More sadness than anger at the decline in Granit Xhaka

It is with sadness that I have to jump on the bandwagon and call for Granit Xhaka to be dropped from the Arsenal first-team.

Technically, Xhaka is a quality player, but his temperament and judgement are highly questionable, he makes far too many fouls and mistakes are happening far too often.

The real sadness though comes from the fact that he is a natural leader and by dropping him we lose that on the pitch.

It has to be noted that he was made the captain of Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach at the tender age of 22, he is the Switzerland captain and is, of course, the captain of Arsenal.

Xhaka has the ability to be a fantastic midfielder, his second-half performance against Tottenham was top class but all anyone remembers is his mental tackle on Son that cost Arsenal so dearly.

I can no longer see a way back for the 26-year-old because he has now been categorised as a liability but I am also certain that if he moves on he will be a success elsewhere and that will be beyond frustrating.

I do not know why Xhaka has declined so much at the Emirates, maybe it is the pace of the Premier League, maybe he has lost confidence and needs a change of club to rebuild that shattered confidence, I don’t know but I do know that no matter how he performs going forward he will never be able to shake the negative impression the fans have of him.

Make no mistake, Xhaka is a leader and a quality player, just not for Arsenal.


  1. I couldn’t care less if Xhaka is a natural leader or not, he’s simply not good enough!

    First I thought it was Wenger, but now we’ve seen Xhaka under another manager, and it’s more of the same. The major problem is that, just like Wenger, Emery cannot see how poor he is.

  2. I can agree with some of this article but I draw the line at agreeing that he is “a quality player”. I agree he would be better suited in other leagues abroad but the Prem is fast and furious and the sad fact is he lacks vital pace, both in thinking and acting. THAT is a huge and ongoing liability that disqualifies him from being remotely good enough at our required level. That is my view and I state it freely and honestly, as usual.

    1. Good points Jon. I would disagree with the author about his “decline” and say “exposed” would be more apt. Xhaka is slow physically and also lacks the quick thinking, reading of the game amd decision making.

      He is more suited to the Bundesliga, and hopefully he can return there soon, for his benefit and ours.

  3. He needs to be moved on ,I mean how many more points will we drop before Emery realises that he’s a plank .
    I’ve honestly seen Sherman tanks turn quicker.
    But come next match day we all know he will be 1st on the teamsheet and will play the whole 90 mins .

    1. Good thoughts to all of the above, here’s my twopennies worth.

      Both AW and UE have not addressed the awful defence that we have had for ages and, yes, it was mostly AW’s fault.
      But UE must have seen what was needed and failed to sign the class CB that we were crying out for.

      So what has this to do with Xhaka (and mustafi come to that)?

      Think back to the Tony Adams or Invincibles defence and who they had shielding them…this hasn’t been the case since Xhaka signed and, in fact, the complete opposite has been the case.

      He has had to cover for the poor defensive players and that was not the reason why he was bought to the club, to cover for the likes of mustafi and sokratis.
      In fact, the man that was signed for that job, Torreria has now been moved forward, leaving Xhaka even more exposed.

      I agree with Admin Martin, events have overtaken the situation, but both managers, who kept faith in him, should take some responsibility for his demise.

      O/T Jon – hope you read my final reply concerning our debate on free speech.

      1. Emery as to take the blame on the defence shambles Ken IMO .
        He had All summer to sign a quality CB and signs Luiz on the last day of the transfer window ,knowing full well that Kos wanted to leave and he did not trust Mustafi .

        1. Agree 100% with that Dan, but why did he HAVE to sign a quality CB and let’s not forget UE is the coach, meaing I guess, that he has only a certain imput into who is actually signed.

          We hopefully have got three in Holding, Chambers and Saliba, but two were not available to him and he doesn’t seem to have faith in Chambers…why I don’t know.

          Bellerin-Chambers-Holding Kierney with Torreria in front, might just see Xhaka able to play differently…it’s just a thought.

  4. Some times, i will wish the likes of xhaka and mustafi get injured and stay out of the team for a long time.

    Unfortunately, poor and clueless players dont easily get injured.

  5. I’m not sure it’s decline, he’s been poop since he signed. I agree with Jon fox I thought it was Wenger, however. Merlin would struggle to get anything out of him

    Imo emery is risking his managerial career on him

  6. Both Xhaka and Jorginho struggled in EPL. Probably because the pace and the pressure are too high for the highly tactical players, such as deep-lying playmaker and no 10

    Guardiola and Klopp have replaced those overthinking players with a specialist DM like Fernandinho/ Fabinho and two aggressive CMs like Silva/ De Bruyne

    Slow thinker like Xhaka and Ozil can still be useful if they are willing to create more crosses on the left side, instead of dilly-dallying in the deep midfield area:

    Maitland-Niles . Sokratis . Luiz . Kolasinac
    …………Ceballos ………….. Xhaka/ Ozil
    Pepe ……………………………. Aubameyang

    1. No thanks, Auba, Xhaka/Ozil, and Kolasinac are some of weakest defenders on team and we’ll leak goals.

      Ozil should only be played centrally and forward with 2 midfielders behind him to cover for him. He’s luxery player and now at 30 there’s little left.

    2. @gotanidea Ozil and slow thinking in the same sentence,cmon stop making stuff up ,you also posted yesterday he had lack of vision and ball control.i mean if 200 odd career assists is lack of vision then I would love to see someone with great vision .

    3. Kolasinac Will be a Bench warmer very soon and thank god for that. KT will hopefully slot in there once he is fully back to match fitness.
      Kolasinac shows very little appetite in getting back to defend and I have very rarely seen him bust a gut to sprint back to help out when we need to defend
      As for Xhaka/ Ozil. Decent bench warmers or play them in the europa but keep them away as starters in the prem.
      If we could loan them out or get some one to cough up some fool money for these duds in the next transfer window then happy days

  7. I believe Xhaka has some quality. If you look at many “view from the enemy” articles, you will see our opponents respect Xhaka. He can dispatch long passes excellently and whip a venomous screamer on his day. He holds his position well unlike Ramsey who used to bomb foward and leave the center exposed.

    The problem with Xhaka lies in his myriad of mistakes! Too many times he mows down opponents in the box with his clumsy tackles and gives away possession in dangerous places. The monkey is on his back now and I don’t think he can change people’s opinion no matter what he does. Time to ship him off abroad for a good fee (we can get £30M for him) and invest in somebody more reliable like Doucoure.

  8. I completely agree with most of the valid views about Xhaka.The gentleman has given us (arsenal fans) more sadness than joy.It is high time he began to warm the bench for the good of all of us.

  9. Not sure “decline” is the right word.

    More “inconsistent ” than ever is being generous.

    I have never “got” Granit Xhaka’s game.

    Without labouring a point ( or 10 ), what we have today is not what I thought we signed.

    I suspect he may have fitted the Wenger “ nice quite non-troublesome type, who won’t give me a hard time” !!

    Nice guy, good pro – but sadly not good enough for Arsenal Football Club.

  10. He’s simply not good enough

    Wenger bought Xhaka and Mustafi for $35 million each. And now we’re stuck with them.

  11. Won’t be long and this will turn out just like the Mustafi situation.. There’s only so many wreckless, costly lunges you can put up with & I’ve had a gutfull…

  12. I think us Gooners should still give Xhaka time and chance to improved on his form of playing for Arsenal which he has the capacity to do it. But if us Gooners will give him space to relax in his mind to start improving on his errors making and mistakes committing in his football for Arsenal it will help him. But if us Gooners will stop criticizing always.

    1. So, how many more years do you think we should give him, huh? Enough is enough, the man is useless and been here for 3 years. Next, please

  13. Xhaka and Emery were responsible for our decline and also making us loose the touch on our unbeaten run of form last season. Who remembered that after the injury to Holdings, xhaka was used as a full back and he cost the team in confidence at that point causing some penalty offences and failing to tackle properly. No wonder AW advised him not to go for tackles anymore. He does not deserve anymore chances he can’t even push for an attack instead he keeps doing the back passes. IMO, he’s the weakest link wearing that red and white jersey.

  14. The part that makes me ill daily is that Mssr. Wenger went and pried open his well hermetically sealed wallet to splash 35mm quid on Chaka the very same year Chelsea went and scooped up Mssr. Kante from EPL champions Leicester.

    How this came to pass is truly a mystery of the ages.

    Still smdh

  15. when a defensive player makes a mistake he is slaughtered but when an offensive player makes a mistake he is forgiven….. Rubbish!!! Why havnt u written an article for pepe. All the chances he waisted against liverpool.

    1. Pepe is still getting used to PL (toughest league in the world) and has only started one full game. In the game of football – offensive mistakes tend to be less costly than defensive ones – Xhaka is the current PL king of defensive mistakes. Do you understand now?
      P.s your article idea would be sh*te, nobody would read it.

  16. For those who do not have a good memory,at me remind you that the fee Chelsea paid for EPL champion Mssr. Kante was 32mm quid.

    Quick maths. AFC took the piss and 3 years on all Kante has done is win another EPL championship with/for Chelsea, put our club to the sword in the Europa League final last season and thus cost us Champions League football once again ..which not surprisingly, cost us in recruiting ability in this summer’s transfer window.

    That AFC paid more for a walking foul on the pitch than the classiest DM/CM to lace them up going on 5 years running will burn like an eternal flame, reminding us all just how thoroughly Wenger had lost the plot.

    Wenger is French
    Our then captain, Kols, is French
    Our then starting CF, Giroud, is French
    Kante is French

    Yet, our London neighbors paid 3mm less for Kante than we did for Xhaka in the same window…3 years on and the Swiss slick haired walking foul has yet to “settle” or learned how to tackle.

    Xhaka should be behind Ozil on the bench. They can exchange hair care tips. They seem to care more about their hair than playing good football for AFC.

  17. When we play out from the back watch what he does when ANY team presses – he’ll jog back, receive the ball & 95% of the time give it straight back to player he has just received from (who is ALREADY under pressure). It means his stats look ok because technically he didn’t lose the ball, but when those turnover happen he is always the pass before hand. He NEVER looks around as he receives the ball to see if he can turn/ find another passing option. The amount of times he is the out-ball & he is not under pressure so he could turn & advance the play, but he just returns the ball to a pressurised player is staggering. This is not a footballer – he is just a percentage passer with a gift for doing the stupidest thing he can at any one moment.

  18. No sadness – just anger. He cost us so much last season and has continued where he left off and it’s only the third game of the new campaign.
    He has to go, and if not – Emery has to be put under pressure to stop picking him. Same issue we had with wasteful Aaron Ramsey and Wenger in previous seasons.

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