Intense criticism continues to mount on under fire Granit Xhaka

The line up of former players turned pundits criticising Granit Xhaka for his foul on Tottenham’s Son Heung-min that led to a penalty is starting to become a little hysterical.

Yes, he made a huge error of judgement and he has rightly been ripped to shreds for it but there comes a time when people need to move on, it is not as if he jumped into to a crowd of fans doing a Bruce Lee or bit an opponent or even racially abused a fellow professional.

Former Gunners Ian Wright, Martin Keown and Paul Merson have all had their say obviously, they literally comment on everything Arsenal related and of course, former Man Utd defender Gary Neville has had his say also.

“This is something you learn in your first week when you become professional football stay on feet at all times, especially in your box. That’s such a big invitation. ‘It’s an obvious penalty. it’s such an invitation for Son to go to ground – even if he doesn’t make contact with him and then the penalty is sublime, Neville said.

“It’s not a case of putting it in the corner for Kane. It’s a case of hitting the side netting. But Xhaka has got to have a look… he’s 26 years old! ‘That’s something you learn in your first week as a professional footballer. Disgraceful.”

Xhaka has tried to defend himself but even then he made a bad situation worse by indicating that it was the forwards to blame for the failure to win the game.

Speaking to Swiss publication Blick, Xhaka said ‘It’s part of football, there are a lot of people that talk a lot. ‘I cannot influence anything and I do not want to. It is not my business. ‘My job is to perform on the pitch.’

Xhaka added: ‘I know that I made a mistake in the penalty. ‘But nobody talks about the many opportunities we have made, only about the mistakes.

It is now a week since the game and it really is time to move on, I thought what David Luiz did at Liverpool was worse because of the timing of his ridiculous shirt pull on Mo Salah, I mean, who does that so soon after half time but regardless, people have moved on.

Seems to me that Xhaka is now the new player to kick around and while that is to be expected from Arsenal fans you would expect former players to understand that there comes a point when enough is enough.


  1. Xi_gunner says:

    I was much more pissed with Leno for the first goal than with Xhaka..

  2. NY_Gunner says:

    This is ridiculous.Constructive criticism I can understand. But all out attacks from ex professionals playing the pundit game is bang out of line. They do understand they’re dicing with Granit’s career, not to mention his confidance…

  3. Ethiogooner says:

    One of the adversities of being a professional player at a high profile club, scepticism will be just right beside you every where you go until you eventually give in for it like mustafi (whom i feel sorry for) it comes with the territory. High risk high reward staff… i wonder how c.ronaldo overcame such pressure and came out a winner. Mental! I feel like xhaka is giving in but some part of me tells me he’ll come through… Strong! I hope he does for his sake and us too. Decent player who have the same traits of xabi alonso if only he could just be a little bit more quicker with his thinking. Oh well who am i to feel sorry for, for a very well paid athlete?!

  4. Sam says:

    A professional well paid should do his job professionally not to break the heart of his tax payers. Come on Xhaka, play balls and not legs. We criticize you to become more professional. If you continue playing legs you will be the next Mustafi.

  5. simon says:

    all they know is criticism,not praise

  6. Adega Olatunji says:

    I have said it several times without numbers, Xhaka is not good enough for arsenal FC. Sentiment apart if Emere does not drop him then he will surely drop Emere just let’s wait and see

  7. ThirdManJW says:

    The criticism is not hysterical or over the top, because deep down, it’s about Xhaka’s entire Arsenal career. The foul that lead to the pen, was not an isolated incident, as this guy consistently makes key mistakes.

    The Spurs game was a perfect example of how costly he always is. Gives away a goal, a standard petulant booking, and how many times did he foul, and in dangerous positions?

    Although we cannot blame one or two incidents over the course of 38 league games, for missing out on CL football, but look at last season as well. During that poor run in we had, Xhaka gave away a stupid pen against Brighton. Then at 0-0 against Leicester he just let’s his man go, for a free header! He couldn’t be bothered just to follow him into the box. Yes, Leicester were battering us, and we had a man less, so they probably would have have won anyway, but the longer we could have kept the score levels, we had a chance.

    Since his arrival, I’m struggling to think of an Arsenal player that has performed worse? Yet despite this…Wenger picked him every game, and so does Emery. Are they blind?

  8. kenyanfan says:

    This is the right thing to do? What he did costed us 3points. Even if he has left Son that would not have been any dangerous.lets criticize him so that he can be more careful and more so to serve a warning to anyone else who underperforms. You people criticize Ozil always even in 2019/2020 season of which he is yet to kicks a ball

    1. Kenyanfan says:

      Admin, kindly delete this.. is it possible for you to add a delete/ edit options?

  9. kenyanfan says:

    This is the right thing to do. The penalty he gave costed us 3 points. Had he left Son that would not have been any dangerous.lets criticize him so that he can be more careful and more so to serve as a warning to anyone else who underperforms. You people always do criticize Ozil every time including in 2019/2020 season of which he is yet to kicks a ball. So why not do it to someone else who has endless errors week in week out?

  10. Durand says:

    Emery rightfully dropped Mustafi, his bad decision making not mistakes or bad luck.

    Xhaka in the same situation; several years shows his poor decisions and judgement, not bad luck or mistakes.

    Emery should drop Xhaka for several games for his repeated poor decisions. Watford great game for Ceballos, Guendouzi, and Torreira midfield.

    Otherwise if Emery tying his future to Xhaka, he’ll rightfully be done at season’s end.

  11. Bruno says:

    Xhaka is not arsenal biggest problem, the whole defense has been our issue for at least a decade but arsenal fans usually find the need to put the blame on someone instead of admitting that as a collective the team played badly..
    Xhaka and luiz have had similar issues all through their careers, that have been making high profile mistakes on a regular basis. This season alone luiz as made 3 costly errors that have lead to goals but no one is making a big deal out of it . The problem with arsenal is the defense as a whole, we have seen situations where teams like Burnley will give a world class defensive performance but arsenal dont seem to be able to get that out of their locker..
    Putting unnecessary blame on individuals is just us as fans looking for an excuse.

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Very well stated Gooner. Gad our midfield and defensive line been more disciplined, or well trained, and neither Mustafi or Granit would be making such mistakes trying to compensate. Yet, the pundits, the both paid and unpaid seem to be oblivious of this blatant fact… Smh

    2. Akan says:

      Bruno,, check the statistics,, since Xhaka’s arrival at the club Arsenal’s defense has been a disaster. Before his arrival we would concede around 30 to 35 goals per season. Since Xhaka’s arrival in his first season the team conceded over 45 goals. In each The two following season with Xhaka playing constantly the team conceded 51 goals. That simply tells you that the team is better defensively without Xhaka in it than with Xhaka in it. That is what those of us who critique the player can see and his fans can’t

  12. ruelando says:

    In reference to Xhaka and Mustafi it is not the discipline of the defense line we are talking about, but their individual error which leads to our foes scoring.

    In Mustafi case he needs to be paired with a strong leader that organizes the defensive line and bark orders constantly, over the years we have lacked that leader in defense, so we will continue to be average till one is developed or bought. Mustafi is not a leader and there lies his problem. he can not manage the responsibility of a leader in such a vital area of over team and therefore will make errors and stupid decisions.

    Xhaka is not a DM but a playmaker, tricky or quick players will always caused Xhaka issues, not blessed with tackling abilities and on many occasion will be found sliding on the ground to cover for lack of pace in reaching to tackle his opponent, how many times we have looked away expecting Xhaka to get a card for tackle.

    We need athletic individual in our midfield to help cut the gap to the top 2, we need leaders in our defense to win the league

  13. Bigchairman says:

    Gary Neville, a pundit ? If he thinks it is that easy to be on/ near a field in the heat of any football match, he should not quickly forget his foray into management.

    1. Sylva Olabanji says:

      We said Bigchairman. Garry is always too critical of any team defaulting players. Criticism should be simple and the players should be motivated to perform big in games. Leno mistake is as worse as Grant Xaka error. G.Nevile didn’t even do well in his coaching career I guess he didn’t know how to motivate his players enough ?

  14. Tommogun58 says:

    Xhaka never learns every game he plays in has an error of judgement in it somewhere,an experienced pro should learn from his mistakes,Sadly Xhaka never does.

  15. Sylva Olabanji says:

    Sometimes criticism should be minimal considering the fact most of the pundits are ex footballers themselves. They have made some unbelievable mistakes on the field in their career. It’s time to move on. Xaka should work and improve on weak side of his game. He should not be ‘crucified’he has had some good games in time past for Arsenal. Our players should not be demoralised at this stage of the season thru too much judgement.

  16. arsenal do better this season. Xhaka needs an important. He costs us the last match which we could have won.

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