Thursday, December 1, 2022

Wenger reveals why Xhaka is getting more games

Arsene Wenger believes Granit Xhaka must stay focused if he’s to fulfil his potential at Arsenal.

In the absence of Cazorla, the Swiss midfielder has started the Gunners’ last six Premier League games, demonstrating a marked improvement in his defensive duties according to his manager.

Speaking to Arsenal Player ahead of the New Year’s Day game with Crystal Palace, the boss challenged his summer signing to show the hunger needed to take his game to the next level.

“I believe he is on the way up, he is a much more intense player today, a much more complete player because he contributes a lot defensively as well – that’s what I did not see at the start,” reflected Wenger.

“He made some outstanding passes [against West Brom], his finishing still has some room for improvement but he has it in his locker. I just want him to focus on being strong defensively, and give the quality of his pass to the team and the rest will come along.

“There is a gap between what he can do to go to the next level, and where he is at the moment. Especially at his age, he is on the way up. I am confident he will [achieve that] because he is focused every day but that will depend basically on whether he can keep this attitude and that hunger to do it.”

With Cazorla out for the foreseeable future, Jack Wilshere on loan, Aaron Ramsey enduring a stop-start season with injuries and Mohamed Elneny heading to the African Cup of Nations in January, it’s likely that Xhaka will get more game time alongside Francis Coquelin. It’s a partnership the boss believes is working well.

“They give us a good defensive stability,” he added. “They are strong in the challenge and overall I believe Granit can play with anybody and Coquelin can play with anybody.

“Coquelin has played with Cazorla, with Elneny, and so has Granit as well. They are adaptable because they have both sides of the game in their locker, they can defend and attack so they can always adapt.”

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Excellent Xhaka is growing into the role.

It really beggars belief that considering our options at the start of the season I’m worried about a midfield injury or slump in form.


Funny thing is, it took Arsenal all those years to realize he needs a big guy in DM. The new successful trend now appears to be three at the back, wonder if he’d figure that one out in his lifetime. I think we should slip the BFG between mustafi and koscienly. If you think about it, his biggest weakness is people running in behind him. He doesn’t have the pace to play as a Right Center Back but in terms of airial threat and organizing the team defensively, there’s no one like the BFG.


Arsene*** not Arsenal!!!!


Wenger should make a bold statement to the fans and the players in the new year. And please bare with me or at least humor me. Bring in veratti from PSG. Arsenal are desperate for the services of carzola, I believe verratti could fill the void brilliantly he would be santi 2.0. A deep playing two footed midfielder who can pass or dribble his way out of tight spaces and does a great job of linking up play. Also when he loses the ball he comes after opponents like a pit bull who had his favorite toy swiped. Santi is… Read more »


I like how we all thought that, right from the start, Xhaka would be the holy-trinity tall, strong, and technical CDM (TM) that would save all of our defensive problems in midfield for 10 years to come. Turns out again, Wenger sees more in training than us with a few YouTube clips. Good thing Xhaka is on the right path.

Did Nigeria qualify?

Cos Rambo is well shit innit?


If anything, Arsenal are shit. Ramsey has proven his quality 2 seasons ago when the balance of the team was right, then absolutely killed it at the Euros. The fact that he is not performing has to be down to the the management.

Frank Bascombe

Do leave off.


Maybe if you stopped booing Ramsey and giving him shit 24/7 he might be able to express his talent? Or are you gonna give me some rubbish about how it’s the player’s responsibility to get the team going? Only reason the manager says things like that is for PR. They don’t need you. Basic economics tells you that the fact that we have one of the most expensive tickets in Europe so really, if you don’t like it then you should bugger off cuz there are millions of other people that would buy your season tickets in a heart beat.… Read more »

Jim wall

Bell kos. Mustafi moneral
Xaki. Cazorla
Walcott. Giroud. Sanchez


So you’re saying Ozil has no place in Arsenal. Just not done, mate



Costa Gooner



For tough away matches there’s definitely a case for leaving out Ozil. We beat City 2-0 at the Etihad with a similar team.


You’ve had too much to drink m8, you’re finished

The Little Mozart

Xhaka seems to contribute something to every game but his desire to improve is my favourite thing about him, after his outstanding long-range goals of course.

Jim wall

Playing that system I stated earlier 4 1 2 3 means that Walcott and Sanchez both on either side of giroud dont need to concentrate on defending we will definitely not be caught out at the back when we attack fullbacks dont need to be that high up field

Bould's Eyeliner

Granit Cockzorla will have some measure of control over the midfield, but the wings need someone more technically secure to offset Sanchez on the opposite side, or good luck watching the team implode as they look to pass it through the middle, then spray it out to the sides, and then turn over the ball on a fast break because the opponents parked the bus.

The team that beat Man City had a few differences.


Cazorla is out injured recovering from surgery. Has been Out for a couple/few months now.


Originally wanted Kante, and I cant believe we let him go to Leicester for 5.5 mill when Wenger admitted we had been keeping tabs on him for 4 years. He went on to be probably the best player in the league in his first season. And now Chelsea have him and he has become one of their most important players.

Second time we let him slip through our fingers only to go and sign someone with half his talent for even more money in Xhaka whom is only starting games now because of circumstances leaving us with few other options.

Why not

Kante wasnt the best player in the league at the start of last season. That wasnt really apparent till towards the end. No reason to suggest xhaka cant be something similar if we win the league by the end of the season.


Had the too much champagne last night? No way we’re winning the league


Kante is another version of Coq/Elnenny. Our problem all those years is we kept buying the same style of player. Whether you think kante is better or not, buying him would have killed Coq and Elnenny’s future at the club. We needed Xhaka way more as we have the shortest team in the league. We relied too much on Giroud’s strength last year for our build up, without him in the side we couldn’t keep the ball, we kept getting bullied. Arsenal fans have been crying out for a player like Xhaka since viera left. We have him now, enjoy… Read more »



Is this not a contradiction?
The last buck wiill always stop at the players.


You are completely wrong. The buck stops with the manager.


No, given the talent in the squad the manager should know by now how to get the best out of them. Player for player,we have the best squad in the league, that is what I was saying, so if we don’t win the league then there’s gotta be massive question marks about the manager or the current set up. Playing the same formation and tactics with the nativity that our game is good enough to beat everyone while everyone that plays against us sets up in a specific way to stop us from playing. So yes, I’ve been Wenger in… Read more »

Jim wall

Although the last few years he has bought quality in ozil ..Sanchez..he has bought rubbish in debucy..sangoo..flamini …gervino..jenkinson..park.. leicester won the league spending less than what we did on those players

Sideshow Mo

Second Flamini was a Bosman. (That means, a free transfer).

Jim wall

You know what I mean he brought them to the club how anyone defend wenger


Yes but most of his “failures” cost comparatively little (pittance in the modern day)

That means it does not hurt the bottomline should they not turn out as advertised.

Meanwhile when he buys quality at higher prices, he is spot on.

That means panic buy Ozil, Alexis, Granit and Mustafi.

City, United, Chelsea have spent over the odds and wasted tens of millions on decidedly average players.

As a self financing club, it will severely affect our ability to purchase players down the line if we drain money away in that manner.


Erm…not quite sure where you’re coming from with this one – Sanogo and Flamini were both a free transfer, whilst Jenkinson had run down his contract at Charlton (in 2011) so not much of a cost there. The other two were signed in 2011, so hardly in the last few years.


And Dubuchy was good signing until he was assaulted by Arnautovic….

Jim wall

I am talking about the quality of them players he brought to the club he do has last word on players show some cop on and stop defending that fool


He bought or developed all the players we currently have. Almost all of his signings are quality.

Van Gaal spent over 250m and his team was shit …

Guardiola has a very expensive and fairly crap defence.

Liverpool’s defence not great either.

Sp*rs couldn’t score when Kane was injured.


Cazorla, koscielny, Monreal, Giroud, Mustafi, Cech- he put every player we have on the pitch. Of course you can pick a small handful that haven’t worked out. Same at EVERY club.

Show some cop? I just flat out disagree with you.


I’ll say it again, Flamini was a good re-signing. It gave us some stabi;ity as we were rebuilding and some bite. He isn’t the best player in the world by a far stretch but he is FAR better than many would care to give him credit for. He presided alongside Ramsey (bar two games) with some success over a difficult period when most of our best assets were out last season, and together saw victories against City and Lympiakos in a high pressure match. In fact it was when our best assets returned that Ramsey forayed further up isolating the… Read more »

Jim wall

Ok leave him manager ..give him a new contract for 3 years we will win 0 that will be 16 years without a title great manager


M8 when everyone is giving you thumbs down it’s time to stop and reflect on what you’re saying. The more you explain yourself the worse you make it sound. I respect your opinion and your right to have an opinion but I think what you are saying is absolute Bonkers. Wenger is almost 70 years old. Take that into consideration. He not a shit manager, he just doesn’t hve the energy young managers like Klopp and Conte have. Tactics wise, and experience wise, they don’t deserve to be spoken in the same breath as wenger. If you want to compare… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

If we do that, will you go away?


Wenger has his faults, but your attack is weak and not based on correct facts, it’s very Donald Trump. It’s hot air for the sake of it, and you are rightly being marked down. If you’re argument had been Wenger ignored the need for strength in the midfield and you pointed out that when we won the league we had physical strength in midfield, then backed it up with Matic and Kante now, followed with Toure and Fernando… Then you have made a more compelling argument, you’ve chastised Wenger (which is your core objective) and you’ve opened a discussion point… Read more »

Rambo's Thai retreat

What’s with the minimal spelling effort?!


Name me one a team that hasn’t had made a bad signing over the years! All the players you listed were free and cheap anyway


Agree with Wenger’s analysis, Xhaka’s defensive contribution has improved a lot. But there’s still room for improvement. He suffered in those back-to-back losses, lacking composure when pressed on the ball and could neither use the outlets available nor dribble out of danger Cazorla/Wilshere style. Liking what I’ve seen for the most part but needs a bit more


I thought we were a bit hasty acceding to Jack’s request to go out on loan. Sans Diaby, he is the only other player in midfield who can carry the ball through feet in Santi’s absence. That said, I do think Iwobi in that rile could be explored. This particularly as he has good close control and protects the ball well, makes good decisions distributing. PLUS with the growing options out wide – Alexis, Welbeck, Ox, Walcott, Lucas – we may have more room to switch him infield where he is good in tight spaces. Perhaps, it is Wenger’s choice… Read more »

uncle D

Whyyyyyy does always post negative arsenal news? Looking really ridiculous at the moment those!!


Coz they be clickbait.


They follow like sheep the anti-arsenal agenda coursing through the UK Media.

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