Arsenal v Leeds: welcome to the referee with the strangest of all figures!

By Bulldog Drummond

“Treble is on for Manchester City – but Liverpool and United cast shadow over the Pep Guardiola era” is one headline today” is one paper’s headline today.

“Everton’s survival in doubt if relegated from the Premier League” is another from a different source.  And that really is suggesting that Everton could go into liquidation.

Yet another is “Football news LIVE: Man Utd target next Ronaldo”

There is one refreshing original piece however: “How a dramatic 48 hours sparked a new era for women’s football” from the Independent.  But otherwise Arsenal get the odd mention yet really the feeling they are yesterday’s news, the upstarts who now make way from the main contest.   And in a sense that might well be a good thing – less focus means fewer made-up stories.

Although of course just as Arsenal are being played down, so is the role of the referee.  Here’s the crew for the game

  • Referee: Darren England
  • Assistant Referee 1: Dan Cook
  • Assistant Referee 2: Nick Hopton
  • Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett
  • VAR: Craig Pawson
  • Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

So how does this referee pan out with home wins against away wins?

As we can see from the latest table below, while some referees are handing out 60% or more home wins, others are delivering 40%+ away wins, one referee oversees half his games as draws.  So there is no consistency at all in what referees get up to, vis a vis the actual league table.

The stats across the games for the whole season are in column two, and those of our referee today in column three

All Matches D. England
Home wins: 47% 38.5%
Draws: 24% 30.8%
Away wins: 29% 30.8%


So with this referee Arsenal are going to have to fight like made to overcome his tendencies to balance up the match.  We can only hope Arsenal are so far ahead he doesn’t feel there is any point of helping Leeds.

Indeed the figures for referees in this regard are getting insane – here are just a few of the PGMO men’s numbers


Referee Games HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
Simon Hooper 20 70.0 5.0 25.0
Stuart Attwell 19 63.2 15.8 21.1
Michael Salisbury 13 53.8 38.5 7.7
Paul Tierney 23 47.8 39.1 13.0
Peter Bankes 14 42.9 7.1 50.0
Darren England 13 38.5 30.8 30.8
Craig Pawson 17 35.3 41.2 23.5
Anthony Taylor 20 30.0 45.0 25.0
Jarred Gillett 12 25.0 41.7 33.3


So with three referees, there is over a 50% chance of a home win, with three referees there is over a 40% chance of an away win, and with one referee there is a 50% chance of a draw!  

This is not to say that all referees should be in line with the national average, but this level of variation is just bonkers.  The best we can say is that he is not going to go out of his way to help Leeds United.  But he is not going to be like most referees we see – although maybe that will be a pleasant change!

In terms of seeing fouls, Darren England is a midrange referee – and as usual in these stats we focus just on the referees who have overseen 10 or more PL games this season.  Statistics as ever derived from Who Scored.

In this table we see the referees who give the most and least fouls per game – Darren England sits a little below halfway.


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles YelLows pg
Michael Salisbury 13 24.08 0.65 4.54
Darren England 13 21.46 0.70 3.69
Stuart Attwell 19 19.21 0.58 3.42
Anthony Taylor 20 20.25 0.56 3.55


That number of fouls from England per tackle is high – in fact the highest of any referee who has overseen over 10 games this season.  Anthony Taylor who has refereed 20 games this season is down at 0.56.  So tackling is not a good idea under England, and this will help Arsenal since Leeds as we shall see in the next piece are almighty tacklers.

On yellow cards England is mid-table. John Brooks is on 4.55 yellow per game.  Michael Oliver on 3.14.

In the next piece we will see exactly how this referee’s figures relate to today’s teams.

2 Replies to “Arsenal v Leeds: welcome to the referee with the strangest of all figures!”

  1. A kickoff at 15.00. No live tv… the ideal scenario for the pgmo to….

  2. @Walter,

    well, at least the whole world will see PGMO at work, as it is viewable around the world. Which makes for a larger public…
    However I wonder how come the top of the table team’s game is not shown live….
    With all due respect, Palace -Leicester, Nothingham-Wolves, Bournemouth-Fulham don’t seem to be as important for the title chase. Maybe Brighton-Brentford when looking at ‘not a trophy’ place. Still, you wonder how they justify such decisions.

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