What did Arsenal fans think of Lichtsteiner and Xhaka’s performance?

Granit Xhaka was recently given a new contract by Arsenal despite most fans calling him a liability for most of this season, and he has now been joined by his Switzerland team-mate and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, so what did Gooners think of their overall performance yesterday against Brazil in their opening game at the World Cup?

Nobody can doubt that the whole team showed battling qualities to come back against one of the best teams in the world, and I thought that Lichtsteiner especially was up and down the wing like a rabbit marshalling the defence and the attack. Lichtsteiner played 87 minutes for the Swiss before going down with cramp, which was hardly surprising considering the amount of energy he used chasing down the extremely fast Brazilians, with Xhaka taking the captain’s armband when he was taken off.

Our newest signing may be 34 but he looked and ran like a 24 year-old from what I saw, and was not in the slightest intimidated by his World Class opponents. Xhaka I didn’t see so much of, but I do remember one brilliant floating pass into the box that was just a few inches too high for his target.

But if you go by the team performance you would have to say that Switzerland could give any Premier League side a run for their money, and Xhaka and Lichtsteiner are obviously team-players and leaders.

What was your opinion?



  1. kev says:

    I didn’t watch the match.I’m more interested on knowing how Xhaka did because I already know that Lichtsteiner is a very very good player even at 34 years old.He’s better than most RB”s in the EPL.I’d like to see how they’d do against Neymar.
    How was Xhaka?Was it the normal average performance or something different this time?

    1. Nikhilesh says:

      he was backpassing most of the time, but sent a very good long pass to shaqiri late in the game which nearly resulted in a winner to switzerland, he defended well along with behrami

    2. gotanidea says:

      He was average

      Those Mexican central midfielders did better job than him in playmaking and defending

    3. Nikhilesh says:

      @Kev when will we announce Torreira?

      1. kev says:

        I expect it to happen before World Cup ends.Could happen before Wednesday.Some Arsenal officials are already probably in Russia so I’m expecting it.
        Let’s see before Wednesday.

    4. mikey says:

      Lichsteiner will do well with us based on his performance last night, but he needs to be managed, dont think he will be able to play every game. Xhaka on the other hand did what Xhaka does best which is just enough, this guy will go walkabout whenever he feels like it regardless of the match situation, will be interesting to see how his game changes under our new coach.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Agree with your assessment on Lichtsteiner and Xhaka

    Lichtsteiner is old, but his performance was gold and he still has good stamina. I could see why he was indispensable during his peak at Juventus

    Xhaka on the other hand, was nothing special as usual. He was not impressive in playmaking nor defending as a CM, hence I don’t know what Mislintat and Emery saw in him. I hope Emery will prove me wrong

    1. kev says:

      You cannot teach talent.Every player’s talent has a certain level.I don’t know why people are so obsessed over the guy.We’ve seen so many far far talented players not make it here at Arsenal so I don’t get what the fuss is all about.Have you observed that Arsenal usually take several season to realize an average player is truly average?We also rarely sell average players quickly.

      1. jon fox says:

        kev, I agrtee with your talent is talent comment. You either have it or you do not. You can coach more effective play, jow to mark, turn , tackle , positional play and all those things make a huge difference to a side. But on the central point of talent ,pure talent, no amount of coaching, as an adult, improves that. Only when a VERY YOUNG CHILD can that be altered.

  3. Sheet Head says:

    With the right coaching, a good number of arsenal players can actually be much better than they are perceived to be. In fact, bar Almunia (He should have tried being a cricket player) most of the players arsenal have ever had had some good potential. (Yes, even Squillaci ???)

    1. It is a chilling thought that at one point Wenger had us depending on Almunia as our no.1 and Fabianski our no.2…not to mention Squillaci and Djorou as center backs. That is exactly the stuff nightmares are made of.

      1. Sheet Head says:

        It was torturous! I never forgave him, it’s how I joined the wenger out bandwagon

    2. Uchman says:

      How many of those players becomes better players after they leave arsenal?

  4. pires says:

    They were both very good.Having players at this level can only be good for Arsenal

    1. Phil says:

      @pires- so you state in a previous topic headline that Ozil was CRAP.And you now say that Xhaka was VERY GOOD.
      Do you know ANYTHING about football?

  5. Olara denis says:

    Lichtiener being a country mate to xhaka and also his experience, i hope to see a quick impact for arsenal.

  6. franc ole says:

    Xhaka, needs to look sharp, quick and forward running at some speed not always walking. Always looking much older the Lichtsteiner, who had three swift and highly talented players to stop and surely he did so. A point each not a bad result, Shaqiri useless and very lazy.

  7. Phil says:

    Xhaka infuriates as always.There we’re times he could have moved the ball FORWARDS but he kept taking the easy option.I know it’s important to retain possession especially at this level but he rarely tried to make things happen.
    Lichstiener looked solid especially with Neymar and Marcelle coming at him and Shaquira never tracking back to help

    1. kev says:

      The fact that he can’t beat a man limits him a lot.That will mean when he sees two or three players infront of him all he can do is look for an outlet.I wouldn’t even blame him since he can’t do that.Even Ramsey has it in him to beat a man and twist and turn players at times.He really lacks a lot of qualities to be an Arsenal starting player.When he impresses next week against lower opposition people here will come out saying he’s good enough.I hope Unai Emery knows this is the EPL and if a player can’t cut it chances are the player won’t cut it.

      1. Arsene Wenger. says:

        Any news on Soyuncu and Bernd leno pliz

        1. kev says:

          Don’t worry bro.Both moves will happen.Everything is looking slow because of the World Cup.Had it not been for that both players would’ve been our players.Remember that at times these players need their peace too and go on vacation.
          Leno could even join this week.Both players are more or less in our grasp.

        2. Unai Emery says:

          @arsene My old friend ?

  8. Pablo Picasso says:

    Good performance by Lichtsteiner, it was refreshing to know that we have a defender willing to send in crosses in the box. 1 thing for sure is he shouldn’t play 90 minutes all the time, especially if the game is as demanding as yesterdays (so games against City, and other big teams with pacey wingers) he might be targeted a lot especially towards the end.

    Brahimi schooled Xhaka on how to play DM / CM. He didn’t give Neymar any breathing space. You might argue Xhaka was not playing DM yesterday but that’s the job Arsenal want him to do. He must have had most back passes yesterday in that game which was typical of him.

    1. Dan says:

      The old boy had to come off with cramp how will he deal with the pace of the prem league be lucky to get 20 games out of him in the whole season just shows the direction we are going in and it’s not up!!

      1. Xxnofx says:

        Agreed m8 ,he will be 35 half way the season ,so I’m not sure why he was bought in ,and on a fre transfer for prob quite high wages aswell which could have been used on other areas ,for me that’s one area we don’t really need to be wasting money on
        Regarding xhaka ,he did what he always does and that’s play safe ,he’s just to one paced for me ,can’t tackle ,but his stats will say he had a good game because he completed 7000 backwards passes

        1. Dalinho says:

          Lichtsteiner is not on big wages he was in £42 grand a week at juve so he’s really cheap and a good back up till we can afford to permanently replace debuchy (klostermann) if we get and extra £30mil from Addis kit deal plus CL money (if we can get 4th place) then next season we will have more of a chance to buy players for the future!
          I got to say Emery and Sven have to plan this rebuild to perfection if it’s gonna work like buying 22 yr olds this season and 23/24 yr olds next season that will be first team starters while integrating youth players like AMN, Mavropanos, Beilik and Nketiah and hopefully Yacine Adli
          In 2 years time we have a squad like:
          Gk Huddart Leno
          RB Bellerin Klostermann
          LCB Soyuncu Beilik Holding
          RCB Chambers Mavropanos
          LB Kolansinac. ???????
          DLP/DM Torreira Xhaka
          CM Elneny AMN Adli
          CAM Ramsey
          CF Nketiah
          We’re gonna need a whole new set of forwards in a couple of years so they better be saving the penny’s when that time comes around coz they are all 29/30 already! Maybe we are getting sponsore renewals in 2020 who knows

          1. Sue says:

            Laca is 27… got a few more years at least in him

          2. Xxnofx says:

            And that squad looks absolutely terrible

    2. Unai Emery says:

      I think you meant Behrami and not brahimi…. And yes , though he is old he is ten times the player Xhaka is…..

  9. Someone says:

    Contrary to what people are saying in this comment section , Xhaka had many long balls forward , created chances , His positioning was great and his passing accuracy was also great and overall he did a good job.

    People here are just judging Arsenal players without actual analysis and with an obvious bias against these players and that makes me question if they are actually fans of Arsenal , their negativity should not continue to the start of the season.

    1. Andrew E says:

      Agree with some of your points but one thing Xhaka definitely hasn’t got is pace and you can’t teach that!!!

  10. Olara denis says:

    I think lichtiener deserves some credit though being critisised by arsen earlier in the first 45mins but, who doesn’t knows how difficult is to hold this star in the name of neymer junior

    1. Admin says:

      The comments attributed to Wenger were made up. False news!!!

  11. John0711 says:

    Xahaka same old same old average

  12. Labour says:

    Xhaka played to instructions not what us Arsenal fans wants and it paid them!

  13. Ignasi says:

    I watched xhaka closely: He gave a few passes away, was slow tracking men from midfield and had an average game. He’s a good passer and nothing else. He essentially reproduced his arsenal game. Looking forward to seeing whether emery makes him a better. jury still out.

  14. Innit says:

    Xhaka didn’t do enough to prove to me that he should start for us to compete with the best teams.

    We need players who can compete with the PLs best ie Kante, Matic, Pogba, Gundogan, Wanyama etc.

    Ozil playing better for Germany shows that he needs top players all around him. We are fine with Lacazette, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan

    As for Lichtensteiner I need more time to watch him play. But looks good so far

    1. David Rusa says:

      Why should he prove anyhting to you? Who are you? Are you his international coach or his club coach? Whatever he does you will never appreciate since you are already biased. Fortunately the Arsenal hierarchy know better.

  15. Declan says:

    I thought Lichsteiner defended ok considering he got no help at all from Shaqiri. He crossed a couple of times into the box but was as bad as Bellerin at that but with three world class left sided attackers against him I’ll forgive him but Xhaka? Well he was same as usual, all strolling sideways passes but when he did pass forward a few times and a couple of long cross field attempts he looked ok. I don’t think either of them will be regular starters for us though.

    1. LL COOL GUNNER says:

      Shaqiri didn’t help him at all, it was berahami that came to right side to help, because most of Brazil’s attack came from there, with Marcelo, neymar and coutinho..

  16. Boliviangunner says:

    Xhaka is a CM
    He is no CDM
    He has great distribhtion skills
    Good panoramic vision of the field
    He has very low marking attributes
    He is a Central Midfielder only, not a CDM

  17. Uchman says:

    don’t know if we actually watched same match, lichstninier was almost roasted alive yestdy, the goal came from there and it could have bn more If Gabriel Jesus was more prolific, Fabian sharf was almost playing his position, and behrami really helped, how many tackles and interceptions did lichstinier made, Brazil targeted that position bcoz he was actually the weak points, I was imagining
    how he’s gonna cope in epl @ 35 years, xhaka had a very good game yesterday, all their attacking plays all went through him, it’s very bad the way we down grade our players,very very bad

  18. antbadapple says:

    Shame to say it but Jorden Henderson is better than Xhaka

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