I think it was Arsene Wenger who said that our Swiss recruit, Granit Xhaka, would “set the tempo” for Arsenal. Last night I watched a short youtube piece on his contribution in the MLS game, and I think see what Arsene was on about.
Over the last ten years or so, I’d say there are three players who I feel we missed out on big time, in that they were the rare type of player that would make a huge difference to OUR style of play. Top of that list is Alonso.
You can’t say that he is the best of anything, whether tackler, dribbler, passer, interceptor, leader, headerer (ok you get my drift), but he always was a superb “timepiece”. Everything he did was perfectly timed. Whether at Liverpool, Real Madrid or at Bayern, he would “set the tempo” of the whole side.
I think Granit has the same qualities. The movement into space, the pass, the tackle, everything perfectly synchronized to the needs of the team at any one precise moment. Cool and highly efficient.
As far back as Gilberto, we have lacked smooth lubricating oil at the heart of the machine.
The Chinese make cheap, shitty little timepieces that do the job but fall apart when asked the big questions. The Swiss make timeless quality pieces. I think Granit will make a massive contribution to the heartbeat of the side this season.