Redknapp thinks Arsenal man’s lack of pace will affect Arsenal against Man Utd

Granit Xhaka has been resurgent in recent weeks after almost quitting Arsenal last year.

The Swiss midfielder has had an indifferent spell at the Emirates, but he is one of the improved players at the club in their recent run of form.

He was solid in Arsenal’s last league game against Southampton as he combined well with Thomas Partey in midfield.

However, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach man lacks pace, and Jamie Redknapp thinks that might be his undoing in the game against Manchester United this weekend.

The pundit admitted that Xhaka has improved throughout the season, but he doesn’t trust him to maintain his current level of performance.

He said that the midfielder is capable of putting in a rash challenge or getting dismissed, which could cost his team.

He would particularly do these things when he faces a team with a fast midfield.

He told Sky Sports as quoted by the Metro: ‘Senior players have been a lot better. I was heavily critical of them when they were losing games. 

‘I still believe one or two of them turn it on when they want. There’s other times when you look at them and think they fancy this game.

‘Right now there are some senior players who are playing well. Xhaka is a player I’ve been really critical of, but his form has been great. 

‘Will he keep it going? I’m not convinced because you know he’s always capable of a red card or a rash challenge that’s going to cost his team. 

‘Especially in games where he plays against quick midfielders. His lac of pace really affects that midfield area.’

Tags Granit Xhaka Jamie Redknapp


  1. We used the Partey – El neny combo in the 1st leg to nullify Man utd’s midfield.
    Maybe Arteta can use that, but i doubt

  2. Redknapp is right and those who think Xhaka is now a good player are massively wrong for one PARTICULAR reason: all across the pitch, what is massively vital is pace in movement, for the ball, in personal speed and in thinking quickly.

    Xhaka is massively ponderous and slow and always has been, always will be. He is simply NOT anywhere near good enough. Yes he can, given time, send long raking passes but they are too late and never quick enough to catch opponents out.

    He has power, strength and is combative , BUT his sheer slowness will always hold him back. Just like the snail Merts was always held back too, despite good positional sense .

    PACE, PACE AND STILL MORE PACE IS SO IMPORTANT AND WITHOUT IT YOU CAN NEVER BE A TOP PLAYER. Those fans who fail to recognise this massive weakness are just not being observant IMO.

    1. Pirlo , xavi , busquet had no pace but they went on to become football greats.

      Pace is vital but I disagree completely about not making it to the top without pace.

  3. Xhaka’s current form & good passes makes up for his other flaws. Players are chosen based on current form, not who can pace up or not. Who pace help, but form has lifted us out of 15th to 9th on the log. Leave him alone, he’s the best partner 2 Partey currently.

    1. ” Currently” does not mean right for, say, next season. Depends on how little or much ambition you have for our teams real success As you don’t rate pace as vital, I suugest your ambition is lacking a great deal.

  4. Who is the speedster in the Man Utd midfield?McTominey is their quickest midfielder and he is usually deployed in a defensive role.

    1. 👍👍 thumbs up

      We outplayed united in their own backyard and we will do same once the coach gets his team selection and tactics right and I strongly believe Xhaka will be so duly selected.

  5. The truth is for all to see, he is limited in ability, he isnt mobile, cant tackle, cant carry the ball and is great when he has space. Trouble is and Harry is right, when he comes up against athleticism he struggles big style. He isnt a top six player, i have all ways maintained he is a lower Premier league player not upper.

    1. Ive always said as well that pundits outside of the club have a better and unbiased opinion of our players than fans/supporters of this club. He has more detractors outside than in.

      1. Reggie of course you are correct But it is equally true that almost all fans of all clubs vastly overrate their own players. Fan bias is rife everwhere and only aminority of all football fans are open minded and not one eyed when it comes to their own players.

        If you doubt this , try other fan sites and you will see the same regular bias you constantly see on this site. Sad really but certainly true.
        Many of these self foolers appear to take any criticism of their own players, esp their personal favourites as if it is a slap in their own face or someone questioning their own masculinity(sometimes, but less often, femininity too).

        As a truth seeker, I have always rejected my own personal bias and put it aside when making predictions or comments. The sheer avalanche of self foolers who denied, even to,themselves, the very obvious long term laziness of OZIL, makes my case far better than any mere words of mine .

        Many folk everywhere will choose to relentlessly ignore any powerful evidence, whether verbal, visual or intellectual, in order to follow their own prejudices and conspiracy theories.

        Many are really affable people but you simply cannot reason with a closed mind and that is what most of them have Reggie. Sigh!

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