Arsenal fans have grown tired of Granit Xhaka because of his constant mistakes that he has been doing for the last three years. The Swiss international made an unforgivable mistake in the North London Derby a week ago and this has seen him receive a lot of criticism from gooners with most claiming that they want Unai Emery to never start him again.
So let’s take a look at how Unai Emery’s Arsenal can be set up without Granit Xhaka using the 4-3-3 formation that was used last weekend in the North London Derby and with the thought that everyone is fit to play.
FIRST POSSIBLE ARSENAL STARTING ELEVEN
Text lineup: Leno, Tierney, Luiz, Sokratis, Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe
So this lineup would basically see Lucas Torreira take up Granit Xhaka role of being the deep lying play maker but I personally believe that it would cause a lot of problems for Arsenal as the Uruguayan international isn’t a great passer and having him in this position requires him to link attack and defence.
Arsenal fans would however be happy that Torreira is mainly in their own half so since he is a great tackler and has incredible speed, then he would stop some counter attacks but the problem would be the distribution of the ball. Despite Granit Xhaka’s flaws, he is Arsenal’s best passer of the ball and statistics can prove it and he might not be as good as Torreira defensively but he is better at that than the Uruguayan international. Guendouzi and Ceballos would mainly be in the opposition half since Arsenal plays a high line but their pressing isn’t as good as that of Torreira so the gooners would only win the ball a few times in the opposition half.
Another reason why Granit Xhaka always starts for both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery is because his great in the air and since the gunners currently have a youthful midfield, then the Swiss international is usually favoured. In the above lineup, Arsenal would lose many aerial duels because of Lucas Torreira’s height.
SECOND POSSIBLE ARSENAL STARTING ELEVEN
Text lineup: Leno, Tierney, Luiz, Sokratis, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe
Matteo Guendouzi is the only central midfielder that Arsenal has that has shown that he can try to add what Granit Xhaka brings into the Arsenal side and it looks like he is trying to get into the role this season as seen in the matches against Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur. He ran the midfield in these two matches and is capable of playing this deep lying play maker role as seen in the North London and if he has the energetic Joe Willock and creative Dani Ceballos then this would benefit Unai Emery’s side.
Joe Willock has shown signs of turning into a top player in the pre-season and in the first two matches of the season, he can do the dirty work and can as well as drive the ball forward which would be helpful in the 4-3-3 formation that Unai Emery wants to implement this season. In this lineup, Dani Ceballos would add creativity in the Arsenal midfield since the gunners missed a creative player to connect the attacking three in the North London Derby.
We didn’t include Mesut Ozil in these lineups because he can’t play in a midfield three and why Torreira isn’t in the position of Willock in the second lineup is because he’s better in a double pivot but here, we were focussing on the 4-3-3 formation.