Monday, June 24, 2024

Xhaka: We didn’t do what the coaches asked

Granit Xhaka didn’t hold any punches in his assessment of Arsenal’s horrible 2-0 defeat to Newcastle.

Pointing the blame firmly at his teammates for not executing Mikel Arteta’s plans, he sounded as disappointed as you might expect given the timing of such a below-par performance.

Here’s what he had to say when he faced the Sky Sports cameras…

On a devastating result…

It’s so difficult to find the right words after the game. We came here to show a different game but from the first minute until the 90th minute, we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch today.

On why the team were so below par…

I don’t know. I can’t explain to you why. We didn’t do what the game plan was, not listening to the coach, doing our own things and when you do that, these games happen. What happened was a disaster performance and like this, you don’t deserve to play Champions League, you don’t even deserve to play Europa League. It’s very hard to take it at the moment. I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coaches ask for.

On whether the youngsters felt the pressure of the game…

If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. It doesn’t matter the age, you can be 30, you can be 35, you can be 10, you can be 18. If you’re not ready or you’re nervous, stay on the bench, stay at home, don’t come here. We need people to have balls, sorry to say that, to come here and play. We knew this game was maybe the most important for us but with a performance like this, its not acceptable. I’m very, very, very sad for us, very disappointed and I feel very sorry for the people who came here to support us. I feel very, very sorry for the Arsenal supporters. This is not the way we wanted to go. It’s the only thing I can say, it’s to say sorry. Other things, I don’t have other words.

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Say, it’s all well and good to be focused on project Youth, but I think this team needs some experienced heads as well.

This summer shouldn’t be only about buying young talents. We should also get some battle-hardened old heads in. Their experience can come handy in high-pressure games such as we had tonight.


Mark Noble’s free I believe


Now you are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Mark Noble…?

We want to get into the ECL next season, not the Intertoto Cup.

Chuck Felsea

Thumbs up for the Intertoto Cup, I remember that.


West Ham won it.

Off the back of a packet of Kellogg’s Frosties.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Is Willian available


Not even as a joke!


We have Cedric

Bleeding gums murphy

I think some of that is aimed nketia who seemed to be playing for himself. I lost count of times he had a pass on and didn’t play it. Greedy. Please don’t give him £100 grand a week contract.


Don’t give him a contract at all. He is not committed to the club, and he’s made that clear already. Plus, he’s simply not good enough.


Thought xhaka one of the worst today. Passed up shooting, slow passing. Put Elneny in trouble so he had to pass backwards

Matt P

I agree. And I am someone who has come around to him a bit this season. He was poor. But they all were.

Reality check

How was Xhaka worse than White, Ramsdale, ESR, Ode, Eddie, Elneny or even the others? No one comes out of that game with his head held high. Just for the fact that Xhaka had the balls to face the media after a soul shaking defeat. It’s a testament to the man’s character, he may not be great at fooball but he never hides. Respect


White not fully fit.
Ramsdale made good saves.
ESR and Martin o. if only xhaka had passed the ball forward to him !
Had chances to shoot same position as v utd , passed on hitting it. Same a free kick bear the end from the angle.
Xhaka slow , stupid, didn’t pass to overlapping players, like Nuno didn’t attempt any through ball for Eddie, passed back and square to the Elneny. I have stuck up for xhaka in the past but this is bs.


Our top scorer is Saka with 11 goal while Smith comes second with 10…thats says alot about attacking options..we need striker who would command atleast 20 goal a season..i am not sure Gabriel Juses would do it..(if he comes) we need striker … and idont know some one would be with in our reach at the moment. Another area of concern is the midfield..Partey is the only quality i would retain but i am not sure if Alneny or Shaka would make the cut considering they way they run down by Newcastle boys…and their over all average performance during the… Read more »


Agreed. I don’t think Jesus is the one to fix the front line. City wouldn’t be looking for other strikers if he was good enough.


Not sure I agree. He has (willingly) played second fiddle for his entire time at City. Whenever he’s been given a shot, he scores. Check his records- he’s got a touch over 1 in 3 despite playing primarily on the wings and serving Aguero (or one of their various false 9s), and most of those being sub appearances.
I don’t think he’s a 30 goal a year man, but I think he could comfortably be 20, and would add a lot besides in my opinion. Benzema is the perfect example of stepping out of a team(mate)’s shadow.


Jesus can fix anything.


Willian Borges, anyone?


I wonder who is he referring to here

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Presumably several players, not one in particular.

Spanish Gooner

My guess would be Ramsdale – This was his most disappointing game for Arsenal and he was the main reason we couldn’t control the game as he crumbled under pressure. He completely gave up on building up from the back after about 10 minutes and after we’d built a top-4 charge building up from the back decided to spend all game booting it long. There were other players who were also poor, particularly Odegaard, Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu, but Ramsdale was the one I thought not playing to instruction.


I’m sorry too


Still the only player with bollocks to fight for his team even in adversity Loads hate him but he’s a fighter who never hides A few could aim for his attitude !


Also he was the one facing the cameras after such a result which is admirable


Please. Easy for him to talk when his “role” is to move as little as possible and occasionally play speculative passes. There are players out there, young and old, who’ve actually busted a gut to get us within sniffing distance of 4th. If they’re unable to implement the manager’s instructions, the manager’s instructions are probably crap. You cannot find a better example of his half-baked thinking than having a player as limited and self-important as Xhaka still at the club.

Woolwich Tiern time

Its a very ‘Look Jose, im on your wavelength’ interview.

And if Roma stump up the money it probably is time for all parties to move on. He offers certain qualities but doesnt fit the system and despite what hes saying, he isnt the difference maker on the pitch that otgers playing similar positions at ither clubs prove to be in circumstances like this one


Fight is required but if Xhaka was graded like in Karate he’d be a brown belt. Good but not a black belt. EL not CL level as illustrated by the teams that have supposedly gone in for him Hertha and Roma.


Appreciate the honesty but he was anonymous too. That whole midfield was just nowhere to be seen, noone showing for the ball, everyone hiding. Honestly that was the worst performance I’ve seen from us all season. Only player who came out of that game with their head held high was Martinelli. And I’ll excuse the back 4 from criticism but the rest were just woeful


Saka did well.


He was our only threat before Martinelli came on. But notice how little we got the ball out to him vs Newcastle getting it to ASM. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the last 9 games for me, is how little we get the ball to our most dangerous players, and then how little we support them when we do. I think most teams want their best players on the ball as much as possible, whereas for us it’s almost an afterthought.


At the end of the day, he is a DM. If we manage to have only 2 shots on target in a game like this – It’s probably not him where we should be looking for answers…


Conversely, if we are being dominated by Guimaraes and Joelinton for 90 minutes in the middle of the park, unable to pick up a single second ball, maybe we should be looking at him and Elneny? They made a combined 6 passes to Ødegaard, is that really good enough from our most experienced players?

Xhaka has improved loads this season, and fair play to him, but let’s have it straight; he was a rubbish as anyone against Newcastle.

Philip Visser

Exactly, he uses “we” but seems he’s excluding himself and talk as if he’s not part of the team. Sell


He might lack the finesse of the world’s top midfield players, but I really admire this guy’s honesty


Let’s get David cunting Attenborough in midfield then. He’s in his 90s but straight as a die and still reacts faster than this bellend.


I’m not sure slow reactions make him a bell end, but his attitude and reading of the game more than make up for it.


Sorry Andy – you cannot pin this on Xaka. He did his job tonight and played 90 admirable minutes. Collectively as a team they did not execute tonight.


Never use that word near David Attenborough.


It’s funny, I recall Walcott saying similar to this a few years back after a major defeat, and the reception to that was.. mixed, to say the least.

Baichung Bhutia

3 points for honesty then.


Felt a bit like the Crystal Palace game. Not able to deal with the physical intensity of the other team. We could have used a beast in midfield (Thomas Partey a big miss), where we were completely overrun.

Also Ramsdale didn’t seem to trust himself to be part of playing it from the back. I’d have rather we had the balls to at least try it. Smashing it up field to no one didn’t help our cause at all.


100% agree. There were also a few frustrating passages where we’d try to build up play, have to go back to keeper—which is fine in and of itself—but then we’d just hoof it out of play or straight back to Newcastle. What’s the point, then?

Spanish Gooner

Especially when we spent £35m on the guy specifically because he was better at building out from the back than Leno. We did it properly for the first 10 minutes of the second half, and we were completely in control until the stupid fucking foul throw. If we’d played like that for 90 minutes we’d have won.


At no stage of that game were we in control. Granted Ramsdale had probably his worst game since he came to the club but blaming this defeat on him when the whole team underperformed and the midfield was particularly bad and weak, seems like scapegoating to me


Ramsdale wasn’t responsible for Arsenal players failing to hold possession for three seconds straight. That’s what killed us.. Not playing out from the back.. We had countless possessions in midfield that we threw in the garbage


Mental/physical fatigue – there’s been a huge amount of pressure on them which has built each game since the last international break, and that pressure is shared between about 15 players who actually get used – it must take it’s toll


But we’ve played fewer games than all our rivals.

Jeremy DG

Omg how are you looking for excuses?


Years of experience.


People seem to confuse reasons and excuses on here.
This isn’t an excuse, just offering a reason as to why they played so poorly. Doesn’t excuse anything.


Hello darkness my old friend. Just in time.


I’m not mad at you Arsenal, just disappointed.


I am absolutely devastated. But instead of wallowing in the many depressing things that happened tonight, I have to give one man his fair dues. Gabriel was immense tonight and the loss surely couldn’t be squared at him.


Player of the season imo


Price paid in over reliance on youth and neglect to do proper business when we could in January bc of arrogance and inexperience manager/DoF combo. Newcastle looked more hungry and like they had more to play for than us today Overall flat performance as our streaky good/bad patches easily attributed to the composition of team and lack of adaptability in over rigid dogma Arteta prefers. Performances – 1) Ramsdale – Nervy. Some hacked clearances, off his goalline almost caught out, needs to give his teammates more of a shout too. But two brilliant stops at least to keep us from… Read more »


You don’t want to be suffering from ring rust before a big game.


Yup, overreliance on youth in the managerial position.

Our young players are the reason we’ve finished as high as we have. They’ll be better next season, if they’re allowed.

And speaking strictly of today, I don’t think Cedric, Xhaka, Elneny, Lacazette, or Pepe were appreciably better than the others, if they were better at all.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

No pressure on Saturday now. We’ll go and beat Everton 4 nil with some beautiful football


I’m more worried about Everton now. Everton is desparate and that does not bode well for us with this type of performance. Add in theatrics of Richarlison falling at every contact…I’m not going to lie I’m nervous for Sunday.

Jeremy DG

Dude it’s done. No CL. Sunday means nothing


bookmarking this alongside my lotto ticket for when Norwich, playing only for pride, stun the spuds on sunday. And we eke out a 1-0 against Everton with Ramsdale coming up for a corner in 97th minute and scoring an overhead kick after cedric rabonas from the corner spot.


it is SPURS…. and SPURS can always cock up anything… chances are slim, granted, but…

It is SPURS.


…yet again the agenda of some who prefer to cast direction at Xhaka bellies the delusion of many fans.

Hardly the worse player today considering. Saka, Odegaard and Smith-Rowe were poor.


He wasn’t terrible. But he IS the one mouthing off… and he was defs below average. All well and good to stand there and moan about ‘players not stepping up’, ‘not listening to the coaches’… after the fact! And the fact is: WTF did HE – as a senior international – do??? The real fact… Granit consistently gets shown up against any team who comes at us hard, and with energy. I did NOT see him gesticulating or shouting at his team-mates as Gabriel did? I did not see him driving forward to push us up through mid-field. I did… Read more »


I love you Xhaka. Even with your flaws, i still think you’ll always have a place in this team.


Many times when a break was on for us, I did not see players around the man on the ball bust a gut to run ahead for a pass or outlet.

Contrast Newcastle.


He’s not the captain but he shoulders the responsibility to front the media after this game and he talks like one.
He may not be at the level we need but im getting a shirt with his name, legend in my eyes.


So facing the media these days counts as a plus instead of rallying up your team? I don’t know really


Big questions I have amongst many right now is why do we struggle so much against teams below 10th place? Why do we also in general struggle so much against 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 formations? Tactically 4-2-3-1 should have advantage over both but we’re struggling against 4-3-3 of Liverpool, City, we just got ran over by Newcastle in 4-3-3. We’ve struggled against Brentford and Brighton 3-5-2 and biggest struggles past few seasons were Burnley ultra defensive 4-4-2.


Thought could go 541 v spurs to make sure a draw or nick a one nil..
Which formation you think best
Three c.b. with saliba, white Gabriel next season?

Frog In Ze Room

I’m Arteta supporter but him changing the front line because Laca had one bad game derailed our end of the season. Yes Eddie scored twice against Chelsea but had average games after that. Laca offered experience, game management, intelligence and allowed to bring players in. Odegaatd is not the same players since Laca is out of the line up.


Which “one bad game” do you mean?


Come on sunshine, face facts.

A one footed nine hundred year old tortoise that has hitherto endured sleep deprivation for nine hundred years and currently nursing the mother of all alcohol-laced lettuce hangovers, could move faster than Lacazette.


Gary fucking wanker Neville having a go to Xhaka for this, fuck off


When good old Karma pays that rat faced weasel a visit, I shall laugh my bollocks off. Hopefully, in the meantime, they’ll have to install a set of revolving doors in Alex Ferguson’s former office at Old Toilet. And United will continue to revert to their pre Ferguson unremarkable but nevertheless hilariously funny mid table selves. It does amuse me that Neville takes cheap pot shots at the Arsenal, when his own red Mancunian allegiances personify Bang Average. Then there’s his illustrious club managerial career at Valencia that lasted all of (no laughing now) three months, in which he managed… Read more »

Anders Limpar

Did xhaka just throw the kids under the bus because that’s what it sounded like to me.


No he didn’t, watch the whole interview and ignore what fucking Gary Neville made of it. He was clearly upset and angry and he basically said the whole team, including himself, deserved nothing from the game. That said, there were players that I personally thought were particularly bad, looking at you Cedric, a defender who never, ever manages to hold a defensive line and is always playing people onside, and you Eddie, selfish player who is only concerned with getting on the scoresheet and ignores passes to others in better positions. Disappointing all round but I think it’s been a… Read more »


I have found Skys delight in us ultimately falling short appalling, especially Tweedledum & Tweedledee on MNF. But they are absolutely right to call Xhaka out here. This bloke is all fucking talk, a thoroughly bad egg. He’s the senior MF in these two games, & he is nowhere to be seen. GNev called him a disgrace & I totally agree. Throwing the young ‘uns under the bus is the act of a coward. We’re nowhere CL places without them. If MA keeps him next year, I will not be “trusting the process”. No coincidence we’ve had no CL football… Read more »


Couldn’t agree more mate – really concerning how many on here just suck up this vacuous BS from him. Empty words, dissing his team-mates – not A SINGLE sentence where HE fronts up personally… its all ‘we’ and ‘they’… not a single time does he use the word ‘I’ ? This vague, after-the-fact moaning does NOTHING… he had one of his worse games for us. As anonymous as anyone, if not even more so with his misplaced passes, reversing the play and getting caught in one-footed possession? A simple question: where were YOU when it mattered Granit… ON the actual… Read more »


The entire team was missing today. But to be fair, xhaka was moved back to center back and left back at times. Not one player to single out. Everyone was off their game
The derby knocked this team off the tracks.

Der Kaiser

Wonder who specifically he was referring to? To be fair he did not “throw anyone under the bus” as he did not mention names.

Not sure I would have wanted to be on the receiving end of Granit in the dressing room tonight after that performance

Some are kids and several were clearly injured

Arteta would have learned a lot from tonight


Wow, what a leader.

Maybe he should have done something to improve our performance level rather than moan about how the others don’t “have balls” after the fact.

Oh well, try again next year.

I’m sure he’ll take us to the Champions League eventually with great insights like “if you’re not ready, stay at home.”


Sell him… soon… for whatever we can get. It is only when he is gone that many on here will realise just what a drain he indeed was on this team’s energy, pace and overall performance.
Apart from the odd incisive pass and thunder-shot… he is a mid-level journeyman with an over-sized ego and poor attitude to our club.

Matt P

There’s just simply not enough squad depth, and even our starting XI is probably 2 or 3 players short. Coming 4th would have been a crazy overachievement given our squad.
The prescription is simple and well known, we need a high quality (not necessarily world class) striker, CM, CD and RB/LB. Make those signings and there can be no more excuses for Arteta.


Please go away Xhaka


Did Xhaka just throw his team mates under the bus?


The amazing amount of apologia and actual love here for a low-effort narcissist… ugh. I’d call it style over substance, but Xhaka has no style either. You guys deserve this dross.


since you joined we never made CL.
nuf said

Inflamed Pulis

Is it a problem with young players not having balls or is it the coaching staff didn’t get them In a proper headspace before the game? We stretched a thin, young squad across nearly a full season. I’m not saying they need blankets and cookies, but let’s not dump on these players while giving the coaches a free pass.


Why didn’t you listen to the coach tho?


Exactly – as our ‘ex’ Captain, a senior international, and one styled as ‘leading the dressing room’ and driving us forward on the pitch…

WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU on the night???


Let’s bring in three proper attackers and win the Europa league next season. This squad is not champions league level anyway.

Woolwich Tiern time

Its not Champions League winning level, but id imagine every EPL team 14th place and above has it in them to win any qualifiers and then not finish 4th in their group thus securing Europa League knockout stage qualification the more prestigious and lucrative way.

Chuck Felsea

You couldn’t be more correct.

Daz Right

No need to publish this comment…

But it’s about time you stop moderating my comments. The only thing I said was that auba’s resale value plummeted after his heart issues and people got pissed, and guess what, we got rid of him for free. So I was absolutely right. And you moderated me for that.

I’ve seen so many rude comments these past few months, here’s one in this thread…. “Let’s get David cunting Attenborough in midfield then. He’s in his 90s but straight as a die and still reacts faster than this bellend.”

Cunty Bellend

I don’t care if you’re moderated or not, but saying, months later, “the only thing I said” suggests you still don’t see the problem with what you said to begin with. The fact that you think using harsh language is worse than seeing someone’s possible health crisis immediately in terms of cash value nails on the cluelessness. Be accountable FFS.

The Optimist

Fair play to Xhaka. I actually thing he’s been okay over the last few dire games. We could point at so many reasons why we’ve failed, but I don’t want to be critical. Given our squads lack of depth, the players have done as well as they could have & have overachieved at plenty of times. I’m just really sad for the occasion the get the better of us. It highlights what we’re lacking at a crucial time though, experience & quality depth. Let’s hope we get things right this summer & continue to build in the right direction. Let’s… Read more »

Public Elneny

Teacher’s pet


One thing I agree with in particular is the comment about being ready for European football. In reality we’re better suited to being in the Europa League next season. I can’t imagine what would have happened to us in the Champions League.

Chuck Felsea

As stated above, I guess in the worst case, we’d have finished 3rd and dropped down to the EL knock out phase.


I’m not his biggest fan but kudos to Granit for stepping up to the cameras and telling it how it is unlike our supposed captain-elect, Odegaard – who continued to hide even after the game had finished. Coward.

Yankee Gooner

Obviously Xhaka was sent out to protect the younger players from having to face this scrutiny, so fair play to him for that. Everyone was poor, and a lot of factors that have already been mentioned surely contributed. But now it’s St. Totteringham’s Eve and so many of you aren’t acting like you believe!


Saying what amounts to “nobody but me was man enough for this game” is hardly protecting younger players.

It’s self-aggrandizing bullshit – I believe Xhaka fans might call it “leadership”.


Too true – time to get rid of this narcissistic straw man. If only his real on-field contribution was as tough as his mouthing off. In the past how many years… you can count the number of times he has really stepped up and changed a game for his team on one hand. Now try counting the mistakes, penalties, senseless free-kicks given in dangerous positions, the dozens of yellows and record number of reds… the flinging of our club captaincy into the dirt… You’ll need to phone a friend and use all their fingers, too!! Enough already. Take whatever we… Read more »


That’s not what he said.


On the contary – he uses the sly ‘we’ to mask his own ego. Not once – not a single time – does he use ‘I’ or ‘me’ for anything.

Narcissist. Average to slightly above average player. Sell him.


Nope – it simply depends on which broadcast feed you watch. Saka was first up on SKY.

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