Arsenal: Granit Xhaka’s five red cards at the Gunners
Where to start with Granit Xhaka. The Arsenal midfielder was in the headlines this week for all the wrong reasons… again.
The former Gunners captain was sent off on Thursday evening for the fifth time in just over five years from the club in north London in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
Xhaka apologized to ‘everyone’ at Arsenal for his awkward dismissal in the last four at Anfield before showing his ‘proud’ to his Gunners team-mates for saving an unlikely draw.
However, lack of discipline and hot-headed moments from one of the club’s most prominent figures has become all too common.
Granit Xhaka apologized to everyone at Arsenal for his red card at Liverpool on Thursday
The Swiss midfielder admitted early on that he regretted his moment of madness at Anfield
Not only has Xhaka had more than his fair share of red cards, but he’s also received 62 yellow cards during his time in the Premier League, and it’s hard to forget his amazing outburst with the club’s own fans in 2019.
He stormed off the pitch and told the fans to “shut up” when Arsenal were substituted in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
Xhaka’s outburst saw Unai Emery strip him of the captaincy and leave him out of the match squad as a penalty.
Recent reports have linked Xhaka to a move from the club to Jose Mourinho’s Roma. Perhaps Arsenal have finally had enough of its shocking moments.
Here, sports post looks at the five times Xhaka disappointed Arsenal by being sent off.
Xhaka’s first red of his Arsenal career came in a 3-2 win over Swansea. Theo Walcott’s brace and a goal from Mesut Ozil had put the Gunners in control with a 3-1 lead with an hour of play.
Borja Baston withdrew a goal for the Swans to ensure a tense finish in the Emirates, and just when Arsene Wenger’s side needed calm minds and composure, Xhaka got his marching orders.
The Swiss international was shown a blatant red card from referee Jonathan Moss for a reckless lunge at Moudou Barrow.
Xhaka received his first red card for Arsenal in a 3-2 win over Swansea in the 2016-17 season
“He’s not a dirty player at all, but he’s clumsy at times,” Wenger said afterwards.
“He is not a natural defender. He’s a man who likes to play forward, and Barrow has made a lot of it too.
“Because he was gone, the referee saw a bad tackle. It is what it is, he has to learn from it. Intelligence means you don’t make the same mistake twice.’
It was his eighth red for club and country in just over two years and it seems he still hasn’t learned his lesson.
Arsenal managed to hold on to the three points this time, but Xhaka’s sacking made it a lot harder than it needed to be.
Just a few months after his first rush of blood to the head in Arsenal colors, Xhaka was fired for a bipedal scissor tackle on Burnley’s Steven Defour.
Again, it came at a time when the Gunners were in control and the Clarets were leading 1-0.
Xhaka slid in with two feet in an attempt to gain possession of Defour after giving the ball away to his opposing team, but his challenge was thoughtless and deemed unsafe.
Xhaka’s lack of discipline in the 65th minute cost his side nearly three points as Burnley equalized in stoppage time thanks to a penalty from Andre Gray.
Alexis Sanchez came to the rescue with a penalty of his own in the eighth minute of stoppage time – much to Xhaka’s relief.
Xhaka was fired months later for a bipedal scissor tackle on Burnley’s Steven Defour
Xhaka managed almost four years without looking up to the referee’s red card for the Gunners, but against Burnley in the 2020-21 season, he left the official with no choice.
The 29-year-old grabbed Clarets midfielder by the throat when the Arsenal hothead lost his cool completely in the league game.
And this time, his unwarranted behavior cost the Gunners, as they lost 1-0 after his 56th minute dismissal.
Arteta labeled Xhaka’s behavior “unacceptable” and said he “crossed the line.”
It was then revealed that Xhaka was fighting to save his career with Emirates after that moment of madness.
Xhaka left referee no choice by grabbing Burnley’s Ashley Westwood by the throat in 2020
With Arsenal trailing 2-0 to champions Manchester City, Xhaka was sent off for the fourth time in his Gunners career.
The midfielder was sacked in the 35th minute for an off-the-ground two-legged tackle on Joao Cancelo, making the task even more difficult for these team-mates at the Etihad.
Not only were Arteta’s side up in the game, they were already under immense pressure after a terrible start to the season and Xhaka’s wild tackle couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Former England and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer tore in Xhaka after his 11th red in club football.
“That’s 11 red cards in his career, you can’t excuse this,” he continued Match of the day.
“All he has said to his team-mates is ‘sorry you’re on your own, I’m not feeling this today’. Who is he trying to impress? I do not know.
“You can’t tackle like that and go in, we all know the rules. He endangers his opponent.
“He (Arteta) will be furious about that tackle. You’re against it anyway, you can’t afford that.’
Just when Arsenal needed some firmness and discipline, Xhaka fell short – and Arteta’s side was thrashed 5-0.
Xhaka was sent off for the fourth time in his Gunners career against Manchester City in August
Xhaka left his team-mates with another tough task this week after a big challenge on Liverpool’s Diogo Jota when he was the last defender.
Arsenal had to navigate as a 10-man against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds at Anfield for 66 minutes, with the midfielder saying sorry after the 0-0 draw.
Gunners fans tore Xhaka into ‘ignorant liability’ after the midfielder was shown another early red card while being knocked out by football pundit Jamie Carragher.
Xhaka was sent off for a big challenge on Liverpool’s Diogo Jota when he was the last defender
He said on Sky Sports: “Jota just thinks, ‘I have to go for it.’
“And then Xhaka does what Xhaka does, he makes an absolutely ridiculous challenge when Jota has so much to do.”
After looking into the incident in more detail, Carragher added: “You asked me if it’s a red card. There is no doubt that it is a red card.
“We weren’t sure at first, did he know he was there? But the way he took it out, the force with which he took it out, an absolutely ridiculous challenge.”
Only Spanish defender Sergio Ramos has seen more rejections since the Swiss midfielder made his Gunners debut in the 2016-17 season.
How many times can Arsenal endure Xhaka being the bearer of bad news?