132 Comments

Granit Xhaka, Icon or Idiot?

Hello all,

On this podcast 3 of us try to understand the outrageous differences in opinions on our former captain. For some, like me, he’s our most important player and the heartbeat of the team, while to others he is the worst midfielder in living memory. I can accept that there should be scope to discuss what degree of good he is, but some of the rubbish spouted by people that actually have football as their hobby, is inexplicable. That said, I do have some explanations and they don’t put his critics in a very good light.

So if you have the time give it a listen, and any comments or promotion on SM would be greatly appreciated.

Pedantic George

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132 comments on “Granit Xhaka, Icon or Idiot?

  1. If Mikel seriously thinks the world’s best players want to come to ARSENAL he is delusional, perhaps he’s just trying to talk a good game and talk the club up.
    Let’s remember even Arsene had to discover rough diamonds or players who were out of form and turn them into world class players.
    Why would a player who had the option of city or chelski choose us it’s just not logical.

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  2. As for the Liverpool game, I thought it was iffy their training ground reopening so quickly and being able to suddenly play Shrewsbury and then all the false positives confirm it was definitely bent.
    As it stands now if Xhaka and ESR are still out it means we only have 6 first team squad players who are regular midfielders or forwards a nightmare scenario for a semi final.

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  3. If the youth players are good enough, they will get their chance. The sad fact is that only a very few will be good enough to play in the Premier League for a club with aspirations to be in the top 4.
    If the money is on the table players will go where their agents tell them to go.
    I suspect whoever is in charge of the League Cup will not be so accommodating if Arsenal have players missing.

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  4. Think it’s fair to say that last season we saw some stand out naive performances in the absence of senior players. Including Luiz, was not his bigggest fan but he had quality, serious experience & some big performances.

    Considering or ignoring the Yorkshire Handicap it was a team lacking the above against Forest, perhaps the selection would have worked better if Lacazette had started but the obvious big miss was Xhaka etc.

    I also don’t dismiss the impact of Auba, Niles (motm in last game) sagas on morale however small an effect it can still affect momentum when players see colleagues who could help them beat opponents frozen out.
    In an ideal world Saka would not play against Liverpool. Coping without Xhaka when he was injured and including the luck at times was a plus for MA. Big few days ahead.

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  5. west ham 2-0 norwich

    arsenal now down to 5th but with a game in hand on west ham

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  6. Like

  7. So with less than 3 hours to go to a semi final there is no updated injury news or player availability.
    That’s either bad news or were just keeping Liverpool on the dark, just stabbing in the dark I’m worried.
    The good news is with Mikel being a cautious manager anyway and most of our problems being in midfield and attack he might just try and frustrate the shit out of the scousers.
    Personally if we have a problem in the centre of midfield I would play Callum, if available.
    COYG.

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  8. Bloody hope we can get something out of this tonight, my horrible pessimism says we will lose 3-0 and there will be no point in a second leg. Sure hope Im wrong.
    Im hoping that the bs of the FAC will have worked its way into our psyche and we can fight back as a unit in a controlled way, but Klopp will put out a decent side, and 90 mins will be a long time if we are holding on and not getting thrashed.
    Still Arsenal are a bit wacky and who knows what might turn up?
    COYG!

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  9. Poor old Arsenal, sometimes we make things hard for ourselves.

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  10. Still hanging on. The icon will be branded an idiot. Sure hope we can keep blocking and frustrating them.Park that bus!

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  11. What title for this post couldn’t have been timed better.

    I might be biased towards the academy player but letting Niles go on loan might be a dumb move, in hindsight!
    From the substitution it looks like the plan now is to stay in the tie and keep it close for the home leg which makes sense in the circumstances. Hopefully some players will return for the NLD COYG.

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  12. The laws might back the ref, but 95% of other players in this league, they won’t get a red for that

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  13. Well defended you Arsenal! The lads did really well considering all things. Nice.

    COYG!

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  14. Stone cold obvious Red for Xhaka. Reluctant yellow for anyone else in the League so soon in the game. And therein lies the problem.
    Top effort from them all. A group of youngsters to be proud of.

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  15. haven’t seen any of it, was it a deserved red, or was it the xhaka tax

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  16. Great result, I would of excepted that result before the game and especially when I saw the sides.
    I think Xhaka saw we were to open and knew Liverpool were going to score and so got himself sent off so we would tighten up.
    Fins, it’s not in hindsight that it was dumb about Ainsley, most of us see it coming it was a really stupid decision.
    Tactically I thought given the players available Mikel would pack the midfield and go on the counter as he did earlier in the season. The sending off was not just a wrong decision by Granit but the set up by Mikel and the players who were all caught in no man’s land all played their part.
    Xhaka is not the fastest player and yet once again he is the only player chasing back from a starting position of just outside the Liverpool box.
    There is a lot of analysis there for our coaches to look at and see just how so many players got it so wrong in one movement.
    Looking at the next couple of games surely Callum has to play centre midfield. In a game where all the players were throwing themselves on the line I thought Sambi looked poor and very lightweight, he will need someone like Callum next to him for strength.

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  17. Chris Wheatley
    @ChrisWheatley_
    ·
    1h
    Understand that Arsenal have terminated Miguel Azeez’s loan with Portsmouth. #AFC

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  18. Xhaka , was maybe in the red card zone technically , but most players in this league, especially those of Tottenham or from North of the Watford gap would have got a yellow.
    I am not sure he saw his man when he raised his boot, the assault where Macarthy booted Xhaka was a far more obvious red.
    Xhaka is a fantastic player who deserves better than the PGMOL. He goes over the line sometimes, but so do many others, including Mane, Kane, Salah, and so did Rooney, Gerrard and Shearer, none of them got Xhakas treatment from the refs
    But we’ll done to the team for holding out like that , they stand a decent chance whenever Klopps statistically impossible false positives allow the second leg

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  19. so a very simple question

    should xhaka have let jota in for a one on one with Ramsdale, or was he right to make the challenge

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  20. feel this post from arsenal times in another anti xhaka thread, something they have been doing day from day one of his Arsenal career deserves a wider audience, the post is by Ares

    Ares 13 January, 2022 22:52
    In the last 5 Seasons Including This Very Season

    Granit Xhaka has been given a red card just 1 time in The Premier League our bread and butter competition.

    There are players who get sent off more frequently than once in five years in the league or twice in five years (counting the league cup tie today) at Arsenal Football Club.

    Gabriel for one.

    But he’ll get out of it. And if he stays long enough he too will go three of four years without a sending off.

    When Xhaka arrived in England like many players Arsenal and other clubs have signed from other countries he had problems. Yes he got about 3 red cards very close to one another when he first started here in England but good god you would think he has 300 Red Cards the way people carry on.

    I never saw people do this when we had previous players spitting on other players. Trying to kick other players right in front of the Referee. If people were consistent. I could understand.

    And it’s not just people who support the club. People who work in the media especially. I’ve never heard Pundits and Commentators relentlessly and I do mean relentlessly remind every single one of us about that guy who tackled our number 9 OFF THE FIELD The guy who broke Ramsey’s Leg, The guy who broke Eduardo’s Leg, The guy who broke Diaby’s Leg,

    If I could say oh yes the media are fabulously consistent at bashing every one I could tolerate the hysterics.

    If the media were consistent about all our players who have picked up reds like one of our ex players who is not Vieira or Bergkamp who was quite the hatchet man I’m sure if you think hard enough you will remember the guy jabbing his studs into some one’s knee. If the media were consistent they would say to be fair Xhaka’s red card for a professional foul is not even remotely in the same league as one of our former players who actually ended some one’s career.

    Like I said at the top of this post. I’ve noticed it for years Xhaka not getting sent off and people going on most of the time: Making themselves feel anxious he’ll get sent off before many a game.

    His red cards like Aubameyang’s red cards are a clear case of trying too hard. Rather than trying to put some one in an ambulance. Or some thing real silly like how Gabriel got his red this season.

    If he was going about kicking people in the head, stamping on people’s legs, spitting at people, biting people, Looking the Referee in the Eye and Giving Dissent. If he was doing those things I could understand how some people go on and on and on about the man.

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  21. seems we picked up a few injures tonight, Cedric, Chambers and Saka, and of course Xhaka misses the next two games through suspension. So we need some of the injured or covid infected players back quickly, or some signings in by 12 noon tomorrow to play on Sunday.

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  22. Is it not possible that Xhaka, having just recovered from covid was rather unfit and off the pace and not really back in the groove?

    Undoubtedly, had we not needed him to play, he would not have been regarded as ready yet.

    Looking at it another way, had he not been sent off, would we have been as compact and hard to break down?

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  23. Or we could ask for the game on Sunday to be postponed. We must have a few false positives we can conjure up.
    I didn’t see the game but some heroic defending must have taken place.

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  24. English Cricket is being told to tidy up its act after some disturbing revelations of the Yorkshire Handicap. In all the papers with all the jolly hacks hacking away.

    When will these stand up champions of free speech and their hangers on the bad big blaggers muster up the footballs to call out the impact of the Yorkshire Handicap on English Football?

    Retarding the national game since 1967 with tilted pitches (see Xhaka).

    For the nation that hosts the PL the richest league these past twenty years to have won fuck all (what happens in Qatar will not count!!) is Mike Riley’s shocking legacy yet there is zero critique allowed of this sport entertainer’s bungled legacy and negative impact on English sport. Almost as if there is some kind of omertà in our “free” press. Blimey.

    Yep no doubt about it Xhaka is an Icon and the bile the plundits tried to pile onto him last night makes all sane Arsenal fans want the player to stay for years!

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  25. We could Bradybunches, but it seems to me, the club either don’t push hard enough, or are simply treated differently to certain clubs
    Could you imagine the backlash if Arsenal had come out with Klopps false positives.
    As for Xhaka, he is a stick to beat the club with, a lightening rod, he is refereed differently to others ( as with the recent Gabriel red, yesterdays ref couldn’t wait to get his card out). Xhaka gets a yellow , often for precious little pretty much every game . Any ref with any bias or anything else can use Xhaka for their aims with impunity, the media will always side with them against this player. He can be clumsy, can play on the edge, Has often been left exposed, but is by no stretch a dirty player when you look at others , especially one we will face this weekend
    I admire Xhaka as a player, for his ability, clear leadership within the squad, and for his bravery facing these cheats week in week out, knowing they are desperate to card him

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  26. Luton fan: ” Granit Xhaka sent of again, 5th or 6th time”
    Nasty Mills ” Well Paddy was sent off 8 times, and Granits only been off four times in the league, and Paddy did no wrong in your eyes” *

    Luton aggro then blames Xhaka for us losing 5-0 to Man CIty.Yep. Xhcapegoat. And says that Xhaka gave away a penalty in the City game at home, and we lost because of him. Well that was a fkn dive and Xhak didnt give the pen away.
    And then I read that Xhaka had to apologise on fkn socials. What a load of kack.

    But we all know it, sometimes saying somethings like pissing in the ocean to make it deeper.

    COYG!

    * If Paddy was at the club now he would not be the hero he was as he would come under attack from the endless opinion beaters?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Just seen the Xhaka foul and sending off. No way should that be a red. He doesn’t even hit Jota. Jota catches Xhaka’s foot against his chest and sells it to the ref.

    After seeing the way Arsenal fans were dissing Xhaka for the ‘obvious’ red on other sites, it is not just the refs or pundits who treat him differently but many Arsenal fans too.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. There is a reason why all our managers pick Xhaka whenever he is fit even though he has some shortcoming like every other player. What he brings to the team is much greater.

    Unfortunately, I think the media narrative will win against Xhaka. Just like it did with Wenger. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Xhakas boot was high (dont think he saw Jota, unlike Mcarthy on Saka), he caught him high, it was a foul, but Jotas first touch was too poor to make it a clear goal scoring opportunity
    Verdict – red for Xhaka, but unintentional, not violent, yellow or less for any other player. If Harry Kane did the same, he would get a free kick in his favour and even a yellow for Jota for being in his way.
    Michael Oliver couldnt wait to show that card
    As much as I rate Xhaka, and would hate to see it happen, I wouldnt blame him for quitting Mike Rileys league. Apologising wont help him, he is a target for these refs and the media

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I was talking to a fellow Arsenal fan and one of them lot from down the road this morning. Both intelligent fellows, both decent games players in their time. They told me how many Red Cards Xhaka had collected recently, including the one against Man City. Do yoiu mean the one back in August, I asked? No – the one last week when he gave away the penalty was the reply. So somehow the two have become conflated in the popular imagination, adding fuel to the false narrative.
    Nevertheless, if a player has (however unfairly) developed a reputation that causes referees to treat him in a certain way, then what shiould be done? Carry on regardless? Set out to claim a different reputation? And what should the manager do? Keep backing a player who has an above average likelihood of dismissal, or eventually decide that the upsides aren’t worth the downsides?
    Tough real world calls.

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