Granit Xhaka: Managers Love Him!

Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by Marjorie, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. CaseUteinberger

    CaseUteinberger Cazorla (not Carzola ffs)


    Come on mate! Isn't that a bit much? Just say he is our best midfielder or something less over the top.

    He is a handsome lad I give you that. As a football player you can describe him as much, but elegant wouldn't be on the top of my list...

    PS. Welcome to the tussle. You are fitting right in with the rest of the Xhaka fanatics!
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  2. Manberg

    Manberg Predator

    @AbouCuéllar You’re comparing a number 8 with a number 6. It’s not a comparison.
  3. Furious

    Furious Emery Gone, Telly Back On

    I never disputed that he's a better dribbler, press resistant, etc..

    Again, I ask you why wasn't Ceballos the one making 15/20 long passes against West Ham if he's a better passer(ex. passes over the top in the video posted in the previous page), and better at everything else?
    Football Manager likes this.
  4. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    See edit in the last post.

    Have a look at Rodri's radar. That's what a truly top 6's looks like. Xhaka is mediocre for a top club, even though, of course, Rodri's radar is influenced by his system. Still, a player as limited as Xhaka in terms of press resistance, concentration, and defensive phase, will never be in the bracket that a top club will look for, ie, Rodri's bracket-- that is, it is no accident Xhaka is at an 5th-8th placed club in recent years and Rodri at a 1st-2nd, as someone above has tried to make it out.

    Because it's a sample size of 1 game. Have a look at their stats. Ceballos is a far more progressive passer, slightly less accurate (84.2 to Xhaka's 87.2), and offers up to receive and passes a bit more than Xhaka does (about 3-4 passes/receptions per game).
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  5. Manberg

    Manberg Predator

    @AbouCuéllar You haven’t shown any of Xhaka’s stats. You say he’s not press resistant, what proof do you have of this?
    AbouCuéllar likes this.
  6. Furious

    Furious Emery Gone, Telly Back On

    You've given zero strong information ffs. You've posted a radar of one player, and then an ancient website with a sh!tton of useless information where comparison is literally impossible. What exactly am I supposed to look at?

    At least looking at their passing in that website, medium passes seem similar both in terms amount attempted and percentages. Whereas Xhaka comes out on top in the long passing department by 10%, even by attempting vastly more. What else is relevant?

    Besides the Rodri radar is pretty much useless to look and compare at when he's playing for the most expansive team in the league. Stats are going to heavenly be reflected upon that, especially in terms of progressiveness.
    AbouCuéllar likes this.
  7. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    See my edits lads, I've adjusted my statements after taking a deeper look at the stats--the radars can indeed be misleading.

    Ceballos being more press resistant I think would be self-evident. We've seen Xhaka for long enough now to know that's the case.

    Yeah, sure, we can't get too much from Rodri's radar, except to combine it with his ones from Villarreal and Atlético and see that he is a far superior defensive player than Xhaka, without losing any of the quality of passing. ie a significantly superior 6. For press-resistance all you have to do is watch the two to see the difference. Again, it is not some weird coincidence as you guys are making out that City went for Rodri, whereas no big club will be interested in Xhaka.

    Perhaps Fabinho for Liverpool in 18-19 or 19-20 makes a better comparison?

    Either way, let's be more realistic about our players in comparison to the rest of the world lads, Rodri and Fabinho are simply superior players.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  8. Furious

    Furious Emery Gone, Telly Back On

    So... you've proven absolutely nothing? Gotcha.
    Manberg likes this.
  9. Godwin1

    Godwin1 Very well-known

    It's to protect the spine of the team and it has reduce errors by Xhaka. He's passes per game have significantly dropped under Arteta as have his touches and distance carried has massively dropped. The sideways pass merchant thing is over the top but I think it's clear Arteta has instructed Xhaka to play it safer.
  10. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    Well that^ is what we can say objectively about Ceballos' vs. Xhaka's passing.

    I think we can rather objectively say, if we have a pair of eyes, that Ceballos is more press-resistant.

    We can objectively say that Ceballos' is a better dribbler and ball progressor in every way.

    We can't say FOR ABSOLUTE 100% SURE Ceballos would be better than Xhaka as the 6, but given when they play together they are playing rather similar roles, we can say, maybe, let's say, a very strong certainty--90%-100%--given all the things we can say objectively^ above and things we can see with our eyes.

    Anyways, I wouldn't want Ceballos to take Xhaka's role per se, I'd want him to take most of his functions (receiving from deep in the middle, which he does as well or better than Xhaka already, ball progression from deep, tempo setting--again, all things Ceballos does as well or better), but be paired with a more complete partner in the pivot.

    Basically, Ceballos is the superior player, that much is pretty easy to glean from watching and from the stats. Ceballos and Xhaka play rather similarly--they are both deep lying playmakers. To take Xhaka out and put Ceballos in we'll need a player or players next to him who compensate for the fact he is slightly more risk taking than Xhaka (though perhaps not, given that he shows better defensive qualities), but that's the idea, isn't it?: to upgrade.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  11. Manberg

    Manberg Predator

    They are different types of players and they are playing different roles. Xhaka is a dlp and in recent tactics covers the CB area when needed. He’s not asked to dribble past players he transitions defence into attack, switches the play and finds players in space. Ceballos is a box to box. He will be more involved in the attacking phases. Your claims that Ceballos is a better passer, tackler and has better vision than Xhaka are bogus. So is the claim that Xhaka is not press resistant. There’s little truth to that, if any.
  12. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    C'mon mate, if you can't see that Ceballos is more press resistant I don't know where any reasonable argument can go. Xhaka is one of the less press resistant 6s we know at a top club. We've seen this for years.

    Ceballos, on the other hand, is rather press resistant. You would call it one of his strengths.

    re: ball recoveries and tackling Ceballos averaged 3.67 tackles + interceptions/90 to Xhaka's 1.99. You will say this is down to role, no doubt. Well Fabinho averaged 4.42, Rodri 4.54. Again, Xhaka's game has never been characterised by defensive quality. I don't think I am going out much on a limb to say that Ceballos is a better tackler/ball recoverer/better in the defensive phase, but we can leave that in the 'most likely Ceballos is better, but can't say for absolute certain because their role is not exactly the same' category.

    Anyways, role is defined by both the manager's instructions and the players available, and their strengths. We don't necessarily have to play with a player who plays as limited a role as Xhaka--as shown with Rodri, Ceballos, and Fabinho, there are players that do more. That is why, again, I say, it is about upgrading, and pairing Ceballos with a more rounded player.

    Fred's stats will maybe illuminate this discussion a bit: again, different system, but we'll never have a perfect comparison--

    Far more progressive: 2.0 xG and 2.5 xA to Xhaka's 0.3 and 1.1.

    Nearly as accurate: 85.3 to 87.8%, with more medium and long range passes attempted per game, and more volume in general (71.4 to 65.7)

    Far more defensive contribution: 4.48 tck+int to Xhaka's 1.99

    I refer to my first post in this discussion, I don't see why Arsenal fans feel the need to overrate our own so much. Xhaka is what he is: a decent 6, but with significant weaknesses and not the level needed for a top club, but definitely a decent squad option.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  13. Pop Tart

    Pop Tart Well-Known Member

  14. Manberg

    Manberg Predator

    @AbouCuéllar First of all what are these stats and where are you getting it from?

    Second, you’re still comparing Xhaka with players of other teams that carry out different roles. Xhaka is a DLP not a DM. The comparisons you want to make are with the likes of Jorginho at Chelsea or Henderson at Liverpool. Admittedly, Liverpool just signed Thiago who is world class, but Xhaka is certainly up there with the best DLP’s in the world.
  15. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    Stats from FBref.

    Jorginho is again, SIGNIFICANTLY more passes/volume (84.1), same accuracy (88%), FAR more progressive (3.4 xG, 2.3 xA), and significantly more defensive contribution (4.20 tck + int).

    Xhaka's profile is just not that one of a top 6 or even an especially high level one, all top 6s are either giving a far better defensive contribution, passing better and more progressively (the only DM whose xG buildup is similar to Xhaka's is Fabinho's--all other deep lying playmakers are giving quite a different passing contribution--and his defensive contribution is double), or in the case of Jorginho, Fred, and Rodri, both.

    The bolded just isn't a true statement and are the kinds of statements that make us look ignorant and without perspective as a group of fans. Similar to when I had to read through pages and pages of dross about Emery being a quality manager when we hired him and in the first months of his reign.

    You would think we've seen enough of Xhaka to say that he is not strong defensively, that he is not press resistant, and that his passing isn't particularly incisive, as Arsenal fans. I'm surprised I have to back up these statements with stats. I don't see where the need to make him into something he's not comes from, especially coming off an 8th placed season.

    And that is coming from someone who likes him and who, if I were on this forum in the winter and spring, would've reminded people that he needed to be in the team, that he was our only good passer from deep, and that he is a superior player to Torreia.

    Again, I refer to my first post in this discussion, he is what he is, what need to make him into something he's not?

    For what it's worth, Xhaka's stats are obviously a product of his environment (as our Ceballos'--which is why their comparison is really the most interesting, and why, the fact that Ceballos' are better almost everywhere is telling us more than just role)-- both Xhaka and Ceballos' are suppressed by the fact that we played much like a mid to low table team last season, and that 8th place was actually a rather high finish for our performance level. Xhaka's in 17-18 and 18-19 are more indicative of what he looks like in a top 6 side, but those seasons we all agreed that he was a highly upgradeable player, no? And the stats bear that out: those seasons he is neither defending nor attacking at an extremely prodigious rate. He is, in short, squad player level for a top 4 club, starter level for a 10-5 club perhaps.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  16. Manberg

    Manberg Predator

    A similar passing accuracy is all I needed to know. The rest is incomparable due to different systems and setups. Jorginho has Kante to do the running for him. Since Xhaka has been at Arsenal he’s never had the athletic DM that all DLP’s need leaving him with too much to do (even the likes of Pirlo would be heavily exposed without one). If Partey is placed next to Xhaka you will see a lot more from Xhaka’s contributions.

    By the way, a telling stat is that Jorginho gets dispossessed twice as much as Xhaka, debunking your “poor under pressure” theory.

    Also, I got to laugh at your attempt to deceive us with misleading statistics, using expected goals and assists as an argument, knowing full well that Jorginho takes penalties.

    2019-2020 non penalty expected goals and assists per 90 minutes:
    Jorginho: 0.13
    Xhaka: 0.32

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  17. CaseUteinberger

    CaseUteinberger Cazorla (not Carzola ffs)

    :rofl: This thread is gold. Where Xhaka turns into a press resistant world class midfielder... God I wish any of this could translate into reality and on to the field! So long mid-table Arsenal, CL here we come!
  18. CaseUteinberger

    CaseUteinberger Cazorla (not Carzola ffs)

    I am giving you A+ for effort! Good luck trying to convince the die hards that Xhaka isn't much, much better than you see every week with your own eyes. They will gaslight anyone in a way that would make Trump blush!
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  19. Manberg

    Manberg Predator

    Effort? More like deception. Essentially using penalties as a metric to say that Jorginho is more progressive than Xhaka :lol:
    And he says that Xhaka is weak under pressure when dispossession stats say otherwise (which he failed to mention). It’s a 0/10.
  20. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    According to BBref, it's:

    xA: 1.1 Xhaka, 2.3 Jorginho (0.04/90 to 0.09/90)

    Dunno where you get those statistics from. I hadn't even thought about the penalty thing tbh, I have no stake in this argument nor interest to deceive. All the stats are there to be seen, and paint a clear picture, along with what common sense tells us from watching this player for many years.

    You should adjust dispossessed to volume (Jorginho significantly more volume of touches, and passes than Xhaka), dribbling (and carries--Jorginho is carrying much more than Xhaka), and probably progressiveness of passing (more progressive passers like Ceballos are naturally going to be dispossessed a bit more often, as they're not playing the safe route the majority of the time like Xhaka, they're looking to progress and be incisive).

    Anyways, yeah, I give up, you can think Xhaka profiles as an elite DLP or he is somehow better than Ceballos, but neither assertion matches up with any kind of objective reality.

    Deception is what you're doing to yourself, mate. You are wilfully ignoring evidence (@Big Weng 4 LYF bby can post a radar from last season I think, including more interesting passing stats like xG chain/buildup, progressiveness of passing, etc., to show how uninspiring Xhaka's passing is in comparison to top DLPs), saying things that make no sense like passing % is all you need to see, which is a ridiculous statement if you think about it given how incredibly limited that one stat is (you can make all kinds of ridiculous statements about who the best passers are if you only look at that), that Xhaka is press-resistant, etc, or thinking that Xhaka is somehow in the same league as the top DMs and just isn't regarded that way because he doesn't happen to play for City...these are statements that are just so clearly deluded that you should have a look and not wilfully deceive yourself! And I don't mean that condescendingly, we've all done it with players we love at some point in our lives, and we're all on the same team here: love Arsenal.

    --Since we don't have those stats I mentioned at hand right now, compare Xhaka's goal and shot creation statistics (along with his passing and xA) to get a better idea. In the end the story is like I tell you: Xhaka is neither an especially interesting passer, nor is his defensive contribution extremely strong or efficient. He's, I repeat, a good player for a 10-5 squad, a squad player for a 4-1, but not at all what you lot are strangely trying to make him out to be.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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