to our locker room and see for himself.”
Xhaka came in for individual criticism after that game but claims he is his own worst critic, saying: “I focus a lot of our defeats on myself. What did I do wrong?
“I never criticise my team-mates before I’ve looked at myself. I’ve been that way since I was a kid. Do I put too much pressure on myself? Definitely.
“And it’s getting worse as I get older. When I was younger, I never put as much thought into a defeat as I do now.”
While Xhaka claims he responds well to criticism, he is aware that not everybody at Arsenal feels the same.
“We deserved to be criticised after we failed to qualify for the Champions League last season. Normally – and certainly for me – the critics make you stronger but I believe that, for some Arsenal players, these critics are not good. They are not helping them.
“Personally, I can handle criticism, especially when it is deserved, and it’s because my dad never, ever said ‘well done’ to me. He did it on purpose so that I kept my feet on the ground. With us, it’s been a lot of little things; it’s never a big thing [that goes wrong].
“After the 0-0 draw at Chelsea in September, I thought: ‘OK. We can build up from here.’ But then we see the 2-1 defeat at Watford and you start doubting yourself.”
Maybe whilst he’s at it, he might invite him to play live casino online, as well.