Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes that manager Mikel Arteta should not have defended Granit Xhaka for the challenge that saw him sent off in the 5-0 loss to Manchester City yesterday.
After the match, Arteta questioned the consistency of refereeing, saying similar tackles had been let go in the opening two rounds of fixtures, but Wright was having none of it:
“That challenge is a dangerous challenge. He had to go. I don’t know what is he doing there, Mikel? Trying to what? Trying to justify that!”
Xhaka badly let his teammates down in a very difficult situation. While he did win the ball, he was out of control which, in the modern game, is seen as dangerous and worthy of a red card.
It is very disappointing considering the Swiss has been one of the Gunners’ better players at the start of the season. Considering they have lost their opening three league games, that is not saying much, but he will be missed.
The three-match ban means the 28-year-old will have to sit out league games against Norwich City and Burnley as well as the Carabao Cup tie versus AFC Wimbledon. He will, though, be back for the North London derby.