Oh man, it’s so fucking great to support a club that offers its players paternity leave. We’re so modern and trailblazing. I love it.
Yeah people, did you hear? Granit Xhaka has been given a month off to be with his newborn. Isn’t that wonderful?
I am of course joking here… this is one of the weirdest stories in sport.
Footballers are basically like part-time workers. Sure, there are away games, but overall, they have 2-3 hour training sessions, maybe a bit of video analysis. Put it this way, Mesut Ozil has so much spare time on his hands he’s in the top 5% of Fortnite gamers in the world. He’s basically a pro. There are lots of examples of footballers managing to balance the beautiful game AND get their gold handicaps down to basically zero (pro level). I think part of the Gareth Bale/Zidane beef is literally golf.
The news is coming from Switzerland.
“There are more special things in life than football. For example, when you become a father”
I’m probably reaching… my gut reaction is that blowing off your team for a month seems quite, I don’t know, anti-sport… but the other part of me thinks that, damn, maybe that’s a regressive view. He’s a human. He wants to spend the first month with his wife. That’s a good thing.
I work in America. I am already in disagreements with my GF about taking paternity for a child I do NOT have on the way. Why would I think such things? The true nature of business in a competitive environment is that someone is always there, waiting, with a knife, ready to slice your throat. My own adventurous/debilitating paranoia plays a commanding role in this, sure, but there’s a hint of truth there which is probably bad for society as a whole.
This Xhaka situation is the m/paternity nightmare everyone goes through.
Xhaka, 26 (36 in working years), has two talented kids (cheaper) ready to take his place indefinitely if they have a good month. Willock and Matteo have a huge chance to win out long-term here. That means LT will have a chance to reimpose himself onto the first team. For Xhaka, it’s a huge risk for someone who isn’t rocking 65 hr weeks as it is. Also, football is a lot less advanced than most other businesses, empathy not being its strong-suit… what does ducking a month tell the manager?
Still, at least it’ll shine a light on the truth. We’re either going to shine without him, or it’ll look very Gilberto Silva back in the day (bad). For reference, no one had ever seen a midfielder that marked space back in the day. We’d also never seen a Brazilian that wasn’t electric. People wondered about his usefulness, then he picked up an injury and we all missed him.
I would trace a lot of this: ‘Oh, you don’t get football if you don’t get X’ because of Gilberto. No fan wants to be seen as the ingrate that doubted Gilberto, so people do the math.
Terrible player keeps getting played + expensive managers keep playing him / Hedged bet that there’s some underlying reason he’s player = I’ll look like a sage if I too back him with vague assessments of his talents.
Denilson, Senderos, Xhaka, Ozil, Nik B, Randall…
Anyway, back to Xhaka. The notion that we gave a player that makes a horrendous amount of errors the captains’ armband also amazes me. A leader should be absolutely accountable to the team. To hear him basically roll Auba and Laca under bus post Spurs was quite incredible. Keep your thoughts to yourself when you’re an radical error-ist, especially when talking about two players that have gone above and beyond for the team to keep them semi-competitive.
Hopefully, we’re waiting for the return of Hector to make an announcement.
… I’d be suggesting Matteo if it were a year on. We should let him grow before we burden him with any additional responsibility. Didier Deschamps has sent some fingers wagging our way because of that exact last sentence.
“Do not ask too much, he’s a young player, who is still the Espoirs generation, who plays a lot of matches with Arsenal where there is strong competition,”
“He’s the modern midfielder, box to box as they say there, with a lot of power and technical quality too. He’s there. What I expect from young people is that they bring this freshness, this dynamism.”
Love to read the plaudits he’s picking up, but Deschamps is correct. Two parts to this:
- Don’t call him a fraud if has a bad run. Kids aren’t consistent, he’s still only 20. There will be a dip.
- I hope Arsenal don’t butcher his growing body. Jack Wilshere was overplayed at 18, and we paid heavily for that. I think it’s hard not to argue that red zoning him ruined his career. He lost motivation with all the knocks and struggled to live up to the hype.
On that note, I shall hand the comments over to you! x