Is Xhaka even a guaranteed starter?

Bouncing off the back of an excellent 2:1 victory against Burnley, Dani Ceballos is naturally getting the plaudits after a star-studded home debut but it was the performances of Willock and Guendouzi that again provided the platform for our performance.

I feel like I am going to write similar articles all season, but was pleasantly surprised how well Matteo and Joe performed in a combative game against Burnley. Burnley as side who pride themselves on their workrate, shape, pressing and physical challenges found it difficult to get much change out o the two young lads today.

Should Xhaka be worried?

Both 20 years old, they set a platform for Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nelson to play off. The midfield of Cork and Westwood barely got a sniff, with all of Burnleys best chances being from crosses from deep, bypassing the midfield entirely.

Willock in particular is giving Unai a wonderful decision to make. His performances so far are keeping Torreira out of the team. Guendouzi could be considered further along in his career than Willock, given the amount of first team football he had last season, but he isn’t overshadowing Willock in any way.

When Torreira is fully fit he’s going to push Willock and Guendouzi for a spot in the midfield. Let’s not forget Xhaka of course who had a minor knock today and will be fit for next week.

Will Unai give the boys a chance at Anfield? I can’t say, but certainly they’ve put their case to him in an extremely, strong positive manner. It will depend how Unai sees it, will he go toe-to-toe with Liverpool and go at them, or will he play it safe? We saw him return to a 3-5-2/5-3-2 against Burnley to see the game out and I worry that we might see that again next week. If so, we will get battered at Anfield.

More on that to come in the next few days.

Til then, keep it Goonerish.


2 thoughts on “Is Xhaka even a guaranteed starter?”

  1. Torreira (and Aubang) would be my first on the team list – NOT Xhaka. Meanwhile Emery is picking 2 or 3 youngsters who are very promising. They can only improve by playing but they are not our best as yet.

    1. Agreed. I absolutely love Torreira, can’t wait for him to be match fit. He’s such a tyro in midfield. He needs mobile players around him though like Guendouzi and Ceballos.


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