- For yellow cards Man City and Arsenal remain calm, Tottenham lead the way.
- Arsenal v Manchester City and the issue of yellow cards
By Bulldog Drummond
As we saw the other day, in spite of the wild ravings of some members of the press, both Arsenal and Manchester City are keeping their injury levels under control. The current figures showing just the top five and bottom five clubs in the injury table league are below. First the top five teams in terms of desolation…
- Chelsea: 13 men injured
- Manchester United: 11 men injured
- Sheffield United: 11 men injured
- Tottenham Hotspur: 11 men injured
- Crystal Palace: 11 men injured
…And now the bottom five
- Arsenal: 3 men injured
- Everton: 3 men injured
- West Ham United: 3 men injured
- Wolverhampton Wanderers: 3 men injured
- Manchester City: 2 men injured
Yes Chelsea have over four times as many players out as Arsenal.
Arsenal’s injuries are recorded as Martinelli, Saka and Timber, with Martinelli having a 50% chance of playing and Saka a 75% chance of making Sunday’s game.
Manchester City have De Bruyne and Rodri (which is to say Rodrigo Herandez Cascante) out.
It is interesting that Chelsea remain so far ahead in the injury stakes, and we suddenly also realised, are shooting ahead in the yellow card listings. What is it that they are doing to cause this? And indeed are yellow cards and injuries somehow linked? These figures suggest maybe they are
- Chelsea: 13 men injured; 22 yellows
- Manchester United: 11 men injured; 19 yellows
- Sheffield United: 11 men injured; 21 yellows
- Tottenham Hotspur: 11 men injured; 26 yellows
- Arsenal: 3 men injured, 10 yellows
- Manchester City: 2 men injured; 12 yellows
That quick glance suggests that there could be a significant link between injuries and yellow cards, suggesting in turn that if certain clubs could stop their players flying into tackles they would not only get fewer yellow cards but also fewer injuries, either because they hurt themselves less, or because they persuade fewer thugs on the other team to retaliate.
And there’s another point here too. Does the number of tackles a club puts in, relate to the number of tackles it receives in return? In other words if a club goes onto the pitch and meets a bunch of hooligans does it retaliate?
As we have shown before (but never been able to resolve in terms of why) the number of times a club gets fouled during a season is very varied from one club to another: Here’s a top ten listing the clubs fouled the most. Arsenal as you can see, are eighth.
|Team||Fouled pg||Fouls committed PG||Yellow cards PG|
|1. Brighton & Hove||13.7||12.6||3.14|
|2. Newcastle Utd||13||11.3||2.57|
|3. Tottenham Hot||12.9||12.1||3.71|
|5. Aston Villa||12||12.3||2.86|
|6. Crystal Palace||12||11.3||1.57|
|7. Manchester City||12||9.0||1.71|
|9. AFC Bournemouth||11.1||13.7||0.92|
The variations that we are seeing here are really large – except for the number of times each club is fouled – but that is becuase we selected the ten most fouled clubs in the league at the moment. In that list Brighton have been fouled 23% more than Brentford. If we took in all the clubs we’d have Sheffield United being fouled 5.9 times a game, meaning the range is 71% between most and least fouled club in the league.
The fouls committed has a higher range: from highest to lowest it is 40%. But when we come to yellow cards the range is 278% between the most and least carded!
These figures are therefore showing that the league clubs are either playing in very different ways or being refereed in different ways. Or both.
So let’s try and find something that is a little more understandable! Arsenal and Manchester City have played each other 209 times in league and cup. Arsenal have won 99, and Manchester City 65, with 45 draws.
Arsenal had a nice little run going up to 2017, which concluded that year with a Premier League draw and then a win in the FA Cup at home. But since then it has been 12 games in the League, League Cup (twice), FA Cup (twice) and Community Shield (once).
And the results are singularly depressing. Two wins, and neither of those in the league! The last league win was 21 Dec 2015, part of a nine-match run in which Arsenal lost only once to Manchester City. Our last half dozen games at home against Manchester C have all been defeats and in four of them Arsenal failed to score.
But all runs come to an end, so we go in hope. And perhaps in remembrance of the run between September 1992 and October 2004 in which Arsenal played Manchester C 15 times in the league and once in the league cup and won 13 of those games. Including a period between October 2000 and February 2003 where in four games Arsenal scored 16 goals to their two.
A return to the good ol’ days would be interesting. And rather jolly.
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