Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash reckons Mikel Arteta should have blanked Granit Xhaka as he was sent off against Manchester City – instead of “patting him on the back”.
The Swiss midfielder let his side down against Pep Guardiola’s men as he was shown a red card for a high challenge on Joao Cancelo as the Gunners ended up losing 5-0 at the Etihad.
And Arsenal fan Ramprakash has pointed the finger at Xhaka for his dismissal against City but feels Arteta should have ignored him as he came off the pitch to show the fans that it isn’t acceptable behaviour from one of Arsenal’s senior players.
Should Mikel Arteta have blanked Granit Xhaka as he was sent off against Man City? Comment below
He told Compare.bet: “Where is the progression? There’s only one team that can win the league, you can accept losing to a degree, but it’s the progression. The money spent, you move to a new stadium, the income from that, and then where is the progression?
“I think that’s where Arteta has got to start showing the team he’s moving forward. Hopefully that’s by winning matches, but can you go away from home and defend well? We’re not seeing enough of that. I also think he made a mistake as a manager because, when Xhaka walked off I think he patted him on the back or something.
“Along with the contract extension, I think for a lot of fans that sticks in the throat. You’ve got to be careful as a manager. Does that deserve a pat on the back? I know he wasn’t condoning it, but you have to outwardly portray to the fans and other players that it’s not acceptable. Once you get a man sent off, it’s very difficult to win the game.
“As a manager, as a coach, I think the selection was interesting, but I think the reaction to Xhaka… I’d like him to be a bit stronger and blank him as he comes off, and let everyone know, including him, that for Arsenal that standard…
“There has to be certain things you’re looking for from a team, like character, work rate… at the very least those are the things that you’re looking for, and we’re struggling to see that at the moment.”