Has Granit Xhaka been held back by Emery’s tactics?

The problems between Arsenal fans and Granit Xhaka has been building up for a couple of seasons now, and culminated in him insulting the crowd when leaving the pitch against Crystal Palace.

He has been accused of laziness, unnecessary aggressiveness and lacking the ability to flourish at a top club like Arsenal. Conversely, Arsene Wenger, Freddie Ljungberg and now Mikel Arteta all rate him highly and he has always been one of the first names on the teamsheet despite his well-documented errors and hot-headedness, so why has he failed to live up to expectations in his time at the Emirates?

Well, according to the Liverpool legend Danny Murphy, it has simply been because the Gunners have been struggling and Xhaka needs to be in a team that is always on the front foot rather than being on the defensive most of the time.

‘If Xhaka was in Liverpool’s side with Henderson and Fabinho, he would look a hell of a player because he is technically good, a good passer, has a great shot on him and he has the ability with his great left foot to open you up,’ Murphy told talkSPORT (as quoted by the Metro).

‘But when you are playing in a team that is struggling a bit, he is a passenger defensively and a liability.

‘It is a dilemma for Mikel Arteta because he has a squad that needs a bit of tinkering.’

It is obvious now that Unai Emery was much too cautious of losing and would set his teams up defensively even against weaker opponents, so maybe that was the reason that Granit Xhaka didn’t flourish?

But now, with Arteta in charge, it looks like we are now going to be more offensive from the start of games and could help Xhaka show his best attributes.

Surely Arteta must see this as well, which is why he persuaded the Swiss International to stay at Arsenal. Could we see a completely rejuvenated Xhaka under the new regime?


  1. lets hope so..

    i’ll always (even if sometimes VERY cautiously) support any player wearing our shirt..

  2. I think emery tatics doesn’t suit xhaka. In addition, it is worst when playing guendouzi with him, the defensive duty mostly falls to him which is not his strength. This of course don’t look good on him.

  3. If Danny Murphy has actually watched Xhaka as much as we have been forced to over the years he’s been at Arsenal he would no doubt have a very different opinion. And anyone with just an ounce of ability would play well in that Liverpool team.They have a manager who knows what he is doing and players that are disciplined.Xhaka at last is playing under a coach who knows exactly what he is there for but Xhaka is simply not capable of being anything other than very very average due to the simple fact he has such limited abilities

    1. Right on, Phil! Murphy’s been drinking too many Murphy’s obviously, because a blind man can see Xhaka is not a good passer of the ball!

  4. I think the photographs sums it all up perfectly…UE pointing one way and xhaka looking the other!!!

    Let’s be honest here, didn’t UE hold everyone back with his “tactics”?

    Tactics, what tactics?!?!?!?! No, we will not see a different xhaka…just my opinion of course.

  5. I have high hopes for our new manager. He has achieved a lot in his short time here, completely changing the attitude of both players and fans. So that makes it all the harder to understand why he, and our previous managers, think Xhaka can play football at EPL level. In fact that is my only worry about MA.
    Xhaka has proved time and time again that he is simply not up to the job, and that includes his slightly improved display in the second half against Leeds. In fact a tougher ref would have yellow carded him in the first half, perhaps twice, for grabbing opponents a la Sokratis when tapped for speed by the opposing midfielders. Having the flexibility and turning circle of an ocean going oil tanker does not help of course.
    To slightly misquote what someone said many moons ago on Star Trek, ‘Xhaka is now, has always been, and will forever be, absolutely freakin’ useless.’

  6. I saw Granit Xhaka play under Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Vladimir Petkovic

    He is an average midfielder with good physical attributes, but Arteta’s tactic gets the best of him

  7. I like Xhaka and Torreira together, but we do need more in this team because CM should be the most competitive area within a top footballing side. We are a fair bit short of the mark overall but that is not just due to numbers (quality) it is also because some of our players are young and only starting out, the PL is a tough league, merciless at times. A couple of top signings in this area will make the world of good and it will send the message to the guys that are here now that you’ll have your work cut out for you, eventually after some jockeying for positions we will see who gets to stay and who falls by the wayside, competition is key to any team with aspirations on being the best side in this league.

    Someone needs to work closely with Guendouzi because I don’t think he looks as good next to Torreira and I haven’t liked the look of him beside Xhaka especially. We all see that he has bags of talent with great potential, almost all of us believe this. He needs to be more disciplined, though, he needs to choose his moments more wisely, he’s a spirited lad and that can be both a bad thing and a great thing. We all want to see him fulfill his potential ..and then some, he has a bit of what Pogba had when he was young, so with the right guidance we could have an exceptional player on our hands. Who is (or who would) be the right guidance though, I was hoping for Arteta to be that guy but Arteta has to give his time out repeatedly to everyone. Diaby, we were truly unfortunate not to see him on a regular basis, maybe he could feel like he has a lot to offer and it might be good karma to give him a job solely working with young midfield players …just a thought.

  8. I think the whole team were held back by Emery!……………..if he ever gets another top job at a top club I will eat Ther Emirates Stadium!

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