Trevor Sinclair believes Arsenal’s poor disciplinary record in big games this season can be blamed on Gunners manager Mikel Arteta.
Rob Holding’s sending off for a second bookable offence in the first half of the north London derby effectively ended the contest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night.
Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to their rivals has dealt a blow to their hopes of securing a return to the Champions League via the top four, with Spurs now a point behind them.
Holding’s dismissal marked the sixth occasion an Arsenal player has been sent off across all competitions this season.
Many of those red cards have been shown in big games against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and now Tottenham.
Former England international Sinclair feels Arteta being ‘agitated and animated’ on the sidelines, as well as making ‘excuses’, contributes to a lack of discipline from the team.
‘I struggle to be able to defend how they’ve gone into that game,’ Sinclair told talkSPORT.
‘Six red cards this season, Gabriel, Xhaka, Martinelli, Holding, the list goes on. Every time they go into a big game, they have head loss.
‘For me, it’s not one individual player, it has to come from the manager. He’s agitated, he’s animated on the side.
‘His comments after the game, he’s almost trying to give his team excuses. Don’t give the team excuses.
‘They’ve got to be better, they’ve got to be more controlled, they’ve got to be more disciplined in big games like that.
‘At the moment, they’re not getting it, and the reason they’re not getting it, for me, it’s coming from the leader.’
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