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

“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 30 65 81
2 Manchester United FC 30 35 65
3 Liverpool FC 31 39 63
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 30 34 61
5 Chelsea FC 30 25 56
6 Arsenal FC 30 14 48
7 Burnley FC 30 1 43
8 Leicester City FC 30 2 40
9 Everton FC 31 -13 40
10 AFC Bournemouth 31 -12 36
11 Watford FC 31 -16 36
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 30 -12 34
13 Newcastle United FC 30 -10 32
14 Swansea City FC 30 -17 31
15 Huddersfield Town 31 -27 31
16 Crystal Palace FC 31 -18 30
17 West Ham United FC 30 -21 30
18 Southampton FC 30 -15 28
19 Stoke City FC 31 -29 27
20 West Bromwich Albion FC 31 -25 20