“He is an individual and he is prepared to get on the ball” Xhaka gets backing amid recent criticism

Andy Cole has thrown his support behind Granit Xhaka after he was heavily criticised for his role in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against Burnley.

The Swiss midfielder is error-prone and the Burnley mistake was just another error leading to a goal committed by him.

He has been in fine form for much of this season with the club banking on him to lead their midfield.

Some fans can even admit that he has been one of their best players in this campaign.

However, they also think that mistakes are a part of his game and he would always make them.

Some even suggest that the club needs to get rid of him, but Cole says everyone makes mistakes.

He insisted that Xhaka has been one of the best players at Arsenal and the midfielder is never afraid of getting on the ball, not every player is that confident in the Arsenal team.

On claims that Xhaka shouldn’t be vilified for making mistakes whilst attempting to do the right thing: “I don’t think so,” said Cole on Sky Sports via HITC

“You can talk about all those stats (most mistakes leading up to goals) all you like.

“I think with Xhaka, he is an individual and he is prepared to get on the ball. And like you said, he tries. He has had his tough times at Arsenal but look at him now. He’s come through it and playing really good football for Arsenal.

“We all make mistakes. That’s what the game is all about. But we have to learn from our mistakes.”

Tags andy cole Granit Xhaka


  1. Talk about an underwhelming endorsement…someone should have asked Andy how long his old ManU squad would have put up with this mistake-riddled midfielder…sounds like a lowered standards leading to lowered expectations situation to me

  2. RVL – but it is AN ENDORSEMENT, so don’t nitpick! He gets support rather than criticism but its not enough for you. It needs to be glowing or it doesnt count? I’d hate for you to be in charge of elections. “Sorry, 51% is not enough to win. You need 80% otherwise RVL will announce the other party as winner”.
    Nobody is saying hes the best thing since sliced bread, but if you are going to comment on pundits quotes, please don’t try to manipulate the meaning.

    1. Guy, are you sure you don’t already work for the club…like I said, lowered expectations…btw, not all things are won with 51%, as that’s referred to as a SIMPLE majority, which based on your post fits the script perfectly…I apologize if I want my team to find someone who might actually be worthy of a ringing endorsement, instead of constantly settling for mediocrity

      1. Lol RVL – I enjoy sparring with you. You imply that I don’t want to replace Xhaka for a more expansive player, but I do. It’s the same argument that I have with MA critics: I post on subjects like this only because I see absoletely no balance. Everything written about MA or GX is derogatory – at least until challenged at which time some may admit they occasionally do something right.. I agree and used to comment on their failings, but also on what I consider they do well.

        Until I joined this site about a year ago I considered Arsenal fans to be a cut above other fans – intelligent, reasoned and fair minded. AFTV were the enemy of most fans because of their vitriolic attacks on their own players. But I see far worse on this site on a daily basis. Worse because criticism is also heaped upon anybody who promotes a balanced view, where players have not just a bad side but a good side too, where we understand that players are not pieces of meat but people, and people who are generally trying to do their best for the club, even if they are not successful.

        Ironic that people accuse MA of holding grudges against certain players, because fans here are far far worse.

        1. Cheers…I never really got the whole anti-AFTV gig, as I’ve always enjoyed listening to several well-known regulars, like Moh and Turkish, as they’re rational and reasoned thinkers…of course, like any fan-based multi-media outlet there will always be those who take it too far, albeit that usually only occurs when they get a massive response to their particular schtick…people need to remember though that a large following doesn’t always mean that they have any legit support for whatever message their spewing, as most just like being in the room when things invariably go sideways…thus the lessons of one Howard Stern

    1. Grandad, you summed it perfectly in 1 sentence. That alone should be enough to move him on, he tends to repeat mistakes rather than learn from them.

    2. I know grandad – but I just like his attitude – he’s a warrier and a leader and we don’t have many of those. He does make mistakes though, and if your a DM and part time CB the mistakes are more costly than from a foward missing lots of chances. A striker regularly making mistakes is forgiven whereas Xhaka, who plays every game but drops 3 or 4 clangers a season is pilloried. It’s that imbalance I don’t think is fair.
      Is he our future? No, and certainly not one of my favourite players, but we could do a lot worse in that role and I think more of us should give him credit for the many things he does well, because he’s a real trier.

  3. ps Grandad – he reminds me in some ways of Willie Young – not cultured, lots of faults, lots of mistakes, but a 100% trier. And you know what – Gooners loved him for that in the 1970’s.
    Times have changed.

    1. guy, Did we love him though guy?Really? Yes, we sang his name as he was , as you say, a real tryer . But do you know any older fan who would put WY anywhere near even our top ten CB’s since then? Nor do I! BUT in his OWN position he was still streets better than woeful Xhaka in HIS position.

      1. I think we did Jon, as our own “anti-hero” a la Vinnie Jones. We complained about him but there was affection there. He’s not even in my top 100 but I will never forget him. They were seen as people. Nowadays the fact that they earn a lot apparently means they don’t care about working hard or think about the fans, and we can viciously attack them because they are not real people, and hey – theyre paid to be abused. Hell in a handcart, Jon.

    2. guy, “With David O’Leary and big Willie Young sending Rixy and Stapleton off on a run”….. Those were the days my friend!!!!

      How true the observation that the likes of Aubameyang can miss two or three chances, but score and become heroes – as happened at Burnley.
      That’s how football has always been and, while Xhaka might not be the best in the world, it has always amazed me how some players get away with murder.

  4. Mistakes, though important, are not the main reason to get rid of him. Just because he is woefully slow, both in thinking and acting AND nowhere near good enough. I fail to understand the few Gooners who stand up for him. I can only presume THEY have never seen Vierra or Petit in the flesh. From sublime to the ridiculous, as all wise fans easily know!

    1. I stand up for him not because he’s anything more than a hard working footballer who is neither good enough nor plays in the right style for Arsenal, but because he doesnt deserve in the same way that Arteta doesnt, to have all of Arsenals on pitch problems blamed on him. He gets no credit for anything, just all the blame. Its unfair to an honest pro and it makes me angry. So I stand up for him.

  5. Good debate carried out by fans with differing views but in the right spirit.That’s what we need on JA.

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