Arsenal: 3 controversial truths fans must learn to accept as fact

Arsenal, Mikel Arteta (Photo by Tim Goode/Pool via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Mikel Arteta (Photo by Tim Goode/Pool via Getty Images) /
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Arsenal, Granit Xhaka
Arsenal, Granit Xhaka (Photo by Rui Vieira/Pool via Getty Images) /

1. Granit Xhaka is more important than ever

Following Granit Xhaka‘s drama against Crystal Palace, as well as the apology and reinstatement that followed, fans seemed to open up to the usefulness of Granit Xhaka. They weren’t as critical, they weren’t scapegoating him as much.

But the unease emanating from his continued presence was still palpable. Look no further than some articles here at Pain in the Arsenal, criticizing Granit Xhaka and demanding he be sold.


Granit Xhaka is more important than ever, and I don’t think you need to look any further than the first half against Aston Villa, though there are plenty of other examples.

There is a difference between when Xhaka is in there and when he isn’t. There is a value in his control. This whole “underdog” mentality that saw us snatch victories from City and Liverpool isn’t sustainable. The problem has been a lack of edge when we control possession. Xhaka is the solution to that. Not Ceballos. Not Partey. I want a midfield three with Xhaka, Ceballos, and Partey because all three would have defined roles to play that would make this a deadly midfield trifecta.

Next. Player Ratings vs Watford. dark

But for Xhaka’s part, we don’t have an alternative. Nor do we need one. Speaking of unanimous—all four of Arsenal’s managers over the past three years see the inherent value of Xhaka. So why don’t you?