January 20, 2022

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‘Stupid’ Granit Xhaka red card ‘proves critics right’ as Arsenal man adds to awful disciplinary record in Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool

‘Stupid’ Granit Xhaka red card ‘proves critics right’ as Arsenal man adds to awful disciplinary record in Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool
Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has been heavily criticised after getting sent off yet again in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool. The Switzerland international, with a track record of poor discipline on the pitch, was given his marching orders in the 25th minute of the Carabao Cup semi-final, forcing his teammates to hold out for a…

Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has been heavily criticised after getting sent off yet again in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

The Switzerland international, with a track record of poor discipline on the pitch, was given his marching orders in the 25th minute of the Carabao Cup semi-final, forcing his teammates to hold out for a well-earned draw.

It was a shocking tackle from Xhaka

Shutterstock

It was a shocking tackle from Xhaka

The referee was left with no choice

Getty

The referee was left with no choice

A wild high boot into the chest of Diogo Jota means Xhaka will be suspended for the return leg at the Emirates and Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham, with Mikel Arteta desperately short in midfield after Thomas Partey left for AFCON duty.

Xhaka has earned a reputation for red cards – and rightly so: since his debut for Arsenal in 2016/17, no Premier League player has been sent off more times.

Tonight was his fifth in all competitions and his second this season following a similarly mindless red at Manchester City.

And talkSPORT pundit Sam Matterface was in no mood to defend the 29-year-old. Reacting to the red card, he said: “It’s stupid. Absolutely stupid.

“A lot of people were annoyed that the classic Xhaka narrative came out after the Manchester City penalty [on New Year’s Day].

Xhaka made Arsenal’s task harder with a foolish challenge

Getty

Xhaka made Arsenal’s task harder with a foolish challenge

“But he’s proven those people right.”

Meanwhile, ex-Aston Villa and Chelsea striker Andy Townsend believes the incident was further evidence of a fundamental problem with Xhaka.

Townsend told talkSPORT on commentary: “Xhaka always panics because he hasn’t got the legs.

“Let Jota take the ball! If he scores, he scores. Take it on the chin.

“But do not throw a leg into the player’s chest and ask the question!”

Xhaka picked up an unnecessary red card in Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat at Man City

Getty

Xhaka picked up an unnecessary red card in Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat at Man City

He added: “Fundamentally, he gets exposed when he is in that deep-lying position.

“He will always lunge and commit. Stay on your feet. Jota is on the edge of the box.

“There was someone there who could’ve dealt with it. Anything can happen.

“Now, all of a sudden, after 25 minutes they’re down to ten men.”

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