Fulham v Arsenal: High scoring and those red and yellow cards



In the last article we looked at the regular table of tackles, fouls and yellow cards resulting from fouls.   Now we can look at the ratios.


Club Tackles per foul Tackles per yellow Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 1.72 13.80 8.02
Fulham 1.81 12.53 6.90
Tottenham Hotspur 1.84 12.02 6.55


And what we can see is that although the raw figures show that Arsenal put in fewer tackles, get fewer fouls given against them, and get fewer yellow cards given against them, the fact is that Arsenal are being allowed fewer tackles before a foul is called.

This indicates that Arsenal are using the tackle as a last line of defence, rather than as the normal way of breaking up an attack (as the figures show that Tottenham do).

But although Arsenal can get away with fewer tackles per foul than Fulham or Tottenham they can put in more tackles before a yellow card is given and commit more fouls before a yellow is shown.  In fact, Arsenal can commit 16% more fouls before getting a yellow card than Fulham and 22% more fouls before a yellow card is shown – which all works in Arsenal’s favour.  The policy is clearly working.

These figures for yellow cards only relate to yellow cards that are given for fouls.  However when we look at the yellow cards for the season as a whole, taking into account all the different reasons yellow cards can be waved we find that Arsenal remain at the bottom of the yellow table (or top when we are just counting from the lowest number of yellow upwards.   Chelsea we might note, along with Sheffield United, are running at double the number of yellow cards that Arsenal have.  Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have double the number of red cards that Arsenal have 

Here is the whole table from Who Scored


Team Yellow Red
1. Arsenal 29 2
2. Liverpool 33 4
3. Manchester City 33 2
4. Bournemouth 33 1
5. Luton 36 0
6. Crystal Palace 37 1
7. Burnley 37 3
8. Everton 40 1
9. Fulham 41 3
10. Brentford 41 1
11. Nottingham Forest 42 3
12. Manchester United 43 1
13. West Ham 44 1
14. Newcastle 46 0
15. Tottenham 49 4
16. Wolverhampton 50 3
17. Aston Villa 51 1
18. Brighton 51 2
19. Sheffield United 60 2
20. Chelsea 61 3


We can see from the table above that Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City play in a way that brings in the lowest number of yellow cards while Tottenham and Newcastle are playing in a style that brings in larger numbers.   Chelsea however remain in a league of their own when it comes to cards, compared with other clubs in the “big seven”.

It is of course as the season moves on that the impact of the yellow cards can be noted.  And this is relevant this week since Joao Palhinha of Fulham has received eight yellow cards so far this season – although overall Fulham are not considered a particularly foul prone team.

The rule is that a player with five yellow cards in the first half of the season – the 19 matches that have now been played – gets a one match ban.   If they pick up 10 yellow cards in a season, they’ll get a two match ban in addition to the one match ban they got for five cards in the first half of the season.  Which is why the impact of lots of cards will start to be felt in the near future.

It is of course particularly interesting that the media has shown very little interest in yellow cards this season, what with Arsenal picking up so few and Tottenham getting so many.

But let’s not spend too long on the oddities of the football media, but instead finish for today with the head to head details across the years.

Overall results have gone in Arsenal’s favour, with 42 wins for us, eight for Fulham and 12 draws.   And although Fulham did beat Woolwich Arsenal in the second division in 1913 by 6-1, the biggest scores since then have mostly gone Arsenal’s way.  Fulham did get a 5-2 win at the Cottage in 1962, but Arsenal knocked in five in 1950, 1967 and 2018.  The latter was particularly memorable since it was away to Fulham, and Arsenal won 1-5 with two from Lacazette, two from Aubameyang and one from Ramsey.

In 2011 and 2012 Arsenal failed to beat Fulham in four games (three were draws).  Since then there have been ten games, with Arsenal winning eight, and two being draws.  The goal tally across the ten matches is 26 for Arsenal and seven for Fulham, suggesting an average rounded result being around 1-3 to Arsenal.  In fact the last three away games have made particularly good viewing ending up 1-5 in 2018, 0-3 in 2020 and 0-3 in 2023.

We’ll look at the teams tomorrow.

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