Granit Xhaka will not change his approach despite his poor disciplinary record and believes he has more to show at Arsenal next season.

The big-money summer arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach has divided opinion among Arsenal fans but the midfielder was the toast of the Emirates Stadium when his deflected effort opened the scoring in the 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Xhaka has been sent off nine times in the last three years and picked up 11 bookings for the Gunners this season, with Arsene Wenger questioning his tackling technique on occasions.

“In football, you get criticised if you are sent off,” the 24-year-old said. 

“It’s my style of play and nobody can make me change that. Even if I get another red card, that happens. You become cleverer, and since my red card, I think things have improved.

“It’s not like I played my first football match in England. For me football is pretty much the same everywhere, the ball is round, but maybe tactically things are different at other clubs I’ve played for.”

A run of eight defeats in their last 17 games in all competitions has seen Arsenal slip from title contenders to a side struggling to finish in the top four although they have an FA Cup final against Chelsea to come. 

But Xhaka remains hopeful of Arsenal crashing the top-four party and admitted he will be looking to build upon his first season in the Premier League.

“I think in general it was a good performance from us,” he said of Wenger’s first-ever Premier League win over United boss Jose Mourinho.

“I didn’t sign here for five years (to not improve as a player). This is a top club, a great club... we need some luck along the way, but if we win the next four games, I’m convinced that we can do it.”

United remain fifth, one place above Arsenal, but have played a game more. Mourinho says it would now be “impossible” for the Red Devils to finish in the top four, and has prioritised the second leg of their Europa League semi-final clash on Thursday, which they lead 1-0.

United midfielder Juan Mata said: “We have a really important chance to play Champions League through the Europa League but in the Premier League, anything can happen. We will try to win our remaining games and maybe we (finish) in the top four.”


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