Arsene Wenger told reporters that Granit Xhaka is now in a position where he gets booked for his first foul, and it’s hard to argue.
Week after week we watch the Swiss midfielder facing cards for fouls that others get away with every time. He gets no leniency from referees who have soaked up the persistent media focus on this issue, and so the self-eating circle continues.
“I believe that he is now in a position where on the first foul, he gets a yellow card,” Wenger said. “For example, last Saturday [against Lincoln] – first foul, soft yellow card.
“So, he is a victim a little bit of his reputation.
“You see tackles of some players which are much worse than what he did [against Burnley] and they don’t even get a yellow card.
“He got a straight red and because he had a history of that in Germany, I think he is a bit of a victim of that.”
Xhaka’s technique, however, could stand to be improved according to the boss. “Does he have a problem with his technique? Yes. I agree,” Wenger added.
“The way he tackles is not to hurt people. It is more the consequence of the fact he doesn’t master well the technique of tackling.
“He has improved a lot since he has arrived. Before, he was maybe a little bit looking too much to impress.
“But he still has work to do in the one-against-ones. Overall, he has to stay on his ground because it is tackling that can get him sent off. When he defends well, staying on his feet, he is a fair player.”
Speaking on the issue previously, Granit said that he had no intention of changing his style.