It takes Arsenal 4.6 fouls to get a card. It takes Palace 8.1 fouls to get a card. How refs target teams

By Walter Broeckx based on the research done by Goonermikey who should get the credit for this article

A while ago Goonermikey came up with the stats about how Wenger has overachieved per  £1m of net spend on transfers and how this compared with other EPL clubs over a decade.  And now he has come up with some interesting numbers on yellow cards.

This will make interesting reading for anyone who still does not believe that there is something wrong with the referees in the PL and their behaviour against Arsenal. Of course they could close their eyes once again and ignore the facts because it would shatter their ideal dream world land.

Thinking about the treatment Chambers has received this season, he decided to look at the fouls v cards position.   Figures are accurate up to and including the Everton v QPR game.

fouls statistics

  1. Some simple conclusions can be found in this table:
  2. Only three teams have committed fewer fouls than AFC
  3. Only three teams have been fouled against more than AFC
  4. Depending on whether or not you choose to count a red card as 2 yellows, it can also be said that no team has received more cards than Arsenal (I’ve counted a red as 1 card since I don’t know for each team whether there were straight reds or not.)
  5. Arsenal are also only one of 7 teams who commit fewer fouls than are committed against them and actually have a ratio of 0.85 fouls committed for every one against
  6. At the other end of the scale, Leicester commit 1.41 fouls for every one against them
  7. It’s not just the lower teams though since the second worst offenders are Man City who commit 1.35 for everyone against
  8. How often teams get a card is interesting too (and I know some fouls are worse than others, I’m talking about a bigger picture as you well know).  Surprise, surprise, no team gets cards more often than AFC.  One for every 4.58 fouls committed (remembering that we are far more likely to be fouled than to commit fouls)
  9. At the other end of the table is actually Crystal Palace who commit almost twice as many as AFC 8.18 per card (and bearing in mind they commit 1.35 for every foul against).
  10. Interestingly the second least likely to get a card is Southampton at 8.07 fouls per card.

And this links and brings us nicely back to Callum Chambers and we can show this table

Fouls per player

Again some interesting conclusions can be made:

  1. Callum Chambers – who I understand played 22 times for Southampton last season and did not pick up one card.  He has made 12 EPL starts for Arsenal and picked up 6 yellows and a red at the rate of a card for every 2.3 fouls (based on the fact that the red was two yellows).
  2. Now this is where it gets interesting.  When we look at the ten players who in the EPL who on average commit the highest average fouls per game we find that, on average they commit a foul every 37 minutes and pick up a card for every 9.1 fouls.
  3. Now those 10 players have committed 283 fouls between them and picked up a total of 34 cards.
  4. The whole AFC squad (excluding goalkeepers) have committed 161 fouls between them yet picked up 40 cards (NB not all for fouls though).
  5. AFC players on average pick up a card for every 3.4 fouls they commit (even though we commit fewer fouls than most)
  6. The worst ten foulers in the EPL on average pick up a card every 9.1 fouls (even though they are the worst foulers in the EPL)
  7. The most harshly treated of those 10 is Craig Gardner who picks up a card for every 5.0 fouls and he commits a foul every 43 minutes.
  8. Aaron Ramsey also picks up a card for every 5.0 fouls but he only commits a foul every 97 minutes.
  9. What’s worse is the fact that we have 12 players who pick up a card more often than Craig Gardner.  YES TWELVE!!!!  In fact we have two who have committed just one foul and each picked up a card.
  10. For those who might choose to argue that it depends on which position you play in, 3 were forwards, 4 were midfielders and 5 were defenders.

As I said, I know some fouls are worse than others but there’s a big picture here.  That is to say, we don’t commit many fouls (only 15% of teams commit fewer), we are fouled more than most (only 15% are fouled more) and we pick up cards more often than anybody else.  Is it really any wonder Arsenal fans believe the PGMO have an agenda??????

In fact if you look at these stats and compare this with the referee reviews it is in fact a miracle that there still are Arsenal fans out there who discard the influence of refs as irrelevant. But yet these refs punish Arsenal players much more and harder than their opponents.

The conclusion is that there is no level playing field when Arsenal enters the field. They will get carded more than any other team and some players are targeted it seems. Callum Chambers is the prime example. A player who never got a yellow card in his 22 appearances for Southampton now suddenly gets booked every 2 fouls when playing for Arsenal.

Did Chambers suddenly change from being one of the cleanest defenders in to a dirty footballer? I think the only thing that is different between this season and last is that he is wearing another shirt: the Arsenal shirt. And that seems to be a big problem for referees.

Looking at these numbers one might start to think that there is really something rotten with referees in the PL.

Back to Untold

67 Replies to “It takes Arsenal 4.6 fouls to get a card. It takes Palace 8.1 fouls to get a card. How refs target teams”

  1. Interesting article but with regard to Chambers pretty much every card he has had this season has been where he has pulled someone back after having being caught out by their pace or been turned when defending on the wing. Each one has been a valid yellow card in my opinion.

    Perhaps at Southampton he had more cover/support from wingers and fellow defenders so that if/when he got turned he didn’t have to drag the player back?

  2. Dirty Turkey,
    not every pull equals a yellow card. A pull is only a yellow card when the pull is being carried out over a longer period or when stopping a promising attack.
    Look at these cards from Chambers and this

    The first one is ridiculously light compared to other things happening in that match going on without yellow cards and the second one is not stopping a promising attack (players runs diagonal in midfield) and just a short pull and lots of other Arsenal players behind the ball.

    Look at this article and all the clips and then tell me again the yellow cards from Chambers were valid.

    Or are you suggesting that Chambers never ever pulled a player in his Southampton days?

  3. very well substantiated article.

    i have always maintained that arsenal plays against 12 men (opposing team + referee) and to win arsenal must play really well to cancel out the biased refereeing, a case in point is the last game against newcastle. tiote escaped with only a yellow card and only one another newcastle player got a yellow.
    ox and bellerin got yellow for 2 innocuous fouls.

    the sad part is this bias refereeing is overlooked by even arsenal fans,,,who failed to see the frustrations of arsenal players when they played because of the unfair refereeing. arsenal fans will sit on their high horses and berate arsenal players to play on despite the referees unfair decisions..

    callum chambers is a good example you have pointed out…any players that switched to play for arsenal will know the difference immediately….

  4. Off topic – and don’t want to distract from highly illuminating statistics (would be interesting to see equivalent numbers for previous seasons) – but wondering what impact the current implosion in the Russian economy/currency will have on the likes of Abramovitch and Usmanov…?

  5. The predictability of seeing us hacked cardlessly to a near standstill and then to see the first gentle misdemeanour by an Arsenal player rewarded with a Yellow gets so wearisome after a while. Its not just the EPL refs either: I remember the away leg against Besiktas back in August being one such example.

  6. I think the point that DT is making is valid – but it also seems true that the Refs hide behind the shirt pull. Any easy excuse to give that yellow is taken it seems.

  7. Pete, when capitalism enters periods of crisis it tends to be the very rich that profit and the very poor that suffer. Rising prices are threatened in Moscow and so those with money are buying consumer goods (fridges, clothes, cars even) and exchanging their roubles for dollars. The fall in oil prices will affect the oil-igarchs but I suspect UA and RA will have plenty of diversified reserves to survive. unfortunately

  8. Excellent article, and most interesting as it actually defines what we all know!!!!

    I would be more interested to find out the stats on contact injuries during all PL games.

    This might lay the myth of Arsenal’s training methods.

    A good project for anyone with the time and patience.

  9. bob mac,
    we have done this earlier this year will try to link to the articles that is the last article in a series of 12 where we looked at the injuries and compared it with the other teams. And we made the difference between contact and non contact injuries.

  10. This is amazing – thanks a lot !

    I always had a feeling that Chambers is being unjustly targeted, also Rambo.

    And this research definetly proves it.

  11. Great analysis! IT has been very frustrating watching chambers get carded for nonsense and you hear proodits that he is inexperienced!!!!

  12. Interesting stats and nice write up.

    I have said it here once, there is an unwritten rule I suspect from pgmol to is referees which is:
    1. Where a decision in favour of Arsenal can be ignored, ignore
    2. Where a decision against Arsenal can be ignored, don’t.

    Now it seems we also unearth another unwritten rule concerning award of cards:
    1. When referring any game involving Arsenal, the tendency to give cards must be twice that of the opposing team.

    The pgmol however knows that eyebrows will be raised that’s where the media is needed to turn a blind eye and propagate the propaganda that ‘Arsenal are rubbish’. What is most unfortunate is the ‘fans’ who buys into this hook, line and sinker. #outsourcedthinking

  13. As always, Walter, a series of convincing statistics.
    But I ask as I have asked in the past, “What can be done to obtain parity of treatment?”
    Is there a course of action open to the Club’s Board?
    Do we even know whether the Board shares your undoubted view?
    All the statistics of wrongdoing in the world, although interesting, are really pointless unless follow-up action can take place to put things right.

  14. Dirty Turkey,

    Further to Walter’s reply –

    Let’s say the speed limit on the highway is 60 mph. EVERYBODY and I do mean everybody drive at least 70mph. However, YOU are the only one constantly being pulled over.

    So it’s true you cannot contend that you were unjustly pulled over, since legally speaking, you were breaking the law. However, a law is a norm being put into writing. If the norm is in fact different to the law, then the law must be changed, and the norm turns into law.

    So it might be true that Chambers’ shirt-pulling merits yellow cards; however, since he is almost the only one being penalized for it, it means that this is not IN FACT the law; it’s a special law for Arsenal players.

    And that’s the contention.

  15. Thank you Walter. And, I promise, this will be the last time I say this, Ivan, grow some balls and do something about this. You have eyes, you have the evidence, you sit on every committee going, you know what’s going on.
    The livelyhood and health and safety of your players is at stake here.
    Stop being corporate and get passionate!

  16. these things have been happening as far as 2003 in my memory. Arsenal have been ROBBED of EPL titles due to REFS ! Arsenal have to endure PHYSICAL and MENTAL ABUSE most times.Just look back at GILBERTO first ever yellow card and tell me BRITISH FOOTBALL are the most PHYSICAL ? IF nothing done Arsenal will forever give HANDICAPS to opponents. The only WAY OUT ? Arsene Wenger get to be a SIR! ARSENAL will not have to give HANDICAPS anymore even if they dont get HANDICAPS like SIR at ManU !

  17. I felt when I put this stuff together that one or two of you might appreciate it 🙂

    @ DT.

    I personally think you’re looking for excuses rather than providing rational explanations. I did wonder myself, however, whether there might be a slight difference in that other teams might perceive Chambers as the ‘weak link’ in the Arsenal defence and give him more work to do hence the likelihood of him commiting more fouls at AFC rather than at Southampton could be the reason. Unfortuantely, I have been unable to find any information on how many fouls he committed last season. What I do know is that he’s received infinitely more cards this season! TommieGun sums the situation up absolutely perfectly for me.

    @ Pete

    I did have a cursory look at this in previous seasons but never saw it through. I certainly do remember seeing similar patterns emerging though. I’ll see if I can follow up on that.


    I couldn’t agree more about the Besiktas game but, in general, I don’t believe UEFA refs have an agenda against us. I do feel that the standards of non-English refs is variable though and we got a bad one that day for sure.

    @ Ccphy Hong

    A while ago I did do comparison for a couple of players after they left Arsenal and seem to recall they were getting cards at about half the rate that they had whilst at AFC. I’ll see if I can dig out the figures……..I feel another article coming on!

  18. I dont have a problem with the yellow cards chambers has received as long as the refs then gives yellow cards for the same offences by opposition players, and this is where the problem start.

    I am still amazed that No budding journalist has taken up the story of dodgy refereeing, the stats are there,

  19. François,

    To be fair to Lee Hurley (the writer of that Metro article), he has always been positive about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. He is a gooner and a positive one.

  20. Excellent piece of research.
    I think the results would be even worse for Arsenal if the cards issued for non foul offences were removed from the calculation. By non foul I mean cards issued for technical things like diving, time wasting, goal celebration, dissent etc. I am fairly sure Chelsea for example would finish further down the list as opposed to level with us on 4.58 because a number of their cards have been issued for diving and not fouls. I cannot recall any of our cards being given for non foul reasons, correct me if I am wrong.

  21. Correct Nicky on the subject of knighthoods, but he does have a KBE, which is as good as it gets for non Brits!

    On the subject of the article, surprised to see Chelsea up there, but then again, thinking about the nature of some of their fouls….Their figures would be even worse if Mr Cahill didnt have a rather strange effect on refs with their selective myopia

  22. On the primary point I have previously commented that I feel from attending games that yellow cards are given to opponents first and that Arsenal seem to suffer from refs trying to show that they have been fair and kept a ‘level playing field’. I don’t know if Goonermikey can from his statistics show the cards and fouls in Arsenal games alone including those for opponents (just for clarity the Arsenal stats must be as shown above but the other team stats are against all their opponents and so miss my point).

    For Mandy Dodd, I share your frustration but fear that the stats here don’t either evidence the rotational fouling Arsenal suffer nor do they establish the red cards which should have been given for dangerous challenges but were not.

    As an aside Stoke are better than I would have expected and Crystal Palace are worse. Which has Tony Pulis managed more recently?

    Thanks to both Walter and Goonermikey for the research and the post both of which are invaluable to the Arsenal case that they are treated unfairly by PGMO referees.

  23. On the subject of fouls on Alex, @ the game against NC, did anyone notice Oliver when Alex was carded. I could see that he came to the ref and he said something like “they make 50 fouls…….” Also that was his first foul and so was hectors when he was carded. Very interesting article. But then again the club needs to take it further.

  24. Very interesting numbers which throw up some other odd issues. The Craig Gardner numbers should be ignored as he pretty much only commits card-worthy fouls.
    The Chavski numbers are amazing. They have taken over the place of manu as most refs favoured team and get away with more fouls than anyone else but it’s good to see the few they are pulled up on result in a similar card percentage. If only they would start issuing them with the reds they deserve (cahill especially).

  25. I have been banging on about this for years.

    I posted a table regarding this back on the 26th of October.

    This was followed by a better formatted table on the 1st of November by Andrew Crawshaw in and article he entitled, ‘Football is changing….fouls and cards awarded by the referee’.

    I used to attain my stats using the ‘Suns’ Fair Play’ league, before I stopped buying newspapers on a regular basis. It was a bit crude but enabled me to extrapolate the ratio of fouls to cards.

    I started doing this back around the time the invisibles got beaten at OT.

    On the run up to that game I had noticed how the media where disgracefully allowing Fergy to use them mercilessly for his propaganda.

    The basic line he was pumping was that Arsenal where just a bunch of whingeing foreigners who didn’t like it up ’em (sound familiar) and was warning the referee to watch out for us rolling around all over the place whenever a United player came near us.

    Basically it was an utter stitch up, and we all know what happened next.

    Anyway, another thing I had noticed was that in the Fair Play table the previous week was that we where getting booked at around 5.5 fouls per card, United at that particular time where standing at somewhere around an incredible 15 fouls per card.

    What happened was inevitable.

    NB: Does anyone know how I can access newspaper achieves because I would much rather find the stories and tables to which I refer rather than just state it as fact without being able to substantiate it. I know my recollection of this is pretty good, but it is a while and, well you know.

    One thing I will say is that referees now seem to be generally a little stricter than they where 10 years ago. If my memory serves me correctly the average was around 8 fouls per card, we where on about 5.5 and the lucky ones where usually around 11.

    Anyway Walter and Goonermicky, great work, totally vindicating something I’ve been saying to anyone who’d listen for years.

  26. It bears pointing out that Walter is talking about official numbers here: fouls punished rather than fouls actually committed. Keeping in mind his extensive body of research, it’s safe to say that teams permitted to foul without consequences will have their fouls-to-cards ratio artificially lowered to a great extent. So the numbers here for some teams are certainly conservative compared to genuine infringements of the Laws of the Game.

  27. @Goonermikey

    Last year Chambers played in 22 games for 1641minutes. He committed 21 fouls at a rate of 1.15 per 90 and famously 0 cards.
    This year he has played in 14 games for1141 minutes. He committed 21 fouls at a rate of 1.66 per 90 and 8 yellow at a rate of .63 per 90.

    So fouls are up a little but cards are WAY up. It would be interesting to see when fouls and cards are happening for and against us.

  28. I suppose if you cant laugh you just have to cry.

    Does this mean Arsenal will have to get a longer string to hang our Christmas cards?

  29. TommieGun,

    Further to your road analogy–what you’re describing is exactly what happens in cities such as New York and London with regard to stop-and-search and race. Sure the cops are allowed to do random stops and searches within certain parameters. I’ll even be generous and say that they actually follow procedure. Nevertheless, they systematically target young black men, who are something like 10-15 times more likely to be searched than other demographics. That is blatant racism and injustice, a legal procedure turned into an instrument of oppression rather than freedom. Legal? Perhaps. Just? Not a bit.

  30. So we have:

    Statistics (not opinion) that show we get harshly treated by referees when it comes to the issuing of cards.

    Statistics (not opinion) that show we get harshly treated by referees when it comes to the awarding of penalties.

    Refereeing reviews (that do rely on opinion, all be it that of fully qualified referees) that show we get harshly treated by referees when it comes to the judgement of crucial decisions.

    Subjective opinion, strongly backed up by statistical facts.

    Damning, and very very difficult to dismiss as pure paranoia I would suggest…….but wait here they come !!!!!!!!!

  31. Brilliant article that proves what most of us have been saying but we get ridiculed for doing so.

    For the record, I do not believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or the abominable snowman. I do believe that Arsenal are discriminated against by referees.

    As I said in a previous comment, Arsenal players are shown little leniency either in regard to tackles against us or tackles we commit. If we mistime a tackle, these stats prove we are almost certain to get a booking for the foul. If however players ‘foul’ us, it is almost certain no card will be shown. As we saw with the Cahill assault on Sanchez, a clear red card, and again with the very late McNair tackle that put Wilshere in hospital, we get no sympathy. When Shawcross smashed Ramseys leg, the media’s sympathy was aimed at Shawcross. The same when Taylor, another English thug, smashed Eduardos leg.

    Take Chambers. Mario Balotelli grabbed a Man Utd player around the chest with both hands to stop him running away with the ball, in their recent 3-0 defeat. A free kick was given but NO card. Yet Chambers does a slight tug against dirty Stoke and the letter of the law follows without hesitation. Is this inconsistent refereeing or something else? It does not matter, the rules are the rules and have to be applied consistently. This proves Arsenal get different treatment.

    The reasons for this I believe are clear and are either all of the below or some of the below. I believe all play a part:

    1. Arsenal are accused of not liking physical tackles. The referees are fans, as well as referees and they therefore believe this too. So it is natural that they see physical challenges against us as part of a legitimate game plan. Therefore they tend to show greater tolerance for the team making the tackles against Arsenal. This may be psychologically implanted or deliberate.

    2. Mike Riley. We know he loathes us. We know he allowed Manchester United to kick Reyes and Arsenal off the pitch in one of the most one sided referee performances I have ever seen. You can bet he has spoken to the referees about how Arsenal players attract fouls and therefore the opposition should be given more leniancy (see above).

    3. The referees are from the North. This is relevant. The North v South divide exists. Northerners have always believed in the ‘Southern Softees’ allegations. The most dominant region for the referees is the area in the North West, surrounding Liverpool and Manchester. We all know how ex Liverpool players dominate the media and seem obsessed with us. The same from the Mancunians, who again don’t like us.

    3. The media are brainwashing people into disliking Arsenal by the constant barrage of criticsm and by ridiculing Wenger at every opportunity.

    4. Wenger is French. Unfortunately, I believe there is an anti-French attitude in our Country.

    5. Dinosaurs don’t like Arsenal because Wenger almost single handedly took on the backwards English culture of drink and drugs. He also ripped apart the foundations of English football – hoofball. None of this has made him popular with the old school.

    The next time an AAA accuses you of being paranoid, remind them to leave out a handful of biscuits and some mince pies on the evening of the 24th.

  32. proudkev

    But you just know that someone WILL come on here refuting these statistics, and playing the ‘paranoia’ card again.

    They wont have anything to back there claim up mind.

  33. It would be interesting if you could do this analysis on the data you have from your referee reviews, i.e. the point El Gringo made, that other teams are allowed to get away with fouls and cards, but we seem to be punished for phantom fould and very easily.

  34. @ El Gringo

    Yes, it’s really, really scary to think that my stats are all based on fouls given when we all know that some teams get away with murder.

    @ blaisehayest

    Thanks for filling in the blanks

    @ Mick

    I’m sorry, you’re wrong. I’ve seen the figures somewhere this week but can’t find them. I’ll keep looking and post them.

    @ jambug

    It does grate doesn’t it…… an aside, the thoughts of the Sun having anything to do with “Fair Play” amuses me no end! And my utter loathing of Mike Riley can be summed up merely in that one game.

  35. Sorry folks but I notice some strange things behind the scenes. All comments seemingly going in moderation even from long time posters.

    I wonder if someone doesn’t like us publishing such articles and trying to attack us again. The amount of spam rising rapidly for the moment…. could be a coincidence of course.

    Just a quick note as I will be away from a computer for the rest of the evening and I don’t know what Tony is up to this evening so please excuse us if your comment doesn’t appear as it should be.

  36. This isn’t acceptable. Well done GoonerMickey for collating these stats.

    Was Southampton’s defence last year a lot better than ours? If that’s the case then that may partly validate your point, but I seem to recall we had one of the best defences in the league last season, apart from three games where we shipped a high number of goals.

    Against stoke Chambers had his face smashed by crouch, and at one time crouch was riding on Chambers’ back as if it were rodeo. And crouch finished the match with no card, while chambers… you know the rest.

    In my culture we have a saying that loosely translated means that when something becomes excessive it’s about to come to an end. I think these figures show that things surely can’t keep getting worse and worse like this. Something is bound to give.

  37. Very valid points Proudkev.
    Arsenal are certainly on the receiving thing of something.
    Maybe the club should falsely, and it turns out, in public, accuse a ref of using racist language, then we might get the same favours as Chelsea.

  38. And this does not deal with any bias concerning the calling of the fouls themselves. Imagine the numbers on this chart if all fouls and no phantom fouls were included.

  39. Excellent work GoonerMikey and Walter! Another interesting stat that I think should be included is the red cards for opposition:

    For instance, Chelsea’s opposition received 5 red cards in 16 league games! That’s almost a 1/3 chance of being a man down playing against Chelsea!

    Opponent red cards:
    Arsenal: 1
    Liverpool: 1
    Everton: 1
    United: 1
    City: 2
    Tottenham: 3

    There’s been 31 red cards total, that would be an average of 1.55 per team, so each team’s opponents should have either 1 or 2 red cards. The teams that are significantly higher:

    Chelsea: 5
    West Ham: 4
    Tottenham and Stoke: 3

    But refs don’t influence games!

  40. Something very strange is going on in PGMO lala land. Many people, including some in the media, are noticing that the refereeing is getting worse and worse each year.

    Anthony Taylor was shocking in the Stoke game, and in the next round of games he was 4th official, and now he’s going to be reffing the Newcastle-Sunderland game.

    Ok, many people fervently deny anything was wrong with that performance, Arsenal are just whingers, etc., but everyone acknowledges Andre Marriner was shocking in the Everton-Man City game, when two City players should have been sent off for kung-fu style kicks on Everton players and they were awarded a soft penalty. But now Marriner is back and he will be the 4th official in the Stoke-Chelsea game.

    Incredible! Leave aside Taylor, because of course refs never have a bad game when we are playing, but everyone agrees Marriner was shocking in that game, and yet he hasn’t been demoted! What will it take for a ref to be demoted these days? When was the last time a ref was demoted for a bad performance? Why has the PGMO stopped demoting refs?

    In 2012, Sir Alex complained about Chris Foy after Manure lost 3-2 to Spurs, and the PGMO promptly demoted Foy to League Two, where he hadn’t reffed since 2006, six years!

    Something is seriously rotten in the state of PGMO-land.—the-power-of-sir-alex-referees-and-the-fa?post_id=524747247#flvWelcomeHeader

  41. Sorry for reposting this comment but I feel we need to get some publicity about this so any takers for some Posters or Banners for our next home match.

    I suspect for some reason AFC do not want to publicly comment on this outrageous level of Refereeing In Arsenal Matches’. This maybe for commercial or a contractual clause but they are reluctant to provide any form of statement regarding referees performances , I have suggested before that it could be possible to raise attention of the issue by raising a banner/s at our Matches they don’t have to be expensive An A4 size printed out to read, ( AFC FANS DEMAND FAIR PLAY FROM THE REF) of course people will have their own take on what to say but if it’s not officially authorized by the club then there is no come back. As I say it is just an Idea but if 20/30 people do it and it gets highlighted on TV, then at least we will have started a debate.

  42. El Gringo – exactly what is happening in officiating of the beautiful game. Legal perhaps Just not at all.

    Difference is that there are cops of many different ethnics not so in PGMO. Lots of one segment of society.

  43. Yes Jerry the cards against Arsenal would provide even better proof how other teams are allowed to hack Arsenal. Walter please include this analysis also and if possible the timing of the cards (ie 1st 15 min or last 15 minutes). That would actually show how other teams have got a license to kill..

  44. Perhaps The Arsenal need to sign up Katniss Everdeen,
    for the Men’s team?

    May the odds be forever in their favour (I am a little bit biased!).
    Failing that not blatantly tilted would be a good place to start.
    A little bit of balance? Is it too much to ask?

  45. The killer stat for me is that he wasn’t carded once last year. Was very interested in seeing how many he got last year, and it doesn’t get more conclusive than that.

    You’d have to believe he has become significantly dirtier since joining us, which no doubt some people believe, or at least claim to believe, is the case, but undoubtedly that is not the truth. Any honest person can see it, easily, we are not a dirty team at all. Players are not dumb, so even those who did look to foul a lot would, after playing for us for a while, become conditioned to foul less (See Santi at the weekend : early on here he’d most likely have gone over for the pen; now he knows not to trust refs)

    For a long while we bought very few players from within the premier league, but this has changed somewhat in the last few years, and so in players like Arteta, Debuchy, Chambers and, most interesting of all, Wellbeck, we have people with experience of being prem-reffed and Arsenal-prem-reffed.

    If things are as most of us are convinced they are, these guys have unique insight. Almost as interestingly, with Arteta and Wellbeck we also have people who know just what sort of talks a couple of managers whose teams notably set out to rough us up used to give.

    Interesting stuff, but, aside from loyalty and the fabled dressing room code, there’s one thing that may stop these players from seeing things as we do : the massive importance players rightly attach to trying to keep their minds clear, stay positive and play their own game when they go on the pitch. If, for instance, Arsenal players were convinced they were not reffed properly, that opponents could get away with fouling them more, and sometimes dangerously, while they meanwhile were prey to easy bookings, this would probably have a worse effect than any positives to be found in trying to second-guess refs all the time.

    They can’t be oblivious to it all, but nor can they let it throw their game too much

  46. Well, I’ve been staying away for a week or so because it was bothering me too much to think about these things all the time, but I’ve been lured back and must say this is a strong article with some good comments from a lot of the usual suspects.

    Quincy, that fact about Foy is a shocker.

    Having not looked at last weeks stuff I don’t know how much was said about the ref at Stamford Bridge on the weekend, but that game left me more convinced than ever something is deeply amiss.

    Very often we see refs who clearly seem to be influencing a game wrongly and negatively against us, almost as often we see certain opponents being given things, but last weekend provided that relatively rare, and startling, sight- the moment when it is clear a ref Does Not Want To, and does not, apply the rules in a situation which will disadvantage a team.

    I’d describe the style of reffing against us to be a case of ‘looking for an opportunity to give fouls, bookings, pens’ but that, at least in individual instances, sticks out far less than what the ref in question did with Cahill’s foul. There, he not only had the opportunity, he had a strong obligation to card the player, having seen it clearly, and set the precedent by booking a player earlier in a game for a less obvious dive.

    Simply, though, he did not want to do it, he did not want Chelsea to go down to ten men at that point in that game. As if to further underline his full knowledge that he had not done what he should have, he then books the next player to dive, again for less of a dive than Cahill’s

    As we know refs are willing to do it to us at any point in any game, so how can it be that refs will sometimes be in that mode- looking for an opportunity- and other times be caught red-handed (or rather empty-handed) in the not wanting to hurt a teams chances mode?

    Well, that’s the mystery. But it is happening.

  47. …but back to Arsenal and the relative “silence” from the club discussed upon these pages in recent months:

    During a recent press conference the manager gave a summery of Diaby’s situation and status in huge squad” no need to repeat it but when explaining to a hack-dwarf the consequence and severity of the original hack and shattering of the athlete’s ankle the manager made particular use of the word “assassin” or “assassinated”, can’t remember which. To my mind that is not unambiguous language! I could be wrong.


  48. Rich, there are some other interesting things about Sir Alex and refs in the link I posted at the end.

    I did not watch the Chelsea game you refer to, but I’ve also heard some complaints and rumblings about the refereeing in that game, in particular, that Cahill should have been sent off. You could argue the ref was protecting an England international, and let’s be honest that does happen, but you just have to compare the treatment given to Chambers, a young and promising England international, who seems to be targeted by the refs. More and more people in the media are starting to point out poor refereeing, let’s just hope it continues and increases.

    The games this season which for me stick out as examples of really poor refereeing were the games we played against Stoke and Chelsea, and the Everton-Man City game (to a lesser extent the Chelsea-Newcastle game, where we had some interesting Mourinho time at the end of the game).

    The situation you describe with Cahill is very odd indeed.

    “As we know refs are willing to do it to us at any point in any game, so how can it be that refs will sometimes be in that mode- looking for an opportunity- and other times be caught red-handed (or rather empty-handed) in the not wanting to hurt a teams chances mode?”

    A very good question, and I would like someone who believes that PGMO refs are fair and honest, it all evens out in the end, etc. (plenty of them read Untold), to explain it to us.

  49. Quincy,
    I’d guess that Chelsea game was only the second or third time I’ve seen a ref caught out like that.

    He looked guilty as hell instantly- before going through with not punishing the player as he knew he should.

    Normally, they can, like Atkinson, quite easily and comfortably get away with calling a red a yellow, or passing up numerous penalty claims as in the cup final ( where you can be sure any decent claim for hull would’ve been a pen), or they can just ignore something completely, perhaps being helped in the credibility stakes by distance from incident, sight lines, etc, but here… He was right on top of it, looking right at it when the already booked Cahill performed an extravagant, ridiculous dive.

    He looked shocked almost, or at least as though his adrenaline had spiked: give a ludicrous pen, or not book someone I really have to book but don’t want to book.
    A no-win for him but, given the pgmo state of affairs ,not one which will harm his career. But it was a very very clear case of a ref Not Wanting to give certain decisions even when the rules clearly state they should.

    As for an explanation, I think it’s a case of either believing it’s the truth, and believing the chances are tiny of ever receiving confirmation of it,or deny, deny, deny.

    Would it be any more outlandish than a newspaper owned by a man who exercises huge influence over our last five prime ministers forcefully deny, deny, denying wrongdoing, ridiculing and threatening those who made allegations against them,when in fact they knew the claims, and then some, were true? Nope

  50. Many dives in the box are completely ignored by the ref, i.e. not given as a penalty and not shown a yellow card either, but as you say, there were two other dives that were booked in the game, which just makes the non-booking of Cahill’s dive even more ludicrous, as you point out. I suppose that single incident is a very good example of blatant referee bias (or incompetence, if you prefer).

    Personally, I had several such moments of having a clear perception that a referee was not fair, to put it mildly, in the Stoke game, for example when Crouch wrestled Chambers to the ground and Anthony Taylor had a clear view of it, but there were many others. If you didn’t catch it, this article highlights some of the terrible refereeing in that game:

    And of course the media is another can of worms! Where are we going to hear a criticism of the media cartel in bed with big business and the government, in the media itself? Big Brother was amateurish in comparison.

  51. There are more issues and some are so visible that it almost blinds vision. Like Wales has teams in the English Premier League, there are non European teams in Europe but there is no logic as to why. Please explain if you understand what criteria it takes to make the European – UEFA.

  52. Honestly the foul & card stats are all down to whether possession is lost in a tackle/foul. If a team retains possession the chance of a foul or card being given reduces by a factor of around 50%.
    Watch a game with this information and you will be amazed.

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