Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has blamed Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka who got sent off for the Gunners in their 1-0 home loss to Burnley, describing it as unacceptable.
Xhaka followed in the footsteps of Nicolas Pepe with a hand around the throat of Burnley’s Dwight McNeil during Sunday’s defeat.
It was the sixth red card shown to an Arsenal player since Arteta took over just under a year ago. No other Premier League side has earned more than three during the same period.
Arsenal conceded immediately after the restart of play when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed the ball into his own net.
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Arteta once again held very little back in laying into one of his players, stating emphatically: “We threw the game away with the red card.”
However, he did seem to defend Xhaka with regard to his “commitment” and “willingness” to battle for the team.
“We know that these things are unacceptable and the moment that we are in now it’s even more so.”
“You saw the performance of the boys, how much they wanted it, the chances we created and then we threw the game away with the red card. We had total control for 60-70 minutes and should have won it earlier.”
“Same words [as when Pepe was sent off before]. In these conditions, even worse. I think it is related into how much will and energy they put into the games, but it is not an excuse.
“You go on Wednesday against Southampton at home and try to win the game. We have to score a goal, we have to put the ball in the net.
“We were on top from the beginning to the moment of the sending off. We are not winning football matches and I am here to provide wins. Everyday work on it.”
“They are really willing and probably too willing. In key moments, we overstepped the line and got a man sent off.
“By ‘too willing,’ I mean that they are incredibly committed to what they are trying to do, they are trying their best — the energy that they play with, and we took it into the wrong place, because in that moment they were left exposed.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.