Arsenal have the most bookings for diving in the Premier League since the start of last season

Sheffield United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

When Unai Emery takes a look at the stats from Arsenal's defeat to Sheffield United, they won't make kind reading.

The Gunners have lost four of their last seven league away games against newly-promoted sides.

Chris Wilder executed the Blades' game-plan perfectly to ensure that run continued and his side moved up to ninth. 

Arsenal, meanwhile, haven't won away from the Emirates since the opening day of the season.

They also failed to cover themselves in glory when it came to sportsmanship. 

Mike Dean came under fire from Emery for failing to award Sokratis a penalty when he was pulled by John Egan in the box. 

Perhaps the Greek defender's booking for simulation against Brighton in May was fresh in the referee's mind.

Dean was clearly on the alert, showing two yellow cards for diving in the match - one for the hosts' David McGoldrick when he tried to win a foul off Matteo Guendouzi, and one for Bukayo Saka. 

So far this season, Dean has dished out more bookings for diving than any other referee. He's given three of the 10 this campaign already. 

Arsenal are no stranger to these proceedings, however, as since the start of 2018/19, they've received more bookings for diving (7) than any other Premier League team. 

For all his indisputable talent, Daniel James was booked twice in his first three Manchester United games for going down too easily. 

But it's Arsenal who are attracting the most criticism. 

Shkodran Mustafi was one of just two players to be booked twice for diving last season, Southampton's Pierre-Emile Højbjerg being the other.

The win over Huddersfield Town in December 2018 saw three Arsenal players at fault, Mustafi, Granit Xhaka, and Guendouzi all found guilty of simulation. 

The Premier League's next worst offenders? Tottenham Hotspur. There must be something in the water in north London. 

Dele Alli is the Lilywhites' worst offender in the current set-up with three bookings, though they date back further. Since the start of last season, Harry Kane, Lucas Moura, and Danny Rose, and Son Heung-min have all taken a tumble for no reason. 


In that period, Southampton, Burnley, and Manchester United are the next worst offenders with two apiece. 

Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester, Manchester City, West Ham and Wolves have one each.

The introduction of retrospective bans was supposed to clamp down on attempts to con referees - but the problem clearly hasn't gone away.  

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