Granit Xhaka was expected to be a massive signing for the Gunners in the summer and joined the club in one of Arsenal’s biggest ever transfer deals.
The Swiss international midfielder perhaps hasn’t quite had the start we were all hoping for, but to suggest he hasn’t left his mark on the game would be the wrong statement to make. Xhaka’s presence in this side is very much noticed, unfortunately it’s due to his poor disciplinary record.
Xhaka has two Premier League red cards in his first season with Arsenal and has been booked in each one of his last five games. His record of receiving cards is very poor considering the short lived career he has had in North London so far, and it’s almost anticipated he will get booked in every game he plays.
There have been calls that will suggest that Xhaka has been unfairly booked in the past, although there’s no denying some of his challenges are truly reckless. Wenger on the other hand seems to believe that Xhaka only has himself to blame for his poor disciplinary record and it’s something that needs major work on.
Wenger said: “I believe he is now in a position where — on the first foul — he gets a yellow card.”
“For example last Saturday, first foul, soft yellow card. He is a victim a little bit of his reputation. You see tackles by some players that are much worse than what he does.”
“But they don’t even get a yellow — and he has got straight reds. Because he had a history of it in Germany, he is victim of that.”
Wenger previously revealed that he believes Xhaka’s lack of ability when it comes to tackling, is because he has never properly learnt how to tackle. Wenger insists that despite the Swiss midfielder generally having played as a central midfielder for the majority of his career, he has never properly trained on his tackling ability.
I find this slightly far fetched to believe that a player who primarily has a lot of defensive duties, would not focus on his tackling ability; and if that is the case that Wenger doesn’t feel he is adequate in the skill, then why an earth isn’t he implementing how the player can improve on this area of his game.
I do however agree with Wenger when he says that Xhaka only has himself to blame for picking up bookings consistently. I do not believe that Xhaka receives any different treatment from referees, especially not as a result of his past. But instead, Xhaka is just generally reckless in his challenges and as a result, is often rightly booked. Xhaka has nobody but himself to blame for his poor disciplinary record and it’s really something he must work on if he wants to be a success at Arsenal.