It is lucky for the Arsenal fans, Arsene Wenger and especially the Swiss international midfield star Granit Xhaka that the Gunners were in fine flowing form yesterday, because I can only imagine what the backlash would have been like had Arsenal slipped to another away defeat or even just come back from Goodison Park with only a point.
As it was the fact that Arsenal concede first despite being on top did not matter, but on another day it could have. Xhaka played well for the rest of the game, showcasing some fine shooting skills to go with his passing range and combative abilities, but once again he made a silly error that cost us a goal.
Just last weekend at Watford Xhaka switched off and allowed Tom Cleverley the freedom of our penalty which he duly made the most of to score the winner. A point would have been bad enough against the Hornets because of the dodgy referee but to get nothing from that game was criminal. We would be in the top four right now if Xhaka had been on the ball.
These are not the only two occasions like this for the midfielder this season either. On the opening day we needed a late Giroud winner to beat Leicester after a Xhaka mistake gifted the Foxes a goal and the only goal at Stoke came about after a rank bad pass from Xhaka gave up possession in a dangerous area, so how much do we need to worry?
Surely Wenger has noted these incidents, but he seems to have Xhaka as a nailed on starter, so maybe it is just a matter of hammering home the need to concentrate for 90 minutes. I personally think that despite being a good player the Swiss is not a natural holding midfielder.
With Elneny or Coquelin next to him we have the extra defensive awareness to cover these mistakes, but then we lose some creativity and attacking threat, so what do you think Gooners? Do Arsenal have a problem with these recurring mistakes from Xhaka?