Clarke: Xhaka was ‘proactive and brave’ against Crystal Palace

      

Clarke: Xhaka was ‘proactive and brave’ against Crystal Palace

Picture: Roscoe Myrick

Arsenal football analyst Adrian Clarke has picked out Granit Xhaka as Arsenal’s best player in the Gunners’ hugely disappointing Premier League loss to Crystal Palace.

Palace won 3-0 courtesy of goals by Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic – a result which put a dent on Arsenal’s aspirations for a top four spot this year. But Clarke believes that, despite the disappointment, there were some positives to be drawn from the game for the Gunners.

“No one covered themselves with glory in this defeat, but picking out the Arsenal man that made the most positive contributions was actually pretty easy – it was Granit Xhaka.” Clarke told arsenal.com.

“Xhaka has the ability to put just the right amount of weight in his passes into forward areas. It was a just a pity he wasn’t able to repeat [his long-ball pass] incision and accuracy more often at Selhurst.

“On a night we saw too many sideways passes, I enjoyed Xhaka’s willingness to try and feed vertical passes into the box. He was proactive and brave on the ball.

“Despite the frustration, I never saw the midfielder shy away from his responsibilities either. He would be gutted at the result, but Xhaka played OK.”

Xhaka has sailed through some rough water in his first season at Arsenal, having been dismissed on two occasions for reckless challenges. The Swiss was also involved in a couple of off the pitch controversies which hardly helped to ease his adaptation at the Emirates.

Arsenal are now set to travel to Middlesbrough on Monday in a last-ditch attempt to keep their top four chances alive.

 

 

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Premier League 2017/18

# Team P GD Pts
1 Manchester City FC 38 79 100
2 Manchester United FC 38 40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur FC 38 38 77
4 Liverpool FC 38 46 75
5 Chelsea FC 38 24 70
6 Arsenal FC 38 23 63
7 Burnley FC 38 -3 54
8 Everton FC 38 -14 49
9 Leicester City FC 38 -4 47
10 Newcastle United FC 38 -8 44
11 Crystal Palace FC 38 -10 44
12 AFC Bournemouth 38 -16 44
13 West Ham United FC 38 -20 42
14 Watford FC 38 -20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 -30 37
17 Southampton FC 38 -19 36
18 Swansea City FC 38 -28 33
19 Stoke City FC 38 -33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion FC 38 -25 31