by .

Granit Xhaka has been through it with Arsenal fans. He was signed from rigid system in Germany where he thrived under an extremely tactical manager and he was put into a dying squad of players. He had a rough time, he made some errors, he was held up as the poster child of everything that was wrong with Arsenal. It was unfair, but felt right at the time.

Fast-forward to the Mikel Arteta era. He’s the first name on the team sheet, he performs wherever he’s played, he leads, and now he’s had a software update and it seems like he’s decided that he’d quite like to be a devastating #8.

Everything that is right this season is reflected in the new Granit Xhaka. His beautifully floated cross to Gabriel Jesus kind of summed up the explosion that has happened in this Arsenal team. We are unpredictable, the football is fast and incisive, the aggresion has moved up a gear, the character of the squad is there for all to see, and there’s a feeling of winnertivity and inevitability that things are going to be secure at the back and productive up front.

  • 3rd most goals
  • 3rd highest attempts at goal per game
  • 4th most on target
  • 2nd least attempts conceded per game
  • Most points in the league

Beating Brentford at their place with no drama was absolutely sensational. I don’t want to be hearing ‘it’s just the Bees.’ That’s a team that creates to top 6 levels, they have put up the second most big chances in the league (hate the stat unless it works for me), they had scored one more goal than us until today, and their striker has just been called up for England because he is a top, top player.

It didn’t matter.

Arsenal put them in their place. They matched the rough and tumble. They didn’t allow them a moment on the ball. Our boys didn’t get phased by the brilliant atmosphere. It was a pure no drama afternoon, you could call it a nice day for a kick about.

Did I love that Mikel Arteta flexed out at the end by debuting a kid that is 15 and a half? You’re damn right I did. That’s part a message to the board about players. But also, it speaks to Ethan Nwaneri and his immense talent. Imagine how he feels right now?

There were too many great performances all over the pitch to touch on every single one. So here is a snackable list of things I loved.

Ben White gets dropped by Southgate and puts out another commanding performance, he’s a brilliant right back, he’s not giving up his place to Tomiyasu. What a talent. He looks every inch the £50m player.

William Saliba, a colossal defensive presence, continued to drive his performances up to new levels. Nothing got past him, he matched a team of bullies for physicality, he outplayed them with superior reading of the game, and he played balls through the lines like they were guided by GPS. Have we got the best young defender in the world here? I think we have. Get him to sign da ting RIGHT NOW.

Bukayo Saka is still feeling his way back into the season, but the man is 2nd in the assists chart with 4 already. Imagine being 21 years old dropping Gs and As like he is and you’re not even seen as being near the top of your level? Scary mary indeed.

Gabi Jesus is the best summer signing we could have made in that #9 position. Yes, even better than Haaland would have been. He’s a leader, he works relentlessly, he’s unpredictable, he sticks up for the boys, and he is LETHAL. 4 goals, 3 assists, 8 games. What more can you ask for? I love him.

Think about this, we were missing Zinchenko and captain Odegaard… and we made mince meat of Brentford. Kieran Tierney did a great job, getting back to his best form, contributing importantly up top and at the back. Fabio Vieira slips into the starting 11 with the frame of a 16-year-old boy, doesn’t get bullied, fits the style, and steps out to bang home from outside the box. Outrageous carry-on.

So another 13 shots, we hit the target 7 times, and we scored 3 goals. That is a powerful afternoon. Thomas Frank called us title-contenders. I’m not sure we’re quite there yet, but we’re certainly well on the way to building a side capable of achieving that.

… and get this, we STILL have the youngest starting 11 in the Premier League. Top of the league after 7 games, with kids, that is incredible.

When we’re winning it is important to temper your expectations. That inexperience will still rear its ugly head. United was inexperience. Simple as that. We’re going to have that again this season. Arteta isn’t always going to make great decisions, it’s quite weird to me to see so many players breaking down when we’ve had 12 days out of the Premier League. Saliba played with a knock, Zinchenko broke down, and we lost our captain. You also had centre back Gabi complaining about muscle issues during the game. That’s a lot of young men that are generally quite robust having problems and it doesn’t go unnoticed that we’ve lost Shad Forsythe. We have to shape up there, that is far too many injuries in a month that we’ve played three games. We have to manage NINE in October. We’re going to be in big trouble if we have to fill out bench with kids too young to legally change with the men due to child protection laws.

But go back to the positives. We exited this phase of the season top of the league, playing the best football in Europe, with almost no major issues. The fans are onside online and in the stadium. There are no doubts over the manager. We’re united behind this project and we can see the club is on a rocket ship to a moon made out of major trophies.

This squad isn’t even bedded in yet, the football is going to get better, and we’re 100% adding talent to it in January. I’m buzzing. Enjoy this moment. Take it in. The season is long, it’ll be emotional, but it’s so much more fun when the hope is justified.

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Great fucking win today


An absolute pleasure to watch the boys


Loving Xhaka this season too




Top 5


One minutes silence coming up


top 7

Left Testicle

It’s like the artist has got a perfectly good print of Xhaka and then done his best to fook it up?!

Mr Serge

The artwork is shocking Pete please remove it’s offensive mature from my eyes

We were fantastic today Brentford never get destroyed at home we did that.

Can’t wait for the NLD now hopefully we batter the bastards and Conte has a meltdown

Really loving saliba and white at the back
Great Partey is back
Fabio take a bow son
Jesus love you


The art works seem to be getting worse.
Need to move on.
Enjoyable game today We moved the ball more quickly which suits our players better.
Viera looks good , great goal


I’m loving the artwork – keep it up Pedro – such a great change from the usual Emirates pics and the fat German bloke in the yellow away kit (good as that was for a while until you replayed it 100x)


Pretty much a perfect day out starting with Arteta’s attire and ending with the record breaking 15yo’s intro.

Too bad the slickest move of the day at the very beginning ended up with Martinelli slipping, or it could’ve been a goal of the season contender.

Did Ramsdale even mss as me one save?
Not sure, doesn’t matter.
Very impressive all around.

Looks like the handful of us who didn’t want to burn Xhaka at the stake are finally getting some vindication lol


What an absolute pleasure to watch today – COYG!

Mr Serge

Lol Pedro


Nwaneri only signed full time in the Summer -straight into the u18s and then promoted to u21s. Now the seniors. The season has still barely started. This lad is going to be something special – not even Patino rose through the ranks that quickly.

As a side note we have a forward in the u18s called Obi-Martin who is only 14!

AFC Forever

Love the artwork Pedro.

Just like Super Mik some people just don’t know quality when they see it.

What a fucking performance!!! That’s how you shove criticism down peoples throats. Loving this generational manager who doesn’t give youngsters a chance, bring on a 15 year old to join the youngest team in the PL….!!! He’s mugged off so many from Billy Smarts Circus.

London gunner


Also love the artwork I’m not normally an art kind of guy. Can you credit the artists or have some kind of link to their work just because I keep seeing it and thinking goddamn I want to see more of that.

Left Testicle

I would think the artist would prefer to stay anonymous.


Very impressive

Not the artwork, the football ..

Left Testicle

Says the man who wears jeggings and girls blouses. 😉


Great Win today

Habesha Gooner

I have to give it to Xhaka, that was the best I have seen him play for Arsenal. He looked like a very good midfielder. He won the ball multiple times, his runs from deep were causing brentford problems and he shielded the ball very well. His passing was superb too. And he was my man of the match. Saliba and Jesus close second.

What made me happy was the fact that I can’t recall any player who had a bad game. They all put in a decent performance at the very least. And it’s superb to see.


Left Testicle.. That made me laugh 🤣


I am getting concerned about the calf injuries – our Jan signing needs to be a new Head of Performance or whatever they call a PE teacher now


It’s AI created. See midjourney, stable diffusion and the like


Great win and vibe, its all happening.

And the Art work is fucking class.


Habesha – agreed. For all the criticism I have given, Xhaka was my MoM. This was one of our most complete performances in a long time and enhanced by the shit show we suffered 13 m ago. I know there were extenuating circumstances then, but it didn’t make it any less painful.


The artwork has ranged from shocking (the freaky twisted leg injury painting) to excellent (I really like the today’s Xhaka rendition). The range of opinions is a good reason for keeping the artwork going. Art was never intended to be universally liked or approved.

Philip Durell

Love the artwork and the result 🔥🔥🔥

AFC Forever

M&S is just dreadful.

Reminds me of going shopping with my mate who needed a suit. My mates a bit overweight and not very tall.

Anyways we go into this mens clothing shop and this sales assistant saddles up to my mate and asks if he can help him. My mate says, “Yes, thanks. Hyou got a suit that will fit me?”

The sales assistant looks him up and down, smiles and spends a few seconds thinking before finally saying, I fucking hope not, we’d have to sack the tailor..!”


Reposting as it’s appropriate with the Xhaka theme. Because I’m an Arsenal degenerate, here’s our first chance of the game in detail. It starts at 0.31 with Gabriel M collecting the ball from an errant Brentford pass. Gabriel M, Partey, Saka, White, Saliba, Partey, White, Saka, White, Partey, Gabriel M, Xhaka, Partey, Xhaka, Saliba, White, Xhaka, Saka, Gabriel J,, Saka, Vieira, Gabriel M, Xhaka, Martinelli, Xhaka, Martinelli 54 seconds. 25 passes. 9 players. Xhaka’s movement is incredible. At 1.06 he’s in the deep right midfield postion passing the ball to Saka on the right wing and at 1.23 he’s on… Read more »


We played some blinding football today, our settled structure + increased cohesion, makes it easier for us to integrate new players. It’s all about the collective, we now have a clear system, we just identify the style of player we need to fit the system, and then do the all important character check, so we don’t upset the culture + working environment. We still need 3 top versatile players, who can cover 60-70% of the outfield positions, and allow us to juggle the rest of the pack seamlessly Who can cover between 18-24% of the workload across 4 competitions if… Read more »


Having a blast watching the technical ability of our players! AFC played those guys off the park, Brentford could not get a wiff of the ball, and the squad kept a clean sheet, with a very good save by Aaron to keep it that way. Saliba, man, what a player, so damn calm back there, I can actually relax a little when the inevtitable momentum change occurs. Only wished that Arteta would have pullled Jesus earlier because everyone knew he was going to get a card for his 1st foul.. Anyway, get those guys some rest, Tierney a fake injury,… Read more »

Db10 legend

Yep no complaints from me. Happy as a pig in shit! Loving it


With regards to the artwork, let’s change it to a Transformer or better yet, Luke Cage Power Man!

James wood

Love MS three pairs of those pants on in the winter
and you don’t need to put the heating on.?


Have to commend Xhaka,

Has experienced so many emotions of Arsenal from the embers of Wengerball, Emery dulling even the commentators down, captain by committee then yanked and booed off. Red card madness’s, living thru the non-negotiables, slow rebuilt to today getting serenaded away at Brentford after a pretty boss performance.

Something to be said for digging in and doing the work, would love to see him title out with Arsenal.

Ultimate banter is he’s playing role of Wenger’r original expectation on the pitch.

Danny S

I have never liked Xhaka, but I always thought he would be better further up the pitch in a better system. Never though did I think I’d actually come to respect him.

He’s taken some shit, and he’s just carried in and done his thing and his thing as it turns out can be pretty good.

It feels so wrong saying that.


Danny S

Don’t worry-I’m sure there’s a support group for your Xhaka-conflict condition.

Danny S


Sign me up! I need to sit in a friendship circle and cry a little bit maybe.

Danny S

Xhaka is becoming a key player, we have 2 quality full backs on each side, we have a short striker who’s smashing it and players on the bench that can make a difference.

I still think Arteta really needs to learn to tailor his tactics as it feels a little bit like if we win we win if we don’t we don’t, but it’s all going in the right direction.

Man U was a game we could have changed it up for, played solidly and at least drawn.

AFC Forever

Danny S Yep. A big part of life is dealing with mistakes and the hard knocks. Tough characters can move on, accept their mistakes & put things right, but weak ones can’t. Xhaka largely deserved the criticism he received. He took it on the chin. He manned up. We should respect him for that. We all fuck up, every single one of us; let’s face it this blog is the king of the bad takes…!! The most critical of people are usually the slowest to praise – they’re not big men like Xhaka. He has been outstanding these last 12… Read more »


Granit Xhaka lifting a PL or CL trophy, would be the ultimate redemption story, Netflix or Amazon would have to make a film….

Can’t remember if it was 1998 or 2002, but when we went up to lift the trophy, the commentator said something like:

“They’re back at the pinnacle of English football, and they are……. Arsenal”


I’d absolutely love it if we could win another top flight title over the next few seasons.


Oh, and the artwork reference was is regards to the injury one, and not the machine Xhaka one, which is fantastic!

AFC Forever

Rich, I second that.

Danny S


Yeah and credit to Arteta. He obviously saw what Xhaka had in terms of ‘ze mental strength’ and worked on it.

There are certain things you can’t train into people like will, desire, enthusiasm etc so if you can harness those things in the correct way it pays dividends.


Remeber who Xhaka is surrounded by now, not Luiz, Mustafi, Kola, and Ozil!!

AFC Forever

Danny S

Yes that’s very true.


Love the contemporary artwork !


The only issue I have with the post is that I really don’t think Xhaka is the first name on the team sheet. It’s an interesting question though. Assuming everyone is healthy and rested, I would think the Top 5 would be Ramsdale, G.Jesus, Partey, Saliba and Saka although you could also make a case for Odegaard, Zinchenko and Xhaka.


Vieira’s goal was an outrageous piece of skill, to generate that type of power with so little back lift, and without any pace on the ball, requires unbelievable technique.

The technique reminded me of this beauty:

Habesha Gooner

North Banker It was a complete domination. No team apart from City does that to brentford without giving them a sniff. And on Xhaka, no one is married to an agenda Fans will give players their dues if they perform to their best. Xhaka did that today and at the end of the game he had his name sung. And I am one of his harshest critics. He played an amazing game. Pedro I love the art work too. It is nice to see. In another topic, the fact that we were missing 2 players that influenced our midfield performances… Read more »


I didn’t think so at the time but not qualifying for the CL last season was probably the biggest break we could have had. Our team is still developing and this horrendous WC affected fixture pile up is bad news. At least with Europa we will have the chance to play kids in some of the games


Great post, Pedro, what more can I say, nothing to add.

Little mozart

A poster once wondered what our managers (Wenger,Unai and Arteta)saw in Xhaka, that they couldn’t sale or bin him. I think we are starting to see why every manager kinda valued him.


Good shout on Xhaka played very well worthy of the armband. Credit where it’s due xhaka is playing out of his skins.

Love the art work Pedro. Everyone needs change and change is good.


Total control and domination without even really trying too hard. Love it. Signs of a top top side.

Nigel Tufnel

So far, since preseason, we’ve looked the stronger team in every match… even against United. That result is in the past now anyway. I think we deserve this record, all things considered.

Even today could have been more difficult, 2 of our goals just squeezed inside the posts. Expect more ups and downs, twists and turns, for us and our rivals.

I’m just confident that if we play near this level all season, we’ll be right up there at the end.


Xhaka was very good today, long may it continue. At this rate, he might earn himself a 4-year contract at Roma and a decent fee for us next summer.

Saliba is just superb and Gabriel was very good today too. We’ve had a few games games this season where we’re so much better than the opposition that it’s almost a bit boring, and I love it. Every now and then, it’s nice not to feel like I’m about to get a heart attack from watching football.


Nigel writing a post without mentioning me or willock, and making a comment about the game……there’s a first.


Maybe Xhaka’s career has been wasted playing as a holding/defensive midfielder.
Wenger should have trusted his original opinion of Xhaka as a box to box midfielder and played him as such.
All those years of being cast as the villain by the fans, when all along it was just a matter of playing him in his best position.

Not once in the last 6 years have i heard a fan or pundit say he should play further forward..


Arteta, Edu and the players deserve all the credit they’ve been forgetting but don’t forget the love for the Kroenkes who stepped up with serious money especially for the last two summer windows

For a club to succeed, all parts of the machinery, from committed ownership and competent management to hungry, ambitious players and rabid fan base, all need to be working smoothly together. It looks like we’re getting there.


Getting not forgetting!


PedroSeptember 18, 2022 21:10:35
Sal, the weight of an opinion from a man in your line of work is all I need.

Your instincts are gold, don’t need me!!

AFC Forever


Bang on comment. I mentioned previously that when you rebuild like we have, it needs everybody on board. Short term pain for long term gain. None of this knee-jerk hire & fire mentality. The owners deserve huge credit for staying on plan. They’ve trusted football people and their instincts have been excellent.

georgia boy

I’m glad you like the art pete. I’ve certainly seen worse even if it ain’t my style. There’s a sucker born every minute. Stay casual big fella.

Mr Serge

If you can’t look at Xhaka and say man you have been great since you moved to an 8 and eve.n more so this season then you are just a hater, he is converting even me one of the most anti Xhaka people around, today I was thinking damn he is 29 he has only got 3 maybe 4 good seasons left in him,

What’s the matter with me .?

Mr Serge

Pierre agreed we were all like get rid of Xhaka he is holding us back, well he is driving us forward now. He may even get a song soon


Saw the vieira goal this morning. That’s a peach right there He seemed very nonchalant when he hit it. You don’t expect to see that but it made for great viewing. It’s very important to have that kind of long range threat to mix it up with the box play we have. Based on his YouTube highlights that’s something we can expect from him Meanwhile Xhaka has had a very good season so far. Utd aside where he was pretty anonymous he’s been at least good in every other match. A very good assist. Moving him forwards has been a… Read more »

Why I Gunna

The one negative at the moment is that Arteta still doesn’t like to rotate. I understand that you want to make sure the game is dead surely if you’re 3 nil up you can think it before like the 75th min


There’s always that one negative. I envy people who live their lives perfectly


Hmmmm can we not get an impressionistic art view of the Frauleins? Best of both worlds? Anyhow.. what do I know.. I used to enjoy the baby goat pics too.

But todays SuperXhaka art is quality very apropos to the theme.

Only negative right now.. is sitting around for 2 weeks all hyped up with pre NLD energy.. I might have to do a deep dive into some Tai Chi to take the edge off.

Venga, Dani

Just realized: there’s been so much chatter about how easy arsenal’s fixtures have been to diminish the fact that we’re top of the league. Let’s take a look at Tottenham’s opponents and their position in the table:

(H) Southampton. 14th
(A) Chelsea. 7th
(H) Wolves. 17th
(A) Nottingham Forest. 19th
(A) West Ham. 18th
(H) Fulham. 6th
(H) Leicester. 20th

Not a peep about the ease of their fixtures…


The artwork is great

You can take this to the bank!


Xhaka played Odegaards role better than Odegaard.


How are you still doing the same shit on here man?Doesnt it get old? Buy a hearing aid or whatever, u might get laid by someone who actually likes you


Cheer up Zakaria,

Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up….


Just when I was beginning like xhaka, AI fucks it up 😂😂

Nigel Tufnel

I think Pierre was the one who said…

Not a single person suggested moving Xhaka higher in the setup. Never in 6 years.

Galaxy brain always used to hammer Arteta sarcastically. Maybe it’s real!

I hope to see some of his low, hard crosses to terrorize Lloris, Romero, Dier, Sanchez.

Nigel Tufnel

People on Twitter talking about Jesus having 4 yellows in 7 games for us… but last year for city, had 1 in 28 matches.

Bias against Arsenal, probably.

Its possible that Arteta encourages the boys to play more aggressively. Also Jesus trying to be the leader we asked for in signing him, and pushing to be … extra hard.

He knows if we win, he’ll naturally get a lot of credit, so he’s more motivated than he was in the past couple years.

A little of each, but mostly bias I’d say.


Wow – so did nobody notice how good Partey was all game. I see soMe Twitter folks talking up sambi but man that kid isn’t even 20% of what TP does. Superlatives cannot define what he does for our game. Turning on a dime, just impossible to press, defensive positioning outstanding, always looking for the forward pass, always moving after making the pass, just the perfect oil for the Arsenal engine. Wondering how we were so good in buildup without Zinch and Ode. It was TP. Viera was so good. The lad definitely has vision. But he needs to hug… Read more »


Nigel, Wenger thought xhaka was box to box. Before partey came in, we had no one to let xhaka be box to box because we liked to play with 2 deeper CMS/dms. To cover for our lack of quality in the middle. Partey has given him a new lease on life, because we have changed how our midfield operates, which is more on the front foot rather than defensive. (Very much props to Arteta here too, not just partey haha) In saying that. Xhaka box to box last night was great. Finding himself furthest man forward. Getting the ball in… Read more »

Dark Hei

It is a nice feeling. Chillin and Cruisin.

Oh well, not that good for clicks though.

If we lose, this place would be swarming.


I really am loving this squad as a whole. Tets and the boys are really showing that they love the shirt and it just makes you feel proud.

It is only up from here, considering how short a time period this team has been together on top of the ages of some of these players being so young and with only growth ahead of them.

The club is finally back on the right path and it’s great to see.


We know what it’s like when we lose, but at the end of the day we all take our frustrations out in different ways haha.

My only frustration apart from the United game, was that xhaka is captain again.
But I’m eating my hat as we speak because he really is making it very very hard to not see why he is wearing the armband again.

Good on him! Prove me wrong all you like Granit!

Guns of Hackney

“Better than Haaland”

No. Haaland has more goals, only cost £10m more and is 4 years younger.

Jesus is doing great, make no mistake about it, but anyone remember every Brazilian ever? One day, they wake up three stone overweight, fuck transvestites, forget they are footballers and go to a disco. EVERY BRAZILIAN EVER!


Aways were magnificent again! Great to see the fanbase and players bonded. So so different and such an improvement from the later Wenger years


Long may this continue. COYG!

Wicked Willy

Guns Whilst I don’t think anyone disputed Haaland is the better transfer, once you include commissions, Haaland was £40m more than Jesus, and his wages are also £9m per year more. So over a five year period, that’s £85m more cash out of the door. Now you could then argue that Haaland will still have massive resale value whereas Jesus won’t, so again Haaland is better long term. But then again, it’s doubtful we have the cash flow to support that, and our entire wage structure would have been fucked. Jesús also contributed so much more to our overall play… Read more »