Is Mikel Arteta responsible for Granit Xhaka’s red cards?

There has been much discussion over the reasons why Arsenal have had far more red cards than any other Premier League team since Mikel Arteta took over as the manager of the Gunners, with the consensus being that PGMOL have got a historical grudge against us, while other teams are let off with very similar offences.

Granit Xhaka too seems to be a marked man with two red cards already this season, and it has been said you could earn more money betting on Xhaka to get a card in every game, rather than gambling at some low deposit casinos. The Swiss captain said himself just before Xmas: “When you see some tackles and imagine if I was in this position? I would be sent off straight away,”

“This makes me do things in a different way sometimes because I know that my risk compared to the risk of other players is not the same,

“If I risk I know I am closer to a red card than any other player in the Premier League. Maybe I am wrong but that is what I feel.

“So sometimes in a game I stop myself from going for the risky ones because if I get a red card it all starts up again. I don’t want to give arguments for others to speak about me for stupid things. I try not to risk too much.”

But according to the respected ex-referee Keith Hackett, there are more fundamental reasons for our elevated tally compared to other clubs. The main points were that Arteta teaches his team to be extra aggressive and fight for everything, and the second reason is because Arteta should automatically take Xhaka off the pitch once he gets a first yellow. He also thinks that Arteta should get a top referee to come in and explain to Arteta and the players where Arsenal are going wrong.

This is what Hackett told Football Insider: “The main culprit here is Xhaka, he seems to get a red card almost every time he plays,”

“What should happen is Arsenal should have a visit by someone from the PGMOL along with a referee to have a discussion with the players. So they can fully understand the difference between a yellow and a red because they clearly don’t.

“This is the difficulty that sometimes happens when a new manager comes in who has been a player. He needs to get that authority in.

“If a manager knows a player, once he’s got a yellow the chance to get a second is always there so substitute him. There have been a number of occasions when Xhaka has committed a yellow card offence and the manager should haul him off.

“When you look at the reds that have given it’s because they fulfil serious foul play or it’s a second yellow. I think second yellow cards can be avoided if the manager takes the appropriate action by substituting the player.

“The serious foul play red cards say to me the manager wants them to get stuck in and meet the English criteria of football and they’re going over the top.

“I’ve got to say, in the past in those situations, David Dein would have had the referee in straight away. I do think Arsenal need to get someone in to look at it and give them guidance.”

I would have thought that Arteta would be keen to get our red card situation under control one way or another, so I was very surprised to hear Xhaka admit that Arteta doesn’t even talk to him about his errors. Granit said after his recent red card at Liverpool in the Carabao Cup: “I didn’t speak with him (Arteta) about the red card,”

“I never did this before with him as well.

“It’s something where I have to be careful myself, of course. But this is my game.”

So what do you think, could Keith Hackett be right that Arteta must be also held responsible?

Tags Xhaka


  1. No he’s not, Xhaka is responsible.

    What MA is responsible for is playing Xhaka and providing the opportunity.

  2. Looking at the man himself, Xhaka has been like this since the day he joined.

    There is an art to tackling, just as there is to landing a 40 yard pass on a sixpence, but Xhaka is completely reckless. In fact, the majority of his cards (yellows and reds), are down to petulance. I have lost count the amount of times he gets booked early on for pulling a player back, when there’s cover anyway. Then he’s walking a tightrope for the rest of the game.

    Overall, one has to put the blame on the manager. Surely we’ve seen enough of Xhaka by now, to know what he’s about. Why is he still getting picked then? Why is he even still at the club?

    Granted, Arteta has got him performing the best. Xhaka used to give the ball away or lose it in really dangerous positions all the time under Emery and Wenger, which seems to have gone under Arteta, but he’s still such a big liability.

    The other major issue is that Xhaka gets us into trouble at the worst times. It’s not so bad giving a goal away or getting sent off near the end of a game, you’ve already won, but he makes these errors at crucial score lines, and usually early on as well.

    There’s two things that have baffled me equally in football over recent years:

    How is Xhaka STILL an Arsenal player?

    And why on earth do the biggest clubs in the world keep signing Alvaro Morata?

    If someone could help me with these two questions, it would be much appreciated!

    1. if you are a big tag and name player

      the tackle will be classified as world class…doing the dirty work for the team…….

      but if the player comes with a small tag and not a big name

      it will be called reckless

      Adams, Viera, Pogba, Kean, Jones etc… have made many such tackles but they have gotten away easily

      1. absolutely clueless…the fact that you’re even suggesting that what you’ve seen from Xhaka would have been considered “world class” if any such reckless acts were perpetrated by someone else is just blinders, conspiratorial nonsense…is it Tin Foil Hat day already?!?

        1. You say shit every time you come in ere….if u tired of watching the gone, go watch rugby or fantasy soocer.

          You are not the coach u can never be the coach so zip it.

          So far Atreta contracts is valid, he remains the coach.

          Go get a job….

          1. how terribly sad…how could I possibly argue with someone who offers up gems like “So far Atreta contracts is valid, he remains the coach”…btw you’ve got quite a mouth on you for someone who’s clearly in grade school…do it again and I’ll have to get out the virtual soap and teach you a valuable lesson little one…now run along and stop wasting your recess time conversing online

              1. LOL…it’s so funny how some people come on here to express their supposed “concerns” about people talking sh**, then proceed to talk sh** themselves…have they no mirrors in their respective hovels??? Cheers DK

  3. Xhakas Premier League discipline record.
    5 and a half seasons.
    170 games.
    4 Red cards.
    1 red every 42 games.
    So less than 1 red card per PL season.
    Why are we even talking about this?

    1. Each straight red leads to three games missed, plus the affect on the game he got sent off in, so 4 games affected in total. 2 games affected in total for two yellows.

      Picks up so many early yellows as well, which means he has to super careful for the rest of the game, which does have an affect on players, especially Xhaka, given the way he plays.

      1. Xhaka starts 31 out of 35 PL games he is eligible for. Half the squad start less then 7 PL games a season.

  4. Arteta is responsible or else who keeps fielding Xhaka game after game? It is obvious that Khaka CANNOT position himself adequately and has formed the habit of ‘jamming’ an opponent to avoid being dribbled, thus fouling his attacker. If he continues playing after all these, then the offenses are the Manager’s.

  5. Another reason to bash poor old Mikel, next reason please? The refereeing is just anti Arsenal and horrendous. Stomping our players, high heels, kicking Saka n number of times, the system is such to ensure we drop points somehow. Soft yellows for us, harsh reds against not dished out. Soft penalties given, clear penalties for us ruled out. And the confusion of VAR.

    1. Your right LC and it was going on back when, according to you, there were only two teams in the PL.

      In my opinion, no manager is responsible for a players action once said player steps on to the pitch – Xhaka even say that himself.

      If that were the case, every single error would be down to the manager – simply just not possible.

      I suggest this ex referee has a look at his colleagues and how THEIR interpretation of the rules, as it certainly seems to be as inconsistent as it always has been… except with our players, where we know the harshest of decisions will always be metered out.

    2. Yes..Loose Cannon….I’ve come across this from a long time……Untold Arsenal did extensive research on this and proved it to be true….refs cheating Arsenal is from Wengers time….

  6. Sure.
    Ultimately, the manger is the responsible for everything going on with the team on the pitch.
    But, if you want to criticize Arteta for Xhaka’s red cards, don’t forget to applaud him for Saka’s wonderful goals

  7. He’s responsible for playing someone as their DM who is slow in foot and mind and who wenger acknowledged can’t tackle!!! With those qualities he’s a red card waiting to happen

  8. “I didn’t speak with him (Arteta) about the red card,”

    “I never did this before with him as well.

    “It’s something where I have to be careful myself, of course. But this is my game.”

    ENOUGH SAID!!!…so where’s the accountability and the supposed equitable dispensation of managerial discipline that everyone’s been espousing in recent days???

    btw please keep in mind that Wenger publicly acknowledged that he had to tell Xhaka to STOP tackling because he was so ridiculously bad at it

    1. Arteta is the coach presently…..he believes in his first 11, if he starts xhaka ahead of any player it is what it is. You cant do anything about it.

      1. oh no not big, bad Shone again…keep it up and I’ll have to notify your teacher about your online bullying…the last thing you want is to be staring at the corner when you’re already required to wear that pointy hat

          1. I truly feel for you, from a sympathetic not empathetic capacity…good luck with that



      1. Not a clue what that childish emoji is supposed to mean. Why not use words , assuming you have learned to write, which perhaps I ought not to PRESUME.

    1. Blame Xhaka parent for creating him?

      Xhaka might not be good even as a player but I’m sure he’s a great human being than you.

      With what you just spout, you’re not even better than Xhaka’s football brain.

  10. MA may not be responsible for Xhaka’s actions on the pitch, but he surely is responsible for playing him in the first place. If Xhaka is a red card waiting to happen every game, MA shouldnt pick him in the playing XI, its as simple as that.

  11. Well, yes, I think Hackett is right on one part and wrong on the other. The situation with Xhaka is obvious, he plays dirty and that’s his job. If he does something and gets booked, he is a bad egg. If he doesn’t and the outcome is sour, he still gets called a liability. Should Xhaka always anticipate his tackles before initiating them? Yes! But a player in his position is always billed to play dirty, but only when the situation calls for such.

    The big question is, why do other players oftentimes get away with exact or even worse forms of tackles against Arsenal? Maybe a Professional referee also needs to explain this.

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