Arsenal revealed as the joint-dirtiest team in Premier League history

Arsenal played some of the best attacking football in the Premier League during the reign of Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman lasted for more than 20 years and set the tone for what should be expected of the team.

Every manager that comes after him has to make his team play a neat attacking and sometimes possession-based game.

With this in mind, one would think that Arsenal would be the team that gets less cautioned in the Premier League.

But a new revelation shows that they have collected the joint-most red cards by all the EPL teams in the competition’s history.

Sun Sports has created a table with the different teams to have competed in the Premier League since it started in 1992 and Arsenal has collected 98 red cards, the same number as Everton.

Both of them are far ahead of third-placed Newcastle United who have 87 sending offs.

Mikel Arteta inherited an Arsenal team that has collected several reds, but the Spaniard’s team is also adding to the number.

One player in the current Gunners squad that can be trusted to get sent off is David Luiz and he might have one or two more left in him before this season ends.

Tags red cards


  1. Yeah, “dirty” isn’t really the word for a lot of the red cards, especially this season. “Stupid” or “naive” would be better descriptors for many of them. Some are just baffling from a refereeing perspective, but I guess most teams can claim they’ve been hard done by on occasion.

    1. So true one fears playing us due to our perceived “dirtiness” minus being on the receiving end of the odd Xhaka late tackle

  2. 7 red cards on average every two years 7 reds every 76 games 7 reds every 7200 minutes of football is hardly earth shattering.
    I see they also rate Arsenal as having the hardest run in for the last 9 games but not by much

  3. This is a totally misleading statistic in so much as the Players, certainly up to around 2006, merely stood up for themselves, because let’s face it, we had very little protection from referees.
    Bolton anyone? Alladyce is on record as saying it was the game he looked forward to all season, knowing his Sunday Pub Team tactics were everything about him and the football he preached.
    Pullis- took delight in his players kicking the living shit out of us whenever we played them.
    Viera was targeted most games, and most times he rose above this. But everyone has a breaking point. Can anyone recall Viera ever being sent off for a foul earning a straight red card? I recall him going for retaliation at Highbury when McAllister nearly snapped his leg in half. Typical Premiere League justice. Wenger had a team that knew how to look after themselves and their teammates. Exactly how it should be

    1. Phil, exactly right. The great Arsenal teams would play the opposition off the park, if you wanted to play football. Teams knew this and played with the attitude that Arsenal “didn’t like it up ’em. Arsenal got no protection from officials.
      The great Arsenal sides got down in the gutter with them and still won; however at the price of some red cards. Teams were still intimidated and knew the repercussions if they tried to mix it. Even Sir Alex Ferguson has openly admitted that the only chance his Manchester United had against Wenger’s best Arsenal was to play dirty. I am still disgusted by the treatment dished out by Manchester United with the acquiescence of officials against 20yo Jose Antonio Reyes. He went on to be only the second player Sent off in an FA Cup Final (2005) for 2 yellow cards against Manchester United, after retaliating for again being kicked off the park.
      Arsenal is not a dirty club, nor are Everton, so these statistics don’t tell the whole story. Some clubs get more leniency than others.

      1. Totally with you on this OG- I remember Gary Neville dishing it out to Reyes at Ild Trafford because he just was not good enough to try and play him. Not just Neville either with that lot. Roy Keane and Viera? I never had an issue with them two. They both gave it out and both took it. But the others? As you say OG- Fergusson knew we had players better than his
        Nobody dissed Lauren though- that was one real tough guy

    2. Vieira did walk for nasty one on Olivier Dacourt – not sure if it was a straight red but probably should have been

      1. Maybe I’m going crazy – can’t find this mention of this anywhere. Seems I got this wrong.

  4. Another bullshit story from the Sun as red cards do not necessarily mean you are dirty as the headline suggests. Does a handball make you a dirty player? No. Does a couple of cards for not retreating 10 yards at a free kick or arguing a decision make you dirty? No. Poor discipline yes but not necessarily dirty. Another case where statistics are used to lie and the gullible ones amongst us believe it.

    1. 👍 Dirty players are usually too sneaky to get sent off. Also dirty teams are adept at cyclical fouling, so individual players only pick up a maximum of one yellow.

  5. Yeah, seem to remember Vieira being sent off for kicking Van Handpump, despite not getting within 50cm of him.
    As the old saying goes…
    There are liars, damned liars, then statisticians (and Tories).
    Ftr, probs best not to write blogs based on articles from the sun, or anything with a name starting with ‘daily’, unless you’re more bothered about clicks than credibility.
    Just saying…

    1. Hi Philly new kid,
      Just Arsenal reports and discusses on anything and everything about Arsenal from any and every source, and we have doing it for ten years.
      But thanks for the advice, new kid….

  6. At last! Top of the table for something! That’s being stored away for my next argument with the Statcrazies!

    1. Yes we get the coverted 7th spot.
      We get to start our campaign by travelling to outer Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Iceland.
      Be good for team bonding.

  7. Just adds weight to those who believe ina referee’s conspiracy. Look how happy the ref looks in dishing out the red card. I don’t I can’t remember Arsenal players making career ending tackles the way other teams have against us. Not in the Premier League at least.

  8. Back in the days of George Graham Arsenal knew how to win by cheating well and playing dirty, but under Wenger that ability was completely lost in favor of relying 100% on good football. That was great when we had Henry/etc, but the reality is that some good cheating technique is needed in the modern game. Great past examples include John Terry, who should have had red & yellow cards every single game for fouls on opposing forwards, but did it so slyly that he always got away with it. Michael Owen always diving. Alan Shearer elbows in everyone’s face. There are many, many examples of this, and Arsenal need to stop getting cheap naiive red cards and learn to be cunning again in this respect.

    1. Yossarian, it was a tougher more physical competition in the old First Division days, when George Graham was playing and then managing. What you have stated about George Graham managed Arsenal teams being “dirty” and “cheating” is complete rubbish.
      You may be surprised if you compare red cards issued under the two managers, that Arsene Wenger teams had 118 red cards awarded against them in 18 seasons. This was due to the reasons given by Phil and myself and referees like Riley and Poll

  9. Anyone remember Peter Storey? He would have added an extra 20 or 30 cards to that total.

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