Granit Xhaka stakes a claim for key role with impressive display

Granit Xhaka captained his Switzerland team to a 3-3 draw against Germany last night, and will be hoping to get the nod to partner Arsenal’s new signing Thomas Partey at the weekend.

It was an exciting game in Cologne, Germany could have been 1-0 up within the first few minutes of the game but for the save from Yann Sommer to deny Kai Havertz. Switzerland quickly grew into the game and within 26 minutes were 2-0 up and on course for victory. Germany quickly pulled one back when Chelsea’s Timo Werner scored to make it 2-1. That is how both teams went in at the break and they came out in the exact same tempo as they went in.

This time it was Germany who pulled a goal back to make it 2-2, and before they could settle and celebrate, Switzerland yet again went ahead just a minute later, although it looked a tad offside in my eyes. The goals didn’t end there though, and Serge Gnabry had the final say, firing in a sweet back heel to make it 3-3 with both teams sharing the spoils.

It was another great performance from our Swiss maestro Xhaka yesterday. He completely ran the midfield and had it not been for the poor defending of Switzerland’s back line then they would have come away with all three points. He did get booked in the 51st minute for a typical Xhaka challenge of course, which was rather unsurprising given the nature of his play.

We know that he has evolved under Arteta and we know how he performs for his country. Although I have been critical of him in the past but his performance last night changed my view and I hope he can bring that defensive and dominant form for his country into the game play he has when he plays for Arsenal.

Only then will he will really cement himself in our midfield as what we have been missing in my eyes. Gooners?

Shenel Osman

Tags Granit Xhaka

12 Comments

  1. gunnerforlife says:

    Xhaka will play if MA goes with a 4-3-3 formation, with Partey and Ceballos in the middle of the park. However, I doubt MA will go with a 4-3-3 formation against the attack minded City and may be cautious in his approach, in which case he may go for a 3-4-3 system meaning he may prefer Elneny to play along with Partey in the middle of the park with the wingers and wing backs providing the creativity. This will provide a shield against the marauding City attack as Elneny is more reliable and less error prone than Xhaka and will combine well with Partey. Anyway a great performance from Xhaka against Germany.

  2. Reggie says:

    Forgive me for being a realist. One game for Switzerland in an international, which i admit i didn’t see because i dont rate international football especially National League. Are Switzerland not bottom of the league and no chance of qualifying anyway. I go on what i see for Arsenal and my view is he is a very average midfielder who would never be good enough for any other top 6 team and isn’t really good enough for us. I really do not get this xhaka pushing, when he isn’t going to be good enough to carry us to where we want to be. I am an Arsenal fan, not xhaka fan, i want the best for Arsenal and that isnt xhaka. He is an awful footballer, so left footed, so slow, so poor at tackling and so unproductive.

    1. Reggie says:

      May i just add, Elnenny and Torriera have done better for me than xhaka in midfield but they probably aren’t the answer either.

    2. Jimmy B says:

      Reg, you’ve got no idea but thanks for sharing.

  3. chimar says:

    Elneny Partey

    ceballos
    pepe willian

    Aubayamang

    this is the best set up we can utilize if we want to be dominant

  4. Glorious says:

    Stop watching the game with perceived performance, watch the real game. Xhaka is way ahead of the two players, you mentioned.

  5. Mrcool says:

    I watched the game but couldn’t see anything special he did for the team. No assist, no tackle etc.

    He is good but not good enough for arsenal.
    I will take elneny over him any day, any time, twice on Saturday.

  6. jon fox says:

    I don’t get all this Xhaka revisionisn by non realists. I am with Reggie on Xhaka , too slow, too predictable too ponderous. Mobility, which is key to all midfielders, is sadly lacking. So is speed lacking, both of thought and deed.

    1. Reggie says:

      Its all pretty obvious to me Jon, i dont get this xhaka lovin.

  7. Aaron says:

    Problem with the comments above, has anyone ever seen a pass by Elneny that moves the ball forward, ever- and to help release our wingers into space?

    Everyone knows the answer that, and that is why Xhaka plays despite his limitations.

  8. jon fox says:

    Yes I THINK I saw one of his passes going forward. Either that or a flying pig, not sure which! I think it sad day that a player of his severe limitations is within a hundred miles of our club You need a lot more than willingness to make it into a top team. so the conclusion must be then, that right now, we are NOT a top team!

  9. Grandad says:

    I watched the entire game, and with the best will in the World, the writer’s assertion that Xhaka ” completely ran the midfield” is nonsense.He had a decent game, no more, no less.I was surprised and disappointed with the German defence.The goalkeeper is far from the great stopper he was, and the centre backs, are distinctly average.

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