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Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?


By Shane
August 2 2018

I got a text last month which read, 'You've got Torreira'. I'd had blood tests done a few weeks previous and briefly thought this might've been the doctor giving me a late and blunt update of some sort of disease that they'd found.

But then I started to wake up and recognised the name a little more. Ah yes, the South American sort who Arsenal had been linked to for a while. 'Yeah, great signing pal,' I responded. To this day I haven't seen him play, nor would I recognise him if he walked into my house. The same could be said for pretty much all of our pre-season signings - apart from the young fella who looks like the lovechild of Leo Sayer and a rake.

 Yep, I've spent most of the summer on Arsenal media lockdown. I hadn't forgotten about Arsene Wenger's exit, but I had honestly forgotten that we hired Unai Emery.

 I was reminded of our new manager a couple of weeks ago whilst watching a film called Prisoners, because there's a character in it who sort of resembles him - the black-haired mad man who dresses mannequins in children's clothing and keeps a lot of snakes locked up in suitcases. Maybe I should've been reminded of Wenger instead, for he spent the final few years of his Arsenal career hoarding and sheltering the spineless, and I'm fascinated to see if one of these players - Granit Xhaka - can develop a backbone under Emery 

 In keeping with the prison theme, this is a bloke who has repeatedly received Get Out of Jail free cards from Wenger down the years, with zero punishment for the comedy of errors that he has instigated and participated in, and it's really quite interesting to see whether he fights or flies in the post-Wenger era.

Xhaka the Poster Child

To me, he's the poster child of the Arsenal team in Wenger's final years - under-performing, under-punished, and yet completely over-privileged by virtue of the fact that he somehow managed to start 37 of our 38 Premier League matches last season. How and why would he improve when he can tell his manager to "f*ck off" (because he did that, against AC Milan away when Wenger shouted at him for taking a shot late on instead of keeping possession) and still get picked the following week?

 But he's about to get a serious jolt to the system under Emery. Not only will there finally be repercussions for playing and acting like a fool, but for the first time in Xhaka's time at Arsenal his place is at risk.

 We've signed two central midfielders, which means there is 200% more competition for Xhaka at Arsenal than there was when he left for the World Cup. I know some of the lads in Merlion's piece have suggested that he should have been sold regardless, but why? I'd be all for it if Wenger was still here, because we'd only get more of the same from Xhaka, but this time around we could and certainly should get all of the attributes that were badly missing from his game in previous years - hunger, heart, passion and a greater concentration - because suddenly the incentive is back.

Just Like A New Signing

As I have already touched on, I know next to nothing about our signings aside from their general positions, and not to borrow an old chestnut from Wenger, but I do know Xhaka could be like a new one based on how much the environment has changed at Arsenal since he has last seen it.

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Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Arsenal Times (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 16:36
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:08:10:13:14:22 by Padre Pio.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Boston Gooner (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 17:21
No.
He's just a poor player.



http://i63.tinypic.com/2dt9c3q.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:08:02:17:22:50 by Boston Gooner.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 17:32
I think he has been mainly poor with us, but I did think he looked better playing in WC2018



- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
younghansolo (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 18:20
Great write up, witty as ever.

I want like xhaka, he fancies a special goal and he's a proper @#$%& as well.

However if nayoen follows him on Instagram, they will see he's a big time Charlie. Always wears extremely expensive clothes, going to the nicest restaurants and generally icing like a billionaire. He's not humble in the slightest. But not in an auba way where it's about never having it and then being flash bit still sharing with your mates. Xhaka seems to live for the lavish life. Almost as though his job (football) exists to create his life.

I'm not a fan of that.

I'd also totally forgotten about him telling Wenger to @#$%& off. That was disgusting

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Shane (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 18:35
Thanks mate.

Quote:
Boston Gooner
No. He's just a poor player.

Except our opinion of Xhaka as a player is based on his performances under Wenger.

Until Xhaka is tested in an environment which promotes progression and constant improvement instead of regression and stagnation then I'm hard pressed to definitively say that he's a poor footballer.

He might well be, or he might've been poor because he was allowed to be. Either way I find him very interesting this season.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Goofle (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 18:57
Xhaka doesn't have the natural toold to be morphed by a better manager. He's slow, immobile and lacks any kind of defensive acumen.

I would agree if he did have physical and mental talents, because you can mould that. But he has NOTHING to mould.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Boston Gooner (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 19:47
Quote:
Goofle
Xhaka doesn't have the natural toold to be morphed by a better manager. He's slow, immobile and lacks any kind of defensive acumen.
I would agree if he did have physical and mental talents, because you can mould that. But he has NOTHING to mould.

Agreed.



http://i63.tinypic.com/2dt9c3q.jpg

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
SuperRob (IP Logged)
02/08/2018 22:47
Quote:
Boston Gooner
Quote:
Goofle
Xhaka doesn't have the natural toold to be morphed by a better manager. He's slow, immobile and lacks any kind of defensive acumen.
I would agree if he did have physical and mental talents, because you can mould that. But he has NOTHING to mould.

Agreed.

yep unfortunately true. I still wonder what it is that people seem to see in him. I mean he cost us £35m. He plays every game. Pundits and commentators never criticise him.

He and Mustafi were ranked number 1 and 2 in the number of individual mistakes leading to goals last season.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:08:03:06:58:46 by SuperRob.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
CazOnARola (IP Logged)
03/08/2018 01:16
Quote:
Boston Gooner
Quote:
Goofle
Xhaka doesn't have the natural toold to be morphed by a better manager. He's slow, immobile and lacks any kind of defensive acumen.
I would agree if he did have physical and mental talents, because you can mould that. But he has NOTHING to mould.

Agreed.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
MattySadler (IP Logged)
04/08/2018 08:02
Great write up Shane particularly that opening.

I'm in the minority in that I think Xhaka has finished each of his two seasons here in fairly decent form and that there could be more to come from him.

Whilst we've been able to enjoy the emergence of Guendouzi and Smith-Rowe, and the form of Cech, Aubameyang and Lacazette, tohe main thing I have taken from pre-season so far is how god awful we've looked defensively.

Kolasinac has looked worse than he did last season, Bellerin has been awful, Sokratis looks like a complete dub and whilst Mustafi has been okay, you know a mistake is never far away.

Xhaka, who'll presumably be some sort of midfield anchor, would basically be a part of that defence, and I don't fancy Xhaka to look any better while playing with such a bad group of individuals, making up an equally bad defensive unit.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
SuperRob (IP Logged)
04/08/2018 13:51
Hopefully the defensive issues are because they are having to learn how to play together in a new way. I guess it will take a bit of time to gel.

In the chelsea game, the most worrying thing for me was the lack of a clear plan of how we would defend throughout the team, mostly in the midfield and attack. Some players were pressing, some were sitting off. However you defend, you have to do it as a team. If the front 3 press and the midfield 3 back off, as happened multiple times against chelsea, they were able to get through the initial press, then had lots of space in midfield to get past the midfield and at that point, it doesn't really matter who the defenders are, they are going to struggle.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Boston Gooner (IP Logged)
04/08/2018 13:59
I think the problem is that we have defenders who aren't that good at defending.



http://i63.tinypic.com/2dt9c3q.jpg

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Shane (IP Logged)
04/08/2018 21:26
Quote:
Boston Gooner
I think the problem is that we have defenders who aren't that good at defending.

I'd reserve judgement on this too mate. You might well be right but you won't know until you've seen how the same defenders perform in an environment which does not enable their shortcomings.

I'd liken it to the class clown in school. The whole 'class clown' thing is a very broad label in Irish and English secondary schools because that same clown isn't going to behave the exact same way in every single class.

He or she will only mess around, shout catchphrases and throw paper airplanes in the classes taught by a teacher who isn't very authorative and therefore their behaviour is inadvertently validated. But do they act the same in classrooms where there's a disciplinarian teacher? No.

In this class there are rules and most teenagers, irrespective of their comedic and rebellious talents, aren't going to try and pull the same shite because they simply won't get away with it. In Ireland we call them "messers" and messers only exist because they're allowed to.

Xhaka is a messer. Mustafi is a messer. Ozil is a messer. These are players whose attitudes hold them back more than actual footballing deficiencies in my view. These were the class clowns under Wenger. None of them are particularly funny - not intentionally anyway - but these lads tested Wenger's leniency time and again and realised that they could get away with the blue murder that they have done in an Arsenal shirt down the years, so they continued doing it because why the f*ck not?

But different teachers can breed different students and that's why we can't think of Xhaka, Mustafi, Ozil or Koscielny in the same way as we thought of them before. They might well be a bunch of f*cking Zack Morrises regardless of the manager, but I'm giving everyone a pardon for past atrocities until they repeat them under Emery. I think some players will look unrecognisable for the better.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:08:04:21:29:41 by Shane.

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
AJ The Gunner (IP Logged)
05/08/2018 20:37
i can't seem to make up my mind about Xhaka. whether he is truly bad or that he needs a new coach to fine tune him or his lack of discipline is his undoing.

the amount of ball he looses or fails to track has been costly i must say.



Wenger Is Gone Now So Can We Be Allowed To Breathe Now???

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
Goofle (IP Logged)
06/08/2018 02:06
Fine tune what exactly? His lack of pace and literal inability to do anything useful at all other than hit a ball occasionally accurately?

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
AJ The Gunner (IP Logged)
06/08/2018 12:17
Quote:
Goofle
Fine tune what exactly? His lack of pace and literal inability to do anything useful at all other than hit a ball occasionally accurately?


(Sm22) what do you want to say



Wenger Is Gone Now So Can We Be Allowed To Breathe Now???

 
Re: Can Granit Xhaka develop a backbone under Emery ?
BootyDaddy (IP Logged)
07/08/2018 11:11
Nothing player.



Albert Einstein once said: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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