All of Arsenal’s 13 Red Cards under Arteta analysed (plus videos)

On the 13th day of the this month Arsenal received their 13th red card under the leadership of Mikel Arteta.

It’s the most in the English topflight since the Spaniard became our manager, 5 more than Southampton in the same period.

It follows the tradition set by Arsene Wenger who’s ill-discipline, especially in his early years in England, was also poor. Under the Frenchman though we had a decent record of coping when down to 10 men.

While Arteta was rightly proud of Thursday’s clean sheet at Anfield, he’s still to win a game once a red card has been shown.

Mr Wenger was heavily criticised for not controlling his players better but when you think of a Keown, Vieira, Petit, etc, battling was part of their DNA. Our Premiership winning squads were technically great but could also fight you if needed.

By comparison while Arteta is constantly making us better defensively, red cards seem more a case of individual errors.

On the subject of our draw at Anfield in midweek, I feel the need to educate some younger Gooners. When it’s claimed we did really well consider we were down to 10 men, we were only in that situation due to poor defending in the first place.

We haven’t had the odds stacked against us, it’s a consequence of poor decision making.

Defend properly and you don’t end up with a one-man deficit.

Kick a man in the chest when he’s in on goal and you get punished.

Just like at home to Man City fans say ‘but we defended so well down to 10 men’, that’s because your centre back was irresponsible.

Anyways let’s look at the 13 red cards under Arteta’s tenure…

Palace Away – 1-1

Having given us the lead, Aubameyang’s afternoon takes a turn for the worse when a yellow card is upgraded to a red thanks to VAR. It’s a challenge which could have caused a serious injury.

Only our then captain knows if he meant any malice, but straight in front of the dug outs there was no need to make that tackle.

Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal

While mocked for getting more red cards in 2 years in North London compared to the 8 years at the Bridge, David Luiz was badly let down by Mustafi on his return to Chelsea.

After his partner’s back pass put Jorginho clean through on goal, Luiz had a choice to make …. let the ball be tapped in or take one for the team and concede a penalty giving Leno more of a chance of making a save. The Brazilian was clearly trusting the new double jeopardy rule meaning a player couldn’t be sent off when conceding a penalty.

That’s though if a genuine attempt at the ball has been made, which Luiz’s bear hug take down was not. A better argument is that Mustafi was back on the line covering

Man City 3-0 Arsenal

One of the most disastrous half-an-hour cameos in our history.

Having come on for an injured Mari, David Luiz shinned a clearance straight into the path of Sterling to gift Man City’s opener before half time.

On the other side of the break he brings down Mahrez and gets a straight red card.

To his credit, the Brazilian took accountability straight away, admitting it was a mistake to play the game. Whether that was based on not being fully fit or his contract situation it was not clear.

Arsenal 1-1 Leicester

In a cruel blow to catching Leicester in the race for a European spot, Arsenal were leading when they brought on Eddie Nketiah for some fresh legs on the 70th minute.

It was a rare chance for the youngster to impress in the League, but 4 minutes later he was sent off for a straight red after a poor lunge.

The Gunners failed to protect their lead.

11-22 -20
Leeds 0-0 Arsenal

In a moment which left many questioning the mentality of the squad, Pepe decided to motion his head in the direction of a Leeds player.

I refuse to call it a headbutt because the defender no doubt exaggerated, but the fact is Pepe should never have given the officials a decision to make.

This came at a time when the winger’s contribution was already being questioned.

Arsenal 0-1 Burnley

Given the reaction Pepe’s moment of stupidly caused it seems inconceivable that Xhaka would do what he did, putting his hand across Ashley Westwood’s throat.

This was when confidence was at rock bottom with the team having won one Prem fixture in seven. At a time where we needed our senior players to step up this was the last thing we needed.

12- 16-20
Arsenal 1-1 Saints

Just three days later Arsenal again undermined themselves due to individual mistakes.

While Gabriel’s two yellows can’t be compared to Xhaka’s moment of madness it was still silly to pull back Theo Walcott knowing he was on a booking. The Brazilian wouldn’t learn from this mistake.

Wolves 2-1 Arsenal

Very similar to his red card at Chelsea, when conceding a penalty David Luiz puts his faith in the double jeopardy rule, but again his tackle is not judged as a genuine attempt at a ball.

Worse Is to follow ……..

Already accused of making too many errors, Leno decides with his team already down to 10 men to rush out of his area and for zero reason, punch the ball away, meaning we had to play at the Molineux with 9 men!

Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal

Somehow Arsenal seemed not motivated for a major European Cup Semi-Final.

Their sloppiness was summed up by two yellow cards for Ceballos although the Spaniards were accused of play acting. Arsenal did well to return to London with an away goal

28-8 -21
Man City 5-0 Arsenal

Arsenal yet again showed weak mentality.

Which happens too often in a big fixture away from the Emirates, the moment we faced adversity we folded like a pack of cards.

Having already conceded two early goals at the Etihad when the youngsters needed guidance from one of the few senior players they had on pitch, Xhaka decides to jump in with a two footed challenge.

Arsenal 1-2 Man City

Again the moment we faced adversity we crumbled.

While aggrieved by the nature of the penalty we conceded, Arsenal needed a leader to calm everyone down and keep composure.

Instead Gabriel scuffled the penalty spot. No bones about it, it’s a form of cheating.

Knowing he was on a yellow his body block just minutes later was senseless.

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal

This wasn’t reckless from Xakha but more based on his poor positioning sense.

He seemed unaware where Jota was, misreads the flight of ball, and suddenly he’s kicked a player who’s clean through on goal straight in the chest.

Be kind in the comments



Watch Mikel Arteta’s Press Conference ahead of Tottenham – “We want to play”


  1. Wow, though this read as if a sp*ds fan had wrote it then got to the Luiz red card against wolves and you suggest it was his fault? Didn’t put a vid of that one did you

    1. Where that logic fails is Xakha clearly put his hand round Westwood’s throat
      Didn’t add that either did I ?

  2. To summarise none of the red cards have had any bearing on any of our seasons. Deflected goals, var decisions and unlucky bounces have been more impactiing on results.

      1. Arsenal losing to City in the league is normal.
        Arsenal last beat Man City at home in 2015
        Arsenal last beat Man City away in 2011.

    1. The fates are against us 🤣

      Seriously though if you are ever given the opportunity to coach kids for any sport, please refuse.

      This pathetic victim, always something/someone else’s fault mentality is truly sad. Inernal locus of control

      1. Pj. SA, as I don’t want to defend that damn idiot xha.. Nor Arteta, did you ever see kids or players cry after loosing a game?, that is the result of the coach motivating the players. Now, in defense of our idiot, he finds himself in a position where he interpret that the opposition will score as there are nobody behind him and he must do as he was motivated to do. Stop/prevent that to happen. If he gte a card. Now, that can be interpreted in more ways than one. He does not have the confidence in the others around him. He thinks he is to slow, he feel that hell get a bad word from the manager, from he has such a beautiful relationship with.

        1. My comment was to Fairfan regarding his constant blaming on others and acting like we are a victim, always blaming someoneelsefor our losses…which is an attitude I’d prefer kids to not grow up with.

          Nothing about Xhaka.

          1. PJ-SA, I’m glad you clarified that your comment on not coaching kids was dorected at Fairfan and not general comment. Good committed coaches of junior players are essential in all sports.
            Yes, some parents can be a pain, but I never regret coaching in squash, cricket, rugby league and football. You get great reward from the contribution to the personal development of young people.

    2. Let’s break that down
      I would say
      Man City away
      Man United
      We lost those games simply because they were better and not bar luck

  3. I dont know about Xhaka not knowing where Jota was. Because seeing the replay I felt while running he stole a few glances forward and Jota most probably was in his field of vision at that time. Although I do agree he misjudged the flight of the ball and was not able to kick it out. Also for an attacking pressing tactic we need a pacey and strong midfielder and while strong and thuggish, Xhaka is slow so we conceded the red. I see it more as him taking one for the team and snuffing out a possible goal, but the time at which he did it meant that others had to expend more energy to cover for his place for around 74 75 mins or so.

  4. He knew that Jota was ahead of him and behind him and that he was terribly out of position, otherwise he wouldn’t have desperately lunged would he?

  5. I dont get the issue but we got 13 red cards and mainly one player crops up more often than the others and generally red cards are down to bad decisions by a player and that is down to discipline and that is down to coaching.

    1. Sorry Reggie, but I don’t see how ANY manager can be blamed for the action of a player on the field.

      I agree that, if they’re not playing to the system, but that is different.

      Xhaka was caught in no man’s land and had to react in seconds – no way a manager / coach could be held accountable.

      1. Ken, you coach discipline and techniques into players to avoid mistakes. Better players, better coached top teams make fewer mistakes and dont get as many players booked or red carded. If a player is rash, you either coach the bad habits or rashness out of him or dont play him. Shape training is done to also make you more able to not get caught out so often and to put yourself in trouble fewer times because of.

        1. Agree with all that, but when a situation arises that needs a split second delivery, the manager /coach doesn’t make that decision – it’s the players themselves.
          If every single oassa of play could be analysed and coached, there would be no sport of any kind.

          1. You are ken. There are certain things players do on the field that coaches cannot control . For example, players who often dive during games to get pen. Those actions are solely players’ not the coaches’.

  6. Yes, the red cards have badly affected Arteta’s team in too many games

    We’d better replace the slow and the bad decision makers as soon as possible. Two fatal mistakes in the first half of a season are too many for a player, let alone three or more

    Arthur Melo has never got a red card in the last five seasons, so he could be either a quick-thinking DM, a non-tackling DM or simply a CAM. Unfortunately, Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, Lokonga, Guendouzi, Chambers, Maitland-Niles and Azeez are much better than him in aerial duels

    1. Melo weakness in Aerial dwells won’t matter if he is really good technically like Santi Carzola. And players like SC are rare.

      1. We’ve got skilled midfielders like Partey, Lokonga, Odegaard and Patino, but we don’t have a physically-imposing ball winner to do the dirty work

  7. Xhaka’s red against City is pure BS , he wins 100% of the ball and makes no contact with the player… yes Xhaka and other Arsenal players can be rash but we do seem to get the blunt end of many many decisions going against us.

          1. I was referring to the fixture earlier in the season… do you even read the articles or just come to make idiotic comments? do you actually support Arsenal or what?

            1. Mate the idiotic comment was you saying it wasn’t a red card. Do you understand football rules? He was flying in the air both feet studs up and out of control. His studs dug straight into the players ankle.

              1. Watch the video again….he doesnt connect with the player, meaning he got 100% of the ball and 0% of the player even the ref commentating states this fact. It was actually a very good tackle and I have seen many tackles like this not even receive a yellow card

                1. Xhaka was out of control, left the ground had two feet in the air studs up, probably an actual inch from breaking the ankle. Those tackles are outlawed, trying to defend it shows a lack of understanding of wreckless and football law!!!!!!!

  8. Summary

    Under Arteta 13 red cards

    Luiz 3
    Xhaka 3 (1 undeserved)
    Gabriel 2
    Aubameyang 1
    Nketiah 1
    Pepe 1
    Ceballos 1
    Leno 1

    Before the undeserved red at Liverpool Granit was equal with Gabriel with 2 reds. The way he is vilified one would be forgiven to think all 13 red cards are Xhaka’s.

    Already we have Reggie above saying one name crops up more than the others. Our Reggie chose not to see David Luiz and Gabriel (unsurprisingly) but to his eyes only one name crops up more than the others.

    1. Luiz is a defender tackling all game, thats his job and he isnt in this team anymore. Not relevant at all. DONT DEFEND XHAKA HE IS A LIABILITY AND THAT I STAND BY. You cant prove differently.

      1. How many more midfielders are in the list. I have always had the same view on xhaka and nothing that has gone on has ever given me any thoughts that maybe im wrong. In fact he endorses it every season.

        1. Plus xhaka has given away more penalties than any other player in the prem in the last 5 years. DONT DEFEND HIM SEE HIM FOR WHAT HE IS.

          1. Spot on Reggie…only those with their heads firmly in the sand would suggest otherwise!!!

    2. Except Xhaka has:

      – 5 red cards since arrival (or is it 6?)
      – most errors leading to concede in the PL since arrival
      – last MOTM over 3 years ago, which would indicate the last time he performed so well that he “won the game for us” instead of losing the game for us
      – 2 goals in the past 2,5 years for a central midfielder in almost 100 appearances, mostly starts

      Conveniently you are comparing Xhaka to Gabriel although other one arrived 18 months ago while other one has been here for 5,5 years.

      1. Funny enough Gabriel’s got 5 goals in the past 18 months while having started in less games than Xhaka

      2. @Reggie I am not defending Granit. I am against the witch hunting. Gabriel as an example seems to be as reckless but he escape the weekly criticism.


        “most errors leading to concede in the PL since arrival” can you kindly direct me to where you found this statistic so that I can learn for myself?

        “last MOTM over 3 years ago” except for Aubameyang, Saka, ESR and Odegaard, can you kindly tell me when was the last (if ever) MOTM for the rest of the squad? I mean the remaining 20 players.

        “2 goals in the past 2,5 years for a central midfielder in almost 100 appearances, mostly starts”

        Is scoring goals his job? If yes does the manager tactics allow him to be in a position to do so?

        I should not compare Xhaka to Gabriel okay then tell me since when is it okay for defenders to get regular red cards than midfielders?

        Lastly let’s get back to the topic in hand which conveniently you and Reggie have gone out to further your agenda.

        The topic is red cards in Arteta’s time. The stats shows (as they always do) the picture is completely different to what we are told to believe. I would appreciate it if you would base your points on topic in hand.

        1. HH there is no witch hunt from me, i just think he is absolutely useless and i have said from the day we bought him. My problem is people trying to defend him, when he cant be defended. The guy is obviously limited in his abilities and that why his penalty and Red card stats are so bad. There is no witch hunt but there are strong opinions.

          1. Then Reggie it is absolutely useless to place the blame on the player. The blame as others have already said should go to the manager(s) who play him.

        2. Alright so:

          1st answer:

          Heres the first that was almost a year ago. Squawka is website that tracks football stats.

          2nd answer:

          While its clear that having no MOTM awards is not a sign of a bad player, it will give you a little clue how and what kind of an impact player has had for his team and if he is irreplaceable. I really don’t care if a player dont get MOTMs while they are not letting the team down. We have, however, Xhaka who SOLELY is responsible for NUMEROUS incidents where his actions have cost the whole team. Now this can happen, like it happened to Vieira. But Vieira as an irreplaceable player, made up for his mistakes by performing in the following matches so well that you could say he redeemed himself. Xhaka does not do that. He gets sent off, he comes back being average, makes a mistake, repeat. Therefore, he has had no impact in the past 3 years to be awarded single MOTM for his performance BUT he has surely done the very opposite. Get it?

          3rd answer:

          His job is not to be sent off, not to concede foolish penalties, not to make mistakes which the team suffers from. If he does that, he could always chip in with a few goals a season but he hasn’t, but he has continued to concede us goals. And with the exception of an actual DM, I would expect more goals from a midfielder. That goes for Partey too for that matter.

          And now to my last point, phew. We have been reckless during MAs reign. But Xhaka was reckless way before that. We seem to have learned from last season on that regard, Xhaka has not as he continues to do what he has done since 2016. Again, Xhaka keeps costing us matches which we could’ve won, and never makes up for his mistakes on the pitch, thus making him quite useless to the cause.

    1. FA set the precedent, Arsenal took advantage. Spuds will complain but theyve had games cancelled too. Finally something in our favor. and didnt have to fake tests to do it.

    1. p jennings, Your rather silly face emojis indicate you are sad the game is off.



      This assumes that you indeed ARE a true Gooner. If that does not apply to you, then please ignore this post, as it is only meant for true Gooners who care passsionately that we beat Spuds, whenever it is played.

  9. I think the Refs over exaggerated bookable offences more often than not particularly when an Arsenal player is involved.

    The EPL match referees have looking to be targeting Granit Xhaka for booking him in his match playing for Arsenal when the so seen booking offence he allegedly committed is not even serious enough to warrant a booking. Which if any other players at a different club committee same the Refs will ignore it to wave play on.

    Against Liverpool at Anfield in the ECC match, Xhaka went for the airborne ball tackle. But Jota who was chesting the ball accidentally collided with Xhaka’s Foot amf both players went down. It was an accident as both players were fighting for the ball at the same time, but Xhaka doesn’t look to have any malice in his attempt to tackle the ball.

    If Michael Oliver wants to make a call for Xhaka’s accidentally catching Jota, in fair officiating, it should have been a Yelllow card to Xhaka but not Red one.

    Because of the altercation that Gabriel had earlier with the match with the referre in our Ems last Man City EPL game. And with that annoyance in the referee’s mind, he harshly booked Gabriel the 2nd time to send him off when he chest-nutmeged Gabriel Jesus who theatrically went down to fake foul.

    So, to me, most of the 13 Red-Cards articled above that Arsenal players have received under the watch of Arteta’s 2 1/2 year tenure at Arsenal were not totally down to bad defending by the Gunners. But most of them were down to orchestrated anti-Arsenal match refereeing.

    1. Xhakas red against Pool was absolutely in the laws of the game. High foot, last man, more than a reason to be sent off.

      Gabriel yellows were 100% correct, and also completely needless to warrant.

      Everybody just stop this childish referee agenda. Its getting cringy. Xhakas stomp on Raphinha pretty much sums up there is no agenda.

    2. Samuel, YES , the plainly guilty Jotas aggressive chest, which was wildly out of control, suddenly and without any justification attacked Xhakas boot. So I see what you mean!


  10. That number of red cards is a black mark on Arsenal’s good name.
    One would think Arsenal has “dirty” players; however brainless individuals is closer to the mark.

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