This article is based on the numbers that has been given by Vince. So credit must go to him for researching this. Some of the text has been edited by the Untold team to make this an article as it has been taken from the comment section but this deserved more than just a comment.
Mike Riley have been appointed at the head of the PGMOB in 2009. Since then, 9 clubs played every season of PL : Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Stoke, Sunderland and Tottenham.
Let’s see some referring statistics between those 9 clubs in the Riley era…
1 City 58
2 Chelsea 56
3 Liverpool 48
4 United 44
5 Sunderland, Tottenham 38
7 Arsenal, Everton 36
9 Stoke 33
Arsenal is probably the team that spend the most time in the opponent box, yet only Stoke were given less penalties. On the other hand, Chelsea and City are awarded approximately 60% more penalties than the Gunners.
Goals scored/Penalties given ratio
1 Sunderland 8.50
2 Stoke 9.48
3 Chelsea 10.11
4 City 10.26
5 Liverpool 10.54
6 Everton 11.78
7 United 12.43
8 Tottenham 12.68
9 Arsenal 15.47
The better a team is offensively, the higher should be its penalty count. For example, it is logical to see City with more penalties than Sunderland or Stoke. However using this goal/penalties ratio, every team should have similar result regardless of the team level.
What a surprise, the numbers shows that referees are a lot more reluctant to give penalties to Arsenal, compared to others teams…
1 Chelsea, City, United 24
4 Everton 30
5 Liverpool, Tottenham 35
7 Sunderland 39
8 Arsenal, Stoke 42
Arsenal has the highest number of penalties conceded (tied with Stoke), 75% more than Chelsea and the 2 Manchester… Another quick remark, Arsenal actually conceded 6 more penalties than they were awarded : the only team of the Top 6 (or even Top 7 if you add Everton) with a negative balance. Compared to City with a +34 balance, that is 40 penalties deficit. 40 PENALTIES! And then people talk about big team bias from the referees. Well based on this we are not a big team…
Goals conceded/penalties conceded
1 City 11.88
2 Chelsea 11.63
3 United 11.54
4 Everton 11.50
5 Sunderland 11.00
6 Liverpool 9.71
7 Tottenham 9.40
8 Stoke 9.10
9 Arsenal 7.40
Funny, the same referees that are so reluctant to give penalties to Arsenal, are giving penalties against Arsenal more easily than any other team. If you compare those ratios with those about penalties given above, you can see every team has pretty similar ratios. All except Arsenal who actually has a more 2-to-1 difference…
Red card received
1 Tottenham 16
2 United 19
3 Everton, Liverpool 21
5 City 22
6 Stoke 24
7 Chelsea 25
8 Arsenal 28
9 Sunderland 39
I don’t think anyone in their right mind would classify Arsenal as a dirty team (they more likely would talk about the Gunners lack of aggressivity…), yet except Sunderland, no team receive more red cards. Yes even Stoke has fewer red cards. Quite funny too to see Tottenham and United at the top of this table. You know, the 2 teams that gets away nearly every week with nasty challenges. Actually it’s been close to 2 years since a Spurs got a red card…
Yellow cards/Red cards ratio
1 Tottenham 29.00
2 United 24.42
3 City 22.64
4 Stoke 21.83
5 Everton, Liverpool 21.24
7 Chelsea 19.20
8 Arsenal 15.57
9 Sundeland 13.87
This ratio too should be similar for every team. Obviously that is not the case at all. How many times have we seen referees give a second yellow card to an Arsenal player at the first occasion, while allowing opponents 5 or more fouls. When I see that table, I can’t help but think about the sending off of Coquelin last year in the NLD, when Lamela and Dier stayed on the field despite more clearer second yellow offenses…
If, seeing all these statistics, some people want to deny the corruption that is happening right now in the Premier League, and the fact that for years, Arsenal has been robbed by referees, well there’s none so blind as those who will not see.
Some people might say: “that is more to do with poor tackling and trying to play our way out defence rather than any other reason”
So basically they are implying that the reason why Arsenal gets so few decisions their way, is that the players have lesser quality than those of the other teams.
They should explain me something then :
1: If our players are so bad, why Arsenal finish every single season inside the top 4?
2: If the 75% difference (compared to City, Chelsea and United) in penalties conceded is due to poorer defenders, why doesn’t it translate in the same 75% (or close) difference in goals conceded. Arsenal conceded 311 goals in that period, the best defense (United) 277. That’s a 12% difference, not even close to 75% right? And keep in mind that United conceded 18 less penalties, so that is only a 16 non-penalty goal difference over nearly 300 matchs…
3: Why in any category I presented, our stats are BY MILES worse than any other top6 teams, and often in the same range than Stoke/Sunderland
Another remark that has been made is: ”Arsenal’s style of play where they commit so many players to advanced position leaves them wide open to the counter and retreating players tend to be a little reckless in their tackling”
Same remark than above, if that is the reason, why does it translate only in term of penalties conceded, and not in term of goals conceded.
And this is another remark one hears: “As for not getting so many penalties you play the bulk of your possession in front of the opposition last defensive line and outside the penalty area”
Again an intriguing argument. I don’t have the exact stats, but I am pretty sure that Arsenal score very few goals from outside the box (actually when Xhaka scored two goals from long range shoot, it was considered a big change from Arsenal…). So they spent a lot of time and score a lot of goals from inside the box. Surely that should also translate in term of penalties awarded, not 60% less than Chelsea or City. We even have the right back (Bellerin) who has the most touches of any defender in the opposition penalty area. So it seems that we are spending a lot of time in the oppositions penalty area.
And when that killer ball, that Arsenal waited so long to create the perfect opportunity, is played, then most of time defenders would be caught out, and forced to try a desperate intervention, that often would translate into the foul and so a penalty…
PS: It is interesting to note the penalties when you click under the penalties link (links below):
You can find detailed stats for every season
PPS : Arsenal received 4 penalties in the first 4 WEEKS of the season (Aug 14 – Sep 17, 2016), and then have not received a penalty call in their favour for 4 MONTHS (22-Jan-17)! Very strange, but apparently normal to the FA, media, PGMO!