Takehiro Tomiyasu Controversially Sent off in Arsenal’s 1-0 Triumph Away at Crystal Palace
After Jurrien Timber picked up an unfortunate knee injury in his debut last week, Mikel Arteta chose Takehiro Tomiyasu ahead of Oleksandr Zinchenko to start as a left-back against Palace. It is a strange choice from Arteta, considering Zinchenko was the first-choice left-back for the better part of last season. Nevertheless, Takehiro Tomiyasu got his first start in the starting lineup since his injury last season against Newcastle. It should have been a huge confidence booster for him, but the controversial sending-off must have dampened his mentality.
Dissecting the Controversial Sending Off of Takehiro Tomiyasu
After Martin Ødegaard converted his penalty, Arsenal looked to be in cruise control of the game until the head-spinning 7 minutes, which saw Takehiro Tomiyasu sent off for two bookable offences. However, when we zoom in on both offences, it is surreal to see Takehiro Tomiyasu booked for even one of the crimes he committed.
Yes, the new and enforced Premier League rules for time-wasting are a great addition. However, considering Tomiyasu only picked up the ball for 8 seconds, the first booking seems harsh and unfair as Havertz held onto it for 15 seconds before leaving it to the Japanese. Mikel Arteta was also reasonably furious as he claimed: “This is the standard. I think it was eight seconds. We might have to play with a stopwatch.”
While the second offence may seem more reasonable at first glance, replays show that it is again a harsh decision from the officials. We agree that it is common for officials to book players for holding onto a player’s shirt. However, considering there was minimal contact between Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jordan Ayew, it is again baffling why VAR did not intervene in the sending-off.
Who Will Replace Takehiro Tomiyasu in the Next Game?
Fortunately for Arsenal, left-back is a position they need not worry about since they have multiple players that can stand it for the suspended Takehiro Tomiyasu. For example, their first choice left back last season, Oleksandr Zinchenko, their Polish signing, Jakub Kiwior or even the forgotten man, Kieran Tierney, can come in and do the job for Arsenal.
While we are unsure who Arteta eventually decides to start, it is a safe bet to say that the Ukrainian National will be the choice he will default to. Oleksandr Zinchenko is a vocal figure on and off the pitch, and if he continues his strong leadership while providing goals and assists, he may return to the starting lineup every week.
Martin Ødegaard Replaces Bukayo Saka as Penalty Taker
Similar to the article on Mohamed Salah penalties we covered on another site, Bukayo Saka is gifted with a magical left foot but tends to struggle with converting penalties. His most memorable miss that everyone could recall is the miss in the Euro 2020 final against Italy. Since then, he has missed a crucial penalty against West Ham last season and another in the pre-season friendly against Barcelona.
Despite the misses, Arteta has continued to place his faith in the young English talent with his comments back in April this year. “If I had to pick one player to do it, it would be him again,” Arteta told reporters. “At that moment, we missed it, and this is football.” However, it seems that Arteta has made preparations in case of penalties, as we saw today, with Martin Ødegaard stepping up and slotting it in cooly. Will Ødegaard continue to take the pens instead of Saka? We will know shortly when another penalty situation arises.
Red Cards Galore in Matchday 2 of the Premier League
Every Matchday of the Premier League seems to revolve around a specific theme. While Matchday 1 is all about the debutants shining for their new clubs, Matchday 2 is all about the red cards and refereeing controversies. In just nine matches, the officials have brandished 5 red cards, which means more than half of the games played in Matchday 2 featured a red card.
While it is good to see the refs penalising the offenders, 2 of the 5 red cards this week had conjured up their decent share of controversy. For example, the sending-off of Alexis Mac Allister in the Liverpool-Bournemouth match was incredibly harsh, considering that the challenge was anything but malicious. Furthermore, the sending-off of Takehiro Tomiyasu also spark debate around the new rules and whether VAR is actually keeping track of what is happening on the pitch. What awaits us in Matchday 3 of the Premier League? Let us witness the action together here.