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By Tony Attwood
It’s our question and at last someone else is asking it – and it is the Liverpool Echo who have joined us with the question “how actually have the Reds fared depending on who is in charge? And does it actually matter?”
So it is time to look at the groundwork, as all the clubs have played eight games so far this season.
To start, we wondered about the astonishing number of yellow cards that Tottenham have got this season (something that is not often mentioned in the media). Tottenham have had 27 cards so far this season, averaging 3.38 a game which will total 128 at the end of the season at this rate. Last season the notorious Leeds side got just a mere 84 across the season.
Indeed, in September, Goal tells us, the Premier League set a new record for most yellow cards in a single day, beating the one set over 25 years ago with 12 bookings in Tottenham’s game alone.
So is this down to specific referees? What we have done is taken a look at how referees have been spread out this season among the clubs to see if certain clubs are getting yellow-waving referees, or if this high level of carding is a general trend among all the PL referees.
Most clubs across their first eight games of the season have had seven referees – obviously, one referee seeing each club twice. It is a curious pattern, but one caused by the extreme lack of referees available to handle games in the Premier League.
20 referees have been used so far, across 80 Premier League games (8 per club) meaning that there is no reason for any referee to have seen the same club more than once, even with the catastrophically low number of referees available.
But each of the clubs we look at in our table below have had at least one referee twice. Brighton have actually had each of Taylor and Madely twice ALREADY – and we are only eight games in. Manchester City have had Pawson and Oliver twice already. Liverpool have had Taylor and Hooper twice each, and so it goes on.
But our prime question here is, is this massive increase in yellow cards this season due to certain referees?
And the answer to that is “not yet proven” – as we can see from the list of referees and their carding level Here is the list of referees, and they are all waving the cards is roughly similar ways except Olier and Madley. Madely is giving out cards 41% more cards than Oliver this season. If a club wants to keep their yellow cards down, in this frantic carding season it is Oliver who is the man you want.
|Referee||Games||Fouls pg||Fouls/Tackles||Yel pg|
And indeed it turns out Arsenal and Manchester City have each had Oliver twice. Here’s the grand table club by club. Tottenham have had blow out games with two different referees so get listed twice.
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