Xhaka: This team does have character

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Granit Xhaka says Saturday’s 2-1 win over Swansea is further evidence that the team has the kind of character others have accused them of lacking.

The Gunners were questioned after the 2-1 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road, but have won four in a row since then, and the Swiss midfielder believes coming from behind shows there’s some mental strength within the squad.

“It’s the third time in a week that the team have come from behind to win, that says a lot about this team,” he said.

“Lots of people talk about the character of our team, that it’s not right and that we need to do more. But we always show that we can come back.

“Today we were 1-0 down, last week we were 1-0 down, but we turned the games around and that shows the character of this team.”

With the side trailing at the break, Xhaka says half-time instructions from Wenger helped turned things around.

“The manager told us at half-time that we had to give more, that we had to be more aggressive and play quicker.

“In the second half, we played as we know we can and it was very important for us to win.”

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41 Comments on "Xhaka: This team does have character"

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Assshavin

Could have been 2-0 if the guy had passed the ball after tackling it from Per. If anyone thinks we are going to win the league with this team, they are deluded. Of all the top 6 teams we are by far the worst.

rogerbij

Seriously? Sure we won’t win the league, but no way are we worse than Liverpool, manu, spuds, and we gave Chelsea a good go at the bridge. We will be top four, maybe a domestic trophy, fingers crossed for a euro trophy. I get your frustration but reality ain’t that bad.

Trez

Spurs and manure are definitely better than us. Make no mistake about it.

Nas

Thats a sad life u live

Trez

The truth hurts.

ChrisGoona

Trez the Troll.

Trez

Truth hurts

Dan Hunter

I don’t understand how we can say with a straight face we are better than Man Utd and Spuds, although it pains me to my very core to say it.

IamaGoober

Definitely Man United will be up there this season due to the fact they have Maureen in charge, since he sets his teams up to not lose games, not to go out and win, just to not lose them.. hence watching them is about entertaining as watching grass grow.

Even though the whole world is chewing off Spurs and Pochetino, they are clearly struggling with Wembley, and as always they do have a really small squad. They’ve had a couple of games without Harry Kane and they’ve lost them both – so it will be enjoyable when the wheels inevitably fall off their wagon once more.

Regarding us – it looks like the same old really. When everything clicks we are capable of playing sublime football, and we are absolutely lethal going forward, top teams will struggle to deal with us when we are on it.

But when we don’t fancy it, whether that’s because of the opposition, or the weight of occasion, we are literally a totally different team. We look like we could concede at any given moment, terrified in possession, lacklustre off the ball, don’t fancy winning headers on set pieces .. its the standard stuff we’ve seen for over a decade now.

Ultimately if we are going to do anything this season the next month will be a decent barometer. We have City away, Spurs at home, and Burnley at away.

Realistically we have to do something away at City, the way they are playing, they are looking like they’re going to walk this league, so we have to get at least a point there. Spurs at home we should aim to beat (as always) and Burnley away we need to keep our concentration and make sure we get 3 points there.

We do that, we are in decent shape. Cant say I am holding my breath though.

Double98

Yeah screw us and our hopes and dreams… everything is shiiiitttttt

Paul

Sp*rs are by far the worst wherever they are in the league.

clins

i believe we can win thea league with this team . when i looj at the teams its true what xhaka is telling , this team appart from one or two players are really made of players with characters . even xhaka who regularly makes mistake , whennever he does commits a mistake he tries to make up for it . against everton he made a mistake that led to a goal , but in second half he hit the post and played magnificently . bellerin , kolasinac , sanchez ramsey are all captain materials and we really do have a fantastic squad. but all this will be for nothing if they are not backed up by proper tactics and coaching. it takes ages for wenger to make some necessary changes , no wonder we are where we are

caligunner

Thats expert analysis. I wish all the clubs were 1 point off to make your point seem like a bold prediction. There is a club that is undefeated right now. So making that statement now seems silly lol

Jean Ralphio

He also played a role in both goals.

Deano

Would be a good time to show this character against the sheikhs at the weekend.

I AM ARSENAL

Lets judge after Man City and Spurs.

ChrisGoona

Lets support in the games against Mancity and Spurs. If we can’t support, we can’t judge. Play your part everyone.

Faisal Narrage

““It’s the third time in a week that the team have come from behind to win, that says a lot about this team.”

That we concede goals too easily?

dr Strange

Says the main creator for the opposition.

ForeignGooner

So Kolasinac played for the opposition?

A different George

On “the Breakdown” on the official site, there were so many perfect second-half long diagonals from Xhaka to Kolasinac that I thought they were showing the same one over and over. Just brilliant.

Martin

Was involved in moves for both goals on Saturday. We’ve won 10 of our last competitive matches and 13 consecutive home matches. What’s your problem?

Dan Hunter

Please stop the Gazidis-esque spin. Whatever way to try to coat it, we have been abysmal this season. Losing 4-0 to Liverpool is just the tip of the iceberg. He has said we have been punching above our weight and the ‘metrics’ say so. You are using skewed metrics to show we are on some sort of upward trajectory.

Trez

Xhaka is a long term project. It’s like Wenger is trying to get him better by putting him in these crazy situations. He needs to dictate play from deep a bit more. Don’t like how he pushes up so high up the pitch. He’ll come good but he’s been a bit of a let down. Hope he comes good. We should try a 4-3-3 one of these days.

Ozenal

You can’t have everything, i challenge you to find any player who can manage to hold off an entire opposition team when your midfield partner is always upfield leaving you on your own. He is taking one for the team right now, give him a break. The defence needs to get more organised and work with Xhaka as a unit. Right now this the man defence is a shambles communication wise. Wenger once said that four at the back provides naturally optimal spacing between the four players, so it is a bit more obvious what needs to be done and what dm should do. At present without a decent understanding of communication between the central cb and the dm you may end up with people getting a run on the defence. The formation essentially has two midfielders against the opposition midfielders, unless the striker comes back, which is how Pep used his false nine. We are putting a bit too much pressure on xhaka to provide world class distribution and brraking up play. He isnt busquets, and not many are. Probably only one. We are getting away with it so lets just appreciate what we have right now, which is a strong run of results giving confidence and developing trust between the players. Which has always been the hallmark of development in the first this of arsenal’s season, and usually the development comes to fruition towards the second half of the season. Hate wenger as much as you want but he does actually try improve players, you can’t improve everyone just as much as you can’t please everyone. For now 343 is working to develop and get results overall. Its a strain on some individuals but the new guys it helps them settle in (laca and the new/youth players). So yeah Xhaka takes one for the team but no one else has the ability to attempt it, so dont dump on him.

Lix

Mind you, without Ramsey’s upfield task we can’t seem to find the net. The problem is not Ramsey’s forage upfront but the inability of someone else to cover when he does.

gooner1981

We need to be firing on all cylinders next weekend, and defend as if our lives depended on it. We don’t need to be gifting that lot possession, with their attack they will make us pay.

Pakgooner

Agreed! Though we drew with Chelsea earlier this season, it was a game we played with a lot of grit and toughness. I’d love to see that happen with Manchester City and hopefully end their streak

Hishe

Let us hear you talk after Spurs game. For now, shut up please.

Hermitian

Wash your mouth, boy.

Martin

A player makes a positive comment and you rubbish it

Making Arsenal Great Again
Making Arsenal Great Again

When you have character you don’t need to keep telling people. We’ll just see it

Martin

With so many toxic fans running the team down and the anti-Arsenal media we need some positivity being shown by our players.

santori

Well we also repeated some common issues.

Slow start, let the other team in by losing concentration.

Not take our chances despite chances created.

IF we can learn from that and not repeat it, we will be far more effective.

nimble foot

On the contrary, we didn’t start slow. We dropped a bit our tempo

Dan Hunter

Thank you Arsene

santori

For all his faults, Granit is instrumental for us at the moment.

He switches play for us and transitions us quicker.

For our second goal, his spot perfect pass to Kolasinac help create the chance for Kolasinac to feed Ramsey.

What we need to do is improve on his defensive side but that also entails the team itself being more aware of the space around Granit.

Having said that, some of the goals conceded recently have nothing to do with Granit or the midfield.

Monreal’s careless back pass and then this game the slip by Koscielny taking Bellerin unaware… Meterseckers poorly thought out pass to put Granit under pressure in the middle which led to the Rooney goal maybe a little more illustrative of the things to avoid when in context with the midfield.

Most of the times, the midfield has found slightly better function over recent games. Hopefully against City, we see a more restrictive Ramsey exercise a bit more caution and add a bit of protection in front of the defense with Granit.

Dan Hunter

I would disagree. IN the first half Swansea pressed us and Xhaka does not work well in tight spaces thus he gives the ball away a lot when he is pressed. Once Swansea scored the goal they tried to park the bus so they sat off us giving Xhaka the time and space to spray passes. HE needs to be more aware and nimble footed to get out of tight situations, a la Santi Cazorla, someone who we are missing greatly

Nas

Support the boys and get positive you miserable bunch UP THE ARSENAL!!

Henry

I think its too early to talk of character when the team has basically lost the title in the first ten games. And we are yet to play city united or spurs.

arsenic

Worth noting Granit sent over pin point accurate long range balls to Seo 9 times!

Clear instruction was to attack down the left with Bellerin crowded out first half.

Before anyone gets too harsh on Hector, he almost had a very good assist and a goal too.

Clearly our threat on BOTH flanks will be key to a better more balanced approach that will make us harder to defend against.

BUT whilst he is not without faults, Granit is key. His deep passing is hard to replicate at the moment without Santi.

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