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Can you spot the magic of Xhaka?

OPINION: Granit Xhaka fans – including Arsene Wenger and now Unai Emery – will tell you the midfielder does things that ordinary fans just can’t see

22 August, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka

IN the 1990s, publishers made a mint convincing millions of people that they should buy a book of scribbles which, if they stared at for long enough, a 3D image would pop out of the page.

Most of us tried the Magic Eye and did not find it magic at all. People bored on about the elephants and dragons they could see, but look and look again, and still I couldn’t see the fuss. Thankfully, the craze did not last too long and the world moved on to the internet.

To be fair, I feel the same about most art galleries: some expert will say you are gazing at a modern masterpiece but, really, has it even been hung the right way around?

The same applies to this Game Of Thrones that you all seem to love so much – no matter how many episodes you watch, it never justifies how much drooling we have to endure over it.

The same applies to the city of Manchester (it’s soooo great there), your tattoo, sushi, Stranger Things and Granit Xhaka: all things that people say are brilliant but nobody seems to be able to explain why.

The Xhakaistas will tell you he does things that ordinary fans just can’t see.

And Arsene Wenger and now Unai Emery seem to have both stared at a Magic Eye picture of Xhaka and told themselves they can see a Premier League-winning midfielder. Keep looking. Keep looking. It will come to you.

The trouble is, it doesn’t. And on Saturday, Arsenal got on just fine with Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi.

Ceballos, in particular, was more impressive in one home match than Xhaka hasn’t been for several seasons of unfulfilled promises.

Now think of your best Arsenal XI and does Xhaka really fit into it?

If he does, you see the world differently to the rest of us. You are one of the ones who bought a Magic Eye book in 1996.


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