Thursday, April 25, 2024

Arteta pleased to see Xhaka feeling the love

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Granit Xhaka as the Swiss, in the absence of Martin Odegaard, captained Arsenal to a 3-0 win over Brentford that returned the Gunners to the top of the Premier League.

The 29-year-old midfielder produced a sublime cross for Gabriel Jesus to double the Gunners’ advantage on 28 minutes having already close to assisting an opener inside 90 seconds.

Xhaka’s performance was so impressive that the travelling supporters were quick to chant his name at full time.

“His consistency, and how he goes about [things] every day,” said Arteta when asked what his number 34 has improved.

“What he’s learnt in different moments of his career, whether here or with the national team.

“Also his willingness always to stay humble, to look forward and try to get better and when you do that, normally good things happen.”

Arteta also touched on the growing bond between Xhaka and supporters; something few could have envisaged a few years ago.

“I think he feels now that love and respect both ways,” said the boss. “You see our supporters, the way they were singing to him as well, emotionally that makes him try to give even more. I’m really pleased for him because in my opinion he really deserves it.”

Xhaka was clearly touched by the fact he was serenaded after the match, thanking supporters in a message posted on the club’s social channels.

“Great win, great result, thanks for your support,” he said.

“You’ve been amazing but as well, for myself, to hear what happened today, to say my name, to sing the song for me, it’s a very, very special day. Thank you again.”

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Man Manny

Granit Xhaka is a player reborn. He epitomises the new spirit coursing through the club.
If Partey had his fitness, we’d still be unbeaten – if not still perfect – this season.


Not just his performance today, but from the beginning of the season. Also Xhaka is always available with such a good injury record.

Teryima Adi

He’s made of granite I believe.😄


no. that’s his brother 🙂


His brother has the talent, our man has the granite (oh, and the house keys).


He certainly had rocks in his head.

Joke! Don’t hit the downvo… oh too late.

I absolutely lost patience with the man a long time ago and wanted him gone.

I absolutely did not see this resurgence coming. He has been metronomic, consistent, reliable and vital to this fledgling team. I’m sat here now, happily eating my words.

Well played Xhaka. He’s on the way to cementing his name into arsenal history.

A Different George

He was as good today as I’ve ever seen him for Arsenal (even without that assist). Maybe as good as Switzerland v France, though obviously France are different from Brentford.


IMHO he was MVP yesterday.
The only “detail” is that we need Partey in order to allow Granit roam higher.


Please don’t call it MVP. Its Man of the Match or MOTM if you want to abbreviate. We’re not America, despite the fact that America is determined to buy up the Premier league and turn our clubs into franchises. No offense, it just gets on my nerves.

Brady’s bunch

Saliba’s some linebacker though



Yankee Gooner

tbh, MOTM makes no sense as an abbreviation of Mini Van Persie


Don’t discourage inclusion. We Americans tend to figure out the proper terminology eventually. We also contribute a decent amount to the transfer budget. We like to spend stupid amounts of money on merchandise. Dude made a good point – no need to nitpick.

Waitrose Egg for Omelette

Hmmm…sure,….Partey does make a difference coz having him at the base allows Xhaka to roam higher…But then again I don’t remember Xhaka as being “exceptional” (as a friend recently put it) as an 8 last season even when we have Partey at the base. In fact, if you remember early this season many were calling for an upgrade for the 8 position and yeah… I admittedly did wonder too for a while whether a certain Tiele Mans would do a better job than him, well, at least offensively. As thing stands, Xhaka is performing very well as an 8 at… Read more »


I’m glad all over for him.
The transformation on both sides is almost unbelievable and I will admit to being one of those who wished him gone at various points.
Mea culpa. I thought he was MOTM today.

Mayor McCheese

Anyone who watched the All of Nothing documentary would have come away feeling differently about Xhaka as well. Completely dedicated, intelligent, and clearly someone the rest of the players look up to.


I think if he goes to manage clubs, he can be quite good at it. The awareness and passion is there.


To be honest, Xhaka has always put in a good shift, hardly ever gets injured, very consistent (apart from the erratic challenges every once in a while). There’s a reason every manager since Wenger has relied heavily on him, even Mourinho fancied him.

Teryima Adi

Wow. That’s lovely of the supporters. Long may it continue.


I need to say he has not been truly the type of midfielder I aesthetically like to watch at Arsenal but he has grown on me. (He improved a lot so that helps.)
I really appreciate what he brings to the team and acknowledge managers know better. Kudos to him, he has been excellent over the last two seasons. Love it!


I’m sure he has improved, but I’d probably put down most of his improvement to Arsenal finally putting the necessary players in midfield which allow him to play more to his strengths instead of asking him to play as a DM which he’s not really suited for. But he was willing to do whatever the coaches asked of him. Glad he’s enjoying his football again.


Fair point!


He deserves all of it. To come back after everything he’s been through is a testament to his character. It would have been alot easier to start fresh elsewhere after burning bridges with alot of the fanbase, but with his strong will and I’m sure some help from Arteta he’s formed a massive revival.

Man Manny

I think Arteta saved his Arsenal career. Remember a contract was ready, his bag packed, before Arteta showed up. Without Arteta’s huge arm across his shoulder, Xhaka would be strutting his stuff in the Bundesliga as we speak.
Kudos to him though for taking the opportunity with both hands. His grit and no-nonsense approach are a pluses to this team any day.

Santi's Thigh Grab

And they say Arteta has no man management skills. Xhaka was gone to some German club but Arteta got him to believe in the project he was bringing to Arsenal. I would say both Arteta and Xhaka have helped each other through the last three years, as it should be.


His ability on the ball has never been in question, Miki getting him play further up the pitch has been a masterstroke, we look so well balanced now, he still does his defensive stuff aswell might be forgotten due to his brilliant ball to Jesus but having seen Saliba go out left on the few Brentford attacks he was the one to drop in to CB to snuff out their chance, so pleased our support is showing the love this guy deserves,


Watched the game with a fellow Gooner who wasn’t able to see much of Arsenal this season. He knows I’m not the biggest Xhaka fan since the days of Unai. I kept telling my friend that Xhaka has been superb this season, and he wasn’t too convinced. This game Xhaka was visibly dominant on all areas of the pitch and probably came up with his best appearance this season. MOTM for me and so far one of the standout players this season. Let’s hope this continues.


well done for turning it around Xhaka.
You are credit to the shirt💞🙏


He deserves the positive vibes coming from the fans, good luck to him, he’s a decent guy.

Boy Bastin

What a difference there’s been in the player and subsequently in the fan’s reaction to him. He certainly wasn’t very popular a while ago and Arsenal came pretty close to selling him at one stage. That improvement is down to him and Arteta and co and they should all be congratulated.

Typical tantrums

The sheer mental strength one needs to have to have gone through what Xhaka went and coming out looking like the way he did, that’s commendable. Respect.


A few years ago I suggested in a comment here that Xhaka played as a no.8 in Germany and that he is not really suited to play deep in midfield. Probably broke a record for downvotes that day.

Anyway, I’ve never been a fan of his but he has turned me around and he deserves all the praise he is getting this season. Good for him.

Blian Gliffin

Bigger ups for Arteta that he saw this positional change which Arsene and Emery either failed to spot, or did not believe enough to activate.


A Different George

In fairness to Wenger, I don’t think he “failed to spot” Xhaka’s potential further forward, but the team was desperate for a deep-lying passser. He had Santi and Aaron Ramsey and a half-dozen others at various times who could play that advanced left-sided role, but nothing approaching Thomas Partey.

Merlin’s Panini

It’s mad to think Wenger’s Thomas Parteys for a while were Flamini, Coquelin and Song. All of them had their moments but none were as assured and dominating.
Xhaka is now finally playing like Arteta, who he directly replaced. He’s dynamic, a goal threat, defensively assured and a leader. In some ways he’s even more like the Everton Arteta.

Rotten Egg

Exactly…No disrespect to them, but thinking back It boggles me how we were a top 4 team for such a long time with Coq and Song as starters and old Flamini (young Flamini was great as a starter) as back up. They look good even when they were donning Arsenal colors but after they left us, none of them have actually sparkle at their subsequent clubs. Partey is a player of different pedigree, who based on physicality and talent alone would be good enough for any title chasing team. I was frustrated when he first arrived because he was turning… Read more »

Dave Cee

And who’s fault was that? Every gooner had been screaming for a PV4 replacement since the day he was sold

David C

He did take a silly yellow so that crazy Xhaka still lurks! Haha. I’m so proud of him and really glad the club didn’t sell.


That was no crazy yellow at all. He was very well aware of Brentford swiftly starting a counter attack, and while our CB just ran pass their keeper, everyone was trying to get back to their position. He reacted quickly and stopped the break. Kudos for his awareness and breaking a leg..

Rotten Egg

Don’t agree its a silly yellow. I know the match commentator says that, but that doesn’t mean he is right….I have no idea why he said other players are ready to handle any danger from the goal kick by Raya. It could be because as the match commentator he would have a wider view of the whole pitch, or it could simply be because he is an ass. I’ve actually seen the still shot of the incident, and on my very very very small TV screen, all I can see is the back of our players running back towards our… Read more »


he has come along way, this guy..keep it up it!


The guy is increasingly chucking his walking-yellow/red-card tag. So much so that the commentators said, “this is only his second card of the season”, lol


Kudos to Xhaka. It’s really tough to take so much abuse from the fans who is suppose to support him and other gunners player alike. But he receives a ton shit of hatred and death threats. To walk out of all these truly need to be like a Batman…. get it?
To be able to ignore some overly harsh criticism and stand forth for who he is and what he stands for.
This man is a man of steel up there in the head and heart.


He made a tactical foul, to prevent raya from launching a fast counter.


I’ve always supported Granit and I’m glad it’s turned out so well. Hopefully we never see “fans” turn on a player like that again. I’m happy that he’s getting the love and understanding that he deserves and it’s nice to see the armband back. Kudos to Granit for putting his head down and earning the love and respect, Mikel for seeing the solution, and supporters for eating the pie and showing the love. There’s something special brewing at Arsenal and it’s lovely to see.


Shaka isn’t alone in having weaknesses but we always look like a better team when he plays. His strength of character wins it for me



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