Shkodran Mustafi has urged his Arsenal team-mates to ignore any protests from unhappy fans aimed at Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal have suffered a serious slump in form of late, dropping out of the top four in the Premier League, being humiliated in Europe, and all against the backdrop of speculation over the future of manager Wenger.
However, while Mustafi admits the players are aware of what is going on, he says they simply have to focus on what is happening on the pitch.
“The most important thing is to close the ears and focus on what is happening on the pitch.
“We can’t focus on the speculation and everything around us. It’s the wrong time. We should just focus on what’s happening on the pitch.
“Wenger has been here 20 years, he knows what he has to do. Now it’s the players who have to go on the pitch and put in the performances.
“If he says he wants to leave or wants to stay, is it really going to help or will it make it worse? Who knows? It’s difficult to speak about those things.”
“We are not only paid for playing football but to be professional as well. It is part of our job to have a little bit thicker skin.
“In the days that we live in now, it is difficult because you see it everywhere, on TV, then you have social media where you see a lot of things. Sometimes you don’t want to see it, even when you want to just text with friends or look at pictures that your family posted or whatever.
“You get to see pictures that maybe you don’t want to see and then you read them and it might make you think about things that you should not think about.
“We are professionals and we get paid for that as well, to be professional on that part as well, not only on the pitch. That is what we have to do — be professionals.”