After the yellow card fest of Tottenham / Chelsea some are still attacking Arsenal!



By Tony Attwood

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We rarely do predictions about teams other than Arsenal, but we have been doing a fair number about Tottenham and Chelsea in terms of yellow cards.  Indeed they each seem to love yellow cards so much that it has almost become a fetish.

And yes we seem to have been right.  Last night, Chelsea got five yellow cards, Tottenham two yellows and two reds.  Put another way, Chelsea got as many yellow cards in one match as Arsenal get in 3.6 matches.    As for Tottenham, we can’t really compare their number with Arsenal because Arsenal have only had one red all season.  Tottenham had two reds in one night.   

Now you may recall our pre-match commentary which said, “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.”

Certainly for Tottenham it seems that the notion of having double the number of cards of Arsenal after just 29% of the season was a target to be achieved, rather than pulled back from.  

Chelsea and Newcastle United each have double the number of yellow cards that Arsenal have, and Tottenham are on 1.94 times the number of yellows Arsenal have.     Is that a tactic, or carelessness, or are we now going to hear that the referees are biased against Tottenham?

Here’s the latest table for the big seven clubs…


Team Yellow Red
Chelsea 35 1
Newcastle 32 0
Tottenham 31 3
Manchester United 26 0
Liverpool 19 4
Manchester City 18 2
Arsenal 16 1


Now Tottenham are not being affected very much as yet because they are managing to spread their cards around.  Indeed 17 Tottenham (and in fact 17 Chelsea players) have had a yellow card this season, although this high number does mean that so far Tottenham are avoiding the suspensions we have been expecting, simply by spreading the dirty foul duty around quite a lot.

Of course we do know that a lot of yellow cards are not given for fouls any more, so here is the table showing that separation.


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 11 35 23 1
Tottenham Hotspur 11 31 18 1
Newcastle United 11 32 16 0


On this basis we might expect that Chelsea will end up with 121 yellow cards this season, Tottenham with 107 and Newcastle United with 111.   

No club has got to such levels before.  In fact only one club has ever got over 100 in one season in the entire history of the Premier League, and that was Leeds United with 101 in 2021/22.

Arsenal’s worst season was 86 yellows in 2019/20.  The following season with Arteta transforming the side Arsenal got 47 cards, cutting the number of cards by almost half.

But there is an interesting dilemma setting itself up here, for we know that PGMO employees are also working for the state-funded Saudi Arabian league and that the Saudi Arabian government’s state finance department has bought Newcastle United.   Indeed no secret has been made of either event. 

So will we see Saudi Arabia telling their English referee employees to lay off Newcastle United?   It is possible, so we’ll be keeping an eye on their numbers.  But to be quite clear, there is no sign of that yet.    The top clubs in the dirty league this season are Chelsea and Wolverhampton on 35 yellows, Newcastle on 32, Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur on 31.

So what happens now?   There is a danger that some of these clubs might get together and make representation to the PGMO and Premier League to the effect that they are going to run out of players, and that the current approach to carding is harming the game.

And if that happens at the same time as representation from Saudi Arabia to the FA, or the Premier League that could have an impact.  Although of course, if the PGMO stopped its referees working in Saudi Arabia that would help, but there is no sign of that as yet.

Meanwhile the FA won’t do anything because this is not their fight.   But we might wonder what the raving, raging Daily Mirror will do.   The lead story on their website this morning is Gary Neville reminds Mikel Arteta of new Premier League rules and slams “dangerous” Arsenal.  Their second story is “Inside Tottenham vs Chelsea chaos as Premier League’s maddest match leaves fans stunned,” but then for their third they are back with Arsenal with “Angry Arsenal ‘compile list of decisions’ in bid to prove referees are against them.”

So on the morning after the most extraordinary PL match ever in terms of yellow cards, two of their top three stories in the Mirror are negative pieces about Arsenal, who were not even playing.  That tells us something about the raging fanaticism of the Mirror’s anti-Arsenal campaign – although I think we already knew it.

15 Replies to “After the yellow card fest of Tottenham / Chelsea some are still attacking Arsenal!”

  1. I’m fascinated that Newcastle have 16 cards for non foul offenses. Sp*rs have 13
    What in the world are they doing to get punished this way ? Mooning the referee ?

    As for the game itself, 5 yellows for 20 fouls seem a rather nice deal for Chelsea

  2. From Sky Sports’ Ref watch website :

    “Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes Joelinton did push Gabriel in the build-up for Newcastle’s controversial goal against Arsenal, but questions whether it was enough for the VAR to overturn the on-field decision.”

    Words fail me…

    So a push is not a push depending on what ? Sometimes it is legal ? If an Arsenal player had been pushing, there would have been no penalty ?

    They will go to any length to defend the in-defensible. They are closing ranks as if they had received word from upstairs to do it. And maybe they have…. they are part of the same toxic ecosystem in which the PGMOL operates.

  3. Chris

    And this is what they do.

    Gary Neville said, “It was a push, but a little push” so not worthy of a foul.

    The images clearly show TWO hands in the back. A foul anywhere else on the pitch, a penalty if it was the other way round.

    They are not the only ones as I keep pointing out. Regarding the Man City match.

    Danny Murphy

    “That’s the problem, exactly that, and that’s where people get frustrated,” he said when asked about refereeing calls in other games. “Recent events we’ve seen, that’s two yellows, but I’m glad he [Oliver] made the decisions he did.”

    So he admits it was the wrong call but he was glad he made the wrong call. You couldn’t make it up.


    Ally McCoist also admitted it was the wrong call but said it was ‘refreshing’ that he didn’t send him off.

    So lets be clear on this, McCoist thinks it’s ‘refreshing’ that the referee made the WRONG decision. Again, you couldn’t make it up.

    These people are literally saying black is white, right is wrong, simply to justify diabolical decisions made against us, and when we get upset they attack us, not the people making the catastrophic errors.

    It is beyond pathetic and I am sick of it.

  4. Chris

    ““Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes Joelinton did push Gabriel in the build-up for Newcastle’s controversial goal against Arsenal, but questions whether it was enough for the VAR to overturn the on-field decision.”

    And this is another problem with VAR that helps them justify wrong calls. He questions whether “….it was enough for the VAR to overturn the on-field decision”

    But the point is, did the referee actually make a decision? He may not of seen the push? How can he of made a decision if his line of sight was blocked? And if it was, that is exactly what VAR is there for. To help the ref with things he may of missed because it happened behind his back, for example the shove on Jorginho by Bruno that again VAR just ignored, or his view was blocked.

    And this is where Webbs suggestion, dismissed out of hand by The Suns Mark Irwin who obviously like the shambles we are in, regarding getting everyone mic’d up so we can here the conversations, might help.

    The ref may of said ‘I saw it, not enough for me’ You know the usual b**$h!t£ when they don’t want to give a penalty, and then I suppose there’s not much VAR can do. But if VAR say, did you see the possible push on Gabriel ref? No. You better have a look then. Surely hearing that helps understand how a decision was reached, even if we don’t agree surely it’s a step in the right direction?

    But back to my point, Gallagher’s excuse is fundamentally flawed because as far as I’m aware he has no more idea than me as to whether the referee even saw the incident. And if he does, because he’s heard what was said, perhaps we should do what Liverpool did and ask to hear the recording of how the decision not to overturn was reached?

    Until I hear otherwise I’m going to assume he’s guessing simply to justify the VAR decision.

  5. I’m not sure what is more pathetic? Being robbed? Or the response and defence by the morons and defending the indefensible. Every idiot and their mother volunteering their opinion.

  6. These classless individuals we have commenting on matches or writing for websites seem to have the same goal in mind. They regard Arsenal and Arsenal’s supporters as their betters and will do anything to disparage the club. They also recognize that the football public is sparsely populated with geniuses so they say or write rubbish that will appeal to the masses. Much like the MAGAITES here, feed them rubbish and they’ll swear it’s all true.

    These people don’t want standards to improve. They have their own quiet agenda, the refs have theirs and nothing will change. Crooks in the VAR room don’t care to make VAR work any better and the crooks on the field are fine with that. The only reason I can think of that would allow someone to make as stupid a decision as PGMOL refs do with millions of people watching, is that they have a secret agenda that shame alone will not make them abandon.

  7. What happens?
    The Fans complaints are trashed by all pundit?
    Can anyone else respond to journalist beside the manager.
    Eg, journalist who are friendly with a club.
    Trained just for the interview?

  8. Read on the Le Grove today re Neville’s comments , MU v MC a week ago , MC were awarded a penalty where Rodri exaggerated a sleight tug on his shirt at a corner and fell to the ground , Neville went to great lengths to justify this penalty . Move on a week he is now trying to justify the 2 handed push on Gabriel was not a push so it’s not a foul and the goal is allowed , does it depend on what way the wind is blowing for his punditry to make sense .

  9. Steve Vallins

    The hypocrisy of these people knows no bounds. I am no lover of Le Grove, but we all need to keep banging this drum. We cannot let this sham go.

  10. It’s very strange that at some point all managers complain about, or at least infer the poor standard of refereeing in the EPL & inadequacies of VAR yet seem unwilling to band together & speak out publicly & demand change.

  11. If Michael Oliver is a Newcastle fan, should he be refereeing matches featuring league rivals? I’m thinking specifically of our game with Burnley this weekend, although I seem to remember a recent match against Man. City where some decisions involving Kovačić were suspicious, to put it mildly.

  12. The revelations coming from Hackett and Gray today strengthen my suspicions of media complicity in the PGMOL push to silence and discredit Arsenal.

    This could be bigger than Calciopoli.

  13. I wonder whether the Premier League will crack down on any attempts by Newcastle to acquire players from the Saudi Super League in the upcoming transfer window. Acquiring dissatisfied players from PIF-controlled entities would be a very “convenient” loophole to circumvent FFP rules.

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