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If Xhaka is Batman, who is his Robin??

by SimonSEEZ

Post by KingHenrythefif

Xhaka – The perfect balance in use of pinpoint accuracy, tough character building and yet, the infamous awkward choices. 

Now, in the good fortunes of a historical perspective witnessed in the wake of the switch to a back three towards the end of last season, Granit Xhaka slowly began to stamp his authority in clever pockets of space in between Arsenal’s possession lines, being partnered by Aaron Ramsey at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield in what initially appeared to become a solid foundation to grow optimistic about, heading into a new season, with a new system.

However, since that beautiful win over Chelsea at Wembley in May, what we’ve witnessed from any partnership involving the Swiss International and his Welsh counterpart has been far from an actual partnership.

Infact, while success was recorded from finally having a system that suited the strengths of both midfielders, it’s been a disjointed start to the season from the duo as a pair, which at the same time appears so frustrating, considering how much both have already been involved in the attacking aspect of our performances so far.

As was the case in the FA Cup semis as well as in the final, huge gaps were there to be exploited, whenever Ramsey drifted out of his “role hole” with his trademark blind “third man” runs. Fortunately (or rather, unfortunately) we secured our regular Wembley wins over both London and Manchester top 4 rivals and once again, the use of regular crack masks expertly shielded/plugged the gaps that needed addressing both inside and outside the transfer market.

Ideal options within the depth

Granit Xhaka might have several teammates in Arsenal’s possession positions, but could very well still feel isolated in “double pivot” terms, due to the far from smooth chemistry he has with his fellow schemers. Last season alongside Coquelin, it was observed several times, the defensive security the Frenchman has in abundance in his locker; however, his criticism comes from the fact that he can be just as bad discipline-wise and we all know how the story of two hot heads ends. Also in the highlights of the “sticky-stocky” Coq is his vulnerability off the ball especially where he’s forced to shield the wide areas.

Nonetheless, personal opinions keep counting in analysis and I for one, believe Arsenal’s “Pope Coq Francis” is certainly smart enough to shield Xhaka, with the only downside to this being the fact that any partnership wouldn’t be so ideal with the current system/setup.

Santi Cazorla meanwhile, is beginning to inherit the Ill luck that jeopardised Abou Diaby’s career. Need I say more? The mercurial Spanish magician is a dream ambidextrous expert, and while he still labours to question marks of providing the extra guts of steel Granit could do with, he remains the best most balanced technician in the team, and up there with the elite top CM list in the English, continental and international top flight stakes.

               The symbol of this year’s central midfield platform.

Moving on, these aforementioned stakes have come on the back of much spotlight from the ever present Granit Xhaka, whose presence (or lack of) in the middle of the park has had a knock on effect on both ends of the pitch. for example, his display against Leicester on week one, where he provided exquisite diagonals, but still displayed bizarre carelessness on the ball one too many times for a player tasked with providing technical security for the team and I’m sure he didn’t enjoy the magnitude of elucidation he received.

In this light, one of the players also recently brought in to add some technical balance to the team “Post Arteta” and in the wake of Santi Cazorla’s lengthy absence from midfield is Mo Elneny and considering what he has brought to the team whenever selected (especially alongside Xhaka), he has shown interesting qualities that complement our big money Swiss a bit more than our swashbuckling Welsh.

The 24-year old’s desire to keep the ball moving at the required pace and his utility of legs akin to long distance athletes has been met with a potential lasting breath of fresh air and serves the double aim of possession purpose and productivity in the team’s box to box lines of penetration.

Granit Xhaka and Mo Elneny operated in similar roles at Basel in quick succession but nonetheless, can and should complement themselves as a different pair.

In essence, a pairing involving the Egyptian and his fellow ex-Basel midfielder – Xhaka, appears to be the closest we’ve come, to replacing the mercurial Mikel Arteta’s business at the heart of the Arsenal midfield. This just goes on to show how exemplary tendencies were at stake, with professionalism in his conversion and adjustment of roles; a feat the Spaniard achieved without much fuss.

Xhak-Rams Shouldn’t be 1st choice CM pairing; more ideal quality in security vacancy if Elneny isn’t picked. More so, alongside Elneny, a fellow midfielder who’s looked as sharp as the Egyptian, but also in the center of attraction, and in phases is none other than The-Ox, who in return has tried to display his best The-O Walcott impression, with impressive performances coming in the middle of transfer/contract debacles….. Far from coincidence if you ask me.

Elneny & Chamberlain have quite proven to be two of our better players in preseason and despite divided opinion on the latter, he’s showing development worthy of regular selections, regardless of any tactical role.

The disparaging thoughts, actions and consequences in this regard ought to be handled with the utmost sense of transparency to a particular system, and the engines of Mo Elneny, Chamberlain and Ramsey, in addition to the highest quality of athleticism at the team’s disposal, on an either side of a level-headed Granit Xhaka.

Kinghenrythefif writes from Lagos. 

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