Date: 26th January 2017 at 10:04pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has been addressing the tackling technique of midfielder Granit Xhaka.

With the summer signing now facing a four match ban following another straight red card against Burnley, Xhaka’s ability to tackle is a hot topic and in Wenger’s pre Southampton press conference ahead of the weekend’s FA Cup clash, the player obviously featured in the questioning.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met witht he media Wenger said that having watched the incident again he felt the player had been treated harshly because the tackle in his eyes was more ‘clumsy’ than ‘dangerous’.

‘I felt that the sending off was harsh when I watched it again. It was not a dangerous tackle, it was a clumsy tackle. You have to accept that he can be punished for these kinds of tackles now. He has to learn from that. I don`t think he wanted to injure anybody. He has to learn from it. Unfortunately we will lose him for four games in a very important period of the season. Hopefully we will get away with it.’

Asked about his general attitude and his representation of the club with other media stories this week.

‘I can only talk about him on what I`ve seen since the start. He`s had a fantastic attitude on a daily basis since he arrived here. Sometimes you don`t know how the players will behave on a daily basis but I must say that he has been absolutely marvellous to handle on a daily basis with his commitment, focus, dedication and I`ve never heard anything bad said about him.’

Going back to questions about his tackling technique, Wenger went on to say.

‘More about his technique, I think he`s not naturally a great tackler and in his decision-making I think he is quite intelligent on the pitch. But it`s more the way he tackles that is not really convincing. He doesn`t master well the technique of tackling.’

He was also asked if he would bring somebody in to work with the player specifically on his tackling style, but Wenger didn’t believe that was the way forward instead preferring him to stay on his feet.

‘I would rather encourage him not to tackle, to stay on his feet and that`s the best way to deal with it. Tackling is a technique that you learn at a young age. You can improve it but when you are face to face with somebody, it`s better you stay up.’

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