In years gone by, it feels like it was guaranteed that the players making the most fouls were our defenders who were constantly having to make last-ditch challenges, but things look very different under Mikel Arteta.
Who has made the most fouls for Arsenal this season?
Nope, it’s not Granit Xhaka, who is fouled almost twice as much as he fouls these days.
Bukayo Saka would be a good should, given he is constantly penalised for playing football while black, but he is joint-first with another.
Perhaps Thomas Partey, in his role? Or what about one of the centrebacks, perhaps Gabriel? Nope, he actually gives away fewer fouls than William Saliba.
What if I told you that five of the top six players at Arsenal this season in terms of fouls given against them were all attackers?
Does that help?
Arsenal foul table 22/23
|Gabriel Dos Santos||15||34|
|Albert Sambi Lokonga||1||5|
|Emile Smith Rowe||1||0|
While looking at that table, let’s not also forget that Gabriel Jesus has been out of action for three months yet still somehow sits fourth.
Bukayo Saka, for the same number of fouls as Martinelli, has five cards to the Brazilian’s three and the most bookings in the Arsenal squad, followed by Gabriel Jesus (4), Martin Odegaard (4), William Saliba (4), Gabriel (4), and Ben White (4).
That’s an average of a yellow card every 5.08 fouls for those players (127 fouls, 25 yellows) which is actually much better than Arsenal’s top six rivals, with only City getting booked less often.
To take a the top six players to be booked for City and do the same with their cards, they average a yellow every 7.88 fouls (134 fouls, 17 yellows)
Manchester United every 4.68 fouls (159 fouls, 32 yellows, 2 reds)
Tottenham 3.84 fouls (127 fouls, 32 yellows, 1 red)
Liverpool 4.62 fouls (97 fouls, 21 yellows)
Chelsea 4.52 fouls (140 fouls, 29 yellows, 2 reds)
Just a special note that Gabriel Jesus has somehow managed to pick up four cards for just 24 fouls, a rate that is five times higher than his average when he was a Manchester City player.