“The obvious answer to how you take the team forward is you replace Granit Xhaka.” Pundit gives a damning assessment of Arsenal man

Granit Xhaka is one of the most frustrating players on the books of Arsenal at the moment.

The former captain can be the best player in one game and become a mighty villain in his very next match.

His inconsistent performances have attracted a lot of criticism, even though Mikel Arteta has continued to stand by him.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was in terrible form again when Arsenal faced Burnley at the weekend.

He played the ball straight to Chris Wood, who was a few metres away from an unguarded Arsenal net and it went in for the Clarets’ equaliser.

Arsenal couldn’t find a winning goal and TalkSPORT pundit Alex Crook says the way to rebuild this Arsenal team is to first and foremost get rid of the midfielder.

He says he cannot wrap his head around how the midfielder has survived the chop under three different managers at the Emirates and remain an important player at the club.

Speaking on the talkSPORT Gameday podcast, Crook said: “I can’t be nice to Granit Xhaka. And the obvious answer to how you take the team forward is you replace Granit Xhaka. It’s one of the mysteries of modern times for me that Granit Xhaka has survived what three Arsenal managers and he’s still their first name on the team sheet week in week out.

“He is an appalling footballer. And that goal summed it up and as long as you’re making mistakes like that, as a manager, you’re working with one hand tied behind your back.”

Tags alex crook Granit Xhaka

39 Comments

  1. Pco says:

    Exactly! If he continues to play week in and week out we will go nowhere!

    1. Gede says:

      I second you

  2. Steven says:

    In what way is Admin Martin qualified to describe Xhaka as an ‘appalling footballer’? What level of football has he played? What coaching badges has he gained? Comments like that seem to me to be ignorant abuse. Perhaps he should ask himself why Wenger, Emery and Arteta, not to mention the Switzerland manager , have all picked him.

    1. Gede says:

      8 errors leading to goal..he’s best in wrong thing and we’ll stay mid table with this Xhaka. What a stupid goal he gave even academy boys don’t play such pass..poor first touch always even when partey was passing the ball, the move which resulted to arsenal goal he was pointing first a back pass. How can you advocate for a such player. Bench Xhaka. Chambers can play there he’s quicker too. Elneny can play too he’s a good passer..ceballos can play he reads the game proper. Why had we take Guenduzi on loan and yet many error probes players dominate the tam? Arteta not good coach…

    2. Phil says:

      @Steven- he was part responsible for getting two of those manager sacked, and will likely soon have his hat-trick with Arteta. Switzerland? Who actually gives a toss ?

        1. Peter John says:

          Artefacts using Arsenal to gain management experience. A technical coach who has no grasp of the human condition.

    3. PJ-SA says:

      I believe that was a quote from the pundit, it’s in “”

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Exactly tight PJ-SA, Admin Martin is only quoting Alex Crook.

    4. fee says:

      Steven did you actually watch the game? Xhaka was diabolical !!! And always has been very average. Wenger lost his Mojo in 2005 and Emery and Arteta are below average Managers

    5. Joki says:

      Dear Steven,may I humbly ask you what is your qualification except the clear fact that you are an obvious Xhaka fan? Did you read other comment on the subject? Even without a single mistake,Xhaka is able solely for “alibi” passes backwards or in best case paralel. Thanks Steven

  3. Wyoming says:

    The parallels with Xhaka and Arteta are undeniable. They are both central to their respective Managers philosophy. Both are very steady if unspectacular.
    Both managers see their loyal Captain as the cornerstone of their team.
    Both manager and player are total adherents of the pass the ball to death philosophy.
    The fact that two such ordinary players should have been singled out as the most trustworthy player is a significant commentary on the managers views on the quality of the rest of the team.

  4. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    I think the term “appalling” was a bit of stretch, but this was likely just a by-product of being frustrated by the continued ineptitude of this club, much like when they continually failed to properly replace Vieira or when they struggled to find an answer to their goalkeeping conundrum for more than a decade, yet when they discovered that the answer was right under their noses the whole time, instead of embracing their fortuitous discovery, they sold him off almost immediately

    I think Arteta simply empathizes with Xhaka, as he was likewise brought to Arsenal to play in a nonsensical deep-lying position, so maybe he understands all too well what that set of circumstances actually entails…I would suggest that the smarter man would see it for what it is and not try to jam the same square peg in the same round hole

  5. jon fox says:

    LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY, AS A CONFIRMED SUPPORTER OF ARTETA, I REALISE THAT THERE IS NO REAL MONEY AVILABLE TO REPLACE THE DREADFUL XHAKA WITH BETTER QUALITY.
    However, if this time next season Xhak is still a regular pick I will lose faith with MA. I do not believe Xhaka will be here this time next season. IF we had a proper owner who cared for his club , Xhaka would have long gone. BUT WE DO NOT have a proper owner, as we all know.

    1. fee says:

      Jon Fox – If you are a confirmed supporter of Arteta you are deluded. The sooner he and Xhaka go the better.

  6. Sean Williams says:

    We nearly qualified for Europe under Unai Emery. Who cost us Europe……Xhaka? A mad, unnecessary tackle against Brighton….a penalty….Europe gone in a flash. Xhaka is ill disciplined, mindLESS not mindFULL. Slow in body and, in general, a sideways passmaster. Unworthy of Arsenal. If we learned to play without him I would forgive the management, but he is Arteta’s first name on the sheet. Shite.

  7. RFrancis says:

    Arteta must bear full responsibility for all things Xhaka. The player was on his way out but it was Arteta who begged him to stay. Going forward we need to direct our fire at the executives above Arteta and Edu. The decision not to replace Raul Sanllehi as the head of football operations was an abysmal failure of leadership. There has been no strategic leadership or direction from above, leaving both Edu and Arteta free to act like kids in a candy store; this is no doubt being reflected in players’ attitude as well as results on the pitch.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      RFrancis, Richard Garlick has been appointed by Arsenal as Director of Football Operations.

  8. Joe. S says:

    Amen to that Garth. Why Arsenal have kept the faith beggars belief. And we fans know that there is more of this to come such is his omniscience.

  9. antonioro says:

    Arteta see himself in Xhaka.Xhaka is a copy paste of Arteta-the player.Slow,sideway passing,no imagination,no dribbling skills,super-safe play,a mediocre footballer passing sideways and backword and refusing to drive the ball forward.Just like Arteta-the insipide player.That’s why Arteta loves him-he’s a mirror of himself.Get rid of both-Xhaka and Arteta,they don’t know what beautiful football means.

    1. BellendBob says:

      That’s just BS. Arteta never made so many idiotic “mistakes” and was a FAR better player than Xhaka. I can’t even call it mistakes anymore without grinning, because it happens so often that it’s just common behaviour for Xhaka.

      1. Davi says:

        Arteta was more similar to cazorla than Xhaka as a player. Not as clever or dynamic, but similar enough as a CM and certainly not a bad player. Infinitely more reliable than Xhaka.

  10. Eric says:

    I’ve read a lot of interesting stuff but I don’t believe it’s all true. No one is perfect. We take the good with the bad.He’s one of few who’s got some balls. Some proper fighting spirit. We are desperately short of those and have been for a looong time. The majority are and have been pushovers. Don’t get me wrong i am a great believer and supporter of the passing game but guys, we need some enforcers too!

  11. Nicho says:

    Dear commorades, I strongly believe in your comments as correct and true except by Steven.I guess he is not a member of the Gunner family.He laughs alot when we get tormented by such a silly player/Xhaka.Yes,he may be fits Swiss style of play but not Arsenal’s.XHAKA jersey 34 is our own not anybody’s.He MUST GO.I imagine his team mates must be disgusted with him now.What much help is he to Arsenal that can not be replaced ?.I hate slow-lazy and unfocused player in Xhaka.Mikel Arteta,the player will plot your exit if you are not careful since only non-Gunners are praising him.Thanks.

    1. BellendBob says:

      I actually think Xhaka is very loved by his teammates for his personality and dedication, so that would be the hard part of getting rid of him. Auba ran directly to Xhaka and hugged him after scoring his goal against Burnley for instance.

      Anyways he will never get rid of the blunders at his age and I think he should be cut loose. The sooner, the better.

  12. Nicho says:

    Who asked you to apolgise.You are such a undependable player possessed by errors only.U contributed to Rambo’s depature through frustrations and want the same for our young talents like Buka,Tiern,Gabis,Odega,Ced,Pab to mention.Ask for depature only to prove you are loved or not.Sell Xhaka at not more than 20m so that his high temperment and slugis foot is rid off quickly from Emirates.

  13. Adajim says:

    Just one wrong pass and everyone is crucifying Xhaka. I hope he move and fans get their dream players. Am tired of this bias comment. Xhaka has been reliable all season, forming a solid spine of the team giving his all in accordance with his abilities and because he made 1 error, he is appalling? How many clear cut chances does AUBA and other attackers squandered in that last match? And in other games? And Leno, was he not equally at fault? This is the part of football I hate.

    1. GPeter says:

      You don’t have to hate any part of football.
      There are too many people watching the round leather game that knows nothing about it, yet wanna give an opinion based on their emotions and bias nonentity. These set of people are more frustrating than bad officiating.

      What they don’t know is that, they sound unknowledgeable, irritating and worse than the player or coach they are criticising.

    2. Wale says:

      God bless you Adajim, because of one mistakes they wanted to bury him alive but Saka lost two clear chances in the first half nobody complained, Pepe lost two clear chances in the second half nothing happened, we had a very clear penalty but they said we should not be focusing on penalty ( but Chelsea have been winning and drawn with the help of penalty but to the world Chelsea is the most informed team that can even beat Bayern)……
      I don’t rate Xhaka as our best DM but we have to be realistic and stop being bias.
      Had it being that our attackers converted there chances very well and the penalty was given to us and let’s say we won by 5-1 margin, I am very sure that majority of the fans would have forgotten about the error made by Xhaka….

  14. fee says:

    80% of the Arsenal team need replacing and my three legged blind dog would be a better manager..

    1. Phil says:

      @fee- your three legged blind dog would still be a better player than Xhaka

  15. Documentor says:

    Granit is not lazy or dispassionate about arsenal. The problem is he works very hard , but his skillset is not good enough for arsenal football club. I can not question his commitment so to say, but his footballing abilities is questionable , too questionable for this football club . Going forward we can all admit that granit needs to be sold , even if some of us love him

    1. Phil says:

      Did you love him on Saturday when he laid the Burnley equaliser on a plate for them? To be fair to Xhaka it was the best pass he made all game so I suppose you would call that an assist I suppose?

      1. jon fox says:

        Phil I sometimes wonder if Xhaka knows where the bodies are buried at our club!
        It is a mystery to me why now THREE managers keep picking him. I know there is no proper money available to buy a proper replacement but, Merts apart, he is probably the slowest player I have seen in my time. At least Merts could THINK quickly though!

  16. guy says:

    Xhaka is not my dream player either. It is not his fault he is not Maradona. But he sweats blood every game, which is more than you can say for many in the team. Other players are forgiven mistakes, but not him. He makes more, yes, but why? Because he is a midfielder and a defender every game. Not our best player, but certainly not our worst. But you guys just want to discuss negatives and pillory him week in week out.

    1. BellendBob says:

      Well let’s go back in history a bit then, if you think we’re being harsh on Xhaka. It IS Xhaka’s fault that he disrespected the badge. It IS Xhaka’s fault that he didn’t just give a corner or anything else rather than being overconfident and trying a long pass ACROSS goal with his POOR leg. When I was 12 I knew not to do that! It IS Xhaka’s fault he is ill-disciplined and prideful. It IS Xhaka’s fault that he grabbed Ashley Westwood by the throat and got sent off. It IS Xhaka’s fault that he has conceded a ton of penalties and gotten too many red cards. The list just goes on and on and on….

      1. jon fox says:

        Bob, You forgot another dozen or more “on’s”! Even a cat only gets NINE lives!

    2. jon fox says:

      GUY, he does not help himself with us fans when he constantly does rash things Not the single worst player , maybe but very limited and dreadfully slow to see danger. In fact , slow in everything he does except when getting involved in trouble and fights.
      Not for me and I DECIDED THAT WITHIN MERE WEEKS, NOT MONTHS, after he first arrived. Everything about him shreiks out, “LIMITED”!
      I do not especially credit ANY player for being a hard worker as that SHOULD BE(BUT ISN;T) the default position of ALL players

  17. Jonathan K says:

    He has given us energy and commitment. His tackling has improved lately. He and Tierney work the hardest. It is however time to move on from him. Look at guys like Bisouma. My dream signing would be Milenkovic Savic. The other option is to keep him as a squad player (non starter) especially if Ceballos goes (and i feel he too should not be retained). Replace Belerin. We don’t need a centre back. Get back up for Tierney, try to keep Ordegaard. If that fails, do all we can to get Buendia (Aour should be second choice). Keep Ryan and give him some games. I am confident next season will be great if we do these.

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