Arteta: There’s no doubting Xhaka’s importance

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Mikel Arteta says Granit Xhaka’s development in the last two seasons and the midfielder’s experience were key factors in the decision to keep him this summer despite interest from AS Roma.

The Serie A side are understood to have agreed personal terms with the Switzerland international prior to the European Championships but, ultimately, failed to make an offer that came anywhere near the Gunners’ valuation of the midfielder.

Since then, it’s been reported that Arsenal have triggered a clause in Xhaka’s existing contract to keep him until 2024 with an option to extend it for another 12 months.

“We never wanted to let him go,” said Arteta. “We explained to him the role he’d have in the team, how important he was and how far he’s come in the last two seasons and the fact he’s come through some difficult moments and how he has reacted and what he has achieved, not just on the field but around the football club and in the dressing room.

“We believe that he’s a very important figure and players like that are what we need as well for all the young developing players that we have in the team.”

Arteta admits that for those who only see Xhaka on the pitch, it’s hard to comprehend the former captain’s influence in and around the club.

“It’s difficult because what happens inside, you don’t get to see much. Sometimes you’re just analysing a performance or the way a player is playing and whether you like him more or less. From our side there is no doubt about the importance of him in the team and the squad.”

While Xhaka remains a constant, the squad as a whole has undergone significant surgery in recent months. The arrivals of Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga and Aaron Ramsdale, all under the age of 24, speaks to a project with eyes on the future. 

“Together with the senior players that we have, we had to define a model that can be sustainable; short, medium and long-term,” said Arteta ahead of Sunday’s game with Chelsea.

“We had to address a lot of issues that we had in our squad balance. We are doing that bringing in quality players in different stages and education of their careers but they can fit perfectly with what we are trying to do. And we will continue to do that.

“Some with experience in the Premier League already, some they are coming from abroad with great education. As well, I think you can see the level that they have and the margin for improvement and development.”

Arteta was also at pains to stress that Martin Odegaard’s arrival from Real Madrid – a £35 million deal completed on Friday – can only be a good thing for Emile Smith Rowe on whom so much expectation rests.

“We want Emile to be in a better place to develop him,” said Arteta.

“Having alternatives in that position, they are players that can perfectly fit together. They’ve shown that together last year. We cannot rely on one player.

“We already lost a lot of creative players we cannot rely on one player to put everything on his shoulders. Emile has not played 50 games at that level yet in his career. We will need to protect him and for sure, we need other players who can do that.”

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Lanre

Okay Mikel. You ‘ve now been fully backed. This is the squad you wanted. YOUR SQUAD. Let’s now objectively see how good a coach you are between now and christmas.

Qwaliteee

Who’s picking up the sack first?

SC or MA? 🤣🎄

Pepedinho

Arteta has got some good vibes about him. Something tells me he would surprise many this season.

Granted, things are not rosy at the moment, it doesn’t mean it would remain the same.

Let’s stop spreading negativity and get behind the team.

atom

We’ve spent more than any other PL club this year on top of pretty seriously backing Arteta as well last year. Between no European football & the amount we’ve spent on the squad, anything less than a proper top 4 challenge this year should be considered a massive underachievement. Hopefully he changes his tactics and we see some exciting football that achieves results.

Teta's cult of personality

Indeed. This Amazon documentary is going to have a lot of player intros.

We also have the fifth highest wage bill so we should expect a top 5 finish from the manager and his players. Our home form especially, must improve going forward.

Hank Scorpio

I think we’d gain as much from a shift in tactics as we will from the signings.

Atom

Agree. I don’t think Arteta will make it to another season if he doesn’t change them.

Futsboller

Could it be that we just need to execute the strategies and tactics better? Surely if we need to change tactics, and philosophy, we need to change managers.

Despite appearances, MA wants attacking, exciting football. Perhaps he’s getting the parts needed to build that finally?

Daveo

I agree he is starting to get the parts needed to play exciting football, yet here is Mikel telling us all (once again) how critical his a slow, one-footed, poor against the press, poor executing the press, Granit Xhaka is to this team… Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.

By your own logic, Arteta has been backed (and handsomely so). So, if he cannot get results now, it’s a failure.

Futsboller

We have won football games with Xhaka. We have won two FA Cups with Xhaka.

As I’ve asked Atom below, what do believe are the results needed for Arteta to keep his job (after) this season?

Daveo

If he fully turns it over to youth (i.e., Lokonga starting over Xhaka, Ramsdale over Leno, Gabriel over Mari and Balogun, Martinelli, Odegaard, Pepe, ESR, Saka all prioritised over Auba and Laca) and we play with intent I’d say similar to last season is acceptable. If we’re built around Xhaka and Leno and Mari and Auba and Laca are still a big part we have to at least qualify directly for Europe. Anything less and that is a failure. “We’ve won games with Xhaka”, like come on man, what are you even getting at with this? Sure the guy can… Read more »

Futsboller

Seems like reasonable expectations. What I’m getting at with Xhaka is that he isn’t the source of all of our problems, which some people tend to believe. The diatribe against him goes too far. I don’t think he should be the first name on the team sheet when we have options, but neither do I think he should be benched indefinitely. I absolutely see what you are saying with respect to mobility and the press, but I also think there is still room for Xhaka to be very effective in a midfield partnership with Partey. I know it is likely… Read more »

Daveo

Sounds like you want a stable partnership, you want games for Lokonga so he can grow and because he’s mobile, and you want Xhaka to be an important part of the team. They’re a bit mutually exclusive…

Jonathan Murrin

Wait until Xhaka is not the #1 in midfield. When defences are keying in on Partey and Xhaka has a few more yards of space while Partey is all action. Then I think we will hopefully see what Arteta is hoping to see.

Andy

Top 4 is a must

Futsboller

It’s a laudable goal, but realistically speaking, which of the reigning top four do you think we can displace?

People seem very quick to expect a top four finish from Arsenal this season, but I’m having trouble forecasting which of Liverpool, City, United, or Chelsea we’re intended to replace up there. Thoughts?

Sagebrush

I’m scared that you guys are now starting to accept mediocrity

Futsboller

Understandable, based on what’s happened with Arsenal over the past 5 years especially, but I don’t think there is a single person associated with Arsenal who is happy or content with where we are. Everyone around the club wants us to be back up at the top — I think for many there is just a recognition that this will take some patience and time to achieve. I think the age-profile of our manager and new recruits, as well as our upstart academy graduates, evidences this theory.

Qwaliteee

Dream on, mate.

Jean Ralphio

I feel people need to be realistic with expectations. It’s not as simple as: we spent 100 million+ therefore we should get top 4. It’s a young team and we are still a Xhaka replacement and top striker away from challenging. We are still in the rebuild phase. 5th or 6th is the more realistic target. We need to get into Europe and build our reputation but more importantly change the narrative around the club from a club in crisis to a club and team that is going places.

Diaby's Left Peg

Top 6 with visible progress in man management, changing games from behind, and challenging towards the top 4 is what I’d expect from Arteta this season.

The FA Cup would be nice too.

Goonertic

There’s an awful lot of us that think he’ll be gone by Christmas. Giving Xhaka a new deal is amongst his most ridiculous decisions, along with buying that flop Willian. This is his team now and it’s all on him. You could argue that he should be judged when everyone is fit. But I genuinely think that the job is too big for him.

ChickPEA

I hope you’re right, but even with our summer spending, top 4 would still be a massive achievement. The Mancs, Chavs and ‘Pool still have superior squads on paper.

A Different George

Whatever “net spend” or other fictions are thrown around, the fact remains that two Prem clubs–Man City and Chelsea–will always spend whatever is necessary to obtain every player they need to achieve their owners’ objective–an objective that has absolutely nothing to do with making a profit. A third, Man United, has the commercial power to almost match them even though profit does matter to its owners; it seems the owners are now committed to doing so. That leaves everyone else–Liverpool have done a superb job recently, the other “big” clubs, including us, much less so, in figuring out ways to… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yes certainly should be pushing the top 4, but realistically, 5th would be reasonable progress.

Comparing our squads to Spurs, Leicester, West Ham, we certainly have the tools to finish above them.

Although I fear our season may not really get going until the Norwich fixture on Sept 11.

Jonno

At the end of Emery we were conceding 20 shots on our goal to below average prem sides. That a new manager had to address this obvious flaw in the team should be no surprise. We got that by the end of last season. Looking forward to the young attacking midfield we have to really push on, since Xmas the manager deserves more support. I like the direction.

Futsboller

Which of the big top four sides do you see us overtaking this year, if our stars align?

Atom

Almost every year a team outside Europe makes a proper push at the top 4. Everyone of the top 4 can be beaten & they will all drop points against each other.

Futsboller

Right, but the last 2 seasons the top four has consisted of the same four clubs — despite external challengers. Do you see one of those as particularly vulnerable that we can overtake?

atom

There’s a couple of teams every year. Both Chelsea & Liverpool didn’t make the top 4 unless the last week or two of the season. Who knows which team will do that this year, but it always happens. For Arteta to keep his job he should need to finish a minimum of 6th and be within 6 points of the top 4. To achieve that he is going to need to play much more attacking football against the mid and lower table sides, as he’s consistently struggled against them. In reality most of the players in the first 11 are… Read more »

Futsboller

Well, I certainly hope you are right – the established top four look very much like themselves and they’ve got, for the most part, more depth. I don’t grant much authority to the pundits any longer these days, but across the networks they unanimously don’t see Arsenal cracking the top four this year. Fingers crossed we make them all look like fools!

Heavenly Chapecoense

We already dropped three points and they did not.

Mpls

City did.

John

Against a really shit team as well…

Brady’s bunch

We’ve spent more because we need more than others

Baichung Bhutia

Arteta does speak very well, have to give him that.

Heavenly Chapecoense

That’s the problem. He is now telling us to wait for few years to see results. Why didn’t we do that with Emery? A bunch of promising young players? We have done this in the past. Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere and Ox, you think the new under-twenty-four bunch is better?

Mpls

One of the biggest complaints about Emery was not being able to understand what he was trying to do. Love it, hate it, or indifferent, Mikel certainly seems to have a big project in the works. Perhaps Emery’s master plan wasn’t so clear. I sure as hell couldn’t tell what he was trying to do. We were a mess in his later days. The squad needed major overhaul. We all know that. That’s still in progress, but we can see it happening and we can see it takes time. Arteta has the ownership’s ear and is getting them to back… Read more »

ClockEndRider

Walcott and Ox were never even nearly good enough. That they were ever signed and then managed to stay around so long speaks volumes about later period Wenger losing the plot and seeing things that just weren’t there.
Wilshere and Ramsey both suffered through injuries but were underlyingly excellent players.

loose_cannon

The main problem with all those players were injuries, and I believe they were several inquests at Arsenal to try and understand why we had so many. Can only hope they don’t hamper the new recruits.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Just tell us how on earth that’s going to happen? The negativity we spread about this guy comes from facts. There is no way on earth this guy would get into any top 8 side and there is especially no way he has it will ever help us get better.

Heavenly Chapecoense

You are falling in.love with Arteta’s words again.

John

Arteta’s main achievement in his first season and a half was to make us a better defensive unit. People easily forget how absolutely lamentable our defensive incoherence was before his appointment. It’s not yet perfect – far from it – but it is much, much better. Hopefully he can now steer a similar improvement in our creativity and attacking threat. To be fair, The boss has shown little so far to reassure us that he will certainly succeed. But he unquestionably has the players at his disposal now to do so. We should get behind him.

Qwaliteee

I take it you watched our ‘defending’ against Brentford….?

Der Kaiser

Spot on!

arseCLE

People are quick to dismiss Xhaka, but there is no way we could have gotten a midfielder that was better than him for the price Roma was rumored to pay for him.

atom

It’s not dismissing Xhaka so much as people wanting to see us change our style of play. Right now the entire team is built around Xhaka to hide his weaknesses & that is resulting in extremely passive slow football. Xhaka could be a good squad player for us, but in no way should be he be central to Arteta’s plans.

Daveo

I literally wrote my comment before reading yours @Atom, could not agree more mate!

Bleeding gums murphy

Nailed it atom.

loose_cannon

This sums it up perfectly. Saying we couldn’t have replaced him with the Roma money misses the point, most people would have said we needed to upgrade in midfield more urgently than, say, centre back.

Nate

All the rumors were like twice as much money for players that were not obvious upgrades, aside from Locatelli who wasn’t interested in us.

Xhaka is not an £11mil player. I’d buy a second Xhaka for Arsenal at £11 mil.

Daveo

this is me at my most masochistic

-Bill

SarcasmB0t

Maybe we could have bought the midfielder for the price we paid for Ramsdale and bought a non-English GK for the money we would have received for Xhaka.

You know, if we were run better.

Nate

@sarcasmB0t who though? There are obviously better players than Xhaka but they’re all big stars and not coming to Arsenal right now. And if we’re just playing with Monopoly money we should still have upgraded on Elneny and kept Xhaka.

Teta's cult of personality

John McGinn – £2.6m.
Hojlberg – £14.9m.
Diallo – £10.80m.
Bissouma – £15.2m
Soucek – £14.5m
Douglas Luiz – £15.1m.

All currently EPL starters. We also bought Sambi for £15.75m who has enough potential to replace Xhaka.

There’s also Carlos Soler, a CM who can be bought for cheap because of Valencia’s very poor financial situation. They sold their best academy product in years, Ferran Torres, to Man City for just £20m because of financial issues. We all know Arteta loves players from La Liga.

Parblo Gaviria

And don’t forget Ouar can also play in the Cazola position as a ball carrier. I still believe the business we did was very poor.

Vonnie

Always fucking moaning. We’re starting to be run better, it takes time. None of us can go back in time to change things but we can all try better going forward. The club has learned lessons the hard way, people were sacked, we go again, it’s life. I’ve been very bored with Arsenal for a while now but there’s a project going on that’s different, that’s brave enough to go out on a limb and build, that’s brave enough to say “this player is important, and if you moaning fans don’t like it then tough”. The players and support staff… Read more »

Qwaliteee

🤣

Parblo Gaviria

I don’t think this is the attitude we expect from the club that we should accept whatever action they impose on us. We supporters are not robots and the club needs us as we need it. I am sure if we stop going to games, that will be the club’s downfall, especially commercially. We witness what is happening and when we express our digruntlements, you cannot dismiss us as ever complaining. A lot of fans expressed joy that Xhaka was leaving the club, it’s not out of hatred for the player. It is because his type of football is not… Read more »

Daveo

I think we already did. His name is sambi Lokonga. Basically the same price as what Roma were offering for Xhaka. This says it all in my books: “Sometimes you’re just analysing a performance or the way a player is playing…” Yes, we are, and it matters. We all get Xhaka is well love by teammates and managers. He probably trains the house down. That is great stuff. But at the end of the day he’s still flawed and needs to the team setup to minimise his weaknesses and that causes deficiencies elsewhere, and he’s still error prone and ill-disciplined.… Read more »

Mpls

I’ve seen the argument a couple times now- ‘team built around Xhaka’s weaknesses’ – and I’m just not buying it. The selection and application of every single player on the team sheet is influenced by the players around them. In some lineups you pick mids and fullbacks to give freedom to attackers. You pick one Cb to balance with the other, and to gel with Fb’s and mids. An inverted winger to open space on the flank for a fullback that pushes up. The entire team sheet exercise is one of how you balance the squad for best results. We… Read more »

Henrik

Azeez.

The Beast

Gesundheit

Teta's cult of personality

Thankfully Mikel has confirmed that Granit was more keen on the move than the club itself. I guess the extension wasn’t a transfer ploy after all.

6 weeks ago, he seemed the most likely to leave and CM looked like one of the first places we’d strengthen in. Crazy how it’s turned out but it’s largely been a positive transfer window so far.

PersonFace

I don’t think most people are doubting his importance, it’s more that they’re scared of it. Personally, I like him as a player and a person, but it’s hard to get excited at the thought of an Arsenal first team built around him, with all the positives and negatives he brings. I hope we end this season with Partey and Lokonga at the base of midfield, or maybe even Partey behind Smith-Rowe and Odegaard. Doesn’t seem likely though. Maybe Arteta can make Xhaka-Partey work…I sure hope so, since he’s definitely going to try.

jw1

Think it’s the perspective with Xhaka. I’ve long been a critic of his. He was in no way, shape, or form going to carry Arsenal to heights– much less a next level– by his talent alone. However, if the team around him is MORE talented than he– his capabilities could be brought into focus. We’ve just never seen an Arsenal XI with enough ability to make Xhaka shine at what he can provide. We may be on the cusp of seeing it. I’d be willing to swallow a number of the sticks I’ve whacked Xhaka with these past 5 years–… Read more »

SarcasmB0t

The truly distressing thing is we are managed by someone who believes in Xhaka’s importance.

Look, whatever Xhaka does in training, in the dressing room or behind the scenes DOES – NOT – FUCKING – MATTER if the team still plays like dogshit on the pitch in the actual games.

Again, the fact that our manager doesn’t seem to grasp this – or how or dependence on Xhaka makes us slower and easier to play against is really worrying.

It seems like some have already forgotten (or excused) the performance against Brentford.

Gamblah

The cult of Xhaka is L Ron Hubbardian in its ability to mystify me

Once, twice, three times el neny

Their thetan levels are higher than us

Andy

Indeed. From the moment Xhaka came on as sub for his debut, and immediately trundled into his first foul, I still have literally no clue what he brings to the team.

Flash
Bleeding gums murphy

Did you see his brain fart where his slowness got him caught on the ball on the edge of our area, he was robbed and they had a fantastic chance to go two nil long before they did. But yeah statistically he touched the ball more than any other arsenal player so let’s give him a pay rise and extension 😂😂

Flash

C’mon!
We had 4 shots on target against a newly promoted team!
Chambers made 2 obvious errors before their 1st goal, not to mention his 2 crosses througout the game compared to 11 by Tierney.
…and what is the highlighted element of the match?
Xhaka’s one mistake that – almost – led to a goal.

Daveo

The funny thing is if you wrote this comment last weekend you would have been upvoted about 40-2. Apparently, Xhaka is fan favourite again today. Let’s see how it goes by Monday.

No foot Norbert

Xhaka should be a squad player for arsenal in midfield at best. It amazes me after 5 years of watching him fans are still backing this guy as a great player.

Qwaliteee

This.

Gamblah

Xhaka been at Arsenal for 5 years, I’ve watched almost every game, someone please tell me his importance….

Public Elneny

He touches the ball a lot

EmileSmithWhoa

He tells fake and reactionary fanatics to shove it, while refusing to let them keep himself or teammates down, that is a great thing except now those fanatics ignore what he brings to the team.Imagine, our manager begging for fan support even before the FIRST home game of the season….after no fans last season. How pitiful, one game into the season and the fanatics surrender their support. Partey injured preseason, Gabriel out in defense, 4 players including our 2 senior strikers and captain, ruled out with COVID the day before the last game and fans are already crying like babies.… Read more »

Vaibhav

Well said, people have lost all perspective and behave like entitled brats without objectively looking at reasons.

Fabulous

8 points is as objective as it gets. Losing the semis against Villarreal, also objective. Pre-season and Brentford games, also objectively slow and ponderous.

Qwaliteee

😜

Diaby's Left Peg

He ambled off the pitch in a game we were losing before telling his own fans, as captain, to fuck off and it’s been rebranded as some kind of proof of his strength of character…

Twitter =/= fans in the ground.

Gamblah

No mention of actual football.
. Very interrsting. We’ve all been playing too much football manager it seems

Qwaliteee

😆 😂 😆 😂 😆 😂 😆 😂 😆

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I don’t see how the other off pitch stuff matters if Xhaka is virtually useless, and a liability on the pitch. I’m not buying that rubbish from Arteta

Martin R

Well 6 managers including 2 of Switzerland value or valued him so I think I would trust them rather than you. He has a great forward passing range and one of the best deep lying midfielders in the country. In the Olympics he looked World class

Martin R

Of course I meant the Euros and not the Olympics

SarcasmB0t

Did he look world class when he got a pointless yellow card which kept him out of Switzerland’s last game?

I don’t care what he looked like, he’s not and has never been, world class.

Your argument from authority is very unimpressive. And his passing range is useless if he only passes sideways.

Xhaka is the hill two Arsenal managers have died on so far, and Arteta seems hell-bent on following them.

Daveo

Did you watch Switzerland vs Italy? Or Switzerland vs Wales? Xhaka was awful in those two games. He was sensational against France, who were the dominant team in possession (55%; 89 more passes) and were on the attack all game. Low and behold Xhaka flourished when the Swiss sat deep and weren’t trying to dominate possession. He could sit deep in his little left sided zone. Break up play knowing he couldn’t be exposed much on the break (players in support tight around him) and use his passing to get the Swiss going on the break. Is that the style… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Don’t tell Martin that. He believes Xhaka is world class. You must never shatter denial. Gently chop away it. 😜

Snagger

How many of the 6 lost their jobs and that unfortunately that number may increase. A great forward passing range but backwards and sideways is the default action. One of the best deep lying midfielders in the world who can’t run or see danger and who when up for sale only Roma came in for and offered two bob He had good moments in the Euros but when up against the Italians pressure and ability looked average. Sorry but I’m not buying into the redemption of Xhaka.

Qwaliteee

😂

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Every bad player is valued by a manager of a shit team somewhere.

Teta's cult of personality

True just look at Fellaini at United. Played under every coach until OGS sent him packing.

Like Xhaka, he had highs but also a lot of gaffes too. It got to a point where the poor guy used to get booed just warming up on the touch-line. He didn’t even play as much as Xhaka for most of his time there but most of the fans still wanted him gone.

I’ll never forget that shot against Liverpool. It went so wide it hit a steward near the corner flag. That was the point of no return.

gunner17

he has known limitations yes…but if you play the right players around him (not Bellerin, not Holding, not Willian) he’s alright most of the time…he always scores high for ‘centrality’, he’s pretty good at giving structure to the team’s passing, and he is also a high volume passer the squad is going through a lot of transition right now, with several ins and outs and several more expected it probably would have been too much risk to let go of one of the most experienced leaders we have on top of that, by selling Xhaka…and it frees up money to… Read more »

SarcasmB0t

If you play around his limitations, you limit the rest of the team to what J. J. Bull dubbed “the donut of sadness”.

You can’t play around Xhaka without dragging the rest of the team to his level. His level is the middle of the table.

Bobs

So you believe another player without Xhaka in the team will make us be in top 4 last season?

Let us not keep deceiving ourselves, a very average player can never distrupt a good team

Bleeding gums murphy

He didn’t say that.

Viju Jacob

We lost two games because of his errors, plus one red card. Add those 9 points to our rally last season & see where we’d have finished.

Diaby's Left Peg

Xhaka is so bad he’s made doughnuts sad 😥

Santori

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/aug/20/arsenal-fans-need-mikel-arteta-to-work-out-what-he-is-trying-to-do excellent article in the Guardian. Arsenal are a bit rudderless and lack solid direction with Arteta. Players come and go but Arteta’s brand of football is less than inspiring, his ability to push players to meet potential never mind exceed them sorely lacking Focusing on inidvidual players by fans is a pet project for armchair generals. In truth we are lucky to retain players like Xhaka. Many still have their heads up their arse with every new signing thinking they are suddenly the dog’s bollocks. Even with new midfielders, we needed to retain Xhaka to push forward. Nor was… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Look up narcissistic, it may help you.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Shocking. I’ve said before that I won’t just jump on the ‘Arteta out’ bandwagon but I just cannot understand the logic of saying this out loud, when surely he, Edu and the rest of the hierarchy know that a) we don’t want him anywhere near our team as he’s just not good enough and would never, ever get into any of the top 6 teams, b) they have eyes and can see just how slow and average he is compared to most of agile, fast and talented midfielders in the top half of the league.

EmileSmithWhoa

Tactics schmactics, if a manager will not stand tall and defend his players when they do the job to their best of their abilities, that is what creates a team. Teamwork, is hard. Xhaka is Arsenal right now, fanatics need to quit trying to act as if they manage the team and be fans. Yes, I might agree his tactics combined with current fanatic situation might…might require more changes. I actually hope he changes for Chelsea but….. tactics change, class is forever. COYG

Teta's cult of personality

Fans is short for fanatics. You’re kind of referring to the same people. The off-pitch stuff aside, the style of football we’re playing is not one that evokes positive emotions. It’s monotonous, one-dimensional and static. Like with a boring movie, it’s just hard to maintain your excitement all through the course of the match. Hence why negativity starts to creep in. I am not sure if Arteta has realised that a shortcut to maintaining a positive atmosphere at the club is through progressive tactics and team selection. That will bring more long-term positivity than signings, interviews or fan-tokens. Virtually all… Read more »

steve

“There’s no doubting Xhaka’s Importance”We’re Fucked

Qwaliteee

🍺 👍

Billy bob

Maybe just maybe Arteta didn’t like the bid Roma made so thought it’d be better to keep xhaka and, at the same time, protect/increase the asset value by extending the contract and bigging up his importance – before selling him next summer at a better price 👍

Daveo

The “protect the value” narrative of a 29 yo player who 2 years ago had Newcastle and herta slightly interested, and now Roma offering 15m max that is apparently “derisory” is quite amusing.

UzesGooner

Fine, but replace Elneny

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

This “all coaches play him so he must be good” is the exact reason we are finishing out of the top 4 since he’s been here. We should have better players than him if we were to finish in the top 4. Hope Partey stays fit amd Lokonga gets a lot of playing time so we don’t have to adjust to Xhaka’s deficiencies just to accommodate him in the team. As for his leadership skills, can’t we just have a better player with leadership skills so we stop pointing his importance other than the performances on the pitch?

Daveo

Rumours we might need a new manager soon, you looking at a career change?

EmileSmithWhoa

Who will have the most influence this season…fanatics hurting the team or fans supporting the team? I think the answer is the same one from recent consistent history. The last 3 – 4 years will likely repeat…and that sucks.

Der32

Agreed regarding Smith Rowe and Odegaard. The rest of the talk is just blah blah blah.

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

A player’s primary assignment is to f***ing play football. On the pitch.

Daveo

No mate, not at arsenal. Apparently its to make the other players and manager feel all warm and fuzzy.

Brady’s bunch

Xhaka will be Xhaka this season as he is every season what we need is for Partey to be the midfield boss we’re all hoping for and let that be our focus while other players are brought through to eventually stamp their mark next to him (small ask I know).

Vonnie

Yes, that Partey who’s always injured or coming back from being injured…………

Qwaliteee

😴

Alan Sunderland

The partey simeone used the same way arteta used amn? Or the partey people on here think is the second coming.

LEFT08

Xhaka being at Arsenal this long is part of the pathogeny of this club. Mediocrity is considered good enough and idiots are taken to be leaders. This isn’t even limited to Xhaka. It runs throughout Arsenal now.

Up North

I’ll be not surprised if we after three games are left with 0 points. The Brentford performance is a little bit better explained with covid-19 rampaging through our squad, adn the impact of the new players are not sufficient for handling the Financial Unfair Play teams we’re facing now. But I thionk and believe that we’ll improve steadily through this season. I don’t see CL within reach this year, EL should be and for 22/23 we should be in tp 4 race.

Arsenalfootballsocks

In a more streamlined squad, as Lokonga develops, I would actually like to see Xhaka phased into a CB. Not as exposed on the break, physical, good passing ability, better than Mari, leader etc. He’s always played well there. I know I know, this isn’t Championship Manager…blah blah.

The half

Why is twitter ablaze with non – arsenal fans talking about arsenal?

I think we’ve had a great window myself but we still need a better option at rb.

Teta's cult of personality

Arsenal related topics are a fool-proof formula for generating controversy and clicks.

Half the users posting on official Arsenal posts on Twitter and Instagram aren’t even Arsenal supporters. Most of the people who watch and comment on AFTV aren’t Arsenal fans either. The only way to avoid it is usually to stick to Arsenal forums or keep to Arsenal sites like Arseblog or Le Grove etc. Even doing that isn’t always a guaranteed way of avoiding non-Arsenal fans.

It’s been that way for a while and I’m not sure what’s causing it.

EmileSmithWhoa

Caused by the same propaganda and chaos associated with attacking democracy worldwide. Normal, polite, thoughtful, realistic and sane people overwhelmed by social media amplifying fanatics.

Teta's cult of personality

Interesting. Care to give an example?

Awimb

AFTV caused it, if it wasn’t for the cretins that get so much air time on there ranting like little children fans of other clubs wouldn’t watch for the entertainment, all they have done is tar all arsenal fans with their brush

Teta's cult of personality

🤣🤣🤣. I won’t argue there

Awimb

Xhaka getting a new contract is nothing short of criminal, average footballer that has not progressed since he joined… absolutely pathetic decision

Doghouse

can’t understand why when he plays for Switzerland he looks Rolls Royce yet when playing for us a bit Ford Focus at times.. I didn’t want him to leave, without having many leaders in our side he should be reinstated as this seasons captain, he gets a lot of undeserved stick when we lose and not a lot of praise when we win, for a player who gets stuck in his unfragileness like so many of our squad speaks volumes, I never like to hear his name not being in our starting line up to be honest..

Francesc

So basically he went from being almost sold to being the captain. Slow claps