Is Granit Xhaka on his way to becoming an Arsenal legend?

Could Xhaka’s resurgence give him legend status? (or thereabouts!) by Shenel

After the brilliant performance of the team on the weekend, there has been a lot of talk in recent weeks over the resurgence of Granit Xhaka.

Now I for one have always been somewhat of a fan of Xhaka and I am not ashamed to say that.

Although, I will stand up and say; yes, there’s been times when I’ve moaned about him and there probably will be times in the future where I will moan about him, but that’s just the game that we have grown to love, that is football. Some weeks you love players and teams and some weeks you moan about them, some weeks they perform well and some weeks they are awful.

And with Xhaka he is no different, at the end of the day he is human, and he is and will continue to be prone to making mistakes, as is everybody, but he seems to be the one that gets the brunt of it most of the time.

I for one was very disappointed after the incident against Palace a few years ago and I’m sure the most disappointed person was Xhaka himself. After having time to reflect on what happened he would now realise that it was probably one of the biggest mistakes he has ever made.

However, rather than dwell on it, let it get the better of him and run away from it, he remained at the club and has now bounced back stronger than ever, and long may this continue!

It could be argued though that he should be thankful for the change in manager because if Unai Emery had been at the helm or any other manager they probably wouldn’t have tolerated him and wouldn’t have kept him because they would have perceived him as being bad blood and negative for the club. However, Mikel had seen in him what many fans of Xhaka have always known, a confidence, ability, talent and leadership that was secretly hidden in his locker for a while and this is what has got Granit to where he is today, the belief of the manager, and as we see now, the belief of the fans.

I always believed or more so hoped that Xhaka would turn it around but I never believed or foresaw that he would have actually turned it around as well as he has done and I for one am so happy for him as a fan and as a human everybody deserves a second chance.

People make mistakes, we are human at the end of the day but it is the way you redeem yourself that is important and Xhaka is the best example of the fact that you can turn it around and that’s what he did. Yes his actions in the first instance can be deemed as wrong but maybe he did it for a reason and if he wasn’t getting the abuse from a small section of fans maybe he wouldn’t have reacted in the way he did but of course it could be argued that he shouldn’t have reacted because he is a professional, an idol and people look up to him. However, at the end of the day, deep down he is a human with feelings and it’s never nice to hear abuse no matter who you are or what level, role, position or job you have in the world. Nobody wants to hear constant abuse towards themselves or their family in any way, shape or form!

And who knows, if Xhaka continues the way he has been, maybe, just maybe, the word legend or potential legend could be used alongside his name! Maybe it is a bit too far to suggest, but never say never Gooners.

Stranger things have happened right, but for now onwards and upwards we go and long may Xhaka continue to impress!

Shenel Osman

@sh3n3l_

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26 Comments

  1. “I for one was very disappointed after the incident against Palace a few years ago and I’m sure the most disappointed person was Xhaka himself”.

    My personal view of that incident seems to be different to the rest of the world.

    Imagine you’re an Arsenal player and you play your heart out. Then the coach substitutes you… and your own fans boo you and show that they’re happy that you are coming off.

    Not a good feeling – even a shock perhaps, if you feel that you did your best.

    Now we hear that he’s probably been played out of position for most of the (many) years he’s been at the club, but he still stayed and tried his best.

    He got a yellow card last night, falling and handling the ball to prevent a counter by Bodo – he’s often in the right place to nip these things in the bud and sometimes “takes one for the team”. It goes unnoticed.

    I’m surprised that there’s never been any criticism of the Arsenal supprters for booing their own captain. They’re a fickle bunch, who often seem to me more like the entitled fans of some Italian team.

    Supporters have one job: supporting the club. When they fail to do that and start playing the manager-without-qualifications role, they should be ashamed of themselves, in my humble opinion.

    1. Agree 100 % IDKWIC – just read those fans who are now eating humble pie!!

      That’s why I never get personal about a player (or manager come to that).

      But to answer the “legend” question…No.

    2. While I respect some of your points I must point out some issues.
      Most fans have been aware that he has always been very committed and competitive. He is very resilient and it is clear that he has been one of the team leaders. Many fans have always respected these qualities. However, for many it has been felt that these attributes did not make up for other issues.
      Some of his antics and mistakes have been pretty poor even if it is to be agreed that he was not utilised effectively by previous managers.
      There are weaknesses in his game. Despite his improvements and the better organisation of the team those weaknesses are still identifiable when the team is under pressure.
      The disgraceful comments that some have made towards him have been rightly criticised on many forums. So it is untrue that fans have not been criticised for their behaviour.

      1. Just to point out that I was referring only to the way fans behaved when they booed him off the field vs Palace.

        I didn’t mention forums (I wouldn’t know about any other forums, this is the only football forum I post on).

  2. Absolutely, positively, definitely yes he could become an Arsenal legend one day.

    Bless with an abundance of mental strength and team first mentality, he must continue on the same path, it is said he who is not courageous enough to take risk will not accomplish nothing in life

  3. Myself, I’ve always defended Xhaka and rightly used to criticize 3-4 years ago, and I’ve been one of those who started appreciating him and what he actually brings since Arteta came and we saw how important Xhaka was to his gameplay, wether it’s to fill in the LB or LCB, some of saw it right from Arteta’s early days.
    Till now I’ve been defending Xhaka, and those of us that defended him got called out a couple of times, but this is a stupid question to ask.
    Are you doing it to bait people to comment? Are you doing it to set Xhaka up for dragging? Cauze not even once have I seen the strongest and most loyal Xhaka supporter entertained this thought of legend talk.
    Give your head a wobble, you look silly with this legend question.

    1. Eddie , In my book Shenel IS silly, as her many articles amply prove.
      I’ll give her her due, she is keen but she knows litlle about how football works and she has an urge to write, though lacks the nous to write sensible articles.

      1. Jon, yeah she does write quite a lot of silly and questionable articles, and
        I’m not trying to judge her writing or her hunger in wanting to write always, but she ought to know by now stirring things up don’t work in the long term?
        Yeah it’ll get you the attention you seek, the drama you want from people but that’s it. At the end of the day your audience will want to read actual good and sensible reports or articles. Once again, I’m not playing judge over anybody, I’m just saying, damn! Drop the notepad if you have nothing really of good quality to write about. Try to be more quality over quantity.
        It’s why I don’t be submitting articles weekly or monthly.

  4. A legendary Gunner for me is a player who gives us EPL, UCL or EL trophy as a key player, so Xhaka can be a legend if he helps us win EL this season

    1. Mate even if we win the Europa league with him as a key figure, he still ain’t no legend. That’ll be a start on the path to becoming a legend.
      You guys abuse that word a lot, you don’t become a legend by giving one trophy even if it’s a major one. It has to be way more than that, personal contributions and your longevity of success you bring to the team.

      You ain’t seen Liverpool fans called Gini Wjnaldum a legend do you? Even though he won the League with em and UCL if I remember well?

      Ji Sung Park is not even regarded as a United Legend. So many names I could give to you.

      If Xhaka gives us the EL this season, he’ll be one of the great names in the history of Arssnao but he still ain’t no legend.
      Now what he goes on to deliver after that EL trophy will determine if he’ll be a legend or not, and I’m saying this as one of his strongest supporter.
      Even Giroud, with all he achieved at Chelsea isn’t seen as a Chelsea legend.
      Y’all Arsenal fans be part of the reasons rival fans mock us sometimes

  5. I support ur motion gotanidea, wit 2 Fa cups won already and a Europa cup with the way the team is going a premier league can be won in 2 to 3 years time, if he can win one premier league. He Xhaka is a legend for me

  6. I was horrified by the way Xhaka was treated by the so called fans who wished cancer and all sorts of other horrible things to happen to him and his family.

    It says a lot about him that he could claw his way back and feature ever since for us.

    He does have the yellow and red card problem that refs frequently dish out but is his record in that regard so much worse than other players?

    I doubt that he will reach what I consider to be legendary status even though I think he has given his best. Sometimes legendary status can be about personality but most definitely for me you have had to be an Arsenal man through and through. Not necessarily coming through the ranks – like Wrighty- but Arsenal has to be your club

  7. How do you become a legend? Michael Thomas achieved it with just one action in one game while a far superior and more influential player (Paul Davis) has never really been considered one. Pat Jennings, in my opinion one of our two greatest keepers is not “legend”, but Jens Lehman is. How does that work?! There’s dozens more examples and I doubt if Xhaka will get the accolade unless he achieves such greatness that he cannot be denied.

  8. Just to add, re the “legend” thing…

    It’s difficult to answer a question that’s predicated on the incorrect usage of a word. For anyone who cares:

    A “myth” is a tale with no basis in fact.
    So – Greek Mythology is mythical because there’s no suggestion that any of it was or even could be true. Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite and all that rabble – no basis in fact whatsoever.

    A “legend” is similar in that the tales are also fictional, but the important difference is that each tale has a *background* that is factual (potentially, at least).
    Therefore, King Arthur is an example of a legend rather than a myth, because it is set in England in pseudo-mediaeval times with sword-wielding knights and so on.

    So when someone says “Player X is a legend” I groan inwardly and wonder if they mean that there’s now some doubt that X even existed.

    And yes, I realise that I’m fighting a losing battle here btw 🙂

    The point is that the word in this context is meaningless – as you can see from the comments above, everyone has their own definition of what it means in football – or should I say each has their own “mis-definition” 😉

    That’s what happens when a word is mis-used – everyone’s talking at cross-purposes.

    1. Totally agree, IDKWIC – one of many superlatives that are completely misused by a generation addicted to using extreme language whenever possible – to the extent that such over-statements and hyperbole no longer have any meaning. I could add “best I’ve ever…”, “awesome” and my particular favourite “110%”!
      I don’t know why I care (no I really don’t) – perhaps because the descriptive value of our language is slowly being destroyed by lazy minds.

    2. IDKWIC, One of the most heartening and wise posts, I have had the pleasure to read on JA for a considerable time.

      As something of a natural language pedant( at least in my own use of English)I have long despaired of how mostly young and irresponsible folk are steadily destroying the rich and colourful variety of our language by so lazily misusing words.
      I have, reluctantly, come to accept the common misuse of “legend” but will not accept such a laughably inappropriate opinion that Xhaka , of ALL people, be regarded as one.
      BTW, your point about talking at cross purposes, which so commonly occurs when language is taken away from its true meaning and destroyed by unthinking fools, is reflected when player ratings are used.

      There is such a variety of individual opinions on what marks out of ten means, as to render the whole exercise meaningless and pointless. Sigh!

    3. Here is another definition of the word ‘legend’:

      An extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.
      i.e. “the man was a living legend”

      Now, I agree that people today, amd especially football fans, use the word rather liberally but it doesn’t mean only the one thing you mentioned.

      It can also mean ‘the story of a saint’s life’, and a ‘legend’ can also describe, as one example’ how certain abbreviations or letters or colours have been used in a document.

      As for the primary argument here, I agree with you again in that Granit Xhaka will probably never be a Gunners legend even if he is fondly remembered as one of our long-serving players.

      1. Should have read your post before writing my own – the definitions I’ve read included the example “a baseball legend”, so I think this has been added intentionally with reference to highly admired famous people in general.

    4. Apparently the definition of legend can be “a person or thing that inspires”, without the reference to historical/fictional stories. That may be a modern definition (probably added relatively recently due in large part to it’s popular use in reference to famous people), and you may disagree with it or not like it, but it exists nonetheless.
      This is the same a saying “a legend is a key that shows you how to read a graph, therefore it saddens me to see people using it to refer to famous people”.
      This seems to happen a lot on this site – it’s very easy to look these things up before posting.

  9. Silly, stupid, uncalled for question, that is just plain daft. It is an insult to real legends. If 5 or 6 decent games makes you a legend then we are demeaning the term.

  10. While I wouldn’t argue the correct usage of the English language I would point out that context is everything and in this respect “legend” is quite appropriate and pedantic proof.

  11. I hav eno real objection the proper meaning of “legend” being so completely misused to mean a top class player. I use -or rather misuse – that word myself.

    But to have ANY VALIDY at all, there needs to be some generally accepted meaning to how that word is used about footballers.
    I can accept ALL our Invincibles being termed legends, even though I would not personally consider most of then to be so.

    But so even suggest that Xhaka might be regarded as a legend-or even” thereabouts”, (what ever that nonsense means) -is IMO dismally wrong and also laughable , or would be, were it not so inappropriate.

    I have been urguing our club to sell XHAKA for almost his entire time here. NOW, at long, long last, it has taken a stroke of near genius to move him upfield and he is turning in good performances regularly.

    That is great but right now he has all those dismal seasons, red cards, pens given away and hot headedness in his debit column with a handful of good games in his credit column.

    If THAT makes HIM a legend, then that term is no longer one I WILL ACCEPT WHEN USED ABOUT FOOTBALLERS.

    REALLY, it refers to such as King Arthur, Robin Hood etc.

    1. “REALLY, it refers to such as King Arthur, Robin Hood etc.”
      I’m not sure about that. I think it might refer to the stories of King Arthur and Robin Hood in that context, although you could definitely argue for both.
      In the context used in this article, it simply means a greatly admired person. People might see mohamed Ali (the boxer) as a legend for his achievements and legacy in (and outside of) boxing, for example.
      I don’t see the problem if some people see xhaka in that way. It’s not something that can ever be 100% objective.

  12. Legend? This is so daft
    One considering xhaka a legend after less than a season of finally playing decent football in his six years here, his reds, silly panelties, fouls and many times cought out of position, yes he has improved but one out of six season is very funny. Players like Henry should not be addressed as legends if xhaka is seen as one

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