Friday, December 1, 2023

Bellerin: We’re paying for our disciplinary issues

Hector Bellerin has called on Arsenal to stop ‘losing against ourselves’ after two of his teammates were sent off in last night’s 2-1 defeat to Wolves.

While the Gunners can count themselves unlucky to have had David Luiz red carded just before half time – replays show the Brazilian didn’t instigate contact with compatriot Willian Jose in an incident that also led to a penalty – the nature of goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s dismissal was less controversial. The German handled outside his box in a moment of panic as he misjudged the bounce of the ball while sweeping up behind his defence.

In total, the Gunners have picked up nine red cards since Mikel Arteta first game in charge on Boxing Day 2019; six more than any other Premier League side. Bellerin is rightly concerned that the disciplinary problems are undermining progress on the playing side.

“One hundred per cent [we’ve had too many red cards],” the right-back told

“We’ve shown that when we’re 11 against 11 on that pitch, it’s completely different. We had complete control in the first half and we probably should have been 2-0 up by the end of it. We paid for those mistakes.

“I always say that teams are not beating us, we are losing against ourselves. It’s for us to learn. Hopefully this will be the last time. We were on such a good run, great momentum, great confidence in the team.

“We just need to forget this step because situations like this are not going to happen very often. We’ll go on to the next one.”


Arsenal’s Premier League red cards under Mikel Arteta

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Crystal Palace (A), 11 January 2020 – drew 1-1
David Luiz vs Chelsea (A), 21 January – drew 2-2
David Luiz vs Manchester City (A), 17 June – lost 3-0
Eddie Nketiah vs Leicester (H), 7 July – drew 1-1
Nicolas Pepe vs Leeds (A), 22 November 2020 – drew 0-0
Granit Xhaka vs Burnley (H), 13 December 2020 – lost 1-0
Gabriel Magalhaes vs Southampton (H), 16 December – drew 1-1
David Luiz vs Wolves (A), 2 February 2021 – lost 2-1
Bernd Leno vs Wolves (A), 2 February 2021 – lost 2-1

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At least if we are going to get players consistently sent off we could be a really dirty team.

All our sendings off have been silly brain farts.

Blue sky thinking – Maybe this will tip the club in the direction of not renewing Luiz’ contract and allow Gabriel back into the team.


Here’s hoping.

Last night was not David Luiz’s fault, but there have been plenty of occasions when it most certainly has been his fault.

Come the summer, no new contract, a thank you and that’s it – get rid.


He shouldn’t have been sent off but to say David Luiz was faultless. Mate… mate.


Pretty unlucky, especially since injury time was already up and there were no stoppages during the 2 minutes. His fault was being out of position up the pitch really.

I’d be more than happy if he steps aside for Gabriel & Mari to take over.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Fault lies with him still because of his horrible decision making and being caught out of position.

Heavenly Chapecoense

You should blame Leno who made a clear mistake first.

Let’s break this down. (1) Auba bends Meyer’s ankle during a challenge. Yellow initially given. Upgraded to red by VAR (2) Mustafi makes a poor pass which Abraham intercepts. Luiz tries to cover and brings Abraham down in the box. (3) David Luiz holds Mahrez back and blatantly brings him down in the box. (4) Nketiah tries to intercept a back pass and catches Justin with his studs. VAR recommend a red. Referee, Craig Pawson agrees (5) Pepe clashes with Alioski and moves head against the latter’s face. VAR imply it’s a violent offence worthy of a red. Referee, Anthony… Read more »


At least the players are making up excuses for it. Bellerin is exactly right here. Stop fucking up and we won’t get guys sent off. Argue the rules are the issue all you like, but by the letter of the law that was a penalty and a red. If we don’t want it to happen to get ourselves into those situations. Or perhaps even easier, stop playing David Luiz when we don’t need to. Gabriel is fit and ready. He should be starting.



Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

The law is bullshit then if you can accidentally trip yourself up and win a penalty, as well as a red card for the opposing player that you tripped up


I’m not arguing the rule isn’t a bit shit (although your bizarre example doesn’t make much sense). But the ref got it right according to the rule in place. But even if the rule was changed to account for intent that would result in a penalty and a yellow (not red), I would argue Luiz had intent anyway. Not that the intent was in the contact (that was accidental). The intent was his run into an area where he could make contact with Nevez’s legs. That was plain stupid. All he had to do was runs straight back on Nevez’s… Read more »

A Different George

You are right– it the law were interpreted reasonably, it should have been a penalty and a yellow. A penalty because “instigated contact” is a red herring here, Andrew. Willian Jose has an absolute right to run towards the goal; if Luiz trips him, intentionally or not, it is a penalty. This is not a situation where an attacker sees the defender’s leg and runs over it to trip (a Vardy special). It shouldn’t be a red because the logic of the change in the laws was that a penalty was a sufficient remedy for denying a goal-scoring opportunity (so… Read more »


The essence of the rule is really to stop professional fouls e.g the ones Luis did vs Liverpool and City. That is fair. You’re essentially cheating and deserve the red and suspension.

However accidental collision falls under the same ruling here which should not require the same punishment as someone blatantly cheating. You’re basically punishing the player, team and having a suspension for something unintentional and accidental. It really encourages dives/simulation if it holds firm.

I am not going in to the debate whether Luis meant it because there’s no way it is 100% conclusive either way.


I agree with you on all. I agree the rule is meant to be that way, but applied as it is “if he is not playing the ball” and denies clear goal scoring opportunity then it’s a red. Nothing about intent in the wording. By the rules the decision was correct as there absolutely was contract.

I agree with most I don’t think he intended to touch him. However, he obviously intended to run into that area, that was just plain dumb, but totally characteristic David Luiz defending.


“Intended to run into that area” Well it all happened in the blink of an eye. What was the best course of action for him to take here? Lets leave out the initial bad positioning. He has no hope of catching the attacker. You can either go right or left of the attacker. Right seemed rather pointless and left looked like the better choice as it’s might force the player to go for the near post shot and leaves an option just incase Leno gets rounded. Of course there’s a third option which is do nothing and everyone will be… Read more »


Intention never comes come into it. Think of involuntary move of your hand causing handball. It’s handball of away from body.

Foo liuz’s It wasn’t a genuine attempt to play the ball, which caused a foul, denying a goal scoring opportunity as the last player. There’s 3 reasons for a red!!!

(1) It was Willian Jose, not Neves that was the “fouled” player.

(2) You cannot say with complete confidence what “the intent was” with Luiz running behind Jose. Only Luiz knows what his intention was, we can only guess.

(3) Any other part of the pitch besides the 18 yard box, and player tripping up because his studs grazed an opponents knee is not a foul


1. My bad. Either way it’s just a semantical part of the discussion 2. You can say with absolute certainty that it was Luiz’s intent to run in behind Jose. I mean he chose to run there?! Or are you pleading insanity as your defense? 3. Bollocks. If he is taking a kick to make a pass (or shot from outside the box) and Luiz did exactly the same thing its a foul every time. If he was shooting from outside the box and he was the last man it’s a foul and a red. Look I wish it didn’t… Read more »


Surely it’s more the players putting themselves in situations where their actions can be misinterpreted – that’s asking for trouble.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

It was a very harsh red card for Luiz but I think the refs probably have an unconscious bias against him by now. It’s not right, but if you keep getting red cards you’re a marked man. Shouldn’t be like that but I’m afraid Luiz too often gives them a decision to make.


Tiny contact but the player is running at full speed. His main objective would be to score. He doesn’t want a penalty.

You can’t start giving penalties on intention. I’m sure loads of defenders didn’t intent to give away a foul. I would be screaming at the ref to send him off at the other end.

Not really sure what this anger is aimed at. If should be aimed at ourselves really.


Anger is at the red. I have no issues with the penalty even though it’s soft.

Even if it’s at the other end, I wouldn’t want the game to be spoiled due to a red card for an accidental collision unless it a last man challenge outside the box where there’s no penalty.

The rule needs balancing out and not to encourage players to go down looking to see someone sent off. A penalty is compensation enough.


Blogs loves Bellerin, gave him a much higher rating than deserved again in the player ratings. He can’t cross a ball, lost all his pace, below avg 1 on 1 defender. Has a high pass success because he gets the ball from Holding, stops, looks around, then passes it right back to Holding.

Johnny 4 Hats

Blogs has taken a short position on Cedric but backed stocks in Bellerin strongly.


I dunno what match you were watching. Against wolves in the first half, we were killing it on the right flank with belles and Saka right from kick off.

Philip Visser

That’s Saka doing well, not Bellerin


Absolute nonsense. The hatred for Bellerin amongst some parts of our fanbase is mind boggling.

Philip Visser

No one is hating him. He has become average at best. Play safe has become his standard way of playing, much like Elneny. I like Bellerin as a leader but I found his utterances very disingenuous, criticizing team mates but not reflective of his own poor performances

A Different George

I am amazed that people feel this way. Bellerin has been exceptional. Next time you see a passing chart (“By the Visuals”) you can test your theory about his passes all being to Holding.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Yeh even before going down to ten he was being beaten easily by the Wolves winger. His passing is poor and the majority of it was backwards when he was in good positions because he can’t cross.


Not sure what game you were watching. He was pretty defensively solid prior to going down to 10 men and provided some of our only real thrust when we were down to 9. The only real shot on goal Wolves had prior to the penalty was from 25 yards out and in the middle of the pitch. He’s a player that for whatever reason a big section of our fanbase has simply decided they don’t like and want replaced regardless of who it is. It’s a shame really in that he’s an academy graduate even if he wasn’t born here… Read more »

Cedrics Moustache

Bellerin is the most dribbled past full back in the entire league. That’s just a statistic that cannot be ignored.
Great lad. But not powerful or tall. Now he’s lost a yard too.
Unfortunately he’s a liability. A decent side would have better. It’s not hate. Just an honest assessment.


He almost set up a goal for auba in the 90th minute when we were down to 9. The will and the stamina of this man… He was out for so long, now finding back to form. Truly unfair.


That’s potentially 17 points lost!


What disciplinary issues?

Granit(e) hard!

For a team that dosen’t play Sam Alladyce type football, getting so many red cards is just ridiculous, bordering on the ludicrous….how on earth can we get 6 more red cards than any other team in the EPL, when we are one of the, if not THE cleanest football playing team in the EPL?..Arsenal dosen’t even like committing tactical fouls. So how can we get so many red cards just half way through the season somebody tell me, unless the squad is filled with brain dead dimwits that dont know how to learn from their now recurrent foolhardy mistakes


Xhaka and Luiz get a lot of cards between them

Everybody was probably feeling the pressure during that bad run

Also the refs are shit

Granit(e) hard!

Yeah, i take those points, and can remember individual incidences where one, often more of those potential scenarios combined to do us in….but I can also distinctly remember stupid mistakes, like silly needless tackles by players already on yellow cards, and amazingly same stupidity, committed by ANOTHER player, the NEXT fixture, making 2 reds consecutively on the trot?…is that plain dumb or what?


I was just going to say the same thing. The last two red cards weren’t malicious or out of frustration they were 1. Not a red and 2. A bit silly


I could understand if we were just punching people in the box or just hacking down anyone that gets last us (although that only got Partey a yellow, ironically), but I just don’t see us being that sort of team. I’d be really keen to see the fouls:cards ratio and yellows:reds ratio. Potentially also injuries given via to collision:cards if that was available. I’d also be super interested to see a card/minute index for each of the refs for each team. Obviously there are other factors (e.g. derbies) but it feels odd that we are so far ahead of everyone… Read more »


The red cards we got (the recent Luiz one excepted) have mostly been straight reds & fully deserved. Gabriel is the only 2 yellow on that list that comes to mind. Several of Luiz’s have simply been him being out of position (like last night) and taking down a player as the last man. That accounts for his Chelsea/City and arguably Wolves. Those (Wolves excepted) are totally straightforward and a result of us playing a high line with an older/slower player. Auba & Eddie both were accidental but easily could have broken the opponent’s legs. They weren’t malicious but they… Read more »

Corona X

That tactical foul by Partey was brilliant though! We’ve missed someone who does that.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

It’s a matter of discipline and they need to learn it fast


Or pick players that know it better. Luiz is an old dog, there are no new tricks coming into his game.


The Gaffer needs to hold the players accountable. Especially when it comes to the usual suspects like Xhaka, Luiz who are senior players and are undoing the hard work done by the youngsters up front. Bellerin is the captain and i am sure he had a few choice words in the dressing room. He himself is guilty of poor throw-ins from the sidelines which he has corrected so far.


Was this game the Mustafi memorial trophy?



Lord Peter OF Highbury

There is defo a debate to be had about our lapses in discipline, but also the total lack of common sense and understanding of football dynamics from referees, the ineptitude of the cretins that inhabit the VAR office, and the fact that the rules of football themselves have become over complicated and impossible to interpret by everyone else
In the Trophy Dodgers vs Liverpool game last week – Dier grabs Firmino’s shirt in one hand, hand balls it, before the ball hits Firmino’s arm. VAR and ref disallow goal and give a free kick to the TDs!
Totally f*cking inexplicable


It’s such a strange phenomena. I remember some of the early Wenger sides being brutal bands of b*starts, but this Arteta squad is a very gentle bunch, Luis and Xhaka notwithstanding. Curious how we rank in the fouls against column, and where these yellow and red card fouls largely happen.


Well, he’s right (although I don’t think we’re “dirty” more “stupid” really). The vital thing having recognised a problem as he has is to do something about it. We could suffer particularly with Leno’s red card if Ryan isn’t fit so that may be a wake up call to the squad!


Was the contact made by Luiz minimal and the decision harsh? Yes.
Was Luiz badly out of position and trailing the forward who looked certain to score? Yes and that is the real issue.

Here’s a bold idea: stop signing “has beens” from Chelsea (Gallas, Cech, Luiz, Willian)

Corona X

Yes! Everything went wrong in that passage of play. It was just before half time, yet the team pressed up, Leno kicked it long, Luiz went too far ahead of the defensive line and didn’t get back in time. It’s those mistakes that angers me – without those the outcome of the match would be very different.
Total lack of concentration when we needed it the most.


The real shame about what happened yesterday is that it detracted from an excellent first-half performance. That was probably the best first 45 minutes we’ve played this season. That awful referee’s decisions should have been academic: we had the chances to bury them early on.

If we can keep up this level of performance we can get something out of this season. Top-four is probably gone but a Europa League victory? Who knows?


Nice piece of diversion from the Premier Leagues most carded player.

Cranky Colin

Can’t help but feel Xhaka keeping everything under the lid means eventually🧨…..
Very disciplined recently, but Xhaka’s can’t change their spots…..


Quite. With him there’s always that slight worry lurking in the background. We don’t really have the quality in depth in the squad, although we’ve reduced the numbers which is good, so the more first choice players that are absent will make things (even) more difficult for us than some of the other teams. Let’s hope Xhaka practices deep breathing and/or counting to ten… .


Xhaka did pick up a yellow, as he was feeling out of place


This is a culture issue. The training sessions IMO seem to convivial. There seems a pandering to certain players and not sufficient fear of god. Its a fine line of course but clearly something needs to be done by the manager. He can also start by making good decisions. Why we are still playing Luiz is beyond me. Why we are even contemplating extending his contract even more ludicrous but it does send the wrong message. To me we should be building the defensive relationships of Mari/Holding/Gabriel. One more of either Saliba or Mavropanos may add in the summer. But… Read more »


How many trails can Nelson have.When given an opportunity he has been poor.ESR comes in hits the ground running job done. Best to move him on IMO simply not good enough for Arsenal.


As for impact on the season, as I mentioned a game or two previously, this season is close to wash out in terms of league position. Some people (pundits in particular) still fool themselves with we are 8th when in reality we are closer to mid table bc teams ahead of us have plenty of games in hand. This does not mean we try and push upwards of course but to me, we should be prioritizing on europa games. The league is frankly now a lesson and a development moment for the younger players. Leave out the willian and Luiz.… Read more »


Why are we not focussed on the reason why he gets red cards.

It is also the reason he concedes goals when players runs at him.

It’s his poor positioning and the way he is so flat footed when players run at him, especially during opposition transitions.

That’s why he doubles down and tries his dirty niggly tricks to slow them down. That’s why he gets red cards.

He needs to iron that sheeeeet out of his game. But he’s old enough now.

I actually agree, that being caught has been a David Luiz issue since he signed for Arsenal.

Though looking at his record at Chelsea, I’m astounded. In 7 seasons at Chelsea, he only got 1 red card (against Stoke City) and 35 yellows in 160 appearances. 0.225 cards per game

At two seasons at Arsenal he has 3 red cards and 6 yellows in 46 appearances. 0.196 cards per game


There was such minimal contact with the striker but Arsenal is top of the leaderboard for red cards and Luiz is top of that pile. Whether those were correct or not the referees association don’t care. They just care about overall making a point.

We have to clean up a bit before next season, and hope Big Sam can overtake us.

Matt P

Is that a smirk I see on that cunt of a ref’s face?

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