Stuart Attwell as referee: his home/away records for tackles, fouls and cards




We first looked at the work of Stuart Attwell on the pitch way back in 2012, and pretty damning that review was.

Now we can see if he has improved by looking at his numbers.  Figures from WhoScored…


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg
1.Anthony Taylor 9 21.78 0.65 4.78
2.Robert Jones 8 25.63 0.82 5.13
3.Michael Oliver 7 19.57 0.54 4.43
4.Andy Madley 7 27.57 0.79 5.86
5.Stuart Attwell 6 21.67 0.61 5.50


The range of fouls per game is shown in the figures between Oliver and Madley in which Madley sees 41% more fouls per game than Oliver.  And that is not in just one game – that is the AVERAGE across seven games.  It is as if the two men are refereeing in different leagues.   The range of fouls per tackle overall is even greater at 46%.   There can be no explanation other that there is no similarity between referees as to what a foul is.

Attwell sits between the two but at the lower end of the scale on both measures.   However when he does see those tackles go in, he is much quicker to reach for a yellow card.  24% more likely to hand out a card than Taylor for example in each game.

Now we can look at how Attwell reacts to the home and away team and these figures are encouraging – he is not a referee who is completely bent to the will and noise of the home crowd.  He gives fewer fouls against the away team, their tackles are less likely to be seen as fouls, and the number of yellow cards is lower.  



Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg
Stuart Attwell home team 6 11.50 0.72 3.00
Stuart Attwell away team 6 10.17 0.52 2.50


So let’s see if this is new, or a general trend in his behaviour.



Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg
Stuart Attwell home 25 10.48 0.61 0.04
Stuart Attwell away 25 9.64 0.61 0.16


Now last season we can see that he was awarding fewer fouls per game – and this is part of the general trend.  He was seeing fewer tackles as fouls, but he was not differentiating between home and away teams in this regard.   But the huge difference we can see is in the yellow cards – which comes about because of PGMO diktat.

So we should not be misled there because all referees have been ordered to hand out many more yellow cards this season for a whole variety of odd offences – as Arsenal found out at Crystal Palace.

But we can move on to the results.  As we know some referees love home wins, some go for away wins and some for draws.  These are the referees who have done six or more games this season in the league.  Top percentages are in black, bottom percentages are in brown.   Attwell has overseen one third of his games as home wins and two thirds as away wins.



Referee Games HomeWins AwayWins Draws
1.Anthony Taylor 9 44.4% 22.2% 33.3%
2.Robert Jones 8 50.0% 0.0% 50.0%
3.Michael Oliver 7 57.1% 42.9% 0.0%
4.Andy Madley 7 42.9% 42.9% 14.3%
5.Stuart Attwell 6 33.3% 66.7% 0.0%
6.Paul Tierney 6 0.0% 50.0% 50.0%
7.John Brooks 6 50.0% 50.0% 0.0%
8.Craig Pawson 6 50.0% 33.3% 16.7%
9.Peter Bankes 6 33.3% 16.7% 50.0%


But just consider the range: home wins from 57.1% down to nil.  Away wins nil to 66.7%.   Draws from nil to 50%.   

However let’s just have a peek at last season and see where our referee stood across the whole season…



Referee Games HomeWins Away Wins Draws
1.Michael Oliver 30 60.0% 23.3% 16.7%
2.Paul Tierney 30 50.0% 30.0% 20.0%
3.Anthony Taylor 30 33.3% 43.3% 23.3%
4.Simon Hooper 29 55.2% 17.2% 27.6%
5.Robert Jones 26 65.4% 26.9% 7.7%
6.Stuart Attwell 25 72.0% 12.0% 16.0%


So is this all by chance or is something happening?  Last season it was very hard for any away team to get a result out of an Attwell refereed match.  This season it is the reverse.  The only thing we can really say for sure is he likes results, not draws.

Anyway, based on his performance this season Arsenal are more likely to get a result than was the case last season.

Last point for now, Attwell has given out 5.50 yellows per game this season for all offences – the third highest in the league (in fact we could say second highest, because one of the two above Attwell is Darren England who seems to be on a different planet).  Newcastle have 27 yellow cards this season to Arsenal’s 15.  So if the referee waves the yellow things in proportion to what has happened previously, some Newcastle players could be playing with worried frowns for quite a bit of the game.


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