vinne jones

The Premier League is one of the most competitive football leagues in world football. With competitive action comes combativity and players who can often be rash on the football pitch, which leads to early baths. In fact, as of July 2023, an incredible 1,700 red cards have been handed out in the Premier League.

Here are the players who have received the most dismissals since the Premier League kicked off in 1992:

Patrick Vieira (Eight red cards in 307 appearances for Arsenal and Manchester City)

The Frenchman is regarded as one of the greatest central midfielders ever to grace the Premier League. Vieira was the complete central midfielder who was a vital part of the iconic Arsenal team under legendary head coach Arsene Wenger.

For all his brilliant ability and grace in the centre of the field, Vieira was one of the most ferocious players to ever feature in the Premier League. The fact that Vieira picked up eight red cards in 307 top-flight appearances illustrates how fearsome he was during his career.

Duncan Ferguson (Eight red cards in 268 appearances for Everton and Newcastle)

One of the few players to ever match Vieira’s intensity on a Premier League pitch was Scottish forward Duncan Ferguson. The former Rangers player established himself as a cult hero at Everton, despite injury problems preventing the fearsome Scot from fulfilling his full potential.

Part of his status as a Premier League hardman was due to his eight dismissals in 268 appearances top-flight appearances. His reputation as somebody not to be messed with was also enhanced when burglars made the mistake of breaking into his home on Merseyside, only to be on the end of a battering from the forward.

Ferguson also served a short jail term in 1994 after a head-butt on John McStay after an incident in a game between his then-club Rangers and Raith Rovers.

Richard Dunne (Eight red cards in 431 appearances for Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa and QPR)

The Irish defender came through the youth ranks at Everton before making a name for himself at Manchester City and Aston Villa and a short stay at QPR.

Dunne’s stature earned him the nickname “The Dunny Monster”. His physicality made him a player that not many top-flight players fancied playing against. The fact that he picked up eight red cards during his time in the Premier League shows how he played the game.

Unfortunately for the defender, Dunne also scored a Premier League record of ten own-goals in his career.

Lee Cattermole (Seven red cards in 271 appearances for Middlesbrough, Wigan and Sunderland)

The tenacious midfielder started his Premier League career with Middlesbrough before a season with Wigan. However, his eight years at Sunderland were arguably his most remembered.

Cattermole was regarded as a talented midfielder during his career. However, his propensity for rash tackles earned him seven early baths during his time in the English top flight. The main problem for Cattermole was too much aggression, as he also received 88 yellow cards in just 271 Premier League appearances.

Alan Smith (Seven red cards in 285 appearances for Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle)

The versatile star came through the ranks at Leeds and was part of the Whites team that achieved relative success in the early 2000s. Smith started his career as a forward but later moved to a deeper central midfield role.

That deeper role suited Smith’s committed style of play. However, the 19-time England international was sometimes too committed, which led to seven red cards in his Premier League career. Five of Smith’s top-flight red cards came between January 2001 and December 2004.

Vinnie Jones (Seven red cards in 184 appearances for Chelsea and Wimbledon)

One of the most notorious hardmen in the history of the Premier League, Jones became the poster child of the crazy gang at Wimbledon. The Dons used every trick in the book to gain a winning advantage in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Jones was a highly combative and committed midfielder. Few players could match the midfielder for brutality and aggression on the football pitch. He received three red cards in season 1995/96, which was a club record for a single season.

He cultivated the hardman persona, which paid off as the former Wales international became an actor after his playing career finished, even starring in Hollywood movies.

Some other notable players

The above players may have received the most cards, but a long list of other players have enjoyed their fair share of disciplinary problems. In fact, 12 players have received six red cards in their Premier League careers, including Steven Gerrard, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Gareth Barry and John Terry.

One still active player in the Premier League, Jonjo Shelvey, could well make it onto this list in the future, as the midfielder has already received five red cards in his 278 top-flight appearances for his various clubs.