Granit Xhaka: ‘I will make mistakes’

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka believes he makes mistakes but his reputation also precedes him in the Premier League. The Swiss International gave a lengthy interview to The Athletic where he touched upon his style of play and how his tackling has changed because of how he’s perceived.

“I will make mistakes because everyone does. We are not perfect. But I will give 100 per cent in every training session and every game. This is my message to the fans.

Sometimes you have misunderstandings and I believe this was the only reason for the problem we had between us. I feel much more love than one or two years ago but it is a slow process we have to do with each other.

Am I more harshly punished? I love to see tackles but they have to be fair, I don’t like to see someone injure a player on purpose — nobody does I think.

But tackling is part of our job. My passion is to win and not let the opponent have the ball. We are all human beings and make mistakes but it only comes from a place of passion.

When I came to the Premier League everybody said in this league you can go very hard (he bashes his fist into his palm) and I love it, this is exactly my game and what I want to do.

But when you see some tackles and imagine if I was in this position? I would be sent off straight away. This stops me sometimes to go in how I really want. If I really go how I want I will get a red card every three or four games.

“This makes me do things in a different way sometimes because I know that my risk compared to the risk of other players is not the same, If I risk I know I am closer to a red card than any other player in the Premier League.

Maybe I am wrong but that is what I feel. So sometimes in a game I stop myself from going for the risky ones because if I get a red card it all starts up again. I don’t want to give arguments for others to speak about me for stupid things. I try not to risk too much.

“When I once got a red card, the referee said to one of my team-mates, ‘You know how Granit is, he loses his head’. This feels wrong. Just because I lost my head against Burnley, for example, it is not like I lose my head every time.

To put me in this box like this I believe is wrong.”