Arsenal had a fantastic match against Manchester United, with hardly a bad performer, but Granit Xhaka was the best, and what a moment for it, too.
I’m enjoying the fact that I don’t have to go into these Granit Xhaka articles wondering how many haters out there are going to lash out at praise for the Arsenal man for not being exactly to their specifications. Lately, Xhaka has been winning people over, mostly because he has almost entirely cut out mistakes.
Like, entirely. Tell me the last time he has made a drastic error that led to a goal, because it just hasn’t happened lately. It might have taken awhile to get him this far, but now that he is here, in all of his glory, with Manchester United being a crowning achievement, honestly, how many players would you rather have?
Not many, is the correct answer. Not many.
Against United, we saw the many modes of Xhaka, and we saw them in epic proportions. His typical control, ball distribution and presence was there. That’s the standard for him, what we have come to expect.
More from Pain in the Arsenal
- 3 standout players from 1-0 victory over Everton
- 3 positives & negatives from Goodison Park victory
- Arsenal vs PSV preview: Prediction, team news & lineups
- 3 talking points from Arsenal’s victory at Goodison Park
- Mikel Arteta provides Gabriel Martinelli injury update after Everton win
And then there was the extras. The… magic, or whatever the hell it was… that he put on that slicing goal that completely baffled David De Gea. I could watch that a hundred more times (and I probably will) and still not fully understand how he could do that to then ball, but he didn’t seem surprised at all.
Then there was the matter of him being so defensively astute that he dove in to stop Marcus Rashford from having a clear and seemingly unmissable attempt at goal.
He also created the second most chances on the team behind just Mesut Ozil. No big deal.
Scoring goals, stopping goals, creating goal-scoring chances and controlling the flow of the match. What else do you want a guy to do? We have seen matches where he has dabbled in all of the above, combining them all has bee a bit of a rare occurrence, so it’s spectacular to see it all put together in one match again here.
It’s not a secret anymore that Xhaka might actually be someone who is a treasured presence on the club. I no longer feel like I’m going way out there to say that we’d be a much worse team without him, and we’d have tremendous difficulties getting around losing him.
It was a match to remember in the middle of a season to remember for him.