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Wenger criticises Arsenal star after poor display v Burnley

By on January 22, 2017

granit xhaka arsenal

Arsene Wenger has taken aim at Granit Xhaka after the midfielder’s dismissal almost cost Arsenal two valuable points against Burnley this afternoon.

We were totally in control of the game after Mustafi opened the scoring shortly after half time but less than ten minutes later Xhaka was shown a straight red for a lunge on Defour.

I immediately thought it was a harsh decision but Granit lost possession thanks to a sloppy pass and gave the referee a decision to make by jumping in with two feet while trying to retrieve the ball.

It was needless and reckless so we can’t have too many complaints and the Swiss international left us playing with ten men for over 30 minutes today and Burnley grabbed an equaliser in stoppage time.

Thankfully we had enough time to win a penalty of our own which was converted by Alexis Sanchez to secure the win but Xhaka’s sending off put unnecessary pressure on the team and could have cost us two vital points.

It was his second sending off this season so understandably Wenger is concerned about the midfielder’s disciplinary record but I’m surprised at how critical the boss was after the game.

Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger said Xhaka has to control his game and not ‘punish’ the team with a lack of control in his tackling. Arsene also says he doesn’t want his midfielder’s diving in to tackles on the ground and was disappointed we ended up playing with ten men today.

on the Arsenal penalty and Granit’s red card…
Our penalty, I saw it on television. I think it was a penalty and red card. Xhaka’s red card? Honestly I have to look at it again. The noises I get is that it was a red card and he has to control his game and not punish the team with lack of control in his tackling. We don’t encourage our midfielders to go down on tackles, we want them to stand up and not to make these kind of fouls. If it’s a bad tackle, it’s a red card.

on if he’s disappointed in Xhaka…
I’m disappointed that we played with 10 men, yes.

Xhaka’s disciplinary record speaks for itself and he clearly has a problem with tackling but Wenger knew what he got when he bought him.

Unfortunately, he’s becoming a liability for us as getting needless red cards is going to cost us at some point. If this was against a top club, we would have dropped points today.

Here’s his tackle from today, check it out for yourself.

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