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The Most Carded Players In Premier League History

Yellow Card
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The Most Carded Players In Premier League History

Here we have taken a look at the most carded players in Premier League history while assessing if any active players can break into the all-time top five of the yellow card list.

Player stats betting

Player%MatchesCardedFixtureOdds
1FulhamM. Rodák
100.0%11Liverpool (H)
2BrentfordA. Hickey
55.6%95Luton (A)
3ChelseaMarc Cucurella
50.0%147Arsenal (A)
4Nottm ForestFelipe
50.0%84Everton (A)
5Aston VillaC. Chambers
50.0%21Bournemouth (H)

Gareth Barry: 123 Yellow Cards | Teams Played For: Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton & West Bromwich Albion

Is it any surprise that the man who has made the most appearances in Premier League history, and doing so whilst playing primarily as a defensive midfielder, has accumulated the most bookings in the league's history aswell?

With 123 yellow cards having been dished out to him across a top-flight career that spanned just over 20 years and saw him crowned a Premier League champion with Manchester City, the tough-tackling Gareth Barry is the player with the most yellow cards in top-flight history.

Keeping in mind what exactly his role in the centre of the park was alongside his career longevity, it makes total sense that he is at the top of such a list.

Wayne Rooney: 102 Yellow Cards | Teams Played For: Everton & Manchester United

It will come as somewhat of a major shock that forward Wayne Rooney, scorer of 208 Premier League goals and winner of 5 Premier League titles, is second on this list. The Liverpool-born forward is without a doubt, one of, if not the, best players in Premier League history.

Alongside just Frank Lampard, he is the only other Premier League player to register within the top 10 for both goals and assists in the league's history, alongside his elite goalscoring ability making him Manchester United and, at one point, his country's all-time top goalscorer.

But, despite all his accolades and obvious talent, Rooney was also known to have a fantastic work-rate and somewhat of a mean streak to him while on the pitch - it is this aforementioned temper and willingness to get stuck in that has seen Rooney shown a yellow card a staggering 102 times.

Lee Bowyer: 99 Yellow Cards | Teams Played For: Leeds United, West Ham, Newcastle United & Birmingham City

Midfielder Lee Bowyer was just three more appearances away from bringing his total number of outings in the top-flight to 400, and it is a similar story in regard to how many bookings he picked up during those 397 outings for a host of different clubs.

With 99 to his name, Bowyer was just one more booking shy of making it a century of yellow cards picked up and joining both Rooney and Gareth Barry as one of the few players to have achieved such a feat.

Having picked up further notoriety during his playing days for his violent off-pitch actions, alongside his infamous on-pitch scrap with Newcastle Utd teammate Kieron Dyer, it really is no surprise at all that Bowyer is so high on such a list.

Kevin Davies: 99 Yellow Cards | Teams Played For: Southampton | Blackburn Rovers & Bolton Wanderers

The only true centre-forward to make it into the top 5 most booked Premier League players is Kevin Davies, who managed to accumulate an astonishing 99 yellow cards over the course of his 15-season stint in England's top flight.

Davies, a striker known for his physicality and bruising style of play, managed to pick up 10 yellow cards across a season on 2 separate occasions, while also managing to pick up 9 bookings across 5 different seasons. But despite his penchant for yellow cards, the 6-foot Davies was still somewhat adept at putting the ball in the back of the net, registering 88 goals from his 444 appearances.

Paul Scholes: 97 Yellow Cards | Teams Played For: Manchester United

Alongside Barry and Bowyer, Paul Scholes's name makes him only the third midfielder to make this list, with the Salford-born midfield maestro picking up a grand total of 97 bookings throughout his 19 years as a Premier League player.

Scholes's career is most often defined by his sublime range of passing, intelligent off-the-ball movement, excellent spatial awareness and ability to keep possession in pressurised situations. Tackling and winning the ball back was perhaps not one of his greatest attributes, but it did not stop Scholes from getting stuck into them all the same, which is why he was just three yellow cards away from making it a century of bookings.

Red Cards

When it comes to players who have been given the most red cards, there are a few obvious names on such a list.

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is one of just three players to have been sent off an astonishing 8 times in the Premier League, with the Frenchman gaining legendary status in north London for his all-action midfield performances; his ball-winning ability and ability to turn defence into attack was central to Arsenal’s early success under Arsene Wenger.

Duncan Ferguson is next on the list, with the centre-forward also being shown a red 8 times. The ex-Everton hardman, unmatched by pretty much most other footballers in terms of pure intensity and aggression, famously served a prison sentence because of an on-pitch headbutt in 1994 while playing for Rangers. Further adding to Ferguson’s legend is the true story of the Scot confronting and fighting off burglars at his home on two separate occasions.

Centre-back Richard Dunne, ex of Manchester City and Aston Villa, is the third and final player to top the list with 8 red cards to his name. The Irishman was a relatively solid player, albeit notorious for his recklessness and penchant for own goals - but it is that aforementioned recklessness and proneness to rash challenges that sees him sit joint top of such a list.

4 men sit on a tally of 7 Premier League red cards accumulated throughout their careers, with the first of that quartet being longtime Sunderland midfield general Lee Cattermole, who garnered a reputation for his ferocious tackling and general battling style of play.

Vinnie Jones, part of the so-called “Crazy Gang” Wimbledon side of the 80s and 90s, is next on the list, with Jones’ highly aggressive and physically uncompromising approach to playing the beautiful game gaining him a standing as one of English football’s most prominent ‘hardmen’. This image could then perhaps be attributed to Jones’ post-football career as an actor in many action and crime films, where Jones often plays the part of an aggressive criminal.

Next up is Roy Keane, who finally makes his inevitable appearance somewhere on a list like this. Keane’s ferocity, aggression and willingness to leave everything out on the pitch were key tenets of his famed winners mentality – a mentality that would help him to lift multiple major honours throughout his career. But despite being remembered primarily as a midfield bruiser by a majority of football fans, Keane was actually a fantastic all-round midfielder who is one of the finest the Premier League has ever seen, and one who we have not seen the likes of since.

The fourth and final player to have received seven red cards is Alan Smith, with the former Leeds and Manchester United man suffering the majority of those reds during his 7-season stint at Elland Road, with 5 coming in that time. His conversion from a striker into a deeper midfield role later on in his career likely played some part in him picking up more cards, with Smith also picking up 61 yellow cards in his career.

Could Any Current Premier League Players Break Into The List?

Yellow Cards

They could, but it is highly unlikely. In terms of yellow cards, the closest currently active player is Ashley Young, who has 85 to his name. But at 38 years of age, retirement is surely looming soon for the Englishman, and he might therefore never make it that much higher on the list. James Milner currently sits on 75, while Jonny Evans and Luke Shaw are on 57 yellow cards each respectively.

Red Cards

For red cards, there is a small possibility that one or two players could break into the list. Brighton's Lewis Dunk is currently on five red cards following his dismissal at Nottingham Forest on 25th of November, while Jonjo Shelvey is currently tied as the only other active player with the most red cards to his name, but at 31 years of age and considering the fact that he was loaned out to a Turkish side in Rizespor this season, he might not get the chance to play in the Premier League again.

Jonny Evans, James Milner and Ashley Young once again make an appearance – the trio have 3 red cards each, with the latter's dismissal away at Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby on 21st October being the most recent.

Interestingly, Jamie Vardy also has three red cards to his name, however, the Leicester City forward will have to wait until at least next season to have a chance to worsen his disciplinary record in England's top flight due to the Foxes plying their trade in the Championship.

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