Will Granit Xhaka ever learn from his mistakes?

When will Xhaka learn from his mistakes?

Arsenal were cruising three-nil and were in complete control in their match against Leeds United.

Three minutes into the second half, Granit Xhaka made a reckless challenge on Raphinha. When the decision went to VAR, I thought a sending off was inevitable for the Swiss international.

Somehow the Gunners got lucky and Xhaka escaped without even getting booked. Any other day and that challenge could easily have seen the former Arsenal captain walking off the pitch.

That incident begs the question of whether Xhaka will ever learn from his past mistakes? The 29-year-old has made several pointless tackles which have cost the team dearly in the past.

The Manchester City one is the latest that comes to mind. Last season, it was against Burnley.

It seems like there is no separation to the marriage between red cards and Granit Xhaka. Maybe now it is better for the Arsenal faithful to accept the player the former Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder really is.

He’s not in his early 20s. He’s not someone who’s just getting to terms with the men’s game.

From the latest incident, Xhaka has proved that he forever will be a rash player, who loses focus every now and then.

That’s the very fabric of the player the captain of the Switzerland national squad is today.

Last summer, the midfielder looked destined to move away from North London. Thus, it won’t be surprising if he departs the Emirates Stadium come the summer of 2022.

Almost every Arsenal fan would admit that the team will be better served with an upgrade at the center of the park.

Who it will be is still a question up for discussion.

There is no doubt in the fact that Xhaka has been a crucial player to the Arsenal team, both on and off the pitch, since his arrival.

His absence is always duly missed and felt whenever he isn’t standing on the grass.

But if the North London outfit acquire a half decent midfielder with bags of potential, whether Xhaka will be missed by fans would be a very good question to ask in the future.

Yash Bisht

Tags Arsenal v Leeds United Xhaka

63 Comments

  1. fairfan says:

    Xhaka is actually the most relied upon player at Arsenal 5 years in a row.
    Xhaka has played 169 Premier League games for Arsenal and received just 4 red cards.
    So what is the issue?

    1. Vandall777 says:

      Since we signed Xhaka, we fell out of the Top 4.

      1. Sean Vassallo says:

        Is Xhaka the only one playing….wooooow he is good isn’t he.

        1. ken1945 says:

          I doubt it, but while MA keeps selecting him and we are winning, shouldn’t we support him?
          He was very effective against Leeds and has a better red card record than the great Patrick Vieria, I believe.

          1. Sean Williams says:

            Except, Ken, Viera was a top player. Xhaka is not.

            1. Sean Vassallo says:

              If Xhaka had the players around him that Vieira had than he wouldn’t even be mentioned in this way by people like you.Thank god you’re only fans whose opinion no one cares about.

              1. Okay Gunnerz says:

                Viera and Xhaka is not a discussion of players around them, but their own abilities. One is hugely talented and brash, the game was different then anyway.
                The other is limited on some fronts and is not a top player. It doesn’t matter how much Arsenal choose to rely on him, it wouldn’t change the facts

            2. ken1945 says:

              I agree – why do you think I wouldn’t?

              1. ken1945 says:

                That was for Sean.

          2. foreverinourshadows says:

            Comparing the hapless Xhaka to Vieria , what a joke, Paddy could change a game in the blink of an eye for Arsenal, whereas Xhaka in the blink of an eye can ruin all our good work. Go down to the Emirates and see how many fans wear Xhaka on the back of their shirts, I bet there are more with Vieria. Do you actually believe Xhaka would get the response Paddy got when he came back with Crystal Palace? Course not what a foolish remark

            1. ken1945 says:

              Read what I wrote before commenting and then you would not look foolish.
              What I said was he had less red card record than PV…. which is factual.
              I rate Patrick as one of the best players I have ever seen wearing the shirt and that is NOT how I see Granit.

              It’s really quite simple, read and digest before commenting.

          3. Weeble says:

            Don’t forget Xhaka was red carded and out and then injured for a long spell this season.

    2. foreverinourshadows says:

      The issue is he has cost us games, the issue is he is too slow, too rash, and not a very good player, the issue he is a joke, The issue is he can not be relied on he is a liability

      1. Sean Vassallo says:

        The issue is you’re a know it all crying on a blog.Grow up and get a life kid.

        1. PJ-SA says:

          Sean is very angry 🤣 throwing a tantrum but calling others “kid”

    3. jon fox says:

      fairfan, The issue is that he’s total crap! Slow, ponderous, hotheaded and a damned useless idiot!!

      1. Voyageur says:

        Jon, for someone who regularly and rightly admonishes posts that are 100% negative against Arteta, I’m surprised to see you regularly do the same thing with Xhaka.

        We all get it, he’s not your cup of tea. But surely as a realist, you can see that he has qualities that have made some very good managers pick him on a very consistent basis.

        1. jon fox says:

          Voyageur, Well, no I do not actually. I see regular extreme slowness in thought, in seeing danger, in passing, movement of himself and a total lack of mobility.

          I have said for many years on JA that all top teams MUST have pace and mobility throughout the whole team. It is exactly those qualities which Xhaka lacks.

          When you add on his thuggishness and hotheaded regular brain farts, he is a complete liability. His only strengths are his height and power and generally his regular fitness but its all TOO SLOW. FAR TOO SLOW.

          If you are unable to see those extremely obvious faults,then I WONDER ABOUT YOUR PLAYER JUDGEMENT.

          I am not trying to be rude to you but honesty compels me to say what I see and sadly have seen all those dismal years he has worn our shirt.

          On your other point about me defending Arteta Its true I much dislike “MA OUT agenda” comments from fans who have long ago made up their minds they want him out.

          I hav also harboured serious doubts about his far to conservative way of playing and much of the two years has been oh so boring. But since last summer things have utterly changed for the better and I clearly see that Some others resolutely refuse to see it.

          Overall I am hopeful that MA will prove a top manager for us but to me, Voyageur, truth is everything and I will always write what I see without fear or favour!

          1. In arteta i trust says:

            Keyboard warrior.. If i read your comment i imagine you are someone who is good in everthing.. No weakness..

            1. jon fox says:

              YOUR IMAGINATION IS THEN, AS FALSE AS YOUR WRITING !

          2. Okay Gunnerz says:

            I think this is realistic enough but. The leg in insults on Xhaka aren’t necessary tho. It’s not his fault that the club can’t replace him and kthe managers keep playing him

        2. Soccer boy says:

          @Boyager, every manager picked him: Arsene Emery, and Arteta. Some players are just unlucky with fans. Think of Benzema and fans, yet he’s been in Madrid for nearly a decade. Only the managers know their value, not the fans.

  2. PJ-SA says:

    If Xhaka was used as a squad player he’d be welcome by most fans, utilising his strengths against weaker opposition like we saw against a weakened Leeds.

    I dont blame him though, he doesn’t pick himself for the starting 11. My main issue is that MA won’t change him for a more athletic player when the opposition calls for it.

    1. NYC Gunner says:

      Spot on. He gets a hard time because people focus on his limitations rather than his strengths. It is more on Arsenal for not having someone better to play over him. It reminds me of Giroud a bit. Everyone focused on the fact that he is not a Thierry Henry-esc player rather than the fact that despite his limitations, he was an elite target man and a great plan b.

    2. Okay Gunnerz says:

      Point exactly

  3. Ayan says:

    Since his arrival Arsenal has not been in the top 4 mix. An average midfielder IMO.

    1. Voyageur says:

      I don’t understand this argument for any player but it does seem to be used more frequently with Xhaka for some reason.

      Last I checked it’s a team game.

      Southampton was a lower tier team with Mane and VanDijk as starters. That doesn’t make them average. Ramsdale was on two or three relegated teams. That doesn’t make him average.

      The list of quality players on mediocre teams is endless. I’m not saying this in defence of Xhaka (I do think much of the criticism of him is OTT but clearly he has his flaws). I’m simply pointing out that this line of argument isn’t really logical.

  4. General says:

    I believe the reason he is always making those tackles is bcos he is very slow…. He is always making late challenges bcos of his slowness. He is useful sometimes but I believe we are better of without him if we can get an upgraded midfielder thats quick. We have Too many slow players in our midfield. Partey and lonkonga is slow too

  5. gotanidea says:

    Arsenal had better hire a psychologist to assess Xhaka. The guy is lucky to have other qualities that make him the first choice of the managers and the players

  6. mickmematethemasterfarter says:

    169 games 4 reds and 500 yellows..MLS player

    1. Sean Vassallo says:

      Partey maybe.

  7. Sue says:

    That Eddie Longbridge tweet 🤣🤣Brilliant!!

    Why does he do it? So frustrating; he’s a ticking time bomb

  8. Sean Williams says:

    Xhaka is slow, ponderous, lacking in ability and does nothing for the team. He is a thug who can lose you a game either through sheer lack of awareness and mindfulness, or an act of brutality, such as on Raphinha. Xhaka is a liability. Want to guarantee not finishing in the top four, play Xhaka?

    1. Simon says:

      Xhaka is a good player, three managers can’t be wrong

      1. RW1 says:

        four managers who have seen arsenal drop out of the top flight of european football are of course wrong … arteta has benefited from him being injured this season … has he learnt?

        1. Simon says:

          Are you better than wenger, emery, fredrick and arteta?

        2. In arteta i trust says:

          Then you are the next manager..

        3. Okay Gunnerz says:

          Managers that have overseen Arsenal’s fortunes drop are definitely wrong.
          Arteta doesn’t learn until it becomes painfully obvious. Know that about him.
          Not until the bad results continued last season, did he play ESR and Martinelli against Chelsea. Guess what? Saka didn’t play at RW much last season till this season even tho he shone there in that game, Martinelli dropped again, and the 4 of Laca, Saka, ESR and Martinelli didn’t play another match together until against Westham last week when ESR came on for Øde, despite the synergy they showed against Chelsea and the fact that somehow, Laca up front make the young guns GUN.

          It took 3 games more and injury (i think) to drop Pepe from XI, took indiscipline and about 6 games to see that Auba was a burden without his goals.
          It takes injuries for outside players to get in, and injury or a very bad show for misfiring players to get out.
          Can be a lot better from MA

    2. Weeble says:

      He is quite good at passing the ball, unfortunately usually backwards. He is a steadying influence right up until he shorts out. But how can we know when the wires get crossed.

      1. Abel says:

        really funny comment.

    3. ACE says:

      Guess you missed that wonderful assist for Gabbys
      2nd goal but objectivity is an overrated concept on
      this board for some.

      And I’m not a Xhaka apologist by any stretch of the
      imagination.

      1. Soccer boy says:

        @Boyager, every manager picked him: Arsene Emery, and Arteta. Some players are just unlucky with fans. Think of Benzema and fans, yet he’s been in Madrid for nearly a decade. Only the managers know their value, not the fans.

    4. Sean Vassallo says:

      The only thing not guaranteeing us top four is fans like you who criticise one of our best players.You get offended when he plays his heart out for Arsenal.Find me another ‘fanbase” that criticises one of their own like us or scrutinises their tackles.Nothing but hidden agendas in this fanbase.Not gonna mention Ben whites stupid tackle or are you going to say he’s young and he”ll learn??Learn what the basics of football???

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Xhaka is not good enough.

        1. Sean Vassallo says:

          Neither are “Fans” like you but here we are.You’re not Emery or Arteta for that matter.

          1. Dan kit says:

            Ben white went for the ball a mistimed sliding tackle Xhaka went over the ball and studs first only five seconds after he should of got yellow carded for not moving away from the ball ,something the wolves player did and got sent off for only 4 days before hand .
            No malice in what white did but can you say the same for Xhaka .

          2. Raw1 says:

            We are all fans not managers .. and am guessing fans longer than any of these managers have been managers!!! .. certainly for Arsenal … so what’s your idiotic point !!! … objectivity is a word that people who don’t think they have a point of view like to throw around … maybe you should take philosophy 101 before you start worrying about hidden agendas … whatever that means … Jesus some people

      2. Abel says:

        Spot on!

    5. Twig says:

      Lacking in ability? I wonder why Mourinho rates him so high!/

  9. AndersS says:

    Yes, Xhaka loses it too often. But I don’t think he is credited by us fans for his qualities. It seems only the managers can see them. Possibly because they know a bit more, than we do 😉

  10. Arsha says:

    Xhaka tackle on raphinha was never a red card and it was intentional as raphinha has a quick feet. Xhaka played well in that game. Let’s stop this criticism

    1. Weeble says:

      He didn’t even get a yellow which was crazy.

  11. Arsha says:

    It was not intentional *

  12. Grandad says:

    I very much doubt it.The fact that three consecutive Managers at Arsenal have been smitten by Xhaka is probably because, being a left footed player, he brings a natural balance to central midfield.In fact there are very few left footed CM’s in the EPL.That apart, he is an intelligent player who generally makes the right choices in terms of recycling the ball to regain possession.His lack of pace, energy and drive are weaknesses which to me outweigh his strengths and I am certain we can find an upgrade for him without looking too far afield.McGinn of Villa is one who readily comes to mind and David Turnbull of Celtic is even a more attractive option in that he is younger and a very skilful ,athletic box to box midfielder who also has an eye for goal.He would also be much cheaper than McGinn.Tierney knows them both well and if called upon to do so will vouch for their quality.

    1. Vandall777 says:

      Added to that every time he gets the ball, it allow the opposition to get back into defensive positions as he slows play up too much, with too many touches. The games he’s played in, we could’ve broken much quicker into the oppositions half only for Xhaka to slow things up. Very frustrating to watch, when we get in good positions and the ball needs to be played quicker

      1. Voyageur says:

        Like that pass that someone put through to Martinelli for the first goal on Saturday night. Or the one to Tierney minutes earlier.

        Can’t remember who that was though. Hmmmm, couldn’t be Xhaka because “EVERY TIME he gets the ball it allows the opposition to get back onto defensive positions as he slows play up too much”

        What is it about Xhaka that inspires so much hyperbole in Gooners?

        1. ken1945 says:

          And why hasn’t the aforementioned Arsenal managers seen this either?
          If only some of our fans took their badges, we would have a surplus of the top managers in the world. LOL

  13. Sean Vassallo says:

    Only Arsenal fans will try to dissect their own players gameplay and attack him on his mistakes.Hey Ben White gave away a stupid penalty where is he in all this??And don’t try that “he’s still young he’ll learn” crap with me.You don’t need to be a veteran footballer to know not to tackle that way.That’s something they teach you when you’re still a teenager.

    1. Simon says:

      True, toxic fans.

    2. Grandad says:

      Some of us who you consider to be anti Xhaka, openly criticised White for his errors of judgement against Leeds.So please do not tar me with the same brush as those you consider to be unreasonable and biased.

    3. Okay Gunnerz says:

      1. White’s first rash tackle, aside the decisions of ridiculous short passes in defense anyway
      2. White was adequately given his time.
      3. This article is not about White.

  14. Durand says:

    Some are just too sensitive. Xhaka can handle it, hasnthe shown the fans before.

    And as for managers trusting Xhaka, 2 of those 3 were removed from their position as manager.

    It’s a team game, not all the blame on one player. But he is tops in the league in negative stats, not goals, assists, creating chances. Facts don’t lie, and facts don’t care about feelings.

    He just has a continued habit of bone-headed decisions at bad times.

  15. gunnerforlife says:

    Xhaka has and will continue to divide opinion amongst the fanbase. There must be something in him that we fans are not seeing that 3 managers find reason enough to select him in the starting XI. That said, his negatives outweigh the positives and hopefully he will be replaced by either ASL,AMN or a new central midfielder in the long run.

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