Granit Xhaka: Time For Xhak To Hit The Road?

What would you do about him?

  • Keep 100%

    Votes: 13 11.3%
  • Try to improve upon him, but keep if we can’t

    Votes: 34 29.6%
  • Get rid

    Votes: 68 59.1%

  • Total voters
    115

yousif_arsenal

King of Twitter Rumours
Moderator
Very insightful.

Also interesting how highly the players talk of Mikel despite everything, we didn't really see that with Emery.
Not surprised as good was emery first season his personality is weak and of course communicating was difficult never understood why he didn't use translator pochy was okay at English but used translator for 2 season.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
Not surprised as good was emery first season his personality is weak and of course communicating was difficult never understood why he didn't use translator pochy was okay at English but used translator for 2 season.
I think Emery trying to embrace the language was a good thing. Very surprised and a bit sad that it’s been used against him.

Think too much was made of it and I suspect there was a culture problem at the club and he didn’t get much support. When Aubameyang/Özil slumped their shoulders under Emery, Emery got sacked - as we can see, very similar things happened again and the outcome was very different.
 

yousif_arsenal

King of Twitter Rumours
Moderator
I think Emery trying to embrace the language was a good thing. Very surprised and a bit sad that it’s been used against him.

Think too much was made of it and I suspect there was a culture problem at the club and he didn’t get much support. When Aubameyang/Özil slumped their shoulders under Emery, Emery got sacked - it’s very different now.
It was very bad agree didn't like when i read players were making fun of him in training
 

Jury

Mission Accomplished
It's actually college wrestlers vs randoms from the background info I've read.
If a wrestler gets hold of you, you’re ****ed. You’re going to the floor and you’re not getting up until they say so. If nobody drags them off you, you will either end up begging for forgiveness or dying. Neither of those bums were ready for that. :lol:
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
Paddy is a player you had to watch play to really appreciate...he didn't do stats, he just dominated game after game after game, was the most important player in our golden years under Arsène.

He was the most dominate midfielder to ever play in this country, imo.
The stats were all kinds of wrong :lol:
Even numbers wise he was far superior to Xhaka it wasn't eye test things.

I'd say Xhaka's range of passing and deadball ability is superior but that's as far as it goes. Different players, different eras.

There are wingers today that make Pires numbers look ordinary but it's pointless comparing.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
https://theathletic.com/2408351/202...-i-like-to-see-the-whole-game-in-front-of-me/

Granit Xhaka: ‘Arteta gave me freedom. I like to see the whole game’

mikel-arteta-granit-xhaka-scaled-e1614181463215-1024x681.jpg

By Art de Roché Feb 24, 2021
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Since signing in 2016, Granit Xhaka has been one of Arsenal’s most intriguing players.

By the time Mikel Arteta arrived as manager in December 2019, it looked as though the Switzerland midfielder was destined to leave north London, but the Spaniard’s arrival presented a lifeline. The first suggestion of a turnaround came in Arteta’s first week back at the club when he said he had wanted Manchester City to sign the midfielder when he joined their staff in 2016.

In the three and a half years it took for the pair’s paths to finally merge, Xhaka had been trusted by two managers in Arsène Wenger and Unai Emery, as well as interim boss Freddie Ljungberg. Yet that faith was never quite replicated by Arsenal supporters.

Often exposed in midfield under his first two managers, fan patience had steadily started to wear thin. Seemingly not well-suited to the all-action nature of a Premier League midfield, his exact purpose became unclear as erratic displays grew more frequent. The infamous backlash to the boos of the Emirates crowd against Crystal Palace had looked certain to call time on Xhaka’s Arsenal career, but the 16 months since have provided the clearest sense of purpose we have seen from him.

He has been Arteta’s most used player in the Premier League and Europa League since his appointment in December 2019 (3,728 minutes across 45 games), his role in the side has become more defined than ever.

“Yes,” he says when asked whether his role is more focused under Arteta before facing Benfica in Athens in the Europa League. “Everything has a tactical reason. Mikel is unbelievable in how he sees the game.

“The key for a player is to understand Arteta, his philosophy and how he wants to play. I understood this game very quickly. He’s putting me in the positions where I have freedom, where I have the game in front of me. This is what I like. I don’t like the game with my back to the opponent’s goal, I like to see the whole game in front of me.

“That’s something very positive from the coach; he can see how the players like to play, and he saw that very quickly in me. I’m trying to give everything for the team, for him and to give him the confidence back that he’s giving me.”

The freedom that has come with his deeper positioning was apparent from the very early days of Arteta’s reign. In his first game in charge at Bournemouth on Boxing Day 2019, he had Xhaka dropping deeper to cover Bukayo Saka’s surges forward from left-back.

Since then, that role has largely been filled by Kieran Tierney, with Xhaka again tucking in behind to protect the backline.

Granit-Xhaka-Heatmap-26_12_2019-24_2_2021.png


In doing so, he has attempted more tackles than any other Arsenal player this season across the Premier League and Europa League (80), made a team-high 171 recoveries (Dani Ceballos is second with 136), while also committing the most fouls (35).

Having the clear responsibility of supporting the defence while propelling the team forward has helped simplify Xhaka’s game. This has been particularly evident with the way he has fed Nicolas Pepe on the left in recent weeks. Away at Southampton, for instance, the Xhaka-to-Pepe pass was the most common combination on the night (eight times) and opened the pitch up for the Swiss.

“Pepe is very important for us,” Xhaka says. “He has a lot of quality. In the last few weeks he’s played more on the left, he looks very good on the left if I’m honest, because I’ve seen him only on the right. But it is important to know the players can play in both positions.

“He has made the difference in the last few weeks, at Southampton, for example, when he scored (the equaliser in a 3-1 win), you have players like him because they are very fast and can run behind. With Cedric or Kieran on the left, who like to have the ball in their feet, you have two options open, and this is very good for me.”

Compare this to how thinly spread he was pre-Arteta, and when you consider he isn’t the most agile, athletic midfielder, it’s understandable he sometimes appeared a little flustered.

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Since football went largely behind closed doors eight months ago, Xhaka has emerged as one of Arteta’s key on-pitch leaders. The Athletic looked at this in more depth after the Southampton win, but his voice has been a constant during this time.

Last season, for example, the midfielder was vocally leading the press in the early stages of July’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.



He continued throughout and later in the half, both Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson’s goals came from pressing Liverpool high upfield.

Just as important as what happens on the pitch is what happens off it. Like many players at Arsenal and across football in recent years, Xhaka has been subject to abuse on social media. An unseemly element of the game which, despite the public displays of disgust, remains embedded in the current online footballing culture.

Xhaka is adamant that he is eager for fans to return to stadiums when possible, but there is no escaping the 28-year-old’s history with social media abuse. Although it reached its height in the aftermath of his outburst against Crystal Palace, he has long since been a target on social media alongside some of his team-mates.

Fair criticism of poor performances is expected, but some have used those performances as justification for personal attacks. Xhaka isn’t the only Arsenal player to be subject to this and with far younger players experiencing similar, there comes a point where football may have to take a backseat to the bigger issues at play.

In a statement underlining the club’s support for their players, Arsenal said: “As a club, we are committed to using our voice and network to strengthen measures and action taken by relevant authorities to punish those responsible for this abuse that affects us all. Where an individual is found to have an Arsenal membership, they will be banned. We are working with the authorities to report abuse to the police.

“We cannot and will not let hateful abuse become a normalised part of the game. We all need to work together to drive this behaviour out. This includes clubs, governing bodies, fans, media and politicians; but requires the help and commitment of social media companies. We cannot underestimate the impact abuse has on individuals and the recent spate of abuse needs to be a wake-up call.

“We provide support to our players, which includes sports psychologists, social media and legal teams.”

Xhaka himself spoke strongly about the subject, better than I can here, so it is well worth your time hearing the discussion in full (12:16).


Of all Arsenal’s players, Xhaka is likely the most fascinating in regards to how perception works. Trusted by those in charge, liked by those in the dressing room and a growing influence both on and off the pitch, but still maligned online on an almost weekly basis.

He will remain a key figure under Arteta and there is no doubt his game has become more refined. Irrespective of his earlier struggles on the pitch, he deserves great respect for sticking to his convictions in the midst of all the madness that has followed him and finally getting the chance for people to understand him — both as a player and a person.
 

Riou

A-M's Resident Jobber
Trusted
The stats were all kinds of wrong :lol:
Even numbers wise he was far superior to Xhaka it wasn't eye test things.

I'd say Xhaka's range of passing and deadball ability is superior but that's as far as it goes. Different players, different eras.

There are wingers today that make Pires numbers look ordinary but it's pointless comparing.

Even Vieira's passing was underrated, there was almost nothing he couldn't do.

It's why I get so annoyed when people (who never watched him) call him a DM...play Paddy next to a DM and you have the best midfielder in the history of the Premiership, why the hell would you want to waste him as a defensive midfielder :lol:
 

Jury

Mission Accomplished
Paddy is a player you had to watch play to really appreciate...he didn't do stats, he just dominated game after game after game, was the most important player in our golden years under Arsène.

He was the most dominate midfielder to ever play in this country, imo.
Wenger was at Grampus looking at AC Milan like this

tenor.gif
 

Big Poppa

Established Member
Trusted
Paddy is a player you had to watch play to really appreciate...he didn't do stats, he just dominated game after game after game, was the most important player in our golden years under Arsène.

He was the most dominate midfielder to ever play in this country, imo.

It was how effective he was in both recovery and starting attacks in one move for me. His anticipation and those telescopic legs turned 30/70 duels into counters in our favour. Opta has only existed since 2004 I think - before that it was your eyes.
 

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