Granit Xhaka sounded a positive note over his partnership with Thomas Partey, despite how little they’ve played together.
The former Atletico Madrid man has been beset by injury issues since his deadline day move in October – and although he’s in line for a possible return against Benfica in Athens tomorrow night – the duo have only started together seven times.
In that short period of time they’ve dovetailed well, and on paper appear to be the most compatible midfield pair.
The Swiss international is hopeful they can cement that relationship on the pitch, and revealed they’ve connected off it too.
“It is a shame we have not played a lot together, because he has had two big injuries,” said Xhaka.
“But the games we have played together, I think he looks very good, very solid.
“We are very good together, not only on the pitch but off it as well. He is a lovely guy, he is improving our team because you can see how much experience he has at this level, and this is good for my game as well.
“As well, the other midfielders in the team are improving step by step and the important thing is that we can see and we can feel we are improving and we have to keep going like this and let’s see what we can take from the end of the season.”
Xhaka has had a good spell of form since his daft sending off against Burnley, and he’s been keen to credit Mikel Arteta for some of that.
“The only thing I feel is I have a lot of confidence from the coach, I am in very good shape physically and as well mentally, and this is key to my game,” he continued.
“For me everything has to be clear, what we want to do on the pitch and at the moment it is like this.
“The coach is helping me a lot, everyone knows he is one of the reasons why I am still at the club and I have a very good relationship with him and he is helping me every day, on the pitch and off the pitch.
“I am very thankful for him, because if you have a coach like this who gives you the confidence and the freedom, it is easier for the player.”
Clearly the coach helps xhaka a lot, if only he could afford other players with actual quality with a bit of that attention. We might actually get rid of xhaka to ease the wage bill🤔🤔
What a mindlessly cynical viewpoint!
Exactly. Arteta has apparently mentored and developed Sterling. Why can’t he do the same with Nelson for example, Saliba as well, Pepe (especially as we spent so much on him). Same goes for Torreira and Guendouzi who have a higher ceiling than xhaka. We have less resources than city i.e. so he should work and maximize what he has.
And on topis of xhaka – he still can’t drop the topic about his social media abuse, check the guardian today. Guy’s unbelievable.
Sterling was and is top class, so probably required less ‘mentoring’ than Nelson who in my opinion will not make it at this level, he never seems to produce when it counts. Torreira is not a premiership player and even Simeone can’t get a tune out of him. How many times has he played him? As for Guendouzi, even the Hertha manager describes him as ‘going through puberty’. Dardai has spoken of his need to mature as a player. You actually have no idea how long Arteta spends with each player and it’s a sad fact that no matter hiw… Read more »
Nelson is too young for anyone to say he won’t make it at this level, so no chance this stands. Torreira was a top player in serie A, I know it’s a wraker league but still, if Kante can make it (with a slender profile) Torr could also, with a bit more support than he had from Emery and now Mikel. Simeone not playing him is also not an argument since he has a very strong team to choose from, who are ahead of him from before. Okay, Guendouzi needs to go “through puberty”? So what? The same with many… Read more »
It’s interesting that when Arteta first came to Arsenal, Nelson namechecked Sterling and Sane as evidence of Arteta’s influence on young players. However it appears that Saka and ESR have been the main beneficiaries of that influence.
Ridiculous comment, posted for no good reason
Fair play Xhaka, the mans performing to a good level every 3 days
Nothing personal towards Granit at all. But we should be looking to move him on this summer I think. His deal expires next summer and we should not be looking to extend his contract. Signing him for around £35M back in 2016 was maybe one of the worst purchases we’ve done in recent times. Right up there with the acquisitions of Mustafi, Pepe and Willian deals. They’ve all been a huge waste of resources. Speaking exclusively in football terms here, he isn’t worth anywhere near that much money. I understand why we wanted him given his performances at Gladbach, but… Read more »
Why should we move a player that is going into his best years? With more composure, more decisiveness on the ball, better tackling and positioning (which he is improving) xhaka will only get better. He doesn’t need pace which he never had he just need to anticipate situations better.
He is always fit and has a great engine. He can form a great partnership with partey for a few seasons! Both complement each other. Most just don’t like the guy even when its obvious he is improving….. like fine wine xhaka keep elevating his game.
Agree with this, and it’s interesting how much Xhaka splits the fan base and pundits. Ultimately the table doesn’t lie, and we are where we are in the main because of the limitations of the squad.
So challenging for top 4, let alone the title, will mean big improvements needed to the squad and CM is an obvious area, especially if we switch to a 4-3-3 which has been mooted. The length and relative quality of Xhaka’s tenure makes him a clear option for an upgrade, either moving him on or demoting him to squad player.
Agree.. miki has honed his aggression in a more intelligent way, no longer giving away those silly free kicks outside our box and now picking up less yellows aswell, he has turned his career at Arsenal around, maybe getting the captains armband went to his head, let’s get behind the fella I think he’s deserved it.
While your performances have been mostly good for some time now, and you no doubt have match winning qualities when you are on top of your game, you continue with your statements to cast doubt over your Arsenal identity. We want always players to be professional, that is the entry ticket, but we also want passion for our club, repeatedly stating you are still here cause you like Arteta is not showing much passion. in the end that passion will determine your future and real success
I’ve always thought of Xhaka as too passionate! his bookings and sending offs are instinctive and based on a passion and aggression, He just over reacts to what are in the greater scheme of things, minor events. Xhaka’s shortcomings are pretty obvious and credit to Arteta in trying to bottle that passion and aggression.
I’d agree with Tungor though in that i never feel his passion is for the club. There’s always an air around his comments that he’s purposefully refusing to acknowledge the fans. I’ve not seen him once reference us, even prior to the Palace incident. Just not a player I’ve ever warmed to, and I’m absolutely desperate for a new cm signing.
Not to say Xhaka hasn’t been pretty great lately, particularly alongside Partey, but as has been often noted he’s never going to eradicate his weaknesses. Imagine how good Partey and someone of similar quality would be.
Completely agree. You can fault Xhaka for many things but, imo, he’s visibly one of our most passionate players.
It’s understandable that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but you can’t blame the man for avoiding references to the fans when he’s been abused & threatened by sections of that same fanbase.
I didn’t say he is not a passionate personality, . But he is not expressing a passion for the club colors and fans. He is a proud boy, but he to me forgets we are proud fans, the absolute majority and real fans are passionate for the club, and want players to be the same, and certainly express it. To me the bottom line is not if he is a good footballer or passionate person, it is his passion for our club. He has mentioned social media as a Killer of football, I think we can extend that to all… Read more »
Look at your approach towards him, that is indicative of a large portion of our fanbase within the time span of the last few seasons and ask yourself whether you really are entitled to that sort passion and appreciation you demand of him…
I say, good on the lad for staying, finding something engaging within his environment and positively contributing to the results of the club at a time when few players are.
The results are quite poor and have been for some time.
This guy needs to be shown the exit asap
His performances, and especially their consistency, have really been in exceptional in the last few months… the burden of most other players in the squad being, frankly speaking, shit, shouldn’t really fall on him.
What approach exactly? me praising him as one of the 2 most productive players against City? Me saying above that he is a good player indicates What to you exactly? I have probably lifted his good performances than most.it seems you are more eager than most to make ill willing and erratic, social media accusations. Take a deep look in the mirror. And now let’s take your logic, me sharing in 2021 that I am not inspired by his statements is what made him do them prior to me making this comment… I should not even respond to such a… Read more »
Good on you Granit. I’ve enjoyed your performances recently. Having turned a corner its clear to see. I do however think we are struggling by being too light on options in CM meaning that Xhaka has played almost every minute which you could see had an impact on his legs the last couple of games. Hopefully Partey back will ease the burden and we can rotate abit and give a rest to Xhaka so he can come back to his top form again. COYG
Hope we get a young new breakthrough prospect to challenge for that Xhaka position. Doesn’t have to be a big money signing, but has to be a smart long-term one.
We dont need to sign anyone. Miguel Azeez is the immediate future.
Xhaka is the symbol of mediocrity at Arsenal
I wonder what he does so well off the pitch that all players and coaches are absolutely seduced by this guy
Except that he has been a key player since returning from suspension.
Key player in a team that is 11th in the league.
Even if so, haven’t we then other, more pressing issues to preoccupy ourselves with?
not really i think midfield is a major problem with this team xhaka elneny ceballos all midtable players who plod along all season doing nothing special.
But we just accepted the premise that he is a key player in a mid-table team… so come transfer window, do you go out there looking to find players that improve on your best performers, or the worst ones, in areas where there are bigger possible margins of improvement? #BasicLogic
Basic logic would suggest improving on players who have consistently failed in an arsenal shirt. To get us in the top 4 and now failing to even qualify of the Europa League
The acceptance of meritocracy on here is baffling.
Keep your narrative that he had played great and is a key player. He is average at best as shown over 5 years at arsenal
I can think of one, but we shouldn’t preoccupy ourselves to much with fake fans
Key to what…? Mid table mediocrity?
Genuine question. If all the players and coaches rate him so highly, have you ever considered that your analysis of Xhaka may be off?
Not saying you’re not entitled to your view but I’m personally inclined to believe the ppl that work with him & do football for a living.
I’m also inclined to believe my own eyes. Besides Partey when fit, he’s been our best and most consistent midfielder this season by some margin.
He’s probably a dedicated, reliable pro who always tries his best and follows instructions.. And he’s been the strongest mid physically to help defend in and around the box.
Sadly, he’s often just lost in transitions and lacks real flair, not to mention his other shortcomings.
He may benefit as Partey’s partner, but I doubt that the opposite is also true.
Finding another top mid should be a priority, and it makes all kinds of sense to finally part ways with Granit.
Plus, as mentioned, make room and unleash The Azeez…
Great statement Beast. 100% agree with you. Actual professionals versus arm chair amateurs. It’s clear who’s analysis is the more informed. I’m so sick of reading through these comments and reading uninformed opinions one after another. It’s so tiresome. And another thing, I’m kind of sick of Blogs writing in an apologetic manner when he has to broach topics that aren’t popular with the majority of forum of commentators. He has a tendency to write in a manner which tip toes are the mob. By that I mean he acknowledges their opinions… even though not agreeing with them, and that… Read more »
Yes exactly.. You nailed it with your last point. I am also inclined to believe my eyes.. And I can see clearly that for a 35m player he adds very little.. He has no pace, he cant tackle (without getting carded), he doesnt play enough cutting edge passes, he has minimal goal threat (I used to be a big fan of his left foot belters but for some reason he has stopped taking them),he is frequently out of his position in defence.. Even a Todd Cantwell can do what he does.. in fact he was outright liability in first 2… Read more »
He’s not that bad, just average.
What you’d expect a mid table team to have….🙄
Well done, Xhaka. Your recent performances in defence of the Arsenal shirt have been exemplary. That’s all I can ever ask- for you to give your last drop of blood in defence of Arsenal FC.
I’ve developed a real soft spot for Xhaka
I’m not blind to his shortcomings
But It’s much easier to get on board with committed players
I’ve got a soft spot for Xhaka too.
A quiet little stretch of quicksand.
Seriously mate, we (the club) can do better than him.
bro even kolasinac, lucas perez, iwobi, giroud, gibbs were committed players
Unpopular opinion. Many people just love to hate Xhaka without considering our team. Yes, Xhaka does silly things but his football ability is better than many think. People compare him to our dear own Vieira (captain invincible) that played in arguably the best arsenal team of all time. Vieira has weaknesses too and got silly red cards at times but he has players to cover his weaknesses from GK to the striker. Xhaka by contrast is playing in one of the worst arsenal sides of all time. A team lacks the personnel and heart to cover other people’s weaknesses. I’m… Read more »
A measure of Partey’s quality is that he actually brings out something resembling decent play from Xhaka – no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination.
That said, I’ll not be shedding any tears when Xhaka finally departs this club. His hitherto bang averageness is a prime example of why we’re where we are.
I’m surprised you have any tears left to shed after the Ozil situation. Xhaka has played well without Partey next to him. The narrative that Partey makes everyone fantastic is just another stick to beat Xhaka with. Seems pointless, but hey – if you hate a player, you might as well use every nonsensical argument at your disposal. Typical of our fans, few tough seasons and even the positives (in this case Partey) can be used to keep crying (metaphorically – no tears needed) about a totally different situation. Hope Xhaka continues his improvements, and hitherto hard work. Hitherto, I… Read more »
Play Partey at least for some of the game if he seems fit. We can win this cup, get champions League. We’ve nothing else to play for. No point saving him for the next round if we aren’t in it. Maybe we’ll draw a shit team next – we’re due luck in the draw.
Hopefully xhaka will part-ner someone else in another club this summer. Along with luiz and willian (which will be the hardest but a guy can dream). I’d open a bottle of good whiskey for that.
I don’t profess to know much about football, but I think Granit is a top CM that most teams would be very happy to have. He’s obviously a natural leader, captains his national team and has been consistently selected by every manager he’s played under. Like all players he has his weaknesses but his strengths far out way them when the team is set up in a way that doesn’t expose him to 2 or 3 on ones. So much hate for him and it baffles me, he’s one of us and obviously try’s is utmost for the club. At… Read more »
you definately dont know much about football if you think he is a top CM
top CM that most *mid-table teams would be happy to have
Xhaka is performing at a very good level at the moment. He will benefit from a bit of power beside him with Partey. but there is no need to rush back the Ghanaian at risk of aggravation to injury if we can find an alternate efficacy with a pair of ESR and Ceballos operating ahead of Xhaka on either side. This particularly against teams that prefer to tighten lines and absorb/hit on break. Watched RM versus Atalanta today. Two things : 1) How other teams like Atalanta do not crumble or retreat to edge of their box immediately after going… Read more »
I am so very sad & angry to hear of the abuse that Xhaka and his family have received 🙁 This is completely unacceptable. There is no excuse for such disgusting behaviour, although at this time I feel that such abuse is a terrible amplified by-product of the pressure that this pandemic has taken on everyone. Saying that – it has gone on a too long unchecked before now. As I say there is absolutely no excuse in anyway, but I am sure that those that are stooping so low are feeling bad themselves & they use the social media… Read more »
…I must add it is great to hear the support that Xhaka has received from Arsenal fc.
First class whiner, mediocre footballer.
Still hasn’t found the courage to Apologize to the fans for his shameful meltdown and now he’s posturing about how “he’d like to meet them”.
What a pathetic little man.
Not he should after all the abuse he’s received so far. Little men are people like you who like to dish it but can’t receive it.