Arsenal’s official web site released their Big Interview of Granit Xhaka today and Gooners hope it foreshadows his inclusion in the starting lineup against Hull this weekend.
The article released today is the third “Big Interview” Xhaka has done for the club. The first was a video interview on May 25th just days after signing for Arsenal. The second was released on July 25th, while Arsenal were in irons over the summer signings. And now a third interview has been released today, September 15th, after Arsenal have struggled with their midfield play in four of their first five contests.
The interviews are all very similar and portray a player who works hard and is driven to success. What makes him successful is the fact that he is self reflective, seeing his mistakes and correcting them.
He is also a family man who sees Arsenal as a family club. He is married and likes to stay home with his wife so the fact that Arsenal is like a big family was a key factor in his signing.
For some Arsenal fans there will be much mirth at the fact that Xhaka once again used the “house key” analogy to describe his leadership qualities. Apparently, when he was a child his parents trusted him with the house key despite the fact that he has an older brother. This must have been a formative experience for young Granit because he mentions it in almost every interview and I am left wondering if he likes to remind his family about the “house key thing” at every gathering.
Arsenal have struggled in midfield without Xhaka and most fans are perplexed as to why he can’t get a start. Coquelin has been favored instead which should mean that Arsenal are set up to play more defensively but adding to fan confusion is the fact that Arsene Wenger is starting Coquelin in Cazorla’s position between the lines and pushing Cazorla back in the Arsenal midfield. As Anam pointed out in his column for Arseblog, this set up is strange since Xhaka is a more natural fit for the deep lying playmaker position and Cazorla the more natural fit for the squirrely line-breaker.
Ultimately, all of these off field interviews don’t matter. Arsenal fans are eager to see him conduct an on-field interview with a starting place in this weekend’s team as Arsenal face a Hull side who have been playing very well to start the season. Enough with the off-field prep, time to get Xhaka where he belongs; on the pitch.