Granit Xhaka’s team talk before Arsenal’s 2-0 derby win over Spurs has gone viral, with the Swiss skipper’s leadership skills clear to see.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in 2019 for angrily responding to being booed by his own supporters in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
Under Mikel Arteta he’s been completely reborn and his relationship with the Arsenal supporters is the strongest it has ever been.
While previously he let the team down by getting sent off, he’s been incredibly disciplined in recent times and grown into a key player in Arsenal’s title charge.
And on Sunday, footage of Xhaka motivating his teammates prior to a crunch clash with rivals Spurs went down a treat with Gunners fans.
The team were stretching off in a circle on the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the clip, filmed by TV presenter Alison Bender and with millions of views on social media, shows Xhaka reminding his colleagues of the standards they must meet.
You can’t hear exactly what instructions are being provided by Xhaka but he’s extremely intense and animated, using his hands with plenty of gesticulation.
Martin Odegaard is Arsenal’s captain and has been in sensational form this term, but his style is more about leading by example.
Image: AlamyThe above video highlights the important role Xhaka has and Arsenal fans very much enjoyed what they saw.
One said: “How Xhaka turned his career around is admirable.”
A second commented: “Has anyone ever had a greater remontada in football than Granit Xhaka? He went from THE most hated player to the most respected in the entire squad.”
A third added: “Even through his hardest Arsenal moments, he’s stood strong & been a leader. His presence in & around the club is so important.”
A fourth stated: “If* we win the league, I would love it to be him and Odegaard lifting the trophy together. The ultimate zero to hero story in football that I doubt could be topped.”
A fifth opined: “I know Odegaard is captain but in reality it’s Xhaka and it’s always been Xhaka. Wenger found him, Arteta unlocked him. I’ve always loved him, what a guy.”
Image: AlamyArsenal moved eight points clear at the top of the table with a 2-0 win achieved through a Hugo Lloris own goal and a fine strike from Odegaard.
Arsenal’s stars eventually went over to their own fans and passionately celebrated.