"I was particularly taken by the way he corralled his team-mates” – Garth Crooks highlights how Arsenal star has forced him to change his opinion 

Garth Crooks on Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka
Garth Crooks on Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka

Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Garth Crooks has lauded Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka's improvement in playing style and attitude this season.

The Swiss midfielder has been key to the Gunners being at the top of the Premier League table this season. He has scored two goals and provided three assists in nine matches in all competitions.

Xhaka's latest goal came in Arsenal's emphatic 3-1 win over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates.

🌊 Fluid passing...📩 Sealed up by Granit.🤩 How did you react to this one, Gooners?

He has garnered adulation from all the club's fans and pundits alike for his comeback journey at the club.

Since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, Xhaka has seen plenty of ups and downs at the Emirates. His relationship with the fans strained after underwhelming performances and throwing away the captain's armband while being subsituted in a match.

However, he has bounced back incredibly well this season and Crooks is all praise for him. He added the Swiss midfielder to his Premier League Team of the Week on BBC and wrote:

"It's not that long ago I was condemning Granit Xhaka for his lack of discipline, especially in the big games for Arsenal. Now I find myself congratulating him for his conduct and professionalism."

He added:

"I was particularly taken by the way he corralled his team-mates after Arsenal's first goal against their north London rivals, in an attempt to retain an element of composure in the red-hot atmosphere."

Crooks also slammed Tottenham defender Emerson Royal, who was sent off against the Gunners for a high tackle on Gabriel Martinelli. He wrote:

"What a pity Emerson couldn't do the same. His tackle on Martinelli was cold, calculated and utterly self-indulgent. He should be banned for six weeks not three games."

Granit Xhaka on Arsenal's win over Tottenham Hotspur

The Gunners hammered their eternal rivals in the derby and looked the better side for the entire match. This was echoed by Xhaka, who told BT Sport after the match (via Sky Sports):

"We didn't have a lot of weeks to prepare, but we knew exactly what we wanted, and from the first second, I thought we were the better team. My first derby goal in England, I am more than happy, but the most important thing is the team."
😍 Enjoy that one, Gooners?🍿 Watch the action all over again...📺 Bitesize Highlights | Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham 👇

Arsenal are top of the Premier League table, just one point above Manchester City.

They will next face Bodo/Glimt in the UEFA Europa League at the Emirates on October 6 before hosting Liverpool in the Premier League on October 9.

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Edited by Ashwin
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