After he was dismissed for throttling Ashley Westwood, Graeme Souness has laid into Granit Xhaka and now it is time for Mikel Arteta to cut his losses with the Swiss midfielder.
Souness told Sky Sports: “It’s stuff you see in the playground. His reaction is totally wrong. It’s a foul and a yellow card because he’s clumsy. Accept it and move on.”
Xhaka was sent off for what was a totally unnecessary altercation with Burnley’s Westwood and while his passion is admirable if misplaced, Arteta needs to make a stand and give the 28-year-old the same treatment that he gave Matteo Guendouzi.
After Guendouzi was iced out for his incident with Brighton and Hove Albion’s Neil Maupay, it would be remiss of Arteta not to treat a more experienced senior player in the same way.
A little over a year after Xhaka was fined and stripped of club captaincy, Xhaka has once again been embroiled in unnecessary drama that only came about due to his own poor displays on the pitch.
His assault on Westwood came after he was set to be booked for a poor challenge on Dwight McNeil and his reaction to being confronted was totally ridiculous and unacceptable as far as Mikel Arteta should be concerned.
With Arsenal floundering above the relegation zone – the Gunners are just five points above the Premier League drop spots – Arteta cannot afford to allow ill-discipline to go unnoticed especially after setting a precedent with his treatment of Guendouzi.
This should either be the last time Xhaka starts or should be one of his last games before being sold in January or the summer.
Arsenal haven’t won a Premier League game since the 11th of November and have just one win in the league in their last seven.
It’s obvious that some serious change is needed for them to salvage their season and the first step is to get rid of Granit Xhaka.