He may be trying to steady himself on a balance beam whenever he opens up about Arsenal on Sky Sports, but this time Thierry Henry didn’t hold back.
Despite the Gunners picking up a crucial three points in a highly entertaining win over Burnley on Sunday, the clubs top goalscorer couldn’t look past one key moment.
Henry opened up to his punditry panel, slamming the performance of Granit Xhaka after the £35million man saw red for the second time in the Premier League this season.
A loss of possession led to an unnecessary lunge on Burnley’s Steven Defour, and after conferring with his assistant, Jon Moss went straight to his back pocket.
It was a moment of stupidity from Xhaka which left Arsenal struggling for the remainder of the game, something that Henry couldn’t accept.
It’s not the first time. He did the same thing against Swansea, this one I just don’t get it. Against Swansea it was a counter. Here, he gives the ball cheaply away.
Why are you doing that 60 yards away from your goal, 25 minutes to go, you’re in control of the game. You misplace a pass. So what? Stay on your feet.
As soon as you do that, the rules say it’s a red. Is it worse than Rojo who didn’t get a red? No. But the rule says both feet off the ground, it’s a red.
I’ve got to say, Xhaka has been hounded by the media and some Arsenal supporters for his tackle, but like Henry says, when you compare it to other challenges that haven’t been carded, you can see it was harsh.
I’m not saying it wasn’t a red card, it’s that people are blowing it way out of proportion, and Xhaka will now learn he can’t make silly challenges like that.
Forgive me for throwing down some sympathy, but he’s 24 and no more than six months into his first season in the Premier League, there’s time for him to develop still.
Do I think he’ll change his ways? No. That’s the player he is, the grit, the physicality, the wall we were all craving, right?
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