Former referee calls for conversation with Arsenal following ‘ignorant’ Xhaka’s latest comments

Former referee Keith Hackett has called for the officials who govern the game to sit down with Arsenal Football Club following Granit Xhaka‘s ‘ignorant’ comments.

The Swiss international was given a straight-red card for a reckless two-footed challenge on Joao Cancelo in our recent 5-0 loss to Manchester City, but he doesn’t appear to understand the reasoning behind the decision.

There is little complaint from anyone else upon seeing the challenge, with clear danger of serious injury to Cancelo if he had connected with the defender, but Xhaka himself claims he was shocked by the decision, and Hackett believes that he needs to be educated on the laws of the game.

“I’m quite clear on this,” Hackett told the Football Insider.

“It seems to me that someone from the PGMOL, accompanied by the chairman of the PGMOL, the club and the club manager need to get together. There needs to be a conversation here.

“This player clearly, in that statement, does not understand the laws of the game in relation to challenges.

“Whilst he’s ignorant to the laws of the game he will continue to make these challenges and will continue to get sent off.

“It’s in Arsenal’s interest to arrange that meeting. They’re not new. I’ve done them in the past where you have that debate and discussion with the manager.

“It was a clear red card and it will be a red card every time he continues to do it.

“He’s working on a law that’s from the dark ages. ‘You play the ball, that gets you out of jail’ – it doesn’t work like that anymore.”

I hope he doesn’t seriously believe that his challenge was faultless, as we really cannot afford to be getting red cards especially after our dismal start to the campaign.

Was Xhaka just trying to save face by pleading his innocence or could he really watch this replay and believe the decision was wrong?


Tags Granit Xhaka Keith Hackett


  1. Xhaka is an idiot if he seriously thinks going in two footed with both feet off the floor is acceptable, even if he got the ball. He needs some intense re-education about the laws and morals of the game. His ban should have been increased because of his comments. SMH.

    1. I want to believe that comment was made after Pogba made a similar tackle and Manure got a goal from it during their game with Wolves maybe the refs need to sit together and have a conversation about being more consistent than having a conversation with Xhaka that all really..

      1. Thanks Quincy!
        He got the ball alright.
        While I may not be down with two footed challenge, the official must not be partial in their decision.
        Xhaka has been marked in EPL, other players may get away with it but definitely not him

      2. You are absolutely right, there are too many desruptive mistakes from all refereeing instances when Arsenal is in the fray….some really are a conspiracy of absurdity.

      3. Arsenal are the glory of English premier league and some ref dont like arsenal as a club. If arsenal should stop playing England football will not be interesting anymore. Because arsenal fans are the only fans that can endorse all rubbish from England.

        1. Consistent referring is missing in England. Xhaka does that and doesn’t even touch Cancealo and it’s a red card.
          Pogba kicks Neves on the shin and doesn’t take the ball and it not even a foul.
          Xhaka comments are after the Man utd game and not immediately after the game.
          Refs in England will always ref Arsenal in a bad way especially against marked players like Xhaka.

      4. I agree Pogba should get a yellow card on that tackle,man.united players don’t get a card for any fowls,they comit, under Mike Dean,mike Dean should go on pension ,I mean Pension ,he is the most useless referee in the premierLeague

      1. Calling him an “idiot” is going to far, so then what is Paul Pogba?Agree that Xhaka is not AFC quality or EPL standards and should not be in the starting line up, but we should stand by him when and shut down these refs who keep a hawks eye on AFC players but look the other way for other teams. We were not awarded a clear penalty and now we are at the recieving end of unwated records and jokes, so the refs should take their jobs seriously rather than picking our player.

          1. I think it was a yellow card and pogba was a red card , pogba never targeted the ball , xhaka targeted the ball , so that referee must also comment on pogba’s challenge then we shall know that he was really professional during his time or he is just having problems with arsenal team just like haward web was .

    2. From all i do support your comment. Furthermore Xhaka is just lunging in anyhow he wants without thinking of other career. He is not even a gd player himself and far from giving/educate ref on law of the game.

  2. Well I will not call xhaka stupid for his tackles, but he should be more careful now as the laws are less forgiving in recent years…it was a very committed but rash challenge…

    And mind you, if xhaka is stupid for red cards, then viera was dumb according to some of your arguments here…

    Facts right… Viera-308 games 8 red cards… Xhaka-258 games 4 red cards..

    1. Facts right

      Viera -worldclass
      Xhaka – …………………………………………………………
      (Couldn’t find the words sorry )

          1. Some refs need to be updated on the laws of the game aswell Keith on the same weekend similar tackles where allowed go with little or no punishment so explain when you’d like to meet up with us your buddies and have a chat with them

  3. “Hackett believes that he needs to be educated on the laws of the game”

    I think he needs to be educated on how to play the game .

    How managers pick him in their starting eleven must go down as the biggest mystery in world football.

    1. And extend his contract!! In my opinion he still thinks he was hard done by. Why are we still playing him?

    2. to anyone with eyes, Xhaka has always been something of an enigma…maybe someday it will be revealed what secret information he has obtained that has enabled him to constantly escape the managerial scrutiny that inevitably comes with mediocre play, boneheaded giveaways and the reckless/cynical manner in which one conducts themselves on the pitch

    3. DAN, I knew after two games with us he was a calamity and have been loudly and regularly saying this ever since. How THREE of our managers have failed to get rid of him is a disgrace , a mystery and a calamity!


      1. If you did that Jon, Thames water would back up and then we would see sh!t coming out our taps.
        We are better off air dropping him like Amazon parcels with no Shute

      2. Jon fox
        I think it’s about time we stop the criticism
        You said three managers has consistently pick him.
        That means they saw something that we are not seeing, unless you want to prove Wenger and Emery don’t know their job.

        For me I don’t see a more committed and passionate player than Xhaka in arsenal jersey currently
        Fine sometimes he takes it to another level but its enough for us to castigate him

        A captain of Switzerland national football team come on, his coach cannot be wrong, Wenger cannot be wrong
        Emery cannot be wrong.

        Let’s be constructive in our criticism please.
        I wonder why none of you are not talking about similar challenges which goes unpunished in EPL week in week out.
        Or is it only Arsenal matches una dey watch?

        1. Thank you. We forget quickly how we got bullied off the park because we had very nice players who couldn’t stand up to the opposition’s nastiness. I don’t think Ryan Shawcross would have had been smug after breaking Ramsey’s leg with a Xhaka or Vieira in our side, Eduardo and maybe Diaby too might have had a more rewarding career with us too. I don’t think we appreciate the presence of a resident bodyguard on the pitch with our small and highly technical players.

        2. God will bless you for this, I kept wondering which Xhaka they’re talking about , maybe the Xhaka senior. It’s obvious all comments reek of sentiments. If all coaches are so daft for using him, I wonder why any of those criticizing blindly ain’t coaching even a chicken team.

    4. Dan, in no way excusing Granit Xhaka; however we could also add that officials need to have a meeting to discuss their interpretations of the “rules of the game” to ensure consistent application between players, teams and across the leagues/divisions.
      It would be nice if Peter Walton supported this as well.

  4. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks when they do not want too…or cannot learn from their mistakes. Neither does he have the skill,talent or speed and most obviously ” The mental makeup” to be playing here.
    Any one who says otherwise has not been watching. He wanted to leave,doesn’t care whether he is here or in Italy or Germany , he,ll still be making his money while continuing this absolute madness made 10 times worse by the fact that he would be rationalizing that challenge. ” I think he truly believes it” . Never was good enough and should of been gone long ago.

  5. Seems to all fans theres one law for MU and the other teams.The Mu guy shd have seen red,no ifs and buts.
    His studs were clearly going to strike but merited only a yc.

  6. Why is it a red when it’s Xhaka and no one else has EVER got one for the same offence? Yea it was a terrible challenge but come on guys seriously why are we as Gooner accepting this from the media and officials and even backing them up when clearly there is 1 rule for us and a different rule for others. Her behind your team and stop this anti Arsenal rhetoric.

    1. You cannot defend our own players recklessness by saying why did Pogba or any other player not get punished for a similar challenge. Also saying no one else has ever been sent off for a similar offence is blatantly wrong, because they have.

      1. Declan, I think what Carshalton was implying is the inconsistency surrounding the punishment of our player to a manure player.
        Both deserved red cards, but as usual, only one is issued…. and it is against our club.

        As for saying he (the referee) got muddled regarding where his red /yellow cards were pocketed, that is giving the referee a way out.
        Ever seen another referee forget where his red card is at any level of football?
        Xhaka was stupid, but let’s have a level playing field with red card decisions.

        1. Ken and Declan, see my comment above re “consistency”.
          Not in anyway defending Xhaka, but inconsistencies in application of the rules of the game are a problem, which the authorities (Mike Riley and FA) don’t appear to want to address.

        2. Yes Ken1945 I have witnessed a ref giving a player the wrong card, a red which was replaced with a yellow and of course the incident where a ref dropped his cards and a player showed him a red in very theatrical fashion. Perhaps players should carry cards too😊

          1. Declan, getting out a yellow card, then replacing it and flourishing a red, is hardly an accident, unless the ref is colourblind… and dropping said cards is not the same action is it?

            Carshalton, I agree with you and no-one is defending Xhaka, just asking for consistency…. as OG suggests above, that’s what the referees should be asking about THEIR performances – especially when comparing the two incidents we are discussing.

        3. Ken I am not defending him completely as we all know the challenge was reckless and so on but the whole circus surrounding us and Xhaka is bringing us down as people and a club so we need to change it by challenging decision makers and not just our players. Arteta stopped just short of publicly questioning the decision but did allude to it and the players need to see him and the fans backing them up over decisions that go against us. I would also love to see the facts regarding players getting sent off for not making contact when reckless.

    2. Carshalton gooner, what a pathetic, plain wrong and cowardly attempt to condone the indefensible by lying about other teams not being punished!

      Have the the guts to see things as they really are and stop hiding behind pathetic and laughably wrong “excuses”.

      One eyed fans like you do our club no favours at all.


      1. Jon fox please don’t use language like that to a fellow gunner. We can disagree until the cows come home but let’s keep it civil. I do not condone Xhaka or any of our players putting the team in trouble or potentially injuring other players and he got what he deserved but we do seem to get maximum punishment when we transgress was the angle.

        1. But when one doesn’t have complete control of the English language, insults are a tactic oft used to cover that I balance.
          Not saying that is the case with Jon of course, but I do wonder sometimes, why it becomes so personal with him – after 2, it’s only opinions from fellow Gooners.

        2. CG, No! It only seems that way to fans who are one eyed, as you are.
          I called out your post as it was not trying to give the whole truth and was inexcusably looking for excuses for Xhaka and that is not what fans ought to be doing.

          They should be honestly calling it out for exactly what it was; a hotheaded typical oafish and stupid tackle by a player who has long been a real liability to us.

          What other non Arsenal players do is a totally separate matter and does NOT excuse this oaf from his stupidity. This is an Arsenal site, so I DO NOT DISCUSS OTHER TEAMS PLAYERS!


          1. Jon Fox – I agree with some of your comments esp
            about looking inwardly and yes the man is a clown who wouldn’t agree with that one and I have certainly never said anything to defend his actions but it is not one eyed to look both ways is it? Perhaps you should also consider that approach.

  7. To cut to the chase , this ridiculous, thick, plain ignorant and oafish player should NEVER have been bought by WENGER.


    It is to the clubs shame that he is still here and we now have to reap what we have stupidly sown. Sigh!

  8. Interesting comments on Xhaka, wonder why some of the top managers rate him but a lot on here don’t. But hey… what do they know.

    1. Maybe because they are one-eyed fans who cannot distinguish between form and function. A Central Midfielder is there to control the tempo of games which Xhaka does excellently well albeit bu slowing down games mostly but also the ability to speed it up (with accurate long passes) if there is sufficient, timely and intelligent movement on the wings but because his form is not that of a lot of a lot of other midfielders who are skilled in carrying the ball box-to-box through a congested midfield traffic, that makes him a failure to the binary brained but still arrogant fan.

  9. The football laws need to be upgraded to punish severely thuggish behaviour before a footballer has a career ending injury. Some thugs deliberated charged into another one which can cause serious injury which merits only a y or r. He shd be banned for ten matches. The std 3 match ban aint a deterrent.
    For the record ,in some countries the punishment for the rapier aka rapist is minimum five jail and flogging.
    Fyi,a doc has to be on stand by, The flogging can seriously injure the convict to deter him.
    Similarly a ten match match ban will serve as a deterrent. Yes I know nobody sets out to injure a fellow pro. But can you trust him if the law is so lenient

  10. Xhaka plays hard, too hard, trying to make it up for the 9 sissies on-field. He ends up breaking opponents’ legs. He should have left arsenal this season, to keep his sanity. He was top class for Switzerland.

  11. Xhaka will make us tired by always defending him. How can he not know the football rules? He’s the captain of his country and sometimes of Arsenal. How can he manage to lead the team when he doesn’t understand the rules? Arsenal doesn’t deserve to have someone like him in their squad

  12. The tackling itself was indeed reckless, but it made contact to the ball first and barely on cancelo. If this count as red just because its reckless, then any reckless tackle should be red too even its not hit anything and/or anyone?

  13. Xhaka is being mornitored by jose felix who is a high profiled coach, worked under wenger, unai and you are saying he is stupid honestly!

  14. How can people excuse Xhaka comment I’d beyond me,also there is way too much whaboutery/whaboutism,2 wrongs do not make a right,those of us who are parents should know better, I’d love to know what they tell their kids when they use “what about him/her…?.

    1. Nobody is excusing Xhaka’s.
      Xhaka made those comment after what Pogba did without a red card.
      So he was confused if Pogba doesn’t worth a red and yet his does.
      He didn’t say anything about the Red card after the match but after, so how is he wrong in that?

      If the Ref didn’t give out a red with the same offence as mine, I will think I don’t deserve a red.

      Same happens with Auba and Sterling last year.
      Auba got a red and Sterling was excuse cos he wasn’t a player who does such tackle. When as that got into the rules?

      Why not Keith Hackett call out those Refs and have a meeting to stop confusing players and fans and let us know the actual rules? And be consistent with it and not Red for one and Yellow or no card for same offence.

      If you don’t like Xhaka like Reggie, Jon Fox and TRVL is fine but atleast say the fact like Loose Cannon who also hates Xhaka and don’t be blinded by the Ref bias about some teams.

      Let them have a meetings together about been consistent and not causing commotion.

      1. Bobs, you are incorrect, as some people ARE trying to defend the indefensible XHAKA tackle.
        Son of NY made a stupid and factually wrong post about reckless tackles. We who value the WHOLE truth and in full context will not be deflected by irrelevant cries of “what about so and so too”!

        I remind you this is an Arsenal site and so we discuss Arsenal players. I agree that Pogba should have also been sent off for another bad though less dangerous tackle, but that alters nothing, as Xhaka was still and IS still a reckless oaf.

      2. Not sure exactly why you would bring my name into the equation, but I can only assume, based on your referencing of LC, you believe that we, as supporters, should put our blinders firmly on when it comes to Xhaka’s reckless and selfish behaviour, given the nature of the game in question, and instead attack the officials regardless of whether we felt Xhaka was at fault or not…now there’s some sound logic…the last thing our club and it’s players need now is your misplaced empathy or unfettered support, as this is one of the main reasons why we are where we are presently…the glaring lack of accountability and/or responsibility for one’s actions has reached astounding levels, at this club, and this started at the top, with our absentee landlord, then filtered down through the ranks, to the point where it now permeates almost ever facet of this organization…shame on you for being a complicit part of the problem

        1. Jon fox
          Thanks for your matured replied today unlike TRVL and I understand you but I still think the Ref deserves more meetings to there officiating than Xhaka need meeting about the rules cos I believe he knew the rules and only taking the piss out of the officials for not giving same red to Pogba.
          And why won’t he when pundit like Shearer came all over him but none of the pundit say a word about Pogba’s situation except Paul Ince.

          I don’t have anything to say to you if you think I’m one of the problem in Arsenal when the owner or the coach knows nothing about me.
          It shows how ignorance you can be when anybody does not have same opinion as you.

          1. nice word salad bud…obviously you didn’t understand the nuanced nature of my comments, thus your nonsensical statement about the owner and the coach knowing nothing about you, like that mattered…I wish I could say I’m surprised by the misunderstanding, but I’m not that “ignorance”

  15. The referees are not consistent in their decisions. He got the ball 100% and did not touch the player. Jao Cancello wanted him sent off.

  16. I do not get why alot of Arsenal fans hate granite xhaka so much. We’ve been condemned week in week out of being easily bullied on the field of play and that we lacked character. Having lost two matches on a roll and finding yourself 1 – 0 down in your third consecutive match can be really frustrating, I tell you. As far as I am concerned that was never a red card offence has he already touched the ball(thank God sth similar occurred but the culprit wasn’t penalized) even in pogba’s case he never touched the ball, he went for the player instead. Arsenal has been denied penalty in three consecutive matches but we’ve refused to condemn the referees on that. I witnessed two occasions in that man city match that if it was arsenal that made those fouls they would have been penalized but then we’ve set that aside for the unimportant granite xhaka’s challenge. This is outright agenda against AFC by the media, EPL governing bodies ,and any other organization dictating epl policies.

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