Why on Earth is Granit Xhaka Arsenal’s new captain?!

I don’t understand either, Granit.

What is going on at Arsenal?

We’ve known Laurent Koscielny was leaving Arsenal a long time ago so Unai Emery has had a lot of time to think about who should be Arsenal’s next captain.

This whole thing has just become a joke in the footballing world, when earlier this week it was revealed that Unai Emery held a vote to see who the Arsenal players wanted as the next captain.

And then it was announced that we were going to have 5 captains?!

We’ve struggled with our performances and results this season, so the last thing Arsenal fans want is a manager who is indecisive and can’t even make a fundamental decision of picking the captain of his team.

As this week progressed, reports emerged that Rob Holding was the man who had the most votes, something the vast majority of Arsenal fans were more than happy with.

But then, the news came through… Granit Xhaka, a man who makes mistakes on a regular basis and brings nothing to the team, was selected as Arsenal’s new captain.

WTF?

This is a man who brings nothing to the team. He can’t tackle, he can’t defend, he’s lost the ability to do the only thing he was good at – spray the ball across the pitch… it’s all a but of a joke.

There are about 5 players who I could name who would be FAR better choices as Arsenal captain.

The first being Rob Holding – a young, dedicated player who is consistent and can lead by example. We have Aubameyang, a player who has single-handedly carried Arsenal for most of this season and last, a player who gives 110% and more importantly – is a regular starter. Lacazette has passion and can lead by example, Hector Bellerin is also a strong candidate and then we have someone like Sokratis who is another player who gives 110% and consistently puts in good performances.

The problem I have with Granit Xhaka being captain is that it effectively means he can’t be dropped – when most Arsenal fans realise that he is the main reason we haven’t been performing.

To be a good defensive midfielder, you need several qualities. You either need to be quick and have the vision to intercept balls (like Kante), big strong and good in the tackle (like Matic) or have great positional sense and leadership qualities (like Roy Keane). Sadly for us, Xhaka has none of those abilities and if anything, is a liability.

For me, this is bad, bad news and could be the downfall of Arsenal this season (in terms of having hopes of finishing in the Top Four) and could also be the beginning of the end for Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal.

 

Who Is The Worst Arsenal Defender Of All Time? Cast Your Vote Here!

These guys would struggle to get into anyones Dream Team, that’s for sure…

At Arsenal, it has been a running joke that our defending can be horrendous at times and that we regularly concede ridiculous goals. Part of that is down to being an attacking team, so our defenders are obviously more exposed, Arsene Wenger’s philosophy (or lack thereof) on defending, and the fact that we actually had one of the best defences the country has ever seen, when Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Martin Keown, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon played week in week out.

However, on top of that we have had some just awful defenders at the club.

There’s that old wives tale that Dennis Bergkamp faced Igor Stepanovs in a pre-season friendly and was so impressed he told Wenger that he was one hell of a defender, which was enough for Arsene to splash out on the Latvian, who was then seen as the long term successor to Tony Adams (Yes, I know!). The highlight of his Arsenal career was the 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2000, and things didn’t really get any better for him.

Amongst other defenders who have struggled at the club include Sebastien Squillaci and Pascal Cygan, both French defenders who were prone to mistakes at the back. And somehow amazingly, Squillaci was actually a French international…

To more recent times, and who could forget about the irrepressible Andre Santos? The Brazilian lived up to his billing, being a defender who didn’t actually defend. His positive outlook and style of play was welcomed at times but at others (when you know, he was supposed to defend?) it wasn’t so great. But with Santos you knew what you got with him, he was a free spirit and you knew he was an awful defender and he didn’t even try and make out he was a good one. And also, he scored a great goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when we smashed them 5-3, so decent memories.

Then we come to the man we all love to hate. How has this man won the World Cup? The conundrum is up there with how Wes Brown has more trophies than Alan Shearer. I guess you just need to be in the right place at the right time, and it’s not what you know but who you know. The best way I can describe Mustafi is that he was probably the kit man for the German national side but then they had a few injuries and he was asked for fill in for a couple of training sessions. Then, people kind of forgot what happened and he was just “there”, and then he managed to stick around long enough to “win” a World Cup medal. That’s really the only explanation.

Anyway, after all that it’s time to cast your vote. Who do you think is the worst Arsenal defender of all time? It’s a hard choice as the quality of candidates is so high (or should that be so low) but you can only vote for one!

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

 

5 Reasons Why Arsenal and Unai Emery Are A Success This Season

Currently, Arsenal are 5th in the Premier League and in the semi-finals of the Europa League, get Arsenal fans aren’t happy.

No matter what happens to Arsenal from here on out this season, here are 5 reasons why Arsenal and Unai Emery have been a success:

5. The Europa League

We are in the semi-finals of the Europa League, and beaten some quality teams in the process. There have been some ups and downs during that campaign, but we’re still in the competition and have a chance of winning it.

4. Players Have Improved

Look at players like Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Rob Holding – they have improved so much this season. And before they got injured, Bellerin and Holding were up there as our best players – and personally for me Holding was simply outstanding before he got cruelly taken off at Old Trafford and if it wasn’t for that injury, there’s no doubt in my mind we’d be 3rd in the Premier League right now.

3. Our Fixture List

People seem to forget how horrendous it is to play football on Thursday evenings. Not just because it’s not the Champions League, but mainly because it absolutely screws with our Premier League fixtures.

We end up playing on a Sunday or Monday but we hardly have time to prepare for the league when the team travel back on a Friday and whoever we’re playing (unless it’s Chelsea as they’re also in the Europa League) is guaranteed to have had more rest going into our game.

2. The Quality of Our Squad

Make no mistake, our current squad with the talent that it has, should be finishing 6th in the Premier League. So if we do finish 6th or above (which is pretty much guaranteed at this point) then we will be meeting / exceeding expectations.

Also, somehow Emery has got this team into the semi-finals of the Europa League to boot.

1. There Are Clear Signs of Progression

Which ever way you decide to look at it, changing the culture Arsene Wenger implemented at the club was always going to take time to do. People seem to conveniently forget that in his first season, Jurgen Klopp finished 8th in the Premier League, and it’s taken him 4 seasons to get Liverpool challenging for the league title.

Added to that, he also had an owner who wasn’t Stan Kroenke so actually had some big money to spend – £75 million for Virgil Van Dijk anyone?

But there a positive signs that Unai Emery is changing things for the better, and once he gets a chance to mould this Arsenal squad in his image, then I’m sure we’ll be improving on this season and beyond.

 

Arsenal Fans Need To Get A Grip – Emery Is Exceeding Expectations!

I’ve seen and read a lot about Arsenal’s recent slump, and the vitriol spouted at Unai Emery in particular.

And quite frankly, Arsenal fans need to get a grip.

After over two decades under the Arsene Wenger regime, Unai Emery has been brought in to improve Arsenal and get us higher up in the table.

And isn’t he doing that?

The current Arsenal squad is built to finish 6th in the Premier League table, make no bones about it. And currently, we are 5th.

At the start of the season if you said to me Arsenal would finish 5th and be in the Europa League semi-finals, I would have bitten you arm off.

The problem is, many Arsenal fans are deluded and believe we have a divine right to finish in the Top 4, or should be challenging for the Premier League.

That is going to take time. Look at Liverpool now – they’re pushing Manchester City all the way and are genuine title contenders – although that’s all I hope they are as Liverpool actually winning the league would be horrendous for all concerned. But that tangent aside, becoming a bonafide challenger for the league takes time.

Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015 so it’s taken the German manager 4 seasons to mould this Liverpool side in his image. In his first season, he finished 8th! It wasn’t until his second season that his Liverpool team finished 4th, and that was only by a solitary point when Arsenal finished 5th that season.

So perhaps some perspective is needed here?

And by the by, Jurgen Klopp didn’t have Silent Stan Kroenke as the owner so actually had a hefty amount of money to spend as well (£75 million for Van Dijk anyone?).

How much has Unai Emery had to spend? Somehow, we are in 5th in the Premier League and he’s done it with a side he’s had to inherit off Arsene Wenger – which contains some absolute drivel like Mustafi. Added to that, when Klopp got Liverpool into the Top 4 that was when it was easier to do so in the Premier League – this season is the toughest we’ve seen at the top of the league in a long long time. So if anything he should be applauded for getting us to that high up in the table.

Unai Emery needs time and we need to get behind the manager like Liverpool fans got behind Klopp. It’s taken 4 years to get where they are and look where they are now. Unai Emery hasn’t even had the chance to bring in any of his own players yet and he’s trying to change a culture at the club which has been ingrained over 2 decades so he’s not going to be able to change that overnight.

Emery is doing an absolutely fantastic job and Arsenal are currently above where they should be, and Arsenal fans should remember that.

 

What Are Your Predictions for the Arsenal v Chelsea Match?

Arsenal are in a bit of a slump at the moment, struggling against West Ham, Brighton and Liverpool, only picking up 1 single point from those 3 games. Chelsea are up and down as well, but have done better this season and sit a comfortable 6 points above us in 4th place. A defeat would increase the gap to a massive 9 points, with only 15 games remaining – and with Manchester United flying high with the Baby-Faced Assassin at the helm, losing today would be a massive massive dent in our Champions League hopes.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A win would bring us to within 3 points and 4th place would be all to play for. And a win against a top side like Chelsea would be a big confidence boost to the team and players, and hopefully signal the start of a better run in the league than we have seen of late.

So what do you think? Can we put in a top performance and beat Chelsea today? Or will we make the same defensive mistakes yet again and lose the match and any chance of finishing in the Champions League places?

Personally, I think Arsenal can pull it out of the bag and win 2-1!

Leave your predictions and thoughts in the comments section below, and COYG!!