Granit Xhaka (34)


His first touch was poor that is what led to tackle. A first time pass and the Everton player would not of got to him at all. After the poor touch he had to run on to the ball to control it with the Everton player already in full flight he got caught. The pass was a good pass he just does not have the awareness or the skill set to do what some of us have been used to here at arsenal


Özil clearly wasn’t his only option, though. Koscielny was a very easy/straightforward one. Another was to hit it out first time wide, or like I said, come to meet it and return it to Cech.

Mertesacker is not the midfielder here. Since when should it be the CB’s responsibility to play the first time ball and not the 6’s? Mertesacker makes a nice, accurate pass with his left, it’s a bit ridiculous, IMO, to ask more of him, and then not find fault in Xhaka’s involvement.

Gueye is also not right on him. He receives the ball with a metre of space and it’s a very clean, accurate pass. Watch the touch again, it goes a good 3 metres or more away from him. His body was in between the ball and the presser anyways, anything resembling a decent first touch and at the very worst he’s getting fouled.

Mertesacker does what I want my CB to do there; expect quality from his teammates and play the ball out on the ground. That his teammates don’t have the quality he expects of them–we should expect of them–is another matter.

Honestly can’t believe what a low standard you must have of a 6 to not expect 100% for him to resolve that situation in a decent manner. You do not need to be Santi to do so, silly to bring him up. I’ve seen Arteta make a relatively poor–not as, though, only Coquelin and Flamini regularly make a first touch as bad as that one–touch like that but still have the awareness and guile to keep his body in front of the defender and draw a foul.

edit: actually, watching it, to try a first time pass there from Mertesacker would’ve been incredibly risky. If it’s not a perfectly accurate pass with a lot of pace on it it’s going to be intercepted. As he takes a touch Sigurdsson continues shifting, and the passing lane becomes more viable. Kind of unbelievable to suggest that it’s Per’s fault for not making a first-time pass that if completed Kroos would be extremely proud of. In reality, what you two are suggesting would’ve been a situation to blame Mertesacker.


You can argue that it started even earlier, before BFG got the pass. In the end though Xhakas first touch is horrible. Even if Gana wasn’t there his first touch was horrible. Horrible.


Funny you talk about the awareness to draw a foul because it was a foul all day long anyway.

Gueye got none of the ball and went straight through Xhaka.

Xhaka is regularly passed the ball when he is surrounded with few options, this has been the case numerous times and was the case yesterday also.


It is still a very poor touch and if Gueye was 1-2 steps closer to begin with he’ll take the ball off Xhaka cleanly with ease here. I don’t know what your expectations from a midfielder playing for Arsenal are these days but certainly it’s higher than this. It’s really not the pass he receives that is the problem but the horrendous touch he produces trying to control it.


Exactly. Its football 101. Basic stuff. Xhaka 100% at fault.

If we can’t pass it out then we might as well resort to hoof ball.


For me Xhaka was guilty of a poor first touch, thats it

Play it long and clear your lines and you can get back in to shape. Per needs to take some of the blame imo

He can see the whole field of play and must see that Xhaka will be getting closed down as soon as the ball starts going towards him?

Also feel a bit sorry for Xhaka as he is expected to play this defensive midfield role and thats not his game. Comes down to Wenger yet again trying to get a player to play in a position he isnt comfortable in and leaving him in there even when he looks awful


Kosh was only an option after Xhaka took a touch, albeit a bad one but nevertheless a touch all the same, he plays the first time there’s a good chance Sigurdsson intercepts it and Xhaka’s getting slated again.

Bellerin was being pressed by Baines to so playing it out wide wasn’t really an option or at least a good one, agree with you with Cech tho even tho I don’t trust him with the ball to feet that was probably the best one still.

Never said he was a midfielder but that doesn’t change the fact that him taking a touch triggered Everton’s press which lead to Xhaka having less time on the ball.

I rate Mertesacker’s passing I think he could of easily played that first time no problem and as for Xhaka, he deserves his fair share of the blame too because that touch was woefully bad.

Keep telling yourself that sweetheart.

My standards are anything but low when it comes to midfielders but unlike you I don’t expect perfection especially not from a guy like Xhaka who’s been ropey to say the least this season.

You don’t but given the situation, being press resistant would of relieved the pressure.

You sure about that


Honestly can’t believe what a low standard you must have of a 6 to not expect 100% for him to resolve that situation in a decent manner. :joy:

That was the day Martinez told Barkley to target Arteta which worked a treat, we ended up losing 3-0 at Goodison Park.

Full highlights -

I’m not suggesting that at all, like I said up there I know Xhaka’s touch was woeful there’s no defending it, shit even you might of controlled it. I’m just not willfully turning a blind eye to Per’s part in the build up to Rooney’s goal either.


Pretty much… this is the f*ing Premier League, not Sunday football where you hide your weaknesses and hoof it… you have to be able to pass to a player in the middle and know he has the sense to think, act, and know quickly what to do. His first touch was terrible, but what was worse was his reaction - too slow and not sensing the danger quick enough… should have KNOWN the danger was there before the ball even reached his feet - should have accelerated TOWARD the ball as it was arriving to open more space and time for himself OR just wall it back to Per.

Yes, Per maybe should not have made that pass, but that is a normal pass in football all the f*ing time and most players know to just play it back, hit it to the keeper, or make more decisive and quick decision to push it left or right. He has no composure or sense - not good qualities for a CM who plays deep.


Even those who want to defend Xhaka perhaps agree that there isn’t much more to Xhaka then the best we have seen from him on occasions.
We should look for upgrade on both Ramsey & Xhaka.

I don’t expect a summer acquisition so Wilshere coming good & staying fit is only hope.


I agree with you, if he was super athletic it would help to make up for or mask his current deficiencies but the dearth of athleticism makes them even more glaring.

Don’t see how he can demonstrate consistency in his game as it currently is.


Your best teams actually thrive on this opposition pressure. Napoli, Barcelona… they turn the play around so quick even when receiving the ball under pressure, that they use their opponents positions to their advantage and get the ball around them quickly. That’s why Cazorla is still clearly missed, he could handle the pressure and pick off a good pass with either foot… you need these kinds of players in the middle as @AbouCuellar suggests if you want a possession game.


I would agree with abou on this; xhaka’s first touch was the reason he got tackled, had his touch been better it would have given to pass or draw a foul.
But from the video you can see the heavy touch makes lose control and had to run to recover ball. The pass wasn’t the problem, better control he could give it back to per or pick a pass; gana anticipated that Xhaka was going to pass to Ozil to his left, so better control the pass to Ramsey was on or shift to his right and set up an attack removing three Everton players from the game.


He did draw a foul but the ref didn’t give it


An Arsenal midfielder deals with that.

If what it means to be an Arsenal midfielder has changed then fair enough but I don’t think it has. Judging by Per’s deliberate pass Wenger is coaching his team to try and play like that and judging by Xhaka’s attempt to keep the ball I’d say Wenger is coaching his team to try and play like that.

If Xhaka isn’t in the wrong then I have to ask, what the fuck is he doing? He’s the deep midfielder so is it not his job to be open to receive a pass and give his centre back an option? He’s not marking anyone and he’s not moving at all, so is he “zonal midfielding”?

As the deep midfielder I’d expect him to be coming to the ball. I’d expect him to want the ball. Even if he didn’t want the ball, as soon as the pass is made he should at least attempt to go towards it. A single step towards it as soon as it’s played would have taken away the danger, but instead he decides to stand completely still and wait. The only reason Gueye is on him is because Gueye is moving and Xhaka is static. His options are limited because he is static.

If he’s not good enough to not take a bad touch and not quick enough to get there to make up for it then I don’t think there’s much use for him here. I remember the classic OA “we need to upgrade Arteta” threads and right now we’ve got a starter here who I think is doing worse in almost every way.


The Arteta Xhaka comparison really hit me earlier.

Wasn’t his biggest fan last season when he was a walking red card, but it seems hes gone completely the other way and lost his bite altogether.

He’s known as a leader and a combative general of sorts, so I expect him to adapt and get this shit sorted.

Would happily fob him off if a replacement became available if nothing changes soon.


@Titou14 C’mon man are you really comparing that Arteta touch with Xhaka’s? The ball is fired into him completely unexpectedly from an opponent, I would put zero fault on him for that touch lol. Massively distinct from a well-weighted, accurate pass that you are set to receive and expecting, haha…

Indeed, like I said, a even mediocre first touch and a simple pass to Koscielny is a very easy/simple resolution to that situation that I would expect even Coquelin to be able of.

Fixed and then we agree.

Who said I expect perfection from Xhaka? My expectations for him are extremely low at this point. The play didn’t surprise me as we’ve seen this kind of thing lots from him. All I’m doing here is rejecting that Mertesacker shares any part whatsoever of the balme.

Oh absolutely. There’s no comparison between Xhaka and Arteta. I use Arteta as a reference but to compare them would be a huge disservice/insult to the job Arteta did.



How did he get an invite?! Shouldn’t it be “contender for ‘The Best’ title, Leonita, accompanied by her husband”? She’s hot!


I hate him even more now.