Should Arsenal drop ‘strong character’ Xhaka for Man City clash?

After seeing Arsenal make it three games in a row in which we have come from behind to win, there was always going to be some talk from the manager and players about how that proves that there is a strong mental side to our squad. Granit Xhaka was only involved in two of those comebacks as he did not feature in the Carabao cup win over Norwich City, but he was one of the Arsenal stars who spoke after the Swansea game about the character of the Gunners, Sky Sports reports.

The Swiss international midfielder said, “It’s the third time in a week that the team have come from behind to win, that says a lot about this team.

“Lots of people talk about the character of our team, that it’s not right and that we need to do more. But we always show that we can come back.

“Today we were 1-0 down, last week we were 1-0 down, but we turned the games around and that shows the character of this team.”

To be fair I have to agree, but on the other hand we should not keep getting into these positions where we have to come back. I certainly do not think it would be a good idea to do it on Sunday when we travel to face Man City in the Premier League.

Go behind there and all the strength of character in the world may not be enough and I worry about Xhaka and the mistakes he keeps making, especially as they often tend to lead to goals for the opposing team. At the Etihad it is vital we give nothing away and for me that suggests that Francis Coquelin should come in for Xhaka.

The Frenchman may not have quite the same passing ability but his defensive and holding play is certainly better and that is what we are likely to need more, don’t you think?



  1. Mitch Connor says:

    I think so. Xhaka had been very inconsistent. With City blowing away teams this season and our defense looking shaky, I would play Coquelin. We need to have the best defensive match of the year to get something from an AWAY match against City.
    Play Xhaka on Thursday and Coquelin against City.
    We should also consider playing Wilshere instead of Ozil. I don’t know which Ozil will turn up: the one against Everton or the One against Swansea. Wilshere may not have the quality/talent of Ozil but One thing is certain. Wilshere works harder than Ozil. And we need a hard worker against City. City will take advantage of any weaknesses we have.

    1. chris says:

      At City the Ozil who turns up will be the non contributor.

  2. Chokulate says:

    Dropping xhaka will be the greatest mistake of all time. It’s funny how fans always jump into a solid conclusion with another inconsistent Ramsey, put xhaka on the bench and City bully midfield will take us back to where belong.

  3. Arsene can't run out of bars says:

    We will be defending for long periods. This is the type of game you want Xhaka in as he has the passing range needed to counter attacking

  4. Carlos Tab says:

    Dropping Xhaka would make Man City to drop Arsenal goals

    1. chris says:

      On the contrary … Coq would protect our defence better and win balls in midfield.

  5. Uchman says:

    Drop xhaka for who? R u sure u watch football @ll?same coquelin that was abysmal against Norwich?

  6. David Rusa says:

    Fans are mere laypeople. They are not experts. They may offer advice but that is as far as it gets. Xhaka may make some mistakes like everyone else but he has proved useful in a lot of games. Twice he has dwarfed Kante in our encounters with Chelsea. His passing is one of the best in EPL. He is a fellow who never disappears in matches. Which player never makes mistakes? I remember Steve Gerrard gifting us a goal at Anfield as Fabregas took advantage of his error. He committed a similar mistake against Chelsea in his last year at Anfield which might have cost Liverpool the title in 2014. Would you deny Gerrard his legendary status because of those few errors? In our Champions League final against Barcelona in Paris Thierry Henry missed a clear chance which would have made us European champions. Examples of such errors are many. No human being is spotless. Give Xhaka a break.

    1. chris says:

      When Xhaka makes mistakes they are in dangerous areas …. too often. Yes he is a lovely passer but not really a defensive midfielder.

      1. John says:

        It is a team sport against an opponent who obviously wants to win……….we want to win as well……we will make individual and team mistakes……that is part of the game……Xhaka is an integral part of Arsenal…….we lose or win as a team…………..focusing on anyone’s errors excessively will affect their performance………..this team has the potential to do really well……..time for us to push them further as the twelfth player at each game……

        1. David Rusa says:

          Nice comment John. That is the spirit of a true gooner.

  7. Sue says:

    I’m not xhaka’s greatest fan but I’d rather play him than coquelin

  8. Vlad says:

    It’s a tough decision for sure. On one hand, Xhaka is useful with his long range passing. On another, he makes silly mistakes way too often. I’d say between him and Coquelin, I’d go with Xhaka. However, I would actually consider starting Wilshere alongside Ramsey. I’m not a fan of Jackie boy by any means but he could prove his worth in a game like this. As long as he stays focused and disciplined, he could do good on both ends of the pitch.

  9. Alkali says:

    We all know he is starting except if he picks up an injury, there’s no debate here.

  10. Tat says:

    The problem with arsenal is that we don’t really have anyone on the bench to replace the starters.
    That’s why i find it funny when ppl suggest dropping ozil, xhaka or even sanzhez. We got no choice but to start them. i know there’s a chance that ozil will have a bad game, but the sad thing is a perfect game from iwobi won’t be enough to beat man city, we need a perfect game from ozil.
    We need every one to step up, especially cech imo. He needs to make some saves this weekend.

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