Arsenal have had twice as many red cards in the league as Tottenham this season

By Tony Attwood

One might have thought that after last night the media could have toned it down a bit and given Arsenal some real praise.  Or if they wanted to knock Liverpool, maybe (even it is very late) returned to the miracle of the false positive that let them a) pull out of the first match, b) have the same players miraculously on display in the second match and c) ensure that the media never mentioned the oddity of this extraordinary cluster of false positives all in one place.

But no.

Consider this from Jonathon Liew in the Guardian.  “…a distracted Aaron Ramsdale flapped indeterminately at the cross, in the first act of a timeline that almost certainly ends with him palming a Kylian Mbappé shot into his own net for England at Qatar 2022.”   Good, I’m glad we’ve got the anti-Arsenal future sorted.

So psychologically feeble are Arsenal, we are told, that had Liverpool scored at the last, it “would have been a crushing blow going into Sunday’s derby against Tottenham, the sort that extinguishes all hope in an instant.”

” Arsenal” we are told “did enough to lose.”

And then “The last hour of the game was frequently ugly, frequently boring, and for the most part just as Arsenal wanted it.”

Or “for the most part it was pretty painful stuff.”   Yep, that’s the Guardian.

Above all, the impression we get is that Arsenal are a dirty bunch of thugs picking up yellow and red cards all day long.  But the reality is Arsenal have the second lowest level of fouling in the Premier League committing nine fouls against the opposition on average in each league game.  Only Manchester City get penalised for fouls less with 8.76 per game.

Liverpool are the 14th worst team for fouling in the Premier League this season picking up 10.45 fouls per game from the men of the PGMO – a figure that brings them closer to the likes of Brentford, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Southampton, than to Arsenal.

But of course, let the gentlemen of the press not mention that, but instead focus on Granit Xhaka once again.  And focus not on the fact that Arsenal were so good at handling this match that even after Xhaka was sent off, Arsenal could still control the match.

Incidentally, I even heard a comment last night about Arsenal having the worst red card record in the league this season.   And do you know, that is true!   Although if you look at the table you’ll perhaps have a slightly different perspective on this…   Here it is – red cards in league matches this season, with Arsenal top.

Rank Club Red cards in league games
1. Arsenal 2
2. Aston Villa 2
3. Manchester City 2
4. Manchester United 2
5. Newcastle United 2
6. Southampton 2
7. West Ham United 2
8. Brentford 1
9. Brighton and Hove Albion 1
10. Chelsea 1
11. Crystal Palace 1
12. Everton 1
13. Leeds United 1
14. Leicester City 1
15. Liverpool 1
16. Norwich City 1
17. Tottenham Hotspur 1
18. Watford 1
19. Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Now that table is taken from the official Premier League site and obviously the first seven clubs are all equal – Arsenal only being there by virtue of alphabetical order.  But there we are top of the red card league.

Indeed, one might well expect tomorrow’s newspapers to run the headline “Arsenal have twice as many Premier League red cards this season as Tottenham.” 

Above all what made this such fun was not just that the media had been predicting Arsenal’s demise (which they have recently been celebrating) but that the tables show that Arsenal have a far poorer history this season away from home than Liverpool achieve at home.

But for next week’s match, that is not how it is.  And although we don’t normally publish these tables until just before each game, it is worth contemplating now.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts Pts per game
2 Arsenal home 10 7 1 2 18 8 10 22 2.20
3 Liverpool away 11 6 3 2 30 12 18 21 1.91

These figures of course only include league games, not cup ties, and they do show that Liverpool score many more away than we score at home, but even so, we get the wins and a greater average points per game.  There is hope for us yet!

And, just in case you are about to trot off and see what the other papers are saying about last night’s heroics, I can save you a bit of trouble.   The Telegraph leads with

Toothless Liverpool: Why big winner on the night was Mohamed Salah’s agent after Arsenal draw

and the Daily Mail has

‘How many more times?!’: Arsenal fans rip into ‘clueless liability’ Granit Xhaka after the midfielder picked up ANOTHER red card early on in their Carabao Cup semi-final at Liverpool… leaving his team-mates to play over an HOUR with 10 men

But still, these dead beats must have their fun.   And here’s one I really like

Mikel Arteta refuses to rule out postponing Arsenal’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur

It’s behind a paywall, but in case you don’t subscribe it says, “Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, has claimed that Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham Hotspur is at risk of being postponed if his side lose any more outfield players.”

Well, if Liverpool can do it, why not Arsenal?  False positives here we come.


14 Replies to “Arsenal have had twice as many red cards in the league as Tottenham this season”

  1. You read a different Guardian report to me. The one I read contained plenty of praise for Arsenal. Or maybe you selectively quote to prove your fetish about the press.

    Wait, selectively quoting…isnt that what you criticize the press for?

    Change the record.

  2. All of our sending offs have been clear red cards, pure and simple. We must stop this victim mentality.

  3. Andrew, your ability to see what is going on in my mind, which you have so often proclaimed on this site in the past, is as faulty as ever. There are two reports on the Guardian website, one reflective on the position of the game within the club’s recent past (from which I quoted) and one an account of the match in standard reporting mode, giving a resume of what happened for anyone who missed the match. But no, I don’t think I criticize the press for selectively quoting – at least not often. More for having a biased viewpoint, and making stuff up, such as who Arsenal are going to buy.
    But perhaps the most interesting part of your comment is the last three words. I wonder on what level of interaction exists the notion that you, as a reader, can simply sit there (I assume you are sitting, although you may not be) and tell the guy who writes quite a few of the articles to do it differently – and that this will have any impact other than making readers think, not for the first time, what a curious chap you are.
    To me, such an approach is rather like the Stone Age tribal leader who, wishing to prove that he obtains his right to rule directly from the gods, seeks to prove it by shouting at the sun, “Do not go down!”
    Of course you could put an argument forward as to why regularly pointing to the mono-thematic approach of football journalists when hardly anyone else does it, is not a good idea, but to reduce your argument to three words seems rather feeble.
    Incidentally all quoting is selective otherwise it is known as copying.

  4. Jeff, over what period of time are you thinking. We’ve had two sending offs in the league this season – or are you going back further in time.

  5. A recurring factor in our red card record is the blatant predisposition of referees to send Xhaka off. It’s not only the decisions themselves, but the sheer eagerness to show red that stands out.
    It was much the same with David Luiz when he played for us. The slightest hint of a foul anywhere in or around our box would lead to the referee producing the red card as if it was already in his hand prior to the incident. No pause to consider, no reference to VAR, no consultation with other officials.

    Last night, the Liverpool player was not through on goal. He did not have the ball in his possession or under control, so it was not a clear goal scoring opportunity. Xhaka’s action was badly timed, but it was hardly reckless or likely to endanger the opponent, so why the red card?
    Liverpool player reaction was blatant play-acting.

    Remember the numerous red card offences against us which were ignored by the referees, Everton player stamp on Tomi’s face, Palace player thigh-high scything of Saka from behind, Ronaldo etc.etc.

    No wonder we havehad the most red cards against us, we operate under different rules!

  6. What Jeff said,
    All of our sending offs have been clear red cards, pure and simple. We must stop this victim mentality.

    Seriously you lot think the whole world is against Arsenal.

  7. Jeff Gooner

    “All of our sending offs have been clear red cards, pure and simple. We must stop this victim mentality”.

    So EVERY single Red card we get is a CLEAR Red card is it ? EVERY ONE ? No doubt ? No subjectivity ? The referees haven’t got one of them wrong ? Not a single one ?

    Really ?

    Sorry I don’t agree, in fact:

    “All of our sending offs are NEVER red cards, pure and simple. We must keep banging the drum. The referees get every decision WRONG. They are ALL CLEARLY not red cards.

    See Jeff, we can all do that, but it’s b******s isn’t it.

    Nobody here has ever suggested we should never have a red card.

  8. Jeff Gooner
    14 January 2022 at 8:59 AM

    All of our sending offs have been clear red cards, pure and simple. We must stop this victim mentality.

    Jeff Not a Gooner in a million years Troll much

  9. No Saka we don’t think that at all, but we like having fun. What we do is this…

    We present loads of statistical information about all sorts of things, such as the number of referees we get, how many Arsenal games each refs gets, how many yellow cards each ref gives out, and then start analysing the data, and then draw conclusions.

    Now because a lot of our readers are kind enough to read a lot of what is on the site, we don’t keep on putting “see this article” notes up, because there is a search button, and of course when people ask for the source, we tell them if the request is sensible.

    But what we do love are people then who clearly have not been bothered to take a look at our evidence, or engage in the debate with new statistics, but who then make a statement in a few lines which they think knocks all our evidence over.

    Of course it doesn’t, because these people are just interested in stating their own view, not looking at the evidence.
    But you would not believe how much it makes us laugh – because no matter how often we make the point,
    Happens every day too, so by and large life is fun.

    Thank you for joining in.

  10. Too all the idiots saying it was a clear reds for arsenal there has to be consistency. Like the new woke generation there has to be equality for everyone except for white people. Same tackle us a Red card tackle for arsenal yellow card for Manchester City after he’s 7th foul no card for man united he’s not that type of player etc.

  11. Tony have you ever looked at all our players red cards when they were at previous clubs (especially in the prem ) compared to when they join us?
    Sure that tells a story

  12. Tb no I haven’t. True that could be interesting, but such analyses take time, not least because one would have to take into account such factors as how many games were played by each player and indeed by the club. I agree though, it could be interesting.

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