Granit Xhaka admits that starting the new Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats is disappointing but he maintains Arsenal can get out of their rut by sticking together.
After the opening day defeat to Brentford, Chelsea piled on the misery at the Emirates with an easy 2-0 win that ensures next weekend’s trip to Manchester City is all the more daunting.
Matters aren’t helped by a Covid outbreak in the squad and injuries which have so far denied Mikel Arteta the chance to field anything close to his strongest side.
While fans did their best to rouse the team on Sunday, there’s no escaping the doom and gloom around the club.
“We wanted to give them something back, and it didn’t happen,” Xhaka told Arsenal.com.
“But we are working, we know we have to give them something back. We have to keep working, we have to believe in each other, the only way to come out from this is to be together with the fans, in the team, with the squad with the players we have and I’m sure we can come back as soon as possible.”
Echoing what Arteta said in his post-game press conference, the midfielder added: “I don’t think the season is over after two games. We know we lost the two games and we are very disappointed, but we have still many, many, many games to go.
“A season never ends after two, three or four games. We know we have to do better things, but this will come soon, and as I say, we have to believe in each other so we can come out from this.
“We want to achieve something big, of course. After two games a lot of people are speaking about this team and about this club but I will say no season finishes after two or three games.
“We still have games still in front of us, we know we have to improve a lot of things and I’m sure we will do that.”
Xhaka also confirmed rumours that he’s extended his contract at Arsenal. The 28-year-old is understood to have committed himself to the club until 2024 with the club inserting a clause allowing them to extend it by a final year.
“I’m very happy, I’m still here. I’ve signed a new contract of course and I want to give back, first of all to our staff, and then after to our fans, and they know I will give everything – in every game and every training session. So yeah, I think we have to show that as a team soon.”
Before facing Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions, the Gunners travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Given the high-intensity football they now play under Valerian Ismael, it’s going to be a tough game.