What is wrong with Xhaka?

Just a quickie.

My guess is that if you were to ask 100 Gooners whether Xhaka would start against PSG, well over 90 would have said “Yes”. So, why didn’t Mr Wenger agree? The simple answer is that I have no idea! However, as we need a post I will make some suggestions.

  1. Against PSG Mr. Wenger wanted to give Ramsey a role further forward, not on the left or right wings and more central. However, AW does not believe Xhaka can curb his attacking instincts and required a more disciplined DM. Coquelin is the obvious choice.
  2. Xhaka is still on the naughty step. Perhaps he is lethal on the training pitch and AW was concerned that the diving (and combative) PSG midfield would have encouraged GX’s aggressive tendencies.
  3. In training the Xhaka/Ramsey axis simply doesn’t work. It looks fine on paper and many pundits have predicted they are the future for AFC, but in a recent game Elneny was chosen ahead of GX which raises some questions. One of which is where does Elneny fit in?
  4. It seems as though Mr Wenger’s first choice midfield is Cazorla and Coquelin, when Santi returns where does Xhaka fit in? Can Xhaka and Santi combine or is this too attacking?
  5. Mr Wenger was disappointed by GX’s very quiet performance against Spurs, a game of great importance in which he was anonymous and unable to  have a real influence. With both MU and PSG he wanted more experienced players (like Iwobi!)

We have yet to see the best of our second most expensive signing. I am excited to see how good he is as the portents are very good. He can shoot which it a major positive. Like Fabregas, he can control the tempo of the Arsenal attack, picking up the ball from deep and using both short and long passes to change the focus of attack.


Mr. Wenger when questioned about Xhaka’s absence replied that he needs time to adapt to the PL. Strange that Mustafi doesn’t need the same bedding in!

If you were to ask 100 Gooners if Xhaka will start tomorrow I guess over 90 will say “Yes”. We could be wrong.

written by Big Raddy



83 Responses to What is wrong with Xhaka?

  1. StewD0G says:

    The reason why is because wenger is an idiot!!

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Chas(?), good post about a player who gets us excited every time he is on the pitch 🏅🎖

    Xhaka is a great prospect and we are blessed with qual midfielders. Wenger appears to tweak the DM pivot players from game to game to a) have the best set up for each opponent and b) keep everybody happy and match fit. If we need to be solid we play Coq and Elneny; if we want to be all over an opponent Xhaka, Rambo and Santi are best suited; and if we need best of two worlds, Coq and Rambo are a strong duo. Long term I expect Wenger to play Xhaka and Rambo as his best option/ most used option, but this might not be till next season.

  3. LB says:

    Very good question and part of the principal thought that has been going through my head since the midweek game and that is that Arsene isn’t sure of his best starting eleven and that is not a criticism it is just the way things are at the moment.

    The Coquelin-Cazorla axis worked well but in my opinion it was only ever tested against weaker opposition I still have my doubts that if Ramsey and Cazorla were fit whether Wenger would have chosen Cazorla over Ramsey for the spuds game for example.

    Which brings me to your question above. Xhaka may be the the second most expensive signing at the club but he is not the second most valuable. Ozil and Sanchez would almost certainly take up the top two berths but my guess is that Ramsey would come next. This is my opinion as to how the club sees things I hasten to add.

    That being the case it becomes clearer why Ramsey is always found a place when he is fit — the club have to keep him on side.

    Ramsey divides opinion but I also guess that the club can see his value if Ozil got a kind of injury that Welbeck suffered for example and that could happen and happen as soon as tomorrow. Everyone would lament the loss but Ramsey would then come into his own, he still wouldn’t get the respect he deserves from the fans but Wenger and the club would be grateful and appreciate his availability.

    Many of the reasons that 90% of Arsenal supporters would have guessed that Xhaka would have started in the week have been touched on above but the main reason in my opinion is if the question of who is more important to the club and Ramsey will win every time.

    As for tomorrow: Xhaka may start but there is no way that he will start at the cost of Ramsey on the bench. It is possible that Walcott could find himself riding the pine as he did in the week and Ramsey deployed back on the right.

    But no matter what, Ramsey will start.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    TA. I forgot to sign the post. Sorry.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Good to have you back. I am not sure Ramsey will start unless either Sanchez or Ozil are rested but more of that in my PM.

  6. LB says:

    Stew when you first came on here you offered some interesting insights sadly you have descended into the banal insults could we go back to the more insightful view point.

  7. LB says:

    Was that a TA post, if so it makes even more sense.

  8. mickydidit89 says:


    Maybe you read my mind.

    I have this horrible sense of deja vu as I see a team with Ollie and Aaron line up while I eagerly await the return of Danny ie we’re where we were last season.

    Our early season form and exciting football has taken a large backwards step, and the excitement generated by arrivals of Lucas, Granit and Mustafi has evaporated.

    Perhaps with Granit it is a question of bedding in time, but why isn’t he being rotated in for more first team minutes. I can see some nasty fatique setting in with key players if we don’t start using our squad better, and back to your post, Granit is fit, so there’s no obvious reason why not.

    Yours gratefully for the post
    Mr Slightly Baffled

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LB. And what exactly do you mean by that? Are you intimating that a TA post has more sense and reason than the usual BR bolleaux 😀 ?

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    I think I agree with something LB hinted at ie the Xhaka price tag. It really ought to be irrelevant.

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Later peeps, and thanks very much Erik.

  12. Bleeding Gums Murphy says:

    I do hope Ramsey is not the future of Arsenal

  13. LB says:

    BR lol 🙂

  14. LB says:

    Chelsea, Manu and Spuds would break the bank to sign Ramsey.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    You are right about the fee. Especially considering that Sisokko cost Spurs more than GX cost us 😀 😀

  16. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, I think Xhaka’s second most expensive signing tag has to be ignored, it’s hard to do but if you compared say prove of average midfielder 10 years ago to average midfielder now and then used as some kind of inflationary measure we would see that Xhaka isn’t really our second most expensive signing in “real terms”.

    That being said he was a player AW clearly wanted, bought early, and started to integrate.

    He is 24 has time to mature, that puts him in same age bracket with Ox, Rambo, Elneny (only 23?!?!?!) and even Coquelin.

    I figure he is here as early settling in to eventually replace Santi.

    Definitely in the Spuds game we didn’t appear to have much balance between Coq and Granit, the same was true in United game with Coq and Elneny.

    Maybe the future is Elneny and Xhaka?

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn it’s cold out there. Brrr


    Good points. Obviously I agree about the price tag thing, and it’s easy to forget about the buying for the future thingy

    People like me are impatient. We see new signings and automatically think they are for now and we’ll immediately become world beaters.

  18. StewD0G says:

    I believe that because of the way we play if you take out 1 or 2 players it completely disrupts the team…i think wenger is to blame for this..we have lost bellerin now until december and have no adequate replacement to come in..we are ok at left back with gibbs and monreal but our back up at right back is poor…jenkinson is not good enough/nor debuchy..cazorla has not been replaced and for ramsey cannot play as a deep lying playmaker…this is why imo we should have kept wilshere…he would have been tailormade to replace cazorla.. the midfield combo should either be 1. Cazola/xhaka 2. Cazorla/Coquelin 3. Xhaka/Coquelin 4. Xhaka/elneny, 5. Cazorla/Elneny 6. Elneny/Coquelin

    I think away from home if u play coquelin elneny and ramsey. Ramsey has to play in Ozil’s position because he will have energy levels to pick ball up off the centre midfielders and get forward and link with striker…in this formation i would also play giroud for ramsey to play off and put alexis on the left hand side and oxlade chamberlain or walcott on the right..

    Our first choice team should be similar to the side that wenger has been using since start of season but has curiously abandoned in last 3 games..due to his desire to accommodate ramsey.. if sanchez is upfront..ozil must play behind..but there must be a centre midfielderr capable of picking him out with passes through the lines..xhaka,cazorla are only players we have at the moment who can do that so one of those must play in this system..equally iwobi should play in this line up because he has ability to link up with cazorla and ozil effectively as we have seen in the past.

  19. Cheers Raddy

    Nothing wrong with Xhaka. All that’s needed is an adaptation period.

    Stew, how many games unbeaten? 17? Yet you come on here and call Arsene an idiot. Not only do you have an over the top reaction against the manager but you compound your emotional reactionary nature by blaming the “AKB” brigade for the reason Arsenal are not masters of the Universe or for letting Flash Gorden pull all the birds.

    You need to learn self control. If you keep coming out with silly over the top outbursts the chances of you pulling a Lycra dressed women from the year 2261 are zero

  20. Eddie says:

    thank you Raddy for the no-nonsence post.
    I have seen xhaka play a couple of times for us, but he didn’t impress me. Is he really our second biggest signing??!! Very strange. He must be a very able professional or Wenger would not buy him. Or would he? There are plenty of signings they turned out to be complete flops, but I don’t think Xhaka is one of them

    What I thought of his play was resemblance to a fish out of water, trying to hard, jerking, jumping, falling, not a pleasant sight. But this could very well have something to do with adapting to the Arsenal and to the premier league. Who knows? Only time will tell

  21. Pony Eye says:

    Wenger just said that Xhaka is neither a DM nor a BtB, but is a deep lying Mfder. This suggests that Xhaka might require a more rounded CMfder as a partner. Unfortunately non in our squad fits that bill to satisfy the CMF balance that Wenger desires.

    The big question becomes…..So what gives?

  22. fred1266 says:

    Good read as usual BR

  23. Eddie says:

    Xhaka can score goals. some lovely goals from a distance.
    Perheps Wenger is grooming him to be a CF? Wouldn’t be the first one

  24. fred1266 says:

    Think Xhaka is slower than giroud so I doubt

  25. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    Coq looked a little hamstringy when he was replaced on Wednesday. I don’t think he’s injured as such, but maybe this might be Granit’s chance to get a game.

    I agree that the airy fairy diving and play-acting tendencies of PSG were, perhaps, not the best environment in which to launch a Granit slingshot.

    Maybe Granit is seen as a quarter back type player and we are slowly going to adapt to the diagonal pass-spraying type of deep- lying midfielder.

    The team as a whole needs to regain its confidence as a chance-making machine.

    I still think Mesut is playing further forward than last season, so he isn’t providing that central cog around which everything revolves.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Pony Eye

    Interesting comment from Arsene

    Maybe Exile has something in his Xhak Elnen combination in that neither are b to b’ers or dm’s, so he’ll forge some kind of two man team based on discipline and deep understanding of each other

    Thinking of all these midfield combos, can Jack play against us tomorrow?

    Might watch Chavs Spuds and simply enjoy one losing. Preferably, Spuds for me.

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Spuds losing of course

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Do you see any future at Arsenal for a fully fit, slight more mature, Jack?

  29. chas says:

    Jack’s in the stands with his Bournemouth scarf on.

  30. chas says:

    Yes, I’d imagine he’d now be one of the mainstays of the team if he hadn’t had so much grief with injuries.
    A full season of playing under his belt and I reckon we’d be mad not to have him straight back.

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Yeah, I agree. It was only when Exile was talking about the ages of Granit, Aaron, Ox, Elneny and Coq that I remembered about Jack and how young he is as well.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Liverpool. 78% possession!

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Is that good Erik?

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah, I see they won, so I’m guessing the answer was affirmative.

    We play our best football with lower % possession I believe

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Erik.

    I’ve got a theory, and you’re not going to like it at all. So here goes.

    12 notes in an octave. My viola does 3 octaves, so why not add a few extra lines to the staff and be done with key signatures. One note, one dot. Crochets, quavers, demi semi whatever. Job done.

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    While you stuff that into yer pipe along with all that other shit, I’ll go have a bath while you inhale my theory.

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    He’s passed out

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ah superb vid 🙂

  39. fred1266 says:

    Chelsea spud what you hoping for

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh dear, spuds 1-0
    Eddie will be pleased so that is good,

  41. Eddie says:

    good goal for the good guys 🙂

  42. Eddie says:

    Swansea v Palace 5:4 🙂 🙂

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Always a Spurs loss
    We’ll deal with Chelsea at a later date

  44. Eddie says:

    just a trip down the memory lane – I have not heard of Tottenham until I started to support the Arsenal. The two go intrinsically together

  45. Eddie says:

    shit, that’s a good goal

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Phewey, nice goal

  47. Aaron says:

    pool get the win but at what cost? Coutihno stretchered off…..
    Big time scorer for them, and with Kompany hurt too, a chance to make up some ground.
    Draw or loss of chavs would be a good day too.

  48. Eddie says:

    good man Aaron, chavs to lose for me too

  49. chas says:

    I can’t believe the spuds are collapsing.

  50. fred1266 says:

    I know micky but seeing chelsea still leaves a bitter taste

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, must go. Enjoy watching someone lose 🙂

  52. chas says:

  53. LB says:

    Yuk, I need a shower, I just went to the pub to watch that game surrounded by spuds and chavs. There was something very wrong about it, a bit like accidentally walking into the ladies, there is that moment of complete confusion as you scan the surroundings wondering way on one hand everything seems to be the same and yet on the other there is something very strange indeed.

    Anyway, I found myself bizarrely wanting chavs to do better, a very odd feeling, a very odd two hours.

  54. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha lb, that is hilarious 🙂

    I found myself bizarrely wanting spuds to do better 🙂
    I am dead serious – i see Costa and hairs on the back of the neck stand up.

  55. Happy Invicibles Day my fellow Gooners …….never in doubt 🙂

  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nice to think that today’s result means we will be 4th tomorrow no matter what, but a win will be important to put us a win ahead of Spuds and within a win of everyone above us.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    LB 😀

    Chelsea will fall apart when it gets chilly

  58. chas mobile says:

  59. chas mobile says:

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Whole season. Autumn. ROLF

    Morning. Right, first up, check surf, tides, KO time.

  61. Eddie says:

    spurs will demolish chavs at Wembley. They absolutely hate each other. Some spurs supporters say that Chelsea is the most hated team amongst them, join the club, the most hated team in England

    Totts have a nice manager, some nice guys playing for them, I find it harder and harder disliking them

    no problem whatsoever hating chavs with costa on the pitch and JT on the bench. Brrrr

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh for goodness sake, it’s unbelievable

    Look for yourselves. THAT is the bleedin’ North Atlantic in November. Meant to be a dark and scary place. Pathetic and annoying


  63. chas says:


  64. mickydidit89 says:

    2:15 KO !!!!

    That is really horrible for the armchair fan. I do wish that on such occasions the team sheet would go up at 9am, so we could plan accordingly 🙂

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    He he he, Eddie’s Wembley comment made me go look up new Spud stadium to see how they’re getting on.

    They’re having a retractable pitch, so they can host American football!!!

    In this day and age of technology and associated hacking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we hired a gunner hacker, and twenty minutes into their first game at the horrible new stadium, bzzzzzzzzz, and the pitch starts retracting 🙂

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    KO Right in the middle of the Grand Prix 😦

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant idea Micky. Let’s crowd fund the hacking.

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    It shouldn’t be that hard. Somewhere inside Totnum Control Towers will be a big button with the word “RETRACT” on it.

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh the fun Erik. Hacking into the pa system. The sprinkler system. Endless.

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    I just think when Arsenal visit the swamp this season they should chuck as much Arsenal memorabilia as possible into the foundations.

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Great idea Exile. If it’s helpful, I know a witch and she could do spells and shit

  72. Gööner In Exile says:

    Speaking of memorabilia, I’m a little bit peeved with the Arsenal licensing department. I was able to buy from Toffs the retro 71 kits for the boys, Arsenal has a new deal with another retro shirt maker and they don’t appear to make kids sizes.

    This isn’t me being a cheapskate, it’s the fact that Mrs Exile thinks the modern football shirt not really fit for wearing as they are thin and therefore in winter the modern kit shirts are consigned to the bottom of the drawer. Whereas the retro shorts are heavyweight cotton and wear well.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    The mind boggles.

    I am at a loss to understand how Eddie prefers Spurs to Chavs.

  74. mickydidit89 says:


    Mrs Exile is right (always 🙂 ), as not only are the modern shirts thin, they’re a fire hazard being made of highly toxic and flammable recycled car tyres. Ask Ant.

    Buy shirts from Toffs, then buy snug white trousers (ask Transplant) and saw the legs off. Presto. Shorts,

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on Arsene, this is Bournemouth. We want Jeff, we want Jeff

  76. Big Raddy says:

    How to write the PM without being repetitive? Not easy. Need more coffee because as it stands not a single word has been written.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. No chance.

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    You haven’t started! Get a grip Erik, you really need to reconsider this laissez-faire attitude of yours.

    Just tell me this, is it the same XI, if so, I’m off 🙂

  79. chas mobile says:

    Ant says his replica shirts are never a fire hazard as they always have protective coating of beer to lessen the risk.

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