Lee Dixon slams Granit Xhaka’s ‘stupid’ diving in Arsenal win over Palace | Soccer

Grant Xhaka was booked for the simulation in the first half (Image: Sky Sports/Premier League)

Granit Xhaka was booked for the simulation in the first half (Image: Sky Sports/Premier League)

Arsenal legend Lee Dixon has blasted ‘stupid’ Granit Xhaka for diving in Friday night’s Premier League win over Crystal Palace.

Booked for the simulation in the first half, Xhaka threw himself to the ground after expecting a tackle from Joachim Andersen.

The 29-year-old Switzerland international has received 53 yellow cards since arriving in the top flight in 2016, ten of them last season.

“Let’s just wait until the second half and see if another yellow card comes out,” former Gunner Dixon said of Xhaka.

‘This is a dive, quite rightly booked and for a man of his experience, nonsense!’

Gary Neville says Granit Xhaka “will always let you down at some point in the season” and Arsenal should prepare for that eventuality.

Xhaka was a controversial figure in the Gunners fanbase, in part due to his poor disciplinary record.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa - Premier League

Gary Neville was also very critical of Granit Xhaka’s antics on Friday (Image: Getty)

However, Xhaka has been consistently picked as a starter by every manager he has played under at Emirates Stadium – Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and now Mikel Arteta.

“Even Xhaka has been booked tonight. I always think he’s going to go and let you down,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“He’s always going to let you down at some point in the season, so you think you should plan for that now. You know it’s coming.”

Xhaka recently hit back at pundit Neville for calling him a disgrace last season.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Granit Xhaka has been booked 53 times in the top flight (Picture: Getty)

Neville was furious with Xhaka after Arsenal’s defeat by Newcastle in the penultimate game of the 2021-22 season, a result that saw the Gunners give up their advantage in the Premier League’s top four race.

Mikel Arteta’s fifth-place team eventually missed one Champions League spot for 2022-23, with north London rivals Tottenham finishing fourth instead.

Coming out after the defeat, Xhaka appeared to hit out at Arsenal’s young players, saying: ‘If anyone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re nervous, stay on the bench or stay home. You need people who have the guts to come out here and play.”

Arsenal on pre-season tour to USA

Granit Xhaka feels his comments about Arsenal’s youngsters have been misunderstood (Image: Getty)

Neville responded in his post-match analysis, adding: “I don’t know who he’s trying against, I hope he hasn’t tried the younger players… him?

“I can tell you that over the past four or five years he’s been a disgrace at times because he’s been recklessly sent off. He left it there in the air, there was nothing there.’

However, Xhaka reacted to these comments, feeling misunderstood.

“Everyone knows that we have a very young team, but that’s not the problem of young or old,” said Xhaka ESPN.

Granit Xhaka joined Arsenal from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2016 (Image: Getty)

Granit Xhaka joined Arsenal from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2016 (Image: Getty)

“It wasn’t against our young players. I stood there too. We weren’t ready for this game to fight.

“We knew if we won that game we would have another final against Everton at home [on the last day of the Premier League season].

“The thing is the mentality – if you’ve got something, you can take it – it’s not the first time we’ve let it down.

“A lot of people are starting to think, ‘Yeah, he’s talking again’ and stuff like that, but maybe they didn’t understand what and how I mean.

“If I can now say something about this interview, I told you: It has nothing to do with the young players, it has to do with all of us together.

“Age does not matter. I think I said that after the game too – no matter how old you are, you have to be ready for those games because you have those games maybe once a season and you have to be ready to take them on.

“If not, you’re out of the Champions League places.”

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Arsenal FC Lee Dixon slams Granit Xhaka's 'stupid' diving in Arsenal win over Palace | Soccer

Nate Jones

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