If the definition of insanity is really doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result then Arsenal must definitely get a visit from the men in the white coats.
Because no other team in the country shoots themselves in the foot so often without learning any lessons.
And no one emulates that madness more than serial crime Granit Xhaka.
Mikel Arteta has spent the week sweating for the readiness of the Switzerland international, who went into isolation after contracting Covid last week.
But maybe he should save himself the stress because Xhaka only lasted 24 minutes before he take a shower early.
And he was truly undisputed for the fifth time of his Arsenal career after knocking Diogo Jota down the edge of the box to deny the Liverpool striker a chance to score.
It wasn’t a malicious tackle and his eyes were always on the ball’s path as he tried to block Andrew Robertson’s long pass from above.
But his raised second shoe caught Jota square in the chest, leaving attendee Michael Oliver with little choice but to reach for the red.
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Don’t forget it was Xhaka who conceded the penalty to help Manchester City win at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.
And his indiscipline that day immediately resonated with centre-back Gabriel, who a few minutes later became a club player. 100th red card in the Premier League era.
No other team has hit that dubious mark and instead of cleaning up their act, it looks like Arsenal are actually getting worse.
They only suffered a £20,000 fine after accepting the FA’s allegation of failing to control their players. in that disappointing defeat of Man City.
TRIAL FOR PRIOR PLAYERS FROM 2016-17
IN all competitions
Granite Xhaka – 5
Fernandinho – 5
David Luiz – 4
Christian Kabasele – 4
But they were so used to playing with ten men it was perhaps no surprise that they were learning to deal with being outnumbered.
Because since Arteta was appointed as head coach in December 2019, they have suffered no less than 13 red cards in all competitions.
It’s almost as bad as the early days of Arsene Wenger’s reign, when the likes of Patrick Vieira and Martin Keown frequently lost their plots and had to pay the consequences.
Now Xhaka, who was also sacked in the 5-0 loss to Manchester City in August, will be suspended for Arsenal’s next two games against Spurs on Sunday and Emirates’ rematch with Liverpool next Thursday. .
And with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny eliminated in the Africa Cup of Nations, Martin Odegaard Covid positive and Emile Smith Rowe suffering a groin strain, Arteta needs the loss of another midfielder like a hole in his head.
However, he can at least take heart from the character and resilience that the rest of his makeshift team showed last night to keep this semi-final alive.
HALSEY’S VERDICT MARKET
ON Xhaka’s red card
GRANIT XHAKA easily let Michael Oliver send him off the field after challenging Diogo Jota.
The Arsenal midfielder tried to stretch across to catch Andy Robertson’s long ball but only succeeded in stopping Liverpool’s attack.
It is not clear whether Oliver showed the red card for a serious foul or denied a clear scoring opportunity (DOGSO).
With Xhaka’s boot connected to Jota’s chest, you can assume the challenge is jeopardizing the player’s safety.
However, if it is DOGSO then there is an element of doubt about Jota’s ability to keep or regain control of the ball when his first touch hits his chest at a quick pace.
Either way, Xhaka forced Oliver to make a decision that went against him.
It would be the easiest thing in the world for young Arsenal chiefs to fall the minute Xhaka received his marching order, especially with their recent fearsome record at Anfield.
Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, however, they dug deep to keep Liverpool within reach and could not find a path past goal.
And no one is more indebted to the exhausted Gunners than Xhaka.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4458982/arsenal-verdict-gunners-granit-xhaka/ The gunner shot himself in the foot again… and as usual, Granit Xhaka was the culprit