Every football fan loves a hard, fair tackle, but which Premier League footballers misjudge their tackles more often than not? Rush Football take a look at three of the dirtiest players in Premier League history:

Joey Barton – 257 Fouls / 78 Yellow Cards / 6 Red Cards / 269 Games

There is no surprise that Joey Barton makes it on to our list, the midfielder has a reputation for late tackles, violent outbursts and dissent. During his 5 year spell at Manchester City he amassed 39 bookings and 3 red cards reflecting his physical approach on the game, which was described by his then manager, Kevin Keegan, as “excessive”. During his career he has been charged with violent conduct on three separate occasions; one for a training ground assault on teammate Ousmane Dabo, another for punching Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst Pederson and the third time for ‘attacking’ three players on the final day of the 2011/12 season. Although the Merseyside born footballer has improved in recent years, he will always have a reputation as being a loose cannon.

Lee Cattermole – 422 Fouls / 88 Yellow Cards / 7 Red Cards / 271 Games

Another footballer with a reputation for being just a tad reckless is Lee Cattermole. In just 271 Premier League appearances he has picked up a staggering 88 yellow cards and 7 red cards, making him one of the most booked players in Premier League history. In fact, the 29-year-old is carded more frequently than any other Premier League player, averaging a card every 2.85 games putting him ahead of the likes of Joey Barton, Lee Bowyer and Patrick Vieira. One of the midfielder’s most notable moments includes being booked in the first-minute of the Tyne-Wear derby for a foul on Cheick Tioté, a game in which he was sent off after the final whistle for foul and abusive language. Impressively, he was sent off twice within the first four games of the 2010/11 campaign, earning himself a place on our list.

Patrick Vieira – (Fouls Unknown) / 76 Yellow Cards / 8 Red Cards / 307 Games

The France international is by far the most technically gifted player to make it onto our list, but he was no stranger to punishment. The aggressive midfielder was carded 84 times in 307 Premier League appearances, making him one of the dirtiest players to ever grace the Premier League. During his career, Vieira was a player with seemingly boundless energy, an exceptional first touch and aerial prowess. His only downside was hot-headiness which could get the better of him, as seen in the famous ‘Battle of Old Trafford’ during Arsenal’s invincible season. With the score at 0-0, Vieira was booked in the 77th minute for a foul on Quinton Fortune, only to be given a second yellow card just 3 minutes later for kicking out at Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Frenchman may have been a world class player, but his reckless antics means he will go down as one of the dirtiest players in Premier league history.

Honourable mentions go to Paul Scholes, Duncan Ferguson, Lee Bowyer and Gareth Barry.

Enjoy this article? Why not check out ‘Behind bars: Three footballers that have served prison time‘?


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