Is our “lack of discipline” going to cost Arsenal in Top Four race

After a great week of result’s in Arsenal’s favour we are now firmly in the driving seat in the race for the coveted place in the Top Four at the end of the season, but the race is far from over.

We still have to face rearranged games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, and also West Ham and Man United, so there are 15 points straight away that we can’t take for granted. We all know that our biggest problem lately is that in four of our last six games we have ended up with just ten players on the pitch.

As Mikel Arteta pointed out after the Wolves win, which saw Martinelli to be our latest player to see red: “If we want to have any chance of getting to the objectives that we want, we have to continue to play the 16 games with 11 players.

The ex-Man United defender Rio Ferdinand has been speaking about Arsenal in the Express, and particularly the regular cautions given to Xhaka and Gabriel. He was asked: “Is it lack of discipline or do you think they’re a bit rash as well?”

Ferdinand replied: “Both. Lack of discipline. You’ve got to have sometimes a trigger in your mind that when you’re going in for a tackle ‘is this the right time or not?’.

“That separates the top players a lot of the time from the okay, good players.

“If you can’t rely on people, they’re worthless. Don’t have them.

“In pressure situations especially, throughout a season really, you need to be able to go on that pitch and think ‘I can rely on him, he’s one I can put in, I know what I’m getting, he’s cool’.

“These guys at the moment, that’s been Arsenal’s problem, that lack of discipline.”

So now we really have to hope that Arteta can instil some discipline into the players so we don’t needlesly throw away any of our remaining 16 games. If our red card woes continue, it could seriously impact our fight for the Top Four…

Tags Ferdinand Gabriel Xhaka


  1. Not making top 4 could be down to many factors
    The lack of CB cover. The lack of RB cover.
    Having only one number 10.
    Lacazette not firing. Pepe not playing.
    Over playing Saka.
    Not spending in the Jan window.
    The refs and VAR are against us.
    Covid, Injuries illness. Bad luck.
    A rookie manager who trusts only 11 players.
    Other teams are better.
    Or may be a combination of all or some of the above. I still think we will get either 5th or 6th

  2. – Lack of passing variations in the final third, as compared to Man City’s and Liverpool’s

    – Rarely able to keep the ball in the opposition’s area

    – Missing sitters

    – Red cards

  3. Gotta start working on the players shooting skills cos saka and esr ain’t good at curlers,laca got no bearing at shooting and our defensive midfielder’s rebound are terrible which won’t crown our efforts in our style of play leading to little or no goals therefore affecting our chances of making top four.

  4. What can cost Arsenal top four are:- Referees, PGMO, Referees, PGMO, Referees, and PGMO all day long. Say whatever else you like – I don’t care.

    Can someone do some kind of compilation or statistics of points Arsenal lost over the years due to terrible officiating, which when added to our total seasons’ points could have given us the league cup multiple times in the past?

  5. It’s not so much a discipline as it is a tactics issue. Our press is setup horrifically and it means our players are out of position when we are facing a counter attack….add to that slow midfielders and it means our whole team is under pressure which leads to the cards.

  6. Certainly our discipline should improve. There cannot be much done about Xhaka, Xhaka being Xhaka wont change. But I think Martinelli is young and will learn from experience. That said, as pointed out above, there are other multiple reasons. I would like to add to the above lack of consistency in scoring goals and our inability to add either a CF or a midfielder or both in the January transfer window. I only hope we remain consistent, injury free and suspension free for the remainder of the season to have a proper chance of making it to the top 4.

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