Let’s have a day off from Him today. I’m tired of it. I could talk about Alex Iwobi’s misguided comments about impatience but I’m sure someone, somewhere will tell me they are taken out of context.
i can’t even be bothered to read Laurent Koscielny ‘taking the blame’ on behalf of the squad. It’s nothing which hasn’t been side hundreds of times before.
Lads, it’s best not to speak in situations like this. You’re not influencing anyone’s opinions and definitely not helping Arsène’s cause.
Granit Xhaka, on the other hand, gave a wider ranging interview to a Swiss paper, a translation of which is on Arseblog News. When a player rips through a pundit, it’s a good start,
On BBC Alan Shearer got going. “No hunger, a totally disturbing performance”, he said.
What kind of analysis is that from these experts? What am I supposed to say? They don’t see what’s going on at Arsenal, I’m sorry. It’s better I refuse any further comment.
But he proved his training for the sofa is well on track,
Let’s make it short: At the moment we lose matches we shouldn’t lose.
Xhaka stepped up to the plate and admitted his responsibility for performances. Talking of which, has Theo done that yet? He’s always good for a quote or two. He – Xhaka – thinks Wenger is staying as well, just can’t put his finger on why.
The focus with Xhaka inevitably falls on his disciplinary record. The Swiss international’s two red cards honed those predisposed to believe in refereeing conspiracies to claim Granit is another victim.
Return of the Hard Man
Xhaka is the reincarnation of Steve Williams. Forever in trouble with referees – although Willow’s mouth went into overdrive before his brain engaged for the most part – there is an element of others getting off more lightly than the Swiss.
Ibrahimovic was the example Xhaka used and underlines the gap in how players reputations influence officials and the media. The Swede got off lightly for a more heinous act than Tyrone Mings. I don’t think the Bournemouth defender meant to stamp on Zlatan’s head; Ibrahimovic teed Mings up with his elbow.
A malicious attack for which people are jailed yet the United striker ended up with a three-game ban compared to Mings five.
Xhaka’s not quite donning the tin foil hat – “I believe I have a bad reputation for referees” – but heading in that direction, it seems. I wonder if the public indulgence by the manager contributes to that. While we know Arsène defends the players to hilt but it must be hard for the players to forget what is said to the media.
Right Player, Wrong Time
As Xhaka says, he isn’t brainless but I wonder if curbing his aggression robs the team of his best asset? A muted version of the player is not what we need. With a midfield quartet, he could thrive with a proper defensive midfielder alongside him; Xhaka chipping in with that side of the game but concentrating more on distribution gets the best from him.
It’s why he and Ramsey as a central pair don’t work; both are more attack minded, one box-to-box with the other spraying the ball around. There’s no genuine inclination to defend on either part. Bringing in Kante with Xhaka last summer would have been ideal but I am certain we got a good player, while needing the type of midfielder Chelsea signed.
Overall, it’s an interesting read and worth looking at. It’s hump day in the international break. Matt will be back later with a bit of fun and idle distraction.