Granit Xhaka says the team can finally focus on football, after all the speculation in recent months, but was that really the problem for the Gunners?
After Arsenal’s 5-1 win over Everton, reporters asked Xhaka if the new signings had given the team a lift.
The Swiss midfielder responded: “Of course it has. We know with Auba, Micki and Mesut that we have three great players in the team.
“Everything’s gone quiet now so we can focus. We are happy that Mesut’s staying here and we’ve got two great players who have come in.”
It’s hard to deny that the speculation over the last year or so has been distracting.
Arguably the three most important people at the club were Arsene Wenger, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez. The fact that all three had uncertainty surrounding their futures had to have an impact on the team.
Now, the club have lifted that weight of uncertainty.
Mesut Özil and Arsene Wenger have signed new deals, and Alexis Sanchez left for Manchester United.
Better yet, Arsenal answered the question of how they would resolve Sanchez’s departure. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined to bring back the goals and creativity.
Still, these are professional footballers.
Although I understand that speculation is distracting, it shouldn’t have as much of an effect as it clearly has.
Once the players are out on the pitch, it doesn’t matter who might move on, it just matters who is out there with you now.
If Arsenal go on a run now, maybe it shows that the contract situation was a major factor in their problems.
It also proves they’re very easily distracted though.