Brentford star names the Arsenal man they deliberately targeted

Christian Norgaard has opened up on Brentford’s plans that helped them to beat Arsenal in their Premier League opener and claims they targeted Granit Xhaka.

The Bees stung the Gunners in their first-ever top-flight match with a 2-0 win as Mikel Arteta’s side struggled to cope with their press, intensity and invention.

It was a fitting way to start their life in the Premier League, but they had some help from Arsenal to achieve it.

Arsenal were in dismal defensive form as the hosts almost ran riot with even the Gunners latest signing, Ben White struggling in the match.

Norgaard scored one of their goals and spoke about their performance after the game.

In an interview, he shared that they targeted closing down Arsenal’s midfield to make Xhaka ineffective at all times even though the Gunners did get some space through Emile Smith Rowe.

Norgaard said as quoted by Sun Sports: “If you look at our midfield, it is not the most offensive so it was already quite defensive and compact, but it is mobile.

“Our plan was to close down the middle where they have good players like Granit Xhaka.

“Although sometimes they did get a bit too much space and created dangerous moments through Emile Smith-Rowe, we closed it down the whole game.

“That was one very small achievement in comparison to the whole season but we were already confident before this game and that confidence just got boosted.

“We could have played even better. It was a good start.”

Tags Granit Xhaka

28 Comments

  1. Cruz Gunner says:

    I would target Xhaka as well. He’s slow as an OX, generally won’t pass forward, has no chance of recovering the ball without fouling, etc.,

    Please sell him.

    And make the Kroenke’s disappear as well.

    1. GunneRay says:

      I guess that’s why MA signed him!

    2. Goonereris says:

      Did anyone else read what the Brentford player really said (close down the midfield where they have good players like Granit Xhaka), or we just blinded by a Xhaka-hate?

      Why twist the statement to be about “targeting Xhaka”? Wow!

      1. Justices mude says:

        Arsenal can’t go anywhere with a coach like Areta..pepe is finished and useless to this club…
        I am tired of weeping after our matches…
        I hope and pray that kronke and the board sack him and hire a more mature expirence coach.

      2. Davi says:

        I’m far from a Xhaka fan, I want him sold yesterday, but I agree, what the Brentford player said sounded like a compliment to Xhaka. It’s like how teams target Jorginho – “he makes them tick; stop him and you stop their team”.
        I think the reality is that GX is an easy target, though. He needs too much time to be truly effective .

      3. Vithal says:

        Agree & is this really Arsenal site ? should discuss & criticise players’ performance on the day where appropriate but this article seems to twist statement to suit an agenda. No players or managers can stay & perform at Arsenal if fans do this.

  2. DaJuhi says:

    And what was Artetas,tactic? Hoof the ball into box to our 5 foot 9 forwards?

  3. VasC says:

    OT: Arsenl and Bayern are working on a swap deal involving Bellerin and Tolisso. One treatment room star for another. WOW!!! COYG!!!

  4. Adega Olatunji says:

    This is not a serious football club

  5. Kenneth O. Otaru says:

    the entire team is low on confidence right now. Arteta is not getting enough support from the board. They only care about making money not winning Cups.

    You had almost 2 months to get the kind of team you need, why wait until the window is closed ? The only people suffering right now are the supporters.

    Why did Edu go on leave at this crucial time ?

    1. Kelvinblaq says:

      After need wat support?? His been stubborn, going for kid that doesn’t have EPL experience non of our midfield will stake spot at any big 6 clubs

    2. Kay says:

      How can you blame the board after what they’ve spent in the last 4 seasons. We have a joke of a manager and sport director in Arteta and Edu. We can’t move forward with those two at the helm of affairs. I’ve supported Arteta from the beginning, but with his man management, he’s not the right person for Arsenal. The earlier he is given the sack, the better and not the owners

  6. Opk says:

    Everything around Arsenal FC is so sad

  7. Sue says:

    And with Thomas Frank saying he’d have been disappointed not to win… says it all!
    Anyway it’s in the past now.. have to look forward to next Sunday now..

    OT.. How good was Newcastle v West Ham? The Hammers have picked up where they left off, as has Antonio – what a beast!! Saint-Maximin was also superb! Been some fantastic games in this opening weekend!

  8. Reggie says:

    Arsenal are a target FULL STOP!

  9. Ade says:

    Everything is on the shoulder, Arteta out.

  10. Molosound says:

    That was a ridicule

  11. Kero~Max says:

    Arteta make the three most important signing and Arsenal will be good to go. MADISON, LAUTARO AND and a good goalkeeper. I even think Ramsdale may not be that keeper. Then offload the underperformed lads at a cheap.

    1. Reggie says:

      You do realise this is Arsenal and even if we could get that to happen, we haven’t a coach to make the most of it.

  12. Sean Williams says:

    4 more years of Xhaka. OMG!!!

    1. Reggie says:

      4 more years of mediocrity!

    2. Reggie says:

      Why would xhaka want sign a 4 year deal at Arsenal, he must know the fans dont rate him. I presume he is sticking two fingers up to them.

  13. RSH says:

    this is what anyone would do against Arsenal because he’s a poor player that somehow gets consistent starts. Says something that Brentford can pull it off so easily and it’s so obvious to them. But hey, lets throw another contract Granit’s way. What a lost club. If Kroenke paid even slight attention or cared even 1% about Arsenal he’d wonder who thinks this is an okay thing to do.

  14. Onis says:

    If Granit is a target then it would have been a benefit for us to win every game, the other players what are they doing or even the coach to know that and change tactics. In baca, when messi become a target, u see him not playing the ball, sometimes u see him working in the field without running but u will not know when he will throws a pass for another player to score. Granit is most decorated player we have in the middle of the park, it left for the coach and the players to understand the mind set of the openet and follow with it. U see last year we often loose to smaller teams than the big boys like Mu, Chfc, Tot, Les simply because those big boys didn’t play Granit as a target and so we have an open play that allowed Xak to dictate the open play, but when it comes to smaller teams, the opponent coach knows that and play Xak as a target for him not to dictate the match. When this happen, its left the coach to know that and instruct the players on what to do to win matches.

  15. Enock says:

    Arsena just need to sign players like Aouar
    Lautaro
    Bissouma

  16. Fred says:

    Arteta trust the old Gs no more, little wonder he wants them out so as to build his own project with mediocres. For his days at the Arsenal are numbered.

  17. Andrew Elder says:

    What’s the betting we loan Odergaard again? The easy option plus MA really rates him but I don’t see any clubs queuing up to buy him.

  18. Goonster says:

    This can be interpreted both ways.
    For the already biased against Xhaka it can be interpreted as the Brentford player having a dig at Xhaka for being a weak link.

    And for other they might interpret it as a somewhat compliment to Xhaka. They targeted him because they know he is Arsenal’s engine. The Brentford player even caller him a “Good player”.

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