Arsenal have only 2 players in double figures, plus fouls per yellow card stats


By Tony Attwood

Now if you have been lurking around here for some time you will recognise the phrase above – “Arsenal have only two players who have scored in double figures.”

For a phrase very similar to this was used by Amy Lawrence as a way of putting Arsenal down a few years back, noting as she did that near the end of the 2017/18 season Arsenal had only two players who had scored in double figures.

It sounded awful – a real failure by Arsenal but in fact, at that moment 15 clubs in the Premier League had only one player who reached double figures in goal scoring, though the language misused by Ms Lawrence would not suggest that.

So this was seized on by Untold as a perfect example of the way in which writers in the media manipulate the perception of clubs.  The use of “only” suggests that even the most common or garden Premier League team would have many more than the three Arsenal had who had scored in double figures by the end of the season.

In fact at the time Arsenal were exceptional in terms of their scoring capacity from individual players, and the use of “only” was highly inappropriate.   What the article should have done was highlighted the number of players in double figures for all the top clubs at the time and that would have revealed just how awful or how good Arsenal were.

So I thought we might have a look today, with quite a few games in the season still to go, to see which clubs actually have “only two” players in double figures when it comes to goal scoring.   Here is the list (in club order) of players in double figures
  • Liverpool 2 (Mane, Salah)
  • Man City 2 (Aguero Sterling)
  • Arsenal 2 (Aubameyang, Martinelli)
  • Man United 1 (Rashford)
  • Southampton 1 (Ings)
  • Leicester 1 (Vardy
  • Chelsea 1 (Abraham)
  • Tottenham 1 (Kane)
  • Wolverhampton 1 (Jimenez)
  • Norwich 1 (Pukki)
  • Everton 1 (Calvert-Lewin)

Yep we are up there with the elite – only three teams have two players who have scored in double figures, and Arsenal is one of them.

And just to make the figures complete, the top goal scorers are

  • Jamie Vardy: Leicester, 17
  • Sergio Agüero, Man City, 16
  • Marcus Rashford, Man U, 14
  • Danny Ings, Southampton 14
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal  14

However where Arsenal do have a problem is with their third highest scorer – who is Lacazette with just five goals this season.  We would all have surely hoped for more.

And indeed looking at the charts there is a real problem – although I don’t think I’ve seen it highlighted anywhere, and that is with assists.   Our top assist man, according to the PL website is Pepe with three.  He is placed 32nd in the assist charts.   Top of the list of De Bruyne with 15 – although he is a real exception.  The second highest number is nine, and that is for Alexander Arnold.

And while we are at this issue of numbers it is worth once more having a look at yellow cards and fouls.  And as before we have to report that while the Premier League’s official site does indeed record yellow cards per club and fouls per player it still refuses to give fouls per club.  Why is that?  It shows just about everything else!

The table below records the number of fouls committed for each yellow card – as shown in the final column.

London and home counties clubs (from whence come no referees) are marked in red.  Clubs that have to commit anything between six and over ten fouls per yellow card are in bold.
Rank Club Yellows Fouls Fouls per yellow
1. Arsenal 57 253 4.44
2. Tottenham Hotspur 52 229 4.40
3. Watford 52 268 5.15
4. AFC Bournemouth 47 213 4.53
5. Sheffield United 47 250 5.32
6. Norwich City 46 225 4.89
7. Manchester City 44 232 5.27
8. Manchester United 44 256 5.82
9. Aston Villa 43 260 6.05
10. Chelsea 43 228 5.30
11. Everton 42 275 6.54
12. West Ham United 42 233 5.55
13. Burnley 41 263 6.41
14. Crystal Palace 37 248 6.70
15. Newcastle United 37 210 5.68
16. Southampton 36 281 7.81
17. Wolverhampton Wanderers 36 253 7.03
18. Brighton and Hove Albion 35 237 6.77
19. Liverpool 23 183 7.96
20. Leicester City 22 227 10.32

So whereas we might expect the six London and home counties teams to be spread through this table, three of them are clustered at the top in terms of yellows which is interesting because there are no London referees in the league.

Leicester have to commit 10.32 fouls to get a yellow.  Tottenham have to commit 4.40, Arsenal 4.44, Bournemouth 4.53, Norwich 4.89.  Put another way Leicester need to commit more than twice as many fouls as Arsenal to get a yellow card.  Surely that is a matter worthy of debate – but you’ll only find it on this site.

Wolverhampton has committed the same number of fouls as Arsenal but got 36 yellow to Arsenal’s 57.  Are Arsenal fouls really over one and a half times as bad as Wolverhampton fouls, week in, week out.

Of course you might choose to believe that Arsenal deserve all the extra yellows, and that Leicester’s similar number of fouls don’t merit yellows because their fouls are minor infringements.   Fine if that is what you believe – I don’t have the resources to analyses all these fouls and see if you are right.   But I have seen Leicester play, and it doesn’t look like that to me.

Indeed such a constant disparity seems highly unlikely to me.

But I am sure the referees and PGMO know what they are doing.


30 Replies to “Arsenal have only 2 players in double figures, plus fouls per yellow card stats”

  1. Good morning Tony, if I may,

    I would like to commend you on all of your painstaking time and effort to bring these issues up.

    I once informed the league that the fair play table is nonsense due to the inconsistencies of refereeing.

    I saw this morning that at present Liverpool head the said table – no surprises there.

    Have a good day to you and all yours from Andrew- I sometimes only go by Drew, not that your good self needs to know.

  2. I note that again last night Leicester committed 10 fouls and only one yellow card………….and that was for Schmeichel who didn’t actually commit a foul!

  3. The double standards continue unabated.

    Moss was in charge of Man utd last night. 11 fouls for zero cards. No surprise there then.

    Now I didn’t watch all the match, just the last 5 minutes to watch United squirm. Sad but hey, as an Arsenal fan I’ll take any bit of joy at the moment !

    Anyway, we move in to injury time. Moss calls a foul against Mata. No big deal. But in his anger Mata hoofs the ball down the field in a clear show of dissent. That is a clear Yellow card offence. No ifs no buts.

    What does Moss do? He has a quite word. But he has history of ‘having a quiet word’ when it comes to Man Utd as I pointed out back in September when discussing the medias reaction to, and Moss’s performance in the Villa game:


    27/09/2019 at 2:46 pm

    You may be right and Tony wrong, after all it is just a matter of opinion, but I think you are missing the wider issue here, and that is the massively disproportionate way in which the media will dissect a decision in order to show how we ‘got away with one’ as you agree we did, compared to how when we are wronged it is almost always completely ignored.

    Take for example the AMN sending off. 2 extremely soft yellows. As Mikey said, Italian TV concluded the 2nd was actually a foul on AMN
    We had far more yellows for less fouls.

    Neither of those points even addressed on MOTD.

    John Moss is the ref I pointed out on here early in the season that following a blatant off the ball shirt pull just had a quiet word.

    At the time I said I have no problem with that as long as he does it to everyone.

    Fat chance.

    NB: I know it was regarding an incident in a Man Utd game but for the life of me I cannot find the original comment. Sorry.


    Moss is the guy that books every Arsenal player that breaths on an opponent.

    And just to bring the media back in to this, what do you think the commentators had to say about Moss clearly ignoring the rules and not booking Mata?

    Yep, you’ve guessed it, it was a big WELL DONE for using his common sense.

    You couldn’t make this crap up.

  4. Tony
    I say this really sincerely; do you think you might have a touch of OCD?
    In any case I’m not going to hang around these parts to watch an elderly man deteriorate.

  5. But I am sure the referees and PGMO know what they are doing.
    – Yes I’m sure they know exactly what they are doing, that’s the problem.
    It would be interesting to see the figures of fouls per card of the top 6 clubs over the last 10 years (since Mike Riley has been in ‘power’). I’m not sure if these figues would be available anywhere, does anyone know?

  6. It is not the fouls per card at club X that is of the most interest. Usually players move (and managers). Often to different leagues and/or countries. Liverpool are currently receiving too few cards (and fouls). The Ox played for 2 teams before his current team Liverpool. Is his record of fouls and cards consistent? Now do this for all players. Some are easier than others. Are players fouling others because of the team or the manager? Are players getting cards because of the team or manager?

  7. Part of consistency is treatments. There are treatments which are less serious, and seemingly are no longer counted. There are the more serious treatment, which requires attention on the pitch (and probably time at the edge of the field). This is counted, but rarely displayed. PGMO rarely gives out fouls associated with treatments, and almost never gives out cards. Cards can be for excessive force in a treatment, or for simulation. I haven’t run across a single card for simulation in the last 2 years or so as part of a treatment.

  8. Consistency.

    Let’s say a particular player played for more than 1 team before playing for Team X/Manager Y and more than 1 team after Team X/Manager Y. And for all those other teams/managers, was fouling at a rate of 9 per game (once every 10 minutes). And then we look at the Team X/Manager Y combination, and the fouling rate is now 2 per game (once every 45 minutes).

    This looks fishy, but isn’t impossible.

    Now, if it happens that this player happened to have Manager Y at some other team (where his/her fouling rate was once per 10 minutes), it is more likely that it is something about Team X which leads to the lower fouling rate.

  9. @Tony, for martinelli to be in the list, obviously you’re counting goals in all competitions. You have to also do the same for the other teams to be fair. When you do that, city will have 3players, as Jesus joins the league. Man utd adds martial and maybe greenwood. Tottenham climbs up as Son joins the league, Everton too with Richarlison joining. So city become the only team with 3 players, man utd, Tottenham and Everton join arsenal and Liverpool on 2 each. Many teams have players eg firmino, Jota on 9

  10. But Amy Lawrence was talking about the league, and that has to be the fair standard to judge, considering that’ many teams are involved in less competitions. In which case only City & Liverpool make the grade

  11. I am sure that I read somewhere that the Arsenal Invincibles only had 49 games unbeaten.

  12. OT: Wolves 1 2 LiVARpool!!

    Fouls were 7:12 and cards (all yellow) were 0:1. Oliver ws the twit for PGMO.

    At 24m, LiVARpool!! inflict a treatment on Wolves. Sargeant Oliver Schultz sees NOTHING. At 32m Wolves inflict a treatment on LiVARpool!!. Sargeant Schultz sees NOTHING. And LiVARpool!! are forced to substitute this player.

  13. As we get ready to usher in the Lunar New Year of the Rat , and its attendant ‘house cleaning ‘ , its heartining to see that some of the old rats have or are about to abandom ship.
    Well done Tony ! The bait finally worked ! Choke on it they did !
    And good riddance to bad rubbish ! The place is even starting to smell much better !

  14. @Gord the Liverpool sub was not due to a foul. It was a tight hamstring that the player felt and asked to be subbed.

    As for yellows, Henderson got away from an ‘orange’. Firmino also got away from one. The physical barging seems okay when Liverpool do it. If Arsenal were playing the way Liverpool did we would probably have had seven yellows.

  15. @Gord, don’t you think you should be watching a match before you can tell who inflicted what on who? It’s exactly the problem I have with this card to foul ratio thingy. If you don’t see the match, how do you say treatment was inflicted? Because as far as I can tell the only Liverpool player who was subbed following an injury was mane. And he pulled up with (maybe a groin or hamstring) injury while sprinting towards the wolves goal. Absolutely free from contact by any wolves player.

  16. You can add firminio to the list of players on 10+ now. Putting Liverpool and man city as the club’s with 3 players on 10+

  17. Deb, the issue is one of statistics. What we are looking at is a situation in which there is a topic that is producing odd statistics, and for which the League (which publishes a mass of data) is not publishing this specific data, and on which no one else is commenting. If you break the figures down into individual incidents of matches you might find some interesting patterns, but you would have to do it for the whole set of games to see if those patterns follow through. Otherwise take the stats as a whole.

  18. Deb

    “It’s exactly the problem I have with this card to foul ratio thingy”.

    Please tell me Deb, what DON’T you have a problem with on Untold Arsenal ?

    Every thing I post, Tony posts and just about everybody else posts, up you pop telling us all how wrong we are.

    Not a shred of counter evidence of course, just trite comments like ‘this card to foul ratio thingy’.

    I’ve posted stats about this for over 10 years.

    So have many others.

    The following article from Chris back in 2017:

    Which you either haven’t bothered to read, or have and simply dismiss it out of hand with your ‘thingy’ comment.

    That would of took Chris hours of research, as have articles I’ve put up, (you should try it) yet you dismiss it out of hand as this ‘thingy’.

    We don’t make these stats up you know.

    It is a fact that we get a card every 4.4 fouls and Liecster city every 10 or so.

    Dismissing these stats, that have been like this for years, on the basis of one posters comment, that may or may not be credible, is desperate in the extreme.

    It is also a fact 3 London Clubs are worst treated.

    Explain that.

    It is a fact there are no London based referees.

    Explain that.

    Untold has put up many stats showing how badly we are treated on the penalty front as well.

    Explain that.

    You cannot simply dismiss the staggering amount of evidence that has been compiled by Untold regarding these subjects, with such disdain and expect anyone to take a word you say seriously.

    If you cannot even accept that an explanation is required for these anomalies then I am at a loss as to think where we can all go with this.

  19. I do realize that players can become hurt on their own. But even in the event of a tight hamstring with seemingly no opposition player nearby (I had read about this particular Liverpool problem afterwards), it is possible the injury is still due to an opposition player. Which still points to a foul, which may or may not have been called. Or, it could be due to an incident in warmup. The type of incidents which could lead to a hamstring injury could be a kick or a knee to the hamstring.

    There are 2 other situations which can lead to treatments: simulation and time wasting (which I would still classify as simulation).

    But the largest response of referees to a player down on the field is just to stop play to allow for treatment. Few fouls are called as part of this incident, and very few cards issued.

  20. For all the budding sports writers out there, The Star is advertising for a new lead football “writer” to cover the Sheffield teams.

    You are supposed to arrive with a HUGE list of insiders you are prepared to get (made up) stories from.

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