05 Apr 2022 | 12:33 | Football
Xhaka shows off in pre-season
Kieran Tierney’s injury when joining the team forced Mikel Arteta to use Nuno Tavares reluctantly. The last time, this player appeared for Arsenal, he was withdrawn after only 35 minutes. This time it was no better, as Arteta only allowed the Portuguese defender to stay on the field for exactly one half.
Arteta thinks Granit Xhaka playing left-back is safer than Tavares. In fact, the way to do this is to take one wrong to correct another wrong. The 28-year-old midfielder does not have the skill set of a full-back. As a result, Arsenal still has a precarious left wing and is constantly being exploited.
This morning, people see a fairly typical situation for the deviation of the away team. Accordingly, Xhaka received a bad pass from midfielder Gabriel Magalhaes. It put him in a position to fight striker Jordan Ayew. In the end, Xhaka was left lying on the ground and then “furious” in front of Gabriel.
Xhaka’s frustration is reasonable, especially when the home team is being led deep. It also gave Arteta a clear answer that Xhaka could not play at left-back.
After the game, Arteta said of Tierney’s injury: “He’s going to see a specialist tomorrow and we’ll know more about the extent of the injury. The feeling that he’s not well and what the scans also show. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
After today, it became known that Arteta’s trust in Tavares was exhausted. The two times he was named to the starting list were also two disappointing performances. In the FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest, the Spaniard had to repeatedly shout: “Nuno, Nuno” to remind him not to give up his position. This morning, the same thing happened.
Now, Arteta must pray to Tomiyasu to recover from his injury soon. At least now, he can move Cedric to the left-back position, where he used to take charge and played well last season.
Of course, as Arteta admits Arsenal do not have a squad with a large enough staff to easily rotate. That is the implicit message that the Gunners will spend more in the summer. At least, they must add 3 rookies spread across the three lines, to be able to hope to continue to compete in the top 4 next year.