Granit Xhaka took some responsibility for the Leicester goal today, and praised his teammates for their response to going a goal down, coming back to win 3-1.

The Swiss international wasn’t fully to blame for Youri Tielemans opener, and while he did give the ball away, he wasn’t helped by midfield partner Mohamed Elneny who failed to provide any cover.

However, David Luiz’s header, a penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, and Nicolas Pepe’s second half strike – a move in which Xhaka was involved – made it a far less costly error.

The 28 year has now called for more consistency in terms of efforts and performance levels as we head towards the closing stages of the season.

“After my mistake when we conceded the goal, I think the team went a little bit up,” he told the official website.

“We knew it would be very difficult after the Europa League game, after the travelling and everything else, to be ready for 12pm. It wasn’t easy but I think in the end we deserved to win today. We did a really, really good game after 10 minutes.

A really important three points for us. The goals were beautiful and I am so happy for the team.”

Consistency has been a major issue this season, and it’s something we’re going to have to produce if we have any chance of finishing in the European places.

“We have to do it game by game,” said Xhaka, “not for three games, not for four, we have to constantly be like this, with this energy, this team spirit and after I am looking forward to us doing something.”

Xhaka drew praise from Mikel Arteta, who has been impressed by his desire and willingness to play through the fatigue barrier.

In playing today, he overtook Bukayo Saka in terms of minutes played so far this season, and since returning from the red card against Burnley, he has played all 16 games for the Gunners.

“If you have to put an example on that pitch about character and about going for every single goal with that determination, then probably it’s him,” said Arteta.

“He’s played more minutes than anybody else but he keeps going, even when he is so tired. He tries to help the team in the right way and the same like with David.

“For someone like him, at his age, to play again quickly after the game we had to play against Benfica, it was tough.

“But they had the real attitude that they wanted to be involved, they wanted to play and that’s how they approach every game.”

How did Xhaka do? Check out Leicester 1-3 Arsenal – player ratings.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Kind of amazing that Saka didn’t play today and we still bossed the attack. I was starting to worry that we may have all our eggs in the Sakasket.

I feel like Cedric is a stronger candidate to retain that RB position right now. He just looks a few yards sharper and seems to be happy to get stuck in. I think he knows he’s not the best of footballers and is adopting the Ray Parlour approach of just working his socks off. Fair play to him.

Johnny 4 Hats

I dunno if anyone’s really given Arteta some big love for todays game. Whether or not the changes came because he felt he had to rest players or he spotted weaknesses in Leicester (most likely a bit of both) but it worked absolutely perfectly against a side which are very, very difficult to beat. I don’t think anyone gave us a chance when we announced the team and it looked a little like Arteta had thrown the towel in before we kicked off. But he absolutely nailed it today and deserves a lot of credit. In fact, he’s been nailing… Read more »

A P

I have mentioned on multiple occasions that I would like Arteta to succeed at Arsenal because it means the club would do well.

Arteta had a good game against Leicester but his overall record is lackluster and leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Unlike certain posters who keep their blinders on, I believe that Arteta is not immune to criticism.

A P

I have mentioned on multiple occasions that I would like Arteta to succeed at Arsenal because it means the club would do well.

Arteta had a good game against Leicester but his overall record is lackluster and leaves quite a bit to be desired. He does not have a track record to assure fans that shortcomings are not his inherent traits.

Unlike certain posters who keep their blinders on, I believe that Arteta is not immune to criticism.

Jimbo

I know you like to always have 1st reply to the 1st comment for some weird reason but reply to your own is taking it to a new level of weirdness.

PB70

Tracking that information is not weird at all.

Also, Johnny has 4 hats – uses different ones when he replies himself.

fmikael

Also, Johnny has 4 hats – uses different ones when he replies himself.

Very true indeed LOL … during my corporate slavery days I used to wear 3 hats,…. and sometimes I did the same also….

John

Kind of amazing that we’ve scored six goals in the last couple of games! Arteta seems to be getting the attack-defense balance right.

d0ey

One minor thing for me is that Bellerin has played a lot of minutes over the last few months and hasnt had a break. Having said that, I think Pepe and Bellerin just cannot gel and so I’d like to see Pepe and Cedric again at Burnley (would prefer our star 19 year old not to get hacked at for 90 minutes)

Daveo

Hector is a tough one around these parts because he is seriously loved. I really like the guy too, mostly because he is a great character. But if we are looking purely from a footballing perspective in 2021 I think it is clear cedric has outperformed Bellerin. Perhaps playing so much has contributed to this, but it is also clear going forward there is something lacking. I have watched this more closely recently and from that closer examination I actually think he lacks creativity and vision. He doesn’t see a lot of things that other players do and his play… Read more »

miike

bellerin gave auba a great chance on a plate against benfica. In our very poor run everyone was bad but that low driven pass from the right to the left to auba was what created those few chances. Cedric and Bellerin approach playing RB differently so i think both can be used a lot. Bellerin has a million yellows because he sits back and is the first line of defence against a counter. Cedric makes more overlapping runs and gets caught out in a different way than bellerin does. Everyone says cedric is a better crosser but i’m not convinced.… Read more »

No foot Norbert

Cedric is streets ahead of bellerin atm and it’s no coincidence pepe had a great game on the right with Cedric playing with him. The proof is there now not to scapegoat one player or be overly picky but it’s just another area we çan really improve on and if we sell bellerin to pay we can get a better replacement. Great win and a big well done to willi, hopefully he can push on from here!

Oberon

You must have been watching a different game. Also have you forgotten the Villa game already?

Daveo

Why because Cedric made one passing error? Jeez man, you think the fact we couldn’t create anything might have played a role in that loss? Cedric has been quality in 2021. Even on his less preferred left he has done well enough to keep us afloat.

Oberon

Completely disagree on Cedric. he was ok in defence but not good going forward. There were numerous times he stopped moves by cutting back didn’t travel with the ball into space and then there was that howler of a miss from 10 yards no pressure and the whole goal to aim at. He’s back up at best.

Theo

Cedric was the one let down that game I thought

C.B.

That’s not totally fair. We are consistent at letting early goals in.

Qwaliteee

Every now and then, my missus comes out with a random observation that usually has me in (unintended) stitches. Today was no exception.

Seeing her fixed frown at the screen, I said to her “What’s bothering you?”, thinking it might be something related to the fact that for the umpteenth time, we had surrendered an early goal.

”Hmmmm”, she said, “I can’t decide if Xhaka reminds me more of an 80’s Donny Osmond or Jordan Knight from New Kids On The Block….”

🙄

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah. Cardboard cutouts of Ozil can be like that…

Qwaliteee

Thanks mate. Stay classy now.

Qwaliteee

Just genuinely trying to share a joke – but if you want to insult my wife and insinuate that I am married to a cardboard cut out of Ozil, why not throw in a few names as well, like a few of the others on here.

I am so done with this site.

Qwaliteee

So long folks.

Keep the faith.

Granit Xhaka's Wife

Wow, stay classy mate. Just genuinely trying to enjoy an article about my husband’s performance and you come in suggesting he looks like 80’s Donny Osmond or Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block? Why not throw in a few names as well? Admittedly you didn’t, but I’m going to act like you did, in the hope that it will lend credence to my overblown reaction. I am so done with this site.

Qwaliteee

Dear Mrs Xhaka/J4H/Bloggs/Whoever You Are What can I say? My sincerest apologies for having the sheer audacity to come on to a site for football discussion and indulge in the hideous crime of light hearted banter. You’ve all sussed me out – I am indeed married to a cardboard cut out of Mesut Ozil. The shame of it. Mikel Arteta would have perfectly acceptable, but Mesut Ozil? Still, as Arsene once said, every man thinks he has the most beautiful wife. Yes, I didn’t throw in any name calling, but please feel free to throw any insults, no matter how… Read more »

Qwaliteee

*cardboard

Qwaliteee

P.S.

Sincerely looking forward to the long awaited return to a Covid free ‘normality’ when myself, the missus (sorry, the cardboard cut out of Mesut Ozil) and the kids can all return to the Emirates and watch your husband throw away his Arsenal shirt and tell us all to Fuck Off again.

A P

Lame and pathetic.

Qwaliteee

I concur.

It’s a bit rich for someone who makes no secret of having multiple online aliases and creates bogus accounts to get his point across, to accuse a fellow poster of having a Walter Mitty existence.

Parisian Weetabix

Obviously this discussion is long-dead but just for thr record I made the Granit Xhaka’s Wife post, I did it to try to ‘light-heartedly’ point out your grating hypocrisy, I stand fully by it, and I can’t understand why it didn’t go down better.

Domi

I’m not his biggest fan, but… No, can’t make myself do it. Still think he needs to leave asap.

Martin

Even though he has been totally consistent since coming back from suspension and looks like forming a great partnership with Partey.

A P

Can Xhaka perform consistently without returning from a suspension?

Tommmy

I agree. If he’s out third choice CM that’s fine by me but as first choice we really need to be upgrading!!! Guys, how can you not learn after 4/5 years or Xhaka? He’s been great but 1, he has no empathy towards fans, and 2, he’s not mobile enough (or quick enough with his passing), and finally he’s always got an error that leads to a goal in him. Today wasn’t totally his fault but it’s the kind of mistake that leads to a goal he’s cost us like this 3/4 times a season since he joined. People have… Read more »

btw

Yeah, I think he has been great but the record does not lie.

https://www.90min.com/posts/6564399-the-11-players-with-the-most-errors-leading-to-goals-in-the-last-5-premier-league-seasons

A list of 10 goalkeepers, and Granit Xhaka.

Giovanni Hovno

that’s a year ago, would be interested to see the updated stats over the last five years. terrifying how many of those players have played for arsenal at some point in any event

askblorg

wow wtf. 3 out of 11 of those are Arsenal players, even though neither of cech or leno even played all 5 seasons.

Pea14

I guess it’s the other way round, the fans has no empathy towards him

No foot Norbert

The xhaka will have 2 years left come the summer so probs best to sell as I don’t see him signing a new deal. If he plays well hopefully it means a decent return on an asset at this point.

Anders Limpar

The mediocrity of this man is exactly what we don’t need in out club. He will sit their and be consistently 5/10 week in week out. Every 10/15 games he will score a great long ranger, however in this time he will probably make mistakes that lead to conceding 3 to 5 goals and will get a red card.

He is also a complete arsehole and treats the fans like shit.

Chippy Brady

I like Xhaka, and I also like how he told the fans to fuck off. If someone was abusing me whilst I was playing shit and I knew it, I’d probably tell them to fuck off too.

Anders Limpar

I imagine you haven’t been forking out 1900 quid a season to watch and be told to fuck off by a guy that earns 90k a week. I also reckon that like the vast majority of professional footballers, you could manage to hold it together and not react to the one group of people who actually genuinely and passionately care about the club.

PB70

I get what you’re saying, but it doesn’t make any sense. How much do I get to abuse Xhaka if I only spend about 720 quid to watch arsenal on TV? Also, what kind of abuse can I throw at a player on 300K a week? Is that player expected to behave 3 times better than Xhaka? Finally, you underlined ‘professional’ as if it means they are immune (in any sport) to losing their cool under all circumstance. He fucked up by reacting to the fans who are so passionate about their caring of the club that they abuse the… Read more »

Anders Limpar

I take on board your points and have genuinely considered my opinion of him as a player and representative of Arsenal FC. And that is probably my issue. He earns his living representing the club I love. I earn my living working for a firm which I would be very surprised if anyone loves, possibly the major share holders at a push. If I behaved, as he has on more than one occasion, but that was the worst and therefore for me is the example I usually use, I would be severely disciplined and probably fired. As I represent the… Read more »

PB70

I wanted Xhaka out after that game he told everyone to fuck off. Since then, my stance has softened. With the way he has contributed these last 12 months, I’ve pretty much changed my mind about him as a player and what he can contribute to the team…though still think he has issues with his personality (which led to that unnecessary red card). It’s a tough call for MA in the summer – I guess they will have to weigh up offers vs who we could get as a replacement. I’m at a point I’m happy for him to stay… Read more »

Gunnerer

He’s played 4 games in 2 weeks FFS. More or less bosses the midfield and has been a manager favourite right from Wenger to Artera. You can’t tell me that all 4 managers have been nuts to like something about Xhaka. This attitude of ‘Ive decided he’s shit and never going to change my opinion’ is so immature

Man Manny

You are absolutely right. It is now pure hatred, and has nothing to do with his football.

Public Elneny

I have no real issues with him as a person and was totally behind him calling out the wankers in the stadium booing him, and the mega wankers on social media abusing him and his family. He does his best, but has the spotlight shone his way simply because he is always available and tends to be central to our game, whereas most of our other midfield options have been peripheral or unreliable for the majority of his time here But with him as part of our spine there are footballing issues that hold us back, even when he’s in… Read more »

Anders Limpar

I don’t “hate” Xhaka. I think he’s an arsehole. Just because he and his family have been disgustingly abused by morons online that doesn’t mean I should change my opinion on how he has behaved and conducted himself over the years. Both on and off the pitch.

If I was to change my opinion and the expression of said opinion, due to your perceived opinion that it is based on “hatred” and not football. Then the disgusting abusers of the Xhaka family really do appear to be achieving something.

Anders Limpar

It’s got nothing to do with changing my opinion, I’m quite happy to change my opinion and I won’t rise to childish jibes using big words like “immature” when we all have opinions that should be considered and respected as I have yours: I thought he looked like a promising hard tackling PL midfielder in his first season, My opinion has changed as I have watched him repeatedly let the club down, be given another chance, make a handful of average performances, pass sideways and square all match with an occasional impressive goal chucked in. Then let the club down…… Read more »

Gunnerer

Fair point, didn’t intend to take a jibe at you personally but more on the sentiment. You’ve explained your position well and we can differ in our opinions of Xhaka as an asset v liability

Anders Limpar

Cheers appreciate you taking the time to read the reply and thanks for clarifying what you meant.

Martin

After receiving disgusting tweets from our toxic fans including some wishing his daughter got cancer, is it surprising that he lost his temper. He is probably more passionate about Arsenal than any other player. One red card in 4 years for a hard tackling midfielder is not exact disastrous. Since Arteta has been ther he has improved significantly and after his suspension has hardly put a foot wrong and is one of the key reasons our defence has improved. He looks like forming a great partnership with Partey and I hope he will stay with us till the end of… Read more »

Anders Limpar

I agree the comments are disgusting and vile but I don’t think they should be used to justify his bad or negative behaviour past or present. I agree one red card and one yellow suspension in four years is not bad for a midfielder and take back the red card comment back. I absolutely stand by the repeated mistakes comment. Has he improved under Arteta or has he remained the same mediocre player and its just the quality of performances of the team as a whole that has dropped this season (I think this is sadly an undeniable fact), thus… Read more »

GOYG1001

Kudos for his performances of late — actually for a while. He made a mistake, true. It was hardly the cause of the goal.
He’s been a warrior … and sometimes his warrior mentality has gotten the best of him.

TravisG

Arteta: ““For someone like him, at his age…” Arteta’s comment does not make sense. If Xhaka were 35, then I could understand this. But Granit is 28. Until he turns 29. For now, he is 28. I understand that he has played a lot this season, but this is a poor excuse. He is slower than nearly everyone and makes more mistakes than most in his position. That is the fundamental truth. It largely explains the Tielemans goal (although of course Mari and Elneny might have had some more foresight). I like the idea of Xhaka, and early Xhaka. He… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He was talking about Luiz when he made that comment “at his age….”.

At the end of the previous sentence, he switches the conversation to Luiz.

TravisG

Fair enough. I misunderstood. Arteta’s comment is justified if it is about Luiz.

I also appreciate Xhaka has improved when compared with last season. I do stand by the points on slowness and lack of value when we have ball-playing CMs and AMs who come deep and link up play with our full-backs.

Gabigol

The only midfielder capable of breaking a majority of pressing traps is Partey and he does it through passing and body position, not just dribbling. Imagine we had a partner who he could rely on to break a press. The goal we conceded would not have happened if there was a press breaking midfielder next to Xhaka. Reactive managers like Rodgers will adjust his pressing trap to suit. Looks like Leicesters high pressing is catching up to them with so many out injured now. It’s good we can manage the loading during the game even when ‘chasing’ the game we… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

His performances lately were very commanding and he is still a leader which you can gauge from his presence as well as love from team mates. I like this transformation though, long it may last.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The early goals thing is a bit worrying; Leicester 6th minute, Man City 2nd minute, Villa 2nd minute, Southampton 3rd minute.

4 times in 4 weeks.

If that happens against Burnley on Saturday, they’re gonna stick 11 men in their own penalty area for the rest of the game.

Santori

In truth their goal was a clusterfuck of our own making with a whole load of mistakes from Xhaka not passing the ball accurately to Willian non competitive then Elneny not pushing out to intercept Tielemans, also Luiz when he had the striker covered should have shouted to Mari to push out and finally Leno could have done better coming out more to narrow angle.

But thereafter (bar heart in mouth moment with Leno after restart) we pushed on and got just desserts.

Santori

As for Xhaka, he has been performing at a high level for us. Mistake notwithstanding, he then put on a competent display controlling the ball and dictating focus of attack by splaying the ball very quickly with angled accurate passes to switch flanks quickly. There has been less timid passes backwards from him particularly as well with improvement of movement by players ahead of him. I also think (Pepe and Willian aside), Laca and his ability to combat and play quick one twos was very critical. But Xhaka also seems to have up his game defensively made a number of… Read more »

edzo

We’ve won 2 in a row, and one prem game in a row, and suddenly we are consistent???

Malvin

Reading this after another Xhaka masterclass