Arsene Wenger has admitted to concerns over Granit Xhaka’s temperament ahead of Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham at the Emirates.
The summer signing from Borussia Mönchengladbach has already been sent off this season for the Gunners, during their victory over Swansea for which he received a three-game ban.
The Switzerland international picked up another yellow card in midweek against Ludogorets and Wenger says he is worried about Xhaka, and particularly how he might cope in a passionate derby against their local rivals.
“I have no specific idea what I will do, I’m a bit concerned yes because the discipline is important,” he said according to the official Arsenal website.
“We want to be effective in all the situations we face and in a derby it’s important to keep control of your reactions and it’s important for the effectiveness of these games.
“I think he’s quite normally a calm and composed guy. Sometimes on the field he has impulsive reactions and he knows that and it’s not because you talk about that, he works on that but he needs to keep control of his reaction on the game.”
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Xhaka could well feature against Tottenham with manager Wenger admitting that Cazorla remains a doubt and could miss the game.
However, the Frenchman remains bullish over his side’s hopes of inflicting a first Premier League defeat of the season on Tottenham.
“It’s an interesting clash because for us it’s an important game we are in a strong position in the league and we want to strengthen, overall Tottenham as well,” he added.
“It’s very tight at the top of the league, we are focussed to win, it’s a home game and we are focussed to win the game.
“Our position in the league is very important and we go into a period where we play big games and we want to win them.”
Wenger’s words will hopefully serve as a warning to Xhaka whose less than impressive disciplinary record was well-known before he arrived at the Gunners, having been sent off eight times for club and country since April 2014.