Tag Archives: Granit Xhaka

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Arsenal’s International Break

The Good

Mohamed Elneny

Egypt 2-1 Congo

Mohamed Elneny played the full 90 minutes of Egypt’s World Cup qualifying win over Congo which saw his country to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Egypt to win the World Cup: 150/1

Alex Iwobi

Nigeria 1-0 Zambia

Alex Iwobi came off the bench to score Nigeria’s only goal as the Super Eagles became the first African side to secure qualification for the World Cup. A 1-0 victory.

Nigeria to win the World Cup: 150/1

David Ospina

Colombia 1-2 Paraguay

David Ospina featured as Colombia lost 2-1 to Paraguay, with the visitors scoring twice in the final minutes to snatch the three points.

Peru 1-1 Colombia

David Ospina and Colombia will play at their second successive World Cup after securing a 1-1 draw against Peru.

Columbia to win the World Cup: 33/1

Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud

Bulgaria 0-1 France

Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud both featured in France’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria. Lacazette started in an exciting front three with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, Giroud was an 85th-minute.

France 2-1 Belarus

Olivier Giroud became France’s joint-seventh top goalscorer as he helped France to secure their place at next summer’s World Cup with a win over Belarus in Saint-Denis. Giroud charged through to double Les Bleus’ advantage just after the half-hour mark. Giroud played the entirety of the game, with Alexandre Lacazette an unused sub.

France to win the World Cup: 5/1

Nacho Monreal

Spain 3-0 Albania

Nacho Monreal was an unused substitute as Spain hit three past Albania in World Cup qualifying.

Israel 0-1 Spain

Monreal helped Spain keep a clean sheet as the former world champions saw off Israel 1-0 in Jerusalem, courtesy of a late goal from Asier Illaramendi.

Spain to win the World Cup: 7/1

The Bad

Sead Kolasinac

Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-4 Belgium

Sead Kolasinac played the duration of Bosnia’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium, where he was booked.

Estonia 1-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sead Kolasinac played the first half in Tallinn as Bosnia-Herzegovina’s World Cup dreams were dashed despite them finishing Group H with a win in Estonia. Greece’s home win over Gibraltar meant it wasn’t enough to reach the play-off round.

Aaron Ramsey

Georgia 0-1 Wales

Aaron Ramsey won his 50th Wales cap and assisted Tom Lawrence’s winner in his country’s 1-0 win at Georgia.

Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland

Aaron Ramsey was on the losing side as Wales were beaten 1-0 by the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff, ending their World Cup qualification hopes.

The Ugly

Shkodran Mustafi

Germany 5-1 Azerbaijan

Shkodran Mustafi started Germany’s World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan but was substituted after just 36 minutes through injury as Germany maintained their 100 per cent record in World Cup qualifying.

Germany to win the World Cup: 5/1

Alexis Sanchez

Chile 2-1 Ecuador

Alexis scored the winning goal in the 86th minute against Ecuador to seal three points for Chile, who are now on the verge of automatic qualification to the World Cup.

Brazil 3-0 Chile

Copa America winners in 2015 and 2016 – but Alexis and Chile won’t be at next summer’s World Cup. The result that saw Chile fail to finish in the top five qualifying spots in South America as a consequence of other results. Alexis played the full 90 minutes.

The Neutral

Granit Xhaka

Switzerland 5-2 Hungary

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for Switzerland in their World Cup qualifying win over Hungary. The midfielder capitalised on goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi’s slip to slot in from close range are just 18 minutes.

Portugal 2-0 Switzerland

Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland could still make the World Cup in Russia next summer – but his Switzerland team will have to qualify through the European play-off round after losing their decisive qualifier in Portugal.

Switzerland to win the World Cup: 80/1

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1 month left in the transfer window – what do Arsenal still need to do?

So we have a month to go until the transfer window slams shut. Now that pay day has been and again, perhaps Arsene might open his window and buy everyone a beer. Before poncing a pint and tobacco off everyone for the rest of the month.

Arsenal still have a lot of work to do between now and the 31st August

The Thomas Lemar Saga

It is all getting a bit silly now, and starting to resemble every other transfer window over the last decade. From Higuain to M’Vila, Kalou to Trabelsi, we have been here before where we spend the entire summer searching said players names for update. And the only updates are from attention seeking ITK’s.

The Lemar saga looks to last all summer.

The Alexis Sanchez saga

Arsenal are bringing out a double album this summer. A movie and a sequel. Chuck in Mesut Ozil and it is a trilogy. Add in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and I am not really sure what that makes it?

Arsenal’s resolve on Sanchez will be tested in the last month, as clubs see if Arsenal really are willing to let the Chilean leave on a free in 12 months.

Boost the midfield

With Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Franci Coquelin, the midfield looks short of quality competition.

Ramsey and Xhaka are class, but there is a big talent gap between them and Elneny and Coquelin.

A need to get in another more defensively minded midfielder who is at a similar level, or even better than, Ramsey and Xhaka is a must.

Another centre back?

A bonus could be Arsenal signing a top class centre back. It is unlikely, and it would be a Brucie, but if the right man come available, at the right price, Arsenal need to pounce.

Sell Sell Sell

All of the above need to be shipped out over the next month

It is going to be a busy day for Arsenal’s new backroom team.

Keenos

Arsenal’s shocking transfer dealings exposed

https://shewore.mysupadupa.com/Throughout all of the Wenger stuff, one thing has become increasingly clear. Our transfer dealings this season have been atrocious.

When the summer transfer window shut, I was fairly optimistic about our season ahead. And part of the reasoning behind this was due to our transfer dealings.

Arsenal had signed two excellent experienced players Granit Xhaka and Shkdoran Mustafi, a talented young centre back in Rob Holding, and a fairly unknown forward who had excellent statistics in Lucas Perez. But it all seems to have unravelled. £93million spent on some exciting talents.

Granit Xhaka

When we signed Granit Xhaka, I was excited. I had followed him since his Basel days and was excited that we had signed him.

He looked the complete midfielder. Defensive awareness mixed with a fantastic range of passing. He would add steal to our midfield, protection to our defence, but would also be the man to start our attacks. He was the leader in the middle of the park that we had missed for so long. It seemed he had no weaknesses.

But then it all began to fall apart. His ill discipline that had hampered his early career reared its head once more. Rash into a tackle, he was clumsy rather than ferocious. 2 red cards and 9 yellows this season. And it could have been more.

Yes, he was unlucky to see red against Swansea, but there have been other times when he has been lucky to stay on the pitch.

He has probably not been as bad as it seems, but his position is made to seem worse due to the fact we picked Xhaka over N’Golo Kante, who has taken another huge step forward at Chelsea and is now the best defensive midfielder in world football.

With Xhaka, we are peering over the fence at our numbers Chelsea, seeing what we could have had, and it feels we picked the wrong option.

Shkodran Mustafi

I questioned Shkodran Mustafi’s ability back in December. At the time he had no lost a single game at Arsenal which he had played in. I was mocked in the comments o nthe blog, on Twitter and Facebook. How could I be criticising a player who had yet to lose in an Arsenal shirt?

Well at the time I looked beyond the results of the team and was looking at the performances of the defence.

At the time, Arsenal had not kept a clean sheet for 10 games, with just 4 all season – 3 of which had Mustafi in defence, and the Mustafi / Koscielny partnership was conceding at a rate of a goal a game.

I ended the blog with;

Arsenal defensive frailties have become worse this season. Mustafi has solved one problem but created another.

4 months on and he was part of a centreback partnership against Crystal Palace that failed to make a single tackle. Two crude tackles in the 1st half meant he probably should have seen red. He was lucky to stay on the pitch.

Mustafi has played 17 games in 2017, Arsenal have conceded 31 goals. We have conceded more 3 or more goals on 7 occasions this calendar year. We have kept just 6 clean sheets. 3 of which have been in the FA Cup.

It is not just Mustafi’s fault. The entire defence from Bellerin across to Monreal has been shocking. But Mustafi has shown as huge technical issues which worry.

He tends to chase the ball. He is a poor judge of a high ball. His headers rarely reach a team mate. He dives in to tackles. He is beaten too easily.

I still think he will turn out to be a good player at Arsenal, but at £35,000,000 you would expect better performances than the Sunday League level ones he is putting in at the moment.

Lucas Perez

It is easy to forget the Lucas Perez is an Arsenal player. He ha splayed just 265 minutes in the Premier League this season.

Whether this is because he is a poor player, Wenger does not fancy him, Wenger is misusing him, or a mixture of everything, it will probably never be known.

It would not surprise me of Perez was shipped out this summer with Arsenal recouping what they spent on him.

A hat trick against Basel in the Champions League has been his career highlight thus far. His other goals coming against Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Sutton.

He was clearly a panic buy when it became obvious that Danny Welbeck was going to be out longer then expected. With just Olivier Giroud up top, we lacked a pacey option and Perez was bought in.

Perez has been hampered by the decision to play Alexis Sanchez through the middle. Whilst this did work out for the good, it has meant less game time for Perez. Walcott has had a very good season wide right (18 goals this season) but I perhaps would have liked to see Perez get a run out ahead of Alex Iwobi in a few games on the left hand side.

With Welbeck back fit, Perez is currently behind Welbeck, Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott & Oxlade-Chamberlain to get game time. You would struggle to make a justification for him to start ahead of any of those.

A very expensive panic buy. Not good enough to challenge for the 1st team when everyone is fit.

Rob Holding

It would be unfair on Rob Holding to label him a flop. He is just 21 and has shown good signs when called upon. At just £2million, he was clearly signed with the future in mind.

Unlike Calum Chambers, he does not have the hefty price tag over his head which will lead for calls for him to be ready for the first team.

He ha sonly played a handful of games this season, and could do with going on loan to a Premier League side next season to get some game time.

We could have a decent player on our hand, but he needs game time.

Takuma Asano

Does he even have a work permit yet? Throw him in the box with the likes of Joel Campbell, Wellington Silva, Samuel Galindo, Pedro Botelho & Carlos Vela. Players who we signed, spent years getting them valid work rights, and they ultimately turned out to be useless.

Kelechi Nwakali

Just a baby. We would moan if we signed him, and then moan if, after a trial, we turned him down and he became Yaya Toure.

£3,000,000 is a lot of money for a player who had only every played on sandy fields in Africa, but that is the cost of talented young players these days..

Cohen Bramall

Would be completely unfair to judge him as a flop. And I will not do so.

What he does highlight is just how poor our transfers have been this summer. He was the only signing in January, and he highlights just how little business we did in January. Just a young, non-league full back.

We have barely won a game in 2017. Not signing a single senior player in January is now looking like a ridiculous decision.

 

£93,000,000 spent. Money not well spent.

There is no point moving to the new stadium, having a big load of money to spend, if we are not going to spend it correctly. Just another reason why it is time for Wenger to go.

Keenos