Granit Xhaka says that the Europa League final defeat to Chelsea hurt a great deal, and that because of the failure in that game and the poor end to the Premier League campaign that nobody at Arsenal can be satisfied with the way last season went.

The Swiss international was speaking ahead of the Nations League tournament which sees his country go up against Portugal tomorrow, and the midfielder was certainly more frank about how things turned out than he was last week.

“That the final is the highlight of my career so far,” he said. “So, it hurts a lot, damn it hurt. 

“It annoys me enormously that we have lost.”

As for his thoughts on his own performances throughout the season and the way it ended up for Gunners, he was fairly forthright.

“I set myself clear goals before the season,” he continued. “It was important for me to further improve my passing quality and risk more often to create scoring situations for my teammates.

I wanted to take more responsibility and definitely become more dangerous in the opposition half. I have fulfilled all these points for the moment, but there is still much to work on and improve on.

“Concerning the club you can objectively say that despite the upheaval after two decades under Arsene Wenger, our season was successful in reaching the final of the Europa League and 5th place.

“I think that if you play to the end for the Champions League seats and miss out in the end because of several unnecessary defeats in the season finale – we as a team are not allowed to be satisfied.

“Our claim was clearly to reach the Champions League, even if it is getting more and more difficult in our league. That’s why I said after the defeat in the Europa League final: No, I’m not satisfied with the season.”

Xhaka admitted he’d be honoured to take the captaincy next season if it were offered to him, but much will depend on the future of Laurent Koscielny who is tipped to depart.

There are also question marks over Mesut Ozil, while the other two of Unai Emery’s five captains – Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech – have left the club.

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Gana
Gana

Xhaka should stay, should be the captain if Kos leaves.

Yes, he has flaws, so does everybody. But he gives his 110%, all day every day.

Gooneron
Gooneron

110 mistakes

Santori
Santori

Torreira makes tons of mistakes.

4 goals let in against BHA, Soton(Away) West Ham, United bc he lost the ball in critical areas or was robbed of it.

You don’t even have to work your brain and remember what happened then, watch the mistake against Chelsea for the 4th goal which led directly to a goal.

Selective much?

IamaGoober

The difference being, Torreira is 23 making his debut season in the Premier League..

Xhaka will be 27 in September he’s been at Arsenal since 2016 and hasn’t gotten any better. He makes more key errors than Torreira, and covers far less ground, and is just far less dynamic in general.

Sancheezy
Sancheezy

Name a single Arsenal player that has not made a mistake this season? You can’t because everyone has.

Xhaka has improved (very little but improvement nonetheless) his passing abilities and creates more chances for the team. The team played better with him on the pitch, and when he didn’t play, Arsenal suffered and lacked the dynamic passing in the midfield to the wings and strikers he offers.

I’m not saying I’m happy with his performance either but we need to be a bit less toxic sometimes as supporters and see things more objectively as hard as it is.

Has he made huge mistakes? Yes. Mental relapses? Yes. But this is Arsenal and every player has made one or more so to single him out is a bit unfair. He’s not Mustafi FFS, but he has had a moment or two similar to Mustafi? Maybe. Yes. However, his contribution on the pitch makes up for it in my opinion.

Next season, unless someone comes and offers £50million for him, we need him in the team. He has the experience and leadership abilities needed next season.

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio
The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

You surely have a selective memory of your own, eh santori?
Ah what the hell….you wont even reply this message and i am talking to a wall again

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Stop bugging Torreira, Santori. Do you have a personal issue with him?

George
George

All you ever do is bring someone else into the equation to counter points. That, and mindnumbingly, endlessly, copy and paste. Honestly, no one is more selective than you. I don’t even think you’re a fan, just someone who’s trying to start a journalism career of some sort and this is one of many avenues. As Red would say: dumbass.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Man City – Fernandinho
Liverpool – Fabinho
Man United – Pogba
Chelsea – Kante
Tottenham – Alli

Xhaka is more accident prone than the most accident prone there. Less mobile than the least mobile. Scores about as many goals as Kante and less than the rest. Defends worse than any of them bar maybe Pogba. Gives away more clumsy penalties than any of them. Tackles worse. Has less aggression. Less physicality. Worse in air than nearly all…

The very fact we have to constantly justify why Xhaka is a good player tells us that Xhaka is not a very good player.

Ska
Ska

Care to count AMNs mistakes? We suck as a collective, so our players look worse than they are.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Ok I’ll make it simpler. Who on that list is Xhaka a better player than? If it’s no one then he doesn’t belong at the Arsenal.

Reality check
Reality check

“Ok I’ll make it simpler. Who on that list is Xhaka a better player than? If it’s no one then he doesn’t belong at the Arsenal”

Fernandinho = DM
Fabinho = Dm
Pogba = CM (box to box)
Kante = DM
Alli = AM
&
Xhaka = CM (playmaker)

None of the players you mentioned could be directly compared to Xhaka.. Gundogan, Jorginho and Wijnaldum would’ve been more appropriate players to compare with

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Xhaka is a deep-lying playmaker, but those are also always DMs. So Fernandinho, Fabinho and Kante (not this season, mind) are fair comparisons. And unfortunately, Xhaka is the worst of the lot.

Sagebrush Farm
Sagebrush Farm

Exactly! Always under discussion

Reality check
Reality check

HelderHughes
Just waite for it, in time, you’ll grow to love Xhaka just as everyone has learnt to love Kos now.. Kos has been an error prone bottler all his career, countless match losing errors, pissed his pants when Costa confronted him and fan’s thought he’s gonna lead us to the promised land, win us the final this year after botteling the semi last year.. the fanbase has been drumming about him as some sort of a defending God, on what evidence??.. baffling

Xhaka may not be a great or even a good player but he has character, doesn’t hide, he’s not a coward like most of Wenger’s recent players. You can’t rough him up and kick him out of the game.. People have short, selective memories, they forgot how we got bullied out of the games because we had weak cowards playing for us.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

“Xhaka may not be a great or even a good player but…”

There’s no but mate. This is a club which once had Vieira and Cesc in our CM. Check yourself. Have your standards slipped so hideously?

With Kos I saw him progress as a player and a character with every passing season. Xhaka, on the other hand, frustrates me more and more by the year. If he doesn’t hide, where was he last Wednesday? Isn’t he supposed to drive the team forward? All he did was pass sideways and take absolutely no risks.

Ship him.

Reality check
Reality check

With Kos I saw him progress as a player and a character with every passing season..

Loll.. for as long as he as been playing top level football, you can even turn a cricketer into a decent footballer in that time. You can’t teach or inprove character, you have it or you don’t. Kos never had and never will.. that guy even wished his team lose just because he didn’t make it, just pathetic, honest or not..

If he doesn’t hide, where was he last Wednesday? Isn’t he supposed to drive the team forward?

Where was your captain who you think progressed every passing season, whose actual job is to do just that..

“All he did was pass sideways and take absolutely no risks”

That exactly were the instructions from the manager: keep control and don’t concede. We just didn’t take any initiative at all in the first half. He may not be great at defending but there aren’t many players in the league let alone at Arsenal, who can break defensive lines as well as Xhaka can..

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Man, I bet the irony of your name is totally lost on you.

I choose not to retort on the grounds that I’m home from my commute and feel like I’m now wasting my own time. Plus I’d get more sense of out debating with a plant pot.

Reality check
Reality check

You do need rest my friend because you aren’t making a lot of sense..

Giroud's scorpion kick
Giroud's scorpion kick

Comparisson with Alli is wrong. That lot has in Xhaka position, a couple of very large, huge guys who kick everyone off the pitch (Wanyama and Sissoko). Or nearDIERthal.

Francesc
Francesc

He is like a lighthouse. Static and capable only of moving from direction to other.

Can’t believe we spent 35m in this average player.

ComeToSeeEboooue

£35mil! How much would it have cost to have had Cesc back for the last couple of seasons.

Sagebrush Farm
Sagebrush Farm

And he never seem to care, he is not hurt either

IamaGoober

I really really want to like Xhaka, honestly I do.

Forget about him wanting to be captain, first off you have to question whether he is really good enough to be a central midfielder at Arsenal.

He has so many glaringly obvious flaws to his game that just haven’t improved since he’s joined us. The opposition now frequently force mistakes out of him as they’re that telegraphed. He is the easiest target when on the full or half turn. So that mistake in possession is always there. Which is a real issue.

His lack of mobility is so poor as well. He cant dictate a game because of it, and for me, that’s the key fundamental all our central midfielders should have — especially one that wants to wear the armband.

Our CM should be able to get around the pitch and impose our style of play setting our tempo. He should be our metronome. Forcing that quick passing getting us going early on. But he can’t do that because in the short range he is fairly cumbersome. In the long range he is much better, that ballistic missile of a left foot certainly has its uses. He can definitely zing a long ball. It just takes him 2 seconds too long to do it. He’s okay when he’s facing the play, but in the tight spaces he is very poor.

And then off the ball he switches off all the time. He constantly lets runners go that either go onto score or cause us other problems. Defensively he is such a liability which further compounds our already non existent solidity at the back.

He does have battling qualities though, and I like that he has something about him physically which gives us a bit of mettle. He’s not a pushover. But the aforementioned lapses in concentration on and off the ball, and his lack of mobility pretty much write off this one tiny attribute that he has.

I think there are better options out that we should be looking to bring in. Personally I would cash in on Xhaka this summer. Could get at least £20M for him. His game would be must better suited to Serie A.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I think this a fair assessment of him as a player, though I do think he improved a bit this season. I’d be more in favour of keeping him rather than selling, but I don’t think he should be a starter for us either.

ankle
ankle

Lets be real, our midfield is dead without xhaka. Ramsey, guen, torreira, elneny etc can all run more, but can they pass a ball better ? definitely not, only a few in world football can if we’re being honest, i mean the guy completed the tenth most passes in the league, 8 of the others were defenders with jorginho (Another who gets harshly abused) at the top of the pile. Fans rave about torreira, but emery was ready to bench him for ramsey when he realized he had his eyes on a BETTER partnership in midfield, what does that tell you ? the manager knows more than these agenda-driven, overemotional clowns that love to abuse their players. Even against chelsea before we absolutely capitulated, he was the only player giving us any sort of quality and even the commentators could see it, but nooooooo according to the most in this thread he’s absolute shite that can’t do any good and should be shipped to the championship, be rational ffs, that’s all i’m asking.

Pattygooner
Pattygooner

Well, I’ve been annoyed at Xhaka for a while. But I liked a lot of what he said there. If he has the right partner(s) in midfield he can be good. If he can build on the positives of his play this season, I’m okay with him staying.

massimo
massimo

of course if Emery play with Guendouzi next to him is a problem.. and not just for Xhaka. Under Wenger Xhaka used to pass more the ball, now is used as pure defensive midfield as almost the 90% of our players… weird management

Cacho
Cacho

Agreed, he’s saying the right things. He’s certainly not terrible, and it is nice having a left footed midfielder. Definitely keep him, but maybe with the condition that he needs to kick on

Snagger
Snagger

This is the problem with modern footballers worried about their pass completion stats which leads to boring sideways football. Someone needs to explain that a pass is like a penis, you’re only playing with yourself unless it leads to penetration.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Snagger, do you accept organ donations?

Snagger
Snagger

I’m a giver not a taker

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

To be fair, he did improve as a player

massimo
massimo

The team has been managed so bad all season. We have world class players been used in a strange way. Honestly this team had a good potential but I think the manager cannot manage because isn’t his level.
If I was the owner I will never spend millions of pounds for change 70% of the squad but as every big club do, you will chance the manager. It’s clear to me he hasn’t the ability to have a decent game plan so stick with him another year it’s just waste of time.
Bring a new manager and use the quality of our players in a better way. There is plenty of your managers with new ideas or use the ones already in the club. Ljungberg, for example, or go to Arteta or Vieira, but Emery should go.

Phil
Phil

How many world-class players are you saying we have?

massimo
massimo

Well.. the majority of our players play for the biggest national team in the world and they did the world cup more of one times.

jareal333
jareal333

Emery is awful. He is an insecure person and it influences his player decisions. His players hate him and the disrespect is starting to show. He goes after young players like Guendouzi and Torreira because they won’t challenge him. Arsenal cannot be successful with Emery.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Sell!

Santori
Santori

Another who will be surprise because we won’t be selling him.

Reality much?

We won’t be adding to what are already massive holes to fill in a whole number of postitions.

At CM, we are adding not trying to replace.

Elneny needs to go (Can’t even find a buyer for him)

Ramsey is gone. Potentially one of Ozil or Mhkitaryan may go.

We won’t be making too many whole sale changes.

We need to add one more in deep/forward midfield role.

Granit, Guendouzi, Torreira stays

BUT ask yourself why Unai starts Granit ahead of Torreira.

Reality check
Reality check

Santori
Because Xhaka can pass between the lines really well and is also a physical presence. Although defending isn’t and shouldn’t be his main duty but he is terrible at it.

Phil
Phil

I think he’s improved a lot, but he suits some systems a lot more than others. If he’s part of a midfield two, the other CM undoubtedly has to be defensively minded, as we’ve seen that Xhaka simply cannot take on the defensive burden in midfield himself. However, I think playing him alongside a more defensive CM definitely then leaves us wanting in terms of having someone who actively seeks to get on the ball and make things happen – something I think we suffered from in the EL final.

Rich
Rich

“Get out while you can Granit”

Expect more Sokratis type signings, Suarez type loans and Lichtstiner type free’s.

I fully expect everyone of our rivals to show more ambition than us this summer, and clubs like Wolves, Leicester and Everton to close the gap and challenge us.

Emery will likely become the fall guy, but changing the manager, won’t change the lack of quality throughout key areas of our squad, or the lack of leadership + direction from the very top.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we finished between 8th and 12th next season, and I’m certain that the gap between ourselves and the likes of City+Liverpool will continue to widen, and the further the gap, the longer the route back…..

We’ve got an elite champions league club wage bill, but nowhere near the squad to match.

All the eyes will be on Emery, but the best coach in the world is unlikely to improve us, if the scouting isn’t producing players at the right level, we’ve been treading water for years, and now we appear to be going under.

Paul Smith
Paul Smith

His lack of mobility is a real issue as the season goes on. I really think he needs replacing with someone more mobile and athletic. His strengths don’t outweigh his weaknesses and I think he is a player we can upgrade on.

Mekus
Mekus

Brutally honest. Lacks mobility and too static more often than not. Yes, he scores the odd goals now and then, but as rightly mentioned, his weaknesses far outweighs his given strengths. We can do with a much better option or upgrade. I dare say, sell but reinvest wisely.

Francesc
Francesc

He is one of the players who is totally in his comfort zone

Mekus
Mekus

Absolutely! They can use all those carefully chosen nice words to paint themselves good, but we’ve already seen what each of them are capable of giving all season long. Let us be the judge of what we watch week in, week out.

Sagebrush Farm
Sagebrush Farm

He is, he is mocking us. We would be in the top 4 had he not childishly pulled down the Brighton defender in the box

Santori
Santori

Granit has been one of the more improved players this season.

He certainly has been better than Torreira.

Too many people are having a wank on Torreira. Granted he has good qualities and this is his first season, he has also been culpable for mistakes which these same people conveniently choose to cast a blind eye (where they would immediately throw Granit under the bus)

Point in case 4 or 5 games either side of Xmas against BHA, Soton (Away), West Ham, United where Torreira gave away or was fleeced off the ball 5 or 6 times 4 of which led directly to goals against us.

He did it again for the 4th Chelsea goal in the finals. Again no mention. Imagine if that were Granit.

No surprise (except to these same people) that Emery for most parts would choose to start Granit ahead of Torreira.

Partially bc Granit is critical to the team in splaying passes long and switching focal point of attack quickly for us. BUT also bc he has been better this season in his awareness of what is going on behind him when he receives the ball.

Also the added height has helped with Granit defending set pieces for us.

We saw (It was a systemic failure but) Torreira tried to defend a corner against Wolves and we were punished.

This is not to exonerate Granit of course, he still has lapses in concentration.

But so does Torreira and Guendouzi.

None of them are perfect.

What we lack is a player who can hold and carry the ball for us from deep.

Viera use to do this with raw physique, Santi with superb control (Torreira height apart is not Santi don’t get confused) and Diaby with a mixture of both (Sadly injury prone)

We need someone like that IMO to add to what we have already in midfield with Granit (Passing Range, Height), Torreira (Competitiveness, Anticipation), Guendouzi (Energy, forward motion)

Organically of course we also need to improve our present complement further and they can.

the🚗2n
the🚗2n

Your Mustafi b0ner easily replaced by your Xhaka b0ner… Bless you Santori!
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Santori
Santori

Its good that Granit feels annoyed with our performance.

We need to have that anger in us for next season.

Some of the issues this season is not surprising given what Unai had in squad to start with.

Mslintat bought some good players but also neglected many areas and bought some waste of time players.

Others were just “hanger ons”: like Jenkinson and Elneny, waste of time average to poor players we could not even sell or give away.

But Unai had to rely on these players for depth. No surprise (except to some people) that Unai preferred Mustafi to Jenkinson at Rback and he did a better job.

Then in January he was hoping to reinforce significantly but Raul and Mslintat mucked it up over burdening the wage bill.

Lichsteiner for instance a complete wast of time for 90K a week. Mhkitaryan for his wages wholly unnecessary when we could have add a more transformative player in Mahrez the January before.

Instead Emery had to contend with the “Panic Loan” era…forget Panic Buy.

It remains to be seen if the structure so many too easily wanted at all cost above the Wenger/Gazidis partnership, will deliver on promise.

There seems a power struggle at the moment with Raul having too strong a voice, Vinai insufficient and the owner disinterested.

No Technical Director in place (This should have been done before end of season)

Better times than with Gazidis and Wenger?

I’m not so sure.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

If you only put as much effort into your words as you did your typing….

goonero
goonero

I’m biased because I have zero love for Xhaka but I think any midfield or team with him at the base is a recipe for dull, unimaginative, wing focused football.

He doesn’t have any real ability to control the tempo of the game, he’s a liability defensively, he has no ability or inclination to effect the game in the final 3rd by dribbling or making runs into that area. And I just can’t ever really forget the sheer fucking stupidity of the palace penalty, another addition on a 3 year old list of proof the guys not got a whole lot going on upstairs. Compare him to Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Fabregas, Arteta, Diaby, Diarra hell even Alex Song and Flamini brought more to the table.

He’s good at long balls and the occasional long range banger, which isn’t anything Denilson or Elneny couldn’t do. He’s just not Arsenal midfielder material for me, I don’t want him at the club much less captain of it.

Kdawg
Kdawg

For the love of Arsenal, can we please have a real captain who plays throughout the season on the pitch . PLEASE!

Alex
Alex

Improved with Toreira at his side after Ramsey left… less exposed, more helped.

Toure Motors
Toure Motors

Stick ozil in there and him and xhaka could rule the world……

Injury Time
Injury Time

Xhaka said:
“With 45 minutes you have a chance to come back but after one then two nil it’s game over.”

We were 2 nil down with 30 minutes to go! Perhaps get a bit more annoyed then, not afterwards.

When he has time he can spray long balls but usually the opposition are set and deal with the receiving player. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve shouted ‘turn!’ only for him to role the ball back into a defender when a quick break or at least some forwards movement was on. The red cards early in his Arsenal career seems to have sucked any hard edge off his tackling. Another ‘meh’ player that we will no doubt keep.

Andy
Andy

Fans don’t give a shit how annoyed he is. Why is this even a story? Annoyed? Annoyed? What like someone’s cut him up at a set of traffic lights?

What’s more of a story is what a fucking ordinary pile of shit he is as a player and he’s an automatic choice!!!

God help us! Annoyed my scrotum!!!

Xhakano
Xhakano

I have never rated Xhaka. He annoys me sooo much.

Whether he is in the defense mid position or not……he is too slow, awkward….lacks positioning and tackling ability.

If he is there as a main-stay next season (and even our captain….Oh God), I can’t see much improvement in our defense or league position, no matter who we sign.

…On a broader topic…….there is no way we should be thinking about Emery as the problem….even if he is not the long-term solution. He was given a monumental task in changing the stale culture at the club and inherited an old, unbalanced and overpaid team.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Totally agree

Jomki

I haven’t got over it up-to now.. I feel you man

Lobster
Lobster

From this one post I have realised that, should we sell Ozil, Xhaka would easily take the mantle of being the most divisive player in our team.
Is it just us or is it a feature of all fanbases to have these extremely contrasting views on one or two of their own players?

Emmanuel
Emmanuel

Xhaka’s long range passing is second to none. I would be sad if he were to leave.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

I think with a better defensive team behind him, Xhaka can make those mistakes and not be punished as often. On his day he is good as anyone else in the league and offers a lot to the Arsenal. In terms of what the club is willing to pay for, he is about as good as we are going to get. So the key is to build that wall behind him to have the attributes to handle his stufff ups.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Wrong. He offers next to nothing

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Hope he is sufficiently annoyed to request a transfer

ankle
ankle

No one in our team divides opinions quite like xhaka and ozil, the two players who are by far our best passers and create the most chances. Biggest issue : No physicality, Im convinced that most of the ppl who constantly rinse their abuse have never or rarely kicked a ball in their life. I guess that’s why the most successful managers that push these types of players are where they are because of their experience and know-how.

Cycs
Cycs

He’s got a Leander’s mentality and I dare say a winner’s mentality too (even though he loses at times).