English Premier League Bad Boys: Andy Carroll and the 10 Dirtiest Players
The Premier League, one of the top leagues in the world, is full of incredibly skilled players, but also some less cultured, more dangerous players.
Whether it's on the field or off it, the players on this list represent the darker side of the Premier League with their bad tackles and criminal tendencies.
All the players on this list are currently playing in the Premier League.
10. Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross is best known for his horrific, career threatening tackle on Aaron Ramsey in last season's edition of the Premier League. Ramsey hasn't featured for Arsenal since the tackle that broke his leg in two places, but he is nearing a return.
Shawcross has picked up one red card this season and is still a hated figure among Arsenal fans. However, it didn't look like he meant to foul Ramsey, it's more that he's just a shocking tackler.
Stoke's captain may not be intentionally violent, but he is bad tackler and at six feet three inches, he is a scary player to come up against.
9. Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere is viewed as one of England's brightest prospects, and has made huge progress this season, putting in impressive displays for Arsenal and earning himself a call-up to the England squad.
However, he has also started to become a bit of a bad boy. A straight red card for a nasty challenge in Arsenal's match against Birmingham and a formal police caution for common assault have helped to build Wilshere a reputation for being a tough guy, despite his small size.
In fact, while he was still a youth player, coaches noticed that the midfielder had a bit of a temper, and his tough tackling was praised by Owen Coyle while Wilshere was on loan at Bolton last season.
8. Lee Cattermole
Lee Cattermole may only be 22 years-old, but he has already amassed an impressive tally of bookings. So far, he has been booked 45 times and has been sent off five times, including twice this season. He has also got away with a goal-line handball that prevented a certain goal.
A defensive midfielder, Cattermole sits in front of the defence and stops just about any player from getting through. He may be a hard tackler, but he is also a quality player, captaining Sunderland to their impressive current position of seventh.
Cattermole has been playing Premier League football on a regular basis since he was 17, an early start that could one day help send him to a high position on the all time fouling list; he is already only four red cards away from being the most sent-off Premier League player of all time.
7. Patrick Vieira
The ex-Arsenal and current Manchester City midfielder was ranked as Arsenal's fifth greatest player of all time in a poll of Arsenal fans. He also won 107 caps for France in a 12 year international career.
Unfortunately, he is also one of the Premier League's dirtiest players. He is joint top of the all time list for red cards, with eight to his name, while he has been booked 81 times. He is one of a select few to be sent off in consecutive Premier League appearances. In total, Vieira has been sent off 12 times in his career.
Vieira is an incredibly physical player, something that helped him settle in quickly at Arsenal. He doesn't back out of challenges and isn't afraid to go through players if he needs to. There is more to his game than fouling. He is an incredible passer, composed on the ball and a tireless worker.
6. Kevin Davies
Kevin Davies has some impressive fouling stats. He has racked up over 200 more yellow cards than any other Premier League player, committing 814 fouls. He is also top of the table, by 17 fouls, of this seasons' fouling table, with a massive 48 fouls. Furthermore, he is second on the all-time list for yellow cards, with 91, six behind Lee Bowyer.
It should be mentioned that Davies is also one of the most fouled players in the league, perhaps because he gives defenders such a tough time. Davies was recently called up to the England squad, becoming the oldest England player to make his debut in 50 years.
He is 33, so he probably has a chance to break the 1000 Premier League fouls before the end of his career, an achievement I, strangely, hope he gets.
5. Karl Henry
Karl Henry is Wolves' enforcer. He does the "dirty work" in midfield for one of Premier League's minnows and has developed a reputation for being a bad tackler.
So far this season, he has broken Bobby Zamora's leg, been sent off against Wigan and looked dangerous for all the wrong reasons against Newcastle. He was also lucky not to get into trouble for a nasty challenge on Arshavin that on another day could have done some serious damage.
Three yellow cards and 22 fouls this season haven't helped Wolves find much success; they currently lie second from bottom with just nine points. Henry has now been ruled out for two months, news that will probably please opponents, but won't help struggling Wolves.
4. Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes is one of the best English midfielder's of the modern age and is a Manchester United legend. He is still one of the best passers in the league and at 36, he is going strong.
He is also renowned for being an atrocious tackler. He has received 84 Premier League yellow cards and four yellow cards. That makes him fifth on the all-time Premier League booking list. He has also picked up a record breaking 26 bookings in the Champions League, making him the most booked player in the competition's history.
Scholes was set to retire at the end of the season, but he has indicated that he may continue if he feels like he's still doing a good job. He is certainly showing no signs of slowing down in the fouling department, he has picked up five yellow cards this season, committing 22 fouls in the process.
3. Andy Carroll
Andy Carroll is a promising 21 year-old striker who recently made his debut for England and is currently the second highest scorer of the Premier League season.
However, off the field all is not so promising for the Newcastle player. Carroll has been cautioned on two separate occasions for assault, and is currently on bail awaiting trail for assault. He was also arrested for breaking Steven Taylor's jaw in training ground bust up. He also got into a training ground fight with Charles N'Zogbia, but managed to avoid arrest on that ocassion.
He has picked up three yellow cards this season and committed 27 fouls; he needs to deal with his off-field antics and a growing fouling problem if he is to fulfil his potential and become an international star.
2. Joey Barton
Joey Barton's reputation as a bad boy precedes him. Bust ups on the training field and time spent in prison has helped build Barton a reputation as more than just a tough competitor.
During his time at Manchester City Barton received 39 yellow cards and three reds, but in recent times he has cleaned up his act somewhat. This season he has committed just 16 fouls and has only been booked twice.
Barton recently made headlines for the wrong reasons again after he punched Morten Gamst Pederson in the chest during a match. He was promptly banned for three games.
1. Nigel De Jong
The Dutch midfielder is widely feared for his deadly tackles. So far in 2010 he has broken two legs and performed one Karate kick on an opponent. This tackling led to him being dropped from the Dutch squad for an unspecified length of time.
Manchester City's midfielder has picked up four yellow cards so far this season is a relatively low total, but then again he's only played six times.
De Jong's recent tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa,, which left Ben Arfa with a double broken leg created an outcry and led to a round of complaints about the violent tackling in the Premier League.