Who is responsible for Arsenal’s red card debacle?

Red Card Debacle by IceWalker

This behavior of playing with 10-men and holding on to a lead is becoming a norm at the Emirates. If we are not holding on to a draw with 10-men, then we are holding on to a lead with 10-men. It is now very recurrent. Is it a coincidence or the referee’s fault or MA’s fault?

We are getting sent off, far too easily and constantly than before.

Just last night, it was our own Gabriel Martinelli’s. Two yellow cards within seconds (69-70) at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Thomas Partey, at Liverpool’s Carabao Cup defeat.

Gabriel, shirt pull on Gabriel Jesus at Man City’s defeat. Our best game in several years.

And our famous, “King of Reds,” no need to go further on this. I personally think, he wants to beat Patrick Viera’s record of 8 red cards; let’s see if he can do it this season, let’s support him. I can’t seem to lay my hand on how many he has had this season.

After last night, this means that four players have been sent off in six games in 2022.

I for one do not think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s from the coach, he is building an aggressive style of marking. Arsenal has been blamed far too long (at least, since, 2016 till date) for not putting in enough effort off the ball. They keep running around like confused people.

Maybe, part of ‘THE PROCESS’ demands players to mark aggressively. I believe with time, the players will catch up, except, obviously, “The King of Reds,” who says he loves taking risks.

Imagine we continue on this red card run and lose players to suspension, when we do not even have enough to comfortably win a match. It would be like shooting ourselves on the foot.

To make it all worse, Arteta says, “I have run out of ideas.”

What can we do?

Well, let’s, Trust The Process.



  1. Firstly our red cards usually aren’t dangerous tackles so thats a big positive.

    I think it comes down to our tactics and focus. Our half hearted high press I see as the main cause, it pulls half the team out of position resulting in poor position wjen our opposition is on the counter.

    Either a full team press or not…how often have you seen just Laca/Martinelli pressing when other’s aren’t….leaves big holes in our midfield and we have so slower midfielders too.

    1. @PJ-SA
      On point. Our midfielders lack the ability to break up play and turn defence into attack. They’re either stuck trying to go forward or trying to defend. Really miss Santi in this respect. He was a magician at that…

    2. This time it’s Michael Oliver being ridiculous. The meercat always gives pe panties against us. Now this

  2. It is Arteta as I feel the team doesn’t know the direction he wants to go, this is third year and yet no-one knows where we are going, lack of firepower, ill-discipline, no plan B, no leadership on the pitch. The constant berating, shouting and moaning from Arteta on the touchline towards the players and officials. It is a real mess, how we are fifth is beyond me it really is. I am still not convinced by Areta and Edu and I think a lot of the players are not as well. Lacazette is a former shadow of himself, the chances he had last night should have had a hattrick.

      1. That’s your reply…ha,ha,ha that’s pathetic….”And are you a top manager”… priceless

    1. Very funny ,lacazeth could have had a hat trick but arteta made him loose those chances yeah.I think your hatred of arteta has absolutely deluded you to the extent that you make up stuffs. Answer to your question as to why we are fifth is the fact that the team coach and players alike had worked really hard to be there and if they continue in that manner,they might third on the table within the next few weeks seeing as there is just two points separating fifth and third at the moment if all outstanding matches are played and won

  3. Many people are responsible for the cards galore at Arsenal, not just the manager:

    – The club should’ve enforced stricter rules, fines and education

    – The manager should’ve made a better system to keep the ball possession in the attacking area, so our defense wouldn’t have to deal with the opposition’s counter-attacks too often

    – The short-tempered players are the ones who make the decisions in the field. The coaches and other people at the club can only prepare the players for the matches, but they can’t control all aspects of a player’s life

    – The fan websites/ channels, the social media and the news outlets shouldn’t have been stirring up troubles and gossips for money

    1. Agree with you on a lot of your points. Plenty of blame to go around.

      — Players for losing their heads during games
      –Arteta for allowing these antics to continue when he should have stamped this out a while ago. Pepe benched, yet Gabriel, Xhaka, and Luiz got right back into the lineup.
      –Oliver, can’t remember another time he carded anyone like that.

      If Oliver thought the first play was a foul, then stop and warn the player before issuing such a quick second card.

      Legal? yes. Poor game management by an official? yes. Decisions like these can cost points, table places, and millions of dollars to clubs.

      Handled poorly by the ref, should have stopped play before the throw-in and warned Gabriel.

      1. Correct…once he played advantage he should.have counted the first one as an.offence (definite yellow) and second one as a stern warning thougj it was just a push in the.back and not a serious challenge !!

      2. It was too harsh for Martinelli. The referees didn’t send Sadio Mane and Ben Godfrey off for elbowing and kicking Tomiyasu’s face

  4. Icewalker you have cleverly avoided going with facts when bashing Xhaka because you know the facts don’t support the weekly Xhaka bashing.

    Your point on discipline is true though and it would’ve been better if Arteta work on this before it cost us big in the future and it will if left unaddressed.

  5. I definitely trust the Process. It is down to the players. Managers cannot make spur of the moment decisions for players.

  6. Its a collective but it stops with the manager. It isnt something that has been going on for a few weeks. Our indiscipline comes from wat back and starts with giving players luke xhaka
    a new contract and the captains armband, making him a icon not making an example of him. The problem is the team, the players and what they are taught and allowed to get away with.

    1. Your final sentence should be reworded this way: “The problem is PGMO, the Referees and what they are taught and allowed to get away with – when Arsenal is involved.”

      We are conversant with players, receiving straight red cards (whether deserved or not). But I have never seen a player flashed with two yellow cards and the red at the same time. Let them keep breaking records with their hatred of Arsenal.

  7. I like our aggressive style. Teams now fear our defence. It will take time to learn how to get away with the dark arts of defending like Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea but we are learning. Now we have to have teams fear our attack. Getting a tune out of Lacazette and Pepe would do wonders. The card table is not important only the PL table is important and we are 5th and closing in on 4th. Remember that at the start of the season no one picked Arsenal to make top 4. Absolutely no one. Every one picked Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd in that order. Top 6 was the best any one predicted for Arsenal. So Arteta actually has Arsenal absolutely spot on in the position we were expected to be. COYG

  8. I know MA couldn’t anticipate the red card but taking MÓ off had a big impact,he knows when to keep the ball and very comfortable in possession.as someone rightly pointed out,we don’t seem to be very confident as a dominating team,this could be the reason that we seem to stop playing when we score/take the lead.

  9. I would say the manager, as clearly the problem is discipline. Martinelli’s red yesterday, Gabriel’s this season and last season, all of Xhaka’s reds, they are all down to stupidity and happened at the crucial stages of the game. None of these red cards saved us any points. Xhaka’s one against Liverpool probably saved a goal but it doomed rest of the game.

    4th red card of 2022. We have more reds than goals this year.

  10. Excessively stinking corruption from the PGMO. The conspiracy is simply: Arsenal must be made to stumble at all cost; If they are weak, don’t show them any sympathy; If they are tough, emasculate them with cards.

    1. Ask mike riley.. He hate arsenal till he go to hell with the money he got from corruption in match fixing..

  11. I don’t see what all the fuss is about, to be honest. This site should stop parroting the medias view and assessment of our clubs and players actions. IJS

    1. NY-GUNNER. now YOURE talking !. it is beginning to sound like a “oh woe is me” type of scenario in here. surely, we have to admit that SOMETIMES the arsenal players are a little out of hand on the pitch. i am not into this conspiracy theory that refs are against us.nobody ever seems to bring that subject up when we are on a good run. funny that, dont you think ?.lets grow up and hold our hands up.

  12. Did anyone remember the reason for Xhaka’s first yellow card? Shirt pull. How many times had been carded for that? It’s like he never learned. Most of the cards against Arsenal players are not the result of dangerous tackles or desperate attempts to defend against goal threat, but rather results of silly and hot-headed behaviors from players themselves. Players should be fined for getting an unnecessary red card. Martinelli had no right of getting that red card. I read one comment, someone blaming Arteta. Really? I know Arteta is not a likable figure on JA, but come on, you can’t blame him for the red cards players receive on daily basis. We agree that he is a disciplinarian, and will not be happy with silly behavior on the field.

    1. Wenger said he was amazed to find … having purchased him … that the guy did not know how to tackle his resort to short tugging and clumsy lunged tackles follows from that … given the man possesses only one compensation quality … occasional decent diagonal balls … his longevity at the club is one of the greatest and most damaging mysteries in the history of AFC

      1. a fact that I keep harping on Rw1, but it doesn’t seem to resonate with the Blinders crew…Wenger actually told a deep-lying midfielder to NOT tackle because he was so poor…that fact alone should have led to Xhaka getting his walking papers

  13. I agree with fairfan that the main thing last night was the three points, we have got ourselves into a position that wasn’t expected by many at the outset of this season and at this point it’s only points that matter, we can try to sort out player contracts, new signings, discipline, more entertaining style of play etc at the end of the season

    A red card could cost us points, the same as any mistake by a player, like missing an open goal or defensive/goalkeeping error, you can be unlucky getting a red as you can with those other two examples but they are actions by the player concerned not the Manager, although he is obviously accountable for all player actions

    Although we are talking about red cards I think we are really talking about yellows, I haven’t checked this but from recollection we seem to have more double yellows than straight reds this season?, that indicates that we are a bit dopey and clumsy rather than dirty or malicious, even Xhaka’s straight red at Anfield was the former rather than the latter

    We have had a lot of single yellows and they are often avoidable by the player concerned and if there are two in the same match that is obviously a red

    As I say this is from unchecked memory but I think we picked up 7 yellows last night?, two from slightly miss timed tackles or persistent fouls which can happen but in addition to Marti’s two we had one for shirt pulling, one for dragging a player down when he went past one of our players on the half way line and one for time wasting, maybe they were harsh, maybe not but they were dopey and avoidable and to be honest I was more expecting a second yellow for one of those three guys than the absurd two for Marti within the same phase of play

    It’s a problem, but shouldn’t overshadow an overall performance that gets us a step nearer to our current goal

    Come on you Gunners

    1. I agree with the first paragraph.

      Out of curiosity, I checked the yellow card standings. We’re 16th with only 33.

      1. Cheers Sean M, that’s interesting, I would have thought that 33 was a lot

        Do you know how many straight Reds compared to two Yellows please?

  14. This is a young team and I expect clumsiness and impulsiveness from them especially the younger ones. The Xhaka cards can be chucked down to a slow players trying to make it up by shirt pulling..This is being blown out of proportion. I am confident we will see less of these cards as they guys mature.

    1. Good comments

      Not.sure why more. people dont understand we are.the youngest team. And yet still pushing for 4th

      Imagine in 2 years when they have so.much more. experience and will stop.making.some.of.these.silly tackles.and petty.shirt pulling

      Come.on guys lets be more positive.and support the team who.just played sp well to get 3 points with 10 men !

  15. In the 1st half, there were 3 clear instances of yellow card fouls without a yellow being awarded. How is Martinelli supposed to know he’s definitely getting a yellow for the first one? It seems pretty obvious that they were individually probably yellows but that’s the problem – probably. Any self respecting person, never mind referee would have given a yellow and a stern warning. Ridiculous referee. Not certain about conspiracy theories but this one stinks, along with the man City “penalty” and Harry Kane’s yellow against Liverpool. Think Martinelli would have been sent off if he were England’s captain? I thought he had a great game and was a bit stupid, just got caught up in the moment. But for years we’ve been asking for effort and commitment from our players. He epitomises that trait.

    1. I liked your points Mike M, particular the first one

      What is the purpose of the referee giving a Yellow Card rather than a talking to as he did with a few players last night

      The talking to is to say that next time you will get a Yellow Card so be careful so if the Yellow Card is to say be careful because the next offence will be a second Yellow and therefore a Red by default that couldn’t be applied to Marti in that instance

      By the way, I would add Mane whacking Tomi in mid air at Anfield and not be being spoken to, given a Yellow or a Red to your non conspiracy theories, he did exactly the same thing to a Chelsea player at the Bridge a few weeks later and got a Yellow with a lot of talk with the pundits about being a straight Red

      I don’t think refs are naturally dodgy either but I do think they can be affected by the teams and players involved in incidents and the location of where those incidents happens

  16. Xhaka is the main culprit obviously. I personally think he’s an excellent centre midfielder but he has terribly rash instincts that will mean he will always have disciplinary issues. I wonder what the fanbase would think about him if he could keep his sh*t together.

    For the rest, it’s just kids showing their inexperience mostly. We’re not a dirty team as demonstrated by the low amount of yellows compared to other teams. It’s enormously frustrating but once Xhaka has his replacement next season, I don’t see it being a long-term issue and certainly find it amusing that most are trying to blame the tactics. Y’all are more reactionary than Granit.

  17. For my part I would include the FA as partly responsible for making rules that are inconsistant. When one team commits a foul, the ref can let play go on if the team who were fouled still have an advantage. IMO this can lead to different outcomes. As we saw last night, no excuses for martinelli but if the ref new that was a yellow card offence and blew the whistle straight away, Martinelli probably wouldn’t have got a second yellow, at least not straight away. Same as the offside rule. How many times do we see a player is offside and the linesman will flag it straight away, yet another time a linesman lets play go on until the passage of play concludes. What then happens, if the offside player carries on attacking and a defender comes in with a dangerous tackle and ends up breaking the other players leg. Defender gets a red card and misses three games and the opposing player misses a lot more for however long it takes to recover. I know you can’t legislate for what may happen and It’s only my opinion, but I think if a foul is committed the referee should blow straight away. I know they’re trying to let the game flow but iv’e got another bee in my bonnet about that.

  18. If like some of the posters on here, we dont wise up, we are in trouble. We are so naive and ill disciplined and we have only ourselves to blame.

  19. Okay, if a foul is committed, the match referee should blow his whistle straight away to make a call for the foul that was committed? But what of if he allows play to temporarily continues pending when he’ll stop play by giving the advantage to the team’s player that is on the ball attacking. Which I think the Law governing the refereeing of the game approved.

    In the 1st foul incident that’s involved Martinelli in our last night’s EPL match away to Wolves. Referee Michael Oliver arjudged Martinelli to have committed a bookable foul as the ball was being thrown in into play by a Wolves’ player to resume play from a throw-in situation.

    But Michael Oliver allowed play to continue to allow Wolves the advantage of play as they were already on the offensive just at the time Martinelli fouled one their players by the touch-line. Then Martinelli in his track-back to defend which I hail him for his doing that unfortunately committed a 2nd bookable offense for which the match referee booked him simutanueoslly for the 2 bookable offenses that he arjudged him to have committed.

    My advice to all Gunners is they should try to be weighing-in their options to apply a tackle properly in matches before they apply it to the opposition’s players. So that they should be going for the ball instead in their tacklings to tackle it to dispossess the opposition’s players despite that it’s a contact sport that makes having contact with the opposition’s players unavoidable.

    Shirt-pullings are unavoided a times in football matches as players in their desperations to stop the opposition team could resort to employ shirt-pulling to stop the opposing team player from causing havoc to his team. But if it becomes bad during play to the extent of attempting to stop a potential goal scoring moves. The match referee intervenes to take appropriate action required.

  20. I’m not an Arteta man at all, but I don’t blame him for our red or yellow cards except by playing Xhaka the thug. Last night was, to me, a bizarre, pedantic decision by Michael Oliver. He did it because he could. Liverpool or Man City….we all know it doesn’t happen…..yep Arsenal, it’s fashionable to give reds. What I will say is that Xhaka is out of control on the pitch and does not give a monkey’s peanut if Arsenal suffer because of his stupidity. Case study…..Emery’s Arsenal vs Brighton, when Xhaka cost us 4th place with the idiotic penalty he gave away. He should have been booted out immediately, and Guendouzi kept.

    1. 😁King of Reds😁
      That dude is a ticking time bomb 💣💣
      Some days, he explodes.
      Some others, the pin of his grenade is pulled halfway (Yellow card) and we are holding our hearts, watching if the pin would be completely pulled out.
      On few Occasions, he does not explode. But I can’t seem to recall a match where he is not booked.

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