“I’ve been suffering from Achilles tendon pain for a few weeks now. I felt it during the game,” he said.
“It hurts now, but it should be okay otherwise.”
Those are the words of Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, who admitted that he has been dealing with some kind of an injury. On the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s Arsenal manager Unai Emery defending him after he was responsible for the penalty that caused the club to drop points against Tottenham Hotspur.
Get some rest
“In 90 minutes I am very proud of his work. Some mistakes we can have and I want to use to progress and improve,” Emery said. “There are more positive things collectively, individually and also with Xhaka for me.
“The penalty is really one action that is very disappointing. He worked very well. He played very well.
“If we won the match maybe we’d speak about the mistakes less.
“We spoke about that in the dressing room and we learned for the second half and after we were continuing getting in their boxes, taking corners and shots.
“We didn’t get the efficiency for scoring the third goal but I think we deserved it.”
For some reason we just don’t feel as if the two things add up, and the reason for that is because the way Xhaka’s injury is being reported, you’d think that losing him would mark the end of Arsenal’s season.
A fresh approach
The Swiss star has had some really strong moments during his time with the club, but let’s not pretend like he hasn’t had a few absolute nightmares too. Xhaka needs some time off and with this injury, it seems as if we have arrived at the perfect opportunity for him to take more of a back seat. After all, Arsenal fans are fickle sometimes, and they could use some time to calm down after his error in the North London derby.
Beyond that, though, we’re just interested to see what kind of a team Emery would put out if Xhaka didn’t feature for a while. We aren’t suggesting that he gets cut out altogether, but we want to see a world without Xhaka being a featured star for Arsenal – right now, at least. There are levels required to play for a Premier League team on a consistent basis, and that’s the one thing he’s lacking.
What are your thoughts on Granit Xhaka as a player?