Home » Arsenal FC » Arsenal weaker without Xhaka. Hmmmm


Another day, another away match but perhaps it won’t be another defeat. Unlikely I know as Leicester are a team in fine form. Brendan Rogers has stormed into the club and turned their fortunes around in pretty quick time. Their big money earning departure in the summer looks like being a smart move. Smart financial business that’s for sure and it’s not like they seem to be missing him either.

If you could pluck one player from the Leicester squad to play for Arsenal, who would it be?

Not one player stands out on their squad list as I was reading through it yet together under Rogers, they are everything I and probably you all wish Arsenal could be. Organised, disciplined, entertaining and structured both in defence and attack. Whether it’ll last is anyone’s guess but right now, they look good. Just think what Brendan Rogers could do with a squad like ours.

Just a few months ago, Leicester City thumped us 3-0 at the King Power Stadium. Despite losing the midfield battle, surprise surprise, we managed not to concede for an hour. After AMN received a second yellow card just after half an hour of the game had been played, it was always going to be a difficult game. Maddison and Teilemans combined for their opener before late on, Vardy added two more to rub salt into the wound. Leicester are better now though than they were that day.

Unai Emery takes charge of his fiftieth League match today having won just twenty five of his previous forty nine. Twelve defeats and twelve draws make up the numbers. Not disastrous figures by any means although we’re six points worse off than we were this time last season but as usual, statistics don’t tell the whole story. One point is all we’ve managed to win from our last three fixtures, two of which have been at The Emirates, both from a winning position. 2-0 up against Palace, 1-0 up against Wolves but then a second half horror show in both cost us dearly. Not that the first half in either match was much better.

Mind you, the same could be said for every match this season because we’ve been pretty awful for a while now and Unai Emery’s persistence with messing around with players positions isn’t helping our cause. At least he can’t play both Ozil and Ceballos today because the latter is ruled out through injury. Xhaka isn’t in the mood to play so has asked to be left out of the team according to Unai Emery.

As a coach I have a responsibility for the team. We need a player like Granit Xhaka. But also, I don’t know if he’s going to play again. I don’t know if he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt. “Then, if I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100% in his mind with the decision to help us and to play with his quality helping us. We need that quality and that player.”We’re now a little weaker without him in that position because we have one less player.”

Unai Emery clearly rates the Swiss midfielder but I really can’t understand why. He’s slow, can’t read a game to compensate for his lack of pace and when he messes up, he does so in a big way. Yet every now and again I wonder if I’m being harsh. Is he as bad as I/we think or is he just another player struggling to play his best under a coach who seems to have no idea about defending? After all, he’s just one cog in a really awful defensive wheel.

Bless him though eh. Being booed isn’t nice but compare what happened to him with what Ozil and Kolasinac endured and he looks a bit of a wimp really. By the way, the judge dished out a whopping ten year jail sentence yesterday to one of the offenders involved their incident. Good.

I had to think long and hard before coming up with an away game in which we played well. Against one on the better teams in the league I’m still thinking but Fulham was was probably our last most polished performance in the league. Certainly under Unai Emery – actually, it’s probably the only one under the Spaniard. Mind you, we’ve only won eight times on the road since he arrived.

So what will Unai Emery do today I wonder? Pack the midfield in order to stop the supply to Vardy, play three at the back in attempt to nullify their threat from the fullbacks, a good old fashioned 4-4-2 with Lacazette and Aubameyang up top with Pepe and Martinelli on the wings or Leno in goal nine in defence with Aubameyang or Pepe up front. Lol

Or perhaps he’ll have heard what Martin Keown said and just go all out attack?