Martin Keown explains what Arsenal midfielder can do to improve

The former Arsenal defender offers some advice to Granit Xhaka about his tackling

Martin Keown has warned Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka that he needs to eradicate his two-footed tackling mentality out of his game.

The Switzerland international received a straight red card in Arsenal’s 2-1 win against promoted side Burnley in the Premier League last weekend.

Xhaka was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Belgian midfielder Steven Defour after the defensive midfielder conceded possession cheaply.

The 23-year-old has already been sent off twice in his Arsenal career so far, following his dismissal during a 3-2 win against Swansea City in north London earlier this term.

Keown played with the likes of no-nonsense French midfielders Emmaneul Petit and Patrick Vieira during his Arsenal career.

Speaking to The Daily Mail about Xhaka’s sending off, Keown said:

“Xhaka needs to eradicate that mentality from his game. He must also practice one v one situations with players running at him in training so he can learn how to slow them down before making the tackle.

“With some players there can be an element of laziness. It is much easier to tackle straight away than running 20, 30 yards before making the challenge.

“Xhaka needs to get out of the habit of trying to win the ball straight away.”

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Arsenal are in second place in the Premier League table but eight points behind current leaders Chelsea.

The Gunners are set to make the trip to Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round at St Mary’s on Saturday evening.

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