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- The league table for the last 16 games, has a few interesting surprises to offer
The other day I was looking into how Xhaka had managed to get his cards down so dramatically this season, and it all boils down to what we have been talking about here on Untold for quite some time, namely the ‘stop tackling’ revolution introduced by Arteta a couple of seasons ago.
But not only has Xhaka managed to drastically reduce his cards but his overall contribution has also improved dramatically. Overall his influence on matches is the best it has ever been since he joined us back in season 2017/18.
Below I have put a table together showing not only his disciplinary record, including tackles/fouls ratios as I did in an earlier article, but have included his cards as well. Not only that, but this time I have also included his offensive contribution.
|Season||Played||Tackles / game||Fouls / game||Yellow cards||Red cards|
As you can see, barring a couple of tiny glitches, both tackles and (therefore) fouls have been steadily decreasing season on season.
As for cards, well it has taken time to get those down but finally, they have fallen in line with those other statistics. It seems no matter how much the men in black might want to, it’s very difficult to pull someone up for fouls, and then issue cards, if they don’t tackle in the first place!
But honestly, that is a remarkable decrease in all parameters.
Again, as you can see this season’s improvement is remarkable. At this rate his goal contributions are set to eclipse those of his last four seasons possibly by a factor of four times. The only season that comes close is his first, but he looks set fair to eclipse even that season.
From being booed off of the Emirates to this amazing renaissance is quite remarkable, and to me at least absolutely heartwarming.
Credit of course must go to Arteta for the implementation of his revolutionary tactics, but make no mistake, it took a man of immense talent, self-belief, and guts to pick himself off the floor and prove to everyone, even his most vitriolic of doubters, that he was and still is the world class player we here at Untold always knew he was.
Well done Xhaka.
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