Date:Tuesday March 2 2010
In the wake of the Stoke game and pointing to the broken limbs that Arsenal has suffered over 4 seasons both Fabregas and Wenger voiced the opinion that Arsenal players aren`t protected enough.
Courtesy of the Vital Arsenal forums support for their view comes in the form of a remarkable disparity between the numbers of cards issued in the EPL last season compared to those in the major competitor leagues in Europe:
La Liga: 2160 cards (2017 yellow - 78 yellow/red - 65 red)
Serie A: 1805 cards (1686 yellow - 71 yellow/red - 48 red)
EPL: 1244 cards (1181 yellow - 26 yellow/red - 37 red)
The Bundesliga with 1214 cards overall seems lower but adjusting for the lower number of games played and even the Germans with their reputation for discipline had generated the equivalent of 1507 cards last season.
The pattern for this season is much the same with both La Liga and Serie A issuing almost half as many cards again as those issued in the Premier League so far.
Does this point to a greater lack of protection for EPL players than is available to those in La Liga or Serie A teams? Given the propensity for yellow cards in the PL to be dished out for fairly minor offences it is not hard to imagine that it might. If it does it suggests that Arsenal, along with others as one of the most fouled against teams, aren`t being offered the same degree of protection as their European counterparts.
What is clear is that, with a few honourable exceptions, the scornful, dismissal of Wenger`s protestations by unthinking, disinterested observers isn`t serving English football and its participants any good in ignoring the evidence available to them.
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Date:Tuesday March 2 2010
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