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 Arsenal.com.
“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