The positives outweigh the negatives in 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
It is easy to look for negatives, especially following the abysmal first half at Stamford Bridge last night but on this occasion, there were far more positives that Arsenal can take from the game as a whole.
Yes, Arsenal has rebounded from a losing position and a man down before but not against a top-six club, not on their ground. This very same team just a few months ago would have been beaten out of sight but not no more, now they dig deep, they show resilience and they do not let their heads drop. Last night they showed a character that we have not seen in years.
Have no doubts, this young man is an immense talent, we are talking a player that could easily be worth over £100 Million in a year or two. Put it this way, if he played for Barcelona he would already be touted as a £100 Million player. If we was not certain before, we are now, he is a diamond and will very shortly be a genuinely world-class player and he is still just a teenager.
When I watched the whole game back this morning without the anxiety and nervousness that came with the game last night the performance from Xhaka reminded me of that scene from the Lord of the rings when Boromir said to Aragorn “Our people, our people. I would have followed you, my brother… my captain… my king.” That is what his performance was last night, he was the true captain on the field. Just watch what he did with Mustafi after the penalty scored, he encouraged him, he showed true leadership and he got a great response from his beleaguered teammate.
He is clearly making a difference at crucial times, I have criticised him for some parts but I will hold my hands up and say that he made a difference last night, he was constantly encouraging from the sidelines, having little words with the players when he could, in fact, he even listened to one of his assistants when he was on the verge of subbing Martinelli. This is a man that exudes authority but is not afraid to take advice from a more experienced member of his team.
They did not turn on Mustafi after his howler, yeah they did on social media but I am talking in the stadium, I heard no booing or abusive chants, I heard encouragement and it is one thing to have your teammates and manager to gee you up after such an error but it makes a world of difference when the fans do the same and last night, they did.