‘Cop-out’ – Pundit lays into Xhaka and Arteta

Charlie Nicholas has laid into Granit Xhaka and taken aim at Mikel Arteta in his latest rant about Arsenal at present.

The midfielder got himself a straight red card for a reckless challenge against Manchester City, when his team was already on the losing end of preceedings, with his action all-but ending any hope of a revival, just as we had been looking positive on the pitch also.

We ended up losing 5-0 at the Etihad to extend our losing streak to three in the league, and Nicholas has not taken it lightly.

‘He did what he’s always done,” he said on the Where’s Jeff Podcast. “He played the joker card. He is the joker of our club.

‘How he can manipulate Roma into paying £17m… I would’ve personally dropped him off there… And then he signs a new contract.

‘When you look at the so-called captain in Xhaka, that’s a cop-out. It was an absolute camouflage [the red card] and it just sums everything up about that football club.

‘As much as I want to support Mikel Arteta, I’m finding it harder and harder to justify his choices.’

I don’t think there are many Arsenal fans who would have been disappointed to see the Swiss midfielder leave the club this summer, nor do I believe many would be disappointed if Arteta was replaced during the current international break, but hindsight is a wonderful thing at this point.

We are stuck with both until at least Christmas I believe, but with any luck Albert Sambi Lokonga and Thomas Partey will be able to forge a formidable partnership to allow Xhaka to warm bench.

Could Xhaka’s red be a blessing in that we will likely see Lokonga and Partey start together?


Tags charlie nicholas Granit Xhaka Mikel Arteta


  1. Xhaka has been the most consistent Arsenal
    player these past 5 seasons.
    Virtually indestructible he has played more games than any Arsenal outfield player 5 years in a row.
    Like Mustafi and Giroud he never hid, complained
    or made any excuses.
    While the superstars came and went Xhaka simply went about his business.
    This season he was ready to leave but because
    we could would not sell 6mill below the asking price he had to stay. Unlike sulky Niles Xhaka just got straight back on the job.
    We could not sell Bellerin Torreira Nketiah Nelson Elneny Kolasinac Niles Aubameyang Lacazette
    Saliba Guendouzie or Mavropanos at the price the club expects and Willian is being paid 15m to leave.
    At least someone genuinely wanted Xhaka. The rest would have had to be given away.
    Failure to sell in the weak covid market we could not buy Bissouma, Aouor or a new striker.
    None of the club problems can be traced back to Xhaka.
    Wenger stayed a couple of seasons too long. Emery was brilliant in season one but the players downed tools in season two.
    Arteta took two seasons to realize he was not managing the Man City super stars.
    Now the club has decided to build a young squad for the future. Xhaka will be sold soon no doubt but until then expect him to be his normal reliable consistent team player.
    Also expect fans to lay the teams struggles these last 5 years at his feet like they blamed Mustafi and Giroud when they were here.

    1. It’s ironic because out of all players at Arsenal, Xhaka is the most easy to tie to our downfall. He came in the exact season we dropped out of the top 4 for the first time in 20 years. He’s become a bigger and bigger influence in the team for the 6 years since and we’ve falled further and further down the table. He was given the captain’s band in the season we dropped from top 6 to 8th for the first time.

      It’s actually impressive how much of a “coincidence” our decline links perfectly to his tenure.

      But thankfully he never gets injured so we get another 3 seasons of us falling and him being a great talisman 😂

    2. I agree with much of what you say, but the problem is Xhaka isn’t premier league capable, too one footed and slow.

    3. “Reliability” is not a word I would associate with Xhaka other than to relate to his consistency for getting sent off and his inability to close down opposition players due to his complete absence of pace.The fact that he is rarely injured is a benefit of his failure to sprint.You rarely pull a muscle when you walk or jog, but you run the risk of doing so when you over stretch in a sprint.

  2. Mikel and that dressing room worship Granit. I never for one moment deluded myself that he was going to leave for Roma. Once his contract extension was announced I was really upset at how accurate I was.
    Granit Xhaka is just a poor man’s Sergio Busquets, a really bad imitation.

    1. Me too Declan- Lokonga seems to always try to move the ball forward. That’s what Xhaka just does not have in his game and never will. Far too concerned with keeping possession and playing backwards and sidewards as the easy option. And we wonder why we not creating.
      And as for @Fairfan saying Arteta loves him, does he not recall it was Arteta who would have sanctioned the move to Roma? Then backtracked just as he has done with AMN?
      Where is the “process” in that?

      1. Spot on Phil…for most of last season he was a 3-wheeled shopping cart who patrolled a 2 square meter space, simply dispersing the ball sideways and/or backwards, thus enabling Arteta to maintain these epically negative tactics…football can’t always be about the path of least resistance

  3. Majority of the supporters can’t be wrong…………..besides the pundits..the fans can also see the manager and the player’s mistakes………and they all say the similar things…….Charlie Nicholas is not the only one……..so….majority can’t be wrong all the time………..!

  4. The truth as to whether or not all our ills are down to Xhaka, will be shown over his enforced time out of the team.
    Norwich, Burnley and the spuds will give three different clues as to how the club manage without him…. and if we lose those games, what player will be the newest scapegoat?

    Bob’s facts about the results since he arrived, are quite damning, but how many other players fit into the same scenario?
    Apart from one season, Lacazette onward could all be button holed in to that simplistic way of judging Xhaka.
    Until MA, UE, AW, JM and his international manager stop praising him, Xhaka is an enigma for most fans.

    1. All very well Ken but what is YOUR view of him?

      We would like to know, so please don’t sit on the fence!

      Is it the same as mine and most others on here, that he is a useless, one paced, immobile, back passing, long lasting liability? And a loose cannon, to boot!

  5. My fear is that as long as Xhaka remains in this team Arteta will never allow the pairing of Partey and Sambi Lokonga to happen.

  6. I think MA likes having Xhaka coz it’s takes the spotlight away from his own mistakes i. e everyone is talking about the red card after the man city game even though that was the least of our troubles

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