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July 2021

Xhaka: “I was made to look like a mindless idiot”. The player the English media won’t ever let you see.

By Tony Attwood

Granit Xhaka has given an interesting interview to the Swiss newspaper, “24 hours“, the title of which translates into Xhaka: “I was made to look like a mindless idiot”

In the article Granit is called “The heart of the Swiss team” and it notes that Granit “has been very much criticised in England following his various sendings off with Arsenal.”

The newspaper sees Granit very differently from the way he is portrayed in the UK media which, it says, has by and large gone into hysterics over Granit.  In Switzerland he is seen as unflappable and “imperturbable in the storm.”

Doing the regular round of interviews that comes with any international break Granit was asked if he had been surprised by the pressure of the Premier League, the media and being at Arsenal and how he had responded to the sometimes harsh criticism he received.  His reply is, I think, illuminating.

“What really surprised me was the source of the criticism and the form of it. The critics were not people from my club, but former players [of other clubs] who do not know me, nor did they know Arsenal. People who know nothing about my mode of operation have attacked me and tried to make me look like a total idiot! “

He was then asked, “What was worse? The choice of words used against you or the suspensions that prevent you from proving your worth?”  He replied,

“My second expulsion really hurt and disrupted me. I was going through a good phase, with 13 or 14 games played consecutively, I was in the rhythm. I was afraid of losing my place. So I started to doubt myself.    I began to feel that I was missing something in my body. And I needed time to find the right timing. “

“Were you surprised to be retained in the team after your suspension? There were so many observers who claimed that that you were just a disruptive element in the game of the Gunners …

“Arsène Wenger could not have given me a better proof of confidence. After two weeks of working away with the physical trainer, the coach came to me and released me from my worries by saying, ‘You’re playing!’ “

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“During this solitary period when you were suspended, did you seek advice from around you?”

“For the first three days I isolated myself almost completely. Then I was able to interact with different people. I had contacts with Lucien Favre, André Schubert (with his two coaches in Mönchengladbach) and a few players. “

“Did you think that this affair would take on such proportions?”

“You see, such an expulsion can, depending on the circumstances, change a career. The coach could very well have told me that I was a burden on the road to success. He could just as easily have kicked me! “

“Arsene Wenger is also under pressure at the moment, with the possibility of a non-qualification for the Champions League, which has not happened to Arsenal since 1997. What is the situation in your club?

“What is being played out here, in the daily newspapers concerning Arsenal, is very different from what I experienced in Mönchengladbach. They are worlds apart. Three consecutive games and all hell is unleashed. The expectations are huge: winning the Premier League, winning the Champions League and winning the Cups!  If you can not do it, then criticism does affect you, and it happens everywhere. “

“Do you think you have learned more during your first year in London than during the rest of your career?”

“No, I can not say that. Without the status I have built at Gladbach, I would not be in England. After six months at the Borussia, I wanted to run away, I felt like I had lost everything. Fortunately, the story was different, because I fought convincingly against failure. Since that time, it has become clear: I will never let myself be slaughtered by anyone or anything.”

“How would you define the role you will play Arsenal in the near future?”

“I am ready to take up the challenges and to move forward even if the wind is blowing me in the opposite direction. My goal is to play a pivotal role in one of the top ten clubs in the world and become a leader. “

“And while you are at Arsenal, the least of your gestures or anything you do in the national team is scrutinised …”

“And that does not bother me, because I worked to get where I am today. I was not given a present, I worked hard year after year. Nothing is left to chance, everything has been planned. That’s why I do not have to hide from anyone or justify myself. “

“You do not usually hide, you know the pressure, you communicate often. Have you already prepared to be the captain of Switzerland?”

“Right now I’m just below Vice-Captain Valon Behrami, and Vladimir Petkovic could also be captain. I would be very proud to represent my country with the armband. “

“Does the coach feel that you have the qualities required for the captaincy?”

“But nothing is ever played in advance. I have experience, with fifty selections already. If Switzerland were looking for a new captain, I would be ready. “

“The current captain, Stephan Lichtsteiner, appreciates your confidence in yourself. What do you think about him?”

“I observe it. And I’m not up to it yet. If I manage to hold five consecutive seasons at Arsenal, as is his case in Juventus, then we can be compared. For me, he is an example in every respect. “

“In what ways?”

“His unconditional commitment to the team, the way he has, at his age, to continue working relentlessly and to question himself. When I found myself under fire, after my second sending off, he wrote to tell me that he was by my side. For a young player like me, what good it is to receive advice from people like him! His words gave me some form of stability at the heart of a hectic period. “

It just goes to show what a different perspective the English media put on everything Arsenal.

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49 comments to Xhaka: “I was made to look like a mindless idiot”. The player the English media won’t ever let you see.

  • Norman14

    That just about confirms what we already knew – the English media have an agenda to end the Premier League career of one of Arsenal’s recent signings.

    Yhey really are a fucking load of evil shitheads.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Norman, with a little bit (a lot in fact) of help from the PGMO disciples….

  • Stephan

    How low can this site go to show a conspiracy against Arsenal?
    This is a player who had been sent off 7 times in about 3 seasons before he signed up for Arsenal and you here saying the Referees in England are the problem when hie has a damning history of such. He is a horrible tackler of the ball,even Wenger knows it as he stated it recently. Please check his disciplinary record before you post such an article next time . Doesn’t look good on the site to be honest.

  • Hunter13

    no stephan..the red cards he has received HERE in england are a joke considering what refs allow against arsenal

    and he has received them because arsenal is not allowed to retaliate and because arsenal does not have a right to a fair and equal contest here in this country.

    the favours and calls will go for our vip members in this casino..the russians the arabs etc..those who spend in our tables

    not the cheapskates 😉

  • Kamiel

    The Daily Star headline, for the same interview mind you, reads: “Arsenal star Granit Xhaka launches into ‘dirty, dumb, and brainless’ rant”.

    I remember Patrick Vieira – one of the most elegant midfielders to ever do it – had a similar reputation for recklessness. I also remember Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Robbie Savage getting away with red card challenges all the time.

    A foul is a foul, and reckless is reckless. But to the media, the only difference between grit and violence is what the referee decided to give.

  • Andy L

    As I have pointed out before Referee Moss has issued 3 red cards this season . One for a head butt and the other two were for Xhaka tackles . In 28 games he has also issued 112 yellow cards , nine in one game and seven in two games . I have seen Huth perpetrate a two footed tackle and Cork a reducing trip in the Swansea v Leicester match that were both the equal or worse than Xhaka’s offences for which Moss deemed a yellow. To me it is inconceivable that of the 112 yellows there was not a red card worthy tackle . It is apparent that Xhaka is a marked man particularly where Moss is concerned. ( stats taken from the Soccerbase website )

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Let me first of all console the government of England and the parents, partners, children and relations of those who lost their lives in yesterday’s terrorist attack in London and around the Parliament building. Let the souls of the dead rest in the Lord Jesus Christ and be raptured by Christ on resurrection day. Amen. Let the Almighty God in His mercy grant the bereaved the fortitude to bear the pain of their loss. Amen. And for the injured, minor or critical, let the Holy Spirit touch their injuries to sooth their pains and heals them completely in Jesus Christ Name. Amen. And let the would be the next terrorist or terrorists repent from their evil ways and doings and embrace the profound love of Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace and become children of the internal Peace kingdom and stop being the children of the violent kingdom of Satan whose ministries are to lie to deceive the people, seal their joy and kill them.

    We’ve all been watching Granit Xhaka since he started playing for Arsenal. I’ve watched him on TV severely whenever he played for Arsenal. Apart of last weekend when he showed some glimpses of good long range passing one of which resulted into a goal for Arsenal through Alexis in our away PL game against WBA. But does Xhaka trackback to defend efficiently? How often does he take on the opposition player or players in the opponent area and beat him or them to the ball on a dribbling run and score or gives assist to score? His much acclaimed long range goalscoring shooting is on the fade. It goes mile away from the mark these days for Arsenal, don’t they? Has he a good measure of ball control? Goalscoring are the essential ingredients in winning matches and Arsenal need the players who can deliver that option for them.

    In my own assessment of him at this juncture of the season, he’s been playing averagely for Arsenal so far. He’s yet to hit the ground running for Arsenal which I or we thought he would, going by the huge transfer fee it took Arsenal to bring him down to the Emirates Stadium. Maybe he’s the kind of a player that needs a year or so to settle down before he starts to do what is expected of him. But time is of the essence, Arsenal cannot afford the luxury of time to wait for him forever. Therefore, Xhaka should jettison his lackadaisical performance in Arsenal games and starts playing a telling game for Arsenal which will be resultful and not lead to losses.

  • Nitram


    You have a valid point about Xhaka’s disciplinary record but this is more about how the media criticise everything Xhaka does, in comparison to how they constantly make excuses for others, such as Dele Alli for example.

    I live in London, and over the last month or so the London Evening Standard has run at least 3 articles that have portrayed Alli in a positive light, despite him arguably being a far dirtier player than Xhaka.

    Yes, there is criticism but it’s invariably tempered with admiration and understanding with headlines such as this in the Mail:

    “Dele Alli needs to learn his sins on the pitch can cost Tottenham after brutal tackle in Europa League… but often the best players have an edge to them”.

    See how it works? It’s only an ‘edge’ when it comes to Alli.

    Read more:

    And this defending his dive against Southampton from Jamie Redknapp:

    “Pundit and former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp has told the Daily Mail that he has ‘no problem’ with the way Dele Alli won Tottenham’s penalty against Southampton on Sunday”

    See how it works? Alli doesn’t dive, he ‘wins’ a penalty.

    And that’s the point:

    From day one the media has portrayed Xhaka as a ‘dirty’ player, much like Pires got labelled a diver.

    So we have two approaches here from the media.

    One for Xhaka:

    Dirty player that needs watching closely and should be dealt with appropriately by referees.

    They are left in no doubt that they cant allow that sort of ‘ill disciplin’ to go unpunished.

    And one for Alli:

    Young lad learning his way, that needs understanding and tolerance, and that should be duly noted by the referees. They are left in no doubt that they cant knock that sort of ‘fight’ out of him.

    See how it works?

    In Xhakas case it’s ‘ill discipline’.

    In Alli’s case it’s ‘fight’.

    But again, this article is not really about Xhakas style of play, or disciplinary record, but the way it is blown out of all proportion by the media in order to put him fairly and squarely in the sights of the referees.

    As we have seen, it works.

  • Hunter13

    i vote nitram for minister of defence

  • omgarsenal

    Xhaka is a tough player and a bit rash at times but he is definitely NOT the brutal savage or ferocious killer the media try and make him out to be. From a referee’s point of view, he is the type of player one has to keep an eye on but that is all. The PIGMOB have clearly been advised to watch desperately for any foul he commits which will allow them to expel him from the game or accumulate two cautions, which amounts to the same
    Wenger ‘s man management, as always, is perfectly in tune with what Arsenal need. He doesn’t abandon his players like some other managers do, nor does he publicly criticize them without careful forethought. His comments about Xhaka’s tackling style were very measured and outlined what Granit has to do to improve there.
    Stephan, what doesn’t look good on this site is your poorly argued prejudice against Xhaka.

  • Mike T

    Stephan makes a good point that some seen too quick to dismiss. Whilst the stats may not be bang up to date focus on these
    Xhaka in 301 games both in England and in Europe including UEFA competitions and International matches he has been sent off 9 times and booked 76 times
    Koscielny in 422 games both in England and in Europe including UEFA competitions and International matches has been sent off 6 times and booked 48 times
    Mertesaker in 438 games both in England and Europe has been sent off 4 times and booked 23 times
    Or put another way in about a third of the games played of the other two combined he has very nearly matched their combined sending offs and already accumulated more bookings
    But hey it’s all about those nasty officials and journalists in England who clearly have got it in for him because he plays for Arsenal.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For your information about the sending offs from Xhaka

    April 19, 2014: Freiburg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, Bundesliga
    Xhaka earned a second yellow for a foul on Felix Klaus with the teams level 1-1 in the second half. Freiburg took full advantage by scoring two quick goals en route to a 4-2 victory.

    Nov. 22, 2014: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Bundesliga
    With Gladbach trailing 3-1, a frustrated Xhaka got himself needlessly sent off in the final minutes. He first earned a yellow card for protesting when his headed goal was disallowed for offside, and he followed that a minute later with a second booking for a foul.

    Feb. 26, 2015: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Sevilla, Europa League
    Xhaka had scored in the first half to make it 1-1 but another costly second booking in the second half doomed the hosts. Sevilla scored to make it 3-2 and advanced 4-2 on aggregate.

    Aug. 30, 2015: Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, Bundesliga
    Another reckless act from Xhaka, as a high kick in the area caught Assani Lukimya-Mulongoti in the face, earning him a late second booking and conceding a penalty in the process. Bremen missed the spot kick but were already up 2-1, which was also the final result.

    Nov. 7, 2015: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Ingolstadt, Bundesliga
    Xhaka was sent off late again after a second booking in the 86th minute, but Gladbach held on for a 0-0 draw.

    Dec. 20, 2015: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Darmstadt, Bundesliga
    Xhaka’s only previous straight red, and a very needless one at that. He retaliated by kicking out at Peter Niemeyer after the Darmstadt man first held his opponent back then tried to race past him. Gladbach still went on to win 3-2.

    Sept. 6, 2016: Switzerland vs. Portugal, World Cup qualifying
    Xhaka’s only dismissal on the international stage (so far) followed a familiar pattern as he made a rash challenge on Joao Mario to earn a second booking in injury time. It came too late to have an impact, though, with Switzerland stunning the European Champions 2-0.

    There you have those 7 red cards. In fact only 1 straight red card but a few second bookings.
    Maybe it would have been nice to know the facts before you argued?

    So a player who got 1 straight red card in 6 seasons playing football in the Bundesliga and the Swiss League now got 2 straight red cards in 18 matches in the PL? A bit strange isn’t it?
    Compare the stats of Per Mertesacker in Germany and in the PL. Tells you the whole story? If you want to read it of course.

    Per 8 yellow cards and 1 red in 7 seasons in the Bundesliga and in the PL 11 yellow and 2 red in 5 seasons. Almost the double of cards compared to the Bundesliga.

    And refs in the Bundesliga pull out more yellow cards and red cards than most refs in the PL.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Stephan, how low can you sink in order to make an Arsenal player look bad ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,

    in France Koscilny didn’t got send off and got 8 yellows in 2 seasons in 69 matches. Kos got 1 YC every 8.6 matches. In the PL one YC every 6.4 matches. That is a difference of 25% more.

    I have given Per his numbers already but comparing his numbers with the Bundesliga he got 1 card every 19.5 matches but in the PL he gets 1 card every 11.3 matches.
    That is almost double

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,

    Xhaka 1 DIRECT RED card in 6 seasons and 2 in 18 matches (in fact even less as he was banned for 3 matches before the Burnley match and was a sub in many others….)

    But please do believe what the media feeds you.

    The whole point of this article in fact

  • Stephan

    @ Walter u honestly don’t see your point. Be it a straight a straight Red card or 2 yellows, it’s still a freaking Red card!
    He has a terrible disciplinary record so the refs obviously have an eye for him, it’s only normal. Just like refs will hardly blow for a pen for Neymar cuz they feel he dives.
    Let’s stop being sentimental about this, xhaka doesn’t know how to tackle full stop. And the league is very strict with implementing the sanctions.
    Don’t think any league in the world gives as much cards as the EPl does.
    I believe Sergio aguero has been sent off twice this season already and he’s a striker.

  • Mike T

    Mertesaker has been sent off twice when playing for Arsenal . He was sent off twice when playing for Werder in Germany. not once as you state
    His worse season in terms of bookings and sending offs was in 2007/8 when playing in Germany
    In domestic matches he played 184 games in Germany and received 2 reds and 7 bookings in England in 172 games he has received 2 reds and 12 yellows. Are the figures that different? They certainly dont suggest to me that refs in Germany and England have any major issues with the way he plays or indeed how is his judged by the officials.

  • Mike T

    Kos 73 games in the two seasons you mention not 69. You are correct that he was booked 8 times but he also received a straight red when playing for Lorient in 2009/10
    Like Mertesaker he really doesn’t ge sanctioned that often indeed if you note in his first two domestic seasons in England he received 17 yellows and 2 reds in the last 5 seasons in domestic games been given just 18 yellows and 2 reds

  • Flares

    ‘Xhaka in 301 games both in England and in Europe including UEFA competitions and International matches he has been sent off 9 times and booked 76 times’

    Patrick Viera had 8 red cards and 77 yellows in 307 appearances just for Arsenal. Still a club legend who’d be first on your team sheet?

    You betcha.

  • Norman14

    Well, in summary, it’s because Xhaka is a footballer who occasionally, commits “meaty” fouls.

    Alli is just a dirty, diving cheat – and the media love him.

    If I had to suggest why – it’s racism. England players are getting away with everything at the moment under PGMOB and the media are condoning it.

  • Goonereris

    Stephan, “He has a terrible disciplinary record so the refs obviously have an eye for him, it’s only normal”.
    Well said. But, does that make it fair/correct? The mere fact you suggest refs will “have an eye on him” already proves pre-mediated stereotyping, which is very unfair. He is not a dirty player and I can go one step to say he has curbed any urge to go to ground to make tackles these days. When the same Ref shows you a straight red twice in the 1st half of one season, you have to question the motive. I

  • WalterBroeckx

    Stephan please explain me then why Barton isn’t send off each time he steps on a pitch?

  • Menace

    Stephan – Do you think Costa (Chelsea) is a clean player & does not deserve more red cards than most? Do you think Rojo (Man U) has got away with several Red card offences? I suppose your point is only Arsenal critical.

    Mike T – sometimes you comment like a child without a dummy. After listing a few stats you revert to type. Hey you know that the world & his dog barks with you. On Untold we dont follow your warped logic nor do your stats hold water.

  • Mike T


    The strangest and saddest thing is that you just don’t get how humours or naieve many find your comments. The reality is that many on here see the stats through one set of glasses others through another. As for warped logic I really would suggest you take a second and glance in a mirror

  • finsbury

    Just read Podolski’s’ comments on the Football and Rugby identity crisis at the FA. Very, very funny. He pulls no shots. Or punches. The honest commentators above will remember how he exposed the then diving cloggers who are protected by the RICO racketeers way back in 2010, with a little help from Ozil.

    And of course the genius’ have been trying to argue against the downward curve since then. Costa Rica, Iceland etc.

    What must’ve he made of this season’s pgMOB Rules (ok?) flexible code variant with the kind of leaping flying elbows following long sprints that are fouls in Rugby!
    I think we all know the answer.

    I guess the genius’ will attempt and fail to tell Untold that Xhaka and Podolski (130 caps for Germany!) don’t know football? When you think about it, that’s hilarious!

  • Stephan

    Costa is a dirty player and has received several bans to that effect
    If a player has issues with tackling or bad behavior he should be shown a red card irrespective of the team he belongs to. That’s my own opinion
    Xhaka has a reputation and he has carried it to the league that’s why he keeps picking up unnecessary cards. He is not being victimized by anyone,if he doesn’t tackle carelessly this cards won’t come up. A player with 9 red cards in about 3 years and you write and article about him being treated unfairly. Give it a rest guys

  • Menace

    Stephan – Have you lost perspective of cards for fouls rather than cards for history? Your remit seems to follow the media – he has a history of cards therefore he must be bad. He is an Arsenal player so book him out of the game.

    Costa has got away with several offences & then been punished for the odd one. Rojo has had the Man U wall protecting him despite two footed nasty tackles. You have had our common sense & tolerance protecting you You need an education in reality.

  • Stephan

    Menace-Are you saying the Red cards shown to him were undeserved?
    Lets not bring any player into this now. If the reds were justified then there is no basis for this article.
    The one vs swansea was a Red and the one vs Burnley was also a Red, so what point are you making?
    If you say the cards were not justified then we might have bigger problem than we thought

  • Goonereris

    They were not justified, Stephan. That’s the whole point. Even Ref Gallagher and Graham Poll faulted the Swansea call. He has tripped a player, which comes under “cynical foul” which usually gets a yellow (the type you refer to as ‘taking one for the team’); Moss seemed eager to dish out a red card and it was his first offence in the game.
    In the case of the Burnley tackle, while he had gone to ground, his studs were not showing and he had merely gone for a block; if he got a yellow for that, there will be no complaints. He was targeted by Moss on both occasions.

  • Pat

    I like the interview. It is interesting to hear what he thinks, and what it is like to be banned and how it can affect a player. I am glad that his fellow players from before are supporting him now as well. Arsene Wenger comes out of it very well too.

    I hope he has a great future at Arsenal.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’m quite sure that were Xhaka English , he’d be viewed as a living god ! Even by those stupid ex-players who don’t DO any background research , but think that they are all knowing.
    I’m so glad that I don’t have to listen to their stupidity which seems so endless . Could it be due to the food ? Or the lack of basic schooling ? Or inbreeding ? Maybe,..gasp… bias ?

    The last I saw the Swiss are higher in international ranking.
    Whys that ?

  • Mad Matt

    There is a way we can each make a difference, especially those who can’t get to the games:
    I had to follow the WBA game via The Guardia’s live commentary. This was mentioned:

    A few of you have suggested that, had McClean’s foul on Sanchez been committed by Xhaka on a West Brom player, he would have sent off. That might be true, though I don’t think it was close to a red-card offence.”

    All the UK newspaper websites have their own live commentary and I don’t think those after-hours commentators have the same anti-Arsenal instructions as the column writers.

    It could be a making our point heard in the media via their own back door.

  • Mad Matt

    Sorry for text errors:

    The Guardian and
    It could be * a way of * making our point heard…

  • Kamiel

    The referee bias doesn’t seem to be against foreigners. It appears to be against Arsenal.

    Otherwise, Rojo and Costa would be banned half the season.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Stephan there is a big difference between being given a straight red card and receive two yellow cards. If you would care to read the list of this “red” cards you will only find one direct red card.
    1 direct red card in 6 seasons and then compare to 2 direct red cards in 18 matches….

    You can also see that a few of his yellow cards was for complaining by the referees.

    As we have shown in the Burnley match if the ref would have applied the strict Xhaka criteria in that match he should have issued 6 or 7 red cards in total. Now only Xhaka got send off….

  • WalterBroeckx

    And I still don’t know why Barton is not send off each match…with his reputation…surely refs should target him…. ???

  • Mike T – your arguments do tend to suggest that you believe players don’t change their approach when they move from country to country. I only have incidental evidence on this from conversations, but my understanding is that many players, in moving to another country, are taken aside by their new team coaches and advised that x or y will cause them problems in this country when they did not in their previous country. I can’t prove that because there are no figures, but it is what I have been told, and watching players I think it is there to be seen.

    Some of course find it easier to change than others.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    You were right he got 2 red cards in his Bundesliga career. My mistake.

    But if you look at his composure after his worst season (4 yellow cards) he then only got 2 cards in 3 seasons.
    So it looks as if he said to himself: no more cards.
    So going from 1 yellow card in 3 seasons he went to 2 cards in one season. That does look like a big difference to me… And in that first season at Arsenal he got injured from a kick that made him miss a big part of the season.

    In other words if we take it by matches played he got 1 yellow card in his last 90 bundesliga matches and he got 2 in his first 21 PL matches. That does sound a big difference to me….

    Maybe he came with a reputation 😉

  • ron

    i did not like his tackle against swansea deserved a sending off but the usual response for this type of tackle is a yellow card – however arsenal did not appeal – against burnley yellow card would have been reasonable but no appeal from arsenal – what does rankle is the tackle that injured sanchez in the west brom game was far worse than either and as sanchez at the time was the only player who seemed capable of upsetting west brom had significance for the result

  • Stephan

    Gooneresis-if those same tackles were made against an Arsenal player would you not scream ‘Red card’? His tackle in the Swansea game was not a trip it was a kick! Geez and the Burnley Red his both feet were off the ground diving in…how can you honestly without bias not call that a Red?
    I personally think a player who gets a yellow early in the match and goes ahead to pick up another later in the match on 6 different occasions shoes lack of discipline in my opinion. You could excuse straight Red cards as been a mistimed tackle, poor tackling technique or pure cynical attempt to cause injury, but consistent fouling after you’ve already been booked shows he has no restraint. He was brought in for his tackling abilities but so far he’s been terrible at the job in my opinion. I’m an Arsenal fan will least be but won’t blind my eyes to a player who is not disciplined

  • Mike T

    Tony and Walter
    I know an ex PL ref reasonably well , ironically he started his referee career because he was short sighted and no longer able to play the game and he was concerned that his hard lenses wouldn’t remain in place in a game.Couldnt make that up if you tried .
    His arguement always was that players new to our league took time to adjust primarily to the speed and levels of fitness required but quite often it was about the better, quicker and fitter players they themselves were facing. Some players adapted very quickly but others couldn’t because whilst they mainly had the technical skills they struggled because the game at PL level is so physically demanding they expended greater amounts of energy than hitherto in their career and with that their concentration levels are harder to maintain.
    There is no doubt the the International Board that are custodians of the laws, a group made up of the home nations and FIFA, no other countries are involved, deliver the same laws to each country but there are subtle differences as to how those laws are applied. For instance a high foot is to a degree tolerated in Britain whereas elsewhere it’s a no no .

  • WalterBroeckx

    That leaves us with Barton of course….

  • WalterBroeckx

    I notice nobody is willing to tackle the Barton problem?

  • John L

    Walter, maybe refs are scared to send Mr. Barton off because of the likelihood of him punching them.

  • Rich

    Geez. How can anyone dispute that a rational, fair analysis of Xhaka’s pre-Arsenal career highlighted a player who had a problem with making too many YELLOW card infringements, and who was unable to stop himself from committing more YELLOW card infringements when already booked and then- BAM- suddenly, in the league renowned for letting most go among the major competitions, he is a RED card merchant.

    You chumps or whatever you are have turned me into a bloody capitaliser to make the point!

    Xhaka’s obvious challenge was to cut down on yellow card infringements, and especially to hold back when already booked (which he’s actually been doing); what he found instead is in a league which consistently manages to miss awful, dangerous red card challenges , he promptly got two reds for amber challenges- the first literally an unprecedented sending off; the second, one he can again count himself very unfortunate given the regularity with which much worse fouls see only a yellow. He was stupid. The player capitalised on rubbish tackling technique by kicking his own leg as he leapt in the air and then of course feigning injury, his team mates rushed in as they have no doubt been drilled to do ; Moss eagerly obliged

    My main criteria for a red, and I’m sure it’s not far from the rules, or the rules aren’t worth wiping your ass on, centre on how much force is used, deliberately or recklessly, and how likely injuring an opponent is as a result.

    For that reason Cahill/ Sanchez, Carroll/Kos, Mclean/ Sanchez were much worse than anything Xhaka did, and any ref who saw them and failed to produce a red is, basically, failing terribly in the most basic duties of a referee in those instances.

    Chelsea fans who want to disagree with that are to be expected, of course (sadly, honesty rarely succeeds over the rest among football rivals). Arsenal fans who don’t see it that way are, pardon my French, fucking chumps.

  • Jammy J

    Stephan “if those same tackles were made against an Arsenal player would you not scream ‘Red card’?” Most probably, but that’s the whole point; the utter lack of consistency with how our players or reffed versus others. So many players of other teams, get away with far, far worse tackles and receive only a booking, yet when it comes to Arsenal, the absolute strictest rules are applied; week in, week out.

    And if you don’t believe that the media target Xhaka, then just read these articles compared to the one from the Swiss paper;* (Literally every single article about him in the Express is hugely negative) “Arsenal star Granit Xhaka launches into ‘dirty, dumb, and brainless’ rant”

    It’s absolutely disgusting the way in which he is treated and I really don’t believe that you can’t see it. How any Arsenal fan could be on the medias side, is genuinely mind-boggling.

  • inconvenient fact

    The funny aspect of arsenal fans on the side of the media criticizing everything arsenal is that they don’t know what they actually want!
    They criticize arsenal for relying on foreign players, arsene give them Walcott, Gibbs, wilshere,, Welbeck etc yet they cried that they’re not quality! They aided the referees to kick their greatness out! English team the loser!
    They help build Kane’s confidence and destroys giroud’s spirit.
    They want viera’s battling spirit back yet hellbent on destroying xhaka’s zeal!
    They want tippy tappy wengerball back yet hailing other teams referee allowed thuggery on us!
    They want our players to be outspoken when cheated but call them stupid when referee handout yellow for daring him!
    They mount pressure on their team and expect them to perform!
    They don’t leave arsenal but rejoice when rival beat us!
    They know how Arsenal can be winning all trophies but they don’t date manage a football club!
    They claim to love Arsenal but hate kronke, gazidis, wenger, the players, and everything about arsenal!

  • Ben

    I always enjoy reading Arsenal players’ interview when they are back home it is completely different to the rubbish in the UK. It is more open as well and the players can express themselves better.

    Did anyone hear Wenger speak on Suarez situation at the time?

  • Menace

    Walter – Barton is a proven nasty & has got away with every ban possible. This makes him an ideal candidate for a knighthood in England. There are some things that happen in the UK that even God cannot stop.

    Rich – chumps is not sufficient but I’m sure each one of us has a suitable adjective in mind. 😉