Granit Xhaka seems determined to be remembered for his time at Arsenal as a player that not only a divided opinion but one that tested the patience of his managers and the fans. Clumsy fouls, yellow and red cards, leaving the field of play whilst arguing and swearing at supporters, removing his shirt, and now, we can add physical assault to the list of indiscretions.
Surely, there’s no way back for the player who somehow lives to fight another day, but is it over for Xhaka at Arsenal? Well, if we think of what befell Matteo Guendouzi after a similar incident, then yes, it’s well and truly over but Xhaka seems to be able to survive incidents with alarming ease.
This is an area of concern because if by some chance, Xhaka comes back into the Arsenal side, many will question Arteta’s ability to deal fairly and consistently with his players. I’m all for discipline but it has to be applied evenly and if the midfielder avoids any measures, there will be a great many questions asked. After all, Guendouzi is a far better player and an asset to this Arsenal side.
Yes, he’s impetuous, reactionary, and prone to fits of temper but at present, who would you rather have in your corner fighting to get the side out of trouble. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the answer won’t be Xhaka. I’m not interested in his excuses including being tripped by Westwood, it was a completely unprofessional act and his dismissal put unnecessary pressure on a vulnerable and fractured side.
Xhaka has had chance after chance and for a time, he seemed committed to improving and playing his best for Arsenal but I can’t think of a single performance worthy of his selection this campaign and in his last two games, he has, quite frankly, pushed his luck with his usual array of mistimed tackles.
I can’t see a way back, he’s been ordinary and surplus to requirements for some time. He’s simply not defence-minded enough to be a defensive midfielder, nor is he attack-minded enough to be an attacking midfielder, so what’s the point?
The Swiss midfielder is not compatible with what Arteta is trying to achieve in the long term and it has to be said that the Arsenal board have managed to handicap Arteta with their self sustaining model. A model that prohibits investment without sales and allows substandard players to continue claiming a wage. I’m serious, this guy is done!