The story of Granit Xhaka’s Redemption explained… in two games against Palace!

The stadium that hated him, now worships him: The story… of Granit Xhaka’s life against Palace! Can anyone imagine what Granit Xhaka has achieved with Arsenal this year? It’s not just the goal, it’s not just the amazing match he made against Crystal Palace. It is the fact that four years earlier, on the same field, against the same opponent who had experienced the worst moment of his career, the audience of the same team deifies him!Arsenal wins with typical ease with 4-1 over Crystal Palace. Looking for the protagonists, one can very easily refer to the excellent Gabriel Martinelli, who has opened the scoring, Bukayo Saka of two goals and one assist in 90 minutes, Ben White who is decisive, and the contribution of Rob Holding, who deservedly filled the void of William Saliba, in his first appearance as a starter this year.However, the credits must go largely to Granit Xhaka. Not necessarily for the goal. That’s probably the least of it, despite the fact that he has cumulatively surpassed, in all competitions, every productive performance in his career. But not much more, for the way he fights.He has not missed any Arsenal match. He has been chosen as a starter in 90% of them, he has four goals and five assists at Premier League level, and his appearances fully justify the fact that so many people on YouTube have produced videos with the now well-known and unexceptional title, “Xhaka’s redemption”.The most… extreme thing in the whole case, is the fact that the Swiss found himself celebrating at the “Emirates” and dedicating a goal to his daughter, against the same opponent, who four years ago experienced the worst moment of his football career.

In October 2019, Xhaka is captain of Arsenal and Unai Emery is on the bench. The crowd boos him, the Swiss walks off the pitch, mocks the home fans and takes off his shirt before even entering the dressing room.

“I’m leaving…tomorrow” was clearly stated with his attitude, but Mikel Arteta arrived in London to change his mind. And he succeeded. It brought out his… survival instinct, convinced him to stay, and we were to reach March 2023, for ultimate vindication to take place.The Swiss finds the back of the net for the second time in the same week at the Emirates and a whole stadium chants his name. His daughter can be proud of her father. He brought the whole world up and down, but he proved that he deserves the applause.No goal in his career will be more important than this one. People who criticized him have accepted him and people who admired him now worship him. Granit Xhaka’s history with Arsenal and Crystal Palace, spanning almost 1500 days, in the same stadium, and the contrast of reactions from the Emirates crowd, is truly a life lesson!Dimitris Manakos

Our friends at Dublin Arsenal give an amusing and informative review of the Palace game

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  1. I think we can call him the Man of Steel because of his mental toughness, efforts, fitness, physical abilities and his Superman face

    Arteta has also done a brilliant job by finding Xhaka’s best position and understanding his abilities. Most of us didn’t have the idea to re-assign him in an advanced role, not even the great Wenger and the highly experienced Emery

    Vieira and Smith-Rowe had better learn from him, if they would like to be his successors

    1. To my understanding, xhaka plays a similar role for Switzerland to his current one for arsenal, but I think Wenger wanted him to be our xabi alonso due to his long range passing abilities. Unfortunately it never quite suited xhaka, I think because he lacked the defensive instincts needed for the role.
      This season has been one of the most incredible turnarounds I’ve seen for a player. He’s playing his natural game now, it’s fantastic.

      1. Based on his games in Euro 2020 and the last World Cup, I think he played mostly in deep-midfield area for Switzerland, which is similar to his previous role at Arsenal

        Maybe it was more successful because he worked with his compatriots

        1. I see – I’ve never really watched Switzerland tbh, I just repeated what I’ve been told. Looking at their recent matches, he tends to play with freuler in midfield, who I think does a bit of everything. He played as a lone DM against Portugal and they got battered, but Portugal are pretty good.

  2. Man of steel is an apt description for Xhaka who, it has to be acknowledged, has revitalised his career this season.I am not sure if the plaudits which have come his way are entirely down to the switch to a more advanced position or whether he recognises that for the first time in his Arsenal career he has a genuine opportunity to be part of a successful side.In any event, his reinvention is most welcome for sceptics like me who did not hold him in high regard basically because of his lack of pace with and without the ball..He has always had a high level of football intelligence and this season, his brain now operates well in situations where ,previously he would have lost the plot.Given his age however, I still feel we need to look for an athlete in the central midfield area to take over the mantle from Xhaka who I see as a future Manager when his playing career is over.

  3. That was a great read this morning 👏

    Xhaka has been the individual story of the season no doubt about it at Arsenal. Yes all the plaudits will go to the young guns but he has been phenomenal in that midfield along side Thomas Partey. They have a great understanding with Øde, it just works and all this come down to Mikel Arteta.

    If this ends with a league title it’s one of the best stories in our history considering where we were when Auba, Ozil, Papa, Kolasnic under Unai Emery also. We were in a slippery slope and hired a rookie manager though is an Arsenal Captain but is Arsenal Football Club through and through.

    Mikel Arteta and his team along with Edu and the Owners deserve so much applause and credit as this is all their vision with the plays they chose to bring in and train under the new Arsenal system without completley breaking the bank while getting rid of so many players for nothing.

    The new Arsenal way is Some of the old values mixed with some of the new being laid at The Emirates.

    No matter what happens we have a club and team to be proud of

  4. The xhaka we bought from B.M is the same player we got now..the different is so many manager including Wenger and emery play xhaka in wrong task..emery actually got the same idea as arteta but instead of xhaka he push torreira upront to win the ball high.the task is very similar to what xhaka doing right now..arteta try to play and teach Ainsley Maitland niles the inverted right back roles but AMN feel it as a downgrade to the roles as CM OR he always say and feel the only roles he destined to be..there is a few match where arteta try bellerin there as inverted right back but the outcome is a very confused and disinterested player because the role is alliant to her.even xhaka play a few match as lb but the idea is xhaka play lb but when in possession tuck to midfield to create overload in midfield.the experiment is no succes because xhaka in most of the player still learn how exactly arteta wants us to play..that is why when we buy zhinchenko everything click because the puzzle is complete with the zhinchenko thanks to zhinchenko to show the world(he play that role at city BTW) how to play the roles…for me everything with zhinchenko because he knows the idea.

    1. That’s correct about his playing role at Borussia Monchengladbach. Now he’s back to that role, we’re seeing the best of him.

  5. Xhaka has certainly come through the mill so to speak MANY FANS MYSELF VERY MUCH INCLUDED , constantly called him out for slowness of pace, passing, of seeing danger and a reckless way of playing. He has certainly improved on all these things but his slowness in running remains and though he is an integral part of the team right now, I do NOT envisage him long remaining, now he is 30.

    I see next season being his final one here and him not being so often played next season either.
    I admire his character but still think we can and must find a better quality of player, as we will next season be either Champs or second, with huge and general expectations of being better still next year.


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