Wenger: Xhaka’s not dirty, but I’ll speak to him


Arsene Wenger insists that Granit Xhaka is not a dirty player, but says he’ll have a word with the midfielder after his red card against Swansea yesterday.

The Swiss international was dismissed with 20 minutes to go for a cynical foul on Modou Barrow, and now faces a three game ban which the manager has already said we won’t appeal.

Speaking about his disciplinary history and some red cards in the Bundesliga, Wenger said, “In Germany, he had some but I don’t think he’s a dirty player at all.

“Sometimes there have been some clumsy tackles, because he’s not a natural defender, he’s a guy who likes to play forward.

“I will speak to him. I think Barrow made a lot of it as well, because he could go on. But the referee saw a bad tackle and you have to respect that.

“It is what it is, and he has to learn from it. I hope he learns from that.”

The 23 year old now stands to miss the Premier League games against Boro and Sunderland, as well as the EFL Cup tie with Reading.

For a card the manager has already described more as ‘deep yellow‘ than red, it seems odd that we wouldn’t appeal – to miss three games for that foul seems particularly harsh.


  1. Surely worth an appeal, but if you could choose three games for him to miss, it would probably be those three, Mohammed get your boots on son.

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      • Somehow the referee saw it as serious foul play, which according to the LOTG is a challenge made with excessive force. In hindsight (or even on first sight) it was clear to everyone EXCEPT the referee that the challenge was tactical, possibly reckless, but never excessive. Unfortunately, because the referee saw it as excessive, the penalty for a red card for serious foul play is applied. And that’s a three-match ban.

        Arsene is not appealing it because there’s a chance the appeal might have been deemed “frivolous”, which would incur an additional one-match ban.

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      • The FA will often increase the ban from 1 to 2 games (3 to 4), if an appeal is unsuccessful. Plus, a fee/fine of some sort too.

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      • The risk in appealing is the we could lose Xhaka for the Spurs game. Wenger probably doesn’t feel the risk of losing Xhaka for the Spurs game is worth the tradeoff of having him available for Middlesbrough, Reading and Sunderland.

        And you can see the logic in that.

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  2. Certainly not a red , was actually a really good foul to give away. But considering the lucky decisions we’ve had this season (hull red card, Southampton penalty and the infamous Burnley hand ball), we can’t complain too much. You’re always going to get calls go against you in a season the key is to play well enough that they don’t determine the outcome of the game , as we did yesterday. COYG!

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  3. Apparently they changed the rule pre-season and a deliberate foul with no attempt to play the ball is now an automatic red. For some reason this new rule has never been enforced until yesterday.

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    • Well, that explains this weird decision…..honestly, I have seen worse from other teams this season, and some of them didn’t even get a yellow!…. but of course, you bet if the officials have to enforce some obscure new rule, it would have to be against arsenal, wouldn’t it?
      Still, it could have been worse – i’ll take this incompetent fool over mike dean any day!

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      • Exactly. If that was the case, Mustafi should’ve been sent off for pulling back Sigurdsson (did he even get a yellow for that?).

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  4. He is certainly not dirty. However, he is not really disciplined either. I am watching him since he first arrived in Bundesliga in 2012 and his temper and the amount of fouls he commits during a game have proven to be a major problem.
    The foul wasn’t a straight red this time, but it was reckless nonetheless.

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  5. When you looked across the pitch at that moment if he goes through its 4 Swansea players against 2,so really you have to understand what he was thinking. Hopefully he can take stock and reflect on the mistakes he made. He’s been pretty consistent up until this point so we have to give Xhaka the benefit of the doubt and he’ll bounce back. If anyone is going to help a player improve on this stuff, it’s Wenger. Good chance for Elneny to stake a claim for a place in the team as well.

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  6. As James Goyder has already stated with the pre-season rule change that challenge is now deemed a red card offence. Why they decided to change this rule and the way they kick off and not other things is another debate altogether.
    If they brought this rule in ten years ago Chelsea would have had no players on the pitch.

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  7. He’s clipped his foot. It’s a cynical challenge and a dead on yellow card. It’s not violent conduct. It should be a one match ban.

    I really think Wenger should appeal.

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  8. I think wenger won’t apeal xhaka’s red just to teach xhaka a lesson that the PL is ruthless and needs to be carefull especially with the big games and if you get red in thise games you are losing the game, plus it is esiaer for him we are spoiled with chocies with coq back and I think elneny deserve a chance to play.

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  9. One match ban surely? As it wasn’t violent … was interesting hearing the Ox on Goals On Sunday this morning saying the teams have been told there’s been a change of rules this season, and any foul where there is no attempt or no chance to win the ball should be an automatic red. Haven’t seen it enforced yet, and if that’s the case Dean Marney should have been sent off for Hull against us for that sly as fuck trip on Sanchez off the ball. Consistency is appalling for any decisions in football.

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    • that cos sky pundits and ox are wrong on the rule, the new rule only applies in the penalty area, all part of the double jeopardy change, where penalty foul does not have to mean red card too, but it is still a red, if the foul is deliberate and has no chance of getting the ball. This does not apply outside the penalty area.

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  10. Tbh I think that it deserved a red. Excessive force + cynical foul should equal a red in my opinion. Also pretty bad defending when a full length lunge can only catch the back of his trailing ankle. If his positioning was better he could have just pulled off a simple trip and had no risk of a red. Xhaka’s marked himself out as someone for refs to keep a close eye on now, too.

    But why does the red get called against us? I guarentee there will be at least one of these fouls against us in the next couple weeks and the ref will just give a yellow. It felt like Jon Moss + the linesmen were calling every close call in Swansea’s favour.

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  11. What a miserable cunt that Alan Shearer is. The MOTD analysis was a disgrace. No mention of the red card, didn’t even know the rule change. Only interested in slating Theo for not turning up for England. Iwobi made the best decision ever choosing not to get involved in that circus.

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  12. Its a tricky balance. You want to curb over enthusiasm. OTOH you do not want to discourage the bite as well.

    In Granit’s case, it was probably a bit mistimed/ a bit cynical.

    Defo a mustard but not a fuschia even.

    Remember Viera also took a lot of red cards.

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  13. and I didn’t think he had a particularly poor game.

    Granted the mistake, it does happen when new players are trying to get use to the speed of the PL.

    The second goal was less excusable.

    But through the game, Granit recycled the ball very well and put in a number of excellent deep passes from the back. Ditto in fact Mustafi who also has that long range pin point accurate passing ability in his locker.

    This could be a bit by design by Wenger to have the team up field more with the back line more able to control and distribute. That means the likes of Coquelin and Santi do not have to sit as deep and can push higher up and pressure earlier.

    Finally excellent goal by Ozil. That’s 3 already this season, he’s decided to knock em in this season instead of putting in assists I suppose.

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  14. Move on people. Had that happened to one of ours we’d have been going on about how much of a talentless fuck the opposition player is. In your heart of hearts you half-feared what was coming. I know I did

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  15. He got the card because of the reputation he had coming to the premier league. The trip was deliberate but it certainly wasn’t excessive force or dangerous in any way. The card is an excuse to give him a break now and let Elneny get a few games and ease the Coq back in

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  16. Not appealing is maybe about… 1. Wenger reckons we don’t need him for Sunderland, Boro and Reading, he’s probably right if we mess up those games it won’t be because we didn’t have Xhaka. And 2. Maybe by saying we won’t appeal and publicly saying he’ll talk to him we may get a favourable hearing later on in the season when we need someones card rescinded for a key game(s)..?

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  17. I think Wenger will not appeal because he wants him to learn and secondly he has Elneny and Coquelin to fill up. There’s really no need to appeal. The reminds me of how Coquelin use to play when he was called from loan.

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