Xhaka delighted to be given more ‘freedom’ at Arsenal this season

Granit Xhaka got both a goal and assist as he helped Arsenal onto a 4-2 victory against Leicester this afternoon.

The Gunners have started the new season well, winning both of our opening matches, and that has been made even sweeter after seeing Manchester United drop to bottom of the division by losing both of theirs.

While Gabriel Jesus will take much of the plaudits after being involved in all four of our goals this afternoon, Xhaka was integral to our side in attack today, also getting his name on the scoresheet as well as setting up the Brazilian for one of his strikes also.

The Swiss midfielder has now explained how he has a new freer role this term which allows him to get forward more, and explains how he is happy with how things are going.

“I’ve got more freedom to go up and down,” Xhaka told Arsenal Media after full-time.. “I know I can do that. I have a lot of freedom from the coach, from my teammates.

“At the moment I’m happy with how everything is going. Let’s continue to work like this and hopefully at the end of the season we can be more than happy.

“It’s always good when you score and it’s always good when you can help the team – not only me, but all the players did a great job today. I’m more than happy to help, of course.”

Xhaka still gets a lot of stick from some sections of our fans, and I’m not alone in wanting us to bring in another central midfielder to rival him in the centre of the park, but he was in top form this afternoon in helping us to victory, and he deserves the credit for that.

Our former captain found himself in the right place at the right time twice today, and we may not have won without him, and it will be interesting to see if we can get another level out of him now that he has been given a new freedom role within the team.

Could we see the best from Xhaka this season? Could anyone else profit from being given a similar role in the side?


Tags Granit Xhaka


  1. His “freedom” comes from Zinchenko filling in from left back for him. We will see how that gets on later in the season. Even today, it left the left back position exposed, that cant happen because we will pay dearly for it. For me, the last person that this team should give freedom too is xhaka but again, we will see how that one pans out. I think it will be exploited, if we persist but then again maybe Tierney will be back in his left back position, if city dont come calling.

    1. @Reggie
      Fofana was doing his best to exploit that weakness. Martinelli kept him in check though.

      1. I thought Martinelli ate Foffana and spat him out in little pieces. Our left back position because of what we did today looked vulnerable but in the end, today, it didn’t make much difference.

    2. Hi Reggie

      I think it’s a tactic to move him into midfield to add another body
      In certain circumstances (when in possession). I’m sure pep used to do it with Phillip Lahm at Bayern ?? If true I suppose that’s the risk it can cause rather than zinchenko being I’ll disciplined 🤔

      It’s probably ultra offensive tactic…..

      1. You’re right,it is what we call an inverted fullback.when in possession and going forward,he slots in midfield to cover for another midfielder and our defense should go from 4 to 3 men.

        1. Simple ,please explain the tactics to these folks that imagine themselves more technically knowledgeable that the actual proffessionals.
          The tactics described above was because we had and extra center back in the person of Ben White.This would have taking the edge out of our attack since Ben White wouldn’t run the channels like a regular full back.To compensate for that , hence the inverted full back roles which allows xhaka to foray to the final third to compesate for lack extra width provided by the full backs

        2. Siamois
          Yes you are right it’s a very attacking formation use by Pepe.

          Usually use when trailing in games, to bounce forward and flood the opposition box,

  2. He is going to make some mistakes like everyone else in the team. Don’t blame him if players in other positions get injured and team balance is lost. xhaka is a very good player and obviously Arsenal can not replace him right now. they got rid of so many expensive players recently and if Xhaka was really as bad as some fans think then he would have been out by now.

    1. On the other hand, if he was as good as some people think, he would have been coveted by bigger clubs but last season, nobody wanted him for 11 mil. He is not that good, he is limited in his ability and i would trust my granny more than him. When he came, i said we would never get in too 4 with him in midfield, so far 5 years on, i haven’t been proved wrong.

        1. I laid off you because I was rude one time. You during the pandemic disrespected everything I had to say, were completely wrong objectively on everything you insulted me about and have carried on no apologies regardless.

          1. I have never insulted you ever, you are totally fabricating that up. I dont Norma reply to you and that is just going to start again.

            1. Long time ago but basically how your talking now was how you talked to me when i said the season would finish.

                1. Reggie leave him mate he did the same to me yesterday ,complete fantasist ,making up stories and acting the victim .
                  I used to call him Angry Angus ,but now I just think he’s abit odd .
                  When posters start making stuff up I leave it alone ,as is the case with him .

  3. “Could anyone else profit from being given a similar role in the side?”…Yeah, Coach should try Pepe in a free roaming role…IJS

      1. It’s sad that you are going to be unhappy with the results this team achieve this year. What are you doing at that point?

    1. IJS…. you talk nonsense all the time. Back any of your sentences with evidence? IJS when did Pepe last play in a free roaming role? Even in Ligue 1?

      1. NY and Alfred, last season i would agree but i think Pepe looks like he is just a shell of the player he is. The best thing for Pepe is to hope that a team comes in for him and reignite him. Wasted talent at Arsenal now.

  4. I think Xhaka is a decent player, clearly respected by his team mates and Arteta-but we could do better…

    As a defensive midfielder he’s solid but prone to poor tackles that prove costly. As a ‘left 8’ his feet are not quick enough to take advantage of those tight angles that appear and then disappear quickly, ESR can play that 8 role better but lacks the defensive side, Vieira by many accounts could play that role too – again without the defensive side

    That leads me to the conclusion that we’re still in need of a more box to box type (Tielemens??)

    The remaining transfer talk is mainly focused on a winger – if we got a box to box midfielder in also it would be an incredible summer of business.

    It’s a lot to hope for, but my concern is Granit can do it for a number of games but not an entire season. And Partey can’t be relied upon to play, or play well all season either…

    1. An upgrade on Xhaka would be great but will come at significant cost. Tielemens would most likely be a rotational player based on recent and last season’s performances.
      Previously, he had shown promise to suggest that he had a very high ceiling. However, his performances last season raise doubt.
      Xhaka has clearly been playing much better under Arteta and now really deserves more respect than he has been getting from some fans.

  5. He needs a back up in that position. When the game is intensified, rough will set from Xhaka. He is not too much a reliable pal.

  6. Frankie de joong or Savic for me, only one of those two should just walk in our present team ahead of Xhaka.

    Vhaka has his use, only during his absence one realize how important he is.

  7. Obviously, we have seen the level of progress our beloved Arsenal has attained so far. But if we fail to get a solid midfield cover for Xhaka and Partey as well as a good winger to cover for Martinelli and Saka, it might still not be a perfect season in terms of Top 4 and trophies at the end of it all

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