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Name Granit Xhaka
Gender Male
Ethnic Swiss
Job Arsenal FC Footballer
  Swiss Footballer
Desc Can be a frustrating anchor in Arsenal’s midfield with errant passing and reckless tackling. Ideally Arsenal would replace the Swiss international, but with a replacement for Ramsey already required it’s unlikely Xhaka can be afforded to leave

Affiliation

Club as Player Arsenal FC
  Borussia Monchengladbach

Relationship

Agent Jose Noguera

2019 08 05 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka is still hopeful of being named as Unai Emery’s captain at Arsenal for the coming season] Nobody has spoken about the captain’s armband. The coach hasn’t decided but if I have the armband, of course I will be happy. It’s something special but in the end we have to all be captains on and off the pitch because we need everyone

I think we have had the same situation in the past as well. We played very well but in the end we don’t take anything. We have to learn to concentrate throughout the 90 minutes in future to take something. Of course there are positives and negatives as well. Today we played against a good opposition in Barcelona. The first half was very good, the second half was OK. We were under a bit more pressure than in the first half, but in the end we have to improve. We have to look at the bad things and keep the good things

2019 08 25b Retrieve

[Liverpool (3) vs (1) Arsenal. Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka says the Gunners need to move on and focus on the North London Derby after their chastening defeat at Liverpool on Saturday] We have nothing to take from this game or other games because it’s a derby and we know how important it is for the fans, the club and for us. We have shown in the last few years that we can have very good games against them. Let’s start getting ready this week so we’re ready to play against Spurs. [Liverpool] have a good team, a great team of great players and it’s always difficult here. It’s not only for us, a lot of teams find it difficult when they come here. It’s one game and we’ve lost today but we have to be positive for the next few weeks

[Nicolas Pepe linked up well with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, threatening with his livewire dribbling and almost putting Arsenal ahead in the first half] We have very good players, not only these two, all over the team. We can do something special this season but we have to work a lot to improve things. After, we will see at the end of the season. I think the second half was much better than the first half. We had a few chances in the first half to score one or two goals. If we’d have done that, it would have been a different game. We can speak a lot but we lost the game. We didn’t have a bad game in my opinion because we defended well and Liverpool didn’t have a lot of chances. We had shots as well but they’re a good team. Let’s look forward

2019 09 09 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka claims to have been carrying a knock for a few weeks at Arsenal] I’ve been suffering from Achilles tendon pain for a few weeks now. I felt it during the game. It hurts now, but it should be okay otherwise

He shouldn’t be named captain, he should be focusing on his own game. The captaincy and all the responsibility that comes with that, he makes the mistakes that, if I’m on the pitch and Tony Adams is on the pitch making mistakes like that, I’m thinking ‘what are you doing?!’. He made so many fouls [against Spurs], he could have easily been sent off. I saw [Matteo] Guendouzi make a challenge in the box where he saw the danger, started to ease over to him and he intercepted it. He doesn’t recognise danger, Xhaka. I do feel like we’ve come to the stage where Joe Willock is pushing him, Guendouzi is definitely pushing him, picking up the ball from deep and doing the job that he’s doing and alongside David Luiz, whatever anyone says about him, he sprays some unbelievable balls. The fact is, I think he slows it down now

2019 09 11 Retrieve

[Midfielder Granit Xhaka has revealed that he has been suffering with an Achilles problem since the start of the season] hurts now, but it should be okay otherwise. It’s part of football, there are a lot of people that talk a lot. I cannot influence anything and I do not want to. It is not my business. My job is to perform on the pitch

2019 09 15 Retrieve

[Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka conceded he and his team-mates were ‘scared’ in the second half of their Premier League clash with Watford on Sunday, allowing the Hornets to battle back for a 2-2 draw] We are very disappointed, we had a good first half and then we came out and played so bad in the second half. We paid for that. We knew they had nothing to lose and they would come for us but we didn’t show our game, we were too scared, nobody wanted the ball

2019 09 19 Retrieve

[Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal. After witnessing Arsenal throw away a 2-0 lead] We were too scared, nobody wanted the ball

2019 09 30 Retrieve

[Lucas Torreira was exceptional in that position when he first arrived last season and Xhaka even admitted the diminutive Uruguayan’s arrival had allowed him to finally focus on areas further up the pitch] Lucas Torreira gives us good balance in the team between offence and defence. He lets me play my game with the ball and go forward a bit more

2019 10 03 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka is very proud to have been named Arsenal captain, despite some questioning that appointment and his role in the Gunners side] I’m very proud. It’s made me very happy because when I came here, I had a lot of experience before with the Switzerland national team and I was the captain in Germany as well. When I came here, there were a lot of great players, good personalities, and it was a big step for me to be the captain here as well. Now I’m the official captain here and it makes me very proud to be the captain of this great club

[When asked about how his promotion to a prominent position came to pass] The coach asked us to write five names, who we wanted to be the captains. Everything was discreet, so there were no names. You only wrote the five captains. In the end, I think the team, the players and of course the boss, decided who would be the first captain out of the five.

Of course it’s important that the other players believe in me and see how I work, how much I work. I’m a guy who wants to take all the players in one boat. We win together, we lose together, we win trophies together or we lose finals together, like in Baku. It’s important that all the players - not only the players who play but the other players as well - are invited into our group to be happy, to speak with us if there are any problems. This is the role of a captain, to be strong and to be in front of the team. I think I’m a guy like this who can be in front of the team during the good times and the bad times

2019 10 22 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka has said that claims Arsenal are mentally weak – such as those made by Patrice Evra, who branded them babies – are bullsht]</b> I have a lot of respect for him because he was a great player, but you have to be careful what you say. He knows these situations well, but it’s not only him. A lot of people speak a lot of bullsht and it’s always the same. We have to stop talking about [the mental side of the game] and bullsht like this. I’m sorry to say that, but for me it’s the same whether you play at home or away – you have to win and show big character and not look for the same excuse

[Xhaka hinted that Evra faces the prospect of losing credibility as a pundit when asked if such comments from former players can be considered cheap shots] For me it’s strange because they have been in the same situation as us – maybe it was sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but like I said, if you speak bullsh
t* like this every weekend, then what they say doesn’t get respected

2019 10 31 Retrieve

[Xhaka reveals how he reached ‘boiling point’ as he breaks silence over foul-mouthed Arsenal fan row] After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response. The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and have always given 100 per cent on and off the pitch

My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and on social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply. People have said things like ‘We will break your legs,’ ‘kill your wife’ and ‘wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.

In this situation I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if it’s what people thought. My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with the game in the first place. Let’s move positively forward together

2019 11 05 Retrieve

[Xhaka previously apologised for his actions following his substitution against Palace, during which he was seen to cup his ear in response to abuse from sections of the fanbase, whose escalating campaign against the 27-year-old has been brewing for much of the season] The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch. My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months, have hurt me deeply. People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday

2019 11 10 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka has promised to stay at Arsenal and win back respect after being stripped of the captaincy following an ugly altercation with fans] You can be sure that I’ll keep fighting and putting myself out there in every training session. I feel that last week has been dealt with and I’m ready. I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments

When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me. It was very hurtful and frustrating. I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me. As far back as I can remember, fans have always been part of my sport. And right from the start I’ve had a lot of respect for the fans’ enthusiasm and the hardships they endure to support us players.

Their criticism, when it’s fair, makes you grow as an athlete. And the power and energy that they contribute to the game makes every athlete love football even more. I feel like I’m part of a big football family. But at a time you are already experiencing a lot of hostility and your own football family insults you, it hurts a lot. I don’t mean to say that I can’t take criticism. If the team and I don’t play well, we have to listen and work on it. But insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting. That makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit

2019 11 21 Retrieve

[Swiss star Xhaka remains upset at being stripped of the captaincy for swearing at Gunners fans four weeks ago] I have a clear idea how things should proceed as I can’t accept what has happened

2020 01 10 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka will not be departing Arsenal this January to move to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, the player’s brother Taulant Xhaka has reported] Granit told me that he definitely wanted to stay in the Premier League. I don’t know whether Hertha was a concrete option for him at all, but he’s very comfortable at Arsenal

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka believes Arsenal have silenced those that claim the club lacks character after they claimed an impressive 2-2 draw with Chelsea] We played very well after the red card. So difficult, but we showed great team spirit. We were speaking at half time that we can do it and we came twice back so I am very proud of this team. After this game nobody will have to speak about us. We showed big character. A lot of people say we have no character in the team, so after this game we showed we have

I hope centre-back is not my new position, but the gaffer knows I can play there. I tried to help the team, and the guys around me made it easy for me today

2020 02 02 Retrieve

[Xhaka’s remarkable road to redemption] The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100 per cent on and off the pitch. My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and on social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply. People have said things like ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium. In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought

2020 02 24 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka says he would think twice if he was asked to captain Arsenal again] I know with or without the armband what I can give the team. But in this moment [against Palace] I don’t want to take the armband back, but Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] and David [Luiz] told me I have to take it. If one day the club asks me about the armband, I have to think twice

Of course, I don’t lie. There was a moment, because it was not easy for me and my family. I hope people understand this. But I think I showed my character. I am not a guy who runs away. I always say to the club, ‘When I [am] here, I am ready to give everything’. It was like this always. I train very hard and that things turned around is the key. This [has given me] the most happiness

On one side I understand the fans, because they always want the players to perform, but on the other side they have to understand us as well. It is not always easy.

I think this is the biggest difference [between] Germany and England, because [here] we don’t have the [close] connection with the fans. In Germany for example, you have open training sessions, [where] the fans come and [talk to you], ask you why.

Here, everything is closed. So, for me, it would be good this time to explain to the people what is not going good or bad. But it doesn’t matter now. Now we have to enjoy, that’s the most ­important [thing]

2020 04 12 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka proves Gilberto Silva right about Mohamed Elneny and his role in a new-look Arsenal] In the last few years, the situation has been difficult at Arsenal. They have very similar players in midfield, with profiles that resemble each other and not really players of the profile of Patrick Vieira, or even my profile. The only individual who resembled (us), that could have been Mohamed Elneny, but he didn’t play. But they have not really had those types of players to cover the defensive midfield position. Arsenal always plays positively, trying to deploy an attacking game, and it is not easy to find someone to marry the ability to play the forward game and to do the work in the shadows in the defensive phases

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[Xhaka’s U-turn to stay] I had a very, very good meeting with Arteta three days after he came into this club. He told me a lot of things and I was very open with him and he was very open with me. And now we are here. I have to smile a little bit because I am very, very happy to be back and to enjoy what I love the most: playing for this club

2020 04 23 Retrieve

[Arsenal stars Lacazette, Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe and David Luiz warned over breaking lockdown rules] Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will be speaking to our players. We were concerned so we have spoken to Nicolas, who shares a house with a number of relatives who were involved in this game. We have reminded him of the importance of everyone following the guidelines

2020 04 29 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka eager to put fall out with Arsenal supporters behind him] These whistles against me, this hatred, that was brand new for me. What happened happened. You cannot undo it. Maybe it was a misunderstanding and both sides overreacted to some extent. That’s done for me, you have to look ahead now, motivate yourself positively in the current situation and don’t get caught up in the negative. As I wrote in my statement back then, as a team, the club and the fans, we should work together hand in hand towards the next game and the challenges ahead with mutual respect and in memory of what makes us love this game

[Hertha Berlin was touted as the most likely next destination for Xhaka] It was really no longer an issue for me. Yes, there was contact and also an offer, but in the end, I decided to stay here in London. After three and a half years I did not cancel everything that I had built up. I am now concentrating on this with all my strength and motivation and hope that we can get back on the pitch soon

2020 06 26 Retrieve

[Granit Xhaka says Arsenal’s youngsters have ‘big futures’ after Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock led the way in the Gunners’ latest win] I think we have some very good youngsters and they have big futures. They are already helping us and they keep working hard as well. Of course, we had to win yesterday [to keep our hopes of qualifying for Europe alive].

We didn’t play well last week [at Manchester City] and then we were a little bit unlucky [at Brighton], but yesterday we played very, very compact we were aggressive in a lot of the duels and we deserved the three points. I think we worked very hard, we had a game plan and Mikel [Arteta] did very good preparation for us. But sometimes you need luck, sometimes it is not your day but yesterday we started again with another three points and we want to keep going. We are happy to take the first three points since the lockdown and we hope to continue like this.