Brighton v Arsenal: the team and the referee

By Bulldog Drummond

The referee for this game is John Brooks, and it is interesting to see in the Guardian that they have the note “This season G18 Y82 R4 4.78 cards/game”.

Now that is interesting – up to a point – for it does give us some information about the referee, but actually not that much.  For where it lacks detail is in the comparison with other referees.   For example,,,


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg
Anthony Taylor 21 22.29 0.65 5.00
Michael Oliver 20 20.65 0.56 3.90
John Brooks 18 22.61 0.61 4.39
Samuel Barrott 14 20.21 0.62 3.07
Stuart Attwell 13 20.23 0.60 4.69
David Coote 13 24.62 0.71 5.38

And let’s just consider the variance here.which shows us that our referee gives 12% more fouls a game than Samuel Barrott.  However he sees 18% fewer tackles as fouls than David Coote.

But most amazingly he gives out 43% more yellow cards than Samuel Barrott.  Although to be fair that is as nothing when one realises that David Coote gives out 75% more cards than Michael Oliver, per game.

But we are now used to such nonsense when it comes to refereeing in the Premier League and there is nothing we can do about all this except note that John Brooks, is the PGMO employee for today and that in his 18 previous Premier League games this season 38.9% of them have ended as home wins, 38.9% have been away wins and 15.8% have been draws.   Which suggests that he has learned about the influence of the crowd and learned how to ignore it.

The Guardian have given us the team of


White Saliba Gabriel Kiwior

Odegaard Jorginho Rice

Saka Jesus Martinelli

with a bench made up of the likes of Ramsdale, Hein, Tomiyasu, Soares, Zinchenko, Partey, Elneny, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Trossard, Nketiah, Havertz

The Evening Standard offer...

Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

So that suggests it is just the full back and centre forward that is the issue.  They also have a big story in the fact that “Mikel Arteta believes it is “very unlikely” that  “Arsenal, Liverpool and Mancheser City finish the title race by all winning their remaining games.”    

Goodness me I had to sit down after that.

90 Min generally seem to know a thing or three about such matters and they give us a team of 

 Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli.

They also provide a prediction of the result saying, “The Gunners’ excellence out of possession should get them over the line here, although there might be occasions when Brighton break the press and expose Arsenal’s steely structure. Still, Arteta’s side can’t be dropping points here if they want to win this title.

Prediction: Brighton 1-3 Arsenal

Finally here is a headline from Football.London

“What new Premier League FFP punishment decision means for Arsenal and Chelsea with ‘luxury tax’.”

Now I read that as implying that Arsenal could be hit by a new FFP punishment, given that we know Chelsea are still being investigated over possible crimes committed by the previous regime.  

And that is  a bit cheeky because after battling through the inevitable layers of adverts and side issues what the story says is that it is possible that the Premier League might introduce a luxury tax on clubs that overspend but that Arsenal could benefit from this, while Chelsea could have to pay a huge tax fine.

So no, no one is suggesting that Arsenal have not balanced their books, but rather that if a different system is brought in Arsenal could benefit at the expense of Chelsea.

Meanwhile, no one is quite sure how the Premier League ought to deal with the revelation that Tottenham Hotspur’s owner has committed a series of serious financial offences and has a suspended jail sentence as a result (suspended primarily out of respect for his age.  His crimes were said to be blatant.)

But still he’s the owner of most of Tottenham Hotspur and its unsponsored stadium, so I guess he needs special treatment..




11 Replies to “Brighton v Arsenal: the team and the referee”

  1. The ref averages a red card every 4.5 games, so he’s not afraid to blow the whistle. To be fair, as your table shows, he doesn’t seem to have a home/away bias. But late in the season I worry about dodgy calls and reviews. We need all 3 points, a draw does no good, as City and Liverpool are 2 points ahead. Also, adding to the goal difference is vital. Brighton will give them a game but I think Arsenal will prevail.

  2. Another clean sheet….some intelligent rotation.
    Bayern lost to a Bundesliga newcomer after having led 2-0
    Tuesday will be intense…..

    Ah yes… tomorrow I’ll be rooting for Manure….

  3. A great win against a team that has been a problem over the last season. 0-3 at Brighton is a great result. A GREAT result. Havertz again being very influential with a goal and an assist. Brighton is a difficult place for us over the last years. Buzzing…. Happy for Leandro Trossard his goal…. you could see he loved it. So did I…

  4. 2024

    Played 11, 10 wins, 1 draw, 0 defeats.

    33 goals scored, 4 goals conceded, and the Liverpool goal was a very unfortunate own goal.

    ✅ 0-2 vs. Brighton
    ✅ 2-0 vs. Luton
    🤝 0-0 vs. Man City
    ✅ 2-1 vs. Brentford
    ✅ 0-6 vs. Sheffield Utd
    ✅ 4-1 vs. Newcastle
    ✅ 0-5 vs. Burnley
    ✅ 0-6 vs. West Ham
    ✅ 3-1 vs. Liverpool
    ✅ 1-2 vs. Nottingham Forest
    ✅ 5-0 vs. Crystal Palace

    Yep, I think would of took that if I’d been offered it at the turn of the year.


  5. Mission accomplished: 3 points, 3 goals, a clean sheet (league leading 12th) and +3 goal difference and ,to date, a goal difference of +51, also leading the league. With all that said, they still need Liverpool and City to drop points.

  6. @Nitram…

    typpo… 0-3 vs. Brighton

    9 goals ahead (in terms of GD) of Pool! (one game less) and 11 (eleven) against the best team in the world.

  7. Chris.

    Re Typo: That will teach me not checking when I cut and paste!!!! Naughty boy.

    As for Stelling, he’s just a bitter and twisted old has been.

    I wonder if he’s just getting revenge for this:

    The Sun: Published on 16th May 2023:

    “JEFF STELLING has hit back at Martin Keown’s “absolute tripe” claim that Martin Tyler and Gary Neville are “biased” while commentating on Arsenal games.
    Speaking to talkSPORT, Keown took aim at the Sky Sports duo for their “frightening” bias during coverage of the Gunners’ clash with Brighton”.

    I think you touched a nerve there Martin!!!

    Surely it cant be a coincidence that Stelling comes out with the exact same accusation, after the same fixture, a year later?

    If it’s not that then maybe it’s because he feels such an idiot after saying this on Talkshite back in January this year:

    “Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, and Bukayo Saka, their key attacking trio, have only scored 11 goals between them. Isn’t that disappointing? With that said, the commentator legend Jeff Stelling believes the Gunners have little chance to win the league if they continue to struggle in front of goal. Stelling confessed on talkSPORT that Arsenal’s title bid will be jeopardized if they don’t score when it counts. He said, “if you look at that front three, Martinelli, Jesus, and Saka, between them they have eleven Premier League goals this season. You’re not going to win the title with that sort of output.”

    This winter, there is talk of bringing in a striker. I’m hoping it goes through. With a clinical striker, maybe their numbers in front of goal will improve, and they’ll be able to fire on all cylinders and compete for the Premier League crown.”

    So, maybe he just doesn’t like the way Arsenal are making him look like he hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about? Either way something really seems to of wound the old has been up. Bellow are just some of his digs at Arsenal since that load of nonsense back in January:

    Daily Post: Published on January 4, 2024

    “English TV presenter Jeff Stelling has written off Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League this season under their manager, Mikel Arteta. Stelling feels the Gunners have not shown improvement from last season, despite adding Declan Rice to their squad this term”.

    Metro” Published on Mar 25, 2024

    “‘What are you doing?’ – Jeff Stelling slams Arsenal star Ben White for ‘playing cards on the beach’ while England lost to Brazil”.

    Metro: Published on Apr 1, 2024

    “Jeff Stelling slams cowardly Arsenal and questions lack of bravery against Man City”.

    Daily Express: Published on Sat, Apr 6, 2024

    “Jeff Stelling calls out Sky Sports for ‘unbalanced’ Brighton vs Arsenal coverage”.

    Talksport is the perfect place for the Arsenal hating old goat.

  8. @Nitram,

    he’s an frustrated old fart who does not know better but to rehash anti-Arsenal talk.
    As for the ‘lack of bravery’, with the galactic best team in the universe not getting a shot on goal….

    Thing is, now it does not work anymore to just disparage Arsenal and imagine that some of that crap he spits applies. The old record is broken and he’s part of that lot (Keys ?) who can’t come up with an analysis, content to just act as a fan and spit out comments that are almost hateful..

  9. Chris

    “…..spit out comments that are almost hateful”

    That’s the word. That’s exactly what he is. You also mention the other ‘old fart’ Keys. He too is a vile hateful has been.

    “…. who can’t come up with an analysis”


    I’ve read other commentators who have dismissed Arsenals chances of winning the title and that’s fine. They have their reasons.

    They Cite the fact the other 2 have been their, got the T shirt.

    Although it seems we have learned from last season, getting over the line is another thing.

    They cite our tricky run in.

    They cite Liverpool’s and Man City’s easier run ins.

    If Liverpool win today I too have difficulty seeing where either they or Man City will drop points.

    So, agree with them or not, at least they reach a conclusion on the basis of reason.

    Those 2 are just ‘bitching’. It’s pathetic and all a bit sad really.

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