Xhaka grants Arsenal with more options
The Saturday match of Arsenal was marked by the phenomenon, rare for the Gunners, for the last one and a half years: Arsène Wenger’s command appeared in the field without Francis Coquelin. Here is some background: since the start of his career in Arsenal in a match against West Ham in December of the 14th, Coquelin participated in 46 matches of the championship from 58 possible, in 40 Coquelin played in the first team from first minutes. And those 12 missed matches were in the period within December – February last season when Coquelin was simply injured. The union Flamini’s– Ramsey will dream fans in dreadful dreams for a long time, but it is not about it now.
The role of a breakwater was provided to Granit Xhaka on Saturday.
He carried out the model first half, but wasn’t so noticeable in the second half. It is clear enough: Xhaka showed exactly those qualities which were specified on his package – namely he showed the talent of the playmaker from depth. When Arsenal reduced speed (whether because of eagerness of Watford, whether owing to own non-ideal physical readiness to hold speed all match) in the second half, Xhaka became less noticeable. Because he isn’t a typical “destroyer” like his vis-a-vis.
I think, this contrast was necessary. And though the event essence obviously didn’t reach many fans and they continued to shout that Coquelin should write off immediately and issue Xhaka instead of him in each match (say, look how Xhaka was cool, Coquelin can’t so), the match against Watford is very indicative in such options.