It’s hard to recall a turn around quite as drastic as that of Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career, as the metamorphosis of villain to hero has come full circle.
Few predicted that the midfielder would even be at Arsenal following his reaction to the fans boos a few seasons ago, and Thierry Henry’s continued criticism of the player.
However, both Xhaka and his manager Mikel Arteta stuck to their guns, put their heads down and continued to work hard and now they are winning the fans back on side, as Arsenal defeat Tottenham in the North London derby.
They now go top of the league with a four point gap over Manchester City and not only did Xhaka score the third of Arsenal’s three goals, but he picked up his first Premier League Man of the match award.
Gabriel Jesus, who was also on the scoresheet following a Hugo Lloris blunder, presented his teammate with the award, and was quick to bring the Switzerland native back down to earth.
"I'm really happy here, I really feel at home!"
Gabriel Jesus is all smiles after his side's win in north London as he talks derbies, goals and gives Granit Xhaka the man of the match award… ❤️?? pic.twitter.com/IBgpYII48G
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 1, 2022
“Finally, about time”, was the first thing the Brazilian said as he poked fun at Xhaka.
“I don’t know how, I don’t know how,” joked the striker as he passed on the award.
“After seven years I get my first” laughed the recipient, but the clearly delighted Xhaka is feeling like most Arsenal fans right now.
It’s still early in the season, but you have to enjoy the good times when they come, and the Gooners are in dreamland.