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Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Discussion started by Shane , 05 October, 2019 14:59
Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Shane 05 October, 2019 14:59
As some of you will know, I spent time in rural Ontario a couple of years ago, but what you may not know is about the kinship that I struck up with a rooster.

On the second farm I stayed on, Catherine, the lady of the house, would cook up a storm each evening. I can't contribute much in the kitchen, so it was simply my job to take a selection box of discarded vegetable bits - mushroom stalks and what have you - outside and feed the chickens. It was the highlight of their day. Carrot shavings raining down in the enclosure sent them into a frenzy and within seconds, it was each hen for themselves. They'd peck and claw at each other to protect their piece of the loot. I imagine you'd see similar carnage if you dumped a bowl full of carrot bits and loose sweetcorn into a room full of human vegans.

Being the biggest, the rooster could quite easily throw down the gauntlet and ensure that anything I shower over the fence is his and his alone, and yet he'd never indulge himself in the way that the others did. Don't get me wrong, if a bit of parnsip happened to land at his feet, he'd go for it, but beyond that he'd just strut around, pecking at dirt or whatever it is they look for, while the others gorged. It isn't because he doesn't like vegetables, because if he had the coup to himself then I'm sure he'd pig out like the King that he is.

He would never go for them, I think, because it was more important to him that his ladies ate first.

I remember thinking, 'Jesus, he's class'. He'd die for me if I was a hen and the hens, in turn, would die for him. That's how it works. He is - or at least was, because there was a perpetual threat of a fox, which might've devoured them all by now - a true leader and, being a true leader, he rarely saw much action by way of desert, but what he did get is an eternal loyalty and respect - mine included. His tummy might rumble, but his heart would sing. It's a fair trade.

You might wonder what the f*cking hell the point is here, but leadership is a topic of discussion at Arsenal right now and surprising things - or people - can actually be good leaders without fitting the mould of what we think a leader on a football pitch should be.

And this brings us to Granit Xhaka.

Listen lads, I wasn't reaching for the Bollinger either when it was announced that he was our captain. He just doesn't strike me as that type to grab a game by the scruff, or marshal a defence, or shout at a player who isn't doing his job. But now I'm thinking about this rooster and wondering if leadership - true leadership - is far more simplistic. I'm wondering whether my notion of a leader was based on a stereotype perpetuated by the likes of Roy Keane. I'm wondering if true leadership comes down to just two things - sacrifice and selflessness.

Xhaka might not display the qualities of what we think a captain should have, but the players have clearly identified him as someone they want to follow nevertheless, someone with a Side Before Self mentality, someone who eats last or doesn't eat at all so long as the rest of the roost isn't hungry. And I guess we have to trust that. We have to trust that the Arsenal boys know Xhaka better as a man than we know him as a player.

Arsenal, they tell us, have no big characters, but if big characters meant that those same players were great leaders then we wouldn't have gone nine years without a trophy. Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie were big characters, but who was the first player since Pat to lift a trophy at Arsenal? Mikel Arteta, who would lift the same trophy again 12 months later. Yep, our most successful captain in 15 years was someone who was nothing like Vieira or Keane, and yet he commanded enough respect inside the dressing room regardless. And yet we're so sure that Xhaka is a horrific choice?

If we're honest, Henry was a horrendous captain. He did fit the mould, in the sense that he'd rally the troops, or lead by example [whatever the f*ck that means] or shout at a player, but he was and still is selfish, self-absorbed and arrogant, qualities which helped him to become a stunning footballer, but would you follow him? His team-mates evidently didn't, neither did his Monaco players, and neither will the next group of players that he manages.

Sacrifice and selflessness, lads. Nothing else matters. This rooster had both qualities in spades and I can tell you that if Xhaka puts Arsenal and its players before himself, he is the ideal candidate to wear our armband.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Willy 05 October, 2019 17:26
We know he dishes out the fines so he seems to take the professionalism seriously at least. Are you buying that the players actually voted him in though?

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Shane 05 October, 2019 21:09
I'm just going by what Emery said, that the decision was put to a vote.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
mapleleafgooner 05 October, 2019 23:18
Captain or not. He is not suitable for the EPL. He can be a top player in another league like Bundeliga or Series A but in the EPL, his lack of pace and poor tackling will be a weakness which opposing managers will seek to exploit.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Boston Gooner 05 October, 2019 23:29
Quote:
mapleleafgooner
Captain or not. He is not suitable for the EPL. He can be a top player in another league like Bundeliga or Series A but in the EPL, his lack of pace and poor tackling will be a weakness which opposing managers will seek to exploit.



https://i.postimg.cc/dtJGMW0K/roastspurs.gif

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
CazOnARola 06 October, 2019 08:01
I think in terms of professionalism he maybe the model professional. I think question is more about him being made captain and hence a regular starter. Ppl have more pbms with playing him in the starting 11 vs the csptaincy bit.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
djarse 06 October, 2019 08:52
Nice story Shane

But I think CazOnARola hit the nail on the head - he is maybe the best club captain but he would not be in most pundits' starting X1. A midfielder who is so poor at tackling is a luxury we cannot afford in most EPL games, especially now we have more midfield options - Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, Chambers, Ozil, Maitland-Niles, Smith-Rowe (and other youngsters coming through).

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Padre Pio 06 October, 2019 10:02
He's more a club captain, Mertesacker spent last year of his captaincy not playing.



- 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: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
MattySadler 06 October, 2019 10:04
Quote:
CazOnARola
Ppl have more pbms with playing him in the starting 11 vs the csptaincy bit.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
BootyDaddy 06 October, 2019 10:53
No, he’s s.hit.



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

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Gunnersingh1 06 October, 2019 11:04
He' @#$%& but he never hides and always wants the ball from the defenders. Like it or not Emery rates that skill. Watch Torriera when our CB's have the ball, he hides.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Shane 06 October, 2019 11:35
Quote:
CazOnARola
IPpl have more pbms with playing him in the starting 11 vs the csptaincy bit.

I think the two are connected. I think the outrage over his captaincy is heavily influenced by what we think of him as a player.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
CazOnARola 06 October, 2019 11:40
Quote:
Gunnersingh1
He' @#$%& but he never hides and always wants the ball from the defenders. Like it or not Emery rates that skill. Watch Torriera when our CB's have the ball, he hides.
I won't disagree with that. Torreira doesn't take up great positions to receive the ball. It reminds me of Tom's comments about coquelin not getting into receiving positions. Torreira tho is better than coquelin of course at receiving.

But GS, ceballos and guendouzi always show for the ball and personally, inspite guendouzi s assist for auba, i think his best use is as a ball carrier.

Ceballos also can only be used deep imho, he lacks the quickness in thought /passing to play around the opposition box. If u play the above two, u dont need xhaka to receive deep. Plus luiz with his long balls is more accurate than any arsenal player in recent memory( the crossfield ball at old trafford anyone?).

Emery ball is better suited to him playing guendouzi, Ceballos, willock. Maybe Torreira in certain games.

And attacks will be purely with full backs and pepe. However this is one dimensional, and when better teams close our wide areas, we don't have an answer as the only player that can play accurate throughballs in through the centre of the pitch consistently is ozil and emery doesn't want him.

So we will probably scrap to 3rd/4th with this strategy.

With or without xhaka, it won't matter as much to get 4th. Tierney /Aubameyang /Saka will get us the 4 the place.

Going higher than that is a pbm as this plan has a ceiling.

Great teams won't let Tierney destroy them like mid tablers.

Saka could be the answer. I think his weight on the ball and quickness of thought tho not ozil level, is better than all his senior players.

If saka / Aubameyang or Tierney get injured, we will start stinking the place out again.

Bellerin will just be a steady RB better than AMN and faster than chambers.

The above seems to be emery approach. If pepe comes good, we will tear weak teams. If he doesn't we still will scrap to 4th due to the players i mentioned. Xhaka s absence will make us better defensive, but his presence /absence will not solve the fundamental pbm of creativity in the center of the pitch.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Padre Pio 06 October, 2019 11:45
Quote: Great teams won't let Tierney destroy them like mid tablers.
Yes it will be tougher for him, but the mere threat of his prescence will mean they wont be able to put extra in the middle, or if they do leave more space down the wings



- 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: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
CazOnARola 06 October, 2019 11:49
Quote:
Shane
Quote:
CazOnARola
IPpl have more pbms with playing him in the starting 11 vs the csptaincy bit.

I think the two are connected. I think the outrage over his captaincy is heavily influenced by what we think of him as a player.
I personally don't mind him in the starting 11. Nobody has performed consistently to dislodge him imho. Guendouzi /Ceballos haver both been lucky and have given the ball away more than once in games only to not be punished at the edge of the box. They have just looked better because they are much better on the ball but their decision making and defensive work, especially ceballos, is over rated. Your will see guendouzi at fault for missing his marker and letting the opposition get chances fairly often. Ceballos is neither the best offensively nor defensively. His greatest asset is holding the ball under pressure and that's about it. Has a good shot on him.

Because of emery s overall tactics, playing or not playing xhaka doesnt drastically improve our balance between attack and defense. His plan has a ceiling that can only be breached if pepe starts playing in god mode.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
CazOnARola 06 October, 2019 11:54
Quote:
Padre Pio
Quote: Great teams won't let Tierney destroy them like mid tablers.
Yes it will be tougher for him, but the mere threat of his prescence will mean they wont be able to put extra in the middle, or if they do leave more space down the wings
Agreed padre. Only teams that can do both is city and pool. However some teams will take that chance and leave the centre but more open taunting our midfielders to play that ball through the middle and it will be interesting how ceballos, guendouzi and willock step up to that challenge.
Even with all the pbms and our moaning, third place is there for the taking as i believe we did a phenomenal job in the summer.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
SuperRob 06 October, 2019 12:13
On Torreira...
1. He's lacking in confidence at the moment for some reason, probably because his form has dipped. When he was playing well last season he was offering an out ball to the centre backs and the thing I liked was that his first touch was secure and set him up to move into the spaces where he could keep the ball moving. Now he does that less well and less often because he's struggling with form and confidence. Xhaka tends to take 2 or 3 touches minimum before he knows where the space is or what he's going to do with the ball.
2. He's being asked to play in a more advanced role, for which he doesn't have the legs or the natural instinct. He looked much better when he played the deep role in the cup.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
CazOnARola 06 October, 2019 12:19
Quote:
SuperRob
On Torreira...
1. He's lacking in confidence at the moment for some reason, probably because his form has dipped. When he was playing well last season he was offering an out ball to the centre backs and the thing I liked was that his first touch was secure and set him up to move into the spaces where he could keep the ball moving. Now he does that less well and less often because he's struggling with form and confidence. Xhaka tends to take 2 or 3 touches minimum before he knows where the space is or what he's going to do with the ball.
2. He's being asked to play in a more advanced role, for which he doesn't have the legs or the natural instinct. He looked much better when he played the deep role in the cup.
Agree. But even during his best spell, I'll rate both xhaka and guendouzi s receiver positions better than Torreira. But yes he absolutely should be played deepest

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
SuperRob 06 October, 2019 12:21
Quote from kieran Tierney

"I think they (the Arsenal squad) realise I am young boy moving away from home, so everybody has helped me. Granit [Xhaka] has been great for me as the captain coming in."

I don't rate Xhaka as a player, but who knows what he's like as a leader behind the scenes. If he had the respect of the players, then I'm fine with him being captain. As long as it doesn't make him undroppable

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
weedz 07 October, 2019 09:14
I think that Xhaka plays great footy, if plays the role of the deep-lying play maker come holding MF.
Playing as a DMF isn't his game, nor has he got the physicality or technic for that role.
But much like Ozil he is being made to play roles that don't really suit him.
I'd have have him playing centrally , in front of Chambers, along side either Gwen or Willock, but that setup wouldn't press as well as what Emery's setup does and so it won't happen.
I would play Ozil/Cabelos as AMFs, centrally behind Auba and Laca/Pepe and use Bellerin and Tierney to give me width. And I'd play Luiz and Holding as the CBs.

.........................................Leno
Bellerin.............Luiz..................Holding...................Tierney
.........................................Chambers
.............................Xhaka.......................Willock/Gwen
...............................................Ozil/Cabelos
............................Pepe/Laca........................Auba.

If we've got the fire power up front, we have to set ourselves up to service that firepower..

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
CazOnARola 07 October, 2019 16:41
Quote:
weedz
I think that Xhaka plays great footy, if plays the role of the deep-lying play maker come holding MF.
Playing as a DMF isn't his game, nor has he got the physicality or technic for that role.
But much like Ozil he is being made to play roles that don't really suit him.
I'd have have him playing centrally , in front of Chambers, along side either Gwen or Willock, but that setup wouldn't press as well as what Emery's setup does and so it won't happen.
I would play Ozil/Cabelos as AMFs, centrally behind Auba and Laca/Pepe and use Bellerin and Tierney to give me width. And I'd play Luiz and Holding as the CBs.

.........................................Leno
Bellerin.............Luiz..................Holding...................Tierney
.........................................Chambers
.............................Xhaka.......................Willock/Gwen
...............................................Ozil/Cabelos
............................Pepe/Laca........................Auba.

If we've got the fire power up front, we have to set ourselves up to service that firepower..
The xavi alonso /michael carrick role is kind of extinct from football. Not that it cant be reviwed but the best teams have playera that can do both. Kante is of course the epitome of that current role. Defensively solid, mobile and can pass well.

Re: Are we wrong about Granit Xhaka?
Merlion96 07 October, 2019 22:06
Jeez … like a teetotaller of an Irishman who refuses to walk pass a pub, why called him a rooster?
A c.ock is a c.ock by any name.



'The more things change, the more they remain the same' Alphonse Karr.


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