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

132 comments on “Granit Xhaka, Icon or Idiot?

  1. I blame Xhaka.

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  2. Time for a few subs?

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  3. lacazette on for patino, the game really passed the lad by

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  4. We are still half asleep.Giving away cheap free kicks. It’s gonna cost at some point. And the amount of sloppy passing is astonishing from pretty much everyone.
    The Forest strategy is brutally simple, sit back let Holding bring the ball out force a mistake and break. And Holding has had a nightmare.
    Martinelli has not had any change from their right back Spence who has matched him for pace.
    Nketia being very selfish and could have played in a few balls across the box but has opted to go for goal.
    Now Laca on, let’s see if things improve.
    Hard to single out any player who has had a good game so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Always a hard contest with such a callow midfield Away in the cup
    I agree with Ehab Niles who was MOTM in his last match going on loan shows how good this squad is, and people will be aware the team could do with him today so I hope Arteta has a plan for that midfield.

    Great opportunity for a player to have a big moment Nketiah getting closer, can he get a goal? Lacazette on for the rookie is the right call at the right moment, can the Gunners get a goal COYG!

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  6. Can’t really blame a patino really with almost all the senior players going missing.
    The link up play to get past their midfield has been non existant

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  7. forest take the lead, and we really have to say we have only ourselves to blame, its been an awful performance, about ten minutes left

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  8. Mistake by Sambi break and they score.
    Can’t see us coming back
    I think we are out
    You can’t begrudge them to be fair
    We haven’t turned up

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  9. we need a goal and we are bringing on kolasinac, ha ha ha

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  10. FT: Forest 1-0 Arsenal

    a disgraceful performance from our lot

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  11. Every now and again, Arsenal just seem to not turn up against the journeyman, we have seen the damage Shane Long and Charlie Austin have done in the past, but at least they were in an EPL team, yes, players missing today, central MF wasn’t operational at all , but that was appalling. Could have done with AMN!
    How have this team knocked us out twice in the third round in so few years?
    That was actually unprofessional , but shows how dependant this team are on Xhaka, no Xhaka , no party

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  12. Not sure where to begin or how to describe that performance.
    Probably the worst game of the season as at least the first three there were mitigating circumstances.
    Inspide, uninspiring, limp, just dreadful.

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  13. damn glad Arteta got to show who was boss by taking off Tavares after 30 minutes, it really was the kick up the backside the other players needed to up their game and go on and dominate this lower league team, oh wait

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  14. it was also good that we did not need AMN in midfield and could fast track his loan move to Roma, after all they needed him more than we did

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  15. Xhaka IS an icon. Need a quick bounce back that’s for sure.

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  16. some day i hope to understand the game as much as Arteta does, cos silly old me, when we needed a goal with about ten minutes left, would never have thought of taking off our right back and bring on left back Kolasinac, an idiot like me would have been bringing on an actual striker like say Biereth who was in the subs, and I might even have thrown on exciting young forward Hutchinson too. But what do I know, we might have lost with a whimper unlike today. Say what.

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  17. we were allowed to use 5 subs, we used 3, i never understand that when the performance is as bad as it was today. Its not like you are afraid to disrupt the good flow of the team, there was none, so nothing at all to lose.

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  18. an awful day all round for Arsenal, our womens team had their worst performance of the league season, losing 2-0 away to Birmingham ladies, who were bottom of the league and without a win before today’s game.

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  19. He subbed one of his players to show him who’s boss and the Lakonga also one of his players with a lazy pass that led to the goal. The City game he wasn;t there, coincidence?

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  20. I see it was a very eventful game for AMN debut, Roma 3-4 Juventus, Roma were 3-1 up, and missed a penalty in the 83rd minute to get a draw.

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  21. well at least Gabriel’s suspension is over now and he can play in the CC v LFC on Thursday, and we can only hope ESR is fit, and that Xhaka is recovered from his second bout of Covid.

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  22. oh and we really need Tomiyasu back fit too.

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  23. Everyone was hopeless, from the manager to the starters and the subs. As the old saying goes, Nketiah isn’t a proper striker’s arsehole and what do you really expect if you elect to play without a central midfield?
    And in unconnected but somehow inevitable news the dog helped himself to the left-over chicken that the daughter had failed to put in the fridge.

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  24. I think this game answered your question about Xhaka more than anything anyone could have said on here.
    Unfortunately most of our squad players are not pushing their respective first team players at the moment. Some are young and will get better others will need to be moved on through various windows.
    The question is why have Emi, Ainsley and Joe gone and Eddie being pushed out the door when you look at the players we still have at the club.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Well Ian my big question is why did Arteta not throw on the young attacking players for the last ten minutes, Biereth, Hutchinson and Salah Oulad M’Hand, it was totally pointless bringing on Kolasinac for Cedric.

    I would also say that what I seen from Martinelli has me once again doubting the hype he receives, as Arteta said before Christmas, the lad has to stop trying to do everything at 100mph and also learn that he has team mates on the pitch too

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  26. AMN, Torreira, Guendouzi just the 3 CM we have out on loan, but Arteta says it clear where we need to strengthen

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  27. Kaya Kaynak
    @kayakaynak97
    Arteta on Xhaka’s chances of coming back next week:
    I don’t know it will depend on the next few days about how he’s feeling.

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  28. There can be 2 answers to the question as to why the performance today was so lack lustre.

    The first was that he needed the players to be fit for Thursday, so he told them not to exert themselves too much and when he tells them to do something they know they have to do it.

    Alternatively, they were too complacent, but one would have thought that especially after they scored, they would take up.

    The loan of AMN, at a time when we needed him does not make sense.

    Lokonga makes too many mistakes, so perhaps the Xhaka haters should now direct their attention to him.

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  29. We managed no shots on target.

    Really impressive.

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  30. A clear example of Xhaka’s complicated relationship with this team. He is essential to its functioning, has exceptional positional awareness, maintains the flow, covers for teammates. We basically have no midfield without him.

    But without him we were, because for the second time this season, he tested positive for COVID. The first time, he made a public point about how he wasn’t vaccinated. That kind of stubbornness does not constitute leadership in this day and age.

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  31. 900ft our manager got covid for the second time too, its that a lack of leadership too

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  32. Getting covid doesn’t show a lack of leadership. Don’t be ridiculous. It’s the public refusal to be vaccinated that is the problem, especially when you belong to a team whose performance depends on optimal health.

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  33. OT- dang sorry to see that Bob Saget died, his stand up work was hilarious, and he was really funny with old Billy Burr on some of the ATC.

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  34. One thing I thought was a bit odd how the ref against City basically looked at the VAR screen and surmised it was a penalty because the Xhcapegoat looked to be shirt pulling. Yet Ben White was pulled to the ground by having his shirt pulled and no pen.

    Other than that, apart from some good saves by Leno we were kack. Set up to lose before the game, why I have no idea? All the talk of getting back into Europe, and our squad cant even stretch to the domestic competitions! But I thought that falling out of the top four and Europe would do us good? Well plenty of that poop around? How do you feel about two legs against Livercrutches? Excited? Hopeful? If the Xhcapegoats not back we wont have a midfield…feel good about playing the Spuds?
    I recall Rob Holding taking the piss out of Per years ago saying ” I’ll do your running for you” and Per took it, although that Forest kid on the right had side pissed on Holding for speed. Ooh Vipāka!
    I know it hurts to be booted out, and all the other clubs (tik tok kids etc)are laughing at us and Newcastle, and Reading and tapping away on their keyboards about about how great Forest were in 1728 etc. But only one set of wankers will win the Cup, everyone else will be booted out.Bye Forest! West Ham taking the piss out of us, yet they beat Leeds’ B team, oooh big time stuff!The Spuds were kack until they made the triple sub. Kack against Murikambee ffs!

    To me the cup lost losts magic years ago, but then which football competition still seems magical? Is it me or does the sport seem spoilt and jaded? Do we all need the travelling circus of Dr Lao to come and help us?

    Fork it!

    COYG!
    ps Dear Arsenal dont make the players wear the dogshit white kit again, please offer some other gesture to help against knife crime. Thank you.

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  35. Agree with shirts. Look like Spurs, play like Spurs.

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  36. Fabrizio Romano
    @FabrizioRomano
    ·
    24m
    Folarin Balogun joins Middlesbrough on loan from Arsenal, done deal. Balogun will undergo his medical tomorrow and then will be announced as new Boro player. Red circle #AFC

    Arsenal have accepted also final details and clauses. Talks started five days ago and now completed. Handshake #Boro

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  37. our fixtures for the rest of January are

    Liverpool away in CC semi final first leg

    Spurs away in EPL

    Liverpool home in CC semi final second leg

    Burnley home in EPL

    February currently only has two games due to be played, EPL games away to Wolves and home to Brentford, we will have a 3rd game if we reach the CC final

    March currently only has 3 fixtures for us too, but April has 5

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  38. I feel the thing that hurt the most wasnt losing to a lower league team, but the fact we had no interest. Too much hubris for breakfast,(when does that ever not give you indigestion?) no physical or intellectual unity, no will, no lust to win, no anguish at messing up the play, and wanting to rectify it. Not being bovvered. Serial mistakes, nobody taking charge and calming players down( who knows the affect of Tarvares coming off like that, fkn shaming as a force makes people really fearful and then angry, if you cant channel constructively it then it turns in anti-unity, and becomes a big jelly of not knowing), surely a HT subbing might have been more wise? And he wasnt the only one that could have had the sub-shaming in the first half.
    If we had fought like dogs, or played a super skill game, and were still pipped to it by Forest then I wouldnt really have a complaint, as fairs fairs. But from our angle, the anti- bovver is sort of alienating, and leaves a bitter anger, with no sympathy, and thats always unhealthy for us and the team. 99% of Arsenal players Ive ever watched Ive really really liked, as Im prejudiced.Even if the Luton fans say they be wank. To me Forest werent good, but we were really poor, even Newcastle could say they got the ball in the back of the net a few times. Hubris is sado, and sado is mascochism. Do a bully and all is revealed as they suffer.
    It came across as if we sacrificed the game for something else, but what? To concentrate on the league we wont win? To try beat Liverpool in the League Cup-really I hope we do, but I cant imagine it? Klopp must have know that plenty of our players would be off for the African cup..? Nice work guy! If we are trying to get top four, then how will any kind of squad like this cope with all the extra games should we get back into Europe? Sacrifice the domestic trophies again? That sort of attitude is not even in Peps mentality…and that says much about us?

    Bringing Kolasinac on was one of the oddest things Ive seen; a chess play, that was four moves ahead by not seeing the clock was already out of time, and that we were behind?
    Check mate.

    I wonder if we would have played an u23/U21 side would it have performed with more unity and will?

    Thing is usually we all have a look at things with hindsight goggles on, but most mistakes and the ill play was being seen without the need of a post match microscope everyone knew what was going on during the game.So why didnt Arty farty give it a bigger shuffle? Five subs? It worked for the Chickens, they needed something drastic and it did the biz.We will probably not ever know, and one day this will all just be another stupid stat thats reeled out before the game…
    Its like club doesnt realise we like to watch good games, and to see commitment at all levels, we like football, we love exciting skilful football.We want to support you, for you to do well. Not to fart about and not be bovvered. Its not always about winning, but it is about taking part (he said like an old tool from a foggy past, long gone).

    Arty: ” we didnt show enough quality”. Well it was a bit more complicated than that mate.
    Oh well. It will soon be Thursday. And. after that over to the Coop, then this will all be forgotten. Will it be four defeats in a row by then?

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Liverpool false positive Covid tests, surely not.

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  40. well Mills that we didn’t even manage a shot on target summed up the awful display. For me Odegaard seemed to be the only player really up for the game. We had Martinelli forgetting he had team mates, Tavares and Cedric were awful, Patino was lost, Nketiah as poor as I’ve ever seen him play, Saka only showed flashes of his talent, but was way too slow to pass the ball, there was a real need for quick one twos, first time passes, but it was all slow and labored and we made it oh so easy for Forest.

    As for taking off Cedric and bringing on Kolasinac when we needed a goal, and had 3 of our best young attacking players on the bench craving a debut, well it really does begger belief. All 3 should have been thrown on, after all what happens if more of our player come down with Covid and we have to play them at Anfield, would it not be better to have had even the last ten minutes v forest in their back pockets.

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  41. Matt Mason
    @MattMason_
    ·
    2h
    My understanding is that the EFL investigation into Liverpool’s false positives is actually underway and already pretty much complete. Cut and dried by the sound of things. I’m told the verdict will be a red card for Xhaka.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Jeez it was a horrible one to watch. Rarely see such a clear case of ‘break us down if you can, and watch out for our breaks!’ game of football.
    I didn’t particularly see any deficiency in effort nor caring but we just didn’t have the answers. Though we were right up against it physically and couldn’t match them there.
    Saka caused big danger twice- once with superb cross for Eddie, the other beating his man and knocking across goal with defender covering Laca well, and also thought we were in good position when Eddie played down line by Patino but made really poor choice going it alone, and that was more or less it.

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  43. Don’t want to say too much about our young midfielder as it’s obviously not his fault the way expectations have been raised but thought it a tough day for him and it was a pretty big step towards confirming my unease over his hype well founded.
    Dark comedy if any of those hypers are same people who slam Xhaka for a lack of pace because…yeah, I think any race would be pretty close.

    Not to say he hasn’t shown real talent in youth, and clearly people within club who have seen lots more and have lots of experience in game like look of him, but I never got that Wilshere or Saka feeling from what I’ve seen.

    Just think world has changed a lot since Wilshere time with social media and people may have got carried away, or want to sound like experts on spotting next superstars, etc, all the way up to people like Rio Ferdinand.

    Hope the young lad goes on to become fantastic- he might- but equally so hope the build up and potential knock down doesn’t have harmful effect.

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  44. Would prob be best for him if he could drop back down to big u23 game against Chelsea tonight, but seems almost certain first team midfielder situation won’t allow it. Maybe they’ll have to keep both him and fellow youngster Salah out of it, which is a shame as it’s cup, and it’s Chelsea.

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  45. It does seem very strange seeing our midfield situation we haven’t given Jack either a pay as play contract or a short contract until the end of the season, especially as the other players are suggesting he is the best in training.

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  46. Arsenal U21’s beat Chelsea U21’s 4-1 to reach the quarter finals of the Papa John’s Trophy, where they will play Wigan away.

    Olayinka, Biereth, Hutchinson and Flores with our goals

    well done lads

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  47. Arsenal U21s v Chelsea: Hein; Alebiosu, Norton-Cuffy, Awe, Ogungbo, Lopez: Henry-Francis, Olayinka; Hutchinson, Biereth, Salah-Eddine.

    Subs: Ejeheri, Walters, Akinola, Flores, Sagoe Jr, Ideho, Edwards.

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  48. Arsenal have signed 16 year old left back Lino Da Cruz Sousa, from West Brom, he has been a regular this season in their u18’s and has played for their U23’s also.

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  49. ACL Soccer
    @ACL_Soccer
    ·
    10h
    Sp@rs v Arsenal – Sunday 16 January

    Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
    Assistants: Dan Cook, Harry Lennard.
    Fourth official: Graham Scott.
    VAR: John Brooks.
    Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes

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  50. Good result against Chelsea’s under 21’s. I watched the under 18’s training at Hale End 3 years ago and Chelsea wiped the floor with them every game. I remember thinking this doesn’t look great for the future.
    Clearly something has changed given the quality of the youngsters coming through.
    Of course as we know from bitter experience they may not even end up being given the chance to reach their potential at Arsenal.

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