Monday, February 26, 2024

Emery explains Xhaka and Kolasinac decisions

Unai Emery has allayed fears of an injury to Granit Xhaka by confirming the Swiss was rested for Arsenal’s 5-1 win over Bournemouth. 

The midfielder was a surprise exclusion from the matchday squad as the Spaniard rotated his players with one eye on Saturday’s North London derby.

“Yes he is [Xhaka] okay, he was rested,” said Emery after the win, a result that closes the gap on Sp*rs to four points.

Having started the game with three central defenders and two wing-backs, the boss switched to a back four in the second half when he replaced Sead Kolasinac with Alex Iwobi.

Initially, it looked like an injury might have shaped the decision but the Bosnian took a place on the bench rather than heading down the tunnel for treatment.

“Kolasinac has been having a problem in his muscle and sometimes he is telling us to rest some matches and some minutes,” explained Emery.

“The first half he finished it well, but in the dressing room he was saying he can continue, but he was feeling some pain.

“He could continue but I preferred to change him for a rest and also he played on Sunday with a big intensity, and today I think we could do this change and carry on with another player in this match.”

The boss was also hopeful that goalscorer Laurent Koscielny will be fit for the trip to Wembley on Saturday. There was a scare very late in the game when he charged into a tackle on the touchline only to end up in a crumpled heap.

“I hope all it is, is one kick,” said Emery. “We have three days between today and Saturday and I hope he can be okay.”

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SB Still

Is one of the criteria now to have players with difficult names? Henry, Viera, Edu were easy. Now Kolasinac, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Papa….!

Honestly each time I Google, copy + paste.


And yet you still managed to get Vieira wrong.


Big Papa please!

High gooner

im actually disappointed we havent gone for the “HE LOVES IT WHEN WE CALL HIM BIG POPPA” tune when chanting for Sokratis

The Wenger Zip

Make it happen.

Faisal Narrage

I don’t think football fans, due to general age, use rap music (still mainly use 80s pop), which is a shame as I do think this would work. “Put your hands in the air, cuz he’s a true player”. I also tried to create a chant for Eboue based on the Black Eyed Peas, “I gotta feeling” that unsurprisingly failed. “We got Eboue, So this match’s gonna be a good match, So this match’s gonna be a good match. So this’s match gonna be a good match… This match’s the match, Let’s live it up, We got Eboue, Let’s lift… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

He’ll try and cross it, into row Zed”

Ed the Red

Mate, the Black Eyed Peas should not be used in conjunction with Arsenal players unless said player has done something truly diabolical, e.g Cashley or Adebayor.


BEP should not be used in conjunction with the notorious either lol


The term “rap music” is an oxymoron, as nothing that is rap is also music, and vice versa.


Thow our hands in the aaaair cuz he’s a big plaaayr

Lucas Sam

The player name could be “Uvuvwevwevwe Onyetenyevwe Ugwemuhwem Osas” for all I care as long as he is a good player for us!


No offense to all the Uvuvwevwevwe Osas out there, of course.

Harish P

That gives me hope for the midfield this Saturday. Very smart. I like Guendouzi but he did lose steam at times yesterday. Still can’t believe how easily they pickpocketed him, I’d be sure that’s something Poch shall make note of.

Really hoping Kos and Kola are fine for the game. Curious to see how we shape up for the start. Not even sure I can predict other than Leno, Sokratis, Torreira, Xhaka, Lacazette who else shall start for sure right now.


I’m not so sure, that happened once or twice. But Guen bossed that midfield yesterday for 90 minutes. At one point he ran through the length of the pitch with the ball to the egde of their box.


Agreed.. for a 19yr old he is top quality. He is turning in to one of my fave players. A true box to box mid fielder… can pass.tackle and carry the ball over large distances… for so long we have missed a player with the ability to break thru the lines of the opposition…and he can defend corners with his head… and even after be caught out for the goal, did his head drop…. hell no… he picked his self up and dominated the midfield…. his stamina is phenomenal… in 2 yrs he will be considered undroppable…. and in 5… Read more »


He needs a short break, wenger used to say young players needed a chance to watch back their games and spend the time off improving their decision making and match reading


And shoutout to Bernd Leno because after Guendouzi’s loose touch cost him a clean sheet, in the very next move he went straight back to passing him the ball during build up play.

Think it helped him get over the mistake and showed how much belief the older players have in young Guendouzi.

Nikhil Agarwal

I noticed that as well. Nice to see that our players trust their teammates as much as we would like to think 🙂


These little things are so important.

Pete Plum

I think this is the main benefit of selling Alexis


I think it was important for Leno as well for them to get the next one right. Let’s not forget he was part of the decision making to play it to Guendouzi (who did call for it) when he was pretty clearly under fairly close pressure.

I’m not shifting the responsibility, but the passer as well needs to read the situation.


Is Torreira suspended for the NLD on Saturday after his (fifth?) booking last night? Someone please enlighten me

Maul Person

Don’t think so. Doesn’t suspension in the second half of the season require 10 yellow cards…?

Naked cygan

I think it’s 9 or 10 bookings now. Harry Kane might get suspended from the Chelsea game.

A Different George

January 1, it goes from the fifth to the tenth yellow card for a suspension.


Five in the first 18, ten in the first 32 or 15 in the 38 each give a one match ban. If you reach game day 18 with 4 bookings you’re fine until you hit 10, unless you hit game 32 then you’re fine until 15.
Looking at the squad the only likely suspension is papa. He’s on 8 bookings and there’s a good chance he’ll get two more in the next four games


Actually the bans go up. Someone on the weekend, can’t remember who, picked up their tenth booking and they got a two match ban.


Does it only go up if it’s their second ban? Meaning they got a match ban for 5 in 18 already, and now they’ve hit 10 for a second ban?

Crash Fistfight

Nope. It’s a 2 game ban for 10 bookings in the first 32 games, so it might be worth resting Papa for 1 game to avoid a 2-game suspension (yet another thing for the manager to worry about).


One brain fart aside, Xhaka was our best player against Southampton, he’s improved this season. Bellerin improved before his injury. Iwobi has improved this season. Kolasinac has improved this season Lacazette has improved immeasurably this season, whilst I didn’t think he was a bad player last season, I certainly wasn’t convinced either. I still think we’ll miss out on the top4, but Emery is doing a very good job, and given time+patience I think he’ll get it right. Will be interested to see the team selection for Sat, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang all have the potential to go missing for huge… Read more »


I hppe the battle’s over ’cause we can’t afford to leave/lose out on that talent.


There was never a battle. There is a standard set by the coach that players have to reach in order to play in this Arsenal Team.


Quick question, it was very confusing yesterday to sing the Ozil song at the stadium. As he clearly isn’t yet Unai Emery’s man.


After all, Özil is an Arsenal man. He played very well, also played well in the matches before, so why should we not sing his song?

David Kelly

We don’t sing “Emery’s man” it’s still “Wenger’s man” but he does still get “You sold Bale, we signed Mesut Ozil” song.


I could always rub Kolasinac’s leg


Granit, Mustafi, AMN, Iwobi, Kolasinac all protected for the trip.

yea mon

not a huge fan a xhaka anyways don’t really see what he brings to the table, not great defensively and a has his rare offensive moments, gendouzi and Terrera should suffice

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