David Luiz vs Wolves – 02/02/20
So much grey area involved in this. On one hand, the ‘triple punishment’ law clearly states that if there is no attempt to deliberately prevent a goal-scoring opportunity then a yellow card is just in the circumstances.
However, other laws state that this only applies if there is a genuine attempt made to get the ball. Luiz did neither on this occasion, yet by some reckoning him trying his best to avoid touching Jose was worse than him flinging a leg out in the direction of the ball. It is an utter farce and highlights serious issues within the law-making.
Was it even a penalty in the first place? Jose’s studs move back and graze Luiz’s thigh and he trips up under minimal contact. Such calls are frequently made.
It’s been universally agreed by all within the game that the red card was a nonsense decision and wholeheartedly unfair. There is even debate over whether his reputation preceded him, which if true, underlines drastic flaws within Premier League refereeing. You judge incidents on merit not reputation. There are many cases of this happening with Wilfried Zaha, as an example.
Red Card Decision: Ludicrously harsh but apparently ‘Correct’
Bernd Leno vs Wolves – 02/02/20
He misread the bounce of the ball horrendously. Coming out with the intention of chesting the pass to Cedric, whether it hit a divot in the ground and deflected slightly to his right or he just got his bearings all wrong, it was very poor from the German.
Having played out of his skin this season up until this moment, one of the most reliable members of the squad this campaign suffered what doctors call ‘a brain fart’.
While the game may already have been beyond Arsenal’s reach by this point, it’s the one-game ban and absence for the Aston Villa match which exacerbates this red card.
Best rally behind Alex Runarsson. He’ll need it.
Red Card Decision: Correct
Arsenal Red Card Summary
There can be no complaints about the majority of the nine red cards Arsenal have received under Mikel Arteta’s tenure. Four were idiotic moments of lunacy and two were typical forwards’ challenges.
One was harsh, one was reckless and one was the result of an inexplicably bizarre thought process.
Where people are irked is the inconsistencies and issues with the laws themselves. How can Luiz be given a straight red against Wolves when Bruno Fernandes goes unpunished for a deliberate studs down challenge on the back of Xhaka’s shin? Or when Craig Pawson, the same referee as on Tuesday night, disallowed Sokratis’ winner against Crystal Palace for somehow adjudging Calum Chambers to have fouled in the build up?
A game of opinions. This is what football is and it’s both the joy and the scorn of the sport.
Does that excuse the disciplinary issues within the squad for the majority of the dismissals? It does not. Interestingly, these nine also included career first red cards for Aubameyang, Nketiah, Gabriel, Pepe and Leno.
Arsenal have been the victims of their own downfall on many occasions. A bit of consistency wouldn’t go amiss, though.