Mikel Arteta yet to speak with referee chiefs about Arsenal’s red cards

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was unhappy with the red card shown to Gabriel Martinelli at Wolves.
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Mikel Arteta is yet to talk to referee chiefs about the number of red cards Arsenal have been shown lately as he dismissed the suggestion there was an agenda against his side.

The Gunners have had four players sent off in 2022 and a total of 15 red cards have been amassed since Arteta’s appointment in December 2019.

Gabriel Martinelli was the latest, the forward shown two yellow cards in quick succession during the recent 1-0 win at Wolves.

Arteta said after the game he planned to have a private conversation with match officials, stating he was “not at all” happy with the decisions going against his side.

Asked if he had spoken to the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) or their boss Mike Riley, the Spaniard replied: “Not yet.

“That’s happening soon but obviously we have reported the opinion and the lack of understanding on the decision.”

While he has voiced his displeasure at officiating decisions, Arteta stopped short of suggesting the recent record worked against them when referees were opting to show red cards to his players.

“I don’t want to think like that,” he said.

“There have been various reasons, very different ones the way we picked up these red cards. Somehow we have to stop it because it is going to affect performances and results for sure, and that has to be our aim and our focus.

“Don’t try to blame the ref, we have to believe that the referees are going to do what they have to do, and we have to do, what we have to do – that’s it.”

Arteta will be hoping to avoid any further red cards when they host Brentford on Saturday, looking for a victory to move back into the Premier League top four.

Preparations for the game were disrupted by Storm Eunice as strong winds battered Arsenal’s London Colney training base.

“We had to change the session,” Arteta added. “It was too windy to do what we wanted to do. So we had to adapt and do one part inside and the other one outside.

“But we were safe, which was the most important thing, and we managed to do some bits.”

One player to take part in the restructured training was Takehiro Tomiyasu, who could feature against Brentford having missed the previous two games with a calf problem.

Takehiro Tomiyasu could feature against Brentford after overcoming a calf injury.

Takehiro Tomiyasu could feature against Brentford after overcoming a calf injury (Martin Rickett/PA)

“We are all good,” Arteta said on the fitness of his squad.

“The doubt was Tomiyasu, who has still not been perfect, but he has trained the last few days. So he’s in contention and we can use him. That’s really positive and the rest we are good.

“We know that Gabi is out with the red card that he picked up against Wolves. The rest of the players are OK.”

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