Arteta hints that Xhaka will start at left back again with Tavares in a “difficult period”

There has been a lot of discussion about Mikel Arteta moving Granit Xhaka into the left-back position against Brighton, rather than playing the like-for-like replacement of Nuno Tavares.

The youngster was excellent earlier this season when he was covering for Tierney, but with the Scotsman out again until the end of the season, Mikel Arteta seems to have decided that Tavares is not in the right frame of mind to be capable of replacing Tierney.

This is what Arteta said in yesterday’s press conference. He was first asked if he didn’t trust Tavares and he replied: “No, the trust comes from the way I communicate with them. That I give them the right reasons, when I put a player on the pitch it’s because I can see that they are in the right condition to do that. To show trust and for the player to show trust to us is that I’m going to give them the opportunity when I believe that he is ready to do that. When I see in the moment that he is doubting I don’t do him any favours by putting him in there. Then you can discuss whether Granit can play there, just look at the stats when the team has played with Granit as a left-back. They don’t get much better than that.”

Well we all know those stats were not improved in last weeks game against Brighton, when our mifield and defence were over-run by Brighton. So Arteta was pressed again and was then asked if the Portugese youngster had lost his belief: “With Nuno? No. Not belief. He needs to go through periods, like I can show you examples of any player that has been in this squad. Not always good periods, difficult periods. But those difficult periods are the best moments to learn and to overcome and to have the ability afterwards to develop into a much better player.”

It’s not going to be so easy to get his confidence and belief back if he doesn’t play, but it certainly sounds like the youngster is still going to be left on the bench. Let’s hope Arteta’s decision is the right one today….

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  1. But why. Seriously. Xaka is such a poor defender. Atkeast move gabriel and play holding in cb. Like fml it’s like he is purposely trying to sabotage us.

  2. The man needs to be sacked tonight if we fail to win comfortably. He hired Tavares, now he has dumped him. I hear that Lacazette is having issues too. We have no recognised striker and PEA is told to leave, and is now scoring for Barcelona for fun. Granit is one of the worst midfield player in terms of discipline, and he is now playing LB! We need a miracle today to draw, let alone a win.

  3. Yea great idea ,see this is why Arteta is called a genius ,he thinks outside the box this is what top top managers do ,it worked so well for Brighton’s first goal last week why wouldn’t you try it again .

  4. While I believe it’s absolutely unwise to play Xhaka at left back, I still think we should wait and see the outcome. Not necessarily the match result but the performance of Xhaka in that position and how the midfield will do without him. But the manager should be aware that if this goes south, all blame will lie at his feet

  5. Fundamentally what is causing thr shortage of fit though key players , is that our squad is far ctoo small in quality. MANYOF ON HERE HAVE KNOWN THIS FOR SEVERAL YEARS, IN FACT WAY BACK WELL INTO WENGERS REIGN.
    It is pointless having a large squad in numbers, IF a large percentage of those players are subpar. Which they were. Now only a few are subpar but they seem to never seem to be injured, so have to play.

    To PROPERLY change things , we need a great deal more money to be wisely spent on top quality players. No more Elnenys Xhakas, Lacas, AND no more perennially injured players such as Tierney.

    PLUS no more wasted on declining players stupidly given obscenely long and expensive new contracts and players held on too long when they should have been sold while they still had value. Put all these mistakes together and you have the problems we have NOW!

    Quality is useless if its mainly unfit and lack of quality, even though fit, is also useless. REALITY!

  6. All I see here is a tactics against the opponent however if he eventually plays xhaka at LB then I know Arteta is not flexible.

  7. The apprentice is so stubborn and arrogant. His discipline issue is way worse than any player he ever coached. But because there is no one to scold him.
    I said it lady week that Nuno Tavarse may have found himself in arteta’s black book.
    That means it is over for him as far as Arteta is still in charge.

  8. It leaves to say Arteta has no clue how to sort out the mess Arsenal is in. We are in trouble. Arteta is never going to make it. He would have been sacked by now even in championship.

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