“We might have to play with a stop watch,” quipped Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta after Takehiro Tomiyasu’s eight seconds to take a throw-in played a part in his red card.
Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 1-0, with Martin Odegaard scoring the only goal from the spot, but the Gunners’ first red card since 2021-22 made the headlines.
Referees have been told to clamp down on time wasting and dissent this season – with 18 yellow cards for dissent and 14 for time wasting in the opening two weekends.
Those 32 yellows in just over 5% of the season compare to 174 across the entire of last campaign. If the cards continue at the current rate there will be 608 this season.
‘This will have a big impact’
For this latest one, Kai Havertz had the ball for 15 seconds for Arsenal’s throw-in before instead handing it to Tomiyasu. The Japan defender looked for players to make a run and just as he was taking it, eight seconds later, he was booked.
Not long after he was shown a second yellow card for a minor foul on Jordan Ayew.
“These are the [new] standards,” Arteta told BBC Sport afterwards.
“I don’t know exactly how long… [On being told it was 23 seconds]. No, it wasn’t. I think it was eight seconds. We might have to play with a stop watch. It’s OK, we won the game, I’m happy.”
He added: “The new rules are one thing, the way it is communicated is very different but we will adapt.”
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said on Sky Sports: “We went to see [referees’ chief] Howard Webb a few weeks ago and it was said the existing rules cater to stop time wasting.
“If players start getting sent off for wasting time – this will have a bigger impact tonight on time wasting, than adding 15 minutes on at the end.”