Have Arsenal fans now completely forgiven Granit Xhaka?

Have Arsenal fans forgiven Xhaka? Article by KadibiaXhaka now has a chant? Interesting.

Forgive me, as I may not really know the culture (I’ve never been to England), but its just a little surprising that it’s taken this long. I mean, Saliba has a chant (a great one too, I could hear it clearly even though I was watching from a local pub), Emile Smith Rowe does, Eboue had one. Heck!!! Even new boy Fabio Vieira has one already after just one appearance for Arsenal (U21s). It’s got me thinking, is Xhaka really that unloved?Few Arsenal players divide opinion like Xhaka. The award goes to Ozil though. Patrice Evra once claimed Henry turned off the TV set after seeing Xhaka as captain.

Evra told Sky Sports: “Thierry Henry, one day he invited me to his house to watch Arsenal.

“He turned on the TV, the first image he saw on the screen was Xhaka leading Arsenal.

“Thierry Henry turned off the TV. He said ‘I can’t watch my team and Xhaka being the captain’.Was Xhaka really that bad? I think the answer is yes.

Most errors leading to goals amongst outfield players in the Premier League since 2016/17:

That says it all. There was no love lost between Xhaka and the fans and it came to a head at Palace. Yeah, you know the day I’m talking about. Its actually understandable that the fans have not warmed up to Xhaka all this while; I don’t support the abuse aimed at him and his family though. That was unacceptable and should have no place in our sport.Things seemed to have changed this season though; thanks to Xhaka’s early season form. He’s very much on course to register his best return in terms of goals and assists in the Premier League since the 2017/2018 campaign, having already matched his total from the last three seasons from games against Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Bournemouth this term. The mistakes have not reared up their ugly head too; this is all down to his new advanced role. He was never a defensive midfielder.After his goal against Leicester, he ran over to the fans and celebrated with the heart-shaped love symbol and there seems to be that connection with the fans now. And the chant?…“We’ve got… Granit Xhaka! We’ve got… Granit Xhaka! We’ve got… Granit Xhaka! Woah oo woah oo woah oo woah oo woah!”This might just be the season…Have Arsenal fans forgiven Xhaka? Would he become an Arsenal legend?Kadibia

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  1. Those stats are very unbalanced, so where is the number of games each player played in that period? The words “Lies, damned lies and statistics”, comes to mind.

    1. You beat me to it, well spotted.

      A couple of other points:

      (1) “Errors leading to a goal” is rather subjective – who decides when it’s an error, how long after it a goal must occur to be attributed to that error and what other factors were relevant?

      (2) The author said “He was never a defensive midfielder”.
      So if that’s true then it’s hardly surprising that he makes mistakes when he’s asked to play out of position?

      Supporters are strange beasts, they may have forgiven (for now) but they clearly haven’t forgotten.

      1. I think that being dispossessed of the ball is counted as an error.something which happened several times to Xhaka while receiving the ball from the GK/CB,which ended up with the opponents scoring.

        1. Hi Siamois , it’s not as simple as that, for instance if the keeper gives him a badly placed pass which Xhaka loses it then who is culpable? The whole premise of the article is totally flawed with misleading stats and no mention of the other variables.

      2. Xhaka is not good enough in high tempo games. Partey should be in his position instead. Its funny when I see Partey being used as a DM when he can offer so much more going forward. If we had taken our time to properly scout a DM who ticks the boxes of what we want our midfield would seriously be upgraded but then we have settled on Partey as a DM. The player doesn’t have to be known, quality is intrinsic. A good player is a good players regardless of league, we said same about Saliba.

        1. @Kev I prefer Xhaka in that position. Yes, he’s marauding, but he doesn’t seem to me have that eye for goal. His shooting is awful, especially when compared to Xhaka’s. Do you think Partey could make that layoff for Saliba’s goal?

          1. He’s a far better box to box player than Xhaka and its not even close. Where I think Xhaka beats him is range of passing when given time but apart from that he’s clear. Xhaka is just limited. Partey’s best games have come when he was doing a bit of attack and defense and not just staying behind. Remember his performance against Man Utd away two seasons ago with Elneny behind him or his showing in preseason against Chelsea where he got injured. We are missing the chance to actually upgrade the midfield.

            1. So do you think it’s Mikel’s fault that he hasn’t seen this “obvious” error, or is it that the two players mentioned, Xhaka and Partey, suit the style the boss wants to play?

              As for becoming a legend, do me a favour – I used to chant Graham Rix’s name!!!

              1. Mikel has seen it but is banking on other qualities of Xhaka and also how he fits perfectly into his system. I believe he can get way better and as I said the player doesn’t have to be well known because quality is intrinsic. If we scout well we can get a better and affordable version of him to play as the DM.

        2. Xhaka is a good player though his speed is the only challenge and that is y he receives red cards when ever play in defensive departments

  2. I think most supporters in England have forgiven him, hence the chant

    His work with Zinchenko on the left wing has been amazing. I’m surprised none of his previous managers has ever assigned that attacking role to him

  3. He has never been my favourite, but I have nothing against him. Mistakes are often more complicated than a single individual error.

  4. I have no reason to forgive him cause HE NEVER OFFENDED ME IN THE FIRST PLACE.
    I get it if some people take issue to some of the things he has done but if am not wrong most of the few games where we have dominated and perform upto or beyond our level he has always been a key figure in those matches.
    AM not the type that single a player out when we lose no praise for a singular player when we win, it Just Arsenal lose, Arsenal draw, Arsenal wins
    I like Xhaka’s new role now more advance and am just enjoying the season as it unfold.

  5. I’ve cursed him many times but to be fair a lot of his good work goes unnoticed hence Arteta asked him to stay. It’s always easier to remember the bad aspects of a game and the media thrives on this then fills newspapers with it.

  6. TBH, I don’t really rate him high as a player. But for some time now he has really up his game especially his performances in the new role. Granit Xhaka divides opinion amongst fans but personally I like him as a person.

  7. I believe Xhaka was a very good box to box midfielder at Borussia, when we bought him.
    Unfortunately, Wenger, Emery and Arteta (untill now) all seemed determined to use him more defensively than he should have been.
    So maybe he has been defensively exposed more than he should have been, and we are now seeing what we missed?

    1. @Anders- Nice saying.
      It’s always questionable to buy a player with defined qualities and try to transform them into something else.

    2. @AndersS that’s my point exactly. He doesn’t have the defensive capabilities to be a defensive midfielder

      1. Kadibia, check the position he plays at in internationals – he’s a CDM player…so he obviously can defend.

        1. @Ken1945 okay… I’ve never really checked. I’ll check now. So what’s exactly has been the problem Ken?

  8. Forgive? The man needs nobody’s forgiveness.
    Fans got the reaction they deserved from the man.
    Just because the club pays him and y’all fans are spoilt and can say whatever you want about him and his family doesn’t mean he’s allowed to be less of a human too.

    Good to see the relationship between fans and the player going smoothly though

  9. I hope Koscielny has also been forgiven. He was a loyal servant and was one of the world class players who stayed with us. He also signed contracts without any fuss and played through pain. The club wanted to force him to stay by slapping a price on him that no-one ws ging to pay and he had already made it clear seasons before that he wanted to finish his career in the French League. His reaction to that was poor as a captain but he showed at his best he was loyal.

      1. He was right to force a move but wrong in the way he did it. He was well past his best and its pathetic that Arsenal would even try to keep him by slapping a price tag on him that no-one was going to pay. He remained loyal in his peak and that is what I will remember him for. If anything that mistake against Birmingham and some other errors is why people will continuously hold on to how poorly he left the club. Now they will have a reason to hold on to.

        1. Kev, it’s called bartering. Much like selling a house or a car, set a high price and then get knocked down to a price you’re willing to accept.

          Couldn’t care less if others blame his mistake in the Cup Final, or the fact that no other defender in the PL has given away more penalties than him, for the way he left. For me, and other old skool supporters, you don’t go on strike to force a transfer.

          1. He was old and injury prone. No-one was ever going to pay the price we wanted. It was to force him to stay and it was even unambitious to try and keep him as we may not have signed cover for him. I try to be fair in judgement to every player no matter how good or average and I thought same about Xhaka at the time. He may have left in a very bad way but he still proved his loyalty when it mattered most and didn’t leave us when we really needed him.

            1. We must also remember that, according to the player, the club broke a promise to him regarding his transfer at the end of the season.
              For a player who served the club well (and vica versa of course) playing through the pain barrier and staying loyal, one has to ask why he felt that he had to take the action he did?

              1. People don’t want to read in between the lines. He clearly implied in his goodbye message to us on social media that it was a decision that was discussed months ago with the clubs and players. Some people are so judgmental of players like they are blameless. It was so cheap for us to try and price out an old, injury prone 33 year old CB out of a move. That was unambitious and confirmed by signing an error prone David Luiz as his replacement. I was disappointed in the way we handled him. He was never a contract rebel. he just wanted out and this was known long before the season ended.

            2. As I posted previously Kev, it’s called bartering. If the club were trying to force him to stay, they wouldn’t have sold him, but seeing that we already had another 3 CBs and were in talks with Chelsea regarding Luiz, the club took a lower fee.

              1. If you slap a 10m price on a in injury prone 33 year old CB it means you want him to stay and are doing your best to do so but might budge for the price. If a team came for Saka we’ll do all we can to keep him but we will definitely sell for a very high fee even if we don’t want to. Difference is Kos was way older and injury prone. Arsenal wanted him to see out his contract which is what you may be forgetting but he had already told them a long time ago he wanted to leave. Trying to keep Koscielny who was surely going to be a starter was unambitious and there’s no way around that.

                1. If the club wanted him to stay and see out his contract, they wouldn’t have sold him. Simples.

      2. Correct Kozcielny no way. Injured mostly. We looked after him then went on strike
        Legacy ruined

    1. @Kev Koscielny broke my heart with the video where he took our jersey off to reveal Bordeaux’s. Why go to that length? He lost his legendary status by that singular action imho.

      1. I understand you but then don’t make it seem like he intentionally tried to disrespect the club. He was probably told to do it which he shouldn’t have done. When his loyalty was put to the test when other clubs wanted him he stayed loyal and played for the badge. So all those years of dedication should be thrown away just because of some tantrums he threw when old and injury prone in forcing a move to a smaller club??

  10. A balanced article and welcome !

    For me , Xhaka will never be an Arsenal quality player. I think he has grown up a little in his recklessness and hotheadedness . But he is still one paced and lacks mobility and those are fatal weaknesses that no amount of coaching can cure. Popular in the dressing room for sure and now a number of Gooners are reassessing him.
    But for me, those fatal weakneses STILL EXIST and for those reasons I STILL WANT HIM GONE.

    1. “But for me, those fatal weakneses STILL EXIST and for those reasons I STILL WANT HIM GONE.”

      Well good thing you have NO say in who stays and who goes..

    2. Jon, you and I we agree on a lot when it comes to this new regime at the club and you seem to have your faith in Arteta intact and defend him and his decisions because you do say they’re of good will.
      So do you mind explaining why you’ll never seem to accept Xhaka being an important part of Arteta’s wheel?
      Seeing as Arteta was the one who personally stopped him and convinced him to stay. How come suddenly it doesn’t matter to you how important he is to Arteta or what Arteta wants just because you don’t like the player?

      1. Eddie. Simple answer. I just disagree with MA about XHAKA. I do support MA and think he has done wonders, but I do not think and have never claimed he has not made many mistakes IMO.

        AND I have a perfect right to state that opinion, just as others do who disagree. Xhaka is very one paced and lacks both speed and mobility, even though , as now, played further forward, where his errors are less damaging than when further back.

        It’s fine and also allowed for us to disagree, as I KNOW YOU KNOW TOO.

    3. Thank you Jon. But I do rate Xhaka. He’s always played well for Switzerland and he was obviously a good player before we bought him. I think the problem has always been in the way we used. Since he’s been pushed forward towards the end of last season, his performances have improved

  11. Had very good performances this season but I am afraid he still hasn’t changed my mind
    Good squad player for us but never a starter…bench warmer
    Always a mistake in him and they will be costly mistakes at critical times of the game
    Ease KT slowly back in to the side and move zin in to xhaka spot
    Failing that

  12. When fans hate on some players for poor performances, performances that are more down to the manager’s instructions sometimes, we don’t expect the players to enjoy it. When we then threaten their loved ones on top of that, then that is going to draw some reaction. Action and reaction are equal and opposite in many cases.

    1. @John Legend, Fans do NOT DO NOT” HATE ON SOME PLAYERS”!
      Some fans do not rate the ability of certain players, but that is nothing whatever to do with the incorrectly and foolishly misused word”hate”.

  13. I really don’t understand our obsession with pace. Xavi, pirlo, modric and jorginho to name a few had/have questionable pace but still manage to be do their jobs exceptionally well. Why don’t we cut xhaka some slack. Pace isn’t everything. Real Madrid midfielders made that clear in the champions league final against Liverpool.

    1. It’s true that pace is far from everything, it’s not even the meat important thing, but those are some very different players to xhaka. All of them can/could turn extremely quickly and bamboozle an opponent to buy a bit of space (even jorginho, I suppose). Xhaka uses his body well at times, but it’s much easier to catch in possession.
      I don’t want to be too negative, though. I’m liking xhaka in this new role, I just don’t think he’s suited to sitting in front of the defence and helping us break presses. If he can avoid getting stuck in too many situations like that, he might turn it around. I’m not a fan, but will change my view if he keeps this up. Tougher tests to come, though!

      1. You can’t be serious.. Xhaka can’t bamboozle players? Did you watch our game with Chelsea at the bridge last season?

        1. That’s what I was saying – he’s different to players like Xavi and pirlo who had amazing abilities to get away from markers, whereas xhaka is easier to catch out

        2. If you meant jorginho, I’m less sure about him to be honest – I was just assuming as he’s done quite well, but i haven’t watched so much of him. Maybe he’s similar to xhaka?

  14. I love and trust him because we all make mistakes when things are not going well or if we have no one pushing and helping us.He is absolutely started the season well.

  15. It’s the “fans” who need to be forgiven for the terrible abuse they gave him and his family, he doesn’t need forgiveness, he needs an apology.

        1. No,he is to busy being a douchebag.
          Being a good footballer isnt enough to keep you at Arsenal and some of you have to realize it.
          Victoria Concordia Crescit

          1. @Greco
            As if he gives a flyin one what you think. He’s still playing “Champions League”football…Ooops, again.✌🏾

            1. NYG

              Real talk. Ha!!! Cant understand some of them here, they want a real captain but cheered when matters left??

  16. I find it laughable that so many Arsenal fans seem to have such a hard time reading our players and the chemistry flowing in our team. Xhaka is loved and trusted inside the walls of emirates and the training grounds. A guess (and a feeling) is also that he might be _the_ one Arsenal player who’s the most loyal one in the team (Martinelli, Smith-Rowe are seem to be up there too, maybe Saka, we’ll see) and also most proud wearing the badge with a straight back no matter what. The criticism he got is straight up madness in my opinion. I agree that he’s not always flawless, far from – but the saying “I’ll die for the team” rings when I hear his name and when I see him enter the pitch. On top of that as a few already mentioned, he’s been playing out of position since he freakin joined us! Give the man some love (it’s happening finally!) and support each and everyone of our players if you want our team to challenge for the top spots!

  17. I have never understood what crime Xhaka that warranted an apology or fans to forgive him. He is a very limited player that I still think we should replace in the first team, but this obsessive uncalled for hate he has recieved from our fans since his second season here I just never understood..

    He is limited as a player but that should never be a reason enough to abuse / cuss and swear at him all the time..

  18. Granit Xhaka always been good since he moved to Arsenal. Just that he moved at the wrong time. The club lost Arsene Wenger (no thanks to AFTV), the team was in disarray and the fans were as toxic as The Joker. He tried to lead a mediocre team through those challenges and came up against many walls. More than the player, Xhaka is a great person. His work rate, fantastic endurance and his will to do anything to protect his team sometimes misjudged. Under Arteta, he became a intelligent tactical master. He can play along with anyone, anywhere, anyplace and anytime. He is the beating heart of this new young exciting team under Mikel Arteta.

  19. His limitations are obvious so not going there again… as telling He’s been on the verge of leaving for 3 years yet the only clubs who have shown any interest are hertha Berlin and Roma under morinho … says it all!!! Anyway as people have pointed out arteta can’t imagine a starting 11 without him so if 885 turns in to 8855 the pair are goners … so time will tell I guess

    1. @Reggie
      Xactly…Funny how the “social media” groupers break their necks to follow the trend. One min, the majority think Xhaka is a worthless tool. Next min they’re drooling over him with praise…IJS

      1. NY, Its called #shorttermism. Its like people think we are going to win the league when we win a couple and get relegated when we lose a couple.

  20. If anyone watch the all or nothing series on arsenal, you will realize xhaka is a very integral part to arsenal and arteta plan. Yes he is far from perfect but he brings that aggressive play that many arsenal players lack in my own opinion
    Gabi Jesus also brings that into play also ( always ready to stand up for their right if fouled wrongly) which of recent season has shown how arsenal players are too timid and bussed all-over the pitch

    Into tactical abilities, like I said he is not the best but he brings the maturity and boldness that the team which our young squad( martineli, bukayo, smith Rowe, Eddie & more) need when facing bigger teams. He should be better appreciated in my own view, because fans can never be satisfied, I remember beginning of last season, nearly all arsenal fans were calling for arteta to be sacked, now they all in love with him😄

  21. @jon, kadibia, legend, Eddie and others trust is you all have spoken well in your rights xhaka is a good player yes my only problem with is this deliberate attitude of always causing us fan pains in terms of getting a yellow uselessly and subsequently a red or causing a penalty from just no where it’s sickening and heartbrokenly not acceptable….all the same I think things are begin to change with his new role hope it continues

  22. Xhaka cost us a few points last season. It’s certain he will cost us points this season, through recklessness.

    1. I’m neutral on Xhaka but all I will say is that other players will also make mistakes that cause loss of points

  23. Dear oh dear. Xhaka’s fans all seem to be loyal to a player who is simply doing the basics right most of the time with the odd stuff ups in between. Others could have done his job better had they been given the opportunities Xhaka has had. The point with Xhaka is that he is not a world class player who will pull out a wonder play or inspire a team which has been dragging its feet by his grit determination and leadership. The absence of this type of player at Arsenal is one of the reasons why Arsenal have been on a slide.Xhaka is a plodder and replacing him will be the final missing link in making this very good team into a successful one..

    1. Joe S, well put, xhaka is a drag on the team and it confounds me there are some who applaud his skill. Just because he is now mostly in a position where his stuff ups cant cause us too much harm is a very low bar.

  24. To ALL you Arsenal fans on here questioning Xhaka’s value to the team, pay a little attention at the start of the next game and see who gives the speech in the huddle!

  25. Forgive and forget should be the order of the day for the overall good of the team. That said, fans and players must focus on Arsenal winning games and not individual players. The team is the most important entity.

  26. The whole discussion at hand completely misses the point. The only thing that makes Xhaka indispensable as a player is his character. This hard as steel, reliable and completely team-serving.

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