Gary Neville heavily criticises Granit Xhaka ability, has he gone over the top?

Granit Xhaka makes too many mistakes and doesn’t learn according to Gary Neville

Granit Xhaka may have angered Arsenal fans because of his reaction to being booed over the weekend, but Gary Neville believes that is not the biggest problem with the midfielder.

Xhaka was named Arsenal’s captain earlier in the season to the surprise of many fans. Most believe he isn’t even good enough to be starting games for them, and Gary Neville agrees with them.

Neville reckons Arsenal fans may have problem with Xhaka’s attitude, but his performances on the field are even more dreadful.

Too many mistakes

In a ruthless assessment, Neville claims Xhaka makes too many mistakes and struggles to enjoy watching him play.

“He is the least-experienced experienced player I’ve ever seen, he doesn’t seem to learn. I’ve never known a player commit the same mistakes game after the game. He’s riddled with ill-discipline.

“He doesn’t lead in any way shape or form on the pitch, other than the fact he does seem to give his all and does, to be fair, fight for the team.

“I don’t have a problem with an incident like on Sunday. That can happen in football with passion, emotion, intention and ill-discipline.

“I’ve seen those types of things happen at United over the years where you can have a spat with fans. It’s never nice to watch, but as long as you apologise, you can never really come out of these situations unless you apologise to the fans.

“But from a Xhaka point of view, he commits hundreds of fouls every match, he gets a yellow or red card every time I watch him, it feels like, and his performance levels are poor for Arsenal.

“That’s my biggest problem with him, not really the incident on Sunday. I have a problem more with the way he plays for Arsenal than the odd bit of tension between him and the fans.

“bless him”

The events on Sunday have reportedly had a huge emotional effect on Xhaka, to which Neville responded “Has it? Bless him.

“After the game the press department, manager and directors should have grabbed him and said. ‘let’s be clear here, you’re going out there and you have to apologise. Just get it over and done with.

“But he didn’t do that.”

Neville is not the only one who questions Xhaka’s abilities, the fans are hardly impressed either.

Xhaka remains one player that gets stick from the fans almost every other week. It is also bewildering for those fans that Xhaka plays and Mesut Ozil does not..

It will be interesting to see how his career develops with so many fans not wanting him to remain as club captain.

On a personal level, Neville has gone over the top in my opinion. For starters the words “Has it? Bless him” I found inappropriate, especially with so much emphasis on mental health.

Put it this way, Pep Guardiola calls Xhaka an incredible player, Neville basically says the exact opposite.

Who do you agree with, Guardiola or Neville?


  1. None, guy has been with us for years! We need to ship him out and get someone better. It clearly isnt working for him and for us

    1. Emery again throwing in Ozil, just to save his head now. The lazy ozil who, according to Emery was not even deserving for Carabao cup spot has now suddenly ready for premier league. What a cheat Emery is, he doesn’t have any clue of what he is doing, he doesn’t even know his players potential, he talk big but perform small, now it feels Wenger was far more intellect than him. Just 2 words now. ‘Emery Out’

  2. The problem is Xhaka can’t offer anything special

    He is good in set-pieces, but he rarely scores and assists from dead ball situations. He focuses on forward pass stats, but those are predictable routine passes

    If Guardiola likes him because of his forward stats, perhaps we can sell him to Man City. Fernandinho is old and Rodri needs a competitor

  3. Why doesn’t Guardiola put his money where his mouth is and sign him up. Xhaka is the 2nd biggest waste of £35M, only second to Mustafi. £70M spent on two very useless players that have not improved this team.

    1. QD, I know you are intelligent person base on your post but I’m disappointed that you take goanidea route on what Pep said about Xhaka. Do you think Pep saying Xhaka is not a quality player would be an appropriate thing to say considering the situation on ground. IMO, he did what ever person that is still playing the game will do. Speaking good of the other player or coach that what you won’t get from pundits or explayers. Look at this way, would Neville say Stan Collymore is a crap pundit. It is not Xhaka fault he playing for us and not his fault his contract was extended and I don’t believe our much criticized players are that very bad, they are not just fit into our way of play. Some of them are doing good before they come here and a bit better than what they were before they put on our shirt. For instance, Luis had made more mistakes in our shirt in 10 game he would have made in a season if he is still playing for Chelsea because of our system of defending. I may have exaggerated a bit there but I’m not far from the fact

      1. @Mobella
        I think Guardiola should have just steered clear of the whole issue. He watches Xhaka twice a year, we watch Xhaka every week. We are far better placed to assess Xhaka’s capabilities and numerous limitations. Nonetheless, you make a good point about Guardiola wanting to be respectful and I suppose politically correct.

        As for David Luiz, unfortunately he was over the hill when he joined and there is a good chance he would have made these mistakes had he remained at Chelsea. Even his patner, Gary Cahill who is more or less the same age, was over the hill and that is why he was shown the door too.

        1. Guardiola has his scouts to watch Xhaka….

          Luiz is a quality player….he at 32yo he may be ageing but hes doing well….

          its been a long time we see a tall player on the pitch….providing threat for set pieces or shooting from distance

        2. @Quantic Dream
          This is truly one for the books. It’s “quanticly” hilarious, that you think you and a bunch of couch potato coaches assessment of a player is “quanticly” far superior than that of a man who has played with , as well as managed players for decades… 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          1. And yet almost everyone who’s watched the idiot week in week out agrees with Quantic Dream’s assessment of Xhaka – that he’s not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s stature – at least not as a starter.

            Look for online opinions of former players who are not ‘couch potatoes’, and see how many of them agree with ‘couch potato’ fans – It’s somewhere between 80 – 90 percent. So maybe former stars are ‘couch potatoes’ in disguise…

            BTW, NY gunner, your sense of humour smacks of a certain lack. You’re crying from laughter because a fan’s opinion is different from one of the coaches???


      2. @Mobella
        What you witnessed and pointed out, is the “social media mindset” of wanting to fit in due to lack of own critically thought out input. Check most of the posts, and they all redundantly repeat what, who they feel the most popular person is saying. Even some of the pundits are stuck on stupid. Hilarious.

      3. @Mobella
        So you must be the designated translator / interpreter of Pep’s statements then.
        Everyone should not take Pep’s statements literally until @Mobella has had a look first in order to put them in the actual context.

        It seems like for positive statements regarding some particular players should be taken literally while positive comments about other players should never be taken literally until a scholar in managerial lingual has deciphered them.
        Isn’t it?
        We all know that Xhaka is not the best but flipping hell.

    2. Mustafic useless??

      where were you approximately 3 season ago?

      Kostafic combination was one of the best….he was solid at that time…

      not sure what happen after….he lost his confidence and determination and everything goes down….

      Ozil and Mustafic are 2 World Cup winners… German selectors are crap too?

      Xhaka is Captain of Swiss team…was outstanding for his former club and Country ….so they must be crap too?

      1. No way! Mustafi was only good for about half of his first season before his performances went to sh*t. He made it to the worldcup by sheer luck when Reus got injured and he was fortunate enough to get his spot on the team. He played a grand total of 3 games, 2 as a substitute and won the worldcup in the process. Luck.

        1. The other 1000 or so or professional German players that missed out on the Reus Replacement Lottery must still be cursing their rotten luck.

    3. Pep at Bayern were said to be interested in Xhaka when we signed him, that’s maybe why he’s said this. Or they could know each other from the time over there. What Neville said up there is utterly stupid, all the focus on Xhaka and our fans right now and Neville just wanted to come over the top of all that and be heard quite loudly. Hundreds of fouls in a game, am not sure if that even happens in one season you plonker, it feels like he’s sent off everytime he watches, then he’s not watching him much is he. If you don’t particularly like a player then fair enough, but to use every moment to pile misery on top is sort of ..well, cowardly, esp from an ex pro who prides himself as a bit of northern hard man. When do these pundits ever talk like this about British players, plenty of Brits aren’t as good as their foreign counterparts, Xhaka has more quality passing than any of that English midfield. He’s also a stronger character than people gave him credit, to stand up for himself like that against the home fans no less, when the easy thing would be to jog off and keep your mouth shut, was wrong but a brave one all same.

  4. You’re really asking who we agree with? Don’t we all know everything Neville said is the truth?
    Isn’t that why fans have been complaining before our coward of a coach decided to reward him with the band?

    Neville didn’t take anything over the top, yes the timing is bad, of looks harsh saying the truth now but it’s still the truth

    1. Neville actually put it perfectly for once:

      “He doesn’t lead in any way shape or form on the pitch”

      “He is the least-experienced experienced player I’ve ever seen, he doesn’t seem to learn. I’ve never known a player commit the same mistakes game after the game. He’s riddled with ill-discipline.”

      Even the ‘bless him’ was just perfect because:

      “I’ve seen those types of things happen at United over the years where you can have a spat with fans. It’s never nice to watch, but as long as you apologise, you can never really come out of these situations unless you apologise to the fans.”

      But Xhaka does not want to apologize. So he should be gone in January.

  5. Xhaka was a huge waste of £35 million. So was Mustafi

    He doesn’t have anything special to offer and other than good passing he doesn’t improve us. He is average at best

    The pecking order for DM and box2box CM should be:
    1. Ceballos
    2. Torreira
    3. Guendouzi
    4. Xhaka/Wilock
    5. Niles/Chambers

    He should not have started most of our matches

  6. There is a certain amount of racist scum that ‘support’ Arsenal. The same scum that abuse Mustafi

    1. Oh dear me! What levels we have stooped? Just because the attitudes and performances of under performing players are being highlighted, questioned and booed, does it classify us as that? I for one target the commitment never the individual. Fact that Socrates, Mustafi, AMN, Xhaka , Ozil (9/10 games), Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Kolasinac are not AFC material (if we consider AFC as a top club competing for honors) and should be shipped out at the earliest with their coach.We question their performances and not target their what not. If any individual is abused, it should be highlighted to the club and local authorities and dealt severely with. Insulting and foul word ranting by a player is abusing the general public and the concerned player too should be investigated and penalized if there are laws pertaining to vocal abuse. If fans cannot cheer or boo the performance, it would be best to have the games played without fans in closed stadiums. Just one player brought disgrace to football does not mean all fans and players are bad. The sooner his attitude is corrected through counselling and hefty fines, player attitudes will keep worsening.

      1. If AFC do not penalize him, the FA should or someone should lodge a public complaint against him. So far no reports of an investigation by AFC or FA.The player is too arrogant to issue an apology, just writes something explaining his view. Be sure that every time he under performs, he has a reason to abuse fans / general public and get away with it.Hope FA takes note and suspends him or more strict punitive action.

  7. Thank you Gary Neville, most of the time you are a neurotic fool but once in a blue moon you can talk sense. I agree with his assessment on Xhaka, the positive things are he runs around and seems to give his all, and the coach rates him for that. But the rest of his game is clearly lacking.

    He is correct about the incident, Xhaka should have apologized. Let’s consider this scenario starring Joe as an ordinary person and his boss:

    Boss: good ebening Joe, what you did yesterday is unacceptable, you should apologize to the customers
    Joe: but sir, I didn’t do anything wrong, they started it first
    Boss: Joe, that doesn’t mean what you do is justified. you have to remember where you salary comes from.
    Joe: but some of them are mocking me on twitter, THEY THREATEN ME ON TWITTER !
    Boss: Joe… you are wasting my time

    PS: In a real life situation he will be laughed at by his boss and sacked on the spot, bless him it’s football

  8. I have a confessuon to make. I have not bothered to read the article. I think it would be a waste of my precious time. The title says all I need to know about it.

    Why will Gary Neville be so relevant that whatever crap he says will be a topic of discussion on an esteemed platform as this? Who the heck does he think he is? Because he has been given a platform to speak on TV as a pundit doesn’t make him the most competent authority on the subjects he dabbles in.

    Whatever he achieved as a player pales beside the kind of man he proves himself to be. Those among Arsenal fans who see him as an authority should know that they are only being myopic.

    TV today is peopled by those who will continue to perpetuate the fraud that they (the mainstream media) and their partners in evil in the refs have done to football. Just because there is obscene money in football does not make them god’s that must be worshipped by all of us.

    Gary Neville was an admirable player in his days but a very poor character to emulate.

    1. You should bother perhaps. True, what Neville says has been known to Arsenal fans for a long time, but his wording on the topic is excellent considering who it came from.

  9. Agree with Neville.

    It’s no different to what the majority of us have been saying about Xhaka for the last few years.

  10. He’s only saying what a lot of dicks on here are saying.
    Do we really need another article about Xhaka?

    1. Would Neville or any former Man U player see or say anything complimentary about us or our players? No.

      Will he or any of his colleagues ever celebrate anything about us? No. Will they jump at any opportunity to run us down? Yes, with glee.

      Do they have the equivalent of Xhaka, players not making the fans happy over there in Man U? Yes, of course. So what is his special interest in drinking petrol and pissing in our fire? Nothing he or the likes of Evra say should be taken as facts spoken in good faith. So why bother writing about their rubbish on an Arsenal forum and wasting good space that could have been put to better use?

      With all the help Neville’s beloved Man U have received from the refs this season, and all the raw deals they have sent our way, look at where they are on the league table.

  11. Don’t pay no mind to what Pep say to the press, he always say the ‘right’ thing and he is their darling.

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