Nottingham Forest v Arsenal: let’s welcome the away referee



By Bulldog Drummond

Anthony Taylor is the referee for the match this evening.  And as you will know, not all referees are the same – some are prone to give victories to home teams, some to away teams.

Fortunately for Arsenal, Taylor is one of those referees who will accept none of the pressure offered by the home crowd.   In fact if Forest fans really want to support their team, they will need to stay silent all the way through the match – but fortunately for Arsenal I can’t see them doing that.

Here is Taylor’s record this season, comparing him with other referees who tend to oversee away wins.   Data as ever is taken from that supplied by Who Scored.


Referee Games Home Win% Away Win% Draw%
1.Chris Kavanagh 12 33.3% 50.0% 16.7%
2.Darren Bond 4 25.0% 50.0% 25.0%
3.Craig Pawson 21 33.3% 47.6% 19.0%
4.Andre Marriner 11 36.4% 45.5% 18.2%
5.Anthony Taylor 28 32.1% 42.9% 25.0%


So as we can see, his favourite result is an away win (almost 43% of the time) followed by a home win (around 32%) and then a quarter of the time a draw.  Which is, of course, good news for Arsenal, although once again a sign of the insanity of the way PGMO runs things.  Arsenal might well get something out of this game, but it really shouldn’t be a case of looking at which referee is being assigned to each game.

The solution, as we have said so many thousands of times, should be to have enough referees so that each referee only sees each club twice – once at home and once away.  It is not as if the Premier League is short of money and can’t afford to pay PGMO to pay them.

Anyway, let us now have a look at how Taylor does compare with a few other regular referees on the circuit.


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Pen pg Yel pg
Peter Bankes 20 23.35 0.67 0.05 4.35
Robert Jones 25 22.76 0.68 0.44 4.16
Anthony Taylor 28 20.00 0.58 0.18 3.79


He is on the low side (compared to other officials who have been active throughout the season) when it comes to blowing for fouls, and is less inclined than others to see tackles always as fouls.  Unlike Michael Salisbury however, he does know what a penalty is and why one should be awarded from time to time (Salisbury just does not give penalties at all). But he’s on the more restrained side when it comes to yellows.

Given that Forest are the second-highest receivers of yellow cards this season (just one behind the yellow card maestros Crystal Palace) this may not be very helpful.  Forest have 58% more yellow cards than Arsenal this season already.

But let us also see how Mr Taylor compares in his handling of the home team and the away team.


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Pen pg Yel pg Yel
A Taylor Home teams 28 9.86 0.58 0.11 1.93 54
A Taylor away teams 28 10.14 0.58 0.07 1.86 52


So what we can see is that he tends to give slightly more fouls against the visiting team, but is equal in his handling of the home and away teams in the measure of how many fouls he awards per tackle – just around half each.

The away team however finds it that bit harder to get a penalty but is slightly less likely to get a yellow card.

Now if we just consider one more time the yellow card data by clubs rather than by referees we can see that Arsenal are 17th in the yellow card table this season, ever chasing down to the Manchester City number of yellows.    Forest however are chasing Palace at the top of the league of yellowed men.  (Information from the Premier League).


Pos Club Yellows
1. Crystal Palace 80
2. Nottingham Forest 79
17. Arsenal 50
18. Brentford 50
19. Manchester City 43
20. West Ham United 42


Quite how West Ham have managed to keep their number down to 42 yellows I am not sure but I would guess it is through a tactic of keeping the whole game in midfield.  In fact, there have been just 90 goals in games involving West Ham United this season compared with 125 for Arsenal, 103 in Nottingham Forest games, and 116 at both ends in Leicester City matches.   I am surprised that the West Ham fans have not been demanding their money back, but I guess they have probably fallen asleep.

Teams next…

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