Monday, November 29, 2021

Arteta defends hothead Xhaka after ‘mistake’

Mikel Arteta admits Granit Xhaka ‘lost it’ during Sunday night’s defeat to Burnley but he wouldn’t be drawn into criticising a player whose professionalism he admires.

While the boss labelled the Swiss midfielder’s latest red card ‘unacceptable’ after the 1-0 defeat, he seemed keen, despite the player’s infuriating stupidity, not to stick the knife in.

Having been very harsh in the heat of the moment on Nicolas Pepe, who was sent off for violent conduct at Leeds a few weeks ago, his calm reaction raised a few eyebrows.

Facing the press ahead of Wednesday’s game with Southampton, Arteta continued in the same vein, perhaps recognising that hammering individuals while the squad’s confidence is low is not the best policy.

“He [Granit] has [had a few rocky moments] and he’s not the only one,” said the boss.

“There’s a lot of players who have had rocky moments. What I can say about Granit is that his professionalism and his commitment with the club and with his teammates is maximum.

“He knows and we know that he had a moment where he lost it and I know the reason why, but what I cannot do is just throw everything that he has done away just because he made a mistake.

“We have all made mistakes and I am here as well to protect the players when I see that they deserve that and for sure, Granit is one of them for the way he approaches every training session and the way he wants to do things in the right way all the time and the professional that he is.”

The boss was also asked if Xhaka had apologised to his teammates, something Pepe was quick to do via a message on social media.

“Whatever happens internally, I’m sorry but we cannot discuss,” he replied. “It’s been resolved internally and this is what I can say.”

After it was put to him that no club has received more red cards in the time he’s been Arsenal’s main man in the dugout, Arteta went on to defend his players’ discipline.

“Well, we’ve had six red cards since I joined and only two have been discipline: Pepe and Granit. The rest, there have been two late tackles. One with Eddie against Leicester and the one against Palace, which was Auba. And then the other ones, there were two actions when a player was going through on goal and the defender is trying to prevent a goal. So they are not six disciplinary red cards. There have been two and those two have been dealt with.”

We’re probably not the first to point this out, but Xhaka’s narrative arc really tallies with the club’s 2020. He looked done and dusted after his falling out with the fans in late 2019, found redemption under Mikel Arteta – for whom he played an important role in our FA Cup success – and now, in the eyes of many supporters, is back to making the same frustrating mistakes.

It’s tiring writing about it, so god knows what it’s like for him living it.

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Mick Malthouse

We continue to accept mediocrity across everything we do.

Johnny 4 Hats

Weird thing about Xhaka. He’s only actually been at the club 4 seasons. But I can’t remember an Arsenal team without him anymore. He’s figured through brain farts, red cards, total on-field meltdowns, catastrophic errors and constant loss of form (or more likely flukey moments of effectiveness). And he’s done all of this while being about as athletic as an arthritic Ozzy Osborne. Never mind what club in the top six would keep a player like Xhaka at the club for that long. What club in any division of any league would keep a perennial underachiever with a penchant for… Read more »

Daveo

I agree with everything except constant loss of form. Form is something that describes a temporary shift in performances positively (in form) or negatively (out of form). 3.5 years of this mediocrity is not form, it is quality. Xhaka is not of the quality needed, nor is his style of play or overall game suited to the EPL. Clearly Xhaka is a good, hard worker off the pitch. Probably a nice guy too to his teammates and coaches. Good on him. He’s clearly very good at convincing those around him of that through his hard work and the things he… Read more »

Futsboller

I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment of Xhaka and have never understood why he looks so good with the Swiss team and so terrible with us. I remember the odd good match with Ramsey beside him, but remember as many when the two of them were Swiss cheese. Arteta has to defend his player, just like he did after the smoke cleared with Pepe. People are ignoring what Arteta said right after the game because it fits the dominant narrative at the moment: Xhaka’s red card was worse than Pepe’s, because it hurt the team even more. That said, I… Read more »

Daveo

I disagree a bit on that. He was prompted about comparing Xhaka’s to Pepe’s before he said “maybe worse”. Before that he was all about how he understood the mistake. With Pepe it was “unacceptable”. Nothing more. Not this dancing around he has done with Xhaka, half defending him (or more than half).

As for the Swiss, they sit deep and play a slow game and slow teams down. They don’t try and dominate possession. They play a style that suits him. Arsenal and the EPL don’t.

Futsboller

It’s not dancing around — he’s outright defending his player, no mistaking that. He’d do the same thing with Pepe if asked again about Pepe’s red card, and seems to be implying it with his reference to the rocky moments of other players. In both instances, following the game, he stated clearly that what both players did was unacceptable — he just said a lot more with respect to Xhaka’s because of the context. Homer mentions below that perhaps Arteta is learning something by comparing the two responses to similar red cards. Worth a thought. Good assessment of playing style.… Read more »

atom

I’ve been vocal about Arteta’s failings but have to agree with Futsboller on this. The biggest concern a lot of fans have regarding Arteta is his seeming inability to learn from mistakes/change when things aren’t working. We shouldn’t rip him when he appears to be doing just that. If he wants to rip Xhaka then he should do it privately – the way he responded to the Pepe red card was a mistake IMO. That said I’ll be truly concerned if Xhaka simply retakes his place in 3 games – this needs to be the end of his Arsenal career.

Daveo

I agree the way he dealt with pepe was a mistake, but now he is showing inconsistencies. What does pepe think? I get called straight out, while xhaka gets this, “sure it wasn’t great but its cause he cares so much” BS?! Arteta is really showing his inexperience here. Be the squad is slipping away from him.

Atom

If we truly are going to stick with Arteta no matter what then it’s critical we clear the decks this winter.

Meddie

I recall everyone literally complained about Arteta’s response to Pepe red card. Are you now pushing that he repeats that mistake with Xhaka? What’s going on? Are fans disappointed that he learned from that incident and now defending the player?

Atom

If you’re talking to me you clearly didn’t read or understand my comment.

Futsboller

Inconsistency, or a more learned approach? I think you’re putting too much stock in what Arteta says in public over and above what he says to his players. If you watched Pepe work in the EL the last three games, I don’t think you saw a player disaffected with his manager. I think we’ll see a very crisp Pepe tomorrow continuing that trend.

The press and social media messiahs are pumping stories of squad disturbance, because that is what they do at this phase of slump — they try to pile it on, to deepen the crisis. Don’t bite.

John C

Xhaka’s is completely ill suited to the premier league and it’s by no coincidence that his inclusion in the team has coincided with us falling out of the champions league places and into the Europa cup. What i find more bizarre than his continued inclusion in the team is that he’s picked in a position that highlights everything he does poorly. In the hybrid 3rd centre back/deep lying midfielder position he plays, he not only robs the team of all forward momentum but he also gives the opposition an opportunity to exploit his complete lack of athleticism and defensive ability.… Read more »

Doghouse

We seem to have history of buying players who look class on the international scene yet apart from the odd league game are mediocre or average at best, Xhaka falls in to this, top looking player in a swizz shirt crap in ours, god knows who we bought him from but he was probably a big fish in a small pool of a club we got suckered in to buying (thanks Arsene, add podolski & Arshavin to players having a good tournament) we really should of got rid when he turned on the fans, that said after his ban he… Read more »

John C

That’s because International football is a lower standard than premier league

YOLO Toure

I think that’s a bit harsh – I saw Ozzy on the Sabbath farewell tour a few years ago and he was lively as ever! In all seriousness though, what is going on with Xhaka’s form?! Everyone was sort of happy when Arteta came in and Xhaka seemed to have his head on, doing his midfield work quietly and it being effective. But even that seems to have gone out of the window now — like I used to love those left footed outside passes he used to make to a running fullback, like Nacho, to stretch the line, but… Read more »

The Arsenal

Xhaxa arriving here and being giving so much license at the club has coincided with our steep fall from grace.

Runcorn Gooner

Arteta defends Xhaka to media but then sells him in January. Fairly good odds I would think. He almost left last year.

Francesc

99.9999999% sure Xhaka didnt apologize

Lettra

But he did with his performa….

Ha ha sorry I can’t continue..

Der32

He probably asked for a return of mutual respect.

Henrik

Did he even apologize to the fans? Xhaka has to go, no question about it, utterly shit.

PGunner

I was one of the few that half-defended Xhaka’s actions after that infamous game, because I felt Emery unwittingly hung him out to dry, even if his actions were very questionable/stupid. So I thought let’s give the fella one last chance. On Sunday that last chance was used up and I now really don’t want to see Xhaka put on an Arsenal shirt again.

Arsepedant

Me too. I’ve always defended him. But I can’t any more. After spending a year rebuilding goodwill with the team and the supporters, he has thrown it all away with a selfish, petulant, and stupid display of immaturity. I don’t see how Arteta can ever pick him again. And I hope he doesn’t. I hope he’s sold on January 1.

Jack

I read the article and then looked at the picture and just thought that’s not a mistake. What kind of idiot grabs someone’s throat. I forgave him for what happened at the Palace game but I don’t think I can let this one slide (as I imagine how most fans are feeling).

He cost us three points with the Burnley game. We were putting pressure on just before he got sent off and I’m convinced if he had stayed on the pitch we would have scored. But it changed the game

SB Still

I’ve joined the ArtetaOut view yet. However, if Arteta treats Xhaka better than Pepe, I sure would hope Arteta goes and takes Xhaka with him.

boudro

I’m not quite at Arteta out, but I was looking to see how he would treat this after what he did with Pepe. Maybe he learned a lesson after many here blasted him for public scorn of Pepe.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I doubt Arseblog comments hold that type of weight, but who knows

boudro

Not necessarily saying the comments here, but the fact that he publicly scorned Pepe and people not liking it. He may not have wanted to do that again. Who knows, but Xhaka wouldn’t play for me again period.

Timorous Me

I seem to recall that his comments about Pepe a few days after the incident (and the “unacceptable” post-match comment) were a lot more measured and walked back a bit. This feels like a similar approach.

Bould's Eyeliner

After every match they sit in their clubroom waiting for the match report like we do. COMMENT AWAYYYYY

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’m not so sure they would have scored. They could be still sending crosses in until now and probably wouldn’t have scored

Twatsloch

What Arteta should do here is officially give the situation the silent treatment whilst behind the scenes make sure Xhaka vacates the premises. Anything else is bollocks.

Daveo

Or like I said yesterday appeal the ban so he is suspended longer due to a spurious appeal. That would be true leadership.

Shaun

I’m sorry but if Arteta continues to favour and pick Xhaka after all this, I can’t back him anymore. He didn’t buy him but he keeps picking him.

Takeshita

It’s a situation similar to AW when he kept on picking Almunia after a series of crap performance. Eventually the situation changed after Szczney went public about it.

BillyKrystal

But he’s captain material! Can’t you see the way he inspires the team? His brilliant tactical fouls, the way he dictates the play when he slows our tempo down to a crawl! The way he’s only capable of passing forward to either fullback! Or maybe it’s just his warrior’s spirit!

Futsboller

I actually liked the tactical, meaty foul, but everything after that … no.

The Arsenal

How he has hoodwinked 4 managers here is beyond me.

Modha

1000 times this.

He's got no hair but we don't care...

OK. Enough is enough. I was willing to back the boss on this ‘project’ even if that meant just avoiding relegation BUT defending that chocolate teapot of a player is the last straw. Yep, if course I get defending Auba he’s our captain and vital but NOT Xhaka.

bob

So, the manager of the team you support defends a player of the team you support, and you are angry with that? I’m no fan of Xhaka, but I’d hate to see our manager stick the knife in. He’s already said that his behaviour is unacceptable, I think that’s enough publicly. The real test will be if Xhaka remains trusted after his ban ends. If he does, then you have valid criticisms. If not, then it would look like you flew off the handle prematurely. Since you (presumably) nor I can see the future, let’s wait and see on judging… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

Yes, thank you, we are the Arsenal, not the Spurs. Leave it to good ol’ Mou to throw his players under the bus.

He's got no hair but we don't care...

Don’t get me wrong I hate that twattish twonk but throwing that scumbag Ali under the bus and almost freezing him out hasn’t exactly backfired on him has it.

He's got no hair but we don't care...

I’m sorry but you don’t need a crystal ball to see thus future. Did you need one in Wenger’s last 8 years? I understand he has to defend his own players but how many times does he have to defend the same one who not only continues to make the same mistakes but is not worth playing the game with the press for. We were wise enough to lose respect for our greatest ever manager when he kept defending the indefensible. He lost us by doing that and playing players like Xhaka that even a blind 3 legged dog wouldn’t… Read more »

fmikael

For me, your’s the best comment I’ve come across so far on this subject…

Francesc

I dont know what charm this Xhaka guy has cast on people within the club. He is the most overrated, limited, and average player to play in the Premier league, let alone at arsenal. The guy won’t get into even a Sheffield united side and I am not exaggerating..

Just want tear my hair out when I see him play for the club and even more so when someone defends him

Daveo

Xhaksputin? Rasphaka? Granit Rasputin will do.

Graeme the optimist

It was a shame how he carried on.

The Arsenal

Just ask people what he does well…That usually stumps them,

Toure Motors

I’d be fairly confident that xhaka hasn’t lost sleep over what happened on Sunday. He strikes me as fairly egotistic about things like that, judging on his reaction to the last time he did it. Judging on artetas comments we can expect to see him back in the team in 4 games time. Hurrah!!

Andy

well, this is a chance for whoever replaces him to ensure that does not happen. if we are now picking players on merit then the one in possession of ths shirt stays in until he gets injured or loses form. the lesson xhaka needs to learn (which i doubt he will) is that you don’t get stupid sendings off like that without risking being on the bench for the next 10 weeks at least. would love to see AMN or ESR get a run but i have a feeling it will be ceballos – a guy who literally does not… Read more »

Browntown

“I know the reason why” – Phew! Luckily there’s a good explanation for it. Perfectly reasonable thing for Xhaka to do. Cheers!

Mikolaj

I admired Arteta for his brilliant approach to conferences, he talked the way I loved to hear. How quick things change!
Now it seems it was just talking. His actions are ridiculous. It’s not only “the tactics thing” but the whole team management is rotten.

Arsenal should try and appoint someone who will fear nobody and who will clean the mess (which means exodus of many failures within the team).

Futsboller

Do you think you’ll laud his brilliant approach to conferences when we start winning again, or are you done with him, no matter what?

Usmanov

Great question!

Lettra

We just need to sell, can’t use him for a few games now anyway the timing is perfect.
He can pack his stuff and everything well in time for the transfer window.

Amusa

We’ll always be midtable if we have someone like Xhaka in midfield. If he is to play he needs to be a part of a 3 man midfield, with 2 players like Elneny and Partey to do the running for him.

Gone are days we would have players like Cazorla, Fabregas, Rosicky and Jack in the midfield. How far we’ve fallen.

mrugunner

artATA: out

A P

I guess there is no contrition from Xhaka again.

Gus Caesar

To be fair, i don’t think that Arteta can really say anything different in public about Xhaka and it certainly won’t help him to fall out with one of his few centre-midfielders in public at a time when he needs as many friends as he can get. I think Arteta would probably now say he regrets going public on Pepe, he showed his deeper frustration with the player there I think, but we have to accept that a novice manager will learn on the job. So I guess it’s good that Arteta has learnt so quickly from that mistake. If… Read more »

Danish Gooner

Keep picking him and there is no hiding then. His comments to me shows the sign of someone who will put him straight back in the team when he back from his suspension.

Gus Caesar

I don’t disagree but, out of interest, who would you have played instead? From what i can tell the realistic options were Ceballos (good but hardly setting the world on fire himself is he?) and Willock (not really a deep-lying centre-mid). Azeez would be like a lamb to the slaughter against Burnley. I’m as infuriated by Xhaka as the rest of us, but i’m quite sure that Partey was the planned replacement and he wasn’t available.

Dom47

Buddy, 4-3-3 with Elneny as DM, Ceballos and Willock or ESR in front of him. There are options. Anyone but Xhaka who just grabs players whenever they pass him and is a red card waiting to happen.

edzo

I’d be hesitant to put wilock or ESR in this team. It might destroy their confidence. These promising young players need to be slowly incorporated into the team. I fear this lousy team will destroy Sakas confidence and joy for the game.

Domi

You say this like they’re to be put under a glass bell. When do we finally give youngsters a chance? Look at dortmund, stuttgart, monaco, RB L and S. They give kids a chance and most of them strive. Players need to play, they play football all their life, it’s not rocket science. How do you think they feel when they are treated like daisies and senior players continue to make stupid mistakes and/or don’t give a sh1t? Especially as we don’t have such resources as city i e. and can’t just go and buy so many players outside. Instead… Read more »

Gus Caesar

I get the worry about exposing youngsters to the current pile of steaming horsesh!t, but I think that ESR is ready – he spent a good while at Huddersfield last season, in winning and losing teams and, whilst that’s not identical I think it goes some way to preparing him mentally. Personally, I would give him a go behind Nketiah, with Auba back on the left where he can find a bit more space. All young players have to start somewhere at some time and, if ESR is fit, I just can’t see why it’s not now. But i’m still… Read more »

Danish Gooner

agree with Dom47, there was other options at home against a team who was going to be real defensive and havent scored a lot of goals. Ceballos was the obvious choice, or even Maitlan-Niles for the extra athleticism he gives.

Domi

Agree there, I forgot about AMN, actually would use him as a more box to box mid and put ceballos on his side as a more attacking mid, with elneny behind them.

I don’t see why that shouldn’t work and why we cannot use this desired 4-3-3 mikel complains he has no players for.

Utter BS. Might find better quality players but they can play it.

COYG 1001

Indeed, I think our big signing (injured) was largely to replace The Immobile One. So, it’s not like Mikel is unaware of the situation and doesn’t have a solution (almost) on hand.

Laca New Bendtner

Arteta is digging himself deeper and deeper in shit with his biased treatment of players. He seems to have holy cows amongst the squad and this will only serve to divide the dressing room further.

His selective management of Özil, Papa, Guendouzi, Willian, Pepe, Ceballos, Luiz and now Xhaka issues leave a bitter taste in the mouth and exposes him for the rookie man manager that he is.

A club as big as Arsenal deserves much better.

The Arsenal

and Saliba.

BellendBob

I really like Arteta, but why he isn’t getting rid of Xhaka is beyond me. I can’t bear to watch Arsenal play anymore, when he is on the pitch. He’s a damn donkey in a game for racing horses. Quite frankly I don’t care about his leadership abilities and “professionalism” either – because he has none when it matters. Conducting himself well in practice seems irrelevant when the reality is very different in competitive games. He is so limited and it seems like Arteta is trying so damn hard to make the team work around him. Why? It makes no… Read more »

IncrediblArsenal

From what we’ve seen so far, Ceballos isn’t much better. Although it seems to me that we got him (on loan) again because he could be utilised as a deep-lying playmaker (Xhaka) or a AM (Ozil).

rnab08

Yeah, Ceballos hasn’t been exceptional, and I don’t think he’s the answer, but if you’re a center midfielder playing alongside Xhaka you must have to be pretty special to look good, because you’re doing a lot of extra work just to make up for him. I should know, because I’m basically Xhaka for my adult league team. At least I have the excuse that I’m usually hungover. If Torreira were to come back early from his loan, I could see him and Partey making for a pretty interesting partnership. Unfortunately, I think even if Torreira were to come back into… Read more »

ATG

I just don’t understand why he keeps on defending Xhaka and his latest comments tell me one thing, as soon as he’s available he will play….

I can understand rocky moments from players especially young ones without much experience just like Guendouzi who had a lot more heart than Xhaka has ever shown himself.

Henrik

He should have mentioned the Pepe situation and apologized for the treatment he received, I can’t remember a modern day coach who have had more favorites than arteta, disgusting!

performances have to be no 1 picking criteria and it is obvious arteta doesn’t care about that.

Daveo

This is his inexperience showing through. He used Douzi (and later Pepe) as an example to try and show what will and will not be tolerated. Then has shown utter hypocrisy since. And it has cost us a young player with massive potential, while two overpaid, overrated donkeys get the run of the town – Willian gets nothing for going AWOL and Xhaka gets defended for his total idiocy – AGAIN! Remember this is the guy that told fans to fuck-off and used social media as an excuse not to make a proper apology. It is social media FFS, it’s… Read more »

Public Elneny Number One

If i did what Xhaka did at my place of work I’d be sacked instantly

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

If you did that you’d be arrested. The sacking would only come when you were charged.

Snc

Can anyone enlighten me what is Xhaka good at again? Its been season like 5 seasons and 3 diff managers… I still cant figure him out except tt he is a bit rash at times and his agility and work rate isnt his virtue.

DPK

Arsene loved him & never dropped him. Emery did too. Arteta does too. So did successive Swiss managers. Obviously we all know nothing about football cos I just can’t explain it in any way.

PaulS

He’s Swiss national captain and was captain at 22 of a strong Borussia Monchengladbach side.

goongot

i guess he’s jack ma of football.

Daveo

Those roles suit him much more because they sit deep. He isn’t anywhere near the quality and attributes needed in a top team or one that aspires to be or one that wants to control possession. Nor is he suited to a league in which high tempo, direct counter attacking football dominates. In fact, I’m not sure I have seen a midfielder less suited to such a league or team.

Fabulous

Used to be able to ping those long balls. F*ck now that’s also gone there really is nothing left

Joe

It just misses the point. You can put up with someone being a ‘hothead’ if they bring other qualities to the team. Xhaka doesn’t really. Patrick Vieira he is not…..

Ealing

Right you are

Beef

I can’t believe this. It’s just completely nuts. What is going on?

le caiman

guendouzi did exactly the same thing as xhaka. grabbed a guy by the throat but xhaka was during a game and got sent off for it. arteta said he didnt want players like that, its not tolerated at this club blablabla. matteo was done after that. bet xhaka is still here past january. arteta making all the wrong moves with players. guendouzi sokratis at least they had some bite in them

myrtle

Yep, both had rarely let us down, yet are treated like dirt. I remember that game vs villa when guendouzi almost single handedly dragged this team back to a win. And so Kratos was the best cb at the club for 18 months. When has xhaka ever shown that much on the pitch? Never is the answer.

Don Cazorleone

I suspect it’s coz Guendouzi didn’t prostrate himself to Arteta in the aftermath, while Xhaka would lick his boots clean to get another start. #negotiable

ozymandias

I’m all for Arteta defending our players publicly. Just wish he had the same energy regarding Pepe’s red at Leeds… For example, Willian’s flies unauthorized to Dubai to get salty with bae breaching all sorts of COVID protocols. Outcome- starts every game. Xhaka puts his hands round Westwood who was trying to take him AWAY from trouble while we are on top of a must win game, is yet to publicly apologize Outcome- Mikel was at pains to even say he was wrong, and when prompted said that the red card showed his “commitment” and “pashun” etc. Pepe has a… Read more »

Futsboller

Please go read Arteta’s actual comments after the game on Xhaka’s red card: he said, unequivocally, that it was worse than Pepe’s. I understand everyone wants the manager out, but it’s a shame the way people are going about it.

Pepe started every game he was available for following his red card, and he rewarded the manager with some solid performances. I think we’ll see another one like that against Southampton tomorrow.

Daveo

He knows and we know that he had a moment where he lost it and I know the reason why This clearly states Arteta understands why it happened On Xhaka’s action being unacceptable…Yes. In my opinion, it’s too much willingness to do well, to compete, to give everything you have. We took it to the wrong side. When you step over the line you know you’re going to get punished and we did. We cannot make those mistakes. Same again. Here he is stating he is too willing, almost like he is too committed and too much of an amazing… Read more »

Daveo

Now compare to Pepe:

On if there’s any excuse for Pepe’s red card…

No.

On if his message to Pepe…

It’s unacceptable.

But he knows the reason why with Xhaka. And you’re claiming all that is consistent?

Futsboller

Um … yeah. He said there is no excuse for Xhaka’s, and that Xhaka’s red card is worse. He obviously said a lot more about Xhaka’s red card, because he’s being asked a lot more about Xhaka’s red card by the interviewer — he has to compare it to another one, he has to put it in the context of another loss, he has to put it in context of a player who has done this before and is hated by the fans. I’m with you in disliking Xhaka’s form and behaviour and the persistence with which manager’s mistakenly select… Read more »

Daveo

An excuse for pepe? No

On Xhaka being unacceptable? Yes, but… blah blah blah.

It’s a huge difference. And he doubled down on it again today by stating: “He knows and we know that he had a moment where he lost it and I know the reason why”

That is very different from simply stating “No [excuse]…unacceptable”.

Futsboller

Right, he’s being continually asked about it, which means he has to say more than he’d like. He’s being called out after the dust has settled, in public, to defend his player: he has to do so. The Pepe incident and quotations you put up are immediately after the fact. Arteta articulated the same message in both, but just went into way more detail with Xhaka because he was asked to do so.

No where does Arteta say he excuses Xhaka’s behaviour. Explaining something or understanding something and excusing something is a very different thing.

The Arsenal

Guendouzi did no different to Xhaxa…and he was jettisioned with the quickness despite being young and clearly a higher ceiling than Xhaxa.. Arteta wants robots and brownnosers…No mavericks. Its replicated in out game play. How anybody can defend Xhaxa the player or Xhaxa the character is beyond me. If you want to waste time going to back for a guy who since his arrival has probably contributed the most to were we are now then go ahead. If you cant see see clear bias in how Arteta treats Willian, Xhaxa, Bellerin and a few other of his pets then your… Read more »

Lanre

Honestly after the way he backed Willian and now this, i just can’t find it in my heart to support this guy as manager. He is so blatantly partial, it’s unbelievable. No quicker way to lose respect amongst players than show obvious favouritism. Just a matter of time before he goes now. Can’t wait.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I would like to say that Xhaka isn’t good enough to play for Arsenal, but, he is obviously at the required level. Therefore, long live Xhaka’s poor performances and stupidity.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Xhaka can(‘t be criticized)?

d_j_nolan

“what I cannot do is just throw everything that he has done away just because he made a mistake” What a mixed message! Arteta throws Pepe under the bus a few weeks ago for his first and only offense but Xhaka is a multiple offender. He has been in the premier league for years now, he is one of the longest standing squad members and this time last year had his Palace moment where he showed a disregard for the club so there is no reason or excuse for behaviour I would expect from a 4 year old.

Far East Stand

While Xhaka isn’t the reason for all our problems, he is the perfect embodiment of a lot of our problems: overpaying players far beyond what they are worth, giving so many chances to players that just won’t get any better, accepting poor performances and making excuses for them, keeping average players at the club for far too long, and so on.

We’ll never get anywhere until we knock this mindset out of the club.

Alex

“overpaying players far beyond what they are worth” Captain (…) Auba comes to mind.

Heavenly Chapecoense

You mean players who are not even in the team?

OhRockyRocky

I don’t know why Arteta doesn’t just say he apologized to the players and move on. Closes a story instead of creating one which was part of Emery’s problem. Naive management and just adds to the pressure on that one. If he didn’t apologize Arteta loses the dressing room since the double standards of treatment would be too much so guessing he did.

I do hate the whole Xhaka being too much of a character to apologise publicly though. Especially with the non apology from last year still pissing people off. Or me!

Name*

How is it that normal corporate offices immediately pull up employees for the slightest perceived drop in performance, but these players, who are probably paid more each week than most of us are paid for six months, are given yet another chance?

Glenn Helder

That man is like an anchor to our team. Average at best, people point to stats but my eyes don’t lie, they can see the truth.

Vonnie'

Double standards cause all sorts of problems, Mikel Arteta has caused his own problems and still persists with his favourites. This is not going to end well.

Fuzz

he can’t say “he’ll never play again” cos we need to sell him

Tanned arse

I’m assuming arteta’s comments are purely meant to prevent any more disharmony and also retain as much resale value of a player that he fully intends to sell in January.
If on the other hand this is truely what he thinks then I’m disgusted. Surely it’s the former…..right?

Runzac

While I´m not Arteta out I´m now had it with Xhaka. Even though he´s the perfect professional on the training ground he is such a limited player. When you add lack of self control to those limitations the answer stares Arteta in the face.

Futsboller

Very well said. Partey needs to get fit yesterday.

PB70

“Granit is one of them for the way he approaches every training session and the way he wants to do things in the right way all the time and the professional that he is.” Must be tough being a footballer at AFC. At my job, they let me act unprofessionally all the time – I tend to grab people by the throat and do an angry face. I also approach my job and my colleagues in the wrong way all the time. Only if I knew I had to approach it in the RIGHT way, I’d have been CEO by… Read more »

karl

Arteta is constantly causing divisions in the club by treating players with double standards. His tactics are not bad, but management will be his undoing.

Players are too well paid to be heavy handed with them and the squad will just lose interest when they see him being unjust.

Pepe has three times the ceiling as Xhaka and was cast aside after his “mistake”.

Dom47

What a load of cr*p. Mikel is either naive or a bit thick IMO. You can’t defend such actions from our ex captain and one of the senior players (he should be a leader but he is not). I don’t expect to throw him under the bus but to defend him this much also says a lot.

Michael Mcglinchey

Pochettino amyone. We missed out on the chance of Guardiola and Kloop because of Wenger staying on too long should we miss out again? Same core of underperforming players have failed 4 managers at this stage so would any manager be able to get consistency out of this bunch?

Homer

MA didn’t publicly tear into xhaka like he did pepe in a moment of anger. Maybe MA is learning something. All you commentators bitching about xhaka sucks, ditch him, etc. Yeah, geniuses, you think yer the only ones seeing/saying that? Come on. With Ozil out in the cold, Arsenal’s midfield is really bare. Ceballos is substandard. Elneny is limited. Xhaka is limited. Willock a kid. Same with ESR and he’s got fitness issues apparently. Problem is not that MA cannot see how limited/crap xhaka is, its what really are his options here? Especially with Partey out injured. I’d like to… Read more »

Futsboller

Shit, good point. Forgot about that — everyone on here was ripping Arteta for ripping Pepe, and not that he manages the situation much more calmly, he’s still wrong. The narrative is clear, if sad. Xhaka has to go. He nearly left last January, so let’s hope the buyer is still available. We don’t have many proven options in the midfield with Partey unfit, but I’d rather give the keys to the kids and hope for the best than persist with what we know, for 4 years now, doesn’t work. I think it’s time to play Elneny as the only… Read more »

The Arsenal

The thing with Xhaxa is he is a grown ass man, captain of his country experienced and has about 7 of these type of incidents. yet gets cited for his professionalism. As supporters we have seen 4 managers completely back this guy only for him to be shit and continually fuck them over and THEY get fired. He has already buried Wenger and Emery, people really don’t want Arteta to die on that hill too. Our midfield is bare…So Arteta chose to loan our two young Cms, oust Ozil, Brings back a shit Ceballos. Continues with Xhaxa. He has plenty… Read more »

Alex

Maybe Xhaka went to Dubai?

Qwaliteee

Heh.

We finally get a player who genuinely has ‘let the team down’ and what happens….?

The manager – who hasn’t got a clue what he is doing – backs said player.

Laughable.

SLC Gooner

You can possibly defend a moment of red mist if it happens very infrequently. But we’re way ahead in the red table since Arteta took over. That’s not defensible.
You could also perhaps defend it if the player was Keane or Viera. A massive benefit to the team. But Xhaka is neither.

Turad

What I can say about Granit is that his professionalism and his commitment with the club and with his teammates is maximum.”
If this twat is back starting every game after the ban, i’m done.

Hank Scorpio

My greatest concern now is that when Arteta talks about being 5-6 players away from where we need to be, that Xhaka is not one of the players that need to be replaced

Arsenalnut

I had not considered this until I read the article. What do you think has brought about the notably disparate public treatment of Xhaka and Pepe? On the one hand we have a pretty over the top and thrashing of Pepe followed by a calm, measured and supportive dealing in the media with Xhaka. Do you think this the result of Arteta having learned from his poor public reaction to Pepe’s stupidity and not wanting to repeat it with Xhaka? Do you think it the result of Arteta feeling more disappointment with Pepe’s performances than Xhaka’s? What do you think… Read more »

The Arsenal

Its mismangement and playing favorites.

heihaci

i havent even read the article but where is Xhaka’s apology?? poundland Pep needs to go along with Edu

edzo

What I don’t understand is that Wenger, emery and arteta all put xhaka first in the team sheet. And he was captain. I get that he’s a popular figure in the dressing room. And by all accounts he’s a good human. I also think he gets blamed more than others despite so many of our players just being awful. Also, I reject what Henry said about turning off the television. (Henry also slammed Giroud who now has a world cup medal.) But xhaka is just too slow to play in the prem. I don’t see what he brings to the… Read more »

The Arsenal

Henry never ‘slammed’ Giroud. He said he wasn’t good enough to carry Arsenal to a title and we needed to buy another striker to help .. Guess what happened next?

Vermont Gooner

I know Arteta was critisised for how harsh he was to Pepe, so perhaps that is why he is being a bit kinder in regards to Xhaka; however, at the same time … it really smells off. Pepe had one moment of hot head, Xhaka does this shit week in and week out. Speaking of out, Xhaka needs to go.

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