sport news PETER CROUCH: I felt Granit Xhaka's pain... jeers from your own fans are soul ...

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Peter Crouch is a columnist for Sportsmail

Peter Crouch is a columnist for Sportsmail

Everything about the reaction was awful.

The slow walk, the cupping of his ears, the shush and then the ripping of his shirt. None of that is possible to defend.

I don't know whether Granit Xhaka will be able to continue as Arsenal captain after such an open show of dissent, but I am not going to pile into the criticism of him that followed his substitution against Crystal Palace.

You might think this is strange but, in some ways, I feel his pain. I have been to that place when your own supporters boo you and there is nothing more soul destroying. 

I've experienced a home crowd turning on you from every angle and it is as grim as grim can be.

The first thing I thought about when I saw what happened to Xhaka last Sunday was the night I won my third England cap, against Poland, in October 2005. 

It was a World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford and I came on to replace Shaun Wright-Phillips in the 67th minute.

I'd recently moved to Liverpool and was waiting to score my first goal for my new club and country. Maybe it was because the game was in Manchester that the booing began when I was about to come on, but I heard the murmurs and knew they were for me.

Granit Xhaka cupping his ears at angry fans is an action that is impossible to try to defend

 Granit Xhaka cupping his ears at angry fans is an action that is impossible to try to defend

But I have sympathy for him as it is completely soul-destroying to be jeered by your own fans

But I have sympathy for him as it is completely soul-destroying to be jeered by your own fans

To say it's not nice is an understatement. You try to forget about it but you know, up in the stands, your family will have heard it, too. In some respects, it's worse for them because out on the field you are potentially in a position to change things.

I've been in dressing rooms with England when Ashley Cole and John Terry were on the end of it and I saw how it made them feel.

I remember games, during my time at Tottenham, when we would go off 0-0 at half-time and the crowd would turn. You'd think to yourself: 'Oh come on!' 

Another incident that is clear in my mind was Jean-Alain Boumsong being sent-off for Newcastle during a game against Liverpool in March 2006. He brought me down to concede a penalty and Mike Riley showed him a red card.

Jean-Alain Boumsong received horrific abuse in 2006 when he was sent off for fouling me

Jean-Alain Boumsong received horrific abuse in 2006 when he was sent off for fouling me

Rather than walk off straight to the tunnel, Boumsong went behind the goal and trudged along the Gallowgate End before turning to go up past the Main Stand. 

The abuse he got that day was horrific. By the time he got to the tunnel, he was inconsolable.

In those moments, some footballers will find it hard to go on. You rely on the support of your family and I know how crucial mine were during my early days when I received abuse for how I looked, during the times when I thought: 'What's the point of all this?'

Xhaka has clearly experienced those emotions this week.

I saw his statement on Thursday night and I can understand where

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