Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was once again at the centre of controversy involving a red card after a two-footed lunging tackle on Joao Cancelo was deemed to have been reckless enough to earn his marching orders.
The Swiss midfielder picked up his 4th red card in an Arsenal shirt less than a week after he announced on his Instagram that he had signed a new deal with the club.
Having been close to joining Roma in the summer, both Arsenal and the Italian side were unable to agree on a fee. Therefore, Xhaka remained with the club, and Mikel Arteta along with technical director Edu made the decision to offer him a new deal.
After the game, Arteta was questioned about his emotions towards Xhaka. The Spaniard provided a short response, simply highlighting his anger towards what followed.
“I am angry because of the consequences to the team,” said Arteta.
The problem lies in Arteta being the man not only to pick Xhaka for the game but to commit himself to the 29-year-old remaining with the club for the long-term.
Speaking on BT Sport, Joe Cole highlighted that as the senior figure in the team, Xhaka should be the coolest on the field.
“It’s hard to find positives for Arsenal because at times, it’s been disarray. You have to stay on your feet and don’t do anything rash and Granit Xhaka has done that,” said Cole.
“We say in modern football to not leave the floor and he has done that many times in the past. He’s the senior figure on the pitch and when you need someone to have a cool head, he’s gone through him and it’s a sending off.”
Meanwhile, Joleon Lescot explained how needless the tackle was in the first place.
“It’s an erratic tackle, but the ball is going out for a throw-in, in the middle third, there’s no need to make that tackle in that area. It doesn’t surprise me that he got sent off,” said the former Manchester City defender.
Thomas Partey’s absence is clearly being felt, but Xhaka’s actions at the Etihad hardly come as a surprise.
Xhaka is far from a young player still learning his craft. Arteta, the club, and even supporters know exactly what you are going to get from him and that was demonstrated for all to see.
With Xhaka now suspended for the next 3 games, Partey and Sambi Lokonga are the most likely pairing after the international break. The Ghanaian is said to be close to returning to full training and Arsenal fans could see the partnership begin against Norwich.
Who would you play instead of Granit Xhaka against Norwich? Follow our new Arsenal Fan Brands Writer Tom Canton to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source by Football London