'Really concerned': David Ornstein shares what Arsenal are privately very worried about after NLD loss
Arsenal are concerned about their disciplinary record behind the scenes after Rob Holding’s north London derby red card.
Holding’s first half dismissal effectively ended Arsenal’s chances of making a recovery on a huge night at the home of their biggest rivals.
Journalist David Ornstein said on Sky Sports News that discipline has been a worry at Arsenal all season long and it has reared its head at an awful time.
The Gunners do still have their fate in their own hands. If they win their next two games, they will finish fourth, but they need to keep cool heads.
Arsenal concerned about disciplinary record
“It’s not great (their disciplinary record) and it’s one of the issues behind the scenes at Arsenal they’ve been really concerned about over the course of the season. They were losing players and having rash moments. My mind flashes back to Gabriel against Manchester City, when they were on course to beat City,” he said.
“Gabriel got sent off and it went from there. That’s just one incident. You can’t say that was savvy or streetwise. You could see Rob Holding was an accident waiting to happen from the very start of that match. I was there. You could see it quite clearly. It’s about how you channel it.
“I saw a stat on Twitter this morning, Burnley have had 900 fouls this season, Arsenal have had a fraction of that but a similar number of red cards. That may point to over aggression or a bit of desperation to make an impact for your team. It’s how you funnel it and I don’t think Arsenal have been doing it in the right way. It leaves them short a little bit.
“It’s something Mikel Arteta will need to address in what is a young, developing squad with some naivety at times. It’ll be a bit wet behind the ears but there’s huge potential there too. Tottenham showed greater maturity last night, they’ve got two players who are on a different level to Arsenal – and most Premier League clubs! – in Son and Kane.”
Aaron Ramsdale has suggested after the game that Holding’s red card was the wrong decision, but that does not change the fact that he looked too pumped up and a real concern from the start.
That is something Arsenal have to get on top of because they could go into their next game in fifth, and they have to keep calm.
Arteta will hope Ben White can come back in at Newcastle to replace Holding at the heart of his backline, but the England international did not even get off the bench last night.
That must raise some questions over how fit he still is given the makeshift defence Arteta finished the game with.
This will be a real test of Arsenal’s temperament and character, and one they need to pass to make next season’s Champions League.
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