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By Walter Broeckx
A legendary manager in Belgium used to say in his Brussels tongue “pinanty is pinanty” which means in English: “a penalty is a penalty”. For those interested in who said this it was Raymond Goethals, former manager of the Belgium national team and many other top teams in Belgium and even in Europe. He won the CL with Marseille a long time ago.
But is a penalty really a penalty? Can any difference be found between let us say a penalty in the EPL and let us say in the CL? I tried to find out.
So let me start with the CL. We played 6 games in the groups and I only took those as this is also a league form, be it a short version. Because I have noticed that there is a big difference between league and knock out competitions. And in total we got 4 penalties in our favour and we got 1 against us.
So this means that we get a penalty in almost every second game we played and every 6th game we get a penalty against us.
And then I looked at the numbers of the EPL. And in the 29 games we played we have got 5 penalties. Of which we missed 2 it seems. But that is only an average of 1 penalty in each 6th game. On the other hand we got 5 penalties given against us and this gives the same average as in the penalties given to us.
|GAMES NEEDED FOR PENALTY FOR ARSENAL||5.8||1.5|
|GAMES NEEDED FOR PENALTY AGAINST||5.8||6|
So when you look at those numbers it is clear to see that there is a big difference between a penalty in the CL and one in the EPL. One could say that penalties in the CL are easily given by the refs. In total 5 penalties and 4 of those 5 was in Arsenals favour.
And in the EPL we only got 5 penalties (that is one more than in the CL) but this was in 29 games compared to just 6 games in the CL!
If we had had the same standard in refereeing between the refs in the EPL and in the CL this would mean that we should have had around 14 or 15 penalties.
And if we take the penalties against us this would mean that we would have got around 7 penalties against us.
For those who can see it is clear that there is not much difference when it comes to conceding penalties against us between the EPL and the CL. We got 5 against us and that is not that far away from the 5 we got against us.
But the gap between the penalties in our favour between the EPL and the CL …well is…rather big. So can there be found a logical explanation for this difference?
When people say that MU get more penalties than other teams at OT then the defence of the MU supporters is: as we play an attacking game we get more in the penalty area and as a result more fouls are made and we get more penalties. I think this could be a plausible bit of reasoning. And if we look at our stats in the CL this could work out. As we play an attacking game we got more in the other penalty area and got more penalties.
But then again the same goes for the EPL. We always attack and so we should get the same result as in the CL. Meaning for every penalty we get against us we should get four in our favour. But this clearly isn’t the case as we get the same amount of penalties against us as in our favour in the EPL.
And if we take this reasoning in the penalties against us we also find a strange thing as in the EPL we get as many penalties against us as in our favour. And in the CL we only get one fourth of the penalties against us. So there is something strange in those numbers.
So we play the same game every time (one of the things that some of our own fans criticise us for) and yet for some reason we don’t get the same average penalties in our favour. Not if we compare the EPL with the CL. And as a result of our style we stay in their penalty area and yet we get very few penalties compared to the games in the CL.
When it comes to penalties against us the numbers are equal which shows that the refs are up to their task when it comes to giving a penalty against us. But when it comes to penalties in our favour the numbers show a big difference. A difference that is too big for me and one that I cannot explain at first sight.
This difference could mean two things: the refs in the EPL run their games according to different rules compared to the ones that are used by Uefa (and the rules that are written by Fifa). But if this is the case this would mean that England had placed itself outside international football and outside the rules that are agreed in agreement with the FAs of the home countries.
And the other thing option is…er …. Or…well…no…. it couldn’t, could it? But let me point out that since we have been considered contenders for the EPL we only got one penalty since then. But this will be a coincidence I think. Is it?
So let me again quote my famous (well in my country) manager but this time change his famous quote a bit: “A pinanty for Arsenal is not always a pinanty” (A penalty for Arsenal is not always a penalty).