Xhaka calls for togetherness and confirms new deal

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Granit Xhaka admits that starting the new Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats is disappointing but he maintains Arsenal can get out of their rut by sticking together.

After the opening day defeat to Brentford, Chelsea piled on the misery at the Emirates with an easy 2-0 win that ensures next weekend’s trip to Manchester City is all the more daunting.

Matters aren’t helped by a Covid outbreak in the squad and injuries which have so far denied Mikel Arteta the chance to field anything close to his strongest side.

While fans did their best to rouse the team on Sunday, there’s no escaping the doom and gloom around the club.

“We wanted to give them something back, and it didn’t happen,” Xhaka told Arsenal.com.

“But we are working, we know we have to give them something back. We have to keep working, we have to believe in each other, the only way to come out from this is to be together with the fans, in the team, with the squad with the players we have and I’m sure we can come back as soon as possible.”

Echoing what Arteta said in his post-game press conference, the midfielder added: “I don’t think the season is over after two games. We know we lost the two games and we are very disappointed, but we have still many, many, many games to go.

“A season never ends after two, three or four games. We know we have to do better things, but this will come soon, and as I say, we have to believe in each other so we can come out from this.

“We want to achieve something big, of course. After two games a lot of people are speaking about this team and about this club but I will say no season finishes after two or three games.

“We still have games still in front of us, we know we have to improve a lot of things and I’m sure we will do that.”

Xhaka also confirmed rumours that he’s extended his contract at Arsenal. The 28-year-old is understood to have committed himself to the club until 2024 with the club inserting a clause allowing them to extend it by a final year.

“I’m very happy, I’m still here. I’ve signed a new contract of course and I want to give back, first of all to our staff, and then after to our fans, and they know I will give everything – in every game and every training session. So yeah, I think we have to show that as a team soon.”

Before facing Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions, the Gunners travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Given the high-intensity football they now play under Valerian Ismael, it’s going to be a tough game.

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Jack

I know someone has to do these post match interviews (a la Johan Djourou) but it’s always exactly the same thing. You just don’t believe it. It’s all good saying ‘we need to give something back’ but from a select few individual efforts yesterday we really didn’t see anything to give us much hope

gooner

What has Xhaka got to lose, they already hate him anyways.

God only knows if yesterday’s goals had come from Pepe and Cedric side in that weak fashion!

Arteta, Edu, the two Kroenkes would now be hiding in the jungles of the Sahara desert. As for the two players?

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I could write an essay here. First of all, Xhaka and Arsenal was a done relationship. He doesn’t want to be here, and when news broke he was off, all Arsenal fans at some level were relieved. Then a 360 and he signs a damn extension … WHAT?!! Who decides these things. Is there even a plan. How do you go from well best we let you leave if we get 17 mil, to, well we aren’t getting 17 mil, so stick around and sign a new deal. That makes no effing sense. As for the team itself, the board… Read more »

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I did write an essay I guess, lol.

Also Arsenal have shelled out tonnes of money, highest spenders so far and I really dont think the team and the squad has improved after all that spending. If anything its become worse.

Well done to all these clowns who are handling things. And I excuse the Kroenkes here. They have invested heavily in the squad.

Mpls

I think we all need a deep breath. Yeah, we spent money, but half those players have scarcely been with the club and we have fielded a team of 80% 2nd string at best our first two matches.

That and it’s only been two matches.

Daveo

And to make him captain (again) after everything. Arteta and team management are completely out of touch with fans. The summer and the ESL was perfect example of this, here is another.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Pep can buy that type of defender, as his squad was almost complete when he signed Stones, and that was seen as the missing piece. Arteta’s squad is nowhere near that level.

Diaby's Left Peg

I reckon Arteta wanted to keep him but was happy replacing him with Locatelli. We didn’t get a big offer for Xhaka and Locatelli waited for Juve (who paid him and Sassuolo less than we offered).

It is what it is 🤷‍♂️ hopefully Sambi comes good.

I don’t care if the club is “out of touch” with fans – that isn’t how to run a club – just that the decisions they do make turn out well…

magirlyeyes

I have heard of two-way players, but I have never heard of a zero-way player. Until now.

He is a human handbreak, a dead weight, diving boots incarnate, the equivalent of driving your new Ferrari with 20 bags of cement in the passenger seat. He’s a lump of coal on Christmas morning, a broken tooth on your wedding day, a motel without a bed.

The 15th century ball and chain around Arsenal FC. Get in the f’ing sea Xhaka. Get in the f’cking sea.

Viju Jacob

😁😁

Eyob

Okay…but there are no jungles in the Sahara desert. That’s kinda why we call it a desert.

Viju Jacob

😁😁

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Captain. Leader. Legend.
Our Granit.

IamaGoober

Can’t blame the player at this point.

He doesn’t pick himself, and he certainly can’t offer himself a new contract with a pay rise. And once it’s on the table he’s never turning that down, ultimately the guy has a young family to think about.

But regardless — he’s not good enough and never has been. But we should’ve figured that out a long time ago.

This just goes down as another piece of shocking transfer business from us to add to the portfolio…

Nostalgic Gooner

Let’s stop using COVID as an excuse. This is a pandemic, all clubs are affected by it. Injuries do not excuse the lack of fight, tactics or organisation. And neither does status. Southampton put up an incredible fight against United yesterday and deserved to win. I’m tired of excuses for mediocrity. Arsenal is better than this. We deserve better than this.

Henkamp

Honestly, if the team are playing in a certain kind of way, creating chances, and just being competitive, I don’t think many of us would be complaining. We are not fools.

There’s just no system that our injured players are coming back to. We have been swathed aside like little kids in both games so far with no clear definitive style of play. That’s what worries most of us.

Bishop

I missed the game last night because I had a flight and to show support for the club, I decided to spot my arsenal jersey. By the time we were boarding, arsenal was 2 nil down; the amount of vitriol I received at the airport is akin to being at the Toilet Bowl when we are being smashed. Even the immigration officers at the port of departure and port of arrival could not hold back. I stood out like a sore thumb But; do you know what? I will do that again and again because I love this club and… Read more »

beNZed

Anybody can wear the shirt when the team is Invincible, real fans keep wearing it when the team is shit. Good effort.

Fenko

I wear the shirt every time we play. Win or lose. The annoying thing is that all the young people around me (teengers and mid-twenties) who do not know our period of dominance in the PL do not associate Arsenal with success. They think will have been a perennial failure club. There is a joke that is going viral as per wearing Arsenal jersey to church in my country. The jokes goes like this: “There is nothing wrong in wearing club Jersey to church. But why would someone wear Arsenal Jersey to Winners Chapel”. Winners Chapel is a hutch that… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Nice one👍

Slow to start, slow to finish

Praise be!!

Lanre

Valerian Ismail! What a coach! Even at championship level you will find a dozen coaches better than Mikel. By the time fans finally have enough of this shit show, the season will be gone and unsalvagable. Hopefully we avoid relegation.

Snagger

Error #34 unable to process information upgrade required.

Pau

The way some here wanted Coq ‘stripped’ off the number 34, just to give it to their then darling GX. Some of the things some of us used to say/do… For some reason I liked Coq despite not giving us what we really wanted. …this is a grudge post. Sorry.

Reality check

Should’ve stayed quiet, gonna get lambasted

goonerrah

Imagine we had Ndidi, Bissuma and Partey in midfield. No one getting through. Instead we have Xhaka.

Reality check

There were many on Partey’s case too last year. We had Rambo and we booed him, not too long after his injury, Diaby too. Arsenal fans take sh!t from no one, we tell it how it is..

Qwaliteee

I fucking hope so. That would be hilarious.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Seriously?

I can hear both the idiots in the media and the top 6 teams laugh loud and hard at this.

In this league, a bad start can see you not only struggle to get into Europa places and even finishing in the top half of the table. He and Arteta might be happy with another 8th place finish but we are not.

Chrispy

8th? Here’s hoping……..

And when we finally scrape a series of wins in what, April or May 2022, you will read ‘but we’re the second quarter champions!’

A Different George

How did Man City do after, say, the first third of the season last year? P 13, W 6, D 5, L 2. I think they managed to struggle into the European places anyway.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

You’re comparing us to Man City?.. ahahahaha

BongoGooner

Who is he to confirm anything?

Sone

Mediocrity incarnate.

Laudgunner

Stay focus guys. We can still have a great season. I just hope these loses will be a motivation for the boys to toughen up. COYG

SarcasmB0t

Especially if we only look at part of the table like some Arteta Stans did last year.

Last year it was half a season, this year, maybe a three game run will suffice.
Soon, it might be a few minutes in a game.

Anything is better than accepting our rookie manager isn’t the generational genius they’ve dreamed him into being.

Qwaliteee

The focus – such as it is – will be on getting a new manager.

gunnertron

I still reckon despite this new deal, if we ever get a suitable offer or an upgrade. The player and the club will have no qualms about allowing a transfer.

Mpls

Yup. I see it as protecting value and not getting into last year mistakes again. People get the knives out when the club lets a contract run down. Well, this time they didn’t.

karl

We’re back to what happened last season really. Maybe we don’t beat Chelsea with the players available, but the manager should be able to get more from those on the pitch this season. £200m+ spending during his time should equal less embarrassment for Arsenal fans. Todays blog said it all for me. You can’t keep buying more and more players without improvement. It clearly points to tactics being poor, or players not understanding Arteta’s complicated demands. You have to say another manager could and should do better with what we have. I’m sure City will be fairly written off, but… Read more »

Daveo

Yeah. Injuries, anti-FA bias, VAR, “don’t worry bout the slow start”. We’ve heard it all before 100x. Investment has been made and its the same rubbish and mediocre meek performances… And hope. Time is running out… Fast.

Luke

We won’t get into CL with Xhaka, ever. We probably won’t get in quickly after he’s gone, but I can guarantee it we will not get in with him no matter how many changes we make.
I hate Mourinho even more for getting my hopes up.
Buckle up, even more sad days are upon us.

karl

Xhaka is a good player that is simply not suited to the Premier League. Everything he does is just too slow and that generally includes thinking.

Arteta’s biggest failing to me is recruitment. Considering how much money we have spent and wasted, losing a few million to let Granit go would have been the best investment this summer.

Luke

I’m sure he would flourish in Seria A or even another PL team, but his style of play is not suited to us at all. I think Arteta likes him cause he reminds him of himself. I remember thinking Arteta was not suiting our style either, but not as much as Xhaka. Not a defending midfielder, not an attacking midfielder, not a box-to-box midfielder, not a great all-arounder, not quick, can’t dribble, gets caught off guard constantly, has a shot and a long pass that is not using but when he does it works at best 5% of times, but… Read more »

karl

I feel your pain!

A P

I think those qualities work better as Gunnersaurus!

Mpls

To me that depends entirely on what happens when Partey is fit. Lokonga has made good initial account of himself. If Partey gets fit and back up to speed and Xhaka becomes the backup, to me that’s solid for now. There are at least 6 other players more pressing to move off the books.

On the other hand, if Xhaka gets all the starts and underwhelms, then we have a real issue.

ChickPEA

I really want to see Arteta succeed at Arsenal but I’m slowly running out of patience, and each word Xhaka says – or game he plays – accelerates the process.

I really, really hope Sambi benches him for good, and he leaves next summer. The way he was almost out of the club a month ago, and is now treated as our most important player, is utterly irritating, and feels like they’re taking fans for morons.

Bleeding gums murphy

That says it all for me. He is still with us because of a business decision. We wouldn’t accept a few million less. The result is we keep a player, put the captains armband on him and big up his importance to the team. No club in world football was willing to pay more than 12 million for a 28 year old in his prime. That’s how good he is. I and think many others are angry at being spoken to like we are a bunch of cxxts. You cannot sell us Xhaka. We don’t buy this shite. It’s clearly… Read more »

ish

Did you think the board cares about fans? our wallets they aim for. As long as the money comes in they dont care if we dont win

Torterrier

In other news, I met John Jensen on Friday night. He’s got a great sense of humour, and he’s an absolute gent.

Slow to start, slow to finish

Faxe!

Qwaliteee

I was there when John Jensen scored. 😉

Bleeding gums murphy

So was I, was he faster than Xhaka 😂

Bleeding gums murphy

Running not scoring

Azeez

I’m so disappointed in MA, I suggest bielsa the Leeds manager to replace MA, conte cannot work with this soft arsenal team but biesla can work with them tactically.

Blob

I am also disappointed in Arteta, but Bielsa????? No, thanks.

UpNorth

I call for runningness and fightingness instead of togetherness..

Daveo

Togetherness and doughnutness

N85

Sign Bissouma.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Not sure we have another £50m lying around.

Bleeding gums murphy

Would have taken him all day long rather than another centre back. We sent saliba on loan, we paid 30 million for him.

ALbangbang

Season doesn’t end after two games but no team ever had a great season after losing their first two. 10th again.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

True. I believe the last team to finish in the top half after losing the first two games was Arsenal under Emery in 2018/19. We lost against City + Chelsea but we had at least scored in the Chelsea game. We finished 5th that season.

The final position for teams that both didn’t score in and lost their first two games in the last four seasons has been relegation.

Sheffield United, Watford, Cardiff City and Swansea City. All relegated

ALbangbang

Thanks for finding the info to back it up! As depressing as it may be :’)

UzesGooner

Conte wouldn’t come to us atm so I think Brendan Rodgers is probably someone who could work with this squad and get the best out of them. We have to give Arteta a chance though, but by Xmas if things haven’t improved drastically then Rodgers would be a good option (Leicester should be out of the CL by then as well) . He’s also deal with players like Saliba better….

Goonerink

Why would he come to us?

MikeSA

If that self-licking lollipop arrived I’d look for another team in another league to support until he’d left.

loose_cannon

Insane that we’ve spent the most money of any club in Europe so far this summer, yet Xhaka is still a nailed on starter in our midfield with everyone fit. Can’t see Arteta benching him for Sambi when Partey is fit, that’s his boy.

Winterburns right wand

Who did he’s a nailed on starter?

Winterburns right wand

*said

Daveo

Are you new to arsenal?

Winterburns right wand

Did you know that we have one of our most expensive signings out injured? There’s a chance Arteta might like Lokonga and Partey together when everyone is fit.

loose_cannon

There’s a chance but I think it’s a very slim chance indeed. You don’t give someone the captain’s armband, extend his contract, and praise them to the hilt, knowing full well public sentiment about them, just to bench them at the earliest opportunity.

Man Manny

Using the net spend of this window alone as a stick to beat Arteta with is poor reasoning, if you ask me. How much did Chelsea, for example, spend last season? Does that not have an impact on their spending this season? So far, Arsenal have spent about £25m more than Chelsea this window. Are we going to overlook the fact that Havertz, Ziyech, Werner, Silva, and their new keeper came in last season? City have spent £100m on Grealish, and might yet get Kane. My dear, at this point in Arsenal’s development, we have spent peanuts compared to what… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Man United lost 3 out of their first 6 games last season, they were 15th when we beat them at Old Trafford, their fans calling for Ole’s head, and they finished 2nd.

Our season will really get going in September with a fully fit squad.

Man Manny

I agree with you… that we judge the team when fully fit.
Will they finish 2nd? Not even an incurable optimist will go that far in his prediction.

Bob

Yep, we’ve had a good summer, there was clear improvement last season, we’ll improve this season, the entitlement of some fans is unreal.

Embarrassed as a genuine supporter to be associated with some supporters surrounding MA’s car and abusing Edu’s daughter.

It’s a marathon not a sprint, just annoying we’ve got one leg in a cast and threw up on the start line!

SarcasmB0t

Most divisive player on the team calls for togetherness.

You can’t make this shit up.

Look, Granit, we know you always give everything.

The problem is your everything is far below the required standard.

Verdant

This!

Snc

How many times hv we heard this…its been seasons aft seasons.. only diff this time is in August instead of November or any other mths

Domi

Fuck off Granit.

Qwaliteee

Top post. 👍🍺

Balogunner

The best thing Xhaka could’ve done for Arsenal, was to leave.

Man Manny

He did everything to move – twice, but Arteta holds him back each time. He can’t sell himself.

Furn

The Architect of our demise

Blob

How I feel after reading this rubbish: 🤡

Badaab

I’m increasingly sick of this wishful thinking and empty platitudes the team and manager are repeating to the press- it seems to be the only thing they’re working on between insipid on field performances. We’re told to trust the plan and yet there appears to be no plan in the first place. Xhaka should have gone this summer- he is simply not athletic enough for the premier league and I don’t see how having him in the side into his 30s is going to help us improve. He’s like a new signing for arteta- his new contract is this year’s… Read more »

Man Manny

Pablo Mari, Cedric, Willian and Runnarson should never have been signed by Arteta and his team. They only succeeded in cluttering the dressing room with sub-standard or well-past-their-sellby-date players. A team on the rebuild should have gone for value for every dime spent, but not so Arteta and Edu. They have realised their rather expensive mistake… hopefully. The recruitment strategy of this window lays credence to that. There are two options staring Kroenke and fans in the face: Wipe the slate clean and judge Arteta from this season on. Or, hold him accountable and sack him. I am fine with… Read more »

Qwaliteee

So the guy who told us all to fuck off now wants unity.

Man Manny

Holding on to mistakes and grudges seem to be the right way to go these days.
Time to move on, Bro. We can’t keep living in 2019.

Mahlongwe C

Xhaka is right there has to be unity for a purpose

Dom47

It’s like a never-ending nightmare. This guy still at our club, now being captain, selling us excuses the 1000th time. We need to stick together etc… So much bullshit it stinks globally. We are a laughing stock everywhere. But internally the club acts like all is fine, trust the process etc. I can understand why Petit said he has zero emotion or interest in Arsenal, I get it. My emotions are depleted and I can’t be arsed no more. I’m here more from habit than anything else. And before you call me a bad fan… Actually, think what you like,… Read more »

Fatgooner

The sad thing is that this was all completely predictable. We have a bad manager, controlled by a bad upper management structure, overseen by a bad owner. The club is a complete shambles from top to bottom.

Only when a new owner comes in will we see real change.

Domi

Exactly, starts from the owner who, as in any business, venture, idea etc. needs to have passion and right convictions, not just interest (in the profit). As we have an owner who openly said that he is not here to win trophies, we’re basically fucked til someone comes who understands that that is first, everything else then falls into place. By putting money first we actually lost all our values, passion, internal incentives that make this sport positive and have something above all the money that revolves around it.

GoonerHK

Come to think of it. We haven’t scored a proper open play goal since the preseason Watford game. Corner against Chelsea after but nothing since… Playing out of the back is one thing, but really hope Arteta or the players get their act together and remind themselves that goals win game, not aimless passing for the sake of it.

Fenko

Gone are the days when Arsenal scores goal with 32 passes forward.
We can barely string 5 passes together now without losing the ball to opposing team

Awimb

Whos going to volunteer to kidnap xhaka so we don’t have to see him in an arsenal shirt again? I’m not saying you have to treat him badly just feed him and keep him locked in a shed or something for the duration of his contract, I would do it but I don’t like spiders and there are some big bastards in mine.

Brady’s bunch

“All together now lads and I’ve just signed on for more years and more money when I told you told feck off and said how nice it would be in Rome”

Obadofin Raymond Gbenga

I am of the opinion that Arsenal will wriggle out of this wood and should not be judged by the outcome of the first , second and third game

Santori

…when Xhaka is one of your better players in midfield. Not sure what people are sipping. OTOH says it all about our midfield. I would have added Neves rather than waste another 50m of White. Saliba could have been brought in considering we already spent 20m there. Also Willock sold at 20m for Sambi at 18m makes no sense. That’s 2m made but we could have brought in Guendouzi this season if Arteta knows how to man manage. A lot of wasteful spending. As I said if we brought in Neves than sold Xhaka, we would NOT have strengthened. The… Read more »

Flavoured Rice

I hope the irony that the guy who told the fans who pay his wage to “fuck off” is not lost on Xhaka when he talks about togetherness.