Monday, July 4, 2022

Wenger: Our midfielders need to stay on their feet

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s midfielders need to stay on their feet after Granit Xhaka’s late challenge on Burnley’s Steven Defour resulted in a second red card of the season for the Swiss.

While replays suggest the summer signing was a little unlucky to receive his marching orders on 65 minutes, referee Jon Moss, who also sent Xhaka off against Swansea earlier in the season, had no hesitation in reaching for his pocket.

Xhaka’s red looked to have been a costly when the visitors equalised in stoppage time; however, Alexis Sanchez’s last-gasp penalty ensured the Emirates celebrated a 2-1 win and three points.

At his post-game press conference, Wenger – who himself was sent to the stands for his furious reaction to the award of Burnley’s penalty – said:

“Xhaka’s red card? Honestly I have to look at it again.

“The noises I get is that it was a red card and he has to control his game and not punish the team with lack of control in his tackling.

“We don’t encourage our midfielders to go down on tackles, we want them to stand up and not to make these kind of fouls. If it’s a bad tackle, it’s a red card.”

Asked whether he was disappointed in Xhaka, he added: ”I’m disappointed that we played with 10 men, yes.

“We’ve had two red cards and four penalties [given against us] this season at home now. You cannot say that we make it easy for ourselves, or that we get it easy.”

Xhaka’s straight red card will result in a four-game ban meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s FA Cup game at Southampton, the home game with Watford, the visit to Chelsea and Hull’s visit to the Emirates on 11 February.

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Very unlucky for Xhaka. Referees were useless.


The rules are pretty clear in that regard. Both feet off the ground –> red card. Doesn’t matter how much he has touched the opponent. It was just stupid. Will cost him his place in the team I guess. Ramsey is getting better week by week and I still think him and le Coq could be a very good duo.


Have a look at the you tube. Neither foot was off the ground when he made contact. Indeed, he only made contact with one foot, which was on the ground and studs not showing. This was nothing like an over the ball challenge. The Burnley guy made a big meal of it (of course) and Xhaka’s reputation did not rest.


It’s completely irrelevant if the feet have been off the ground in the moment he catches him. At one point they have been. And that’s a red. And Xhaka knows this so there’s not really an excuse to make such a tackle in the middle of the park at 1-0 up.

Kevin S

Berlingoon – We’ve tried Ramsey and Coquelin before. It does not work, at least with Ozil ahead of them. Neither Ramsey or Coquelin have good enough passing to pick out Ozil from deep meaning Ozil has to drop deep in games. I am so worried about this midfield duo and I think we will struggle badly in the next 4 games.


Xhaka was stupid period. Arsene said earlier in the season after his first stupid red that a sign of intelligence is you don’t make the same mistake twice obviously based on that assesment Xhaka didn’t show any intelligence in that tackle in the opposition half a long way from goal didn’t need to go down at all very sloppy as well to lose the ball under no pressure. very stupid indeed. Epecially with Elneny away he should know his importance to the team everyway i think about it it’s just daft from a player with such quality that’s his 2nd… Read more »

gooner 44

he’s getting to be a liability we can ill afford,


What amazes me is people forget he made some nasty fouls before during the first half; he basically creates suspicion against him in the referee’s thinking.
He really made the bed for it.
The fould itself is not debatable I’d say. As is the quality of the guy, granted. He needs to grow up.


A stupid tackle yes but if that was a red then surely the studs to the face that gave us the penalty was a red as well. Or perhaps I’m missing something.


Or the ‘tackle’ on OG in the first half? He was almost cut in 2. Cleats into Alexis’ achilles? No card. No way that was a straight red. The reaction seemed a bit imbelished as well.


Xhaka was deliberately kicked from behind in the first half. Not even a yellow.


Oh, right! Ridiculous.


I don’t understand the stick he is getting from social media.! He just turned 24 and this is the only flaw in his game! I am sure Wenger will sort it out. Even if it takes making him sit the rest of the season on bench! Once it is sorted out, it’s hell of a player we have! I was so impressed by how easily he sends passes between the lines! Always precise and the receiver doesn’t even have to adjust! Awesome quality! I don’t think any other midfielder does that as good as he does. There is no rush..always… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

There is no rush… until he makes a mistake, then he reacts with a lunge to try to undo his error. That’s something that is going to be extremely difficult to coach out of his game because it is an instinctive reaction.


Personally I thought the foul on Ozil where the Burnley player injured himself was really dangerous, it was lucky Ozil did not get injured and it was an almost last man situation. But Arsenal rarely get those calls in their favor. Penalty for Mustafi was clear as day.

Xhaka probably deserved it, refs are more critical when it looks like you are overdoing it because you fucked up, which is exactly what Xhaka did. Stupid pass followed by an even stupider foul.

Lord Bendnter

It was a strong yellow. Two footed but feet on ground. Caught opponents foot, also not last man and not in our half. It was a stupid stupid tackle deserving a yellow card and a talk from the referee. NOT a straight red.

Lord Bendnter

Also, he was going for the ball, had the ball not have nutmegged him, his feet were going to have landed on the ball not his foot. Further, he caught the side of his foot, not the entire foot or leg. And worst of all, the referee was in the PERFECT position to see all of this. That’s why it baffles me how it was a straight red.


the linesman gave a red after Moss consulted. And then made up for it in the 98th by giving no offside and might have convinced Moss via headphone it was pen cos Moss hesitated. We won. Fuck yeah

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You do know that if the ref or linesman think it was a reckless tackle because both feet were off the ground then no contact is needed for it to be a red card? His feet WERE off the ground until the moment of contact. He did NOT slide into the tackle, he jumped into the tackle. That was the bit that the linesman adjudged reckless so his feet being back at ground level as the tackle connected is immaterial. In the second that you do a tackle like that the most obvious part is the bit where you are… Read more »


His feet did not look on the ground to me!

Yorkshire Gunner

Wenger will develop it out of him and he’ll be a strong player for us. Great vision and pass.


I get the rule about two-footed tackles being a straight red card if it endangers the opponent. But there needs to be some consistency between the different refs – how on earth did Rojo get away TWICE for those lunges of his?! This whole season has been really inconsistent in terms of referee decisions.. it’s perplexing


Perplexing, but irrelevant in this situation. It was a red card. Period. It was a red card no matter whether or not other players in other games got away with a similar challenge. You are 100% right, however, about there needing to be better consistency. Furthermore, that consistency needs to be not just from referee to referee, but from decision to decision in the same match from the same referee. I have no issue with the red card to Xhaka. But I have several issues about challenges both earlier and later in the match, that all should have resulted in… Read more »


Wenger probably doesn’t think it’s a red either. But he doesn’t want to give Xhaka an excuse.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Wenger is smart enough to know that sort of tackle is just begging for a red. He doesn’t want any of his players doing that. The problem is that it is very hard to train somebody not to overreact when they fuck up, because they don’t consciously think their actions through before they “dive in”. Xhaka may never get this sort of reckless tackle out of his game.

djourou's nutmeg

well in any case if i had been in xhaka’s place i would have ripped that bloody cunt’s head off so well played to him for remaining calm after the red card


Dirty players are the ones that manage to hurt opponents, provoke and cheat *without* getting caught, so a dirty player he is not. But he is a careless one.

Time for a couple of weeks in Steve Bould’s School of Defending Properly, hands of Arsene.




I would like to state the facts: Moss actually consulted with the other official before reaching into his back pocket for the red. I don’t think he was going to give the red until the other official talked to him; the incident occurred right in front of the other official, who I believe played a bigger role in the red than Moss.


You are correct – and I have a bit of an issue with Moss’ needing to do that. He was right next to the play and shouldn’t have needed to consult, he should have known it was a straight red all on his own. Not Moss’ finest ever day in the Premiership. Still, we’re 13-1-1 with him refereeing, so I don’t cringe when see his name nearly as much as I cringe when I see Dean, Atwell, or Taylor. (To be fair, Taylor at least has improved slightly this year … but Dean and Atwell started at zero and have… Read more »


the referee has every right to avail himself of the assistance of his, er, assistants – if he thinks it will help with the judicious and fair execution of his duties as the referee. you can have a bit or a lot of an issue with that, but it’s irrelevant.


What’s more worrisome is again how thin the midfield leaves us. We get Coquelin back and we lose Granit Ideally we would prefer the option of Granit/Ramsey or Granit/Coquelin going into the Chelsea game. Coquelin/Ramsey will have to do but there have been issues with this relationship before That said Ramsey had a very good game so hopefully he will adjust with more caution and coordination with Coquelin But our central midfield is so thin at the moment As an emergency issue I think we should be exploring Iwobi there since he holds the ball well in tight confines and… Read more »


Before we join the media circus and get over critical of Granit, good to remember Coquelin wad also careless today conceding the penalty. That said Granit has to adjust his game.its not the first time But if we remember Viera, he also had plenty of red cards so we can’t complain we lack a bit of bite and then begrudge the player for having that sort of edge to his game These things take a b8t of time to work out but anyone who doesn’t see the benefits He’s not has brought to the team with his padding and quick… Read more »

An Ox-sized Coq

Two-footed, so by the letter of the rule it is a red.

However, I find it incredible that the two calls he “technically got right” was the red card and Burnley’s penalty.


if I were Wenger,I will appeal with both Rojo video of two footed challenge to compare with Xhaka. What a way to win the match, Sanchez was smiling all the way…. COYG

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

If it was a panel of Arsenal fans they would still agree it was a red card if they judged it according to the rules rather than judging it as Gooners. Any attempt to challenge the card would end up with an extra game being added to the four games he will already miss. We won’t challenge it.


The one we should have challenged was the first one Xhaka got, which was never a red. That one should have been reduced to a yellow card, for a deliberate foul to break up a promising attack.


Aside all the stupidity the ref did, Xhaka’s seemed like a red. He is a good player and will get better at tackling.
I don’t remember the last time poor refereeing helped us win an injury time penalty. Kosc seemed off when the kick was taken but who cares. Wish Gab had gone all wild on seeing it and kicked Barton’s head off though.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Koscielny was onside when the ball was kicked. He moved past and behind the defender as they followed the flight of the ball, and the defender probably had no idea his head was there. Not that that matters. His foot was high and just contacted Koscielny’s head so it was a penalty because it was reckless… jut like Xhaka’s red card (which makes you wonder why a red wasn’t given.. perhaps the ref was thinking that that would be a double punishment, what with the penalty being given, but that should never be a factor when a player has been… Read more »


You’re on the right track. The difference was that Mee’s challenge on Koscielny was reckless, which warrants a yellow card, and Xhaka’s challenge on whoever was excessive, which warrants a red card. From the Laws: • “Careless is when a player shows a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or acts without precaution. No disciplinary sanction is needed • Reckless is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned • Using excessive force is when a player exceeds the necessary use of force and endangers the… Read more »


Stay on their feet, yes, but Coq kind of knows how to slide in and make those crunching tackles going to the ground without necessarily getting a card.
I guess it’s an art for him, sometimes risky but most of the times he does it, very necessary.


Coquelin is truly remarkable at getting tackles spot on and playing the ball rather than the man, no matter how hard he goes in. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen him absolutely crunch into a challenge from a position where you’d think he couldn’t possibly make a tackle, and come out of it with the ball on his feet and the opponent on the ground.

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