Granit Xhaka credits Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with helping him to cut down on needless bookings and dismissals.
The Switzerland international has been an accident waiting to happen at times, with the 25-year-old’s card count making for dismal reading.
Having moved to Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2016, the tough-tackling midfielder proceeded to collect three red cards and 14 yellows for club and country over the course of a single campaign.
Those disciplinary struggles came on the back of three previous sending offs while with Borussia Monchengladbach, but Xhaka insists that he is now a changed man.
Having picked up just three bookings so far this season, the Gunners star told The Sun: “With hindsight, you are a bit cleverer. There was a time in Germany where I got lots of yellow cards and some reds.
“I analysed the cards - and some were not so necessary. I analysed that a lot when I came here.
“The two red cards playing in my first season here, one I understand against Swansea, one against Burnley less so. But I need to accept that.
“I don’t think now that football in England is softer than I thought before. I still think it’s tough and you see that every weekend.”
Xhaka also admits that Wenger has helped to shape his game in a more productive fashion, with the Frenchman having been on hand to offer important advice regarding the art of tackling.
“You need these small tips,” added Xhaka.
“I’ve been here for more than a year and learned a lot from him, specifically on the mental side.
“The boss has done a lot. I’m a hard-working young man who believes in myself. I don’t think I’ve reached my limit yet - I can still learn a lot. He’s made changes, like to the system.
“It’s important for a manager to have players who can do that. I think, when a manager has been at a club for more than 20 years, he can only have a positive impact.”
Wenger will be hoping to see Xhaka steer clear of trouble once again when Arsenal face Premier League surprise package Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.