Former Premier League duo Alan Shearer and Kevin Campbell both heaped criticism on Granit Xhaka for his poor discipline in picking up a straight red card in Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat against Manchester City.
Xhaka, 28, received his marching orders in the 35th minute of Saturday lunchtime’s contest between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta’s sides.
At the time that the Swiss International was sent off, the Gunners were already in disarray after two defensive calamities within the first 15 minutes allowed the champions to race into an easy 2-0 lead.
Just as the north Londoners looked to be getting a foothold in the game, the 28-year-old left the floor with two feet to try and win the ball from City full-back Joao Cancelo.
The midfielder was dismissed straight away and Arteta’s disappointment was clear to see with his reaction that was caught on camera as Xhaka trudged off the field.
“I am [angry] because of the consequences that it had to the team,” Arteta told BT Sport via the Daily Mail.
“I must say that the line we are being judged with is really, really thin because we have seen actions like that in the first two Premier League games and nothing happened and I am disappointed.
“I am very disappointed with the second goal because of the way that they allowed that goal.”
After the dust settled on the battering and bruising defeat that most Arsenal fans have come to expect of their side, former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell didn’t hold back in his criticism of the north London clubs’ No.34.
Some have called for the midfielder never to play for the club ever again after the previous incident, and Campbell says he is among that contingent.
“I am one of them, I was one of them,” Campbell told Sky Sports. “I was one of the people who said he shouldn’t play for Arsenal again.
“I know there’s been a meltdown in the Arsenal fanbase because the club re-signed him.
“Now, wanting to upgrade is what every fan wants.
“And when stuff like that happens yesterday, getting sent off in what was going to be a difficult game anyway, he’s a liability.”
Similarly, Premier League legend Shearer delivered a scathing assessment of a player that was recently handed a new longer-term deal by the higher-ups at the club amid genuine Roma interest.
The 51-year-old said: “That is 11 red cards in his career now, you just can’t excuse this, all he has said to his teammates is: ‘I just don’t fancy this today.’
“He has said to his teammates: ‘You are on your own thank you very much, I don’t fancy it today.’
“He [Arteta] should be raging at that tackle because you are up against it anyway, you cannot afford to do that type of thing.”
Xhaka will now miss the next two must-win games for Arsenal after the International break against relegation fodder in the form of Norwich City and Burnley.
One man’s misery is another man’s fortune and new signing Albert Sambi Lokonga is almost guaranteed to start the next two Premier League games now as a result of the 28-year-old’s poor conduct.
Source by Football London