Xhaka: We were scared

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Granit Xhaka says Arsenal paid the price for a terrible second half performance that saw them running scared of Watford.

The Gunners, despite a disjointed showing, went into the break in a commanding position courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace but the home side pounced on individual errors to deservedly draw level.

After the game, Xhaka was honest enough to admit that his side were lucky to take a point.

“We’re disappointed,” he told Sky Sports. “We paid for the second half today.

“We had a good first half, played very well, played together. We had a good balance between offence and defence, we scored, went two-nil up. We went to the dressing room, everything was good. Everyone was happy.

“After we came out and we played such a bad second half. We paid for this. We have to say we’re happy to take a point.

“Everything [was wrong], from the first second of the second half until the last. We didn’t play our game. We were scared. We know that Watford would push us more than in the first half but in this position, we have to show more character. We have to play, we have to not be scared.

“We didn’t have the character anymore like we did in the first half. We were too scared in the second half. They pushed us more than in the first half, but alright, we knew that, we spoke about it. But you can’t give a performance like this in the second half.”

Having conceded as a result of giving away possession from a goal kick – Sokratis’ pass was intercepted by Gerard Deulofeu allowing Tom Cleverley to score from close range – the Swiss was asked about whether the Gunners would change their policy of playing out from the back.

“We train like this, we work like this. Of course, mistakes are here. It’s not an excuse. Next time we have to do better. We have to analyse the mistakes, the kick-off and after we’ll see. We need to look forward.

“We train like this, it works good. Today, it did not work once. It was not only this situation. We lost the game all second half.”

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Henkamp
Henkamp

Please, somebody, anybody, tell him it’d be better not to speak at this point.

Mayor McCheese
Mayor McCheese

I like how seamlessly Xhaka has stepped into Walcott’s shoes for these post-match interviews!

He’s not wrong, though, is he? I think he describes it perfectly.

Dom47
Dom47

No mayor mccheese, he doesn’t, he is wrong. What are you talking about?

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Er… Were we really very good first half? Apart from the goals I seem to remember us being opened up in the gape between the midfield and defensive line over and over.

Let’s stop with the revisionist bullshit. We didn’t want it enough and we were set up really poorly. Fucking players sauntering around like it’s preseason. Pathetic.

benkaa
benkaa

We were terrible all game long, only bailed out by Auba (as usual) and one pass from Özil.

myrtle
myrtle

We were scared? Jesus give me strength. That’s our captain ladies and gentlemen

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Not my Captain. Not now or ever.

Mekus
Mekus

Lame duck captain.

SB Still
SB Still

How many more bloody goals we are going to gift!

Very worried we are going to be a mid-table team this term because of our collective and individual horrible defending!

Adams9802
Adams9802

I think it a bit odd that of all the players to dig in on (and if continuing to insist upon sink his Arsenal career) Xhaka is the one for Emery. Spanish Wenger in disguise?

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

Yep. He’s clueless. Exactly like Wengers last 5 years. Sack him now.

BigStick
BigStick

He’s the captain, it’s his job to speak in these situations. He made some bad mistakes, but nothing like the two morons in central defense. Emery needs to be held accountable as well, his subs were awful.

Adams9802
Adams9802

No I’m just talking about this interview. In general emery has nailed his flag to Xhakas post

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

You were scared??? FFS!!!! You’re a grown man. You’re a highly paid professional. Cut the crap

jeremy
jeremy

This one legged CM consistently gift wrap goals to the opposition.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Looks like its Xhakas turn on the post match bullshit talking barrel this week.

jeremy
jeremy

Xhaka should examine himself. Can’t run. Bad tackle leads to penalty. Slow and waited too long on the ball. No positional sense in midfield and fail to track back

Viva la prof
Viva la prof

Emery isn’t suited to this league or this club. He’s had a full season, that’s a shit hot squad of players, the owners got players. I genuinely never criticise anyone at arsenal, but this is pure piss flap tactics.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

He only has one tactic and that’s to make it up as he goes along.

Mekus
Mekus

Or to simply tell them to run themselves to the ground and everything will sort itself out just fine. Bollocks!

Gabriel Maillard
Gabriel Maillard

How do I got l upvote more then once?!

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

I’m not sure how you can say he’s got a good squad of players when they keep making individual mistakes and costing us goals. Criticise Emery when it’s his fault but it wasn’t today.

Rob67
Rob67

That doesn’t cut it as an excuse. That’s all it is – an excuse. To give a performance as empty as that was, suggests serious problems with both the coaching and the defending. Alan Smith made a good point in the commentary, when he said Watfords three subs all gave them a boost. Ours had the reverse effect. Very worrying all round.

KingKolo
KingKolo

If they thought they had the right balance in the first half no wonder they capitulated. We were lucky to be 2 up. He’s just dense.

Jai
Jai

FUCK off Xhaka. Sooner both you and Emery leave our club the better

Hard to find a less likeable player than Xhaka, and as for Emery.. Well, we all know.

Welsh Gooner
Welsh Gooner

Mustafi is still at the club.

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

I’d stop talking about mustafi if the current defense made goal conceding mistakes every single game of the season bar Newcastle

Jack
Jack

Oh god they’re just going to roll out this guy for his media trained interview every week now? Theo got dropped for saying something similar.

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

Looking forward to next season, I guess

BigArse
BigArse

As much as I like the honesty, we need to see change on the pitch. The manager has to take it on the chin for this one. Also, how many games do our centre halves have to cost us before we give Chambers a chance?

BigStick
BigStick

I wanted Chambers next to Luiz today, Papa has looked way out of sorts in every game this season. It looks like he’s playing his final season for Dortmund again. His passing is horrible and often puts our midfielders into undue pressure and trouble. Chambers might not be great, be he’s a snappy passer and would do a better job then our fake Greek tough guy.

khan
khan

Papa is normal defender he doesn’t do the kind of passing emery wants him to do

myrtle
myrtle

Remember when Chambers was the best defender in our only clean sheet so far? Well he’s dropped next game for this clown luiz and we haven’t kept one since.

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

Yeh, stupid pass out from the goal kick from Emery. Chambers should replace him in the team for the next game 100%.

Then if Chambers does something similar that’s Edu’s fault, right?

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

Or…
Replace the system that forces players to pass from the back even if they’re not comfortable or it’s at a point in the game when you need to remove the pressure from the back four for a few minutes

Matt
Matt

The problem seems to be Emery. And a bigger problem is who else could we bring to replace him there’s not many top managers out there available..

It’s me
It’s me

I know a tall old French guy, who could do with the pennies

My Cousin Vinai
My Cousin Vinai

Freddy isn’t that tall.

Richard
Richard

getting rid of Arsene in the way it happened was criminal – if he was given the resources we ended up using, we’d be much better off…

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

We’re still cleaning up his mess. No thank you. And actually he got even more recourses to spend than what we did this window. We went huge on guys like xhaka and mustafi.
It wasn’t criminal, it was inevitable. And in the end it was a good farewell to a legend of this club. A legend way past his prime to be perfectly honest

goonshow
goonshow

here’s some perspective (and this from a die-hard Arsene fan): but for his hubris and bloody-mindedness in his last few seasons we may well have had Pep in charge right now. We were his first choice… he made that clear. he admired Arsene and the style he had imposed on our play. But Arsene wouldn’t budge and Citeh grabbed him

mrugunner
mrugunner

there’s an italian.. who knows how to defend.

TCGNR
TCGNR

It’s embarrassing to hear players talking like this. “We were scared.” Literally nobody on our top 6 rivals would say such a thing. Defines the squad at the moment perfectly.

George
George

No kidding. This is bullshit. Captain my arse. We need to get shot of the Bismarck.

GunnerCM
GunnerCM

scared of the team at the bottom of the table……

BleedRed
BleedRed

I hope Xhaka does not play next game

Mark
Mark

Xhaka was horrible, in fact don’t know any player other than maybe Aubameyang that had a good match.

Samu
Samu

Ozil kept it tidy and made intelligent runs, he also made things happen. He was always calm and played the right pass.

Oregoon

Wager we would have won that game with Ceballos and Ozil still on the field at 94 minutes.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

And he gave away so much space when “defending” from the front. I think we really missed lacazette today for that reason.

BigStick
BigStick

The sad part is that Xhaka wasn’t the worst player on the pitch today. He made mistakes, no doubt, but he also bailed us out a few times. Emery should be ashamed of himself, this defense is one of the worst I’ve ever seen, collectively and individually. Holding can’t return soon enough, sad thing is, he won’t be enough. He can’t do it all alone.

Duno
Duno

Fuck off. This man shouldn’t be our captain no matter what, hindsight, foresight, it doesn’t matter.

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

He is so average, this guy needs to go

Goonerink

I dont get emery.
got it right in the first half, second half you could see that their press was going to beat our playing out.
took out ceballos when he had saved our bacon a couple of times already(not majorly but the small stuff shouldnt be overlooked)
and seemed to tell the boys that 2 was enough.
removed all our play makers and stuck on 2 raw kids to see out the game.

granted the pen wasnt ideal, and if anyone looked like they needed subbing it was guendouzi and maitland niles, the latter having no replacement until heccy returns.

for 3 seasons at least, we have not been able to defend.
so why is he making our defenders try to be midfielders playing tiki taka in our own box?
anf trying to make us a team that relies on defence, with one of the best forward lineups in the league.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Spot on, every decision he made (again) was wrong. Bringing on 2 kids to see out a 1 goal lead away from home was just plain stupid.

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

What senior professionals should he have brought on to replace the tiring midfielders then?

God is a Gooner
God is a Gooner

They were tired because of this ridiculous 442 diamond, which means they have to cover half of the pitch and the fullbacks.

BigStick
BigStick

Chambers can play as a fullback, he used to be a rightback originally.

Boydy
Boydy

Xhaka’s fronted the match when no one else did. He didn’t give up 2 goals like each of our CB’s opted to today. You can’t let this view of Xhaka being the source of all our problems cloud your judgement, Emery’s the one who bottled today’s strategy and substitutions. He didn’t manage a 2-0 lead well at all.

s.p2
s.p2

Xhaka does not emerge from this game with much credit. Was non-existent without and largely woeful with the ball.

Boydy
Boydy

Led Arsenal with 4 tackles, equal on airial duels for Arsenal with 1, and 85% passing accuracy. Gave away 0 goals unlike both our CB’s. Hardly a poor performance.

Magazine_Gap
Magazine_Gap

Useless stats, of course he has high pass completion if most of his passes are under 20 metres or square.

Do the stats mention he passed straight to the opposition and couldn’t control a ball in the box for a clear chance in the last ten minutes? Xhaka is the definition of mediocre, stop defending this pretender.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

Fuck me. Happy to take a point?
If this were the first time we’d fucked up at Watford away I would be more forgiving but this happens practically every season. So fed up of it. We have to win games like this.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

An astonishing admission, reminds me of when Walcott said similar after a bad day away at Palace and we played with similar quality this afternoon. Put this team under any kind of pressure and it will buckle like a stack of pringles. Shambles.

Sue

I was scared just watching! An absolutely crap weekend in the PL is complete… so Xhaka, Sokratis & Luiz all alternate with who is going to gift goals…awful, absolutely awful…

myrtle
myrtle

As someone’s already said on here. That trident is like the Bermuda Triangle back there.

AJD
AJD

I thought we did pretty well considering how frightened our boys were

dr Strange
dr Strange

So they were scared “Watford would push us more”. That really says it all about this team.

Chrispy
Chrispy

Conceding 31 shots to the bottom club is utter garbage. Thank the lucky stars for a striker as ruthless as Auba. Emery totally inept at this level. End of the season and the refusal of his 3rd year option cant come quick enough. We’re going to see a real spanking if this continues. At least Deaney wasnt playing.

Adams9802
Adams9802

No his timely sacking before the Christmas period to lift us into the top four is what we need. Hopefully we’re still in shouting distance by then

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

If the players were ‘scared’ while protecting 2-0 against Watford, then lets brace ourselves for the rest of the season. Its not going to be pretty.

Magic City Gooner
Magic City Gooner

Our captain, ladies and gentlemen!

He said the quiet part loud.

Benriz
Benriz

What!!!?? What the F kinda sh*t is that to say from our Captain? This guy needs to shut his mouth and Emery needs to drop him.

Chuffy
Chuffy

This is the captain saying this. Jeezus. If they’re scared of Watford, bottom of the table, 1 point Watford, shouldn’t we be worried? 5 scared captains of Arsenal, well that’s just great isn’t it? Can Patrick Vieira play still?

Vonnie
Vonnie

The thing is, why were they scared? We’ve seen them go toe to toe against better opposition than this. Emery is a cowardly manager who is scared of everyone, he set’s up defensively against Bournemouth for fucks sake, and he’s spent over a full season telling our players how deadly dangerous every team in the league are. He then sets them up in a formation that doesn’t suit them with tactics that are mostly stupid and I believe he is completely messing with their minds. Somebody needs to tell him to stop shackling our players, to play to our strengths and tweak our game plan slightly to to each opponent, not come up with some strange, new, useless plan every time. Emery is all about Emery, how many fucking systems he can squeeze into a game, how much arsing around on the sidelines he can do to prove how pashunat he is. We need a manager that can play to our strengths, bring out the best in our players,give them confidence, and it’s not Unai Emery.

Niran
Niran

Totally spot on…Best Comment..Summarizes It All No More No Less…That’s The State Of The Team At The Moment…Emery Messing With The Players Head

thebayos
thebayos

Xhaka epitomises the mentality of this squad…. but at the same time, i’d rather have these mistakes being made by a partnership of say chambers/holding rather than two veterans in luiz/sokratis. Those mistakes are wasted on them two and provides us no productive ”Information” as Emery quoted in his post match interview as infuriating as that post match interview was. Jesus. Comical.

Jack4343
Jack4343

Correction…you and your lot were shit…we were the ones that were scared.

SGP_GNR
SGP_GNR

“Next time we have to do better.” Next time, again? It’s always, “Next time”, after a clown show! You guys are utterly useless.
No matter how bad Emery is, you guys should know better than to show such disrespect to the fans. Watford were hungrier and had belief. You guys were no better than a school team (no disrespect to school teams). No drive, no ambition, no intelligence, no guts…
And what’s there to be scared of? Your opponents are footballers just like you lot! Don’t be a pro footballer if you can be scared of other pro footballers! Bloody ridiculous, gutless morons!
And to top it off, these scaredy cats are laughing all the way to the bank!

Vaibhav

Ask his lot, are they scared getting fat paychecks week after week!! Bloddy shitshow

Adams9802
Adams9802

It’s time to boo this cunt. I fucking hate him so much

Adams9802
Adams9802

Purely on a professional level of course.

Leon
Leon

I personally hate him – no business at Arsenal. I hope he gets hit by a bus…

Adams9802
Adams9802

Hmm thats a bit much.

myrtle
myrtle

Grow up Leon

A P
A P

Gets hit by a bus, but lands on Leon, who acts as a buffer and allowed Granit to walk away with nary a scratch.

Oregoon

Really? You are professionals and are scared? What a self fulfilling prophesy put froth by our new spokesman. We’re scared and we capitulate. That is one of the most pathetic things I have ever heard from an Arsenal player. This game was way too much like the end of the season last year, which I still hold Emery responsible.

jeremy
jeremy

As a captain, he has to regroup and decide on the next step. Focus on what to do and stop making excuses.

Chris
Chris

Imagine Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira coming out after a game and saying we were ‘scared.’

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

“Xhaka: We were scared”

Adding to that, you were also shite.

Leon
Leon

Scared?
What the fuck?
They are paid tens even hundreds of thousands of pounds a week to kick a football.
Not patrol the streets of Baghdad waiting to be hit by a sniper or anti personnel mine.
I’m sorry but this is the most pathetic thing I have ever heard.
If Emery is not gone by Xmas then our season is finished.
This is not the mickey mouse french league when you can play out from the back – you are pressed by every team you play and if you have to rely on spanners like Xhaka, Sokratis, Mustafi and Luiz you are going to suffer every single game.
The worst thing of it all – not the managerial incompetence or the brainlessness of the players is the the simple inability to learn from mistakes. They are incapable of it. The manager makes the same mistakes. The players make the same mistakers and on it goes…
Everyone wants Emery gone so why keep him on?

Magazine_Gap
Magazine_Gap

This.

Glasgow_Gooner
Glasgow_Gooner

Wenger In !!

goonero
goonero

Saves Deeney having to roll his fat arse out and question our cojones, Xhaka`s admitted it for him, teeny tiny hapless sackless Arsenal were fritghtened by the might bottom of the league Watford. I know Xhaka is barely literate but fucking how stupid do you have to be to say shit lime this?

My Cousin Vinai
My Cousin Vinai

I know Wenger would barely tinker but we’ve seemingly gone the complete opposite direction with a coach who almost seemingly refuses to do the obvious just to be different for different’s sake.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Xhaka is probably sharing his own fear after the slating he has received from some of the Arsenal Internet fans. Played lads.

Kkahle
Kkahle

Arsenal gave this game to Watford it could have been discussed in the boardroom but what happened was clearly giving Watford points since they had City coming next and they were not going to get anything from them FIFA need to investigate this,,, both goals are gifts

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

He wasn’t actually terrible today and this is not an Ozil rant… However anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to reintroduce Ozil into the first eleven away from home to the team scrapping at the bottom of the league is deluded. This manager!

Vonnie
Vonnie

When Ozil and Ceballos were taken off it completely fell apart.

Anders Limpar
Anders Limpar

I don’t disagree with you, I’m genuinely not slating Ozil.

TheOptimist
TheOptimist

He was scared? Try being a fan!!! I was terrified!!!

And a proper captain would have got the team going once he realised (from the very moment the second half started) that we were not playing well. No excuse for letting that go on another 45 minutes. If Emery won’t shout and scream then the captain needs to, some of our players needed a slap to wake them up.

Protagonist FC
Protagonist FC

Yeah, no cojones. Or no brains?

Carozil
Carozil

Fuck Emery.
Fuck Xhaka.
Fuck Sokratis
Fuck Luis.
Fuck playing from the fucking back shit.
And if you’re down with any of the above fuckers, fuck you too!

Gabriel Maillard
Gabriel Maillard

Not in for this “no desire” bullshit. We’re set up to stand off and not put pressure on our opponents. Everyone but Unai can see the way through this. Pressing isn’t going away. Hopefully Emery is…

Mekus
Mekus

FFS shut the f**k up. Pissed off!

Rohit
Rohit

At least he is bringing out the truth..

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

Scared.
Of Watford.

Get in the fucking sea, pal.

Ojobo Johnmike
Ojobo Johnmike

It’s a high time Emery left my club,he’s a total scrap of a coach. And for the defense,something serious has to be done about goal leakages for i am getting tired of all these shit going. I shed tears for today’s needless draw,just like a lost to me as the Spurs game was.

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

Why the fuck would a player be scared in a football match ?

RoyalT

Not captain material after this weakness’s comment. Emery show some heart get rid of him n özil