Pogba, Ibrahimovic feature in ill-disciplined XI

Matt Stead

Referees are all the rage at the minute, aren’t they? Mike Dean did a Mike Dean during West Ham’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United on Monday, controversially sending off Sofiane Feghouli and being Mike Dean. That dismissal means only Manchester City (4) have received more red cards than West Ham (3) in the Premier League this season, but do the Hammers have any representatives in the ill-disciplined XI?

Here, WhoScored.com have formulated their own algorithm to determine a player’s ill-discipline score: number of fouls x yellow cards (x2 for red cards). Now for the XI…


Petr Cech – Arsenal
Only three goalkeepers have committed at least one foul in the Premier League this season – Thibaut Courtois, Heurelho Gomes and Petr Cech. However, with the latter picking up two yellow cards, the Arsenal man is the goalkeeping representative in the ill-disciplined XI in the Premier League so far this season.


Jose Holebas – Watford
Jose Holebas’ inclusion is little shock considering he’s received more yellow cards (9) than any other Premier League player this term, including five in his last eight top-flight appearances. What’s more is that the Greek left-back has committed just 24 fouls, with his feistiness enough to earn an ill-discipline score of 234.


Miguel Britos – Watford
Holebas’ Watford teammate Miguel Britos features at the heart of the defence, having earned five yellow cards and one red from his 15 Premier League appearances this season. Having committed 21 fouls, the Uruguayan centre-back has an ill-discipline score of 230.


Winston Reid – West Ham
Britos is partnered at the back by West Ham man Winston Reid with a flurry of cards in the build-up to the festive break – including a red card in the 3-2 loss at Tottenham – earning the New Zealand international an ill-discipline score of 210.


Danny Simpson – Leicester
Danny Simpson ranks second for yellow cards (8) in the Premier League this season and so it is no surprise to see him feature. The Englishman has committed just 20 fouls across 17 appearances this term, making his ill-discipline score – 160 – higher than any right-back.


Paul Pogba – Manchester United
World-record signing Paul Pogba tops the foul count in the Premier League this season having been pulled up by officials on 41 occasions this term. That being said, he has been booked just six times in England’s top tier following his return to Manchester United. The club rank second for fouls per Premier League game (13) this season, with the Frenchman integral to such a high figure. With that, an ill-discipline score of 246 sees him take his place in the midfield.


Fernandinho – Manchester City
Crossing the Manchester divide, much has been made of Pep Guardiola’s post-match press conference following City’s 2-1 win over Burnley on Monday, with Fernandinho in particular called into question. The Brazilian has been sent off three times in his last six competitive appearances and while he has just three yellow cards to his name this season, two reds from 29 fouls means he has the highest ill-discipline score of any player, with 348.


Gareth Barry – Everton
The inventor of the tactical foul, Gareth Barry was always likely to find his place in this XI. The 35-year-old places fifth for fouls committed (36) in England’s top tier this term, with six yellow cards to his name.


Marko Arnautovic – Stoke City
Renowned for his disciplinary issues, Marko Arnautovic features on the left wing in the ill-discipline XI, with a straight red in the 0-0 draw with Southampton prior to Christmas the primary reason. The Austrian attacker has five yellow cards from just 22 fouls helping to attain an ill-discipline score of 220 – higher than any other Premier League attacker.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made an impact in his debut Premier League season in more ways than one. The experienced Swede ranks second for goals (13) and fouls (39), though to his credit he has been booked on just five occasions this season.


Gaston Ramirez – Middlesbrough
Rounding off the team is Middlesbrough’s Gaston Ramirez, who has been booked a total of seven times in the Premier League this season, more than any other forward. He has been penalised 25 times for dangerous play this term. An ill-discipline score of 175 means the 26-year-old stars on the right wing here.


Ben McAleer