Saturday, February 4, 2023

Xhaka tests positive for Covid-19

Granit Xhaka’s week has just gone from bad to worse.

The Swiss FA have confirmed that their captain is missing from this evening’s friendly with Greece because he has tested positive for Covid-19.

As things stand, he’s also in danger of missing World Cup qualifiers with Italy and Northern Ireland.

A statement says: “Xhaka was diagnosed with symptoms on the morning of the game and was immediately isolated in his room. A quick test turned out negative, the subsequent PCR test, carried out to be on the safe side, produced a positive result in the evening. Xhaka stayed out of touch with his teammates all day. He will do another PCR test on Thursday.”

We’re not quite sure what happens if he tests negative tomorrow. It’s hard to imagine him being welcomed back into the dressing room as if nothing has happened.

Xhaka is already unavailable for Arsenal’s next three matches after he was red-carded at Manchester City on Sunday.

He actually touched on the decision to send him off in the pre-Greece press conference. “About the red card: brutally surprising,” he said. “In connection with the Premier League, people often talk about English toughness.

“I hit the ball 100 per cent and got a red. The pictures were not checked by the VAR. I’ve seen tougher tackles that weren’t even assessed as a foul.

“Am I prejudiced against? I don’t know – I don’t want to judge. I’m not going to let it drive me crazy. I can’t undo anything anyway. All I can do is look ahead.”

Anyway, we wish Granit a swift recovery.

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Maybe one of the symptoms of covid is making brain dead tackles. Would explain a lot.

Azeez Is Good

He’s defo got long Covid then. Really long. Like 2016 long.

El Mintero


Jeremy DG

I’m not trying to defend Xhakas brain farts but did you see Pogbas 2 footed lunch against Wolves? Not even given as a foul by mike dean even though he was 2 yards away and winced himself at the tackle. Then united scored from the very same move and VAR didn’t even give it a look. I can see Xhaka’s frustration at the inconsistencies. But as we all know now, it’s not incompetence, it’s favouritism and cheating.


You summed it up, favouritism and cheating to the letter. We are simply being bullied and not enough is said about it by the pundits and experts. I know we are really poor atm on and off the field but we seem to be getting lambasted left right and centre

Azeez Is Good

I really hate to be this guy but in all three games we had shitty decisions. And that’s not condoning the performances.

Saka should of had a penalty against Chelsea.
Leno was being held at Brentford.
Xhaka’s red card was harsh.

I just hope that this is our bad luck out of the way and we can get the rub of the green for the remaining 35 games.

Santi's Little Helper

And Balogun should have had a penalty as well…it’s kind of a ludicrous call because it was a bad touch but that guy clobbered him right on the shin. He even hurt himself in the tackle and they missed it!

I’m not sure Xhaka’s red was “harsh”. It wasn’t the nastiest you’ll ever see, but you see them often enough.


PL officiating is simply incompetent — there is no consistency from game to game in the application of the rules. There is no even playing field in the PL; the evidence is legion. I really can’t understand how fans condone it week after week and succumb to the illogical narrative that we are unlucky and things will even themselves out. It doesn’t just apply to Arsenal, but boy does it apply to Arsenal, and it rarely applies to clubs like United. The media bias against Arsenal (surely we can thank Wenger for being infinitely more intelligent than his opponents and… Read more »


I don’t think It’s incompetent – it’s just an inexact ‘science’. I’m probably going to regret this but – they’re called Laws not rules. Laws apply to the game (or match) and the FA Rules apply to admin (i.e. how they game is administered through leagues and competitions etc.) For football it means that the rules are precise and not really open to interpretation whereas Laws are written in such a way as to allow interpretation in any given situation and actually mean that they are not overblown trying to cover every eventuality. By their very nature they will be… Read more »


And to expand. It means that someone officiating (say) an NLD will “let a few go” in the first 5 or 10 mins, albeit with a stern talking to.

A straight application of a rule would mean very early yellows and reds, effectively destroying the game as a contest.

We’ve also seen the very specific and finite application of the offside-by-armpit law through VAR which seems to be universally condemned.

Allowing for officiating that enables the ‘spirit’ of the Law to be applied means that there will always be ‘inconsistency’.


Pretty sure it has nothing to do with luck. Either we ran over a black cat many times whilst smashing every mirror in Europe, or this consistent stream of bad decisions is not a coincidence.


There’s a lot of other decisions that could (and should) be held to the same standards but let’s not pander to Xhaka here. The letter of the law specifically calls out ‘lunging’ tackles. It was a red all day long.


I agree in principle, but can in no way agree on Xhaka’s red card being harsh. He dived in two-footed with both feet off the ground. A red card any day of the week. I agree that Pogba’s also should have been, but that’s Mike Dean for you!

Hank Scorpio

I don’t know what the stats are these days but I recall year on year we were ‘worst’ when it came to fouls per yellow card for a fair portion of time under Wenger. Not surprised given refs would whip out a card after a foul or 2 and let the same thing go unpunished or give the opposition a ‘stern talking to’ a few times before brandishing a card. Not doubt that consistent leniency was the cause of all those broken legs and ankles.

Diaby's Left Peg

Arsenal just don’t like it up em do they?

Like meaningless leg breakers in the 90th minute (Diaby) or the let them know you’re there (Wilshere, Ramsey) and a dozen others.


> Pogbas 2 footed lunch

So they’re using baguettes now at Subway?


ha stupid autocorrect


best analysis in this thread


Did you watch liverpool vs Chelsea? ref blows the whistle, Salah is frustrated and kicks the ball away, far away into the stands, ref calls him and he gets a talking to.

Any arsenal player, even an English arsenal player gets a yellow for that and the general consensus is “it’s the rules. You can’t do such a stupid thing”

Vaibhav Pandey

That was very generous, Salah should have gotten a yellow for that.


Don’t care how he plays for us, he’s a beast when he plays for Switzerland, and this will be a big loss for them. Good luck to them without him, and good luck to him on his recovery.


Well, as an Arsenal fan I DO care how he plays for us. Wishing him a speedy recovery all the same.


I don’t care IF he ever plays for us again!


If there was a Most Polarizing XI, Ozil and Xhaka would be the first two names on the teamsheet

Jeremy DG

Polarising 11: Szezny, Gallas, Eboue, Santos, White, Xhaka, Denilson, Groves, Ozil, Giroud, Gervinho

Subs: Pepe, Fabianski, Jensen, Cellabos, Vermaelen

Manager: Arsene Wenger post 2010

Ok i tried.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Guendouzi and Xhaka as CM, Ozil in front of them, AMN as the RB
Manager: Arteta


Shit, forgot Guendouzi

Laca New Signing

No Ramsey?

Lord Bendnter

Walcott, Chamberlain, Gibbs

Corona XY

Denilson? Did anyone think highly of him? Also, I’d try to work Bendtner and Hleb in there.


Good shout

El Mintero

Giroud? Should never have sold him. Legend.


Gallas & Santos ? Not sure you understand what polarising means 😀


Did nobody like them? Ok fair enough my bad


no one liked santos. there should also be a wtf 11 including signings like yossi benayoun, kim kalstrom, francis jeffers, etc.


Saliba not on the matchday squad then

Vincent O’Carroll

Theo Wallcott……..😇😇😇😇😇

No foot Norbert

This guy is a knob head. Again not taking responsibility no wonder he never learns.

Another Paul

Sergio Ramos was sent of 25-30 times. Is he also a knob head ?


No, just a c*nt.


Winner of 12 knobhead of the year awards last time I checked. 7 of them consecutive in fact.


One of the most disgusting players ever, massive knobhead and as others have said, a c*unt.


Are you a Liverpool/Barca fan by any chance?

I’d give anything for a young Ramos-type player in this team. The technique, the cocksureness, the mala leche and the leadership.

Ramos is what you get when you blend Chielleni with Van Dijk.


Mala leche!! 🤣
I mean he’s one of the best all time defenders, definitely a right cunt, but a great player. That’s the difference, Xhaka is a bit of knob who can’t take responsibility and he’s also just not very good.

Ramos was at least good at football.


Yes. Like Pepe too.


Maybe someone should explain the rules to him about making reckless tackles? I got the ball so it’s ok!? No FFS!


And then he can also explain those laws to the referees.

Diaby's Left Peg

No wonder he hasn’t learned…


That he can’t even see he was in the wrong sums this man up. He will never learn, and extending his contract was a mistake.

Billy bob

He got a red card and thus banned for three games so the timing isn’t going to impact on his participation in the team, hope he gets better soon

Cranky Colin

Jeez….. Granits a right laugh


I really expected Arsenal to bring in someone to replace him even at the last moment, particularly after his recent brain fart! Alas no, we brought in another RB/RWB after convincing AMN again! For a team that was 3rd best in the league last season we bought a lot of defensive players, as Arteta thinks pushing them up the field is the answer to our scoring woes! I wish he realises that our problem is ball progression thru the middle, we are painfully slow as Xhaka can’t receive the ball and turn fast (no fault of his, that’s how he… Read more »


We have his replacement – Sambi Lokonga – it’s just a matter if Arteta has it in him to actually do the replacing.


I do feel for AMN and wonder what assurances Arteta could’ve given him? That he’ll play RB in the cups? That he might get a few games in midfield? Maybe that’s the plan, to include AMN in a midfield 3? Although with Hector gone and Cedric/Chamber’s diabolical performances there is room for him on the right.

Hank Scorpio

Our new RB signing may take a little time to settle in. Should be plenty of opportunity for him if sanity prevails


If AMN can’t fight it out with Takehiro/Lokonga I don’t know what he expects of the club…

cannon and ball and arse'n'all

Totally agree about the ball progression – I was also hoping we’d bring in someone on deadline day… That said, I do think that ESR has the potential to play no.8, he certainly has the right attributes. J Carragher made some interesting comments the other day, he tipped ESR to be the standout young talent this season – also highlighted how rare it is to see a player who can receive the ball on the back foot on both feet – and in-terms of ball progression and receiving passes from defenders this could be a real asset.. The new boys… Read more »


It’s clearly not just Xhaka. Get the fucking vaccination you idiots!


Lol relax you are safe aren’t you


I might be safe but the team clearly isn’t with all these covid positive players missing vital games. That’s Auba, Laca, White Xhaka. We’re bottom of the league and need players to be fit. Lol… Shakes head in disbelief.

Crash Fistfight

How do you know they haven’t?


« We’re not quite sure what happens if he tests negative tomorrow. »
Why would that happened, I wonder? Is this bait?
What was it that Kary Mullis said about his test?


Have any of our players even had the fucking vaccine??!


Correct, you can get covid with the vaccination, however, we all know one’s chances of catching it and or becoming seriously unwell are greatly reduced when vaccinated. Arsenal have had 6 first team players contract covid in under 5 weeks, that’s not good at all.


I wonder if other clubs will go through similar patterns. It’s a contgeous desease and hard to control. Once it’s in the group it will get passed around.


How do we know if most of them are vaccinated or not

Teryima Adi

How’s that possible? What’s the use of the vaccination then?


It stops you from dying. Look at it like a seat belt. A seat belt doesn’t stop you from crashing but enables your head not to smash through the windscreen and end up on the dual carriageway…


That’s a good analogy since a seat belt will also not stop you dying in some circumstances (e.g. if your vehicle gets crushed with you in it). The statement that the vaccine stops you from dying is just plain false. Just yesterday there was a death in my city with someone who was fully vaccinated. There are countless examples globally, especially in care homes. The best immunity you can have from disease is natural (ask any doctor). Where I live 97.2% of reported cases recover from covid with mild or no symptoms. Many have got the disease and not even… Read more »


Can we get faux medical advice like this removed please blogs?


I second that


You are a fool. People like you are being willfully obtuse. You do not warrant a discussion


Thanks, I’m aware of that.


Vaccination reduces (but not eliminate) chances of catching symptomatic COVID, and protect from severe illness in most cases.
Footballers tests so often and many of the positive cases are likely to asymptomatic.


WHO cares


World Health Organization Or Daltrey /Townshend?


Phil Collins?

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

It’s pretty well established that covid vaccines protect from the severity of symptoms rather than prevent infections. Speaking from experience on this one.


I think the defence are just practicing social distancing from other teams attackers and the owners are washing their hands of any responsibility of the current situation.


Honestly cannot fathom how this arrogant idiot is seen as a leader by the club. Bottom of the class for humility, emotional intelligence, and having the confidence in himself to admit mistakes and learn from them – key traits that make a good leader. Abandons his teammates on the pitch so often and refuses to even consider it could ever be his fault.

Reminds me of Mustafi always passing the blame for his brain dead mistakes and never learning from them.


Great post, true.

Diaby's Left Peg

A middle management leader…

Point, shout, absolve yourself of blame and check out when it gets too tough.


This comment is surely “humble”.


But am seeing him in the lineup against greece now ….

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

So do I on virtually every website. They probably forgot to delete his name from the substitutes on the lineup list… I hope


Given the test,maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that he didn’t last that long on the pitch.


Wouldn’t have given it to any Citeh player – never got close enough to any of them!


The only positive thing about him lately.


Not because he could be sick, but because he tested positive. I’ll get my coat.


Sorry but 😆


The name “Granit” lends itself well to a midfield enforcer. Perhaps that’s how he perceives himself.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Last year, I had covid and was off work for 10 weeks.
I think Xhaka needs at least that amount of time off to recover.


Better make it 9 months just to be sure he’s fully on the mend 🙂

He’s adamant red card was like 100% unjustified. No doubt in his mind that two-footed lunges with studs showing are perfectly okay. So, fuck the rules, and if my actions let down my team mates and the fans, fuck them too.


Come on mate, don’t go over the top. he’d never tell the fans to fuck off… I mean if he did how would he ever be allowed to play for the club again?

Ozzi Gooner

The arrogance is mind blowing as its not the first time he’s not owned up to his error and with that kind of attitude he’s bound to repeat a similar tackle moving forward! Yeah he might’ve got the ball and the player milked a free kick but anybody with a brain knows a two footed tackle is inexcusable and more often than not results in a sending off or serious injury to the recipient! We’re stuck with him now and hopefully he pulls his head in but I have my serious doubts as MA and the players seem to love… Read more »

Hakuna Matata

Is there anything wrong with wishing him a slow recovery? Like 6 months slow!


9 months would be safer 🙂


You know, when Xhaka got sent off, one of the things that made me angry about it was that I was 100% certain he wouldn’t take responsibility for the red and blame it on the referree as he always does.
That way, he gets to remove himself from the game while also feeling sorry about how harshly he’s been treated. A pro coward move.

And what do you know, here’s the “man” himself saying as much.

Sad that the Covid test is the first positive thing about Granit Xhaka in years.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Not to dump on Xhaka too much but a few pundits in the post-match were implying he got sent off intentionally.
Essentially that the red card was him throwing in the towel and abandoning his teammates. I don’t think that’s true because that would just be awful. What all this does suggest however is that Xhaka has a negative rep amongst some pundits, referees and EPL fans alike.

Why the club thinks all this negativity is more acceptable than a £15.5 million bid, we’ll never know.


To be fair, a negative rep with 2 of those 3 groups is not something I see as a fault.

Alan Sunderland

I honestly thought he was bailing out right away. Ive defended him to an extent, but there was no need to make that tackle. I would never play him again if I was the coach.


I phrased it wrong. I don’t think it was intentional. In my view, the issue is that when the going gets tough, Xhaka’s brains go bye-bye and he’ll go flying into tackles, grabbing people’s throats, or throwing captain’s armbands away – and he’ll then excuse himself by blaming it on somebody else, thus refusing all responsibility for letting his team down. Those actions aren’t intentional, but if you keep doing the same thing and blaming the entire rest of the world before you do yourself and never learning, you are no less cowardly – if maybe a good deal more… Read more »

Laca New Signing

It was a reckless tackle from whatever angle you look at it. But Xhaka is supreme. It’s always somebody else fault not his. What an imp! Already looking forward to the three games without him in the team!

Wish him quick recovery from covid regardless.

Viju Jacob

Atleast something is positive about the lad. Jokes apart, get well soon and take your time in recovering 100%. We are I no hurry.


Could’ve at least waited till his suspension was over 😏


In the NBA they make injured players serve suspensions only after they’ve been deemed fit enough to play. Can we impose the same rule internally?


I’m having hard time trusting any information that comes from Arsenal’s locker room.
Arteta and his games at the best.


Xhaka should take responsibility and acknowledge his mistake, two footed lunge tackles are dangerous even 9 year old knows. That being said Arsenal need a sit down with the EPL, the decisions going against the team are becoming too much to think they are mistakes by officials more so if they influence the result and in the VAR. Saka should have got 2 penalties, 1 at Brentford and another at Chelsea, a punch on a Chambers leading to a goal, a foul on Leno against Brentford despite him being so weak in that instance. All not given, and VAR total… Read more »


And what is with our players and meekness? Its like they sre taught to be nice can win you football games, saw Rudiger taking our KDB in the UCL finals, Chelsea players going bananas when James was rightly sent off, when decisions are not given for Man Utd, Chelsea, City, etc they all surround the referee and are in his ear through out the game and yet Arsenal barely does anything. The one time a player stood for his teammate he was shipped to the bundasliga then ligue 1, we all know the haired one, i get he said apme… Read more »


When our players speak up they get a yellow card for dissent. When the team isn’t playing well and their confidence is low the last thing they need is to be done over by referees. The Premier League is corrupt, it can’t be nice for our players going onto the pitch knowing they’re playing against fourteen men and VAR. It doesn’t even out and nobody’s prepared to speak out about it. The footage of that punch on Chambers disappeared from the internet faster than anything I’ve ever seen, it’s a disgrace. The pundits sit in the studio and say the… Read more »


Surely there must have been a review of the protocols when Willian caught it from saltymeat*anker?


“Am I prejudiced against? I don’t know – I don’t want to judge. I’m not going to let it drive me crazy. I can’t undo anything anyway. All I can do is look ahead.” To be fair, he came to England with a reputation for red cards, then a few 50/50 tackles (actually I thought they were absolutely fine, just higher up the pitch close to referee, trying to stop a counter) and referees start targeting him. Since then he hasn’t shaken off the stigma amongst referees and more importantly he is still in denial. He really needs a fresh… Read more »

Tanned arse

With regards to his statement about red card; totally oblivious to his failings once more or acceptance of idiotic wrong doing and his manager always backs him up. Everyone knows he’s our leader at the club from a player stand point but his immaturity is clear to see. Arteta and xhaka are a horrible combination.


I actually respect his mental resilience and if Xhaka was a better footballer I think it would’ve ironically endeared him to the fanbase. For example if those were Vieira’s quotes after a red card we’d be loving it. But unfortunately Xhaka is Xhaka.


I think the reason we aren’t enthralled with our transfer window is because he stayed. Hope Lukonga benches him so his ego can make him want to leave in January.


Sambi son, if you manage to bench this arrogant twat for good, you’ll be a true Arsenal legend. At least in my eyes.

Vincent Ives

Did he claim he got the ball first


Not surprising as the Swiss FA confirmed he had not had the vaccine!

Eric Blair

The other article concerning this topic should not have been posted by Arseblog. It adds nothing to the Arsenal debate, and simply throws fuel onto the fire that is Granit Xhaka and invites a pile on. This kind of content does, I suppose, bring in a lot of traffic. Xhaka has obviously behaved poorly here, given his responsibilities and position. But the vaccine is not yet compulsory and he is totally within his rights to decide not to have it. This information should never have been made public as it is a private medical matter, and that was a big… Read more »


Why has the captain of the club set such a bad example by not getting vaccinated against COVID?

Mikels Arteta

Why close the discussion on the “ Swiss FA confirm Xhaka has not had Covid vaccine “ article?

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