Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career is the perfect script for a Hollywood blockbuster
Granit Xhaka’s incredible comeback at Arsenal by Dan Smith
If this were a movie it would start with Granit Xhaka scoring our third goal on Sunday, celebrating with the gesture he promised his daughter. It seems a happy enough moment, a player with his highest goal tally ever in a campaign, his club top of the League, with the crowd chanting his name – and in that stadium his baby girl whom he promised he would acknowledge if he got on the scoresheet.
In reality, the context is darker.
This is the same child who some ‘fans’ wished got cancer. Oh and a desire for his wife to die.
What did Granit Xhaka ever do wrong to warrant these threats? He was judged at not being good at his job.
Our film could flashback to when the midfielder faced the same opposition in the same venue back in 2019 when he was subbed off with the score lines at 2-2.
His response to some jeers from the stands was to cup his ears, encourage the chanting before eventually throwing down the captain’s armband.
When he resisted Unai Emery’s suggestion that he publicly apologise, many assumed he would never play for Arsenal again.
Next scene the 30 year old made it clear to Arteta that he was prepared to leave. I always admired him for being willing to die on his sword. He has his moral compass and he wasn’t going to sacrifice his principles no matter the consequences.
His family was more important than sport, and he wasn’t going to have them abused based on something so trivial.
I can tell you for a fact some of the same readers who preach to me about negativity have constantly been negative towards the Swiss captain (including this campaign).
Despite three Gunners managers tactically trusting Xhaka ,he’s often been a scapegoat among our fanbase, just like Giroud, Mustafi, Bellerin, etc.
The difference with Xhaka and his peers is he was willing to stand up those cowards, making it clear the level of abuse he was experiencing and turning the attention back onto ‘supporters’.
He put pressure on fan channels who built their views on who can shout the loudest and how many swear words they can use.
Still some Gooners struggle to admit some of their peers were wrong and crossed that line.
Ending of the movie?
Granit Xhaka lifting the Premier League trophy.
He will do it having won his critics over and proven his doubters wrong.
He did it by not adhering to pressure and staying true to his convictions.
Where others may of said sorry because it was the easy solution, his education told him to only say those words if he meant it.
He’s 10 games away from immortality, from becoming a legend, from being remembered for ever.
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