Ian Wright not happy about potential selection decision from Arteta

Ian Wright has called on Mikel Arteta not to play Granit Xhaka as a left-back in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final return on Thursday.

The Gunners hold an away goal advantage going into the Emirates encounter, which is their most important game of the season.

They will almost certainly not finish in a European place on the league table, but winning the Europa League will give them a ticket to the group stages of the Champions League next season.

Villarreal stands in the way between them and the final of the competition where they could potentially face Manchester United in an all-English final.

The Gunners have been using Granit Xhaka as a left-back in the absence of Kieran Tierney, but Wright admits that he is not comfortable with that decision.

He urges Arteta to field Cedric Soares if Tierney is still unavailable for the game and play Xhaka in midfield where they need him.

“Ideally for me, you play Cedric Soares at left-back and put Xhaka back in midfield because he can keep the ball safe and give that pass that we need,” the former Arsenal striker said on Ringer FC’s Wrighty’s House podcast.

“It does not make me comfortable seeing Xhaka at left-back. It’s not his thing, that’s not where he should be.

“Cedric was bought and signed for four years to play at either right or left, play him! Play Xhaka where he should play and then it’s out of Saka or Pepe to be on that side.

“Go with the strongest team. [Dani] Ceballos doesn’t make my team, I would rather have Mohamed Elneny in there.

“I know he scored the other day but he’s got a drive and a determination about him. You cannot dislike his output.”

Tags Granit Xhaka Ian Wright


  1. City, United, Chelsea off to european finals. Arsenal debating Xhaka at LB. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

  2. The gap between us and the Chavs since beating them on Boxing day is staggering!! Tuchel has them playing very well. Kante back to his best.. Mount undroppable.. Werner enough said 🤣 FA cup final and now a CL final… envious!!

    1. Well Sue/ Chelsea realised the stupidity of appointing a novice manager. We are still paying the price.

      1. No doubt Sue & Phil…I still remember taking a lot of flak for even suggesting that we pursue Tuchel long before he was offered the PSG gig…of course, nothing’s ever guaranteed, but he would have definitely cleared out the dross, brought some much-needed discipline to the room and eventually restored some long absent balance to our gameday tactics…unfortunately we likewise have no chance of acquiring his star protégé, Naglesmann, now that he has signed with Bayern

      2. I didn’t know that you were more stupid!.
        Can you compare the quality of the players we have to Chelsea’s?Plse know that for a team to perform team perform well it would take among others, not just a good oran great coach but equally great and excellent and quality players.This is a simple and basic fact.Why do you think top players only renew their contracts when they are assured quality signing to strengthen the teams?
        Again why do you think top quality players only transfer by signing for only the top elite teams with great players all over the world!!!

    2. Exactly Sue. I remember a lot of us on JA really wanted Tuchel to come to Arsenal. There were quite a few really good managers available. We let another good manager just fly past.

      Pickings are now very slim.

  3. Anyone who watched Chelsea vs Real Madrid. If Xhaka had been playing in Chelsea’s midfield can you imagine the disasters waiting to happen. Too slow, too many sideways and backwards passes and too many missed tackles. Arsenal have the Granit they deserve.

    1. xhaka and partey partnership would

      juz like petit and viera back in those days

  4. I prefer Granit at left back rather than cedric.xhaka is a natural left footer and he has done well when Mart plays infront of him. For Ceballos i wonder why he’s still wearing an arsenal jersey

  5. The guy is an albatross around the neck of AFC … it’s not just that he is utterly useless whether in defence or the middle it’s that he has a negative impact on players around him … arteta failed to clear out the garbage last summer … fixated on ozil instead … and has left us as a fading mid table outfit and the 4th placed London club thrilled at finishing above palace … truly pathetic

  6. When a coach is learning on the job he must be humble, the pride and ego of Arteta concerning his selections and taking up issue against the young and vibrant young players is so appalling. Arteta thinks he’s Guardiola that can throw away any player and get replacement immediately. We are not supposed to be in this situation if not for Arteta pride simple.

    1. I’ll never understand where the “pride and ego” comments come from. As a relatively new manager, you’d expect him to lean more on the more experienced players as it’s usually less risky than starting younger players. There’s also the issue of protecting them – Martinelli wasn’t too far from a really serious injury in just the last match, and then where would he have been?
      I don’t agree with all of Arteta’s selection decisions at all but please can we stop with the mind reading, assuming everything is down to his arrogance/ego?

      1. Who are the experienced players in the team and where has their experience taken the team? Willian has been a shit throughout the season and he kept getting selected ahead of in form players. xhaka, willock, nketiah just to mention few are the players he used to drag the club back. Most notably, Leno over Martinez was another wrong selection if you may know.

        1. I don’t disagree particularly, I’m just questioning why you and many others put it down to the manager being overly egotistical, rather than just mistaken. Sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees as they say.

        2. I do not agree that Willian has been shit.He has better stats than Ozil inhi last 2 seasons at Arsenal.2ndky his workrate especially in covering up and helping our weak defence that we all acknowledged the whole of last year has been commendable.
          Modern soccer is about total football.Previously we all saw the work rate of Peoe & Aubamayang! Unlike Lacazette & Willian they never retreated to assist d defence wen we lost the ball.You must be a real soccer analyst to understand the roles Willian had been asked to play & was playing to be qualified to judge him.
          He has NEVER been shit!
          If he hadn’t given that pass to Tieney to score in d Europa, we would not be playing in the semi- final!!!

      2. Thank you bro for your objective and intelligent , deep and far–sighted thinking and analysis

      3. True that bro.
        Check his stats in his last 2 seasons in Arsenal.
        He was a total liability; far worse than Ceballos

  7. Wrighty is right. If MA had done his homework on Villarreal he would of played a proper fullback and put Xhaka alongside Partey. I guess Ceballos must have a clause in his contract to play European games. Let’s home Auba and Odegaard are match fit. No game for passengers.
    Well done Chelsea and City. Two excellent performances. Let’s hope we can emulate them. I wish we had Kante. Can’t forgive Wenger for passing on him and bidding for Vardy instead of Mahrez.

  8. True that bro.
    Check his stats in his last 2 seasons in Arsenal.
    He was a total liability; far worse than Ceballos

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