Let’s give credit to Arsenal’s best player at the World Cup – Granit Xhaka!

Being Arsenal’s best player at the World Cup so far should be put into perspective. The reality is most of our star names are all on a beach somewhere having not qualified to go to Russia, kind of a reflection on our season. Yet for a man who has been everyone’s favourite scapegoat since arriving in England it’s only fair we acknowledge Xhaka’s form when it’s positive.

To be fair he’s yet to face any serious competition from his fellow gooners for contender of best gunner of the World Cup. A long way to go of course but how many of his team-mates will still be playing in the later rounds.

We keep being told how Iwobi is better for club then country, yet when the pressure was on him to show his talent he went missing, sounds familiar? Iwobi was so poor against Croatia he was a sub vs Iceland. The bench is the closest Monreal has got to any action, Wellbeck couldn’t get on even when England needed a goal, Ospina could’ve done better for Japan’s winner, Ozil was pressured to be dropped for Germany and unlike 4 years ago Joel Campbell has failed to use this tournament to convince anyone he deserves a fresh chance. Even our apparent incomings are not getting into starting line ups (eg Torrera).

Xhaka though has shown leadership qualities as Swiziland have earned a credible 4 points. He showed no intimidation facing Brazil while he equalised against Serbia with a strike he’s become renowned for. Some fans are surprised he has been rewarded with a lengthy contract. However I noticed improvement as the year progressed. I don’t think he got credit for good form as it got to a point last campaign where the Emirates crowd were so dismayed, it took a lot to put smiles back on their faces.

It was suggested that perhaps Arsene Wenger was not playing him in his correct role. Xhaka’s strength is his range of passing. By asking him to sit in the DM position you are not letting him focus on what he is natural at. With Wilshire gone and the type of individuals we are linked with, it wouldn’t surprise me if the plan is to have someone sitting in front of our defence , leaving Xhaka to ping balls across the pitch.

So well done Xhaka for a good World Cup so far. After his critics for his goal celebration, he could do with some kind words.

Dan Smith


  1. rkw says:

    jesus i have no idea what matches you were watching … scored a great goal and was utterly mediocre for the rest of the 179 minutes …huge numbers of lateral passes plenty of misplaced passes occasional good long ball and stupid fouls … no one and i mean no one in top flight football would be watching these games and thinking wow need to get that guy …
    best arsenal player so far … carlos vela!!!… watch him and reminded that the delusional one decided nicolas bentner … now selling ice cream in tiffany gardens… was the better choice for arsenal and just thankful he has gone … but need to get rid of his more recent progeny now including xhaka

    1. Mobella says:

      No one think that of Kroos. He was responsible for both goal scored against them in this world cup and fortunately he was the same man that gave them a lifeline yesterday. The writer’s point is, he was the best player arsenal from us in this tournament so far if you disagree say which player you think it is.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Has to be Joel Campbell, still living off the last world cup so he must be the king. Has he still got any of that loyal following, if yes then Joel is the man. Torriera is my pick, not many minutes but full competence on his part for those minutes. It’s like a horse race right now, the guy in front is not necessarily best positioned. Or how about, the first bit of bird s**t to hit the ground does not smell or look better than the second drop to hit.

      2. Rkw says:

        Was just responding to the misplaced adulation in the text not the headline .. Best so far welbeck has definitely looked better than when on the pitch for us!!!

        1. Godswill says:

          You are watching Xhaka with a bias mind. Or that you are vomiting what was already in your mind about him without watching him. How many of his team mates are better than him in the two matches so far? Well, start getting use to the fact that you will be watching him in Arsenal colours from August.

    2. DAN says:

      Kind of missing point mate . As bad as you think he’s been, point of article is can you name Arsenal player who been better.
      Fact you named an ex player kind of my point , sums up how far we have fallen

      1. Godswill says:

        Thank you mate.

    3. ozilking says:

      why can’t some biased xhaka haters be honest in their life for once.xhaka has so far been arsenal most exceptional player so far in Russia 18 and there is nothing u haters can do about it.go to bed

    4. Sydney says:

      I have been on record saying Xhaka is the best midfielder we among what we currently have except that he was played in a wrong position. He’s best suited playing behind the DM. With Torreira coming I’m sure the two will form a good partnership. I can’t wait for next season of good football

    5. Sydney says:

      We have to be honest and realistic at times, can u really compare Wilshire, Ramsay with Xhaka? Far from it, and I’m so happy Wilshire is leaving, he has been a liability, so overrated but the fact he was left out of England squad for world can answer doubters. We are yet to see the best of Xhaka, with a good partner watch out for him next season

  2. Thomo says:

    Apart from his goal xhaka was dreadful constantly giving the ball away

    1. DAN says:

      Name which Arsenal player done better ?

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Ozil!!! Simply speaking Ozil showed more craft in how he strokes a football and spreads the play, that the other players actually have to have good competent displays to be able to rival an artists touch. He will arrive back as our best Arsenal player from that competition. He was sidelined because the manager needed to defuse an idiot situation. When he’s introduced Ze Germans will be sure to contender.

  3. kev says:

    Kovacic is a done deal, loan for a year for 5mil

    JUST IN:
    We are holding talks with Gelson Martins’s agent. He has agreed to sign for Arsenal. Only stumbling block would be Sporting’s appeal against Martins’s “Just Clause” contract cancellation. So the ball now lies in the portugese courts, if they(Courts) agree to Martins termination of contract then he is Arsenal player for sure.

    1. Mobella says:

      Is there any option to make Kovacic deal permanent.

      1. Declan says:

        I’m off down the bookies right now then as at present Arsenal are 20/1 to get him while spurs are 5/2 favourites and City 7/2.
        You better be correct as I’m putting a big bet on!

        1. kev says:

          Who are you talking about?
          Kovacic or Gelson?

          1. Declan says:


          2. kev says:

            As i always say a done deal is when both clubs agree on a fee and also the player agrees to sign for the club. But if the player wants to be a douchbag and make a uturn in the last minute on the contract signing day to earn a better contract somewhere else then its just bad luck. Most recent example is the Adli deal. He agreed to sign on the dotted line but was offered a better package by PSG.

            So as far as i am concerned Kovacic is a done deal. He has agreed to sign verbally.. He is waiting for the world cup to end for his Croatian team.
            But if you ask me if you should waste money on betting i’d say NO.

          3. Break-on-through says:

            I hope you’re right, Kovacic looks an Arsenal fit, he has the skills but also he looks like he’s ready to fight after the season he’s had. Would be a very good signing which everyone would agree am sure.

            I would have preferred if you had backed his bet, you would hold some personal responsibility on peoples fortune and then we could all have made a trip to the bookie. You could’ve become legendary if you had total belief in this and it worked out. It would have been fun.

        2. Admin says:

          ADMIN WARNING – This is NOT Kev!

          1. GB says:

            Can’t you bar his IP address then?

          2. Break-on-through says:

            Who is he? usually, do you know him Admin.

          3. Admin says:

            I know both of them by their IP and email. Today was NOT Kev…

          4. Xxnofx says:

            He writes the same as Kev ,words everything the same .maybe he’s using a VPN.

          5. Ingleby says:

            So will it be like the end of Spartacus, then?

    2. Arsene Wenger. says:

      Will the contract cancellation affect Martins only or the entire squad members who terminated their contracts???

  4. CannonSpike says:

    I tend to question the football knowledge of fans who say Xhaka isn’t a good player, and point out how many times he looses the ball, yet don’t put in to account that he is playing as the engine of the team and therefore making him the source of all attacking sequences, making him quite involved in the game and making many touches which means that he is one of the most targeted players for the opposition.
    Some fans just base everything on their feelings and refuse to take other important factors in account as @Mobella pointed out about Kroos, but since he saved Germany in the last few moments our feelings direct us towards that moment and completely ignoring his mistakes. If Xhaka could have that moment Kroos had, we’d all be lauding him as the best thing since slice bread

    1. Mobella says:

      Spot on Cannonspike. Kroos himself acknowledged his mistakes by saying after yesterday match, if your game is based on making 400 passes in a game you are bound to make few which will go astray. Fans problem is we think of these players as machine with margin for error is zero to none. Even machine makes error that is why we have factory default in commodities. Xhaka scored a wonderful goal that brought his country leveling up in the game, he got criticized for what he did before he scored. Kroos scored a sumptuous free kick to win a match for his country he was vindicated for almost cost his country qualification into round of 16. One rule for arsenal, another one for others.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        ?Xhaka needs to shoot more for Arsenal from outside the box.

        1. GB says:

          I agree with you Ozzie but some on here have complained that half his shots end up in row Z. If the other half end up in the goal though, I’d be more than happy!

          1. jon fox says:

            But they don’t and there is the problem! He is also one paced , opponent unaware and immobile. Not a player I remotely wish to keep. Sorry to disagree profoundly with you .

    2. Rkw says:

      Ridiculous … He scored a great goal against the run of play that probably kept the cheese eating yoddlers in the tournament but that doesn’t make up for the rest of his game … So we have two “engine rooms” in this guy and the welsh wizard who even when firing on all cylinders to keep the stupid metaphor going can’t control middle of park even against lower clubs … No thank you

  5. Phil says:

    I believe both Xhaka and Mustafi have the ability to be very good players.There is no denying they are both error prone and have received justified criticism from the fans for mediocre performances.But there must have been something in BOTH players.Mustafi was in the German WC Squad when they won the competition 4years ago.He would have been 22 and it is no mean feat to have gotten into that squad at the time.£35m buys a lot of player.Aresenal are not known for spending badly so must have thought the player was worth that fee.Mustafi just needs coaching along with the rest of the defence and the introduction of a CDM and we could well find we have the player we hoped we had signed.
    It’s the same with Granit Xhaka.A £35m fee for a player who had the option of Bayern Munich tells its own story.He was deemed worthy of that fee so we paid it.The fact he has dissapointed is disappointing in itself.Arsenal fans don’t just get on the players backs for no reason.He got the requisite settling in period that any player would get But right from the off it was difficult to see just what TYPE of player we had bought.No pace.Could not go past a player.Passing was average at times.Dicipline was poor.Few goals scored.Tackling was a card waiting to happen.Terroble at tracking back.So Why buy this player?Why couldn’t Wenger get anything other than average performances (at best)from him?Was it the system(s)we were playing?Was it the coaching (sic) of the payer or the team in general?Something was not right but it was clear Wenger wanted him in the team for something.He started 37 games in the Premiership and came on as a sub in the other.That alone tells its own story.
    I’m convinced there is a player in Xhaka.Torreira will give the whole team a defensive cover that has been lacking for a decade.Emery has sanctioned a new contract so you would feel he wants the player.If not at least the Club have protected a future sell on value by tying him to a contract which will at least enable us to get a fee for him.
    As far as his performances at the WC are concerned I admit to only having been able to see brief highlights so far of Switzerland but he has looked to be playing a similar role to what he is asked to perform at Arsenal.And let’s not forget that he is playing for an average team against opponents ranked higher than Switzerland with one so far being Brazil.And from what little I did see of that game he did a fairly decent job especially defensively.
    So the answer to the topic headline is yes let’s give Xhaka credit for being Arsenal’s best player so far at the World Cup.But more important than that is what can Xhaka do for Arsenal in the future to improve both himself and the teams performances?

    1. Maks says:

      To improve Arsenal shoud sell him asap. New contract extension is not important if you find a buyer from the turkish league.

      1. jon fox says:

        Hope he does go. I have hadmy fill of him and don’t see what he offers that is any use. Far too slow and immobile to ever shine in our frantic paced Prem.

    2. CannonSpike says:

      There are many factors that contribute to a players performance which doesn’t necessarily mean their ability isn’t of a good standard.
      Exhibit 1 Salah at Chelsea, then Liverpool
      Exhibit 2 De Bruyne at Chelsea, then City
      Exhibit 3 James Rodriguez at Madrid, then Bayern
      Sometimes the coaching, team around the player, adjustment to the league, etc affect a player’s performance.
      Xhaka is a great player, looking beyond what the critics say and actually analysing their ability helps.
      AND WHO SAID GETTING A NEW PLAYER FIXES EVERYTHING, Xhaka was the NEW player we’re craving for not so long ago. New players doesn’t mean guaranteed success on the pitch buddy.

  6. auba arsenal of lagos says:

    Kev u had better get it right.I’m more particular about gelson martins we badly need wingers

  7. Unai Emery says:

    Is it possible to break the bank for Lozano? I’m pretty sure Sven , Raul , Ivan and Unai all will be watching the lad…. He is an absolute monster on the left wing… His work ethic is something to be applauded….. Kev , Resource someone give me good news

  8. Maks says:

    Let s sell him than… when he is soooo goood.
    Jesus how people think World Cup or PL is just another FIFA game.
    Delusional and virtual like everything is at the level of fast and furious social media.
    Please work on your concentration and knowledge, and dnt think you know the game or anything else after 5-10 years of TV following.
    Xhaka is a player with a style and skill from the late ‘80ties and a mind of some 15 year old.

  9. ruelando says:

    Xhaka is an Arsenal player whether people like it or not he has just signed a new contract, that means the present coach sees something he can work with and obviously the 3 bosses. I have watched the Brazil and Serbia games from what i have seen he looked far better with a DM besides him than an AM, not to say he did not do a lot of tackling, nullifying two quality midfield.

    The question then should be how can we get this performance out of him for Arsenal, we simply need a DM so that it is not left to him alone to close down two or three players. I will say this again Xhaka is a deep-lying player with defensive duties, the only DM we had for a long time was sold (Coquelin) and both were not given a chance to develop an understanding (Xhaka and Coquelin) but was made to compete for the position of DM, while Ramsay and Wilshere had free run in the team.

    We have a new manager now, has put some faith in Ramsay, so let us see what are his plans for Arsenal new look team and style of play

    1. Ken1945 says:

      Rurlsndo that is where I stand on the matter.
      The new manager has to be given the opportunity to work with his ideas and systems.
      Xhakas goal was as good as any so far in this world cup and Emery believes he can do the job for us.
      Surely that’s good enough to begin with!

      1. Phil says:

        Exactly my point Ken.If Emery really wanted Wilshere he would have given him assurances and kept him.With Xhaka he has approved his new contract and will seek to improve the players worth to the team.There is a player here.He has a lot of abilities that can make him an asset to the team.That is where the Manager earns his wages and it will interesting to see HOW the player and Manager can improve is worth.

        1. Ken1945 says:

          Yes Phil, then we get a complete misreading of the article in the next post from’Me’.

  10. Me says:

    This article says everything about how far Arsenal have fallen.
    When such a p*ss poor player as Xhaka is being hailed as our “best player”
    How far have we fallen.
    Arsenal are a mid table team and nothing more.
    I could not care less about the new manager or the scruffy mess that is our chief scout.
    Average and nothing more…

    1. Phil says:

      The article says how Granit Xhaka is the Arsenal player who has performed best so far at the WORLD CUP.Nothing more.Nothing less

      1. Ken1945 says:

        I do wish people would read the article properly.
        Surely Me, you should know anyway that Ozil is our best player?

    2. stubill says:

      Your second last sentence proves you’re not a real fan.

  11. Fortis_gunner says:

    Why do Arsenal fans love to hate our players ? Positive article about our player Xhaka and 90 percent of the comments are negative?

  12. olis says:

    Off topic.. But muller is really awful.. How he played 90minutes against Sweden is still a misery to me

    1. CannonSpike says:

      Beats me, I totally agree he was pretty awful, but I still rate him as a player, he’s having a really bad patch at the moment

  13. Newtojustarsenal says:


    1. Admin says:

      Ummm Hi, are you an Arsenal fan?

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