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Morgan Schneiderlin racking up more fouls than any other player in the Premier League
8:26am Friday 16th November 2012 in Saints News
Morgan Schneiderlin is the dirtiest player in the top flight – but Saints could be heading for Europe via the Fair Play League!
The French midfielder – who has committed more fouls (24) than any other Premier League player this season – is just one yellow card away from picking up Saints’ first suspension of 2012/13.
He is having arguably his finest season so far at St Mary’s but has already received four yellow cards.
That means one more and he will have to suffer an automatic one game ban.
The only other player near that milestone is Jos Hooiveld, who has three yellow cards but has been out of the team for the last few games.
Saints have enjoyed an excellent start to the season in terms of their discipline on the field.
They have yet to receive a red card and only 12 bookings.
The Premier League have released the latest Fair Play table for this season, and Saints are second behind Arsenal.
Teams are assessed by a match delegate at every game, with the crowd also given a sixth category that is scored.
As well as red and yellow cards and behaviour of the fans, positive play, respect towards opponents, respect towards the referee and behaviour of team officials is also marked.
The winners of the Premier League Fair Play league have a chance of winning a place in the Europa League.
There are three first qualifying round berths up for grabs, and they are awarded to the national football associations who are top of the UEFA Respect Fair Play rankings.
If England were to make that grade then the team top of the Fair Play league, or the next down who had not qualified for either the Champions League or Europa League, would get the spot.
England last had it 2011 when Fulham qualified.
Schneiderlin, meanwhile, has been one of the shining lights for Saints in a tough start to the Premier League season.
He has adapted himself to becoming a solid sitting central midfielder, adding an extra layer of physicality to his game to go alongside his fantastic passing ability.
He has also managed to be sharper in front of goal as well. His header against Swansea was his second goal of the campaign in just his tenth game.
That equals his previous best season for Saints already.
The 23-year-old’s improvement in that department is highlighted still further by the fact that his two goals in ten games this season have taken his total Saints tally to five in 168 appearances.