May 24, 2024

Ilfa Sprot

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English football’s dirtiest player and club this season as Arsenal avoid top spot

4 min read
English football’s dirtiest player and club this season as Arsenal avoid top spot

We look at the discipline (or lack of it) of clubs in the top four divisions and unearth which player cannot stop getting his name into the referee’s book and which team has picked up the least cards

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Arteta on red card record

We’re into the final third of the season as all four top divisions in England approach the business end.

Whilst team achievements take obvious paramount, individual honours also play a big part in players’ mindsets.

Every striker wants to not only be the top scorer at their club, but they also chase down the divisional golden boot tag.

Likewise, goalkeepers judge themselves against others by who has the most clean sheets over the course of a full season.

However, there is one individual table that no player wants to finish top of – the discipline standings.

With just a few months remaining of the season, we’ve cast our eye on which players – and which teams – are in need of cleaning up their acts.

What’s the worst red card you’ve seen this season? Let us know in the comments

Referee Jarred Gillett shows a red card to Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa – the only Premier League player to be sent off twice so far this season

Across the Premier League and three tiers of the EFL there are a handful of players who have already been sent off twice already.

But the player who has accrued those red cards in the fewest games, and therefore has the unwanted tag of being the dirtiest player in England, is Gillingham’s Daniel Phillips.

The midfielder, on loan from Premier League side Watford, has made just 15 appearances in League One but has been sent off twice in that time.

He’s also had six bookings to boot.

Daniel Phillips, on loan at Gillingham, has received the most red and yellow cards in the fewest amount of games

But he is far from on his own in terms of constantly finding himself in the referee’s notebook.

Other regulars include Bristol Rovers’ Cian Harries who has been shown two reds and seven cautions in just 16 League Two games.

Gary Gardner, of Championship side Birmingham City, has the same charge sheet but has at least taken 22 games for his tally.

In terms of the Premier League, Ezri Konsa has the unwanted tag of being the only top flight player to be sent off twice so far this season.

Konsa can’t hide his disappointment after being sent off against Leeds

The Aston Villa defender was given his marching orders midweek in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Leeds United. He also saw red earlier in the campaign in a 4-1 loss to West Ham and has received three yellows in addition.

As for the most booked player in the top four divisions, that particular feat goes to Barrow’s Ollie Banks.

The midfielder has racked up an extraordinary 13 yellow cards in just 27 League Two matches. If you include cup competitions the tally rises to 14 cautions in 34 outings.

In mitigation, Banks can at least point the fact that he has scored 11 goals for Mark Cooper’s side this season. In terms of team discipline, Barrow also boast the most yellows handed out across all four divisions.

Barrow’s Ollie Banks has picked up a whopping 13 yellow cards so far this season

They have received a whopping 83 bookings in just 30 games,

The side with the most red cards in England is Bristol Rovers. Joey Barton, no stranger to a dismissal during his playing career, has seen his side handicapped on eight occasions.

Championship side West Brom aren’t far behind, with six reds dished out including one for Jake Livermore in their defeat at Sheffield United last Wednesday – the second time the former England man has been sent for an early bath this term.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli was shown a red card after two yellows for the same passage of play, in their win at Wolves on Thursday

Arsenal are the most prolific top flight side, with Mikel Arteta’s team receiving three red cards in the Premier League. The latest saw Gabriel Martinelli bizarrely shown two yellow cards for in quick succession for the same passage of play during Thursday’s win over Wolves.

Arteta said of the incident: “I’ve never seen that. I’ve been 18 years in this country and I’ve never seen something like it.”

As for the country’s least card-happy side, that honour goes to Rochdale who have picked up just 28 bookings and have yet to receive a red card.

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