There are three certainties in life; death, taxes and Granit Xhaka losing his man and costing Arsenal a goal.
The Swiss midfielder has endured another turbulent season with the Gunners and is still yet to win over the fans in his second year at the club.
Xhaka has had his good moments, the metronome performance against Atletico Madrid a recent standout, but he’s also been partial to some absolute shockers.
A common trait of the self proclaimed leader is allowing the man who he should be marking to run off him easily, resulting in Arsenal conceding a goal.
There are several high-profile examples of Xhaka committing this error.
We take a look back at the times when Xhaka completely forgot he was a footballer
1 Manchester United – Arsenal 29th April 2018
As Paul Pogba ran free at Arsenal’s inexperienced side on Sunday, Xhaka should have been the one taking responsibility and stopping the Frenchman in his tracks.
After all, he was the captain on the day… *Arsenal fans shudder*
Instead, Arsenal’s No29 slid in on Pogba, missed his tackle completely and then neglected to track the United man who would end up tapping in unchallenged.
Xhaka’s blunder left Graeme Souness raging during his half-time analysis, with the pundit doing his best impression of yer da.
Souness labelled the midfielder “a fool,” insisting that he’s “naive in the basics of football,” ouch!
Admittedly, Xhaka did have a much better second half, assisting Henrikh Mkhitaryan for a goal against his former club.
The error for Pogba’s goal would cost the Gunners though, as they lost 2-1.
2 Swansea – Arsenal 30th January 2018
A particular low-point in Arsenal’s season came on a rainy night in Wales.
Nacho Monreal had put the Gunners into the lead, before a classic meltdown from the North London side unravelled.
Crucial to this collapse was Xhaka’s bizarre decision to completely ignore Sam Clucas in the buildup to Swansea’s equalising goal.
The Gunner’s went onto lose the match 3-1 and Xhaka’s stock amongst Arsenal fans plummeted once again.
3 Bournemouth – Arsenal 14th January 2018
The Gunners fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat away to Bournemouth and Xhaka was up to his old tricks once more.
Arsenal’s defensive midfielder again proved his lack of ability to actually play in that position.
Xhaka allowed Jordon Ibe to run off him and the fire past Cech unchallenged to give Bournemouth all three points
Xhaka berating his team-mates after the goal was criminal, as the guilty man looked to place the blame elsewhere.
The midfielder has won over 50 caps for Switzerland but got outplayed by Dan Gosling on the day.
4 Watford – Arsenal 14th October 2017
This one was massively embarrassing.
Xhaka allowed Tom Cleverly of all people to win the game for Watford dramatically in the 92nd minute.
The midfielder was caught with his finger plunged up his nose when the Hornet’s man was busy scoring from close range.
The match ended in defeat for Arsenal, with Troy Deeney publicly calling out the Gunners afterwards for their lack of “cojones.”
It remains to be seen whether Xhaka’s long-term future will be in North London.
The new season will bring a change of management at Arsenal and a less forgiving character than Arsene Wenger might not have time for the midfielder’s failure to learn from his mistakes.
Fans still can’t work out whether Xhaka is actually any good or not:
- Roberto Firmino signed his new Liverpool contract in the best way possible
- Mo Salah facing three-game ban after clash with Stoke defender
- Two Premier League clubs set ‘to battle it out for Gareth Bale this summer’