Well. is he?
Xhaka has become the butt of the doubters and stands in danger of getting the Eboue, Cygan, Squillaci, Stepanovs or Song treatment. None of them were bad players but only two of them were able to turn the “haters” (horrible modern word).
At Cardiff, Xhaka made 99 passes at a success rate of 86%, almost all of which were forward passes, yet what do most fans focus on? A pass he made up the pitch that led to a goal. Nothing said about the awful defending by the MF’s or the defenders, No, the fault was all Xhaka’s. He was even castigated for taking a yellow stopping a counter-attack, a tactic we have been calling for. Yes, he has lapses of concentration but he is far and away our best player to distribute the ball after receiving a pass from the CB’s.
What do Emery and Wenger see in him? There must be something as Granit has been first choice for both managers ever since his arrival 3 seasons ago.
The man has a vicious and accurate shot on him. Could it be the coaching which has curbed his ability to score from distance or could it be that he knows the crowd reaction should his shot hit Row X?
Every player needs confidence, they need to feel loved yet the modern fan expects perfection and that pressure can make a player hide. It is the manager who has to help players overcome the pressure.
There are other players whom the faithful have doubts about; Mustafi, Bellerin, Ramsey, Cech and even Ozil. Does open criticism help them improve? My hope is that the players do not watch Arsenal TV which is dominated by airheads.
So, is Xhaka pants? What do you think?
Written by Big Raddy