Matchweek 28 – All the game, Officials and the return of rotational fouling

by Andrew Crawshaw

In the weekend games that between United and Liverpool stands out in terms of the number of fouls called – 15 against United and 17 against Liverpool – one every 3 minutes overall.  Three United players were substituted with muscular injuries.  One United player got a yellow card whilst three Liverpool players were cautioned.  United played 9 minutes under caution and Liverpool 75. Here is a timeline:-

Minute Foul Note Result
by on
1 United Liverpool Back pass
8 Henderson Rashford
8 Herrera Fabinho
13 Herrera Milner
14 Firminho Herrera
15 Herrera Matip 3rd foul in 7 minutes No card
19 Herrera injury Subbed in min 21
23 Milner Pogba Yellow card Milner
24 Firminho Injury
24 Mata injury Subbed in Min 25
28 McTominay Mané
28 Firminho Smalling Firminho injury Firminho subbed min 31
32 Lingard Wijnaldum
34 Henderson McTominay
36 Henderson Pogba 3rd foul
38 Robertson Rashford
40 Pogba Wijnaldum
42 Lingard injury Subbed in min 43
45+1 Robertson injury
45+3 Pereira Fabinho
45+5 Matip Rashford
49 Salah Shaw
50 Fabinho McTominay
52 Matip Rashford
54 Matip Young 3rd foul
66 Young Mané
73 Shaw Shaquiri
74 Fabinho Pogba
77 Milner Sánchez
78 Lukaku Mané
81 Lukaku Wijnaldum
81 Young Milner Yellow card Young
82 Shaquiri Rashford Yellow card Shaquiri
84 Lindelöf Sturridge
88 Sturridge Shaw
89 Shaw Milner
90 Wijnaldum Young Yellow card Wijnaldum

Milner, Shaquiri and Wijnaldum all got yellow cards on their first foul, Young on his second.   Herrera committed 3 fouls in 7 minutes in the first half and would surely have got a booking had he not been substituted due to a calf injury.  Matip somewhat lucky to get away with three fouls.  Everybody else careful not to commit more than two fouls.  Rashford was the most fouled player with 5 awards (2 by Matip and one each Henderson, Robertson and Shaquiri). 

So possible some rotational fouling going on there.  Milner, Pogba, Mané and Wijnaldum all were fouled three times.

Before I move on to this week’s games, I missed a couple of teams getting referees five times at the weekend.  Spurs had the pleasure of Mike Dean and lost (ha ha) and Liverpool had Michael Oliver.

On to this week’s matches and here, courtesy of are the runners and riders:-

Tuesday 26 February

19:45 Cardiff v Everton
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

19:45 Huddersfield v Wolves
Referee: David Coote
Assistants: Stephen Child, Neil Davies
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

19:45 Leicester v Brighton
Referee: Lee Probert
Assistants: Simon Beck, Andy Garratt
Fourth official: Simon Hooper

20:00 Newcastle v Burnley
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Eddie Smart
Fourth official: Lee Mason

Wednesday 27 February

19:45 Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Daniel Cook, Dan Robathan
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss

19:45 Southampton v Fulham

Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Roger East

20:00 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur

Referee: Andre Marriner (pictured)
Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

20:00 Crystal Palace v Man Utd

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Lee Betts, Harry Lennard
Fourth official: David Coote

20:00 Liverpool v Watford

Referee: Graham Scott
Assistants: Marc Perry, Mick McDonough
Fourth official: Lee Mason

20:00 Man City v West Ham

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Mike Dean

Our third time under Mr Kavanagh and the second for Bournemouth.  The earlier games have been:-

  • Arsenal v Leicester 22 October (3 – 1) – Two Arsenal bookings (min 17 & 35) from 10 called fouls and two bookings forLeicester (min 64 and 65) also from 10 fouls.  An Özil masterclass giving a goal, an assist and a pre-assist.  Ref not too bad for the first 66 minutes before trying to tilt the pitch to let Leicester back into the game )he failed)
  • Southampton v Arsenal 16 December (3 – 2) – Three bookings for Southampton (min 51, 71 & 89) from 12 called fouls.  One booking for Arsenal (min60) from 10 fouls
  • Spurs v Bournemouth 26 December (5 – 0) – Two bookings for Spurs (min 76 & 87) from four called fouls.  One booking (min 45) from 8 called fouls for Bournemouth.  I must say I am pretty incredulous that Spurs could go a whole game on only four fouls.

Overall then 11 bookings from 54 fouls so one every 5 fouls.  We should expect this match to produce more cards than the Southampton game.

Mr Kavanagh is a fairly typical PGMO employee – he knows he should do what is in his power to undermine Arsenal and is prepared to go so far to achieve it.  At home and with a supportive crowd we should have more than enough to overcome Bournemouth and the referee, provided we get off to a good start.  If we don’t and Bournemouth get a foothold in the game things are likely to become far trickier.  In that event we can expect:-

  • Not given fouls against Bournemouth whilst our players are penalised for breathing close to theirs
  • Inappropriate advantages being given
  • No penalties – we should have had two against Suthampton (the first one was acknowledged and indicated as an advantage – luckily we scored)
  • look out for the old ‘phantom foul’ routine (it’s been a few weeks since we last saw this one employed)


15 Replies to “Matchweek 28 – All the game, Officials and the return of rotational fouling”

  1. I am not sure, but I think the medja were whinging that Rashford should have been substituted, except that 3 substitutions had already taken place by then.

  2. OT: Europa

    I first seen this in some India newspaper, and now at WorldFootball. But Rennes have had their game for this weekend postponed so that they can better prepare for Arsenal.

    WorldFootball mentions something about “fair”. Maybe some ex-PGMO employee is now working for the French league?

  3. OT: Europa

    WorldFootball had another interesting article. Abou Diaby has decided to retire. Too many injuries. It’s too bad the PGMO couldn’t do their job properly.

    Best of luck in the future About Diaby!

  4. Very sad to hear that Abou Diaby has been forced to retire. He was such a talented player , and probably would have attained legend status at Arsenal , had be not been constantly fouled and butchered by inferior players in the EPL.

    I have forgotten the names of the players that had crocked him, but will never forgive them for their crudeness and stupidity in not playing the beautiful game as it should be .

  5. And speaking of arseholes….,

    Every year Simon entered the state lottery hoping to win. He never did. Finally he prayed vigorously, hoping for God’s message, he walked around the fair.

    A flash of lightning struck as he was passing Suzie’s stall. She was bending over and he saw she that was not wearing any panties. He could see the number 7 tattoed on each of her bum cheeks .

    He bet on number 77 as he thought that God had given him a clue. He lost again..

    The winning number was 707.

    Moral of the story : Never ever underestimate the presence of arseholes .

  6. It would seem I didn’t run the summary for GameDay 27 yet. Possibly because GameDay 27 had 1 game early (Man$ity) and 1 game has not yet played (Chel$ea). My program doesn’t handle (No Data), so I am calling that game 0-0 for the moment.

    Chel$ea has been on the low side of the caution data, and because they haven’t played yet, their data is now an anomaly. Liverpool is still the outlier at a Caution of 966. Chel$ea is 159 points higher at 1125. Third place is Newcastle (for some strange reason), who are 461 man-minutes above Liverpool (at 1427).

    If we look at all of the EPL data (median 1795.5 with MAD of 226.5); Liverpool is 2 MAD below 3rd place Newcastle and 3.7 MAD below the median. If we use just the ROTP data to define the median (1848.5), the MAD drops from 226.5 to 129 and we find that Liverpool are 6.8 MAD below the median.

    Fulham are currently the team who have played under the most Caution (2214). They are only 1.8 times MAD above the whole EPL median (compared to Liverpool being 3.7 times). If we use just the ROTP data, Fulham are 2.8 MAD above the median (compared to Liverpool being 6.8).

    The median number of treatments seen by teams is 22, and Liverpool are at 21. So, they are getting kicked as much as the “average team” in the EPL. The median number of treatments inflicted on opposition is 27, and Liverpool have inflicted 27 treatments. The number of treatments inflicted should be correlated with how many fouls a team commits, and how many cards they receive. But Liverpool do not receive enough cards (or other measures of caution).

    With little moaninho, ManU eventually stormed their way to the top of the Caution league. Then ManU showed little moaninho the door (and gave him a big pile of Pounds Sterling) and brought in Ole Gunnar. At GD 26 ManU had fallen to second highest on the Caution front, and with GD 27 they have fallen further to 3rd highest. The Top-4 in inflicting treatments are: ManU(34), Spuds(31), Everton(30) and CPalace(29). ManU is continuing to kick other teams off the park (just as the spuds and CPalace are), and they are not being carded for it.

    CPalace are just below the median in terms of Caution, they are second lowest in terms of their players requiring treatment, and pointed out above, are 4th highest in terms of inflicting the need for treatments on other teams. Not just inflicting treatments, inflicting treatments that require the opposition to spend more time short-handed. They lead in that category (tied with StateAid) in having the opposition short-handed for 66 minutes. Another measure of how “seriously” they are inflicting treatments, they lead in having opposition replace players because they cannot continue with 11 substitutions. ManU, spuds and Newcastle all joint 2nd with 9 substitutions due to the treatments they inflict on opposition.

    It baffles the mind how Newcastle and the spuds can be so low on Caution, when they are on the end of so many inflictions of treatment.

  7. We have 1 game unplayed in GD27 (Chel$ea v Brighton). Taylor and Marriner lead the referees, having overseen the need for 41 treatments. Atkindson and Oliver are next at 38, and then we jump down to 36 treatments for Paul Tierney.

    Atkinson has overseen the need for teams to play short-handed for 89 minutes, which is quite a jump above anyone else. Atkinson has also overseen the neeed for teams to substitute players due to treatments 10 times. But that is only second place on the substitutions front; Oliver leads all referees having Man-managed 15 substitutions this season.

  8. The first game Andrew listed was Cardiff v Everton under the direction of Kevin Friend. Cardiff is slightly under cautioned and Everton is slightly over cautioned on the season. Cardiff gets kicked by other teams a lot (they co-lead with us at 41 occurrences), but they both are above average in terms of inflicting treatments on their opposition (Everton slightly worse in that regard). Kevin Friend is in 4th place having overseen the need for 35 treatments this season. This game apparently seen no need for treatments. But it doesn’t matter whether you look at number of treatments, minutes short-handed due to treatments or the need for substitutions; Kevin Friend is harder on the home team than the away team. And guess what, the home team chalked up 3 cards to the away teams getting 1, and 2 of those cards were in the first 15 minutes of play. Cardiff had 31894 people show up to watch the game. The only entertainment they got, was seeing their team get yellow cards. Cardiff had no shots on target.

    My guess is that Friend was instructed by 😈 Mike Riley, to help get those foreigners out of the EPL.

  9. Leicester have been occupying the low end of the treatment inflictions for quite a while. The median number of inflictions is 27 with a MAD of 2.5. The current dirtiest team (ManU at the moment, but spuds are 2nd) is 7 inflictions over the median; which is 2.8 times MAD above the median. Which is not unusual (Arsenal are second lowest at 20, which is also 7 off the median). Leicester is sitting at 11 inflictions, which is 6 times MAD off the median.

    Leicester recently fired their manager, and the GD27 game against Brighton had the caretaker in charge. Leicester inflicted a treatment, in fact they inflicted a treatment that required a substitution.

    Leicester have now hired Brendan Rogers, who has been learning how the rough play at Celtic. So, I suspect we will see Leicester inflict a few treatments in their remaining 10 games.

    It’s possible that Arsenal will end the season at or near the top of the need for treatments and at or near the bottom in terms of inflicting treatments on others. This is completely at odds with the data the league “develops” with the aid of 😈 Mike Riley of the PGMO. That data shows that Arsenal are above average in fouling teams and being carded (or otherwise disciplined) for it. That data is not a good indicator of how Arsenal play, that data is created by PGMO officials. It is all over the medja, that the way to play Arsenal is to kick them all over the park. Every other team is allowed to kick Arsenal, and Arsenal are not allowed to return the favour.

  10. Newcastle are also being undercautioned, not quite as badly as Liverpool!!! They substantially had the same number of fouls as Burnley, but Burnley got 3 times as many cards. All of Burnley’s cards came after Newcastle started scoring.

  11. For our game against Bournemouth, 😈 Mike Riley kindly provided Chris Kavanaugh to supervise our getting kicked some more. By and large, Kavanaugh appears even towards home and away: 16:17 in terms of treatments, 25:25 in terms of minutes teams had to play short-handed and 5:4 in terms of the need for substitutions. There was one treatment needed, that to Koscielny.

    So, by and large, Kavanugh appeared fair. In the end, the only team suffering from kicks, was Arsenal.

  12. And in other news, it has been learned that the spuds are allowed to headbutt players on other teams without discipline.

  13. Game Day 28 stats.

    Liverpool, Man$ity, Spuds all stayed where the were in terms of Caution. Newcastle moved from between Chelsea and Man$ity, to between Man$ity and Spuds.

    In terms of treatments; Watford, CPalace, Chel$ea and Man$ity all stayed where they were. Leicester with their caretaker manager moved up slightly. Cardiff still lead the way in terms of having played short-handed for 87 minutes, but now we lead on number of treatments.

    In terms of inflicting treatments on opposition, the only change at the dirty end is that CPalace jumped over Everton to be in third behind the spuds and then ManU.

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