Wenger says that about everyone
Kante confirmed that there was interest from Arsenal but it wasn’t that strong and that led him to joining Chelsea…
I think we can write off Arsene persisting with Xhaka. It’s pretty clear he didn’t know what kind of player he was when we bought him. One of his biggest assets under Arsene was his ability to stay healthy.
Chelsea inexplicably stopped pressing us, that’s how we scored twice. Sarri got them organized again and they came out pressing us in the second half and we never looked dangerous again. Nothing to do with Xhaka lmao.
Also when they brought on a guy like Kovacic and Hazard, they gained more control.
Think that has more to do with it than anything Xhaka did or didn’t do.
One thing I noticed he doesn’t know how to pivot the midfield; when Guendouzi went forward he was about ten yard adjacent to him, which left space at the back or Guendouzi unable to go forward with the ball or pass forward.
Yeah people saying “he brings such and such” and his only flaws are defensive - I don’t see it that way at all… he offers very little both ways, in fact his overall positioning and awareness and lack of quick thinking make him a liability period.
We were an absolute shambles with him in the side and then had a few spells where our attacking was lethal - the second half was a completely different tactical half, both managers making BIG adjustments and we faded frankly… and then Chelsea’s class got to us, especially with the intro of Hazard and Kovacic.
Yes, under the right circumstances I have seen him make long diagonal passes and ping things around nicely, but I have also watched him pass directly to opponents and fail to see the move/run, twist around and end up passing it back b/c he is scared someone is on him (without really knowing). At that position, you have to have more constant awareness and thinking if you are going to contribute more to attack… he slows things down too often for me. He compounds it with braindead fouls and the Arsenal-itis of chasing from directly behind…
He has had long enough time for us to evaluate his intelligence and fitness for this league - it says a lot that I’d rather see our new 19 year old in the side than him. Xhaka isn’t a terrible player, but he is a terrible fit for us right now and probably for the premier league overall… and his lack of footballing brain will put his ceiling as “decent squad” player at best for me.
Excellent post bud. Called it like it is. Serie A or a move to back to Bundesliga might work for him but simply not Arsenal quality and probably PL in general.
Legit believe he does Guendouzi’s head in. He wasn’t that bad against Chelsea(probably due to their lack of pressing) but against City it was a disaster. Kid kept looking for him and couldn’t find him because Xhaka was scared to take the ball and play from deep. At one stage he just gave up and tried to handle the double pivot on his own. Ridiculous stuff from a guy that was captain in Bundesliga and was named one of the captains here this season.
The reason I want him out of the team is because with our current team, the defense is our weakest link and Xhaka tends to expose them to unnecessary pressure with his careless, misplaced passes, or by getting dispossessed when on the ball. In terms of what he adds to the team, he helps transitioning the ball from defense to attack but only against teams that will afford him the time and space. If that part of his game is smothered by the opposition, he can’t offer much more (can’t tackle, not defensively minded, not tenacious enough).
In the end, for me, the bad outweighs the good.
I know it’s very early days for Guendouzi but I would like to see him with Torreira, with the latter doing the defensive duties, and Guendouzi playing the role that Xhaka does now.
I think Xhaka is finished here.
Emery’s system is so specific and requires everyone to do the work. You can have one passenger at most, and he is not the one we can afford this with. I believe Saturday’s HT sub wasn’t just about the yellow card but more he gets run ragged and can’t move. I don’t think he’s a bad player just isn’t right for us/Emery.
It’s so frustrating because he’s very good at some things but very shit at other, just as important things.
The question is if the upside is worth it for persisting with him, hoping he learns over the next season or not.
Emery will give him more chances. If he persists to fail then I have no doubt he’ll be fucked off.
I am sure he will, especially against the lesser teams, but I really hope Torreira gets a run of games with Guendouzi cause I feel that partnership might do a much better job.
Xhaka is better suited to home games where we’d dominate more, his range of long passing can catch teams off guard with Lac and Auba. Away we need Torreira for away games, legs!
Fucking hate the cunt but he wasn’t that bad in the second half. Dunno if it has to with West Ham being tired too but he was more involved than usual.
Either way, he needs to step up big time. Won’t be accepting his 6-7/10 as positives anymore.
he was ok today tbf to him.
Xhaka can be poor at times but he’s one of those players who people blindly hate for no reason at times.
He was pretty good overall today imo
Honestly the guy is THE enigma.
Most people that are referred to as enigmas are a bit eccentric but are consistent. Not true enigmas.
But this guy is the real deal.
I dont know wtf is going on with this guy. He was a pile of nothing again the first half. Pathological hider.
Then the second half, started taking charge, playing great passes, forward passes, quick passes, starting attacks.
Then even looking a bit less like a traffic cone defensively.
He just perplexes me with this inconsistency.
I wanna say it may be because Torreira being there helped him gain confidence to be freer.
But I can’t say that for sure just because of how strange he is based on when he turns it on or not.
Who knows what it takes for him to play and not hide, seems like a lottery just now.
But maybe, despite Guendouzi’s promise, the best midfield to play rn might be Torreira Xhaka.
My issue with him atm is honestly less about performances but what I have now concluded (rightly or wrongly) about his basic footballing brain… if I think about the “speed of thought” on a 1-10 scale and the players we have had, I find him here:
Cesc - 9.5 - the guy had eyes all over and a supercomputer footballing brain to me
Santi - 8.5 - little genius
Arteta - 7 - solid
Xhaka - 3 - not suitable to anything but squad player for a team like Arsenal for that type of position
It doesn’t mean he can’t have decent games, but when the pressure is on and things are flying fast, he is NOT the guy I want next to me going into battle.