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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:32 am 
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Tubzinho wrote:
Team South East wrote:
He seems more effective when he isn't the holding midfielder. I liked his role he played in the 4-1-4-1 formation we played on Saturday. He can be a good box to box type IMO but I don't think he is as effective in a 2 man midfield.


But what does he do to make him effective even in a three? He took set pieces and nearly got into a fight but what else made him stand out on Saturday? Thats the point, you can see what Elneny is in there to do, you can see what Wilshere tries to do, you can see what Ramsey tries to do and offers when he plays as you could with Coquelin and Cazorla. Even though some of those players are limited, you kind of know what they offer. But what really does Xhaka give other than a bit of attitude? Even his supposed major strength, his passing range, is not necessarily outstanding when you look at the stats. He just seems lost in there, not knowing really what his role is and ends up trying to do things that he is not good at and getting himself in trouble.


He has a good passing range, great shot and his vision is very good. He is also pretty good stamina wise. If he can improve his decision making and get more goals and assists then he could be an effective B2B midfielder. At the moment, I see him as a deep lying playmaker but we need only 1 specialist in this midfield and that is the holding one.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:00 pm 
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Team South East wrote:
He has a good passing range, great shot and his vision is very good. He is also pretty good stamina wise. If he can improve his decision making and get more goals and assists then he could be an effective B2B midfielder. At the moment, I see him as a deep lying playmaker but we need only 1 specialist in this midfield and that is the holding one.


It's a pity he doesn't do any of those things when he plays. As I said, he kicks people and blazes the ball over from a million miles out. Oh, and watches people run past him to score.

I expect more from an Arsenal central midfielder, and I think we get more from other players in the squad, even players like Coquelin who were limited in what they offered. He should be on very thin ice now and if players are fit, he should benched or left at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:33 pm 
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Would rather have Robbie Savage in midfield and I'm not even joking. Alongside Mustafi he has to go down as the biggest waste of money we have ever spent. Joke of a player.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:48 pm 
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I remember how happy we were when we bought Xhaka and Mustafi - finally we were spending some money and making important signings in key areas of the pitch!

Turns out, Arsene Wenger and/or the club no longer have the ability to tell which players are any good - the one thing he was world class at during the dry seasons of the 00's.

The incredible thing to me is that he actually does run a lot, and often makes the right runs to get to the positions he needs to cover. Today, too, he makes sure to cover the right-back spot because Bellerin had run ahead for Ozil's pass. It just makes him look even worse because he gets there, and *then* becomes a stone statue. How does he do it?


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:37 am 
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In terms of defenders (off topic, sorry) he's more often been wide of the mark for longer than recently;
Djourou, Senderos, Cygan, Stepanovs, Luzhny, Vivas, Eboue, Squillaci, even Upson weren't exactly Campbell and Toure.

I've given up on Xhaka now; undecided but unconvinced at the start of the season and now no faith at all, at least for whatever role he's supposed to be playing. If a new manager comes in May and can get something out of him which aids the team rather than impedes them then great. If not, get as much as possible for him which will almost certainly not amount to £35 million.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:17 am 
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Emperor wrote:
If a new manager comes in May and can get something out of him which aids the team rather than impedes them then great. If not, get as much as possible for him which will almost certainly not amount to £35 million.


I think thats it, and there are a few players in that boat too. Under a different manager, one akin to setting the team up with clear instructions and willing to coach the defensive element of the game, perhaps Xhaka might be a different player. But under Wenger, Xhaka is a lost little lamb and if Wenger is going to stay next season then Xhaka needs to leave for the sake of his career because he will never get any better than what he is now in an Arsene Wenger team.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:23 pm 
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As far as I can tell, his role is to make the sideway pass from the middle of the pitch to the winger by the byline with perfect accuracy. Not much pace, though, so once he gets it, he'll pass it back to the fullback, and then back to Xhaka, who sees a defender within 10 yards of him so passes it back to the centre-back...

In Xhaka's case I'm not even sure what sort of instruction is going to get the best out of him. Bless him, he tries, but he defends about as well as Robert Pires with a flu, and it's clear that he lacks any sort of meaningful physical presence or mobility.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:21 pm 
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4 Year contract. :headbang:

If he starts any game between now and September I will honestly believe we have appointed a manager who is incompetent for this football club. An appalling waste of money, who once again was woeful today.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:41 pm 
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I can't stand it either, but at the same time, I also noticed what this article describes:

Quote:
And sure enough, in the first half against Chelsea on Saturday, Xhaka was able to move Arsenal forward while rarely venturing close to Chelsea’s goal. He completed nine of 11 passes into Chelsea’s final third and 29 out of 35 passes overall... The new look attacking Chelsea side completed 299 passes in the first half to Arsenal’s 192, but Arsenal outshot the home team 12-9.

The problem is, Xhaka is also a terrible defender ... Xhaka made exactly zero interceptions and only one successful tackle against Chelsea in the first half of an attacking slugfest on Saturday.

...(after Xhaka is subbed, our defending improved measurably, but:) Without Xhaka, Arsenal simply couldn’t turn its defensiveness into attacking chances. Though they were heavily out-possessed in the first half, Arsenal was actually quite even in the attacking third, completing 43 passes to Chelsea’s 44. But in the second half, Chelsea completed 108 attacking-third passes while Arsenal completed only 32 of their own. Consequently, despite being a more disciplined defensive team, Arsenal were outshot a whopping 15 to three in the second half. With that kind of volume, it was only a matter of time before Chelsea finally broke through.


I think we all noticed how although we became more defensively solid in the second half against Chelsea, we also completely disappeared as an attacking force. Ozil/Mkhi/Laca/Auba could not ever find each other. Obviously part of that was how Chelsea changed, etc.,

But I think Xhaka is a major contributor to a bigger problem we have. We have too many players that don't pull their weight defensively, relative to their position (Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi). But when we take too many of them out, our attack becomes disjointed and ineffective.

It's all a question of efficiency. If we can actually cut out defensive mistakes and finish our chances, we are 2-1 or 3-1 up against Chelsea at half time. Then it's perfectly fine to sub off Xhaka or Ozil and play a more solid game with the likes of Elneny. But if we screw it up, then we're tactically left with an unsolvable puzzle: go even more gung-ho in the second half and risk a disaster, or try and buckle down (as we did against Chelsea) and lose the attacking threat.

Yeah, I think Xhaka is a failed experiment, but I think the larger problem won't be solved even if we magically replaced him with Kante.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Disagree with that article. He's a complete and utter liability. To suggest we'd be worse off without Xhaka is bonkers. What we need to do as a side is adapt to having a true 'defensive midfielder' back in the team. Sacrificing Xhaka to allow LT do his thing in the middle of the pitch. Right now I'd rather see 4 players playing CM before Xhaka.

Infuriates me that the club have given him the contract they have!

I don't buy for one minute that we'll struggle going forward with 5 other attacking players, without overlapping full backs. If anybody is genuinely concerned that dropping Xhaka will be detrimental to this football club as the article alludes then you need a check up from the neck up.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:43 pm 
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I hope you're right, and I also hope/expect that we'll get a chance to test midfield combinations. Emery's shown that he's going to sub Xhaka rather than Guendouzi, and I'd like to see each midfielder get a fresh chance. Elneny, for example, is a limited player, but 100% guarantees the kind of reliable basic duty that Xhaka can only manage every once in a while.

Honestly, I don't know what our ideal midfield pairing would even look like - and with Ramsey more and more likely to be leaving, we might not solve this problem until next year. (Maybe a new key signing alongside Torreira.)


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:39 am 
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So..... :lol:

We have now seen that the introduction of Torreira is beginning to bring the best out of Xhaka. What are people's thoughts now? So far he has 8 appearances with 1 goal and 1 assist in the league. You can see how effective having a midfield 'distributor' has been at Chelsea with the partnership of Jorginho and Kante. Having Torreira next to him allows him to focus more on distribution and keeping posession.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:42 pm 
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I haven't seen anything to warrant a change of view.

He's still slow and casual in possession, he's still not particularly penetrative and he's still reckless in the challenge. He can ping a crossfield pass and I do like that he will take a long-distance effort, but it's not enough.

The difference for me is highlighted by Guendouzi; irrespective that he's learning his trade, he is effective at decisively penetrating an opposition backline - a trait which he demonstrates every game - he is composed and can thread quick passes from the base of midfield and he is combative without being reckless. He has a lot of developing to do, but his all-round game and effectiveness at both ends of the pitch is a different calibre to Xhaka; the Swiss is a reasonable shuffler of possession but what does he truly offer in the final third (and we'll say nothing of the first third). He gives little to the tempo of our play; for a 'distributor' where is the incisiveness?

I'm also always sceptical of players who need someone else to 'bring out the best' of their play. Perhaps Torreira will be the making of him but, for me, he's the weakest member of the first XI and I don't see him comparing favourably to the sheer industry of Guendouzi longer-term.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:16 am 
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He has indeed been doing better, and I would say he's more or less been carrying his weight the last few weeks.

But let's say this becomes the new normal of his effectiveness. If we could go back in time, I still wouldn't buy him. 35m is a big investment for a player that takes two years to get to this OK-ish level.

It's telling that, as LG says, one could well make a case that we might as well give the gametime to an imperfect Guendouzi.

Somewhat like being a centreback for Wenger's Arsenal, Xhaka was coming into a very dysfunctional midfield and needed to bring either a clear ability to protect the defence (Torreira), a clear ability to connect the defenders to the attackers (Cazorla), or some ability to ping in truly chance-creating passes (Fabregas). We quickly realised he's not #1 or #2, but it's disappointing that he's not really #3, either. Xhaka somehow seems to be fantastic at cross-field switch passes to the opposing fullback, but most of the time not really at line-breaking through balls.

Torreira I think will end up a fantastic buy, but generally our long-crazy central midfield still has a long way to go. I wonder if Emery is very convinced about Xhaka, or he thinks the best option given various contract situations is to try and get the best out of him anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Granit Xhaka
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Half of his mistakes are unforced though so whoever plays alongside him doesn't matter. Dwelling on the ball is not the fault of anyone but himself. Nor the inability to make passes that attract pressure or don't find a teammate. Still don't want him anywhere near our first team.


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