Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has sought to calm some of the criticism around the performance of Granit Xhaka’s performance in Sunday’s 2-2 north London derby defeat against Tottenham.
As per TalkSport, Parlour tried to explain what the £100,000-a-week (Spotrac) Swiss international brings to Unai Emery’s side after a game in which he dived into many challenges and gave away a penalty.
Parlour said: “He’s good on the ball, he’s decent on the ball. He can spray a ball, he can pass 25-30 yards no problem. He’s very good on doing that. Sometimes he fits in and keeps it simple.
“The weekend, he didn’t have a good game and I’m sure he thought at the end ‘it wasn’t a great game for myself’. Xhaka’s just got to calm down sometimes, be a bit more clever. You can’t make mistakes like he did.”
TBR’s View – Xhaka’s weekend performance didn’t tell anything we didn’t already know
Did Xhaka’s show of indiscipline at the weekend genuinely surprise anyone? Anybody who’s seen him since he’s been at Arsenal knows he dives into tackles.
Now he’s the captain, Unai Emery might have hoped he’s left that behind but it was almost as if he was keen to stamp his authority on the match, but did it in all the wrong ways.
Parlour’s midfield insight is useful, but being able to knock the ball about isn’t really enough for a central midfielder at a club like Arsenal.
Xhaka hasn’t got enough flair to be a creative midfielder nor the discipline to be a holder. So he flits in-between but isn’t a true all-rounder and eventually that looks likely to come back to bite him in terms of getting a regular spot in the side.