Wenger – Xhaka hasn’t learned how to tackle!

Granit Xhaka was considered a masterful signing for Arsenal at the start of the season, after the boss spent £35 million on a big time midfielder who was expected to bring a breath of fresh air to our midfield. It would be fair to say that his time in London so far hasn’t excelled as expected so far, but there’s still plenty of time for improvement. However this week has been a awful time for Granit Xhaka, after the midfielder received three heavy hits to his Arsenal career so far.

First he received a red card from referee Jon Moss at the weekend, after a needless clumsy tackle against Burnley. The midfielder wasn’t happy with the decision and seemed to be quite baffled on the pitch. However to make matters worse, Xhaka is then alleged to have made offensive comments towards an individual at Heathrow, which resulted in a police caution and interview. This however remains unconfirmed. Finally Xhaka has also found himself at the hands of the boss, Arsene Wenger, with Le Prof keen to iron out any issues with the midfielders current behaviour.

Arsene Wenger revealed that he has advised Xhaka to stay on his feet more often, with the Swiss international often come out worse for wear. Wenger said: ‘I think he’s not naturally a great tackler. In his decision making I think he is quite intelligent on the pitch. But it’s more the way he tackles that is not really convincing. He doesn’t master well the technique. I would encourage him not to tackle, to stay on his feet. Tackling is a technique that you learn at a young age.’

Xhaka has totalled 9 red cards since 2014 now, for both club and country. In just 19 games for Arsenal, Xhaka has attained two yellows and two reds, whilst also committing 24 fouls. Xhaka also found himself on the receiving end of a red card whilst on international duty with Switzerland; whilst he also attained 29 yellows and 5 reds during his time in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Xhaka has a lot of qualities, his long range passing and powerful shots are second to none. However tackling is not a skill he has mastered and in the Premier League, he is finding the tricky touches and fast pace of the game quite tough when it comes down to whether or not to make the challenge!

It’s valuable advice from Arsene Wenger, but is it something Xhaka will stick to?



  1. Zimbo gunner says:

    Give him time, its his first season ffs.

  2. Break-on-through says:

    It is a bit concerning him and his unnecessary tackling. His positioning at times is also worrying, likely related. I think it’d be best if Xhaka took up the Gilberto position, not straying to far from CB’s. I think this is what Arsene was thinking, he moved Coquelin further forward because of Coq’s better stamina and pace, also to do with pressing. It must be said, Xhaka has shown himself to be a liability. He doesn’t, or hasn’t yet, learned from any mistakes. He was making these errors in judgement for club and country before he came here. He’s not tried curbing it one little bit. Now we go into our most crucial few games of season light in the (arguably) most important area of the pitch.

  3. jonm says:

    Last season we had a number of opportunities to get ahead in the league, close competitors dropping points and us playing a very winnable game, then we bottled it. It is why we did not win the league.

    We had this very situation in the burnley game but managed to get the vital first goal and were totally in control. One totally unnecessary reckless challenge and we are down to ten men, game completely changes, we are under pressure and then concede a penalty. We only won due to being awarded an incorrect penalty against an offside player.

    Basically we bottled it again and were lucky to win. We need some steel in our team, but getting red cards for needless reckless tackles is not “steel” it is a liability which could cost us dearly. Tony Adams had 4 red cards in 255 matches playing for arsenal, xhaka has 2 reds in 19 games.

    Arsenal and xhaka have to sort this out, getting a red card in a very difficult situation or possibly a second yellow is understandable, and is part of having some “steel” in the team. Getting straight red cards for unnecessary, reckless challanges is not acceptable. If it cannot be sorted then his future at arsenal will be limited.

  4. sanmi.marvellous says:

    Actually I like his strength and commitment to go toe-to-toe with ANY offensive opponents. However, he needs time to study and adjust to EPL.. He will soon know some professional divers like Ashley Young; a bad arbiter like Mike Dean, who wants every decisions against Arsenal; a calm cool and collected ref like Oliver who seems to be improving every season.
    Xhaka is my man ANYDAY !!!

  5. bran99 says:

    I think not having ex players in the coaching department could lead to these kinds of setbacks. we haven’t replaced Vieira (i hear this a lot), having him as a midfielders’ coach could have improved the defensive MF area, like Xhaka and Coq could have a lesson or 2 about the sliding tackles coz Vieira was the master of sliding and stealing the ball form opponents feet.

    Bould is not enough, we need a Vieira in the middle and a Bergkamp or Henry upfront, all were masters in their respective areas. but le prof wants to do everything, even presence of Bould is not felt as Wenger does everything. he ends up telling them to play the Arsenal way, no tactics change, no motivation, no nothing

  6. Blind Love says:

    As well as learning to tackle(Jockey), the boy also needs to learn to talk a little less.

  7. Harold says:

    But Mr Wenger if Xhaka has to stop tackling all together that means Xkaka will have to stay on his feet and take on the one on one chase back towards his own goal, he would also need better positioning by following the ball all around the pitch in a defensive position like Elneny does. This would prevent quick players from getting the space and time to charge him with ball at their feet.

    Xhaka overall game is horrible flawed. He will not venture high up the pitch because his slow running back acceleration and poor long distance pace will let him down, he most often pass the ball long and too quickly, this is also a problem for arsenal in a sense that he does not come out with the ball and allow his players enough time to take up better position. Xhaka is to scared to get caught on the ball because he knows that his sluggish tackling will let him down.

    Mr Wenger made a clear mistake in paying 35 million in transfer fee and £120,000 in weekly wages to Xhaka. If you had to turn the clock back, Mr Wenger would never buy Xhaka not even on a free transfer, the true price of Xhaka is 5 million in transfer fee and £40,000 in weekly wages. Long passes and long shots on goal is nothing in Premier league.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs