Burnley at Arsenal - the best Premier League disciplinary record takes on the worst!

Sunday throws up a clash of the artisans of Arsenal, and battling Burnley.

By Chris Boden
Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 3:00 pm
Thomas Partey is sent off against Liverpool
Thomas Partey is sent off against Liverpool

Or so public perception would have you believe.

But while the Gunners are morphing into an adventurous, exciting side under Mikel Arteta - the youngest in the Premier League - their discipline continues to let them down.

Since the Spaniard took the reins at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019, Arsenal have had 14 red cards - six more than any other Premier League side in that time.

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In comparison, the Clarets have not had a sending off since January 2019.

The Gunners will be without Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey due to suspension on Sunday, with Arsenal averaging a red card every eight games.

They have three this calendar year so far, and while Sean Dyche was typicallynot being drawn into the argument, he feels his side's disciplinary record deserves more credit, than the 'dirty' stereotype they are often labelled with: “I just think that people should remember when they are saying things about ourselves, you have to look at the stats.

“There are no two ways about it. I want my players to win, play physically tough and hard, but within the rules.

"We try and do that, we try to play hard and we try to play fair.

“I attempt to encourage my players not to fall over easily, and not many of ours fall over and are squealing, not many of us.

“I think there’s a balance, I’m asking them to play hard, I’m not asking them to roll around.

“All I’m saying is the facts are we’re not that high in bookings and red cards so we can’t be that tough, we must be within the letter of the rules.

"That’s all you ask the players, to play hard and to play fair.”

Burnley claimed a first win at Arsenal since 1974 last season, thanks to an own goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Dyche would love a repeat, no matter how it comes, to help change the mood, with the Clarets bottom of the table: "Sometimes that’s the nature of what we’re all like as humans. Once there’s a negative, you sometimes attach to the negatives.

“We all have that kind of thing about us. Then you start getting a more positive flow and the story and the rhetoric starts changing.

“It’s our job to make the story change, it’s as simple as that.

“Positive or negative, it’s out the window, because it’s our job and our responsibility to keep going.

"And if it’s not positive, to turn things round and make it positive.

“There’s no other way of thinking about it, apart from getting on with it and trying to win football matches.

“You can send out messages with your displays and performances, but at the end of the day you need points.

“I’ve said all this season when we’ve played well and not got anything, you would take a lucky win, one that falls the right way, you would still take a decision.

"You take what you can get, but you would still prefer to do it by design.

“You would still prefer the team to play well, deliver a performance and win a game.

"There’s a bigger future in that than lucking it out, but you would take lucking it out now and again.

"If we have to luck out at Arsenal to get a win, I’d take it. Sometimes that can start the process of changing the rhetoric and the story.”