This week our statistician Josh James takes a look at Arsenal's records with red and yellow cards.

Arsenal have picked up the fewest yellow cards in the Premier League this season, and are on course for their lowest seasonal tally under Arsène Wenger.

From 21 league games, Arsenal have accrued just 19 bookings. That's 26 fewer than the league's worst offenders, Stoke City.

At 0.9 cards per game, the Gunners are set to finish the campaign with about 34 yellows at their current rate - the previous lowest for a league season under Wenger was 45, in 2004/05.

On average so far this season, each team has picked up 32.6 Premier League bookings, meaning that for the first time in three years, Arsenal are below the League average.

However, over the years, the Club's yellow card record has generally been good. The Gunners have picked up fewer than the average number of yellow cards in 11 of the 20 complete Premier League campaigns so far.

In the all-time list of Premier League yellow cards, Arsenal are 20th, having received 1.47 cautions per game since 1992/93.

Statistically, Derby County are the worst offenders in the league's history, earning their 538 bookings at a rate of 2.02 every game.

Arsenal's worst Premier League season for picking up cards was 1996/97, when referees flashed 81 yellows and five reds at Gunners players during the 38 games. That was way above the league average of 60 yellows and 2.2 reds that season.

The fewest cards Arsenal have been shown in a Premier League season was 32 in 1993/94. However the league averages were much lower 20 years ago, at just 29.6 per team that season, despite there being 42 games in a campaign.

Premier League cards this season
Team Yellows Reds Games
Arsenal 19 2 21
Southampton 20 0 21
Norwich City 21 0 22
Fulham 22 1 22
Reading 26 0 22
Chelsea 28 2 21
Liverpool 31 2 22
Sunderland 32 0 22
Tottenham Hotspur 32 2 22
Queens Park Rangers 32 2 22
Everton 34 2 22
West Bromwich Albion 35 1 22
Manchester City 35 3 22
Manchester United 36 0 22
Wigan Athletic 38 2 22
Aston Villa 39 2 22
Swansea City 39 2 22
Newcastle United 43 2 22
West Ham United 44 1 21
Stoke City 45 3 22

Red cards per season
Red cards per season

Yellow cards per season
Yellow cards per season

Overall yellow cards in Premier League history
Team Yellows Games YPG
Derby County 538 266 2.02
Hull City 135 76 1.78
Stoke City 309 173 1.78
Barnsley 66 38 1.74
Sunderland 760 439 1.73
Bolton Wanderers 845 494 1.71
Leeds United 790 468 1.69
Wolverhampton Wanderers 255 152 1.68
Wigan Athletic 484 287 1.68
Middlesbrough 897 536 1.67
West Ham United 1029 636 1.62
Birmingham City 428 266 1.61
Blackburn Rovers 1110 696 1.59
Chelsea 1252 792 1.58
Everton 1203 793 1.52
Watford 115 76 1.51
Burnley 57 38 1.5
Portsmouth 398 266 1.5
Bradford City 113 76 1.49
Arsenal 1165 792 1.47

Laurent Koscielny's red card on Sunday was the 68th Arsenal have received in the Premier League, arriving a rate of one every 11.7 games. That's enough to place them 14th in the all-time list of games per dismissal in Premier League history.

Hull City lead the way in this particular category, with a red card every 8.4 games on average.

Despite not being ever-present in the Premier League, Blackburn have picked up the most red cards (76), followed by Everton (75).

Of the seven ever-present Premier League teams, Aston Villa have had fewest dismissals - just 45 from 794 matches.

Arsenal's 68 red cards came in 66 different matches (the Gunners were twice reduced to nine men) and interestingly the team won more of these 66 games than it lost.

The record for matches in which Arsenal have suffered at least one red card is: P66 W24 D21 L21 F86 A73. What's more, 14 of those wins were by two goals or more.

Arsenal's Premier League record with 9/10 men
Arsenal's Premier League record with 9/10 men

Overall red cards in Premier League history
Team Reds Games GPR
Hull City 9 76 8.4
Blackburn Rovers 76 696 9.2
Barnsley 4 38 9.5
Queens Park Rangers 22 224 10.2
Sunderland 43 440 10.2
Birmingham City 26 266 10.2
Stoke City 17 174 10.2
Everton 75 794 10.6
Wigan Athletic 27 288 10.7
Watford 7 76 10.9
Leicester City 28 308 11
Manchester City 54 604 11.2
Bolton Wanderers 43 494 11.5
Arsenal 68 793 11.7
West Bromwich Albion 21 250 11.9
Newcastle United 59 714 12.1
Wimbledon 26 316 12.2
Middlesbrough 44 536 12.2
Reading 8 98 12.3
West Ham United 51 637 12.5

 Two more players were booked at the weekend - Thomas Vermaelen and Jack Wilshere - yet, perhaps surprisingly, no player in the current squad has more than 14 career Premier League bookings to his name for Arsenal.

Koscielny and Bacary Sagna have the most, followed by Abou Diaby and Vermaelen with 13 each.

They are all some way short of Patrick Vieira, who was shown 72 yellow cards in the league during his Arsenal career. In fact Vieira is top of both the yellow and red card charts for Arsenal, but not in terms of games per card ratios.

Excluding Henri Lansbury and Sebastian Larsson, who each only played three league games for Arsenal (though Larsson was booked in two of them), the player with the highest games to yellow card ratio is John Hartson, who picked up his 16 bookings at a rate of one every 3.31 games. He's followed by Vieira (one every 3.88 matches), Alex Song (3.94), Stefan Schwarz (4.25) and Ian Wright (4.34).

At the other end of the scale, Alan Smith played 75 Premier League games for the Gunners without entering the referee's notebook at all. Next comes Alex Manninger and Glenn Helder (both 39) for most games without a booking. Of the current squad, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has now played 31 league games without picking up a booking.

Carl Jenkinson has played more Premier League games (19) than any other defender for Arsenal without a yellow card to his name, though he did get sent off once - for two bookable offences in the same game, the red card therefore superseding those yellows.

Overall 104 different Arsenal players have picked up Premier League bookings, while the 68 red cards have gone to 36 different players.

This season players receive suspensions for every five domestic bookings received. However, the first threshold (for five yellows) passed on December 31. The next threshold, for 10 yellows, passes on April 14. Vermaelen, with four yellows in all domestic competitions so far this season, is closest to that mark.

All-time Arsenal Premier League yellow cards
Player Yellows Games Games per yellow
Patrick Vieira 72 279 3.88
Ray Parlour 49 333 6.8
Martin Keown 48 310 6.46
Ian Wright 44 191 4.34
Cesc Fabregas 42 212 5.05
Dennis Bergkamp 40 315 7.88
Nigel Winterburn 37 270 7.3
Tony Adams 36 255 7.08
Alex Song 35 138 3.94
Steve Bould 35 175 5
Current players
Players Yellows Games
Laurent Koscielny 14 75
Bacary Sagna 14 164
Abou Diaby 13 118
Thomas Vermaelen 13 86
Tomas Rosicky 12 120
Jack Wilshere 10 48
Aaron Ramsey 7 87
Andrey Arshavin 7 104
Mikel Arteta 6 49
All-time Arsenal Premier League red cards
Player Reds Games Games per red
Patrick Vieira 8 279 34.88
Martin Keown 6 310 51.67
Tony Adams 4 255 63.75
Philippe Senderos 3 64 21.33
Laurent Koscielny 3 75 25
Emmanuel Petit 3 85 28.33
Gilles Grimandi 3 114 38
Sol Campbell 3 146 48.67
All-time Premier League red cards
Player Reds Games Games per red
Duncan Ferguson 8 269 33.63
Patrick Vieira 8 307 38.38
Richard Dunne 8 408 51
Vinnie Jones 7 184 26.29
Alan Smith 7 285 40.71
Roy Keane 7 366 52.29
John Hartson 6 155 25.83
Lee Cattermole 6 179 29.83
Franck Queudrue 6 201 33.5
Luis Boa Morte 6 296 49.33
Martin Keown 6 323 53.83
Nicky Butt 6 411 68.5
Andy Cole 6 414 69
All-time Premier League yellow cards
Player Yellows Games Games per yellow
Lee Bowyer 99 397 4.01
Kevin Davies 99 444 4.48
Paul Scholes 96 497 5.18
Robbie Savage 89 346 3.89
George Boateng 85 384 4.52
Scott Parker 84 324 3.86
Phil Neville 82 502 6.12
Gareth Barry 81 483 5.96
Nicky Butt 77 411 5.34
Patrick Vieira 76 307 4.04

Yellow and red cards were introduced into the English league for the 1976/77 season, and Arsenal historian Andy Kelly tells us the first Gunners player ever to receive a yellow card in an official match was George Armstrong.

Geordie was one of four Arsenal players cautioned in the 3-1 Division One win at Norwich on August 25, 1976 - the other three were Pat Rice, Liam Brady and David O'Leary.

Later that season Brady became the first Gunner to see red during a game at Stoke on March 23, 1977. After 27 minutes, Brady was brought down by Stoke's Steve Waddington as he raced through. According to the Daily Mirror's report of the game, "The Irishman reacted with a savage wrestler-style forearm blow to Waddington's face." Waddington was booked for the original foul, Brady received his marching orders.

Arsenal - who had lost their previous seven league games - held on for a point. David Price had put the visitors ahead on two minutes, only for Stoke to level three minutes later. It finished 1-1.

The use of yellow and red cards was suspended in the English league between 1980/81 and 1987/88 before being re-introduced in 1988.

The most bookings Arsenal have received in a single Premier League game was seven, in a 1-0 defeat to Leeds on November 26, 2000. Dermot Gallagher was the referee that day.

With thanks to Opta and Andy Kelly. Stats correct as at January 15, 2013.

Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme.

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Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Josh James 16 Jan 2013