Cattermole, Scholes, Suarez or Cisse: Who will be the first Premier League player to see red this season?
Former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Kevin Pressman holds the record for the fastest red card in Premier League history. It took the shot-stopper just 13 seconds to be shown red for handling the ball outside his area at Molineux in 2000. The fact that it occurred on the opening day of the season makes it even more remarkable.
Being sent off on the opening day is not a rare occurrence. Last season QPR’s Clint Hill and Arsenal’s Gervinho both saw red on the opening day, but who will be the first player to be sent for an early bath this season?
I’ve asked a selection of football fans and Squarefootball writers for their view on this issue and I’ve been surprised by how varied their choices have been.
Sunderland fan Tony Ratton tips his rivals Newcastle United’s Steven Taylor as the first man to see red. With an opening game against Spurs and possibly looking to stop the likes of Bale, Van der Vaart and Defoe, it is a possibility. And Everton’s Barry Gregory believes it will also be a Newcastle player, but he is going for Chiek Tiote.
However, as you would expect, Newcastle United supporter Greg Hall tips Sunderland’s notorious midfielder Lee Cattermole to get an early bath first, as does Liverpool supporter Dave Disciascio. The former Wigan midfielder has previous in this department. In 2010 he was sent off on the opening day against Birmingham City. Cattermole has been booked 28 times in 73 games for the Black Cats and has seen red four times.
Bolton Wanderers fan Dave Blackburn though believes it will be a Manchester United player who really should no better at his age. “It will be Paul Scholes. They guy just can’t tackle!”
While Manchester United’s Alex Richert fears it could be former United defender Ryan Shawcross who could claim the unwanted honour. With the Potters travelling to newly promoted Reading, tensions could well escalate as the Royals bid to make a winning start to life in the top flight.
Manchester City supporter Callum Rothwell thinks it will be one of his side’s former favourites Richard Dunne. With the Irishman playing in the heart of defence for Villa now, and after a terrible European Champions, he could well have a point.
However, Aston Villa fan Christian Dougherty believes there’s only one man for this . . . QPR’s Djibril Cisse. “Cisse had an extraordinary record last season of either scoring or getting sent off in every match he played after signing in January. He will probably do both in the first game of the season.”
Celtic fan Jim Barry is going for Liverpool’s Charlie Adam, Birmingham City’s Steve Coulter is tipping Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to lose his rag when he returns to Goodison Park on Monday night and West Ham United and Squarefootball writer Mitch Waddon fears it could be someone from either Liverpool or Manchester United.
“Sending offs are difficult to predict as there are so many factors. It’ll be a hard hitting midfielder who’s a bit rusty after the close season so for me it’s a toss up between Paul Scholes of United and Charlie Adam of Liverpool.”
Chelsea fan Joe Tyler fears it could be Liverpool’s controversial striker Luis Suarez, while West Brom’s Andy Wakeman is tipping Villa’s under-performing full back Alan Hutton to go first.
But Squarefootball’s Hugh Larkin has a feeling it could be a goalkeeper.
“I’ll go for a goalkeeper coming out at the feet of a forward, so let’s choose Szczesny of Arsenal, who does seem a bit accident prone.”
Personally I agree with Newcastle fan Greg Hall and Liverpool’s Dave Disciascio in their assessment that it will be Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole. The Black Cats will be looking to frustrate Arsenal at the Emirates, while Cazorla, Podolski and co will be looking to shine following RVP’s exit. Cattermole could well take things a step too far.
But that’s what we think. What about you? Who do you think will be having the first early bath of the season? We’d love to hear from you.