The Premier League, without a doubt, is the most competitive league in the entire world. With so many teams in proper contention for the title, players harbour the inherent need of stepping up their game constantly. With that sort of drive, comes the natural side-effects. The players become too reckless.
While a healthy amount of aggression is often motivated in players. Them morphing into a raging typhoon of destruction isn’t the perfect way to go about it. Here is a list of the Top 10 players with the most number of red cards in Premier League history.
10. Vinnie Jones
What can we say about Vinnie Jones that hasn’t already been said before? Guy Ritchie, the famous English director, had this to say about Vinnie Jones: “He is the absolute bonkers. You do not mess with Jones, you just don’t”. That is quite honestly the best way to explain the beast that was Vinnie Jones on the field. He is responsible for giving us this iconic albeit painful moment in football.
He hung up his boots to take up acting, to massive success. Appearing in a myriad of films playing the tough English nut that is prone to go mental at any given second. The character he plays isn’t too far from the man itself, as he was quick to resort to violence on the field. Racking up an impressive number of red cards, Vinnie Jones has cemented his legacy in the football world.
P.S His part in the movie Snatch is absolute cinematic gold.
9. Steven Gerrard
We’re pretty sure you read that name again, just to make sure you didn’t get it wrong. Steven Gerrard is a legend of the Premier League and has, for a long time, been the flag-bearer of skill, sportsmanship and integrity. But, it is also true that Steven Gerrard, in his career, has racked up a total of 6 red cards, which is the same number as Vinnie Jones. A very unusual list for Gerrard to appear in, given his reputation.
This goes to show that Gerrard, in all his glory, is still human and prone to errors from time to time.
8. Joey Barton
You knew this name was going to appear on this list sooner or later. It may come as a tad bit of a surprise when it came sooner than you expected. Most fans who have been watching the Premier League religiously know that Barton is one of the craziest people to ever step onto a football field. It is not just his antics on the pitch that make him a despicable player and human being, but his antics off the pitch don’t help his case either.
He was arrested a number of times for reckless driving, assaulting a player with a cigar and even fighting on the streets. It’s a surprise that Barton still finds work in the football world.
7. Nemanja Vidic
The Russian juggernaut was, at times, single-handedly responsible for United’s defence. Nemanja Vidic was the strong, physically imposing figure holding the back four together for Manchester United. Vidic was the prototype for a strong centre-back and a lot many players have modelled themselves after the Russian.
Nemanja Vidic played a very clean game usually but rarely ever missed an opportunity to take one for the team and sacrifice himself so that the team does not concede. Racking up 6 Red Cards in his career, Vidic still manages to be one of the best defenders United ever had. It is very disheartening to see how underrated Vidic was in his time at United.
6. Martin Keown
The Arsenal side in the late 90s and early 2000s were known primarily for their bad discipline. This is exemplified by the legendary defender’s 6 red cards. Martin Keown was an essential part of Arsene Wenger’s set-up of Arsenal and he usually put up excellent dependable performances. However, there were times Keown and his infamous temper took over and he performed recklessly and cost his team a match or two.
Arsenal has since gradually improved in the discipline department and the number of red cards gathered by the side has reduced.
5. Lee Cattermole
The 25-year old from Sunderland is a relative newcomer to the list as most of the players on the list have retired from active competition. “Clattermole” as he has been dubbed by Premier League fans. In a very short number of games, he has managed to equal the red-card records of players like Alan Smith and Roy Keane(we will get to him later).
Cattermole has been sent off 7 times in his career and shows no signs of slowing down in his mission to become the player with the most number of red cards in the history of the sport. Here’s to hoping that Cattermole improves in the discipline department as he shows promise in a lot of other areas in his game.
4. Roy Keane
Absolutely no one is surprised to see the beloved ol’ Keano on the list. The Manchester United skipper always played with a chip on his shoulder, no matter what stage in his career he was. He always appeared like a man on the edge and would kill you if you sneezed in front of him.
Stories from the United locker-room and his antics on the pitch have proved beyond doubt that nearly EVERYONE was terrified of Roy Keane. Everyone, except for one man( we will get to him later). Roy Keane was an integral part of the Manchester United team that won the treble and he was continuously singled out by Sir Alex Ferguson as the most important player in the team. His trademark aggression is what him a legend at Old Trafford and subsequently, the world.
3. Duncan Ferguson
Big Dunc is a legend in the Premier League, not because of his accolades and skill on the pitch but because he resembled a Mac Truck more than a human being on the pitch. Ferguson fostered the innate ability to trample everything in his path. He was known to be a loose cannon on the pitch and the coaches couldn’t help but watch him come back for an early shower. They were probably too afraid of telling him to play a more gentle game and not get sent off so much.
Duncan Ferguson is the best player in the Premier League in terms of the average number of cards picked up. At the end of his PL career, he held an astounding average of 1 Red Card every 34 games.
2. Patrick Vieira
Remember we told you that there was one person not afraid of Roy Keane? Patrick Vieira is that man. Not only was he one of the best central midfielders to ever don an Arsenal shirt, he was one of the most bullish players of the game. He put up amazing, strong displays for his team. But in the process, he picked up a number of red cards and got into his fair number of scuffles on the pitch.
Vieira is an absolute legend of the game and Arsenal still struggle to find a way to fill the void left by Vieira since his retirement from football. Not only was he not afraid of Keane, he was quite possibly the only one who scared Roy Keane. Keane once quoted: “Vieira could’ve easily killed me”. Their amazing and hotly contested rivalry is the stuff of legends and it is remarkable that they have since become good friends.
1. Richard Dunne
Who else could it be? The legendary Irish centre-back tops yet another list of the most reckless players on the field. Richard Dunne gained quite a reputation during his career as one of the angriest players on the pitch. Constantly looking like a man about to murder kittens, Richard Dunne terrified not only his opponents but his teammates as well.
He racked up an amazing 8 Red Cards in 413 League appearances. His massive physical appearance combined with his icy stare made him an absolute force to be reckoned with on the pitch.