Just how well are Arsenal doing when it comes to tackles, fouls and yellow cards?


By Tony Attwood

Discipline – that is a key theme in the media at the moment, although its related topic of “decent behaviour” doesn’t seem to walk alongside it any more.

Thus we can read a statement such as, “On Saturday, a man who bears a close physical resemblance to Arteta but is clearly in no way related to the Arsenal manager, spat his dummy out and went off on one in his post-match interviews because the curtain-twitchers in Stockley Park had arrived at a conclusion that wasn’t necessarily wrong but just happened to be one with which he disagreed,” isn’t worthy of the Mirror let alone the Guardian wherein it appeared in a piece from Barry Glendenning.

And indeed you wouldn’t know from the wild ravings in the media today (because it doesn’t fit with the narrative) but Arsenal are out in front in terms of good behaviour on the pitch. 

So since they won’t publish the facts, here they are and in this regard we are considering just the big seven clubs, in relation to their own discipline on the pitch.   And what we can is something that the media in its current state of excitement most certainly will not tell you.   That Arsenal are top, or perhaps that should be bottom, in the yellow card table, with the lowest number of yellow cards. 

It is something that will undoubtedly bring the club benefits as time goes on, and the other clubs start picking up more and more suspensions as a result of their indiscretions and associated poor behaviour.

Indeed the game between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea tonight should be one of the dirtiest games of the season and could see a record number of yellow cards in one game.  And that would be something because Tottenham Hotspur already hold that record for being in the match with the most yellow cards.   That was 12 yellow cards in their match against the mighty Sheffield United.

We might also note in passing that Newcastle have had twice as many yellows as Arsenal this season already!

Indeed as the table shows when it comes to yellow cards for fouls Chelsea are way out in front but just behind them is Tottenham on 16.


Team Games Yellow Total Yellow for fouls Red
Arsenal 11 16 12 1
Manchester City 11 18 9 2
Liverpool 11 19 11 4
Manchester United 11 26 15 0
Chelsea 10 30 20 1
Tottenham Hotspur 10 30 16 1
Newcastle United 11 32 16 0


Given that Chelsea and Tottenham are playing each other tonight it is quite possible they could go on further and overtake Newcastle in the dirty play league.  Each club is averaging three yellows per game, so an average performance would lead to six cards , but with that many cards flying around tempers could fray so we could see a card fest.  So far ten players have picked up five or more cards each, and another 15 are sitting on four.

Incidentally, two of the players in the top 10 list when it comes to yellow cards both play for Newcastle United, but that didn’t seem to get mentioned in the furore over their game against Arsenal.

Anyway, Arsenal have two fewer yellow cards than any other team in the Premier League, which is another thing not mentioned.

In terms of possession, one curious fact is that the big seven clubs – the group in the table above – are in fact the top half of the table, and indeed five of the top six are members of our “big seven” group.

But what is odd is that Chelsea manage to have 62% possession across their ten games so far but they only have three wins, showing that possession alone is not enough.   Indeed Chelsea are also third in terms of pass accuracy with 88.3%.   Arsenal are fifth on 87.8%.

In fact with Chelsea, over and over again we find statistics that look really promising, and yet there they are 13th in the league.

Interestingly when it comes to tackles Tottenham are second with 19.9 per game, but around them in that chart are clubs from the lower parts of the league.  Which brings us back to Tottenham’s yellow card ranking where they are fourth in the table.  All figures are per game.


Clubs Tackles Fouls Yellows for fouls
Tottenham 19.9 11.3 1.6
Newcastle 15.0 12.1 1.45
Arsenal 16.3 9.8 1.09


So when we look at the current ratios we see the problems that fouling clubs like Tottenham and Newcastle have.   Arsenal can put in 40% more tackles before getting a yellow than Newcastle which really tells us a lot more about what was going on in that game at the weekend.

Arteta is right – the refereeing situation over tackling is getting out of hand.


Clubs Tackles / Fouls Tackles / yellow Fouls / yellow
Tottenham 1.76 12.43 7.06
Newcastle 1.23 10.34 8.34
Arsenal 1.66 14.50 8.99


14 Replies to “Just how well are Arsenal doing when it comes to tackles, fouls and yellow cards?”

  1. Nearing half time in the Spurs v Chelsea match and oneyellow andastraight red for Spurs. No cards for Chelsea

  2. Tonys predictions are spookily accurate.

    Half time

    Spurs 3 yellow 1 red

    Chelsea 2 yellows

    Spurs also lost Maddison to what looked like an Achilles to me, and Van De Ven to a Hamstring.

    Romero is an utter disgrace. He gets away with murder, but not this time. He’d already got away with one kicking out at a player when on the floor. Apparently not a red because it was just ‘petulant’. The way the rules are currently that should of been a red as far as I was concerned, but he didn’t get away with it a second time. Yes he touched the ball but it was dangerous and out of control. Terrible challenge.

    Udogie is also lucky to be on the pitch. A 2 footed challenge, totally out of control. Luckily he missed the player, which is apparently why it was only a yellow, but if he’d made contact he would of broke the guys leg.

    The Spurs manager is one of the cards.

    Spurs are just awful to watch.

    Headless Chickens doesn’t begin to describe them. No finesse, no class.

    I cant take Chelsea at any price but I really hope they put Spurs away. Horrible horrible team

  3. Hilarious.

    At the start of the half I said to Mrs N that Spurs aren’t finished with their reds. It’s obvious they have absolutely zero self control.

    Neville was just praising them. I just laughed and 2minutes later Red

  4. Mudryk the latest in the book.

    We seriously missed a bullet with that guy. He is terrible.

    To be fair Spurs have battled well with their 9 men. That and Chelsea making an absolute pigs ear of it have meant for a tense 9 minutes added time.

  5. Final score

    Headless Chickens 1 – 4 Chelsea.

    Wont be listening to the post match nonsense, but I bet Spurs still get praised for having 2 players sent off, their manager booked and losing 4 – 1 at home.

    I think that is the first time I have enjoyed watching Chelsea win since they beat Leeds in the FA Cup final back in 1970. The first time I ever watched a football match in colour round ‘Auntie Barbara’s’.

    Oh well, cheered me up after a couple of rotten days.

  6. Regarding cards.

    Oliver started to take pity on Spurs as they got away with 2 definite technical yellows. One for kicking the ball away. Seems to be a card depending on the referees mood. And a pull back that is usually a card.

    Still 8 yellows and 2 reds over all was about what Tony predicted.

  7. Amazing match…if Chelsea could finish, it would’ve ended 1-10. Romero could’ve been sent off three times. Crazy Postecoglu playing a high line at halfway with only 9 players….you couldn’t write this.

  8. Nitram,

    I listened to the first few minutes of the post-match “analysis” after the Spurs game. It was a pile of shameless pro-Spurs propaganda. “They can take a lot from this game”. What a load of crap. No mention of their unbeaten start going up in flames, unlike on Saturday.

  9. Guys,

    Tony’s prediction are coming through…. they won’t have many players available in the next games with all the cards piling up….add the 2 reds…at least, no more risk to our Invincibles record this season.

    I’ve stopped watching anything not Arsenal related, sick of PGMOL incompetence. If enough people did same, revenue would be falling and something would have to give….

  10. GoingGoingGooner

    It was an amazing watch. Not because of the quality of the football, it was dire in my opinion. The chickens simply base their game on running around fouling players. As you say, Romero could of been off before he was, as could of Udogie. Every time I see Romero play he should get a red, yet even last night following his red Neville tried to claim (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘Romero is not like that. he’s just extremely committed whole hearted player that gives it everything. Unforetuneately sometimes he goes a little too far’ Shameless bias. And as for Chelsea. From front to back they are pretty good, but their finishing is also dire, and in Mudlark, they have one of the worst players I have seen in the PL. Part of their problem going forward in the second half was him. You could tell the midfield just didn’t want to give the ball to him. Every time they did he gave it away. EREY TIME. We really dodged a bullet there.


    It was as predictable as night following day. The media bias to certain teams is as shameless as their blind loyalty to The PGMOL. Both are sickening to the core, but at least we here at Untold will keep calling them out, even if for the most part, sadly it does feel like we are howling in the wind.


    Yep, I was saying that as the game went on.

    It’s as if Tony’s in particular, and Untold’s in general, use of ‘statistics’ actually works. Who’d of thought!!!

    And again as Tony has been predicting, these cards are going to bite them on the backside big time. But as I said, watching their style, which as corny as it sounds does resemble a flock of headless chickens running around a coop., is inevitable. I said it last night. They have certain players with ZERO self control.

    As for “I’ve stopped watching anything not Arsenal related, sick of PGMOL incompetence. If enough people did same……”

    But they wont, because like the media, the fans are just hypocrites.

    I have done a small piece going up later today I hope, which exposes the shameless hypocrisy of the media, The Mirror in particular, regarding their attacks on Arteta and Arsenal. But they are not the only ones. During my research there was a lot of references to other clubs, fan groups, and fans in general, all outraged by VAR’s utter incompetence. But when push comes to shove, not a single club, and it seems very very few fans have stood behind us, despite the obvious fact they all actually know that every word he said was correct.

    If there was some semblance of unity, which you would of thought the VAR debacle would of brought, I would harbour some hope that a collective ‘switch off’ might happen, but there isn’t and it wont.

  11. mick shelly

    Thank you so much for that, the guy is brilliant. He has said so many things I have been saying, we have been saying for years:

    ‘The media don’t want to fix this’ I said that the other day.

    ‘The media have an agenda’ We’ve all been saying this for years.

    ‘I feel this is an Arsenal hate’ Another thing we have been saying for years.

    And he’s not even an Arsenal fan.

    But the problem is what I also said the other day. We all know how crap VAR is, and officiating in general is. Other clubs know it. Fans of other clubs know it.

    But what have we had from fans? Almost universal condemnation of Arteta and Arsenal, despite the fact they know they are right.

    And now we have the Spurs manager, who I did like, come out and say this. What a disgrace. And he got booked for decent last night!!! You just could not make this shite up. I really hope Spurs fans are embarrassed because they should be.

    Thanks mick and absolute credit to Terry Flowers, but it doesn’t surprise me as I’ve said on here many times, nearly all the guys I talk to that are Man Utd supporters are fair.

    Credit where it is due.

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