5 Premier League Players Most Likely To Receive First Blue Card

From the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to major changes in the rules surrounding player dissent, football is changing in front of our eyes. A similar change is now being touted around the footballing community. Lo and behold Blue Cards! A newfound tool in the arsenal of referees. 

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has approved the introduction of a blue card which will initially be part of a trial for sin-bins.

So what exactly is a blue card?

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Under the new protocol, any player engaging in a cynical foul or displaying dissent toward an official will receive a blue card and will be subsequently removed from the pitch for a duration of 10 whole minutes.

Also, If a player is shown two blue cards or even a combination of yellow and blue, they could end up being sent off. 

Not everyone is excited. Vd though, chief among them is UEFA president Aleksandr Ceferin. He told the Telegraph that he was opposed to sin-bins, stating:

“It’s not football anymore. We will not use them in the Uefa competition.”

Like it or not, Blue Cards are a genuine possibility that could transform the landscape of football. On the field of play, we expect some players to become very anxious when it is made official.

These are the 5 players who are most likely to receive the first blue card.

1. Conor Gallagher

Who else would begin this list other than Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, known for his over-aggressive play style?

The guy’s name stands on top of the list for conceding the most fouls this season. He has given away free-kicks on 50 DIFFERENT occasions in only 22 Premier League appearances.

He has given away at least four more fouls than any other player in the Premier League this season. Gallagher with his prolific fouling is without a doubt, contender no.1 to be the first player to receive a Blue Card.

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2. Destiny Udogie

Moving on to a footballer with a similar playstyle, Destiny Udogie is an adversary of robust defending. Although the 21-year-old has played a major role in Ange Postecoglou’s rejuvenation of Tottenham his disciplinary issues have raised many questions. Having racked up a total of five bookings and a sending-off in just 21 appearances for Spurs let’s just say the full-back has an eye for rough challenges.

The Italian left-back saw red during Tottenham’s 4-1 defeat against Chelsea earlier this month and was blanked by Ange Postecoglou.

The guy was lucky to avoid a red in the first half, yet, his robustness did not change and he slid into Raheem Sterling in an attempt to win the ball back. The Chelsea man beat him to the ball, which resulted in a second yellow after a lengthy VAR check.

Udogie’s moment of “madness” saw Spurs go down to nine men after Cristian Romero’s earlier dismissal which contributed towards the 4-1 beatdown. As Udogie trudged off the pitch and down the tunnel, his manager Postecoglou was seemingly out of words and did not show any reaction whatsoever.

Though Udogie’s rash tackling and poor judgments would make him a favorite in receiving the Blue Card, it could possibly help the 21-year-old’s disciplinary issues as well since he would have 10 minutes to calm down and think about his decisions after being carded.

3. Bruno Fernandes

Unlike Gallagher and Udogie, let’s talk about a player who rarely makes aggressive tackles and has a rather soft playstyle. Maybe too soft. Man United captain Bruno Fernandes is extremely likely to receive the first blue card but it’s for all the wrong reasons. 

His problem? Constant whining and dissent. 

The midfielder has been seen on countless occasions expressing his dissatisfaction to the referees and also to his OWN teammates.

Fernandes’ former teammate Jadon Sancho was spotted telling the Portuguese midfielder to “STOP MOANING” in the Red Devils’ clash against Aston Villa in the previous season. 

Bruno himself has said, “One of the referees said to me, ‘Bruno, all the time you are winning, you are such a good guy. But when you are losing or drawing, oh my god, you are a pain in my ass’.”

The guy is even considerate of his acts and definitely knows what he is doing yet he still continues to do so. He said in an interview,

“I moan against everyone who is against me, not those who are with me. Ole saw someone that was passionate and it helped him sign me for the club. On my first day, he said to me, ‘Just be yourself’. “

Maybe United’s former coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has a big role in Fernandes’ behaviour

Also Read: What is A Green Card and why does it exist in football?

The Man United talisman is often the first man to press an opposition defender into committing a mistake or conceding the ball in a dangerous area. Bruno has been the spine of The Red Devils in recent times. But, his constant complaining and whining make him a fierce candidate for being the first Premier League player to receive the blue card.

4.  Rodri

Moving on to the blue side of Manchester, Rodri may have some similarities to Fernandes but the amount of fouls Rodri commits is in a league of its own. Rodri was a key figure in Man City’s treble-winning team as the Spaniard made critical contributions on the pitch including a significant goal against Inter Milan in the 2023 Champions League final which led the Blues to be crowned as the Champions of Europe.

However, fans and managers have noticed that Rodri commits a huge number of tactical fouls which is speculated to be the doings of boss Pep Guardiola. 

The Blues have been accused of it time and again by managers including Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and former boss Manuel Pellegrini. Guardiola, though, says that he has never discussed the topic of tactical fouls with his players.

Despite those claims of innocence, those around him have admitted to it. Former star Fernandinho was usually pinpointed as the best in the business at getting away with fouls before Rodri took over after the Brazilian left City 18 months ago.

Rodri admittingly said in 2019, the year he joined City from Atletico Madrid.

“I am learning new things, how to go, when to stay, when I have to do a tactical foul, when I have to jump…”

One of the key elements of a tactical foul is not to get booked for making it. The blue card combined with VAR would definitely change that and could possibly lead Pep to either change his tactics or change Rodri’s playstyle.

5. Mac Allister

Now Rodri may only be committing tactical fouls when he is genuinely needed to, but Liverpool’s Mac Allister, not so much. 

The Argentine played an integral role in helping Lionel Messi achieve his 1st World Cup triumph. After signing for Liverpool on a £35 million transfer from Brighton, the midfielder has played a vital part in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield rebuild. 

Although Mac Allister’s accurate shooting abilities and creative playmaking in the final third have made him a nightmare for defenders, his decision-making off the ball has raised eyebrows. 

Mac Allister has picked up five yellow cards and one red card in his first 19 appearances for The Reds.

The Liverpool midfielder was shown a straight red in Liverpool’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Bournemouth which was later overturned after a successful appeal by the club. 

 The sending-off initially sparked outrage amongst Liverpool fans and even Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola stated after the match that it “did not look like a red card”.

In hindsight, blue cards seem to be the best option for Allister’s type of tackling which just crosses the line of a yellow but is not a clear red.

Cristian Romero

An honorable mention goes to Tottenham’s Cristian Romero who has been on the receiving end of 2 red cards and 20 yellow cards in 68 appearances for Spurs. The guy has made reckless challenges that could have potentially ended the careers of the players on the receiving end. YIKES!

What are your thoughts on the Blue Card? Is it a good idea or a bad idea? 

Leave your opinions in the comments down below.

Keep Reading: What Is An Orange Card And How Will It Change Football?

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