Arteta – “We cannot win football matches with 10 players”

No one can deny that Arsenal have by far the worst record of red cards in the Premier League since the arrival of Mikel Arteta.

We have had 14 reds in total in Arteta’s time, which is 6 more than the second club Southampton, but one fact that may surprise Arsenal fans is that only 3 of those were given to Granit Xhaka, who normally gets blamed for every defeat in one way or another.

But this year has started particularly badly, with three players sent off in our last four games, Gabriel against Man City, Xhaka in the first leg against Liverpool, and Thomas Partey in the second, and as a direct result we do not have either of our first choice midfielders available to face Burnley this afternoon.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Arsenal v Manchester City – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – January 1, 2022 Arsenal’s Gabriel reacts after being shown a red card by referee Stuart Attwell Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

So, when Arteta was asked before the game what he wanted his players to focus on, he replied: “[We should focus on] controlling the things that we can control,”

“We cannot win football matches with 10 players, it’s extremely difficult.

“We know that, and when we have moments, we have to kill the opponents and it’s not been the case in recent matches and we have had some big performances, but we did not get results.

“Results are part of the game, against Forest is a different story. The rest of the games there is very little to tell the team, but we have to find different ways or a different way to end up winning and getting the points.”

“A different way” would appear to keep all 11 players on the pitch, as it is worth noting that in all 14 games we were a man down, we did not win one of them!

This really needs to change, and you cannot put all the blame on Xhaka if you look at the facts…

Watch Mikel Arteta talk about Burnley and the pressure on the race for Top Four

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