Mikel Arteta says he told the Arsenal hierarchy not to sanction the sale of Granit Xhaka and has since recruited several first team players to help persuade the Swiss to stay at the club.
The boss confirmed last night that the Switzerland international has had a change of heart and, despite his agent going public on an approach from Hertha Berlin, he would no longer be looking to move back to the Bundesliga.
Xhaka has cut an unhappy figure at the Emirates since being stripped of the captaincy in November but it appears he’s willing to stick things out a while longer after a show of faith in his quality by his new head coach.
Facing the press ahead of Monday’s FA Cup game with Leeds United, Arteta revealed: “I had a conversation with him and I wanted to understand his feelings. That’s first, and his reasoning why he was thinking it probably wasn’t the right place for him to continue his career.
“I gave him my opinion, my perspective, and I told him that I was ready to support him from the club perspective, and I wanted his team-mates to have his back to help him to change his mind. We need him.
“I believe that if we’re able to do that, the fans will respond in a positive way. I’ve seen him act every day, how he trains and how he lives his profession, as well as the quality of the player.
“I think he could be a really important player for the club. From my perspective, I don’t want him to leave. I said no to the club and I said no to him! After, in life, I cannot control what happens.”
Given how hard it is to find value in the market in January, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Arteta is so keen to keep Xhaka for the rest of the season. He knows the club, his surroundings and the league, whereas a newbie would have to get up to speed very quickly.
If there’s still interest from Germany come the end of the season then it wouldn’t be surprising if we let Xhaka go. Hopefully, by then, we’ll have sourced a replacement.
I thought it was the end of for him but like many things in life, forgiveness can feel rewarding.
He’s played brilliantly since Arteta arrived, creating a real balance with Torreira, and our left hand side. I’m glad he isn’t going anywhere.
He was always good. I’ve always told people that it’s about balance and guendozi east helping the issue…guendozi had alot of potential but the way he plays right now was making xhaxa do what he could not do. Collect, distribute and defend all at once..I just need him to get back to shooting those long range shots.
Xhaka was targeted by the media just like Ozil. He was made out to be some kind of a dirty midfield hardman because of him being at the front if things got out of feet. Him and Gabriel before him just didn’t fit the established narrative of spineless, soft-belly Arsenal. As a result, reffs also started to target him. I mean has anyone ever seen anyone getting that red (dark yellow) before or after that Xhaka incident – i bet never. But unfortunately, media successfully turned the fans against Xhaka just like they did with Ozil. Also, been watching football… Read more »
wtf? really? so all his lapses of concentration, his inability to move quick is on guen? he was close to giving a penalty AGAIN
No, it’s on his misuse by Emery. He put him under the pressure in the first place, and the usual idiot response from the fans to his inevitable mistakes caused the angry response after literally months of being made the fall guy. A lesser man would have cracked much sooner. Emery made ALL of our players look inadequate, but “we” only targeted some of them for special abuse. “We” never really targeted the man putting all the pressure on our players, and for a long time didn’t really target the idiots running the club that let him turn us into… Read more »
At the risk of relevancy, forgiveness doesn’t simply “feel“ rewarding, it actually is imo.
if we/he plays like he did last night, with less defensive responsibilty then I think people will see what the club saw when we bought him.
his numbers have always been good, but only to stat robots- watching him was a different story.
Vs united he kept the midfield ticking over and worked well with Torreria.
he did or torreira did?
They both did. They were teammates working together. Why does there always HAVE to be a loser or enemy for some people?
I love it when you start a job and a week later decide to tell your boss how to run the company.
This guy is something. And I like it.
When you walk into an impossible job and implement changes that start bearing fruits withing 2 weeks of taking over, you have earned the right to call your boss by his first name. ?
I feel like Arteta definitely wants to be a manager, not a coach. Just praying he doesn’t go the same way as Sven if he goes toe to toe with raspy Raul.
I think he might well end up staying beyond the end of this season, the “incident” will soon become ancient history with a good run of form – being well managed by Arteta
…except for that one guy who will always hate him.
I’m comfortable in saying that im falling in love, little by little, day by day with Senor Arteta. Everything he says is measured and just makes sense. Classy fella.
inb4 Raul sells Xhaka just to show Arteta who is in charge. It’ll make the team weaker because we are already light in midfield, but Raul is a ‘football man’ so he will tell Josh everything will be fine if we don’t add new players this month.
I think Xhaka will stay. If he knows he has the coach’s faith, and the team setup allows him to flourish, he could get a better deal than Hertha come summer. If his performances keep getting better, fans will also be on his side again. Supporters and fans are fickle this way. If he plays a blinder against Spu*s or in a Cup Final, things will change quickly. I also hope Arteta makes him understand that his on pitch behavior against Palace is not acceptable. Players should be able to control their response in the stadium, just as Arteta mentioned… Read more »
He already knows his behaviour in that game wasn’t acceptable, he;s not a bloody idiot, but it isn’t easy to apologise to a pack of baying hounds who want your blood because they think you are to blame for all the problems in the team.
I have a sneaky feeling if he stays and we cash in on aubameyang, xhaka will be the next captain. I personally think we need a better midfielder to move to the next level but at the very least he’s a very focused player who us well respected at the club
Another master stroke from Arteta. Xhaka has arguably his best game in an Arsenal shirt last night. If form and results stay on the same upward trajectory, then I think both the player and the fans will recognise the frustration that each party had for the other. Whilst a public apology has still yet to come from Xhaka for his meltdown, I spotted him applauding the fans at full time – unthinkable as little as a week or so ago. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing – for Arsenal to be successful. A full… Read more »
IMO his best game for us was in the 1-1 tie with Liverpool from last season. No surprise he played alongside Torreira on that day too.
Comments retrospectively make for an interesting reading: https://arseblog.news/2018/11/arsenal-1-1-liverpool-player-ratings/
No surprise. Unai made too many changes in midfield for my liking. Guendouzi is a brilliant young player but he will have his rash moments given exuberance of youth. Granit and Torreira maybe less exciting but a more stable base for us to build. Would still be concern about depth given Willock is also very green. BUT at least Arteta has found some sort of remedy for midfield VERY quickly. Along with Ozil putting in better performances, the question now is how to sustain performances over the 90 minutes. BUT very positive results so far with the midfield. They’ve really… Read more »
Hopefully the answer is a simple “continue to train harder”.
100% Agreed. I’ve been waiting for that Xhaka ever since. Shame it took more than a year for him to produce a similar performance. Thought He would kick on after that Lpool game but it never happened. Mustafi also had a great game that day so in the end I just chalked it up to a topsy turvy day.
Maybe our fitness was already on the way down and that was the last game where our mental strength alone could keep us in the game.
Emery sapped the team’s physical and mental strength with his soft training and weird ideas on how to run a top team. Remember that he had had virtually the same experience with PSG, but they were smart enough to ditch him quickly.
So accept his applauding the fans as an apology. Simple. If he still thought we can all Eff Off he wouldn’t be applauding us, would he.
Surely we fans are supposed to be mature and understanding enough to not want to rub his face in it for the rest of his life?
I really think we we’re lucky to get Arteta when we did and I personally feel that he will be a great success, feel like we stole him from City at the right time as from the vibes pep has been giving I don’t think he will be renewing his contract and may well leave at the end of the season
Jury still out for me.
I see good things but we still have a lot of issues. Second half drop in performance still concerning but as Luiz said, small steps.
We need to identify and respond to which players are dropping physically in off ball work and get them subbed off quicker.
Midfield depth still a concern if either of Torreira or Granit get knocked or suspended. Guendouzi should come in but will likely need another as banking on both Willock and Guendouzi as back up seems risky.
Should be keeping an eye on Emre Can situation.
You’re a tool
No, he isn’t. He’s just getting impatient for us to get back to a proper fitness level (because being match fit helps prevent injuries to a certain extent), and is also a little nervous about us having as our only fit backup a couple of young midfielders who are still learning their trade rather than being the finished article, and who are also not quite as match fit as we would like. “If” we could buy a match fit Emre Can that would reduce those immediate concerns quite a bit, but might be a road block for Willock or Guendouzi… Read more »
Arteta already told us that the team need bringing back to the required fitness levels to compete in the Premier League. It takes weeks to get to match fitness. It will come with time. You just need to be patient and try not to write any players off too early in the process.
Not a fan of this at all. At this moment in time it makes sense since we do not have proper midfield cover, but if you look at the history of xhaka in the club, he should have left years ago, and he will turn on us quickly enough if he continues to play solid and some stronger name comes for him. Clean slate and all but when it comes to numer of chances given, and number of chances squandered, he has to be our worst player of the decade. I know ill receive backlas for this statement, but we… Read more »
Clean slate means cleans slate. Fans should learn from Arteta
Nico, I totally agree with you. Top comment.
” I know ill receive backlas for this statement, but…”
Lol but its the one statement I can’t disagree with since its sort of senseless. If we “suitably replace” we’ve exchanged one footballer for an equal or better. So sure we move forward if we suitably replace every single squad member. Unsure what u really mean here.
He means nasty old Xhaka has upset him and he will never, ever, ever forgive him. Not ever.
This is very disappointing because I thought we were finally done with him. I won’t argue that he was great yesterday, but realistically, we have years of evidence that he’s just far too error prone for the top level. If Arteta can actually fix that then I will get his face tattooed on my body. As we win our 5th straight Champions League.
Possibly a tattoo of him telling fans to f*** off mate?
I meant a tattoo of Arteta
exactly! we got facts in front of us. but people prefer to dream.
And why would he? Too many fans stuck up their own arse with prejudice against certain players preferring to listen to facile media analysis that likes to cherry pick problems with Granit , ignore when say Torreira or Guendouzi make equally atrocious passes. Just think – We did not go on a winning streak or even keep clean sheet when we were without granit or for the matter even Mustafi. What that often means is these same people tend not to observe the better points of these players. Granit in fact has improved this season under Emery and with Arteta… Read more »
I think for people to slate him so much for his performances in a team that did perform is stupid and unfair. We can see now how who is good and bad when everyone gives a 100% and tactics that work. He is quality and he showed it in games before like @ Everton and Bournemouth. He has skills that are rare and even say he is better than Emanuel Petit. It’s up to the Managers to get the best out of him. His problem is that he plays too emotionally because he loves the club too much. He should… Read more »
Arteta seems like a very good people manager. Heck, he has managed to convince even ME that Xhaka has to stay.
Good test for Arteta if he is supported by the club to manage the squad his way…
He has been below par for a long time, for whatever reason that is, what matters is now and tomorrow , if arteta can get the best out of Xhaka, I am positively curious to find out what performances that projects for us.
I wouldn’t be surprised if arteta is genuinely an admirer of Xhaka, and in any case he possesses the dna and expertise to Define what midfielders he needs to achieve success
Amusing to see the bandwagoners immediately pipe up after a good performance, saying I’ve always rated Xhaka etc etc. No doubt yesterday was one of his best performances in an arsenal shirt and shows what he offers the team until the end of season. But for me if we really want to start to challenging again for trophies, we need to find a more rounded partner for Torreira. Someone more athletic that can cover the ground and offer more of a goal threat. I think currently we need him and he would make a good squad player but I also… Read more »
If a player finds his feet and performance , it is only stupid to Stubbornly Hang on to old disappointments.
But People certainly need to be patient with their expactions no doubt, it is early days of arteta transition.
Xhaka being brilliant in the coming months doesn’t erase his previous major blunders and lows, but me for one is not swing any point in hanging on to sad moments when good times are lurking
Hold your horses, he’s had a couple of good games now you’re reading into your crystal ball that he’s going to be brilliant for the rest of the season?
I really hope he does play brilliantly, I want this revolution to continue in a positive fashion.
As do all Arsenal fans I’m sure.
If Arteta can get the best out of him then that’s great, but he can’t fix his Achilles heel which is his obvious lack of pace which better teams will exploit.
He’ll do for now but it’s certainly an area for improvement.
Some of them have, but maybe you stopped reading their posts when you realised they weren’t trying to crucify Xhaka.
Wow! The decisiveness, just wow!
This is one of the reasons why I love Arteta. He understand that we have to play and fight as a team. No scapegoating like some fans. That’s how he can get the best performances from the players, ulike alot of fans:
“But as well I really liked the resilience, and I like to see them suffer together. When they had to defend deeper.
“I want to see that reaction that instead of getting annoyed with each other when someone gives the ball away.
Arteta is the perfect person to Guide Arsenal midfield especially Xhaka and Torreira. He’s a midfield who was asked to play everywhere, on the wings with Everton, our front midfielder and dropped to defensive midfield at the end.
Never one to rely on his pace, like Xhaka. Hope he’s able get Xhaka to work on his positioning.
Am I allowed to admit that I have changed my mind on GX around 4 times. But also kind of in the sense that I never really made up my mind at all. I enjoy a measure of bold, balls out fan predictions, but personally more comfortable with a liminal suck it and see approach.
Suck it and see sounds great, but make sure you have permission first 🙂