Granit Xhaka accused of hiding injury from Unai Emery against Frankfurt

John Hartson accuses Granit Xhaka of hiding his injury in Eintracht Frankfurt loss.

Arsenal’s 2-1 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt was the final performance that forced the club’s board to fire Unai Emery.

That was the seventh time they had failed to win in consecutive games and the board had simply had enough.

However, the result may have been different if Granit Xhaka had been sincere with the injury he suffered in the first half, according to Hartson.

Xhaka had needed treatment in the first half of the game and Hartson claimed that he would have told the manager of his discomfort and also asked to be substituted at half time.

‘I thought perhaps Xhaka should’ve gone off at half-time. He didn’t look really right,’ Hartson said after the game. ‘I can understand why he stayed on, I think he wanted to show that bit of heart, that determination.

‘I do give him credit for that, but this is when a manager has to really know, is a player fit or not? ‘I think the medial ligament there really opens up, and the player knows. After that he limped around. He didn’t want to go off.

‘It’s not really intelligent for the team. I don’t want to blame him for this, but I was really surprised to see him come out for the second half.

‘I’ve had this injury myself, it’s really tricky. It’s hard to question it. Maybe Emery wasn’t really sure what he was looking at. ‘But [for Frankfurt’s second] goal, he just can’t move. Maybe that’s his mobility, but I think there’s an injury there with the player. ‘I don’t think he was completely honest. He stayed on the pitch and, in the end, it became a disaster for the manager, because how many players are really fit here?’

That was Xhaka’s first game in an Arsenal shirt since he was booed off by the club’s fans in their game against Crystal Palace.

For me, this was not about Xhaka being selfish, it was about him proving to the fans that he was committed. Yet, he gets criticised anyway, though not by the fans. As usual, it is the pundits first out the blocks having a go.


  1. Xhaka is good. The loss was on how they were playing without using their best assets to the best advantage. Emery ball is for another league, not the EPL.

  2. Which begs the issue if Hartson knows what he’s talking about. Granit Xhaka has trained on both days Freddie has been in charge; surely, if there were such a serious injury, he wouldn’t be in the thick of things per the training pics…..

    He is starting to get rather loud, Hartson, having a say on the minutest of issues to do with the club. The life of an EPL/English pundit – controversy sells, moreso, when it is about the Arsenal.

  3. Xhaka had a good reception from the crowd Thursday evening, so there was no real need for him to stay on and prove anything to the fans at The Emirates, as he played well up until the injury.

    If it is true that his injury was that bad, he let the coach and the fans down, I guess we will see how long he is out to judge that.

    1. @ThirdmanJW
      And I’m surprised the “Almighty Fanbase” didn’t use their superior powers to get him sold a long time ago… 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  4. Well, it doesn really matter now if Xhaka was injured or not on the night in the Arsenal Frankfurt match in the ELC at the Ems, or it mattered? For, Arsenal to our surprise us the club teeming supporters lost the match. However, what should be of importance to observe for Arsenal when they are deciding on any issues and matters in the team more so, by Freddie Ljungberg, the newly appointed Arsenal head coach will be for him to get his decision making for the team spot on. But not make a hash or a fumble of it for the team. And I think Ljungberg will learn from this Xhaka hiding injury episode when playing in a match for the club by Ljungberg taking a positive decision always in conjunction with the club’s medical personnel to be actively be active for the club to leave up to the responsibility that’s given to them to jealously guide against it from failing like it failed in the Arsenal vs Eintracht Frankfurt match in the ELC at the Ems last Thursday night when Xhaka was injured in the match but shouldn’t continue playing it but he continued with playing in it because the Arsenal medical department failed in their duty to inform the Arsenal head coach that Xhaka should not play in the match anymore in the 2nd half of the match.

  5. Xhaka is a clown who should never have been brought into the club in the first place, let alone played in such a deep lying position, as he provides absolutely no cover for our already fragile back line…furthermore, he telegraphs his long passes, so that even if they get there, the player on the other end has absolutely no time to do anything with them…he has likewise provided relatively little from a set piece capacity, which to me was his only silver-lining…it was obvious to anyone who understands the style of play in the EPL that he would struggle due to the fact that opposing players don’t generally allow anyone to dwell on the ball, unlike in the Bundesliga or in International play…anyone who is still unsure of what kind of player/person he truly is should watch his interactions with the Frankfurt players following another embarrassing loss last Thursday…he knew he was under the microscope and that the cameras would be tracking him, considering it was his first game back, yet his actions suggested that he truly doesn’t give a shit about this club or it’s fanbase

  6. For all those that were against Mourinho and calling him boring…that’s 3 wins from 3 games, and 10 goals scored. And we’re strongly linked to Arteta again. Looking like we’ve messed up again!

    1. Don’t judge too soon, Mourinho’s past record speaks for iyself. He has always left clubs in disaster state apart from Inter Milan. I don’t care what sort of results he turns up with. I watch match to enjoy not to boor myself to death….no one here wants to see park the bus game. You are just getting too desperate now.

      1. It’s time for substance over style. Fed up of pretty football that never gets close to delivering anything!

        1. Substance and style aren’t actually exclusive things. Style isn’t being deliberately fancy. Arsenal’s game has always been aggressive but not like Liverpool aggression. It looked beautiful to watch as well. If only we had solid players on the defense and deep midfield, we wouldn’t face as many problems as we did in even Wenger era. We were always good on the offense, but weak on defense. So why not shore up our weaker aspect while retaining the stronger aspect of our game.

          It doesn’t have to be ugly to be effective. Depends on players.

  7. Xhaka still will have a role to play in Ljungberg’s side. He reminds of Roy Keane somewhat. His passing style as well as his general mentality in the midfield. Especially his precise passing can be a useful asset in the midfield, with someone like Torreira by his side.

    He is by far the most efficient forward passer we have atm, who doesn’t waste time dribbling sideways in the midfield.

    I think we will see Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil and Willock as regular starters under Freddie. And I have a feeling Ozil will play much deeper in the midfield, and Willock will have an advanced role. Guendouzi might see less play under Freddie.

    1. xhaha is a good player…captain if the swiss team…he reminds me of Pirlo and petit with his long passing….

      he still need work on his tackling and defensive skills though

      1. Comparing Xhaka to Pirlo is quite out there really. Pirlo was a proper genius. His game intelligence was unmatched. He could make a mockery of current high pressing teams if he was in the EPL currently. He used to have three possible passing lanes already planned in his mind before he actually trapped the ball with his feet. He was immune to pressure, even from multiple players. The worst thing any team could do is to press Pirlo with multiple players because you would just create a HUGE space behind that Pirlo would just find it easy peasy with a touch.

        Xhaka as I said, is more like Roy Keane, you can look for him to see the similarities in passing and tackling style. Keane used to get into trouble because of hard tackling and fouls, like Xhaka does but he was a key player in the midfield, a very underrated player for what he used to provide. He was not a fancy dribbler or anything, but had that telegraphic pinpoint passing. He was intelligent too, seeing the openings and tracking the runs of players.

        Xhaka can play a similar game, but he needs a destroyer of a DM by his side, though. You can’t pair him with someone like Guendouzi or Willock. Torreira is by far the most suited candidate to pair with Xhaka.

        1. only resemble pirlo in terms of long range passing..

          but since u mention keane…they does have similarities

          1. Xhaka does have impressive passing range.

            And especially, his mid range passing is top notch, much much better than his short range and extreme long range. And that’s the most effective range of passing considering the distance from him to the strikers in front. That is a trait of Xhaka which is most similar to Keane.

      1. I have always said, Xhaka is a quite average player. I’m not saying he is on par with Roy Keane, just drawing similarities in their passing games. Xhaka could provide that distribution similar to Keane, which none in our team can provide, except maybe Luiz.

        That style of passing, I haven’t seen much in football really. It looks so easy and simple but it isn’t. Nailing that weight and precision of a mid ranged pass and making it look easy. Many players are adept in short range passes, many in long ranges, but very few in that mid range, which is the most practical range for going forward.

        I know Xhaka isn’t up to par with Keane, but who is in the modern football? We got to make use of what we have, in the manner that brings the best out of players. I think Xhaka can be utilized in a similar role as Keane. That’s was the point of this comparison.

  8. to even suggest that Xhaka compares whatsoever to either Pirlo or Keane is absolutely ridiculous…either you’re related to the man himself, you have never actually seen Pirlo or Keane play or you’re high as a kite…how are people to take your comments seriously if you actually went out of your way to announce such a delusional claim…do you think anyone would be wanting him out of this club if he was in the same League as those two individuals…the guy is a slow moving, free-kick and penalty kick giving, telegraph passing, giving the ball away cheaply, pylon in the defensive zone, who will never represent our club like he has while playing for Switzerland…largely because most international teams don’t employ a highly effective high press/man mark scheme so he gets more time on the ball…not to mention he usually plays farther up the pitch and is protected by Zakaria, who is their defensive midfielder

    1. I didn’t compare Xhaka to Pirlo. But he is comparable to Keane in terms of their passing style in the midfield.

      And Keane himself was criminally underrated in his time for how important his role was because he wasn’t a flashy midfielder, wasn’t pacy, didn’t dribble unnecessarily or did any flashy tricks or skills. He just relied on his mid range passing precision and positioning, and yes was a very hard tackler. Kept things simple, didn’t look that impressive to the casual eyes but was ridiculously effective with his passes.

      It was very similar to how Xhaka, on his good days, completely goes unnoticed by fans. People only seem to notice him when he makes blunders usually. And Keane was often maligned with his hard tackles, that would seem to come out of the blue. And he was no stanger to being booked either. That would be an understatement really.

      There are too much similarities.

  9. Daulet, Roy Keane was a tough hard mongel;just ask Patrick Viera with whom he had mutual respect. Xhaka wouldn’t last 5 minutes with either.

    1. I know Keane was one tough nut. It’s actually very rare to find such grit in the midfield now-a-days. But his passing was what impressed me more than his tough demeanor.

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