Arsene Wenger has responded to the sending off of Granit Xhaka in the Premier League match against Burnley last week. The Swiss midfielder was given a straight red for a two-footed tackle during the match, his second sending off of the season (via Arsenal.com).
Arsenal’s match against Burnley was a real rollercoaster of emotions for Gunners fans. From comfortably leading to the red card and Burnley’s equaliser before that last minute Alexis Sanchez penalty, those last 20 minutes had it all. Now, Arsene Wenger has spoken about Granit Xhaka’s red card for the first time since Sunday.
“Watching it again, the sending off was harsh and it was not a dangerous tackle,” Wenger claimed. “It was clumsy but you accept that he can be punished for these kinds of tackles today. I don’t think he wanted to hurt anybody.
“He has to learn from it and unfortunately we lose him for four games during an important part of the season, hopefully we will get away with it.
“I think naturally he’s not a great tackler. He’s intelligent on the pitch but he needs to improve the technique of tackling on the pitch. He does not master well the art of tackling.
“I would encourage him not to tackle, to stay on his feet. Tackling is a technique you learn at a young age. You can improve it but when you’re face-to-face with somebody, it’s better to stay up.”
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Wenger also spoke about the recent allegations of ‘racist abuse’ from Granit Xhaka on a member of staff at Heathrow Airport.
“I have talked with him about it and he denies it completely,” Wenger confirmed. “I can only talk about him from what I’ve seen since the start. He’s had a fantastic attitude since he has arrived here on a daily basis and he has been absolutely marvellous to manage on a daily basis.”
Wenger’s comments on both instances are very interesting. It’s rare to see Arsene Wenger talk about the weaknesses in one of his own player’s game so openly. The Frenchman certainly has a point regarding Xhaka’s tackling and hopefully these comments will encourage the midfielder to improve that area in the future.