Granit Xhaka has always played as a midfielder for Arsenal. There were times, when he was pushed to both the left and right sides of the pitch during games. But, Unai had different plans. He gave an opportunity to Xhaka to play as a Left Back the previous game and Emery supported his cause with valid reasons.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 26, 2018
Thanks to Danny Welbeck, Arsenal have yet another win to their name as they edged past Sporting CP 1-0 at their home turf on Thursday. This has given an immense boost to Unai Emery, raising the bars of Arsenal’s form ever since the Invincibles. This can have a great impact to the team as they bolster their confidence levels with their 11th unbeaten game in a row.
Emery stated that Arsenal are devoid or short of left backs with Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal ruled out due to injury. He could have played Stephan Lichsteiner but this tactic has played out just as fine, with Xhaka being given the freedom to expand the play.
Xhaka can now explore his future roles in the team and this was a very crucial step towards the versatility of Arsenal’s squad. The decision of playing Xhaka at LB position by Emery has been an outstanding and can be a forthcoming of the great events that are yet to happen.
Xhaka did really well after moving to left back. Considering he was already on a yellow+ he is not the greatest defensively, especially 1 V 1's, he managed very nicely for close to 25 mins. Liked Guendouzi cameo as well once he come on.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) October 22, 2018
With the result 1-0 after full time, Emery has considered Xhaka to play a very competent role even as a full back. As the Swiss International has stunned millions of fans across the world, Emery is onto something big. He has the potential to crack open this Arsenal team filled with energy as their untapped talent can bring good results to the team when molded into better thinkers of the game.
Even though the first half displayed bad coordination and an insipid, dull performance of the in-form Arsenal, Unai Emery said, speaking to BT Sport,
“We spoke about this before the match. One objective is this. Most important is the dressing room at half time.”
“We have now two left-backs injuries, [Sead] Kolasinac and Nacho [Monreal]. We can use maybe [Stephan] Lichtsteiner as a left-back or another thing we are trying is playing with Xhaka. They have quality with the left foot to progress with the passes and I want to try this option.”
11 wins in a row. Top of the group. Only two points behind league leaders. Emery working wonders right now, only needs to stop playing Xhaka as left back and then all’s great.
— Spanish Gooner (@elspanishgooner) October 25, 2018
Arsenal continue to flourish under Emery as they play Crystal Palace this Sunday in the Premier League and both Xhaka and Emery would look forward to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games.