There is no discipline issue at Arsenal despite the club suffering their 15th red card under Mikel Arteta in their win at Wolves, according to Ian Wright.
The Gunners moved up to fifth in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win at Molineux thanks to centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes’ third goal of the current league campaign.
But namesake Martinelli was shown a bizarre red card – the first of his professional career – for two bookable offences in the same passage of play in the second half.
Ian Wright believes there is no discipline issue at Arsenal despite Gabriel Martinelli’s red card
The Brazilian was sent off for two bookable offences in the same passage of play at Wolves, including a foul on Chiquinho (above)
In an astonishing five seconds, the 20-year-old tried to stop Wolves from taking a quick throw-in and pushed over Daniel Podence before haring back up the pitch in pursuit of Chiquinho, who he also sent tumbling.
It means the Brazilian forward joined Magalhaes as well as midfielders Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in being sent off already in 2022, while taking the club’s number of red card since Arteta’s reign began in December 2019 to 15.
That is seven more than Southampton, who are the next Premier League side on the list with eight in the same timeframe, but ex-striker Wright – who scored 185 goals for the club – does not believe there is an issue.
Asked whether he was concerned about Arsenal’s red card record under Arteta, Wright told Premier League Productions via The Metro after the game: ‘Not really, especially when you look at this one and you look at what Xhaka has done.
The 20-year-old’s dismissal was the Gunners’ 15th since Mikel Arteta (second from left) took charge in December 2019
But former striker Wright insists there is no discipline issue to be worried about at the club
‘Yeah, 15 sounds like a lot… well it is a lot! But at the same time, you look at them and we’re not talking about players that are flying in and doing silly challenges and stuff like that.
‘This here was a natural reaction from him, he’s gone to push him and then the next one he’s fouled him. It’s not malicious stuff.
‘But they are red cards and hopefully it doesn’t tot up to end up costing them. Yeah, 15 is a lot, but I wouldn’t say there is a disciplinary problem.
‘I think that’s what people will try and say, but there isn’t.’
However, it was an excellent result for the Gunners, who took advantage of Manchester United and Tottenham slipping up earlier in the week.
Martinelli’s red was the fourth for Arsenal in 2022, with Gabriel Magalhaes sent off against Man City
Ralf Rangnick’s men could only manage a draw at Burnley, while north London rivals Spurs suffered a shock defeat at home to Southampton.
And Wright insists his former side should prioritise results over performances to keep among the Champions League-chasing pack, but has backed West Ham – who are one point ahead of Arsenal having played two games more – to claim fourth spot.
‘It’s majorly significant because Arsenal are in a place where a lot of people didn’t think they would be,’ Wright added.
‘When the season started, with the signings that Arsenal made, people were saying things like, ‘He’s a waste of money! Why have they spent so much money on him?!’, and he’s kind of got the team… when you consider how they started, three losses and bottom of the league, and then they started to get it going and the players started to find their feet.
Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red at Liverpool in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final
‘Now they’re getting into a situation where other teams are slipping up, they’re starting to find a little bit of form.
‘That was a very, very good performance in respects of digging in and getting a result and now all Arsenal need to do is continue what they’re doing, nick a few more goals and see if you can stay amongst it.
‘There are people who are slipping up and that’s all you can do. Just win your games, if it’s 1-0 then it’s 1-0. If you go somewhere and you’re playing against the teams around you, as long as you don’t lose, you stay amongst it and that’s all Arsenal have to do now.’
But asked which club are favourites to secure the final Champions League spot, Wright replied: ‘I’ll say West Ham are favourites because West Ham are right there.’
Fellow midfielder Thomas Partey was then sent off for two bookable offences in the return leg
Magalhaes however scored the winner at Molineux on Thursday to move club up to fifth