Xhaka: Cards are part of my game.

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xhaka_red card Swansea

Granit Xhaka says he wouldn’t be the player Arsenal wanted if he gave up the physicality that has earned him three bookings and one red card since moving to London.

The Switzerland international signed for the Gunners with a ‘hard man’ reputation having earned five dismissals since 2013 and with the third most fouls (73) in last season’s Bundesliga to his name; a trend he’s continued at the Emirates.

Unrepentant about his apparent disciplinary ‘problems’ Xhaka told Bild Sport, “Yellow cards and red cards are part of what Granit Xhaka is. I’d no longer be the same player without my rigorousness, and certainly not the player Arsenal wanted.”

Despite a low-key ticking off from manager Arsene Wenger who has suggested that Xhaka should learn from recent indiscretions, the player obviously still holds the boss in high regard.

“He’s a quiet character, doesn’t talk to his players a lot, but he’s a gentleman like Hitzfeld,” he added.

“More than 20 years at one club. That speaks volumes. He’s a top coach and the absolute boss at the club, you feel that every day.”

Xhaka also touched on the quality of the Premier League and teammate Mesut Ozil with whom he’s building an on-pitch relationship.

“Arsenal is two notches bigger than Borussia Moenchengladbach, the opportunities at the training ground are enormous and we work even more intensively than in the Bundesliga, the pace is higher the game more physical.

“Before every training session we work in the gym, every week tests are made to see how fit you are, how tired you are, how you sleep. Sessions are shorter but more intense and every day is full on.”

He added: “Mesut has a quality that I personally have never experienced before.

“He has an absolute magic left foot, is fast – even if it does not look like that sometimes and he is one of the best in the world.”

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29 Comments on "Xhaka: Cards are part of my game."

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Jack

Wenger should play him tonight. Perfect game for him to find some good form with a view to getting a solid starting place in the league games.

Erzengel

I’m on board with that, not least because it would be a chance to try Ramsey on the #10 – what game would be better?

IamaGoober

I donno, is he not one more yellow away from a suspension? if so, then we should probably not play him, because we can’t really afford to lose him considering he is our only other ball playing deep lying midfielder.

I could be wrong though.

Arsepedant

He is two yellows away from a suspension, and that assumes that yellows don’t get wiped when you get a red card suspension.

TR7

I’m hoping to see Iwobi in the 10, personally.

Jacob

Would like to see Xhaka Coq and Ramsey as a 3 with Ozil rested. Get Elneny on at half time for one of them to keep everyone it for the weekend.

Ox and Iwobi either side, hopefully Lucas up top.

The Only Olivier is Giroud
The Only Olivier is Giroud

Cards are a crucial part of my game too. Poker just wouldn’t be the game I love without them.

Scott P

A bunch of people sitting in a circle trying not to show emotion. Sounds like a fun party.

Sheffield Goon

Like Christmas lunch at the in-laws.

Ade

We call that a dinner in Finland.

Andy Mack

To be fair, he’s should have had 4 yellows and no reds but one fuck-wit official decided he wanted to send an Arsenal player off.

Chris

It’s odd that no one ever talks about Ozil’s pace. He’s a seriously fast chap.

Andy Mack

Like a few of our players, he’s quick once he’s moving but not over the first few yards.
In Ozils case though, he’s rarely standing still, so that’s less of a problem…

Trez

I’d love to see us try out a 4-3-3 with a midfield 3 of Jeff – Xhaka – Elneny for the game today. With the midfield options we have, it’s baffling we haven’t considered a 4-3-3.

Chris O.

I like Xhaka so far and could love him, but he really needs to STFU about this stuff in public. All statements like this are going to do is make him a lightning rod for foul calls by the likes of Mike Dean.

It’s also possible to play tough and effectively but “clean”, and perhaps more than any other position the deep midfielders need to balance that just because of the sheer number of challenges they have to make over the course of 90′. Arteta when he was at his best balanced it well, for example. Rather than burnishing the hard reputation of some stupid third person “Xhaka”, he and his team would be best served if he just learned to play his position efficiently.

Arteta - really?

Arteta is the best example of a balanced DM you can come up with? The Arteta love-in on this site never ceases to amaze me. A good player & a good pro but no more than that & never a DM

Trez

Arteta was superb in his first 2 seasons with us…easily one of the best DM in the league then. It’s a shame he lost his legs during his last few years with us, but let’s not act like he was shit throughout. He made Song and Ramsey look great that period.

Arteta - really ?

He had one really good season when he wasn’t a DM. After that…..he wasn’t shit as such……..he was just trying to do a job he couldn’t do & the team suffered badly as a result. Coq’s emergence showed what a nonsense it was to play him there.

The comment that didn't get published on Arseblog News
The comment that didn't get published on Arseblog News

“Yellow cards and red cards are part of what Granit Xhaka is. I’d no longer be the same player without my rigorousness, and certainly not the player Arsenal wanted.”

Not very perceptive this guy. Has he ever wondered why does it seem that Elneny and Coq are often preferred ,as starters, instead of him?

Gervinho

Anyone see the yellow card given this past weekend by the same referee who sent Xhaka off? It was literally the same foul, maybe worse, and he issued a yellow.

Think it was John Moss in the West Ham match, but my memory is scrambled right now.

I can only speculate that Xhaka’s reputation played a part in getting a red (vs. yellow), and that comments like “red cards are part of my game” aren’t helping him reverse that reputation.

I get what he’s saying, but would prefer him to say “I play hard and am very physical but always with the aim to win the ball.” Play the psychological card to win future calls.

Mpls

The yellow card for the other match reads like an admission of guilt to me. I’d wager he saw the replay and realized how poor of a call it was.

Arsepedant

Possibly … or perhaps the dressing down he got from PGMOL, along with the two-week demotion to the Championship, had the desired effect and he’s learned from his mistake.

Anonymarse

“I like to kick people”

Mpls

Maybe not the most tactically astute admission. Might have been better served by something like ‘playing a deeper role tends to put midfielders in situations that might lead to a booking’.

santori

It was also part of Patrick Viera’s game.

I don’t see why the gaffer does not play Coquelin and Granit. They need to continue to work together to establish a relationship on the pitch until Santi returns.

Elneny is a bit part player IMO. He’s diligent enough but doesn’t being anything extra to the plate.

Coquelin has mobility to harass the opponents, Granit sits deeper and plays out passes, they could be perfectly matched but need time to get use to each other’s movement.

Ozenal

There are definitely things he could improve on his game. Classic wenger signing, outright quality in certain areas and areas which can be coached on which will make a world class talent. Whenever he signs a 23yr old, especially one so expensive you know world class is the aim.

Love all the positive stuff he has done, even the red card because that was to take one for the team.

I feel that wenger is just taking him out of the opposition Analytics team spotlight. Imagine Mourinho with a dick dastardly look over a keyboard and monitor. They will target him.

Just as teams are starting to target Monreal’s lack of acceleration since he’s come back from injury. Hence the penalties he has conceded. These were concerted efforts by the opposition to identify and target Arsenal weaknesses.

And as ever only thinking about someone in your teams weakness is never going to provide a solution (mainly because we are all human, but that’s another philosophical question for another time). What wenger does well is find solutions to help support someone’s weakness, which maybe a reason why we find the more defensive Ramsey infront of Monreal, rather than Iwobi. And perhaps why Coq or Elneny are preferred, because they understand very well the demands of the EPL to cover the fullback on the inside in a way which is not dangerous.

So basically Xhaka simply needs to work on his defensive game. By being up to the pace required and having a full understanding of what each team member needs in support around him. And his position as a box to box midfielder basically needs the greatest understanding of other players and an eye for a pass.

Something which Cazorla also has six years of experience knowing each player.

You could say the same about Ramsey and perhaps that is a question for another time but it’s kinda relevant. The difference is that Ramsey is unselfish defending in the middle of the pitch (but like They can give up too easily chasing causes into the box) but selfish going forward. Basically wanting to one two himself forward, but leaving us susceptible to the counter. Putting him as a number ten reduces (but importantly doesn’t negate) the need to do as much defensively, tick. He does combination plays well in Upper midfield, tick. But still doesn’t support the teams need for a visionary passer to make the most of the attacking potential of the team.

In effect tonight he seemed average because the ability of players around him to one two his way upfield was lacking. And that is mainly because he doesn’t have enough bodies around him. Jenkinson isn’t physically sharp or willing, coq and Elneny don’t or can’t make effective attacking runs past Ramsey into the box.

Ozenal

CORRECTION, should read ‘Monreal’s lack of acceleration over the first yard on the turn’

Ozenal

There are definitely things he could improve on his game. Classic wenger signing, outright quality in certain areas and areas which can be coached on which will make a world class talent. Whenever he signs a 23yr old, especially one so expensive you know world class is the aim.

Love all the positive stuff he has done, even the red card because that was to take one for the team.

I feel that wenger is just taking him out of the opposition Analytics team spotlight. Imagine Mourinho with a dick dastardly look over a keyboard and monitor. They will target him.

Just as teams are starting to target Monreal’s lack of acceleration over the first yard on the turn since he’s come back from injury. Hence the penalties he has conceded. These were concerted efforts by the opposition to identify and target Arsenal weaknesses.

And as ever only thinking about someone in your teams weakness is never going to provide a solution (mainly because we are all human, but that’s another philosophical question for another time). What wenger does well is find solutions to help support someone’s weakness, which maybe a reason why we find the more defensive Ramsey infront of Monreal, rather than Iwobi. And perhaps why Coq or Elneny are preferred, over Xhaka, because they understand very well the demands in the PL to cover the fullback on the inside in a way which is not dangerous.

So basically Xhaka simply needs to work on his defensive game. By being up to the pace required and having a full understanding of what each team member needs in support around him. Taking him out of the firing line was a wise decision for the long term health of the team – having the media and fans turn on a 35m player and label him negatively will adversely affect him for the rest of his Arsenal career, perhaps this is where art really does imitate life and our constant criticism and throwaway opinions have had a negative outcome our football.
Back onto a discuss on footballing solutions: Xhaka’s position as a box to box midfielder basically needs the greatest understanding of other players and an eye for a pass.

This is something which Cazorla also has six years of experience having known each player inside out is the only combination play becomes effective for someone his size.

You could say the same about Ramsey and perhaps that is a question for another time but it’s kinda relevant. The difference is that Ramsey is unselfish defending in the middle of the pitch (but like Theo can give up too easily chasing runners effectively into our box – another thing counter attacking teams can analyse with their data) but selfish going forward. Basically wanting to one two himself forward in a risky way, but leaving us susceptible to the counter. Putting him as a number ten reduces (but importantly doesn’t negate) the need to do as much defensively, tick. He does combination plays well in Upper midfield, tick. But still doesn’t support the teams need for a visionary passer to make the most of the attacking potential of the team. And this is something to do with Ramseys personal viewpoint, that correctly goals are important but making the assumption that scoring a goal negates all the things you need to improve during a game. I’ve seen plenty of him doing great combination play and defensive duties and even some decent mid range passing. He just needs to ensure all the elements around him are right before he starts bombing into the box and he won’t try that wall pass around 5players just outside the penalty box!

In effect tonight he seemed average because the ability of players around him to one two his way upfield was lacking. And that is mainly because he doesn’t have enough bodies around him. Jenkinson isn’t physically sharp or willing, coq and Elneny don’t or can’t make effective attacking runs past Ramsey into the box.

GrampusAte

Yellow card and red cards – he’s got that “in his locker”. Seems strange. Like Diaby saying he has injuries “in his locker”.

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