Arsenal’s fans have flooded to Twitter this afternoon to highlight the key role played by Granit Xhaka in their side, after the Swiss midfielder missed the Gunners’ defeat at Everton.
Jagielka decides it
Unai Emery’s men travelled to Goodison Park a short time ago, for a Premier League clash.
Arsenal headed into proceedings on a superb run of 5 victories from their last 6 league outings, a stretch which meant that a 3-point haul on Merseyside would have seen them leapfrog Tottenham into 3rd in the English top-flight table.
Everton, though, have also been in fine form of late.
The Toffees had put Chelsea and West Ham to the sword in their last 2 outings, keeping a pair of clean sheets in the process.
And the upturn being enjoyed by Marco Silva’s men carried very much into this afternoon, as Everton eventually emerged with a deserved 1-0 victory.
Phil Jagielka bagged the only goal of the clash with just 10 minutes on the clock, slotting home at the near-post following a long throw-in from the left.
36y 233d – At 36 years and 233 days, Phil Jagielka is the oldest player to score in the Premier League this season. Veteran.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2019
‘Realise just how important Xhaka is’
Arsenal, in truth, were dominated from start to finish at Goodison, with the North Londoners having barely created a chance of note all afternoon.
Despite all of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette having taken to the pitch at one point or another, there was a distinct lack of fluidity and creativity to the play of the Gunners, with Everton having bullied the visitors throughout the 90 minutes.
A makeshift midfield-2 of Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny proved completely ineffective, with their side’s lack of a link between defence and attack having since seen droves of Arsenal fans point to the absence of one player in particular as telling.
The individual in question is the oft-maligned Granit Xhaka, who missed out this afternoon through injury:
You really realise just how important Xhaka is to this side when he’s not on the pitch.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) April 7, 2019
Never thought I’d ever say this out loud “I really miss Xhaka.”
— Sophie Nicolaou (@soccerdiva) April 7, 2019
Try to tell me that Xhaka isn’t a crucial part of the setup after that first half display. No control, being cominated in midfield, minimal service to Özil/Mkhitaryan & the only source of creativity is when the two players mentioned drop into midfield – leaving us short up top.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) April 7, 2019
I wont tolerate anymore Xhaka slander on my tl
— Samsa Stark (@Trick_OR_Tweeet) April 7, 2019
This is the sort of games that you realise Xhaka is needed in and just what he brings to the side.
And the sort of game that Özil struggles to fit in to. But watch people single him out and go way over the top later.
— R (@XhxkAttack) April 7, 2019
Also to the pundits and people who think xhaka is worthless taking a big fat look at this shit, xhaka can link midfield to attack better then any player we have but is completely ignored
— Bear in a procorius position (@jamba156) April 7, 2019
They’re tweeting “we miss Xhaka” https://t.co/k6PTmahJVX
— Yh (@Messssut_) April 7, 2019
we’re missing Xhaka so much today
— jonno (@thisisjonnoo) April 7, 2019
Xhaka is our player of the season. Don´t @ me.
— renato (@rehnato) April 7, 2019
Xhaka with all his flaws is our best midfielder by a mile!#EVEARS
— Arnold (@arnoldlafs) April 7, 2019
Arsenal with Xhaka vs Arsenal without Xhaka pic.twitter.com/mVTXZh476c
— A〽️it (@AFCAmit)
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