Saturday, June 15, 2024

Xhaka backs Arteta, urges Arsenal to look forward

Granit Xhaka has urged his Arsenal teammates to keep looking forward even though the pain of our failed title challenge has hit the dressing room hard.

It’s looking likely the Switzerland international will leave the club for Bayer Leverkusen at the end season but he feels the Gunners are on the right track under Mikel Arteta after securing a return to the Champions League.

Facing questions after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest, Xhaka said: “We played a great season but we have to keep going, we have to take the next step because it will be much more difficult next season than this season. We know that.”

He also underlined his support for the manager when asked if Arteta is the right man to keep leading Arsenal; a somewhat bizarre question given the team’s progress under the Spaniard.

“You can forget this question – he is more than the right manager for this team.

“We don’t need to forget how we worked for 11 months. Even when we lost now in the last two games, of course the people see what happens now, but don’t forget the 11 months we worked.

“If someone told us before the season that we will be here, I think everyone would have signed it. Our goal for sure was to be back in the top four. Now we are second.

“Of course when you are so close to the title, you want to win the title. But we are there where we are, deserve to be where we are, and let’s see what happens next season. We have to go and do the next step.

“Yes of course it is a sad day for us, for everyone, for all the Arsenal fans. We didn’t want to end like this, but it happened now and the title is gone.

“It’s maybe difficult to speak now about what happens next because we are disappointed and sad, but we have to keep going. We have worked 11 months very well, I think. Let’s enjoy the last game at home and let’s look forwards.”

Arsenal will face Wolves at Emirates Stadium on the final day of the season when Xhaka is expected to wave goodbye to the supporters after seven seasons at the club.

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The OddFather

Let’s celebrate what has been a mostly enjoyable season. Rest up, then we go again in August!

Adam

Celebrate But also reflect. It’s the patterns from last season but way better. But it’s still clear that we do not have enough players the manager trusts. And that has consequences. But he is still young and learning (fast). He needs to be backed heavily this summer. And I trust he will.

A Different George

We do need a deeper squad, but we should not kid ourselves about reaching parity with Man City. Yesterday, with a pretty competitive team on the pitch (six outfield players who are in regular rotation plus Phillips, a full England international), they started with the following 9-man bench: Ederson, Dias, Stones, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Grealish, De Bruyne, and Haaland. (Nathan Ake is injured.) No one in the history of football except maybe Brazil in 1972 and France in 2018 has ever had that sort of depth.

Magneto

I reckon the AC Milan teams/squads of the late ’80’s/early ’90’s could match that sort of depth.

Badaab

Berlusconi’s millions.

Badaab

No one in football has laundered as much money thru their squad as city have (well until Newcastle get started this summer pricing everyone out of every player).

Heavenly Chapecoense

Being in CL is an achievement but the season was disappointing.
I heard Kompany say few months ago, he couldn’t understand why anybody in life would accept anything less than giving his very best. “I don’t understand why such concept can even exist” he said.
Did you see what he did with Burnley right away with no oil money involved?
Maybe the Arsenal community that concept that is so tough on ourselves but a necessary step to success.

Mulla

You’ve missed the point completely. Arsenal have given their absolute best this season but fell short to a team looks likely to win the treble and go down history as one of the PL finest teams. Arsenal overachieved massively and have taken huge steps forward. It’s a process, it takes time.

Am I gutted about how it end? Yes, 100% but I have enough perspective to see the bigger picture. Now we regroup, prepare for the next stage and get ready to go again.

Teryima Adi

Spot on, Xhaka👊🏾

Johnny 4 Hats

29 upvotes.

That feels right.

Maybe we could get it up to 34 though…

0o2Be

Xhaka has been exemplary this season and deserves the best send off, if he is to leave. Same for the rest of the team & club as a whole – they all deserve massive praise for their efforts. I’ll be hoping for a raucous atmosphere inside the stadium and will myself be celebrating in the streets what has been an objectively fantastic season. COYG 🔴⚪

Ozzie

And hopefully nobody leaving early!!

Collibosher

That will be a new kind of send-off for Granit! Personally I don’t want him sent off, I want him to stay, but best wishes for him if that’s what he does.

Nursing_father

Last season Arsenal bottled the champions league spot, This season we bottle the League title but we got the Champions League spot in style. Next season we will bottle the Champions League trophy but we will win the league in style. Next one we will win the Champions League but we will bottle the super cup. Next one we will win the super cup in style but there will be nothing to bottle again.

This I have seen

Qwaliteee

Get yourself a new script writer pal.

Or go support a club that doesn’t lose any games or ‘bottles it.’ (Good Luck with that)

Ebo

Nothing to bottle? Surely you forgot the “Best Club in Any Sport” cup where we will lose to the NBA champions in the finals as Steph Curry shoots a 3-pointer beyond Ramsdale into the top corner. Then we’ll win that cup in style and bottle the interplanetary cup where we’ll lose against a team of four-legged technically gifted Martians because they have an unfair advantage, and the interplanetary FA will launch an investigation with 115 charges against the Martians for having too many legs but everyone will still say the Martians are great because they’re coached by the four-legged version… Read more »

Fatgooner

Yesterday was a particularly depressing day. Watching those c**ts pick up the Premier League trophy that should have been ours was absolutely nauseating.

We blew it; we bottled it.

I have a question…

A number of football commentators have noted that Arsenal were the team that used the fewest players and rotated the least in the Premier League this season. Do you think this was a factor in our spectacular collapse? Should Arteta have used the likes of ESR, Vieira and Trossard more?

Were the players knackered? Or did they just lose belief in themselves?

Just asking…

AlexNuggz

Certainly feels like they could have benefited from more rotation and being dropped out of the side when form dipped. Look how well Martinelli responded after being dropped for Trossard for a few games, came back into the side hungry and firing in the goals, its soo important to rotate but perhaps Arteta hadn’t seen enough of the backup choices in training to fully trust them when thrust into the intensity of our premier league games. Who knows. What we do know is we have an amazing young core of players, and we need to strengthen in a few positions… Read more »

Jimbo1

Martinelli is actually a very important player for the team, and you can see why Arsenal went after Mudryk. He has many of the same skillsets, even though it hasn’t worked out for him at Chelsea. Trossard is closer in style to Saka and Jesus, so when Martinelli is out a lot of thrust is lost down the left flank. The club needs to look at a back up to him, as well as half a dozen other positions, but we may not have lost the last 2 games if he had been playing.

AlexNuggz

Agreed, he’s the only one of the 3 who makes those runs in behind, which is important, otherwise we end up playing infront of the oppositions back line the whole game which is why we were less effective the last few games in my opinion

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

I’m hopeful that the Xhaka deal to Leverkusen might involve Moussa Diaby. If we add Rice and Diaby I’ll be feeling pretty good about the squad

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Personally I think we were okay in-terms of rotation – but the stats after the injury to Saliba tell their own story. It was also unfortunate that Tomi was injured at the same time, as white could have been moved inside and I suspect we’d have been okay – but the drop off we experienced with Saliba’s injury is quite plain to see in our results. Next season with the CL we’ll be even more reliant on the first choice XI – so we absolutely must improve our options and rotate more when we can afford to in the EPL… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

On the ArsenalVision podcast the other day, Elliott pointed out that we were dead last in number of team changes on 33 total. The next lowest was 58.

I definitely think there’s something in this.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Maybe, but if it was such an issue then why didn’t we finish bottom of the league? Why did 18 teams finish below us if ‘number of team changes’ is a valid metric that we came last in?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Holding did a good job in the majority of games he played in. When we started losing: Jesus, Odegaard, Saka and Partey were the problem.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

I don’t deny holding did well when he came in – which is why I did not mention any names as I don’t think it is fair to point fingers at any player (as arteta has also said) – but it is impossible to ignore our run of results since Saliba was injured

John C

The distribution of minutes across our squad just hasn’t been good enough.

To get the best of of ESR, Vieira and Trossard they really need to be alongside better quality teammates.

Saka for instance has been below his best for the last 7/8 matches and i have no doubt that if had started 3 of those games on the bench he would have performed better in the 5 he had.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

I think this season has been a bit of an outlier for rotation – had we not been in the position to win the league then I think we’d have seen a lot more of the squad – but when you’re in with a shout you go with the players that you trust.. I’m expecting Tierney to join City (I’ve had a feeling ever since last summer that this was the plan as city didn’t sign a proper replacement and just added Sergio Gomez as a punt), so I suspect we don’t play him as we’re keeping him fit as… Read more »

John C

It’s definitely difficult to change a side when you’re playing at 100 point pace but at the same time the same starting eleven won’t be able to maintain that over a season. If we win on Sunday we’ll have 84 points and that’ll be remarkable. The most impressive thing over the last couple of years about Arteta has been his ability to identify the teams problems and then fix them. When Wenger left i said any manager would need 5 years to properly fix what he left and what Arteta has done in his time has been completely transformational. I… Read more »

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Totally agree with your comment – there’s a few more pieces to add to this jigsaw yet, and I do trust that it will happen

A Different George

I don’t think you paid attention. They let Zinchenko go because they had the best left fullback in the league last year, Canselo. They changed their system–playing four centre halves and inverting Stones on the right instead of Canselo on the left and Pep loaned him to Bayern with nothing in return in the January window.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Time will tell on this one – but it is hard to explain why a player with such a fantastic attitude as KT is left out in the cold even when Zinchenko is not available. Maybe he will join Newcastle – but my money is on City

Crash Fistfight

Would be good if ESR had played at left forward, rather than in midfield.

Also, as much as I think Vieira has been poor, I don’t think playing in place of Xhaka suits him. He actually looked decent when he played in Odegaard’s position earlier in the season, especially when playing alongside the other “1st team” players. He’s really a #10 or a forward as far as I can see.

John C

I agree on both. Vieira isn’t a replacement for Xhaka in this team rather Odegaard.

I think if he had played alongside Martinelli and Saka a bit more often we’d have a much better opinion of him.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

How shocked to find your negative comments again in the comments. If he had played those players and we lost, you would then blame the manager or Edu or the players. You are always looking for someone to blame. Arteta certainly wouldn’t want your weak mentality in the team.

Qwaliteee

Mate, why don’t you tell us all how we bottled it, yet again.

Go on. One more time. Treat yourself.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Fatgooner

If you’re not worried that for the second season in a row our players have collapsed in the final quarter of the season then there’s something wrong with you.

Qwaliteee

Mate, I’m looking at the bigger picture. I’m looking at 2nd rather than 5th, Champions League rather than the fucking Europa, those victories over Liverpool at Home, Utd at Home, Newcastle Away, Chelsea Home and Away, the Cunts Up The Road Home and Away – not to mention how much we pissed off everyone outside the Emirates by having the utter temerity to be the only club to put in a genuine title challenge with those money doping media darling cheats up the M1. I’m looking at our first XI squad and how they secured more points in a league… Read more »

Fatgooner

Unless something is done to get rid of this loser’s mentality then next season will be yet another disappointing one. We were 8 points clear at one stage: now it looks like we’ll lose it by 10 points.

We bottled it big time.

You can’t build on a losing mentality.

Qwaliteee

Aaah, the voice of experience….

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Maybe we should sign a bunch of players who have already won the league before, this would help when it comes to adding experience to what is the youngest squad in the league, Perhaps if we add to a young squad (that probably doesn’t have a winning mentality because they’re all young so haven’t won anything yet) a couple of players from city who have won plenty of titles, then perhaps a midfielder who has won at international level with Italy and club level at Chelsea – maybe this will add some winning mentality to the bunch of kids who… Read more »

Gunner1971

I’ll ask again the question I asked you on another thread.

Which players are the “losers” that need to go and which players are the “winners” that need to stay? Your whole point is that it is not something that could be developed or evolved but you either have it or you don’t regardless of age. Your examples were the likes of Tiger Woods and Pele.

So?

Fatgooner

It’s not about an individual player: the team mentality is weak. We need winners to bolster the entire squad.

Gunner1971

Those are generalities. Any fan of any team that doesn’t achieve it’s goals can say the same thing. So what?

Or are you saying that if we add a 21 yo Tiger and a 17 yo Pele we’ll find our winning mentality and never fail again?

Ealing

We should have rotated more and the lack of rotation contributed to our collapse.

Some players were overused and knackered, we did not lay a glove on nottingham forest,

We started with players who were not fit for a team with CL ambitions ( Cedric, Marquinhos, Lokonga, Holding and Viera,)

the January business proved more effective, Trossard, Jorghino and Kiwior,

we are left to guess what’s the situation with ESR, and whether MA will sometime adopt a more defensive approach.

Qwaliteee

We didn’t have the players to rotate.

A rusty ESR for either a high flying Martinelli or Odegaard?

A good but clearly not as good Nelson for Saka?

A ball watching Tierney for a midfield linking Zinchenko?

An injured Elneny for a playing-out-of-his-skin Xhaka?

How about a few of the academy kids making up the numbers?

We were forced anyway to rotate Saliba for Holding and Jesus for Eddie….?

Our squad wasn’t – isn’t – anywhere near big enough.

That we’ve finished second is a minor miracle, never mind become Premiership Champions.

Gunner1971

Exactamundo

Mpls

I do believe the players were knackered, but I don’t think it is as simple as that. ESR was injured the majority of the season, and Arteta’s comments afterwards to me seemed pretty clearly in doubt of his fitness, confidence, or something afterwards, which played out in milktoast performances. Vieira had a few flashes and even one or two good matches, but a lot of disappearing and defensive issues. Trossard is an interesting one for me. He had some stellar sub appearances. Some starts, especially recently, didn’t have the same punch. So yeah, I would have liked to see more… Read more »

Qwaliteee

This guy needs to be kept on board for at least next season, if not the one after it. His wealth of experience and knowledge, not to mention his attitude and clear love for the club, are no-brainer reasons for him remaining. But, such is our ineptitude in the transfer market, his links to a move this summer come as no surprise to me whatsoever. And this, folks, is the VERY thing that boils my piss with this club of ours; here we are, trying to build a squad – and moving on one of the reasons we not only… Read more »

Y3mmxiii

Yes, we go again. This time with a real focus on the title.

Vonnie

I’d love it if Granit would stay for one more season, he’s given so much and is so important to this team. Last season we missed out on top four and the players and staff all said they used that pain and disappointment to go again this season. What this season has shown is that with a few more additions, with more experience for the manager and the squad, this team can win the league, and these players will know that. It’s been a long hard slog with the World Cup in the middle and everyone looks mentally and physically… Read more »

Hasbian

Granit Xhaka ra ra ra!

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