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 23 50 62
2 Manchester United FC 23 32 50
3 Liverpool FC 23 26 47
4 Chelsea FC 23 25 47
5 Tottenham Hotspur FC 23 25 44
6 Arsenal FC 23 11 39
7 Burnley FC 23 -1 34
8 Leicester City FC 23 2 31
9 Everton FC 23 -13 27
10 Watford FC 23 -9 26
11 West Ham United FC 23 -12 25
12 Crystal Palace FC 23 -12 25
13 AFC Bournemouth 23 -11 24
14 Huddersfield Town 23 -20 24
15 Newcastle United FC 23 -10 23
16 Brighton & Hove Albion 23 -12 23
17 Southampton FC 23 -11 21
18 Stoke City FC 23 -27 20
19 West Bromwich Albion FC 23 -12 19
20 Swansea City FC 23 -21 17