Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas has labelled Granit Xhaka ‘a joker’ for his comments about his red card against Manchester City.
The Swiss international’s disciplinary record isn’t great. He has been shown a straight red card four times in the Premier League – more than any other Arsenal player in the competition’s history. (StatBunker)
That’s not a good look at all, even though his most recent sending off was harsh. Xhaka defended the red card recently, claiming that he was ‘brutally surprised‘ to see the referee come to that decision. Although he has a point, Nicholas is far from impressed.
Nicholas: Xhaka is playing the joker card
The former Arsenal striker said on the Where’s Jeff? Podcast: “I’ll tell you what he’s doing, he’s doing what he has always done. He has played the joker card and he is the joker of our club.
“How he can manipulate Roma, I would have gotten a personal private jet and dropped him myself, and then he signs a new contract. I’m being supportive of Arteta and I’ve got a thin case, but if you look at the captain Xhaka, that is a cop-out.
“He’s saying ‘I’m trying my best fans, but if I get a red card and get sent off I’m not truly upset, but I might look it.’ It’s an absolute camouflage, and it sums everything up that’s going on at this football club at the moment.”
The Insider’s View:
Xhaka’s disciplinary record doesn’t do him any favours, but it has to be said that he has been unlucky at times. His challenge on Joao Cancelo against Manchester City was reckless, but he clearly got the ball on that occasion.
As for Nicholas’ comments about Xhaka just pretending to be upset, we’re not too sure about that. Labelled as ‘outstanding’ by Roy Keane, questions can be asked about his game, but never about his professionalism.
Every manager the Swiss international has ever worked with has raved about his commitment, worth-ethic and professionalism. Opinions on Xhaka would’ve been totally different if Nicholas’ comments were true. Let’s just hope that the midfielder gets over this and returns to his best once he’s back.