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Arsenal: Granit Xhaka explains reason behind poor disciplinary record

Granit Xhaka at Arsenal
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The Arsenal midfielder insists he cannot change his playing style amid criticism for his poor red record.

Granit Xhaka received a straight red card for his reckless foul on Diogo Jota during the first leg of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup tie against Liverpool. 

The Gunners ended up holding the Reds to a goalless draw. However, the absence of Xhaka was a huge blow for Mikel Arteta’s team, who lost the second leg 2-0

Since the Spaniard took charge in December 2019, the Gunners have received 14 red cards. They have one of the worst disciplinary records in the league, and it’s not hard to find someone to blame. Granit Xhaka is notorious for receiving easy red cards, with the Swiss being sent off during several crucial games.

In a new interview with Sky Sports, the experienced midfielder has explained the reason behind his poor red card record.

“It’s not like I’m planning this. It’s not like I’m doing this on purpose,” the Arsenal midfielder said.

“But sometimes, I am in a position where I have to take a 50:50. It’s risky, of course. Now people will say, ‘Yeah, but why do you always [take] risks?’

“This is who I am. I can’t change myself from today to tomorrow. Of course, I need to improve and I know I need to improve.

“But in this moment, if Jota takes the ball and he scores, they will say again, ‘Why didn’t you stop him?’ Now, I stop him, they say, ‘Why do you get the red card?’

“In the end, after the game, everyone is smarter than in the moment – myself as well. Of course, when I see it back now and say, ‘Do I need to go into the duel or not?’ No.

“But it is a moment, a second, where I have to make a decision and this time I made the wrong one and I feel sorry for the team, I feel sorry for the supporters, but thanks God they did an amazing job after that.”

Arsenal return to action on Sunday to host Burnley in their last game before the international break.