Arsene Wenger has admitted that Granit Xhaka can be a little impulsive at times, but has backed the midfielder to control himself should he get the nod for the derby on Sunday.
It looks increasingly likely that Santi Cazorla will miss out, having not trained since the 6-0 win over Ludogorets last month, so the Swiss international could be the man to dictate the midfield flow alongside a holding player like Coquelin or Elneny.
With two yellow cards and one red in his 11 appearances so far, there have been some questions over his temperament, but the Arsenal manager believes he can stay in control
“Discipline is important,” he said, “because we want to be effective in all situations we face and in the derby it is important to keep control of your reaction and to have a strong discipline. It is part of the effectiveness in these games.
“Normally Granit is a very composed and calm guy, sometimes on the field he has a reaction that is a bit impulsive and he knows that. He has to work on that and keep control of his reactions in the game.”
With Sp*rs a physical, aggressive, niggly team – especially when things aren’t going their way – this could be a test for Xhaka and his teammates.
Let’s hope so anyway.