Granit Xhaka: Ex Arsenal Star Discloses How Coaching a 5th Tier Side Has Helped His Football

Granit Xhaka: Ex Arsenal Star Discloses How Coaching a 5th Tier Side Has Helped His Football

Elijah Odetokun
updated at January 6, 2024 at 10:26 AM
In this article:
Granit Xhaka logo
G. Xhaka
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Xabi Alonso logo
X. Alonso
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M. Arteta
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  • Granit Xhaka is working to obtain his UEFA A coaching license
  • The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder also coaches a lower-league side
  • The former Arsenal star claimed it has improved his football

Granit Xhaka is one of the best midfielders in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season, but not many people know the secret to his massive improvement at Bayer Leverkusen.

Xhaka spent seven years at Arsenal before leaving last summer and joining German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen under former Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso.

The Swiss midfielder has redefined his game and is one of the team’s best players, who have yet to lose a single game this season and are at the top of the Bundesliga table halfway through.

Granit Xhaka, Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart, MHP Arena, Bundesliga.
Granit Xhaka gesticulating to his Bayer Leverkusen teammates during their 1-1 draw against Stuttgart. Photo by Tom Weller.
Source: Getty Images

Per Stats24, he has the highest pass success rate in the German league with 92.6%, while he also boasts of the most passes into the final third in Europe’s top 5 leagues with 129.

Xhaka coaches 5th tier side

Some of the best managers in the world are midfielders, and Xhaka could be one of them in the near future as he has begun working towards achieving his UEFA A coaching license.

He shared insights into his coaching journey with Markus Fjørtoft on behalf of the PFA. He disclosed he has been dedicating one day per week to coaching 5th-tier German side Union Nettelal, which has helped improve his understanding of the game.

“Since I did my coaching, I’m playing differently, this is the truth. I see the football game differently, I look a lot further. A lot of people speak about talent and football, but they forgot the mentality side,” he said via EuroFoot.

His Arsenal career was taking a nosedive before Mikel Arteta was hired, and he was able to turn his fortunes around and leave on a high.

“Spanish coaches, the way they see football is different to other coaches in my opinion,” he added.

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Mourinho predicted Alonso’s future

Sports Brief previously reported on Mourinho predicting Alonso’s future years before the former midfielder became a manager.

Mourinho noted that the guidance he received under Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and himself, and his father being a manager, equipped him to succeed.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.