Unai Emery opens the door for Granit Xhaka to return against Southampton

Unai Emery spoke at length about Granit Xhaka and if he will be in the squad for Southampton game.

There is no need to go over why Granit Xhaka fell out with the fans. What we do need to know, however, is does he have a future at the club?

Unai Emery has gone some way to answering these questions today at the Arsenal v Southampton pre-match press conference.

Xhaka is said to be in a better state of mind and eager to help the team out. Additionally, Emery is considering including him the matchday squad for the Southampton game.

The following excerpt, courtesy of Arsenal.com, also reveals that he wants to connect with the fans

He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now

“He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him,” Emery said. “I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation.

“He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning. My objectives don’t change from when I spoke to you before. My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards.

“He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think little by little we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters.

“We are going to decide tomorrow [whether he will be in the squad for Saturday]. But I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable. And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance and being strong with them.”

I did suspect that Xhaka would be back sooner than thought, in fact, I have predicted he will be in the starting eleven for the Saints game.

However, reading between the lines it looks more likely that he will be a substitute at best.

Personally, I would welcome him back. I believe he is a good player and can contribute. I certainly think he is better than most of our midfielders.

He messed up but he should be given a second chance in my opinion. I will definitely give him my full support if he pulls the Arsenal shirt on once again.

Hopefully, the majority of Arsenal fans will feel the same. There is too much division as it is and we need to be united from now on.


  1. Nooooooooooo!
    Big big mistake if that happens

    He must NOT play PL matches.
    Play him against Eintracht

    The 11 players for Southampton should come from this pool of 14 players: Leno, Bellerin, Tierney, Luiz, Holding, Chambers, Ceballos, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli

    The 11 for Eintracht should come from this pool of players: Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Sopranos, Mavrapanos, Kolsanic, Niles, Ozil, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Martinelli, Saka, Lacazette

    I would go for:

    Leno, Holding, Luiz, Bellerin, Tierney, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Pepe, Martinelli, Aubameyang

    Martinez, Mustafi, Sokratis, Chambers, Kolsanic, Xhaka, Niles, Ozil, Nelson, Saka, Lacazette

    We need to play most of our best players against PL teams whether they are lowest teams in the Premier league or highest

    1. You should have included Willock in your line-up:

      …………….. Leno
      Bellerin . Holding . Luiz . Tierney
      ……. Guendouzi ……. Willock
      Nelson …….. Ceballos …… Martinelli
      …………… Aubameyang

  2. I don’t ever want to see him play for us again, and that’s got nothing to do with his outburst. He’s been an awful signing, and should be sold asap based on form.

    He’s been our worst player over the last 3 years.

  3. Lol..
    Big mistake at home.. either as a starter or as a substitute..
    Imagine warming up in front of d home fans…
    Except Emery is trying to set Xhaka up to cover himself.

  4. i would definitely like to see him play. i know what he did was wrong but I think booing your own player is way worse. I remember the fans booed Eboue and he was crying. I just can’t understand how fans support players but also boo their own players.It can only happen at a club like Arsenal i suppose. Anyway I hope he is in the squad for this weekend’s game. We should beat Southampton. I predict an unconvincing 2-1 win.

  5. I would like to maybe see him return at some stage, but not this week, we are not full of confidence or playing particularly well, so imagine the reaction if he gave away a pen and we lost one-nil to the saints, I think we should wait play him in Europa and then when we return to winning ways let him start in the prem.

    1. Exactly, there might be a time for his comeback, but it’s not now. If Xhaka screws up next game, that would surely be end for him at Arsenal, and Emery will be the one to blame for it.

  6. Not sure what to make of Unai Emery’s efforts to return Granit Xhaka to the team but it does look like a very high-risk decision to me. If the fans turn on him again following a poor display that will seriously call Emery’s decision making into question. Better to take this kind of risk away from home. As much as I do not support the fact that the fans were booing Xhaka and also the way he reacted, the relationship between players and fans is so toxic right now that unless Emery is so desperate he should forget about playing Xhaka against Southampton.

  7. Sigh, I don’t know. I wanted him gone after his altercation but admittedly, I’ve had time to cool off. Will he give us his international form or his regular premier league form? If he does play I hope he won’t be booed because we need the Emirates to be a fortress and above all get rid of the negative and toxic atmosphere that has been plaguing this club for a while now. Southampton are going down COYG!

  8. Who bothers if he plays? Seems like a return of Messi or Neymar to our side. With or without him we are like to draw, loose or scrap a win (if our opponents are more callous then us). Very poorly skilled player with a bad temperament and that goes well for the modern AFC. The skilled players may want to go – Laca, Auba, Lucas,Martinez. The mediocre ones are too happy to stay – Mesut, Socartes, Kolasinac, Luiz, Granit, AMN. It will be just a matter to time when Barca will come calling for Gabriel, Guendozi, Eddie. This season I have accepted to be content with a top 10 finish, followed by a relegation scrap next year to complete the 3 year tenure of Unai. I was one of the first to call for Una’s exit, now I have stopped, cause nothing seems to change at AFC, except performance – good to bad, bad to worse and next year worse to worst.A big hug to Vinay & Rahul for this state of affairs of the club of my 30+ years of following

  9. Fair play to him, if he does play and puts in a good shift. I just hope, for his sake, we don’t see one of his wreckless lunges that results in a penalty!

  10. Xhaka is as good as the rest of our midfielders. Poor.
    He is not the best of players I have ever seen but i was happy that he gave some of our petulant fans the same treatment we have subjected to him for time.
    Reminds me of how Giroud was treated by our fans. Disrespected, called all sorts of degrading names under the sun. Blamed for all our troubles, blamed for certain players not performing etc. He acted as a grown up throughout while our man-children kept provoking him for not being as talented as RVP or Henry.

    Just glad that Xhaka told us to fck off.

    1. Giroud in my opinion was under appreciated, he was not world class but he always gave his best and he doesn’t get injured much.I know this will anger some people but I will take auba and giroud ahead of auba and Laca.

  11. I dont support Xhaka’s behaviour at all. He should act like a professional. Many players in many teams are booed by their fans but they do not react like the way he did. And by the way he is careless, irresponsible and reckless when he plays for Arsenal. We have seen this time and time again. Wonder what Emery thinks I cannot understand. I would prefer to play a U-21 player instead of playing Xhaka. Unless miraculously he performs out of this world and Arsenal win….

    1. You talking rubbish.Which club booes their own players? I know Xhaka is not the best player,i know he makes mistake after mistake but you should boo the freaking manager that always puts him in, not the guy that is representing our shirt.I hope he features this weekend and I also hope the fans treat him with respect.

  12. If we play 4141 formation,then Xhaka can replace Ozil in an advanced midfield position.What kills Xhaka is playing as DM in premiership matches. He has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he can’t cut it in that position but the sick Emery always plays him there.Who is to blame?I don’t rate him high but I have to admit that he seems he is the only guy who can shoot in our entire team.I miss R.vanpayslip even if he betrayed us how I wish we get another player with such a lethal left foot.

    1. @ Cliff.How did Van Persie betray us? Because he wouldn’t renew his contract? Did Arsenal betray Ramsey when they withdrew his contract offer? Have you changed jobs before? If you have, would you consider it a betrayal of your former employer for leaving? This is the problem with us football fans. We demand complete loyalty from the players but say nothing when our club withdraws contract offers or cancel players contract.

      1. Very good point Lance.Besides van Persie said Arsensal didn’t want to offer him a new contract. I don’t know if that’s true but he is not a traitor. At the end of the day it’s their job and i they feel moving to another club will benefit them and their family we shouldn’t complain.

  13. No way should he play and Emery says that his performances improve, he is more delusional than ever if he thinks that, Xhaka hardly ever puts in a performance I cannot believe this clown thinks it will be any different now. Looks like the love thing between these two is about to start all over again.

  14. God help our club if this mediocre overrated(by himself only) one paced and rash trundler ever plays again in our team. He should never have been bought in threfirst plave and now two managers, Wenger AND Emery have compounded the original mistake to bring him here at all, by not getting rid of him , AS VIRTUALLY ALL GOONERS WISH, at least judging by myriad anti Xhaka comments on this and other fan sites. He has very few indeed on his side. Pity both those managers were and are wilfully blind in failing to see his manay deficiencies. Get rid. Today ideally!(Though I realise we cannot shift him yet, under the stupid idea of having a transfer window, which should have been legally challenged in a court of law ages ago, as an illegal restraint of trade. No proper business woiuld ever consider running a legit business in allowing buying and selling only twice a year. But I digress, Xhaka must GO, ASAP!!!

    1. If Xhaka must go then i suppose the whole team should go. i hate when fans single out certain players. What about Luiz? He has made at least 5 mistakes that has led to goals. i don’t hear fans Booeing him and wanting him to leave. Just shut up and support the team!

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