Nobody was impressed by Xhaka’s defensive effort in stoppage time but the people of Reddit spotted him doing something that has incensed them even more.
The Swiss midfielder stood on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area in the 93rd minute of the game as Watford pushed for a winner.
This position wouldn’t have been a problem had the threat been coming from the front of the penalty area. Unfortunately, it was coming from the side, and Watford had a player in the box completely free. Worse of all, Xhaka could see him. In fact, Tom Cleverley was only three yards away.
Instead of recognising the danger and doing something about it, Xhaka opted not to move. Unsurprisingly, the ball fell to Cleverley, and Xhaka couldn’t respond in time to prevent him scoring the winner.
It doesn’t take much to set Arsenal fans off, but such criminally bad defending meant there were no punches pulled.
“It’s almost like players come to Arsenal to vacation. No other top team carries as many passengers as we do,” one fan said on the r/Gunners Reddit board.
“Our defensive midfielder that we spent over 30 mil for boys,” another said, a response which prompted a discussion about Arsene Wenger’s inability to sign a proper defensive midfielder.
There was also a healthy dose of sarcasm, as one fan offered: “It is 1-1 into injury time. This isn’t even a counter attack, but there are 4 Watford players in the box as to 3 Arsenal defenders. Xhaka’s sense of urgency and danger is godlike.”
Xhaka’s performances have been below par this season. Being caught seemingly picking his nose instead of defending is the last thing you want to see from a player who cost Arsenal so much money.