Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Xhaka and Arteta impressed by Partey’s improvement

Granit Xhaka and Mikel Arteta were both full of praise for Thomas Partey after the 28-year-old produced another imposing performance to help Arsenal to a 2-0 win over Leicester at Emirates Stadium.

Handed his player of the month award for February prior to kick-off, the Ghana international spent the full 90 minutes throttling the Foxes’ forays forward and provided cutting edge in the final third.

Partey broke the deadlock on 11 minutes with his head – his second goal of the season – before coming within inches of doubling the lead with a clipped effort that rattled the woodwork.

Having struggled for form in the opening months of the season, the £50 million signing from Atletico Madrid has found his feet.

Speaking to Arsenal.com about his midfield cohort, Xhaka said: “He criticised himself very hard I think [earlier in the season], but he’s fit, he’s healthy, he’s so important for us.

“You can see his qualities without the ball, with the ball and everything starts from him and not only on the pitch, but off the pitch as well he’s a lovely guy, a guy who helps the young people a lot, I’m enjoying being a part of the midfield with him.”

Mikel Arteta echoed those sentiments saying: “He’s come a long way, he has the consistency of the minutes, he understands what we want much better, his cohesion and understanding with the rest of the players is getting better and better and now it’s about consistency and keep doing it.

The boss also spoke of the need to keep the pressure on Partey, who admitted earlier in the season that he’s prone to lapses in concentration.

“Probably being on his neck every day, because he needs it a little bit,” said Arteta when asked what he’s done to get the best out of the midfielder.

“It comes from the player though I think. We discussed it in the press conference the other day a little bit, but I think when a player accepts their reality, and when a player accepts that – OK he wants to be in a different position – you can’t expect that (change) to happen if you don’t change anything that you do.

“So he has started to do many other things, and you can see that he is enjoying being on the pitch, and this is what we want.”

Having spent most of his time at Arsenal playing as one part of a double-pivot with Granit Xhaka, it’s been interesting seeing what Partey can do when he plays as a lone deep-lying midfielder.

The tactical shift has necessitated pushing Xhaka forward into an unfamiliar role, where he operates just inside the left flank role occupied by Gabriel Martinelli. He doesn’t always look comfortable there but the Switzerland international maintains he’ll do anything for the team.

“It’s a different position, I think it’s not my first different position in this club, I’ve played already many positions in this club,” he noted.

“I’m enjoying it because I’m on the pitch, that’s the most important thing and after I try to help the team wherever the coach puts me and at the moment it’s working very well.”

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goongot

I know xhaka brings stability to this team and also he slots in to deep mf position when we are not in possesion, but I would really like to see lokonga in his position as well, hopefully when we secure top 4 with 3 games to go.

Berlingoon

I really like Sambi and he‘ll come good for sure but if I think about next season and our midfield 3 I think of Partey, Ødegaard and someone who we bring in to complement these 2 in the best possible way. If we can do that and get a top class striker in, holy sh*t. Sky‘s the limit for this team.

Henkamp

Lokonga is being groomed as Thomas Partey’s understudy.

Forget about it

Alternatively, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sambi goes out on loan. Imo he has struggled in the games he has started. Especially as the lone deep-lying MF.

Raje

We will need him next season, especially with European games to play and the League Cup.

Gunner

Struggled less than your comment in gaining upvotes

Gunteta

savage

Johnny 4 Hats

I really feel like the anti Xhaka agenda needs to stop. The guy has been consistent as shit, he does the unglamorous work with no fanfare, him and Partey have an effective partnership and he’s proved to be a leader of men. Let’s not forget he is the captain of this team. Not every player on the field has to dazzle with skills and end product. Some players are just full of heart and willing to do the dirty work. Xhaka has been really solid and I think it’s time we, as a fanbase, showed him some love. You might… Read more »

Guns Up

Personally, I’m not so quick to dismiss past transgressions and say that the here and now is ALL that matters. Happy with what he’s contributing at the moment (even if I think that contribution is being inflated by some), agree completely that the negativity around him does nobody any good at this point, and would prefer everyone get behind the whole team when they’re doing what these boys are doing right now. “Leader of men” is where I really take exception with your comment. He’s guilty of a laundry list of acts that leaders of men would never consider, but… Read more »

thw14

No thanks. Sometimes when you can’t figure out what a player does that is Arsenal level, it’s okay to conclude he’s not Arsenal level. There was similar backward reasoning around Denilson – at least he wasn’t an unlikeable character. Subtle masters of their craft do exist – Gilberto comes to mind, even Arteta. Xhaka is not one of them.

Walter White

Xhaka was pretty good higher up the pitch yesterday. It’s funny how he is able to pass his way out of trouble every time things get tidy.

Berlingoon

He‘s doing perfectly fine atm. But there will be games when it will be obvious what a different kind of player could offer us in that position. I fear Liverpool could be one of these.

JuiceJ

Xhaka despite his obvious flaws, is a warrior, a much needed one at that considering we been labelled as soft, one Troy Deeney even mentioned our cojones or the lack of at one time. I love Xhaka for that, and I will support him everyday till the day he leaves the club cause I know he loves the football club and despite the trolls is very important to this team. Lokonga is a good option in the long run but for now he hasn’t adapted yet and is also light weight (needs to ask Saka what he’s been doing, boy… Read more »

Goonerink

I’d actually like to see if tavares could play in xhakas position,
Though only in a friendly or something not game where it actually matters!

Mentalista

I’ll bring the popcorn

PGunner

Fair play to Arteta for making this combo work and fair play to both Partey and Xhaka for stepping up and cutting out the errors. I’d never written off Partey (unlike some folks), however, I did at one point finally have enough of Xhaka – but say what you like about the man, he definitely has resilience and determination in droves. Now cue a red card against Liverpool in the first 10 mins. Hahaha, I joke I joke its funny isn’t it? No? OK, fair play. 2-1 Arsenal with 11 men throughout, that’s my serious prediction. COYG

Man Manny

Partey is finally coming to the party on a regular basis. He was phenomenal yesterday, highlighted by the fact that he could easily have had a hat trick!
What a story that would be!

GateCrasher

I do wonder how ESR fits into this starting 11. Given xhakas more advanced role is it feasible for him to give way rather than Martinelli?

loose_cannon

Partey has been superb, and I think part of that has been simplifying his game. Instead of trying to be box-to-box, sitting alongside Xhaka, now he simply has to dictate the play from deep, cover fullbacks and break up play. I’m a bit surprised his name doesn’t come up more in captaincy discussions, with his footballing experience, age and stature in the team.

Onenil

I agree, he is playing in his best position now. He is so good he can play the role better without Xhaka alongside him. Freeing everyone else to be higher up the pitch.
I don’t really see him as the Captain. He’s neither roaring-the-lads-on, or a clinical commander. I think the responsibility would weigh on him. He is a brilliant footballer and a lovely lad so I’d leave Captain duties to the Ø.

Man Manny

He is still doing a bit of box to box alongside his core duties. We wouldn’t get the penalty yesterday without him being the most advanced Arsenal player in the box.

GateCrasher

I wonder where ESR fits into this starting 11. Maybe given Xhaka’s more advanced role now it’s him that gives way in time rather than Martinelli? What do you think?

GateCrasher

I wonder where ESR fits into this starting 11. Given his more advanced position now perhaps it’s Xhaka that would make way in time rather than Martinelli? Thoughts?

Goonerink

You really DO wonder dont you

Cranky Colin

I’d really love it if Granit stays on the pitch for the duration of the remaining games.
Refs dislike him , and will issue red for him, if the offence is any way borderline……….thems the facts unfortunately.
He’s a mature pro, we need him, and hopefully he can keep his “inner chimp” quiet now on the closing stretch!
Anyone feel the same as me???

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