Date: 5th December 2020 at 9:00am
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Arsenal legend Ian Wright has claimed that Granit Xhaka’s passing statistics almost made him cry.

The Gunners have been on a poor run of form lately in the Premier League, winning just one of their last four outings.

Appearing on The Kelly and Wrighty Show, the former Highbury man has claimed that the team as a whole are far too negative in their movement of the ball.

Wright said: “If you have midfielders who are not willing to put the ball in there, and they want to get these stats where they’re passing it sideways and they have 99 per cent pass accuracy, passing it five yards to the side or back, you’re not going to create anything.”

“I think one of the stats the other day was the most interaction between two Arsenal players was Xhaka back to Gabriel. It nearly made me burst into tears.” (via The Kelly and Wrighty Show)

Should Maitland-Niles start in central midfield more often?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Going from the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to Granit Xhaka should be enough to make any Arsenal fan cry. The Swiss midfielder hasn’t shown any of the form he displayed towards the end of last season which made him a stalwart alongside Dani Ceballos.

As mentioned by Wright, the midfielder was far, far too negative in the Wolves clash, passing sideways and backwards as opposed to forwards. However, you could make a case for the 28-year-old by saying there was also a lack of movement from some players in the forward line.

But, that doesn’t explain why the £25.2m-rated midfielder insists on passing backwards and sideways. especially with his fellow midfielder Dani Ceballos willing to receive the ball and advance.

Ever since the ace joined the club, they’ve been stuck in the Europa League, coincidence? I don’t think so to be honest. I don’t think Xhaka is the player to take the club forward if they want to reach their goals. As well as passing he has a lack of pace and dynamism which was evident against the Wolves trio Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and Adama Traore.