June 19, 2024

Arsenal is as good as it has been for a long time thanks to Granit Xhaka

Arsenal is as good as it has been for a long time thanks to Granit Xhaka

Arsenal are as good as they have been for a long time and they are a big part of that: Granit Xhaka (left).Photo: imago

Analytics

Leading with 20 points from eight games: Arsenal haven’t been this strong in 15 years. The main reason for this is Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, who thrives in his new, more offensive position.

Nicholas Helbling

The cheers were huge. Arsenal just won the north London derby. The most important game of the season for Arsenal fans – especially after the 3-0 defeat in May. And who made the decision? Granite Shaka. “Of course,” one would be tempted to say, because the Swiss player is very important to the club this season. Against Tottenham, Xhaka scored to make it 3-1, then pointed in the direction of the crowd. He loves her again. Which.

This was not always the case. Time and time again, Xhaka should have been used as a scapegoat when Arsenal did not go as hoped. Xhaka was loved by fans boos and contempt. Then the captain quarrels with the crowd. Later he wrote in «Player Tribune“I know we will never be best friends.”

He described the relationship with fans as broken glass that you can reassemble, but the cracks will always remain. But everything is different this year. Arsenal leads the standings with 20 points from eight matches. The club started another season well in 2007.

Xhaka’s goal made it 3-1 against Tottenham.Video: streamja

And Xhaka has a crucial role in it. It symbolizes the strong start to the season for the 13-time champion. Arsenal legend Thierry Henry It seems “impressed”. For Athletic’s Sebastian Stafford Blore, he was the team’s best player in the match against Tottenham. The 30-year-old is the backbone of coach Mikel Arteta’s system.

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No midfielder or attacker touches the ball correctly fbref.com More often than Xhaka, no one passes more than that, and only defender Gabriel has been on the field longer this season. Also on Sunday afternoon, when troubled Liverpool hosts the Emirates Stadium, Xhaka is likely to be in the starting line-up.

“Sometimes you have to get players out of their comfort zone.”

Coach Arteta talks about Xhaka’s new role

Xhaka’s influence on crime is particularly noticeable. After eight league matches, he scored two goals and made three assists. In the past three seasons, he has managed to score one goal and two assists over the course of the entire season. Contrary to what it was like at the beginning of his time in London where he went summer In 2016, it is rarely used in a defensive midfield. Thomas Partey is now at home there.

He has Xhaka's back in the defensive midfield: Thomas Partey.

He has Xhaka’s back in the defensive midfield: Thomas Partey.Photo: www.imago-images.de

Ghanaian is an important factor in the form of Xhaka. Because while Barty protects, the Swiss player gets more freedom. I’ll use the eighth now. In the middle of the field he plays alongside Martin Odegaard and can orient himself more towards the opponent’s goal. Arteta explained the decision, according toSky SportsLike this: “Sometimes you have to take players out of their comfort zone and open a new door. »

This trick paid off. Granit Xhaka now has more ball contact in the corresponding half than last year, as seen in “The Athletic”. He also often appears in the opponent’s penalty area or receives deep passes. The Basel player uses this to create more shots than ever before in his Premier League career. league wide Only Kevin De Bruyne is noticeably better at this statistic. Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus are ahead of Zaka, who is fifth.

With five goals, Gabriel Jesus is Arsenal's top scorer.

With five goals, Gabriel Jesus is Arsenal’s top scorer.Photo: www.imago-images.de

Martinelli, Saka and Jesus make up the Arsenal attacking trio. In particular, the signing of Brazilian striker Jesus proved to be so coup open. He is the only one with more involvement in the goal than Xhaka. 52.5 million euro The “Gunners” let the 25-year-old get himself involved. Like Oleksandr Zinchenko, he came from Manchester. A Ukrainian transfer can indeed be described as successful. Zinchenko was appointed as a left-back. Xhaka also had to hold this position in the past.

“Xhaka is essential to our team, on and off the field.”

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale

But now he is no longer driven in the field. Xhaka enjoys his constant position – and the freedom that comes with it. He and his team benefit from that. But the midfielder, who has also been criticized in the past for his defensive work and received many warnings, also shines in defence. according to “smartscott“He is stronger in this field than he has been in a long time. He is also one of the best players in his position when it comes to winning the ball.

Xhaka has a close relationship with Mikel Arteta.

Xhaka has a close relationship with Mikel Arteta.Photo: www.imago-images.de

This is another reason why coaches and teammates are equally appreciated. “He is a great player and a great captain,” Captain Odegaard said aloud.Sports 1»It has a close relationship with Shaka. Goalkeeper Referred to by Aaron Ramsdale “Indispensable to our team, on and off the field.”

Xhaka shares a great mutual respect with Mikel Arteta. The coach is the reason Xhaka stays in London. The Spaniard appreciates his player for his “humility and that he always looks forward and wants to improve.”

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In addition, he has now earned the respect and support that Xhaka wants from fans. “It was worth it” Arteta says. And the Swiss captain is very happy with that after scoring his first goal of the season Heart pointed in the direction of Arsenal supporters. Suddenly cracks in the glass seem to disappear and not only friendship but even love develops between Xhaka and the fans.

Xhaka after scoring against Leicester City.

Xhaka after scoring against Leicester City.Photo: www.imago-images.de

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