Arsenal’s red cards are unrelated to the number of fouls they commit

Arsenal has become the club that is almost guaranteed to see red in any game.

Some of them have been ridiculous, like the sending off Gabriel Martinelli got in the game against Wolves.

Some have been justified, but red cards normally follow fouls and you would think Arsenal has committed the most fouls since Mikel Arteta became the club’s manager.

However, that is so far away from the truth after a new stat table showed Arsenal does not commit so many fouls.

The Sun reports that the Gunners have received 12 red cards from 785 fouls since Mikel Arteta became the club’s manager in 2019.

That equates to 65.5 fouls per red card, and it simply means it is not the fouls we commit that leads to the many sending offs we get.

For example, Burnley has committed 804 fouls since the Boxing Day of 2019, yet they have not had a red card in that time.

Just Arsenal Opinion

These stats show Arsenal is doing something wrong and we need to change that.

One reason could be that Arteta’s side simply does not know how to make tackles.

The Gunners also need to work on their on-field discipline and avoid a situation like Martinelli’s recent sending off.

Arteta knows this, and he is probably working to get his players to improve their discipline.

Tags Arsenal red cards


  1. Very interesting article. Arsenal are fighting unconscious bias in referees. Food for though for referee trainers. Bias.

  2. What a whole lot of you have not realize is that even when we don’t commit a foul, we get carded.. Every other player seem to get 3-4 warning as long as you don’t play for arsenal.. Maguire, fabinho, rodri, and a whole lot of burnley players gets up 6 or 7 warnings.. Areta has drastically reduced the way we tackle.. We are constantly in the running of top 3 lowest tackling team since he took over.. The referees just are too willing to card us

  3. Memories of the Man City game come up. To me the level of bias from the referee Stuart Attwell, was in the area that could be called corruption. Watch the game back and forensically check what Atwell let Man City get away with compared to what he constantly pulled our players up for. Football is not clean it is biased.

    1. Indeed Rodri shouldn’t have been on the pitch to score. At times he looks that there are different rules for us like 1 warning for our players and 4-5 for our opponents.

    2. SEAN, So ” football is biased” but presumably fans such as you would never be biased, eh!!!

      After all it is well known that NO football fans and certainly NO Gooners are ever biased!!!

      Sean, as an older fan I find it sad that you, also an older fan, have never learned to admit your own and obvious bias. I have long ago admitted mine and I say so frequently.

      Unlike you,I do not pretend others, meaning refs, are biased, when it is WE FANS WHO ARE BIASED.

      1. John 1 + 1 = 2
        To you it seems 1 + 1 = 3

        I find it hard to understand how your mind works. It seems petty and pedantic to me. I’m glad you got that off your chest anyway.

  4. It’s nothing to do with the fouls commited it’s if they are commited by Arsenal players. Mane can elbow people at will, Kane can lunge in 2 footed, Westwood can go high and late,enquire can push and pull people down in the box and Godfery can stamp on people’s faces.

    If any of the above offenses were committed by a gunner their sent off no question. Look and the Martinelli sending off, the same ref a game later. He doesn’t give the same punishment when Joelison does it and tbh far his offenses were far worse.

    We get red cards for far less than other teams do and if people don’t realise it’s bias their blind

  5. Since there is nothing we can do about real or perceived ref bias (which I do believe exists), what else needs to change? Some of the red cards can be put down to youthful exuberance (Martinelli and Gabriel) – how does one tap that down without messing with their positive aggression. Xhaka can’t tackle so how does one manage the game to minimise the times he is last man on a one on one?

  6. Duh, of course the number of red cards is not related to the number of fouls, talk about twisting the facts to suit the narrative, but of course the Sun never does that does it…..or does it 🤔.

  7. The problem is, almost all of the red cards this season have been deserved or easily justifiable.
    I do think some players get away with more – maguire being a good example – but bias is not shown by the starts shown, you need more context.
    The martinelli red card is a good example. It was a strange one, but if the ref was just biased, he could do easily have disallowed our goal. It would have been wrong, but he could easily have said that laca endangered the gk, but he didn’t.

  8. @davi. So it has gotten so bad that you’re using a clean and legit goal that was not disallowed as a counter argument? By the way, if magalhaes had not scored, it should be a penalty for us, the goalkeeper missed the ball and he caught Laca instead.
    If you all would watch other PL games, then you will see the arsenal bias clearly. To those of you blaming the players, you’re asking them not to compete. Yes, every red can be justified, doesn’t mean it is the right call, and since others are getting away with the same or worse, then it is not fair. What about the blatant reds that refs refused to give the opposition?, why are Xhaka and partey shown yellow cards for basically any foul and as early as possible? Do you even realise that other midfielders in their position at other clubs make 4/5 fouls per game without a card or carded at the tail end? Why was magalhaes sent off vs city for his first real foul, why wasn’t cancelo? Why wasn’t Rodri who committed same foul as magalhaes with far more regularity in the same game?

    1. I agree with your first paragraph, but nonetheless, if the ref was biased, he could have disallowed it and given justification (ball was in the air, laca’s feet were off the ground – I’m not saying the ref would have been right, just saying what a biased ref might say/do)
      The rest is all a bit hyperbolic. In the wolves game Partney got a yellow for his first foul, but it was a professional foul to stop an attack. Things like this can explain the low numbers of fouls per card, at least to a large degree.
      I used to think much more as you do but over time have mellowed my view a bit. There was something wrong on the 50th invincibles game, and certain sides do seem to get the rub off the green more often (particularly utd), but we also like to forget when things go against them.

  9. The only bias comes from the football fan. Refs are not perfect and that goes against every team but fans think its only their team that suffers. IT ISN’T!!!!!

  10. Lol @Reggie. You’re playing the ref inconsistency card. Inconsistencies that always go against a particular team, that’s very consistent. You watch other PL games with tackles and fight left and right and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a red but we get one for anything that looks like it, sometimes out of nowhere. Do you take into account how much help man utd get from refs? Maguire, mctominay, bruno get away with an awful lot. Brighton’s Lewis Dunk was sent off vs Man u very harshly, ref first gave a yellow(the right call) then it went to VAR and that was upgraded but we can have our players volleyed and stomped and refs and var say it’s ok. Please watch other clubs games to understand what bias is, it’s tiring trying to explain. In those seasons when we finished 8th, they removed Sok legit winner for ball sake!, denied clear penalties, opposition hack our players down when clean through and so on while our rivals get help to many pts..robbing us of pts and giving them to rivals, there’s too much point swing against us. You fans don’t take this into account when judging the manager as if they are not the reasons why we lost some games, it’s not fair. This season, we’ve been robbed of 3pt versus city already and rivals man utd have gotten atleast 6pts gift, that’s 9pts swing against Arsenal in favour of man utd and we’re only halfway. Reggie, if it is just inconsistency, when have we ever benefitted from a controversial situation? No, it naturally go against us. And when it is a clear cut situation that should go for us, 50% still go against us, it is maddening.

    1. Like i say and you are showing it in abundance, its hard to get over fan bias by some. We are treated no different. All the teams you mention, their fans think they are badly treated by refs. How on earth do you think refs are made or taught to be biassed and who in your infinate wisdom, organises all this!!!!!!!!! Rediculous

      1. Davi, too often too many quickly forget conveniently to suit an argument that we are only victims. Laughable!!!!!!!

  11. Unbelievable! @davi Laca being jammed violently in the box wasn’t a clear penalty? The controversy was sanchez didn’t get a card punishment! Lamela sent off was controversial? Are you having a laugh or what? Did you even watch the said game?

    @Reggie I suppose Arteta has the bias too for planning a meeting with the officials..lool

  12. “Who in your infinite wisdom organised it” lool I think I’m talking to a kindergarten, sorry for bothering you, It is impossible, nobody can organise it, as well as all the corruption in the world, they just happen. Officials just make ridiculous amount of atrocious mistakes every week same way you and any other person do at their respective jobs. Have fun fella.

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