Should Arsenal start Xhaka despite red card concerns?

If the Arsenal starting line-up for the north London derby on Sunday does include the summer signing Granit Xhaka, then do not be surprised if the Tottenham players try to wind the Swiss international star up a bit, as the new Gunner does have a poor recent disciplinary record.

With eight red cards for club and country since April 2014 it is hardly surprising that Arsene Wenger was asked whether he had concerns about Xhaka in the build up to what is usually a fiercely contested match. Even though our manager admitted that he did have, there is a good chance that he is going to start Xhaka anyway, reports The Guardian.

Wenger said, “Am I bit concerned? Yes, of course.

“The discipline is important and we want to be effective in all situations we face and in the derby it is important to keep control of your reaction and to have a strong discipline, because it is part of the effectiveness in these games.

“Normally he is a very composed and calm guy. Sometimes on the field he has a reaction that is a bit impulsive and he knows that. It is not because you talk about that. He has to work on that and keep control of his reactions in the game.”

However, I reckon that the Frenchman will have had a long chat with his transfer acquisition and will feel that he can rely on the midfielder to keep his cool. I personally feel that his latest sending off, in the Premier League win at Swansea, was harsh but that should have taught him to be extra careful on Sunday.

We do not want him to abandon his aggression and tackling against the Spuds, though, so is it too risky to start Xhaka? Do you think Ramsey or Elneny should get the nod instead?


Tags Ramsey Wenger


  1. Ozone says:

    Good question! He’s a bit slow and a red card risk especially if he does battle with Dembele and Wanyama. The advantage is that he’s got a good eye for a pass but I doubt if Spurs will give him the chance to make one!

  2. Tekena says:

    He is our best midfielder, has a mix if the defensive qualities of Coq and passing and shooting ability of Santi. He should start. His temperament is part of his game, but he can control it. He is a whole hearted guy, he can stick his leg in front of an unrushing train if need be. He must play, he alone can dwarf Spuds midfield.

    1. Twig says:

      He’s definitely NOT our best midfielder.

      1. Tekena says:

        Ozil is our best Attacking Midfielder, Xhaka is our best defensive or Box to Box Midfielder.

  3. Jansen says:

    If you can not start your £30 million midfield star in November when he is fit to play, you have a problem IMO.

    We all knew he would run into one too many red cards. This was all in his scouting report. I think Wenger can make him understand not pick one up in his first game back. If not we have a real problem because Spurs is not the best team we will face. If we can’t play him against Spurs how about games against City, PSG, Man U, Liverpool and hopefully Bayern Barca and or Real?

    I think he is a very good player and you have start him especially if Santi is out.

    1. Dreamcast says:

      I absolutely agree with you on this. Xhsja’s record on red card is better relative to Sergio Ramos and I don’t think R.Maldrid coaches have headaches as regards playing him week in week out.
      I believe Xhaka can learn to keep his calm under Wenger’s tutelage.
      I wish the lads the very best as they run riot against the Spuds.

  4. Chokulate says:

    Its so funny and disgusting to even ask this question. Can u tell madrid coach to bench Ramos or Pepe in a crucial game because they’re red card prone?
    I love xhaka, his touch, passes and interception are exceptional. My advice to him is to crush anyone who dares Arsenal. Its payback time.
    Arsenal 3 1 spuds

  5. Break-on-through says:

    He began getting a little exposed or being on the wrong side of his man after Wenger said he wants him to run box to box. Before that he just sat deep like Pirlo did and he showed us his passing range. He’s a big lad, a big heffer who looks naturally strong, he’s not your typical athletic type.

    Vieira had the same trouble we all remember, he had Petit covering always and Parlour at times. The thing is that when Xhaka makes one of those cynical moves we generally look to have been caught out cold in midfield with no-one left covering in front of rearguard, and half the rearguard further forward. I don’t think we should put it all down to him being a risk.

    He’s only new to the set up, until he finds an understanding he is doing what he thinks is best. He was brought in to add a bit of bite to our midfield. So it’s a difficult one. I’d only keep him from of a game if he got an early yellow, withdraw him. Or in CL if one yellow meant he missed a big game that we needed him for, or when yellows are racking up in the league I’d have a look at which game he’d miss before starting him.

  6. Kostafi says:

    This is the NLD- no fixture consistently has higher tension and passion- even when there is nothing at stake, in this game everything is! I was not a big fan of easing Xhaka in at the start of the season as his price tag dictates he starts. However, if he is being eased in- this is not a game for him to start because of his disciplinary issues. He is not a dirty player, just a guy happy to take one for the team when needs be. However, this is a game where you can expect cards and you do not take any chances of being reduced to 10 men or the Spuds will run you ragged.
    They are in poor form at the moment, we are in good form. Lets take that into the game, score the necessary goals and shore up with Xhaka, and El Neny towards the end. Team selection is crucial as we cannot afford to drop points for any sentimental reasons because 1. we want to stay in the leaders pack with CIty/Liverpool or go ahead if they slip up and 2. we want to extend our good run so Mou is forced to fear the Arsenal when we go there after the int’l break and
    3. we want a bloody good November so the media can shut up about it already!

  7. Tekena says:

    Funny how the media always tries to highlight bad news from Arsenal camp. I just want to use this medium to appeal to Arsenal fans to shun doomsday tales from the media and back our team through thick and thin through out this season. We have a special group of players that are doing special things on the pitch, but the media wont tell u that we have lost just one away match this year , and have the best defense in the league, infact i heard a documentary that says ‘Liverpool have the best defence in the league conceding only 9 goals only equalled by Arsenal’ such reporting is typical in putting pressure on Arsenal. GET BEHIND THE TEAM. We need our 12th Man to trash spuds.

  8. kelleson says:

    Starting xhaka in the absent of Cazorla is not debatable is an ideal one. The red card been given to him in some matches ago does not mean he should not start any match again. If Cazorla would not make our lineup due to injury on sunday xhaka will now pick the day.

  9. Wilshegz says:

    he is the only real deeplying playmaker we have left aside Cazorla that might not play and Wilshere that is on loan.
    Ramsey is boxtobox not DLP also he is still a bit rusty considering how he performed against Ludogorets.
    Elneny is more like a cautious DM that takes Lil or no risks n just keeps the game going like Busquets type

  10. Wilshegz says:

    another advantage of Xhaka over even Cazorla is that he simply can’t be bullied by Wanyama.

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