Andy Townsend has told Sky Sports’ The Debate podcast (November 27) that Arsenal are “all over the place” at the back, but has backed the return of Granit Xhaka and hopes him coming back will “drag a performance out of him”
Arsenal have failed to win in their last six league and cup outings, and last won in the Premier League on October 6 with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth. Unai Emery is under huge pressure and will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Thursday night.
The Gunners come into the Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt after saving a point at home to Southampton thanks to an injury-time equaliser from Alexandre Lacazette. Meanwhile, Xhaka has not played since the Crystal Palace clash.
He has since been stripped of the captaincy and left to rot on the sidelines. But Emery confirmed that the midfielder could make his first return to the side since the incident, and Townsend gave his verdict on that.
“I have no problem with him coming back, and it might drag a performance out of him,” Townsend said. “He has been too ordinary, for too long. Arsenal aren’t having a good time of it. They have a great forward line, but behind it, all over the place.”
TBR’s view – Should Xhaka ever play for Arsenal again?
It looks more than likely that Xhaka will feature against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night, but should he? The way he reacted, as an Arsenal captain, was appalling.
Yes, he received some awful things on social media but so does every player – unfortunately that has become part and parcel with earning enormous amounts of money as a professional, top-tier footballer.
Twinning his awful reaction with some increasingly below-par performances – the reason for the substitution in the first place – means he should never be playing for the Gunners again. Perhaps he will be limited to just cup competitions.