Ian Wright takes aim at Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka for his role in Harry Kane’s goal

Granit Xhaka gestures during Arsenal's Premier League defeat to Tottenham
Granit Xhaka received criticism from Ian Wright for his part in Harry Kane’s goal (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has criticised Granit Xhaka for a lack of awareness in the build-up to Harry Kane’s goal in Sunday’s north London derby and says the midfielder is ‘experienced enough to know’ not to leave his team-mates so exposed at the back.

The Gunners were left with a mountain to climb as Kane assisted Son Heung-min’s stunning opener at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before becoming the top scorer in the history of the derby on the stroke of half-time, finishing off a devastating counter-attack to double the hosts’ lead.

Spurs were able to capitalise as Thomas Partey limped off the field – leaving Arsenal two versus five as Jose Mourinho’s men broke with pace – and the England captain smashed in an unstoppable strike off the crossbar.

Former Arsenal striker Wright believes Partey being forced off was ‘unfortunate’ and highlighted how Xhaka being dragged towards Serge Aurier left the visitors so horribly vulnerable against Tottenham’s in-form attack.

‘Unfortunately, the gamble on Thomas Partey didn’t work, he had to limp out,’ he said while analysing Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to their arch-rivals on Match of the Day 2.

‘But I think Xhaka has got to be more aware as the holding midfielder.

‘You’ve got to six players in front of you, you don’t need to be going in there as the holding guy.

Granit Xhaka is dragged towards Serge Aurier in the build-up to Harry Kane's goal
Xhaka was dragged towards Aurier in the build-up to Kane’s strike (Picture: BBC Sport)

‘You should be holding out because Tottenham are counter-attacking, five men against two, and once they’re in Arsenal are in all sorts of problems.

‘Nobody shouted to him but I do believe he’s experienced enough to know that situation.’

Ian Wright discusses Arsenal's defeat to Tottenham on Match of the Day 2
Wright believes Arteta is the ‘right guy’ to lead his former club (Picture: BBC Sport)

Wright is convinced Arteta remains the ‘right guy’ to manage Arsenal but feels his former club made it easy for Tottenham with their one-dimensional gameplan on Sunday.

‘I think it was very comfortable for Tottenham, we’re lacking a little bit of confidence at the moment,’ he added.

‘Chances were made but unfortunately we didn’t take them.

‘I think Mikel was happy with the number of crosses but when you look at our two front men, 86 goals not counting penalties and only seven headers between them.

‘And when you look at the way Tottenham set up, they were very comfortable with that situation.

‘Something’s got to happen. [Bukayo] Saka’s the only one on the half-turn to create something but I thought it was a little bit better today.

‘They’ve got to keep going in respects of confidence because I think the manager is the right guy but they’ve got to find something somewhere.’

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