Xhaka urges Arsenal to embrace pressure and display mental strength in bid for Premier League and Europa League success
Midfielder Granit Xhaka has urged his Arsenal teammates to welcome the pressure as they aim for their first Premier League title since 2004. The Gunners are currently ahead of Manchester City in the standings. Xhaka has sent an order to his fellow players to prepare themselves for the title run-in.
Granit Xhaka has instructed his Arsenal colleagues to welcome and handle the pressure that comes with leading the table, as they approach the critical phase of the season known as the “squeaky bum time”. With 12 games remaining, the Gunners are currently five points ahead of Manchester City and will face them in a highly anticipated match on April 26. Unlike their rivals, Arsenal does not have extensive experience in handling the pressure of a title run-in, so they need to display their determination and resilience to prove they can stay on top until the end.
Xhaka said: “We have pressure every day. We know that on the top of the table the pressure is a little bit more but we have to enjoy it as well. It’s very important to enjoy it — we are where we are and let’s see how far we it can take it.
“We are all enjoying the season, not just myself but all the club, the fans, the players, the team, the staff are enjoying the moment, because we are there where we deserve the season to be.
“Now we are looking forward to Fulham, they are a very dangerous, good team, it’s a derby as well, but we are looking forward to this game.”
Arsenal have shown their title credentials with last-gasp winners against Bournemouth and Aston Villa, but Xhaka would rather they did things a little more easily.
He added: “For the fans, for the people in front of the TV, if we score every time in the last seconds the feelings are different. But we don’t want to make it so complicated always. We must try to win our games hopefully earlier, but it was a very, very good season so far.”
Xhaka expressed confidence in Arsenal’s depth to compete in both the Premier League and Europa League, with potentially 18 games left until the final in Budapest on May 31. He also highlighted the team’s mental growth in dealing with the pressure of being on top.
As the stand-in captain in Lisbon, Xhaka pointed out that opponents are adjusting their tactics when facing Arsenal, either dropping back or pressing harder. He acknowledged that being at the top of the league brings greater pressure, but he believes the team is handling it well. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive mentality and continuing to perform at a high level.