Date: 12th January 2019 at 2:21pm
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OPINION

This was not a match Granit Xhaka will recall fondly. Arsenal slumped to a 1-0 defeat against West Ham at the London Stadium and he was substituted after 59 minutes following a dreadful defensive header in the build-up to the only goal of the game from Declan Rice. The Switzerland international has remained a mainstay of the team under Unai Emery, starting 21 of the 22 league matches this season. He was surprisingly partnered by Matteo Guendouzi rather than Lucas Torreira in central midfield against the Hammers, but it felt like Emery’s patience was wearing thin when he took off the left footed man in the second period. Xhaka is a fine footballer with many qualities, especially his composure on the ball and wide passing range, but his propensity for brainfart moments is as bewildering as it is frustrating. Aged 26, he should have eradicated that from his game by now. If he doesn’t, it’s hard to see him ever becoming the player Arsenal hoped he would when signing in the summer of 2016.

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