Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard believes players will have little choice but to adapt to new Premier League rules even if the initial yellow card that led to team-mate Takehiro Tomiyasu being sent off against Crystal Palace was “harsh”.
The Gunners won 1-0 away to their London rivals on Monday but had to play the final quarter of the match at Selhurst Park down to 10 men after Japan defender Tomiyasu was dismissed.
He received a second yellow card for a relatively minor foul on Jordan Ayew just seven minutes after being booked for wasting time at a throw-in.
Premier League referees are under instruction to clamp down on time-wasting, although Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said after Monday’s match a stopwatch may be needed to ensure consistency in decision-making.
Odegaard, who scored the only goal of the game with a penalty after Eddie Nketiah had been tripped by Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, said it would take time for players to adjust.
“I don’t know if it’s difficult but it’s new rules so we have to adapt,” he said.
“The first yellow card was harsh, I don’t think he (Tomiyasu) was trying to take a lot of time, he just didn’t have anyone to play to. It’s a bit tricky but we have to adapt. That’s the reality, we can’t do anything else.
“It’s easier to get yellow cards now so you have to be careful and that goes for me as well.”
He added: “It’s something to have in mind but I don’t think we should think too much about the rules. We should stay focused on the game.”
Arsenal are one of just three teams to have won both of their opening two games at the start of the new season.
Odegaard, asked if winning was more important than performances at this stage of the season, replied: “It’s crucial. The start of the season is always tricky, it takes a bit of time before everyone finds their rhythm and their top form.
“So, it’s crucial to still get the three points and build on it from there. I’m very happy to win and I’m sure we’ll get better and better with every game.
“It was difficult, we had to dig deep and fight for it. When you come here you have to be able to suffer and we knew that before the game. We did that brilliantly and we deserved the three points.”
World Cup News
/ 2 months ago
FIFA on Saturday confirmed that three bids to host the Women’s World Cup in...
/ 3 months ago
A set of six jerseys that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World...