Emery’s biggest Player-Skeleton Left in the Cupboard is Arteta’s First Big Challenge

In these vitriolic, cowardly times, with key-board and large-crowd consumerist heroes everywhere to be found, it takes herculean efforts to stay solidly on your feet when you have become a public figure of discontent/hate. Many supporters demand to be entertained and made happy by their club, and if they don’t get it they will project their disappointment, anger and hate at the first person that comes to mind. It is the era of the raw gut-response and brain-farts, of Nero-esque vilification and disposal of human life. 

Arsenal Training Session

Granit Xhaka gradually became such an outlet of beastly discontent, and it all boiled over during his substitution in Arsenal’s home game against Crystal Palace…

We are about to pay a heavy price for it. Granit’s agent has apparently been saying that the Swiss midfielder wants to leave and continue his career in the German Capital, and who would blame him?!

Emery and the club badly mismanaged the situation back then. Xhaka was publicly blamed and punished and after that the road to redemption was as good as cut off. A lack of understanding of Granit’s situation was especially painful to witness. I think the Independent worded it best of all:

“The problem is that, when a stadium turns into an exorcism, ushering you out in a séance of boos, pride leaves you with little choice but to defend yourself. They may be 60,000 disgruntled fans, enraged not just by your very existence in their world but your audacity to continue doing so, and you may just be one under-performing defensive midfielder, but, right now, this is your hill and you’re going to die on it……With a two-goal cushion relinquished, a howl of snide cheers greeted the captain’s substitution on the hour mark. As the cheers turned to something altogether more sinister, Xhaka elected not to stand idly by, choosing instead to wave his arms, to beckon on the mob. You see once you’ve already sped halfway down the road to perdition, you might as well roll down the windows and let the breeze hit you with everything its got. So off he marched, ripping off his shirt and throwing it to the floor as he went as the emotion of the moment finally gave way to the expletives.

(click here for full article: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/granit-xhaka-unai-emery-arsenal-news-captain-substitution-crystal-palace-latest-a9174476.html

Players are human beings and Wenger’s first rule was to always look after them, however attractive it was to do a ‘Jose Mourinho’ and sacrifice a player, or a bunch of them. Victory through Harmony really meant something in those days.

Granit Xhaka’s response may not have been ideal for the club, I get that; but he inadvertently took the blame for the whole club’s failings and he was hung out to dry, stripped from the captaincy and forced to apologise. Wenger would have managed this totally differently, and so would any modern manager who understands Millennials. For this reason alone, Emery had to go.

Which footballer would want to continue at Arsenal after such a fall out with the supporters and such a bad attempt by the club at managing the aftermath?

The big dilemma Arteta is facing is that he knows how important Granit is in our team – as every single manager the Swiss midfielder worked with does – but that many of the fans just don’t get it. As I posted earlier, Xhaka is very much like the embodiment of the Arteta strutting his stuff for Arsenal during the first half of this almost finished decade. The Basque really rates and likes him and most probably sees him as pivotal to his midfield and team. A departure in January will leave him with a huge gap, as Xhaka’s organisational and leadership skills are hard to find.

Managing this skeleton left in the cupboard by Emery and co will be Arteta’s first real player-challenge, and let’s hope the club will support him much better than his predecessor this time round. TBC.

By TotalArsenal.





15 thoughts on “Emery’s biggest Player-Skeleton Left in the Cupboard is Arteta’s First Big Challenge

  • Happy Holidays everyone! 😀
    I could not agree more with you TA. The Xhaka situation was handled so badly. I am hoping that with Arteta explicitly commending the two scapegoats (the other being Ozil), the players realize that they have a manager who will back them and protect them.
    On a related note, I was very happy to see the fans asking AFTV to get out of the club after the Everton game as I feel they (AFTV) played a big role in creating the negative environment that we find ourselves in. As the philosopher H. Bellerin 😉 said “It’s so wrong for someone who claims to be a fan and their success is fed off a failure. How can that be a fan?” Anyways, here’s to hoping that the fans will be the intelligent and demanding, yet supportive, fans that they have been.

    VCC forever! 😀👍

  • TA … well done. If Xhaka goes under this circumstance we’d not get the right bucks for him. Who loses? The club and by extension we fans as the clubs purchasing power is affected. I’d use this opportunity to remember some other victims like Mustafi (whom we have degraded his sale value) Iwobi (a young man still growing in his trade) and many others past.

    The club’s technical dept know the whole details of players. We should give them room to take informed decisions.Yes we have our different opinions but first we need to be civil in voicing them and we need to respect the fact that there are people on the wheels who make the decisions.

  • Thank you TA, a very appropriate post especially at the start of a new managers effort to instill some positive vibes into the team culture.

    I have written volumes about the negativity displayed by our spoiled “supporters”. How can they possibly think that hissing and booing will help either the player or the team.

    Here are some words the sum up what supporter means and very few of them apply to our current crowd!

    A person who approves of and encourages someone or something or-
    A person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose or-
    A person who supports or champions something or-
    An assistant, helper, help.

    proponent, patron, support, follower, defender, ally, abettor, adherent, exponent, pillar, bearer, brace, booster, sustainer, seconder, upholder, sponsor.

  • Heartfelt piece TA. Keenly aware of your position on and affinity toward GX.

    I’ve stood on both sides of the fence regarding Granit Xhaka the player. His first two seasons were a mix of acclimation (to the PL), some successes, and a number of frustrations. The past two seasons– I came around to acceptance of his improving play. Found him a positive influence on the team. In the past calendar– there have been few positives at Arsenal. For Granit– or anyone. But he did his job on an enigmatic team, playing for a manager who was in-over-his-head for more than a year.

    The circumstances that allowed all of this to occur– very few were the making of– or were in control of– Granit Xhaka. What he did do? Was exacerbate them in the most disrespectful fashion possible– at a heightened moment– in the spotlight, on the biggest stage.

    That’s a trifecta nobody comes away from unscathed.
    Further, in the aftermath? He ought to have handled it the way the PR pros expressed it to him. Stand up and own your actions. Make an apology for them. Allow the dust to settle. Go from there.

    What he did there and then– was refuse. And that? Was that.
    You do not disrespect the club. The shirt.
    The supporters who didn’t boo at The Emirates.
    The fans worldwide who weren’t at The Emirates.

    Not what any captain does.

    So. What happened– to Granit Xhaka at Arsenal?
    Was he misunderstood? Underappreciated? Victim of circumstances?

    Does it matter now? Per Arseblog:
    “… speaking to Swiss publication BLICK, Jose Noguera (Granit’s agent) made it clear Xhaka wants out when the window opens in January.

    “Look, I will say it frankly and honestly: we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,” he said. “That’s what we said Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu Gaspar – as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.”

    German publication BILD claim that, Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin are willing to smash their transfer record to sign the Switzerland international by offering the Gunners €45 million.

    Though Granit has played well in Freddie’s last match– and also in Mikel’s first one– things presently appear past the point of rehabilitation.


  • Guys, Xhaka is an upgrade to Douzi. Douzi’s balls are just back, to the wide areas and left and right.

    I liked how Xhaka played his last match. Found spaces and did both long and short passes with ease.

    If the club wants to sell him, please bring back Rambo.

  • If Xhaka leaves that would be not because of him not meeting Arteta’s standards or concepts, but because of the aggressive, violent, retarded fans – many of them regular in the Emirates as well as other fanblogs. And that would be a disaster, as Guendouzi or Willock are not in the same ballpark as Granit, while Ceballos plays in a different position.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the club will do anything to please some (pretty stupid) fans, but they are indeed responsible for escalating the situation. What I do think is that Xhaka was mistreated by the fans on the Internet and in the stadium to the level, that he no longer wants to play for the club, thus agreed to have his salary cut in order to play in front of civilized people again.

    There is not much to add to Bellerin’s quote, thanks St. Henry for sharing.

  • JW, the thing you and I disagree on most is the level of blame Xhaka deservers in this. I recognise the human being and the fans having gone much too far and you seem to believe that Xhaka was very disrespectful and he shouldn’t have been. I guess Emery and the club will agree with you more than me, and that is why the whole thing was mismanaged so much after that.

    What would Wenger have said and done? …. “Well, Xhaka is a proud player and he really, really cares about Arsenal, you know. Andhuh, not everybody seems to appreciate that. It really hurt him [how the crowd behaved] as he has been under a lot of personal attacks – also his family you know – on the internet etc. The whole team squandered that 2-0 lead and I understand the frustration of the fans. Stilluh, Granit did not deserve to be singled out. He is a very important player to Arsenal… I have spoken to him and he is sorry about the way he responded. It is a natural response by a proud and committed player but he knows he went a bit too far. I say let’s all stand behind the team and the captain and try and win the next match.”

    Unfortunately, a crap manager and disconnected BoD members (and poor PR department?) decided to hang Xhaka out to dry and now Arteta has to fix the shitestorm.

    The agent should be told to go to hell if Arseteta believes he needs Xhaka, and that should be the end of it.

  • 84, it has been ominous how little Guendouzi has featured after Emery left.

    Good one PB. Do you think players from the Balkan (I know he is more Swiss than Albian) are extra proud of their honour / are more keen on being respected?

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