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October 2016
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Okay, okay, you’ve waited long enough… we can confirm Granit Xhaka is an Arsenal player!

By Walter Broeckx

I think the people who do the website and certainly those who run the facebook page have a good sense of humour.  I couldn’t help but grin when I read the words on the Arsenal facebook page that accompanied the news that Swiss international Granit Xhaka has signed for Arsenal.

As I am a very patient man I never really worry about when a signing will be announced officially on the Arsenal website. If not today, the tomorrow is another day and is fine for me.

That he was going to sign was the worst kept secret of course. With his brother (as far as I have heard) putting pictures from behind the scenes of the official photo shoot on line and flooding the whole internet with our man from Granite.

In Dutch and in English the name Granit is pronounced almost in the same way. And it also is just short of one “e” to make it granite or Graniet (dutch). Granite is an igneous rock (I had to look that up I do admit as it is not in my every day vocabulary) and is known for being a hard type of rock. Remember this.

Granite came from cooling and solidification of magma or lava. So it comes from a volcano. As we know volcanos are usually rather hot or at least the magma or lava that comes out of it. Remember this too.

So have we bought ourselves a rock hard hot man? Let us look at some of his stats.

He is 23 years young. He is 1.85 meter tall and his weight is 82 kg. If that is in the morning or the evening is not known.

So far he has made 150 appearances in either the Swiss league or in the Bundesliga. And that is not bad for a young man.

He first came in the first team at Basel in the season 2010/2011. And after 2 seasons he went to Borussia M’Gladbach. (that is short for… well you know). In those 150 matches he only scored 7 goals but that is not really his main task on the field.

What I find interesting is his disciplinary record.

In 150 matches he managed to get 40 yellow cards, 4 times he got double yellow cards and was removed from the field and one time he got a straight red.

So he seems to be a bit of a hard man and a bit (hot?) tempered. Now what I find interesting is that when a certain German defender came to Arsenal he was known for being the cleanest defender in probably the world. Yes I talk about Per Mertesacker.

The man who in 7 seasons in the Bundesliga managed to get only 8 yellow cards that is around 2 card each season on average. This same player in England managed to get 11 yellow cards in 5 seasons. That is on average twice as much. And was given a red card twice in that period also.

So I really do wonder how many yellow and red cards our granite man will face before he will settle with the English refereeing system. I can imagine the media bringing up all kinds of numbers to prove what a dirty team Arsenal is under Wenger.

If Xhaka faces the same fate as Per he will end up with something between 15-20 yellow cards and will be red carded at least twice.

Now of course it might be that German referees are giving more cards (I think they do in fact) and English referees are averse of giving them. Apart from when the player is wearing an Arsenal shirt that is. Then he gets booked for almost nothing.

So how will they treat Xhaka? On the standards of Chelsea-Tottenham or on the Arsenal measuring stick? We will soon find out once the league has started I guess.

So his stats seem to indicate he is a bit of a hot and hard fighter on the pitch. As someone pointed out to me (thank you Josif) a bit in the mould of Emmanuel Petit maybe? Same height, loving to play a long ball, hard battler, but also a stylish footballer with the ball at his feet. Oh weren’t those the days the media came up with the 50th Arsenal player being red carded and how awful that was? It was Wenger’s fault of course.

Anyway this Swiss player from Albanian parents will become an Arsenal player starting from July 1. I must say that because of this I might force myself to see a few matches of the European mess up the players tournament that takes place in a few weeks in France.

I admit I have never really seen him play before or had an eye on him. But people who have seen him say he is a player who covers a lot of ground, has good technical skills, an eye and a good execution for the long ball and scores a few goals each season in the last years.

So for me I give a warm welcome to Granit Xhaka, our man from granite.

And I hope we can sing his name Boom – Xhaka – laka as in the song. But then again I always said they should sing Özil’s name with the Brazilian song but I am probably the only one who wants a real cracker that is immediately recognisable song for him. Like the Santi and Giroud songs. You hear it starting and the whole stadium can fill in immediately.

Anyway, big welcome Granit and may you hit the ground running and prove to be a great player for The Arsenal.

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26 comments to Okay, okay, you’ve waited long enough… we can confirm Granit Xhaka is an Arsenal player!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Got to get back to school as Per only got on average 1 (one) yellow card per season in the Bundesliga….

  • Hisham

    Thank you Walter for a quick report on our newest player.

    Yes, welcome on board The Arsenal, Granit. I like Walter’s assessment of him and may he be the bedrock of the Arsenal spine, gushing with bravado and spewing the heat on our competitors!

  • yj

    Welcome Xhaka!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Welcome Granit…officially this time.

    But, he needs to learn a thing or two, below from his interview on the official site

    “Is the Premier League similar to the Bundesliga in many ways?

    I don’t think it’s the same. In Germany you can play aggressively but the referee will always blow his whistle, but in England that’s not the case. That’s better for me”

    What Granit says above may well apply to certain Spurs, Chelsea or Leicester players, but it is different for Arsenal players.The ref will blow his whistle, and often produce a card on their first tackle. Wenger, Coq, or someone needs to sit him down and explain this!

  • para

    Mandy Dodd


    Welcome the (Arsenal) Rock.

  • Gouresh

    I read a comment which I found quite funny! “Wenger!! He is a lion, please don’t turn him into a pussy!”

  • esxste

    Just me giggling at “Rock hard hot man”?

    A very warm welcome to Granit 🙂

    Now, how do we prounounce his surname?

  • WalterBroeckx

    esxste, a bit naughty maybe 😉 LOL
    we got to ask his girlfriend/wife 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    anyway he already speaks decent English, decent enough to get him integrated from the first minute

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOO ! And welcome , Granit Xhaka to the greatest team in the world ! Hope you play your rocks off for us !
    Opsss ..I think it should be socks !
    Up the Gunners !

  • Jerry

    Welcome to the club Granit! Look forward to seeing him on the pitch!

    Don’t think anyone can say that we have a soft center next year! In the middle is a Granit, Coq, Elneny, and Cazorla! Not to forget a certain Jack returning also!

    That’s going to be a welcome selection headache for the Boss!

  • Gouresh

    Lets all call him Granite the stone man!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Well, the signing of Xhaka by Arsenal has officially come to fruition with the announcement of the done deal on

    However, going by the trend in the last 3 summer signings of top quality players by Arsenal, one may be tempted to ask, if Granit Xhaka will be the only top quality signing by Arsenal in this current summer window?

    Arsenal are yet to fill a forward-line gap which has become vacant as a result of a 9 month projected injury suffered by Danny Welbeck. And a big opinion by the Gooners has gone out that, Arsenal will need an audacious striker who will regularly be converting Ozil’s assists to goals for Arsenal unlike Giroud who used to have an annual goals scoring dry spells at the critical period of the title race. Thereby causing Arsenal to stuttered in the title race for the past 3 seasons.

    There has also been a glamour by the Gooners to sign a top top new CHB for the backbone of the Arsenal’s defense-line to stop the leakage which led in so many goals from that position last season. While the call to Arsenal to also sign a top quality LHB is my own personal opinion. I don’t think Arsenal need to sign another midfielder again. Save if they will sign the big Paul Pogba. But I wouldn’t know the financial capacity of Arsenal to sign new players this summer.

  • Damilare

    Welcome Granit(e) Xhaka.

    As Mandy rightly noted, let the club sit him down and let him know that there is one rule for Arsenal and another for the rest.

    In a match or two he would surely know.

    Welcome once again our ‘Rock Hard Hot Man from Volcano!

    Come to think of it, where are the ‘real’ fans? Won’t they welcome our newest player? Oh I see, he didn’t cost a zillion pounds.


  • Notoverthehill

    Brickfield’s territory?

    From the first laws of the FA:

    10 – Neither tripping nor hacking shall be allowed, and no player shall use his hands to hold or push his adversary.


    1 – The maximum length of the ground shall be 200 yards, the maximum breadth shall be 100 yards, the length and breadth shall be marked off with flags; and the goal shall be defined by two upright posts, eight yards apart, without any tape or bar across them.

    Welcome to the Xhaka.

  • Andy Mack

    The amended 2005 FA laws changed it to ;
    10 – Neither tripping nor hacking shall be allowed, and no player shall use his hands to hold or push his adversary (except when fouling an Arsenal player).

  • porter

    Undisclosed fee from The Arsenal but 49 million euros from Euro news TV. Anyway not an inconsiderable amount but one that eats into whatever sum the club has put aside for this year. Hopefully it leaves a bit for another signing to supplement what if fit is a reasonable looking squad.

  • omgarsenal

    Welcome Granit…..i believe he brings the following to the Arsenal:

    1)More experienced youthfulness,he was captain of Borussia M.

    2)He looks fit and tough,and is only 23,

    3)He’ll be the object of tremendous hacking and injury attempts (and that is just the officials) so hope he can avoid serious injury,

    4)The PIGMOB will do their best to welcome him with upraised arm and yellow or red greeting cards.

    5)he seems to understand leadership and seems passionate, just what we need in midfield!

    Great transfer once again Arsene…..oh how the aaa will cry in their burrows!!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Arsène doesn’t want to spend the money they said….

  • asmart

    Nice article there on our newest addition, welcome to the biggest club in d world granit(e){it is an intrusive igneous rock, it cooling and solidification is carried out underneath the earth surface and they are only exposed after a prolonged period of erosion } xhaka.
    Wishing him a wonderful and successful career at arsenal football club.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Principles Of Peace Of Mind

    Do Not Interfere In another’s Business Unless Asked

    Forgive & Forget

    Do Not Crave Recognition

    Do Not Succumb To Envy And Jealousy

    Change Yourself According To The Environment

    Endure What Cannot Be Cured

    Do Not Bite More Than You Can Chew

    Meditate Regularly

    Never Leave The Mind Vacant

    Do Not Procrastinate & Never Regret

  • Arthur

    I was hoping he would join Liverpool – they would then have Xhaka Can in midfield

  • Josif

    Welcome Granit Xhaka! 🙂

    His last name is pronounced “Džaka” (like Džeko) as in the Albanian language “xh” is pronounced as “dž”.

  • Yellow Canary

    Very pleased we have a new addition to the squad and very pleased Josif has told me how to pronounce his name. Hope he has a brilliant season (not Josif, Xhaka !)

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Josif. Now we Untolders can go in the streets and pubs and pronounce his name like it should be. 😉
    I do admit that people who don’t know this pronounce it like Ksaka more or less. But I will no longer make that mistake.