Mikel Arteta Switzerland Brazil Cameroon Boxing Arsenal Mikel Arteta Switzerland Brazil Cameroon

Switzerland should emulate Arsenal to unlock Granit Xhaka after laboured Cameroon win

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independent.co.uk

In some ways, Switzerland’s World Cup got off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win over Cameroon. Going into their second game against Brazil, the Swiss have three points on the board and don’t require a shock victory over the pre-tournament favourites to keep their knockout hopes on course.Yet it was a laboured win, with Cameroon the better side in the first half and unlucky not to be ahead by the break, before their European opponents scored through Cameroon-born Breel Embolo early in the second period and subsequently suffocated the life out of the game.

No-one could legitimately argue the Swiss attack was firing on all cylinders but the answer to unlock their potential is already in their ranks and goes by the name of Granit Xhaka.

The captain won his 107th cap, and has been a key cog since making his debut in 2011, as proven by playing every minute of their recent Nations League campaign, but it’s time to change his role in the side to turn them into legitimate contenders.

Xhaka has been a revelation for Arsenal this season and his transformation from persona non grata at the Emirates - where, at the nadir of his relationship with Gunners fans, he swore and made sarcastic gestures at them after being subbed against Crystal Palace in 2019 - to beloved key figure in a side sitting top of the Premier League is remarkable.It’s a transformation for which manager Mikel Arteta, as well as the player himself, deserves huge credit.

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