Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Xhaka reveals Emery pep talk that inspired goal

Granit Xhaka has revealed that Unai Emery asked him at half-time of yesterday’s draw with Crystal Palace why he’d not taken responsibility for Arsenal’s set pieces up to that point.

The Swiss, who was playing at left-back in the absence of Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac, reacted by smashing home a free-kick on 51 minutes and immediately ran to celebrate with his boss on the touchline to thank him for the pep talk.

“I chose to shoot because the coach asked me why I didn’t take the corners or the free-kicks in the first half,” Xhaka told Arsenal.com after the match.

“I think it was the first free-kick of the second half, so I took it. I was happy that I could score, but we can’t be so happy after the game.”

On the celebration, he added: “Yeah, [I ran to him] not only to say thank you. After he told me that I must take free-kicks and corners, I did it.”

Emery corroborated the story in his post-game interview with Sky Sports. 

“At half time we spoke about this situation and his quality on free-kicks and his crossing,” he confirmed. “I told him to try the crosses the free-kicks. I pushed him and he did that.”

Xhaka’s goal was his second from a set piece this season; he also netted a wonderful effort in the 2-1 win at Newcastle United.

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Big shoutout to Xhaka for trying to do his best whilst being played out of his normal position.. that goal had left the Palace players wondering what just hit them. Let’s not fret over the result, this team is quality and knows how to scrape out results if need be. I’d love if Hector and Nacho are ready for Liverpool


You guys have TVs in Pakistan?

David C

Why? just why?


i can typing!

Kartik Iyer

What a disgrace you are!

Auba Ma Ying

adgooner chanelling his inner Brexit.

Mesut O'Neill

Very presumptuous my Chinese friend (see what i did there).

Adgooner could be from Sudan for all we know. No need to presume he is a Europe hating, Tommy Robinson loving Spurs fan.

Exiled Gooner

Disgraceful. You’ve brought poor form into what is normally a very civilised forum for Gooners. Bad show.


Do you have schools where you come from?


@adgonner Must be nice to have a TV…


adgonner, you’ll be happy to hear, is now an actual goner. We don’t allow this kind of shit on the site. Go somewhere else.


Suspect troll, couldn’t even spell gooner.


Hey apologies to Pakgooner!. Didn’t really mean that.

I am a blogs faithful and arsenal faithful through and through. Both are a big part of my sad life!


Ok, apology accepted, but please think before making that kind of comment again.

The world is fucked up enough as it is, and I know we’re not all here to agree with each and backslap etc etc, but we should offer fellow Arsenal fans – wherever they are in the world – the respect they deserve so we can keep this site as a decent community for people to come and discuss the team we all support.

That goes for everyone. Cheers.


Greetings from an Indian Gooner


isn’t this sort of thing discussed during the week in training ? i understand that we would have multiple corner and free kick takers , but surely there is a pecking order ? if Unai thinks he should be taking them , why wasn’t he ? Anyway , that goal was an absolute blooter!


I think because he was playing left back he thought taking setpieces would affect his ability to get back into position.

Arsenala Vista Baby

Thats why


good point!


Maybe he remembered at halftime that Xhaka was captain of his fantasy team.


Emerything is working fine, and I am loving it. COYG!


Some pep talk this is.

Jean Ralphio

What matters is the Liverpool game. Even drawing it would be a sign of progress.

Crash Fistfight

We drew the home game with Liverpool last season, so not sure that it would definitely be a sign of progress. I think at this stage of Emery’s reign, it’s still too early to read into things too much (so even if we were to lose, I don’t think we should be going mad).


I was so deflated after the result yesterday and didn’t really appreciate that for the third week running we’ve scored an absolutely incredible goal. Rewatched this free kick about 20x today already.


I emphasized on similar stance when I reminded a fan that we weren’t happy with the result forgetting that these are the games we usually lose previous seasons, we must give credit to the team for being competitive again


Xhaka is by far our best corner taker

A Different George

I think one of the biggest lessons of the Palace match is how much we rely on Xhaka in midfield. I thought Torreira had his best match for us, providing real security for the back four; I thought Guendouzi continued to show improvement and was full of energy and enterprise–and yet, not much happened at the front.

Last week on this site there was some comparisons (by me and others) of Xhaka to various players, including Xabi Alonso. I don’t think Xhaka is nearly as good (yet?), but he plays that role for us now.


We dropped as a team in energy. Which let Palace in to our defensive area way too much.

Granit was in a difficult position playing a role he isn’t entirely suited to.

In midfield though, he controls the game for us by getting us moving quicker and switching the point of attack.

89 was fine

These type of difficult games”3rd in a week” top teams ect” are where the players/ coaches earn their corn. In the recent pass we have been found wanting when it comes to grafting out a result and not meakly surrendering. Seeing our team fight all over the pitch even with individual errors and not drop heads is a huge step forward in mentality. We are all learning about the new manager and his methods. I wasnt so sure at his appointment but in his short time with us, I can honestly say I’m feeling so much more positive and energised… Read more »

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