- The sin of omission: the bits of the football story that are missing
- Why do two sets of fans see a match in such different ways?
By Sir Hardly Anyone
This season the Premier League is seeing more goals scored than ever before in the Premier League – an average of 2.85 goals a game at present. The previous highest in the entire history of the Premier League was 2.82 which was achieved last season and in 2018/19.
The lowest level of scoring there has ever been in the Premier League was 2.45 goals per game making a total of 931 goals in 2006/7. If the last couple of weeks of this season continue as they have done we will end up with 1083 goals in the season, 152 more than in the worst season for scoring.
Now as we know Arsenal have scored 83 goals in 35 games this season which is 2.37 goals per game. Last season, Manchester City the top scorers got 99 goals, which is 2.82 goals a game, so to reach that level we are still some way off.
And the point is that in eight of the last nine seasons Manchester City have been the top scorers, suggesting that if Arsenal wish to emulate and overtake Manchester City the club needs to be upping its scoring level even further. So the question is how?
The answer in simplistic terms is buy a top goalscorer. But that may not be the best idea, for Arsenal have so far been pursuing a totally different approach from Manchester City, as a comparison of the sides’ top scorers shows. Here’s Arsenal’s men in double goalscoring figures.
Manchester City have only two players in double figures, and of course that is all they need because Haaland is scoring so many goals. But one wonders… if Haaland were injured (and of course I am not wishing an injury on him or anyone) I wonder how the club would cope for a long spell in the season. Here’s the current record…
But one other difference is that Manchester City get many more penalties than Arsenal. They have been awarded 10 to Arsenal’s four – which takes us back to the days when we ran the article Leicester heading for all-time record number of penalties.
By pure coincidence (because it is ludicrous to think that the Premier League and PGMO read Untold Arsenal) as soon as we published that article Leicester’s number of penalties decreased, rather like the number of tackles Leicester could make without being penalised, suddenly collapsed after we published (see here for example).
Now there have been 91 penalties this season awarded which means that the average club will get 4.55 penalties thus far. Manchester City are operating at twice that level, which presumably means Haaland has been running into the box and being tripped up.
Arsenal have just under the average number of penalties
So why is this? Let’s look at the number of penalties awarded compared with goals scored.
|Pen awarded||Goals total||% of goals that are pens||Goal position*|
|2||West Ham United||8||38||21.10%||13|
|7||Brighton & Hove Albion||6||63||9.52%||3|
*Goal position is based on a per match figure, not the total number of goals scored this season – this removes the imbalance of those clubs that have played fewer or more matches.
Now it can be argued that clubs get different numbers of penalties because they attack more, but that is a bit strange when the number of penalties awarded seems to be completely unrelated to the number of goals scored. I mean West Ham keep getting penalties, but are 13th in the league in terms of goal scoring. How are they managing that?
And Nottingham Forest are sixth in the number of penalties given but 17th in terms of goals scored. How can that be? Are they endlessly getting into the box and falling over?
Now we know, because we debated it at length, that at Leicester, Vardy had the trick of going into the box with the ball, and then suddenly reversing direction so that the player behind him bumped into him and as often as not Vardy got a penalty. I haven’t studied Forest enough to know if that is happening with them or anyone else, but the Leicester incident did show what was possible.
With Leicester, we reported that and suddenly it stopped happening. Obviously just a coincidence. But still, it is all a bit odd. As is the fact that none of these things are ever debated in the media. And certainly those Leicester figures should have been because they were doubleplus odd.
2 Replies to “More goals are being scored, but are all clubs treated equally by refs?”
I believe that we may have sorted the problem with messages not appearing until cleared by one of the moderators. This is just part of the testing procedure to check all is working as it should be.
A test from abroad to check the testing 😉