The Swiss international Granit Xhaka has had a very stormy relationship with the Arsenal fans ever since he arrived, when it was widely thought that Arsene Wenger vastly overpaid for the midfielder at around £30 million. The Gunners had been looking for a beast of a DM for many years and the fans simply didn’t think he was good enough, especially as N’Golo Kante was available at the same time.
He already had a reputation as a hothead in the Bundesliga and his 2 red cards in his first six months with the Gunners confirmed that perception.
His reputation went rock bottom just a month after Unai Emery named Xhaka as Arsenal captain, when he was jeered by the home fans when substituted against Crystal Palace, and his very angry reaction made it seem that he had played his last game in the Red & White, but when Emery was replaced by Mikel Arteta the new boss persuaded him to stay and promised that he had every faith in him.
The fans didn’t like that either, and he continued being the scapegoat for any defeats suffered by the team. But this season, as the club started climbing the table, Xhaka started receiving accolades for his solid performances, and when he scored our rocket-shot third goal against Man United last week, Xhaka was clapped and cheered off the pitch by the home fans and it looks like his rehabilitation is now complete.
Arteta thanked the Arsenal fans afterwards for their new love for Xhaka and explained how important his experience is to our young team, and how much he is respected within the club.
And then this is what happened when Xhaka was leaving the stadium…..
Fans pursued Xhaka when he was leaving the stadium begging him for pics & autographs. He opened his window, took some shots with the fans, signed & drove off when the lights turned green. The love is back!
Strength of this man to come back & never give up. Granit my man. ❤️ 💪 pic.twitter.com/9CyN8MnJTd
— xcoubar 本 (@xcoubar) April 27, 2022
So, do you think we will see less animosity to Xhaka from the fans from now on?
Fans should criticize him and not insult him like they do for their favorites. There’s this trend over the years that there’s always a player in the team who is overly criticized or insulted because of a costly mistake they have made before. I will not mention names but on analyzing the team over the decade you can see that. For me he is not good enough and never will be and I wish we had sold him long ago but while he is here all I can do is call him out when he is average and laud him when he is good.
I can hardly find any comment of yours where you ain’t saying it well Kev. Big ups 🙌
In this day and age where fans think they know more or as much as football professionals, Granit is a rare breed which reminds fans (and bitterly at that) that we are nothing more than armchair managers.
Armchair Managers can have opinions though HH, wouldn’t you agree?
I believe that Xhaka must have something we fans should just accept – if AW, UE and MA (who persuaded him to stay) have stayed by him, then let’s just give the guy a break.
Yes Ken we can have opinions and we use the platforms available to voice them.
I do like Granit and I dislike the way he was treated and often criticized by some of the fans.
Still I am one of those who don’t see what exactly he brings to the team and why every manager value him so much. Hence my point that there is a reason they are professionals and I am not.
As much as we understand the game there are some aspects of it we fans do not understand.
Yes, I agree 100 %% HH.
I wonder though KEN if you can identify whatthe “something” is that he must have, since I note you don’t mention it; only that he must have it. Whatever that “it” actually is!
If you do identify it perhaps you would let us all who have no for time Xhaka as a player know exactly what “it” is that you think he has?
And please don’t bore us any longer with that old line about three managers of ours have all thought he must have something , as I already know that.
I’d still like to know exactly WHAT he presumably “must have”, as it is invisible to me. I see all the bad things he has of course and all the good things he does NOT have . But those were not my questions KEN!
Well Jon, as a realist, I start by thinking about what the three managers (not the fans) look for in a player that each one has decided was/is good enough to be first choice when available and captain material.
It is patently obvious, as a realist, that it must have something to do with more than just his on field contribution – so I believe it could be his experience, his leadership, his strength of character and his 100% commitment…. both in training and match day performances.
It is obviously something that made MA talk him out of leaving the club, sign a new contract and, therefore, make him one of Mikel’s signings.
For me, personally Jon, I see a player who gives his all, follows the managers instructions, wants to prove and achieve something at our club and turned down the opportunity to leave, despite having his bags packed and ready to go.
Is he a PV? Of course not, but I will not pillory him, as you seem so eager to do with any player that you feel doesn’t fit your idea of what a player should be.
Those small minded fans, who question Arteta’s decision over Xhaka, should be ashamed of themselves, look how the squad is now showing a togetherness not seen since Wenger’s last season!!
It’s not only Xhaka, but a string of players that you feel justified to hound and criticise on a daily basis – players who wear the shirt… yet belittle anyone else who thinks differently to you.
I often wonder why you took up greasepaint and treading the boards in pantomimes, when your perceived idea of being better than AW, UE and MA in being able to manage a PL player and captain of his international / club team, would have taken said club to unparalleled heights.
SHAME ON YOU JON AND ALL THOSE WHO QUESTION OIR YOUNG PROGRESSIVE MANAGER!!!!
Right now xhaka is all we have too work with but we need an upgrade as soon as the season is done.
He always has a mistake in him
He looses his head on many occasions
He lacks pace
His positional play is questionable at times
Shall I go on
He loves a side or backward pass
Between now and the last 5 games
He will have my support 100% but come on, we need to replace asap
He is a bench warmer not a starter
AB, as I said, never a PV, but if you believe in MA, then you have to trust his decisions.
One cannot pick and choose and if MA has given the clearest indication that Xhaka is his man.
I have voiced my stance on here,
On many occasions
I stated 4th from the beginning of the season and we are almost there.
I stand by MA and have to trust the process but I do question his tactics at time such as playing xhaka as LB
Heads gone decision
I have never trusted xhaka and I will stand by on what I saipan times and that he either becomes a squad player and not a starter or we sell him on and collect the £1.00 fee 😃
Onwards and upwards
But you have put it in a nutshell AB.
Arteta selected him to play at LB – no complaints by the player – just got on with it and did the job to his best ability.
Like you, I question many of MA’s decisions, but can you imagine the uproar if Xhaka had questioned Arteta’s decision?
If the player had let MA, the club, himself and the supporters down as is claimed, why on earth did MA persuade him to stay and offer a new contract?
Those are all valid points. How many Arsenal players can you name that don’t have a mistake in them?
How many Arsenal players can you name that are as committed to the club as he is?
How many Arsenal players can you name that try as hard as him?
How many Arsenal players are as experienced as he is?
How many Arsenal players are as hardy as he is?
Shall I go on?
The point is, every single Arsenal player has flaws.
As Ken pointed out, he must have something that every single one of his managers see and value, the some of us fail to see.
On top of everything AB, MA offered him a new long term contract – so I don’t see him going anywhere soon…. but who knows, with the weird things MA has done in the transfer market?
What hilarious, though sad to read, tosh KEN!
Hopefully he becomes calmer and more composed next season. If a 30-year-old leader loses his temper in the field, he will look ridiculous
Let’s hope he becomes more disciplined on the pitch. I personally like Xhaka work rate and attitude during his tough times of criticism. But we all know consistent performance will keep fans liking him. A match costing mistake could resurrect hatred from some toxic fans. Hope Xhaka keeps bringing big performances in the 5 matches run in
“Let’s hope he becomes more disciplined”I somehow doubt.in his last big interview for the Athletic,he said that he would never change and always go for the “50-50″ challenge.as the saying goes”you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
His aerial ability is good too
Some people change, Alan. Maybe Xhaka changes too, after reaching 30
Well, less animosity could be seen against Xhaka front the Arsenal fans. More especially from the Arsenal fans who watch him live playing in stadia for Arsenal.
Against Man Utd in our last match at home last Saturday. His rocket shot like goal gave us all the 3 points in the match. Which led to the Cristiano Ronaldo’s Red Devils Led attack team to return home empty handed with no point collected to show for their dominating us in the match. Which us had fortitudely won as CR7 had his 2nd equalising goal in the match for his Red Devils team controlvasially overruled by the VAR.
And as if to add salts to injury for Man Utd, Fenendence their ace midfielder and regular goals scorer missed converting a penalty for Man Utd which would have given them the lead in the match had he converted the Pen that the Arsenal left fullback Nuno Taveres gifted Man Utd in the match.
But alas, that wasn’t to be for Man Utd players who complained bitter after the match against the PGMO match referee who officiated the match.
Away to West Ham next Sunday, the Gunners MUST make sure they’ve corrected all the flaws which were apparent in their last home match against Man Utd before they travel to the London Stadium to engage the Irons in a match which Arsenal have to win to keep sitting on the top4 position in the table without been pushed down from there by Tottenham Hs.
Do you even watch the match?
Ronadol goal was clearly offside proven by the VAR goal line technology
Fenadence missed penalty was for equalizer not leading goal.
Mostly Manutd did not dominate us in any way throughout the game.
I give credit to Mikel alone for the change in Xhaka. We need better if we are going to be contenders but till the end of the season, let’s cheer for him, applaud him when good, criticize when poor but never abuse and get personal.
Of course you do LC… yet you were calling for him to go as part of the dross he inherited, along with Elneny (both Wenger inherited “dross” 😂😂).
Now, if MA can do this with Xhaka, why can’t he do it with players you deemed an upgrade on him?
Players like Willian, Guendouzi, Bellerin, Mari, Aubameyang and Pepe?
If you praise him for one player (which of course is a load of nonsense) how do you explain the others that he hasn’t improved, who have been very successful at their other clubs?
We need West Ham to have a great game tonight win by three goals, David Moyes will rest players for the second leg, and Dawson is suspended, so it is a great chance for us to win and hope Leicester beat Spurs. As for Xhaka, two good games don’t cut it for me, should have sold him, he doesn’t fit in with Arteta’s plans of playing quick football, we need a better midfielder to compete.
Well @foreverinourshadow, Arteta doesn’t see what you see. That’s why Xhaka is going nowhere. You will see more of Xhaka even next season.
Every player gets picked on Xhaka is no different ,part and parcel of being a footballer .
Every fan as their own views on different players IE Tavares some fans think he’s shit I see a good footballer in there ,I don’t rate Odegaard others do .
I don’t believe Xhaka gets more hate than the next player ,it’s just that he makes a big deal about that it gets highlighted more .
I think it’s being used to get sympathy and distract from the number of red cards that he’s piled up.
He might get a bit more nonsense than the average footballer, but only because he has brought it on himself by losing his head on the field. Not saying it’s right, but i do think he’s used it to his advantage from a pr perspective
Yea agree Davi
He keeps highlighting the fact about the fans that it just comes across like you said to hide his short comings .
Well @foreverinourshadow, Arteta doesn’t see what you see. That’s why Xhaka is going nowhere. You will see more of Xhaka even next season.
He’s a good player and he’s been very reliable, would have him on the squad any day. But that doesn’t mean he’s special, there’s plenty of upgrades out there. For me he’s a must keep as a backup.
But we do need someone who can take us to the next level
If he can really get the melt-downs out of his system all will be well. So far so good!!
@Seroti. If CR7 2nd goal was not annulled by the VAR but which a decision that was correctly taken from the Arsenal and football point of views.. But which CR7, Fenendence and De Gear have vehemently contested. But have us not seen the VAR gives such offside goal before? And what if the VAR had given Man Utd the goal and Fenendence scored his spot kick?
Though the complexion of the game may not remain the same for Fenendence to get the Pen that he missed after CR7 2nd goal that the VAR cancelled.
The point which I am trying to make is, why did the Gunners allowed CR7 to score against them again in the match after he had scored. Or any other United player to score again for that matter. And what if CR7 2nd goal had stood and Fenendence had converted his spot kick? Will Arsena not have lost the match? But my contentions are nothing more than just a mere academic exercise.
If we’re serious about moving forwards, he shouldn’t be first choice next season, and ideally he should be sold. I’m sorry, he’s put in some decent performances recently and regained some of the respect he lost (not for the first or even the second time), but a leopard doesn’t change his spots. At his best, he’s nothing more than a decent midfielder, as he’s shown recently, but we want to be better than that, surely.
Spot on davi
If Xhaka leaves, we can all be happy.
MA won’t be Reggie.
Ken i really cant see the fascination with Xhaka by Arteta. He will live and die by what he does and if he doesn’t replace him this summer, i will be very disappointed. For Arsenal and Xhaka he needs to go to another club.
Xhaka will always be a polarizing figure to the fans.
Only when Arsenal has a team developed consistent reputation, will the search for a scape goat seized.
Xhaka is a package, in that package you gets a complete team player on a off the pitch, a person who consistently plays with his heart on his sleeve, a player that will deliver one or two through balls per match, such as against Chelsea, the occasional 26 yards spectacular as against Man u.
This team player that all presently playing players seems to like is never far from a yellow or a red card.
Thomas Partey in a total different country who has never played with Xhaka before, speaks of how much he would like to play next to Xhaka in a midfield, months prior to him getting here, now that speaks volumes of the individual to me.
Now I worked in a large manufacturing company for years and I just happenes to know these kinds of people.
Yes players get stick by the fans, but how many players are sent messages saying they hope the players baby gets cancer or that they hope the players house burns down with him and his family in it ? Xhaka received those ghastly messages.
He got stick for trudging off the pitch. Strange Ozil never got stick for doing the exact same thing in the Europa League Final.
He got stick for telling the fans to f**k off. Ian Wright never got any stick for leaning out of the dressing room window at Highbury and shouting f**k off you wa**ers after we lost at home to Blackburn.
He gets stick for the amount of red cards he’s got. PV4 never got that stick, and he was sent off in 2 consecutive games. Xhaka is still behind PV4 in the red card count.
Xhaka is far from being a favourite of mine, but he gives his all on the pitch which is all I ask from a player. He’s not the greatest, but he’s certainly not the worst that I’ve seen wear our colours.
Yea he got those message’s but where is the evidence that they were actually Arsenal fans ,all done online which could have been from anybody anywhere in the world .
DK, a good point, but I was at the game when he was absolutely abused in a shameful way by Arsenal fans – I call them Foxy groupies!!!
I ADVISE YOU, KEN LOCK, NOT TO MAKE FUN OF MY NAME EVER AGAIN.
Acting like a nine year old ill becomes a man of 77.
Why on earth would a fan of another team say those things? Surely they would be happy to see us drop points.
The consequences of having him as our player weighs higher than the benefits. I cannot be deceived by his flash in the pan performance. Let’s watch out for his once step forward and ten steps backward performance. He is a burden. Unfortunately, he will not going to be sold…..chaiii!!!!!
he’s single-handedly dropped many points for us. idk why we re-writing history like he was always a solid player. Even this weekend you just dont know what you’re gonna get from him.
Why i’m always mad with him is that his solid performance offensively and defensively is all we need to win games comfortably but he most often ruins everything cos i’ve got no idea what he thinks during those crucial moments.for example,did anyone saw his pass to saka in the build up to the first goal?That’s the exact kinda pass he should be distributing cos they are very deadly but granit being xhaka he would have passed backward or to a mate not in better position to make use of the ball:we actually saw that against leeds and norwich. AND the goal he scored,i honestly did’nt expect him to shoot but he did which fortunately helped us seal the points,come on this guy is something else,mental!!! LOL!!!
Mad at him*
Don’t know or even want to know who the trolls were who threatened Xhaka’s family. Such behaviour of the pits. However on the field Xhaka has been a big let down, and is responsible for so much of the decline. It’s a sign of racial prejudice and envy that the same people who sling insults at Ozil will blindly defend Xhaka Firstly Ken, the great Arsene stuck with him because he couldn’t admit he had made a mistake and didn’t have the money to look elsewhere. Xhaka and Ramsey made for a terrible mid field pairing. Then, Emery inherited Xhaka and was probably on the verge of getting rid of him before he himself was ousted. The rest is history. Xhaka is Arteta’s special one. A brave manager would move him on next season recognising that he doesn’t have much more to offer Arsenal but I don’t see it happening.
Is the pits
So Arsene couldn’t bring himself to admit he made a mistake? Codswallop!!!
Then that somehow evolves to UE about to get rid if him, before he was sacked? Codswallop!!!
Then, to cap it all, MA decides to keep this non performing, lazy, dross player and offers him a new contract, because he’s not brave enough to sell him on, despite the player having already packed his bags?
Take a look at the players MA has moved on and the one accusation that cannot be made about him is that he’s not brave!!!!
Bravery is one of the gaffer biggest strengths.
A keep saying I have seen traits in the gaffer not seen in a young coach his age.
Maybe only Sir Alex and the great Pepe has shown this decisiveness