Unai Emery gives Granit Xhaka a vote of confidence

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka had another performance to forget today as Arsenal laboured to a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at the Emirates.

Xhaka was subbed in the 72nd minute with some sections of the crowd booing him and judging by quite a few comments on this site it appears to be a universal opinion that he is not good enough for Arsenal, however, one man disagrees and that is Unai Emery.

Speaking after the game today the Spaniard had this to say about his captain and the crowd’s reaction.

“My opinion is we need our supporters and we need our supporters helping each player,”

“Today I changed him because he played 90 minutes on Thursday. I preferred a fresh player. But for me he is a very important player for us.

“He has a big commitment here. I am sure he is going to achieve the best things. We are professional. He is an experienced player.

“He knows sometimes we are criticised. We need to be mature and continue working. I am going to support him. He’s a good player.”

As I said, Emery does not share the opinion of a lot of Arsenal fans when it comes to the 26-year-old Swiss international, in fact, what I get from those comments is that Emery has no intention of discarding Xhaka and that he remains a firm part of his plans going forward.

I could be wrong on this but I am of the opinion that for Emery this is now a matter of principle, he will either make it work at Arsenal with Xhaka or go down in flames, I just do not get the feeling that he will be backing down in his support of his captain.

I think that whatever happens we, the fans, are going to have to accept that Xhaka is a permanent fixture until Emery is no longer at the Emirates,


  1. Won’t he say so? The blind usually support the blind. The whole fans can’t be crazy, Dhaka is not like Iwobi or Ozil who had two opposing fans because on their days, they could be fab.
    Xhaka is that one player all Arsenal fans agree on that needs to go.
    So the whole fans can’t be crazy and TBH Xhaka hasn’t done anything to show he deserves more loyalty

    1. I don’t think he needs to go. Get behind the team, the captain, the manager. Or get on your bike. COYG

        1. And I agree with you 100 percent. Xhaka should not be the captain. He should not be a starter. Emery should be sacked. We have been awful in recent times..Emery does not rate Ozil.

          1. When Xhaka lunged it at Son to give that very unnecessary penalty versus Spurs, Emery said he is talking to him about it, he is improving him, he is helping him cut out those silly mistakes. But after Xhaka yesterday pulled that Aston Villa player in the middle of the pitch for another very unnecessary yellow card, am convinced either Xhaka doesn’t give a damn or is just unable to change. He will definitely cost us more penalties this season, just wait and see. I was in two minds about him after his excellent Germany performance, but it has become clear he will never stop giving those silly fouls.

      1. Thanks. I’m starting to believe there are fans out there who simply believe Arsenal players have to be perfect. It is a team sports. They win or lose as a team. Please stop scapegoating players and tearing them apart. You damage a player’s confidence you damage team Arsenal players’ confidence. Leave them alone and support them.

        1. He gets paid a shit load of money. Playing soccer is his job. If i under perform at work i get a warning, no bonus, no increase or sacked.

        2. John, Arsenal players are far from perfect. In fact, our players have conceded more goals from personal errors than any other team. We don’t expect players to perfect but we expect players to be up to the level we aspire to as a club and to show a learning curve.

          To suggest that fans can not have opinions and speak about their clubs strongest formation and hence which players should start and which players should not, is to not understand football and what it means to fans.

          If you believe Xhaka is the best player for the position then I respect that opinion even if I don’t see what you see but let’s leave room for people with other opinions.

          If an actor makes a bad movie are we supposed to say “great movie” to save his confidence? If a singer makes a song we don’t like are we supposed to say we like it? Xhaka is a performer and he should expect to have his performances evaluated by the fans.

          Note that I speak about his performances not about him as a human being.

        3. @John,

          “Under the armpit of constant constructive criticism and perpetual demand for excellence lies the success of a good governance”
          Emeka Anyaoku,
          Former Secretary-General of Common-wealth

    2. The reason we criticize is because we ‘do’ care, it has nothing to do with not supporting the team so get off your high-horses.
      Xhaka isn’t good enough – a blind person could see that, and you know what – neither is Emery.
      If the fans hadn’t stood up and let the ‘powers that be’ know how we felt about Wenger killing our club, that fossil would still be here and we’d be bottom table.
      Ok, Emery may not be the answer but at least, as a group of fans we forced change.
      So speak up, boo louder if you’re not happy and if you are the type of fan that wants to accept bad management because you don’t want to hurt a players feelings then go support a championship club, go on…

    3. @Eddie.
      When and where did you conduct those Surveys and Polls that suggested that All Arsenal Fans want Xhaka to go?

  2. If xhaka can’t dominate a villa midfield and the best he did was get carded the booing will continue as long as he is starting every game. And as a matter of fact I don’t trust Emery anymore and why should I when he told us he rested ozil with the villa game in mind!!!

    1. Very true, Unai talks that nonsense because because both are not good and fit for AFC.I am not convinced about Unai and feel he should be sacked today for failing to control the game.We got a point due to Chambers calmness and won because of Auba’s brilliance.Not because of Unai. At least Brendon knows how to beat the Spurs #Unaiout

      1. Agree. Emery has to go. He has shown that he can’t control the dressing room and can’t get the best out ouf the players.

  3. If arsenal want to be ruthless and upgrade, they should go for Declan Rice.
    A younger brighter player in the same mode but has a better work rate (due to a better physical state).

    If Bayern are serious about Xhaka, sell him for £37m.

    I have no issues with Xhaka, just his role is crucial for Arsenals way of playing and he isn’t improving quick enough. I’m not a fan of boo’ing fans (more into boo’ing performances of the Team on match day) but past lingering issues with how arsenal were run seem to be running into the new regime but on the Xhaka point – he is 27 this week coming – is he going to get any better? No.

    Time is a commodity we dont give easily.

    1. even more ambitious would be getting Thomas Partey from Atelti. Without a doubt we’d be so much better. And also get a new coach along with it.

      1. We should have gone for him in the summer. The steel we needed in midfield. I mentioned Thomas Partey as the ideal candidate for the midfield. Very strong and mobile. The issue with Xhaka is that he is slow. Not quick enough. Rash tackles. The EPL is fast paced. For now, Emery needs to stop been egoistic. He ended Pastore career at PSG. this talk about work ethic makes no sense. You need quality midfielders who dominate.Quick passing..the best midfield combination should be Ozil, Torrera and Ceballos. Especially at home. Willock and Guendouzi as subs in midfield.

    1. Is true thts why now we can’t injoy our games is jus because of xhaka. Not playing champion league since he came in out midfield

  4. Xhaka is just not good enough for a team that wants to challenge and UE doesnt see it. Wenger didnt see it either. To be honest, our entire midfield is not good enough except Guen but he is still very young, but could be a great player in couple of years.

    Our defense is just pathetic. Socratis and Luiz just doesnt work together.

    Also, when I hear UE speak, it does not encourage me at all. He doesnt project any confidence like Pep or Klopp, and that im sure translates to the players.

    They say teams project personalities of their managers. Well, our team certainly does, timid and weak.

  5. Auba as a captain will make Arsenal better, because Auba can play as a striker, as a winger or to support the others.. He can lift his team’s spirit, that’s for sure

    1. Agin
      Am sure someone will disagree with you, according to that someone the only thing that auba has is his pace and goals.

  6. Xhaxa is not a bad player; at least not as bad as he is made out to be. Arsenal is a collection of outstanding individual talents but as a collective they are a calamity waiting to happen. The problem lies in the coach and his tactics.The singers are not tracking back to help defensively. The midfield is separated from the defence which leaves the defence exposed. The coach doesn’t seem to know his best 11 or the most balanced 11. Oil is better than both ceballos and willock. With a different coach this team would be competing for the championship. Individually they are that good.Good luck with Emery. He is no better than Andre Villa Boas. They talk a good talk but they are not top class. For all its faults at least Wenger’s team had both style and identity. They could pass the ball well and quickly. They were pleasing on the eye. Emeery’s team is bereft of both.

    1. Winner,
      You mean the Wenger team of his first 9 years? The way some people talk about Wenger you will think he retired willingly, Wenger was sacked and rightly so, he had a great first 10 years, the same Wenger bought Xhaka for 35million when Kante was available for less, we were beating 10:2 on aggregate under the same Wenger we suffered the most humiliating result I had ever seen in a cup final against 2 big teams, man city vs arsenal under the same Wenger, man utd destroyed us 8:2 under the same Wenger, Mourihno Chelsea humiliated us 6:0 under the same wenger, we were eliminated at the last 16 of the champions league for more than 5 years under the same Wenger, we made an old berbatov looked like Messi in the champions league against a poor Monaco side under the same Wenger so please let’s stop all this Wenger talk as if he’s saint to all this, Yes Emery has been a disappointment but to suddenly say Wenger is the Messiah is a joke.

      1. You picked 7-8 games of a 22 year reign and call yourself objective, Lenohappy? Fans like you are amusing.

        1. Lol 7 to 8 games you said, please be honest with yourself, the last 9 years Wenger was a failure, and we are going in the same direction unless Emery change his Pattern, if you think otherwise then I don’t know what to say to you sir.

          1. @Leno.
            Absolutely spot on. Wenger lost it in his last 6 years as Arsenal manager.
            The moment the CESC era ended then we lost a defined style of football. We started getting dominated by any team that willed.
            That is the period we started seeing these embarrassing scorelines against us 8-2, 6-3, 6-1, 5-1 each season. Then the 10:2 on aggregate etc.
            Wengers time had come and he had over stayed. It’s because of wengers / board incompetence that we dropped out the Top 4 for 2 consecutive seasons and why we have the likes of Emery as manager.
            I used to be such a wenger advocate, but it all changed that summer when he just signed Cech when we needed defenders, strikers, Midfielders.
            From then my Wenger delusion was erased.

            But it seems like Emery is just a continuation of the last 6 or so sesson of wenger.

  7. Arsenal is in 4th place.
    Who are below us?
    Chelsea. Didn’t they win the Europa league last season?
    Man Utd along with Real Madrid the two biggest clubs in the world.
    Tottenham. Weren’t they in the CL final last season.
    And don’t they all have charismatic genius manager’s.
    So how come Arsenal with a much weaker squad is 4th?
    I blame Emery our clueless manager for having us in front of Chelsea Man U and Spurs.
    We must sack Emery before he does any more damage
    by taking us into top 3.
    What would us plastics have to moan about then?
    Emery out.

    1. Friend, did we not tamely surrender ourselves to CFC at Baku?
      Can you check who are above us,Leicester City! Yes, the same LC who defeated Spurs, when we meekly surrendered to them! At least Brandon Rogers knows how to defeat them. Above LC are ManCity who won 8-0 against the same Watford we struggled. Game 6 and we are 7 points of the leaders.AFC is supposed to win titles and yes we have invested over 200 Million for Unai to deliver it and are we happy with fourth? Just because CFC have a ban and unable to sign players,makes us look good?We struggled against Burnley, Watford, Newcastle and Aston Villa and suddenly Unai is man?We cheaply gave up against two of the top six and struggled against the bottom six.The only saving grace are Auba’s goals, remove them and check the points we would have today.And some of “true” fans wanted him transferred for a bucket full of cash! Disgusting !Any same coach would have insisted for a RB over CAMs. Either shape Ozil of ship him, Ceballos is a luxury when there is no able RB. Signing Gabriel when we have Sako and Nelson or Auba without a proper RB. Note that the game tilted in our favor once Xhaka was out of the pitch. If it were not for Auba’s brilliance, Unai would have been gone today.I wish it would have as this man will agonize us during the season. Games to play at City, Chelsea, oh dear me.

    2. Don’t compare us with Chelsea. They have won two Europa league and one champions league in recent times. They are in a rebuilding process. We are not good enough. We had no business drawing against Watford. Emery is simply not good enough. He chose his favourite players ahead of the better players. If Ozil can’t get into the first 11, then we will continue to struggle. Have you forgotten how last season ended? We lost against Leicester, Crystal Palace, Everton, West Ham, Wolves..Draw at home to Brighton.These were disappointing to say the least. Emery fielded 7 defensive minded players against West Ham..Xhaka single handledly cost us against Brighton. His rash challenge against Spurs this season should have given gonna place in the bench. What makes pep and klopp great managers is the fact that when you keep making mistakes, you will be replaced..no matter how xhaka cost us points, he will still start the next match. We are playing Europa for the third year in a row. Does that translate to improvement? We are not good enough. We need to Sack Emery now.

    3. Not because of Emery we are now in 4th position. Just because of Auba. Else we would have been 10th or 11th. It is because of Emery that Leicester is above us. Otherwise we would have atleast been in 3rd position after the loss with Liverpool…All other point drops were exclusively attributable to Emery tactics of ‘Press from back’ ..but not suitable for this Arsenal squad…Managers should adopt best plan for their squad and never simulate mouthwatering plans of other successful teams…

  8. It’s funny that many “fans” are attacking Emery and want him Out NOW, yet we just won, we are 4TH in the table and ahead of Spurs, Chelsea and United.

    Let’s see where we are in January. We could be worse or same. But 4th place isn’t exactly a panic or emergency situation

    1. We want him out because we can see the issues with the Watford game, the Europa League final, the collapse towards the end of last season when we went from 3rd to 5th. I was patient with Wenger beacuse of the furst 10 years. But we can’t be oatient with Emery. He has to go and now. Bring in Rafa Benitez now and he can sort out our defence and midfield. Give Rafa 2 yaers and then let’s see.

  9. You are extremely negative, you mourn from the beginning of the year to the end, from one article to another. You always come with what was not going well. Why not take this opportunity of late win and enjoy? Because we will never win all matches otherwise you will live an unhappiness life. I think football is about ups and down, is like life does everything in your life work as we want? But despite ups and downs in our life, choice is on our side. Either you chose to be happy or not, this should be applied even in football. I have decided to enjoy the moment we win, criticised when it’s due, and don’t let arsenal current lost keep me from believing instead of keep worrying of things I can never change. I believe that this beloved team will be again a top team

  10. We have this problem that is occuring now before when arsene is in charge,xhaka was playing badly,until Emery came and buy toerria,and that he complimented him,we started seeing another xhaka,first why did he abandon that,he did that bcos he want geundozi in the team,like arsene he doesn’t need a pure defensive player,thinking only going front,Emery is such a bad coach that it smells,we are not going anywhere with this man,he is so shameless,and let me say this here,like I said before,the only thing that can make us get top 4,is how bad,man u,Spurs and Chelsea played this season,not our strenghth,we have the players to execute this but not the right coach,we are more in a better shape than man u and chelsea who are rebuliding,Emery is wasting so many talents and with this I don’t think auba/laca will ever sign,you heard it from auba himself,watch man u vs arsenal game and decide 4 urself…Emery need to go!!

  11. Time up for Emery… we are clearly going nowhere… no noticeable improvements. We can’t be overrun by teams like Villa and Watford. The same watford which dominated us was thrashed 8-0 by City.

    To all those saying we are 4th – Reminder that finishing 4th is not an achievement. 4th place is not a trophy. And as the Wenger years showed, being in the champions league when you can’t compete to win it does not mean anything. Its more money to the Kroenkes and nothing for the fans.

  12. Xhaka’s henchmen have Emery’s kid tied up in a hole in the middle of the Amazon forest! There is no other explanation as to why he keeps defending him like this..even after he picked up that silly and unnecessary yellow card in the middle of the pitch. Yes, yes, I can hear you say managers do not criticize their players in public…well, seems Mustafi is a gateman at the Emirates then since Emery didn’t have a problem throwing him under the bus.

    Anyway, I think it speaks volumes about the quality of a certain RB when the team plays better with TEN men than with him around. Oh my goodness, AMN is absolutely, 100% garbage. Let us agree on that. What a relief that not only was he red carded, he is out injured..just when Man utd are around the corner! Can’t take garbage to the Old Trafford gas chamber!

  13. When the whole fans are against you, I think yup should check yourself, Xhaka is just too bad playing for Arsenal, I don’t know why Emery keep choosing him? The guy is just to useless, he should be ashamed of himself, Guendouzi bossed our midfield yesterday, though he has is own flaws but miles away better than Xhaka, Emery crippling the team starting Xhaka every match. is high time he drop him.

  14. Xhaka lacks the requirements of both holding and box 2 box positions.He is mediocre,having some attributes here and there. Emery has given him the confidence of
    vote as mentioned just to keep the morale and motivation , the same way he treated Mustafi before he told him to look for an other team.lf Emery keen to keep his job he has to depend on available youth at his disposal, Torrera, Chambers, willock and Cibaiios,otherwise he soon or later looks for an other job.

  15. I am confused I thought Ozil was left out on Thursday to be rested for Aston Villa,Did I miss something here?? and as for his comments about Xhaka,GOD HELP US.Good effort to come back and win the game but yet again questions have to be asked about team selection etc.

  16. We are not good enough. Let us stop kidding ourselves. Emery cost us CL football. He should be sacked right now. That is the best for the club. A manager who only plays his favourite players who keep making mistakes week in week out. Chambers should be in the starting 11. Ramsey was willing to sign the contract. But Emery could not guarantee first team football. And the club pulled the offer off the table. Ramsey gets us goals. In Emery eyes, Ozil is not good enough to start against Aston Villa. We are awful. Forget the present position in the table. This club is on a decline. Emery should be at clubs like Everton. We need a top manager. Allegri or Enrique. Top managers win things

  17. Unai Emery listen to us. Xhaka is slow in body and in mind. He cuts the intensity of the game in half. Torreira is BETTER. Gunendouzi is a LEADER. Willock gives everything. Ceballos has so much potential. Xhaka is like playing with 10 men.
    Well done Chambers at right back, you are better than AMN. Luiz and The Wrestler playing out from pressed goal kicks. Insanity. Looking forward to Bellerin and Tierney coming in soon. Will be a different creature…..as long as NO Xhaka.

  18. Hi adi, it’s out of question when when the team play deep the spaces getting very tight whereas Xhaka is v.poor under high Pressure and prone to erros.I think Box 2 BOX alittle bit suits him to avoid the two crowded areas. Still he lacks many requirements of such ajob.

  19. Xhaka is not the only one who should be left out of our starting eleven.Our “heavenly” twins at centre back must be one of the poorest combinations in the League , yet Emery cannot see it.Xhaka is not a defensive midfielder as he cannot defend.He is not a box to box midfielder as he lacks stamina and pace.He has a great left foot but rarely gets into an advanced position to use it to advantage.Just what does he bring to the team Mr Emery?

  20. Sweet FA grandad,I cannot believe all this garbage about Ozil being rested and Xhaka being important to the team,get used to it cos Xhaka is the first one on the teamsheet every week.

  21. U.Emery doesn’t understand how powerful the voice of the fans could be. The fans eventually forced Arsen Weneger out. U.Emery is a coward coach who has not learnt from his mistakes with Neymar when he coached PSG. How do you keep praising a non performing player instead of taking a stand to enable him improve. I am not sure his mentality as a coach will take Arsenal team anywhere apart from Europa league “may be success”.

  22. Xhaka should be sold or at list benched to realise his mistakes and if Unai doesn’t man up n do that, both of them will have to go.

  23. Let me make it visual for you guys. You are in a league where Kevin De Bruyne, Kante, David Silva, Gundogan, Bernado Silva, Wijnaldum, Milner, Eriksen, Lucas etc are midfielders, but your team’s midfielder is Granit Xhaka! It is as certain as daybreak that you are not a seriously contending team. You either accept that fact with Xhaka’s ability or upgrade.

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