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Empty stadia has changed football in the PL totally. Here’s how.

by Tony Attwood and Christophe Jost

Arsenal winning 4-0 at the Ems…. no boo boys (as Chapman called them), no insults…  That undoubtedly helped us.  Indeed it is possible that Arsenal might be one of the few teams that sees their home results go up during the lock down, simply because the players know how quickly the Ems crowd can turn.

Indeed the joy on Xhaka’s face at playing without the crowd was something to behold, and Mustafi, another one to suffer, was also looking better for being without the groans and boos.

After the first ten ghost games the goals per game were down from 2.7 to 2.3, and shots were down from 25.2 to 22.2, both suggesting that with a crowd the home team may well be urged to attack and shoot by the crowd’s excitement, especially as the game nears its end with the scores level.  But some shots are clearly influenced by the crowd shouting “Shoot” and the player doing so, when a pass would have been a better option.

Passes are down too by 4%, but passing accuracy is up very slightly, suggesting a removal of nervousness.  Tackles are down, suggesting that the crowd might well be urging the players to get stuck in, even when they know that holding back can be a better idea.

But now, here are the unexpected stats.  Interceptions are down by a whopping 16%, but fouls are up by over 10% (that perhaps being the influence of crowds on referees)>

However the biggest changes come with the most important stuff.   The percentage of goals in the first half are down by 45%.   And so are home wins (down from 45% to 27%).   Away wins are up by 6% from 30% to 36%.  Draws previously constituted 25% of results – they are now 37%.

So exactly as we suggested would happen, based on observing the opening weeks in Germany the results have changed.  To make it plain

Result With crowds Without crowds
Home Win 45% 27%
Away Win 30% 36%
Draw 25% 37%

Of course these results might change as players adjust – but even if they do, the fact of these changes gives us food for thought, because we know from the experiments in which referees watch matches on TV either with silence or with the sound of the supporters on, the sound of the supporters makes a huge difference.

Also the away team are playing without the jeering and booing – and in the case of Arsenal they are also secure in the knowledge that they won’t be jeered or booed by the crowd.  Just think of the way Mustafi and Xhaka have regularly had the treatment.  Others have had some scorn poured on them with groans. Ozil David Luiz, Maitland Niles, Mkhitaryan.  The release from the negativity (which of course goes back to the 1930s, as Chapman famously labelled the peretrators the “boo boys”) is obviously helping.

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The lockdown in football also shows that players who do go and thank their supporters after a game are doing more than just making a show of matey-ness.  They are actually thanking the supporters for helping them win at home.

Clearly the players who can be bothered to walk around the pitch after the match and thank the fans, know just how much of an effect they are having.  On average a 20% greater chance of winning.

Since the restart Arsenal’s results have been

Date Game Res Score Competition
17 Jun 2020 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-0 Premier League
20 Jun 2020 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
25 Jun 2020 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
28 Jun 2020 Sheffield United v Arsenal W 1-2 FA Cup
01 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-0 Premier League

Four away games: 50% defeats, 50% wins.   Before the lock down it was seven out of 15 home wins (47%), two out of 13 away wins (15%).

One key discovery from German matches was that goalkeepers played better away from home without a crowd.  Of course we might expect that – they don’t have 10,000 people behind them making noises designed to put them off.

We already know that referees act very differently without a crowd from the TV research, but it is good to have it confirmed yet again both in Germany and England.  PGMO cannot admit this because they are stuck with their insane claim of 98% accuracy rate within stadia with crowds, which cannot be improved upon.  It is shown once again to be a ludicrous fantasy made up to impress gullible TV commentators.

Refs however do give more fouls and more yellows in ghost games, particularly against the home team, which they seem afraid of doing to some degree with a crowd present.

13 comments to Empty stadia has changed football in the PL totally. Here’s how.

  • Nitram

    west Ham 3 – 2 Chelsea

    Sheffield united 3 – 1 Spurs

    Arsenal 4 – 0 Norwich

    Chelsea 44 Goals against

    Spurs 44 Goals against

    Arsenal 41 Goals against

    Spurs season finishes:

    16/17 2nd

    17/18 3rd

    18/19 4th

    19/20 9th*

    Do I sense a Powershift in North London ?

    Poor old Talksport will be getting their nickers in a twist tonight. How on earth are they going to turn that little lot into a night of Arsenal bashing ? I’m sure they’ll find a way.

  • Nitram

    Oh I forget, they’ll be too busy wetting those nickers over Liverpool tonight.

  • Mihir

    Liverpool deserve their win though. I will revel in the small joys like this week with Arsenal. 🙂

  • Nitram

    Mihir

    I don’t dispute that, it’s just that the media have been wetting their nickers in anticipation of this title since about 1991.

  • Chris

    Here is what our neighbours coach said after VAR made a decision cancelling a Sours goal

    “We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened during the game,” Mourinho said. “We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver gives a decision. I know it is very difficult to take but we have to be stronger. I know more about the profile of my players now and at half-time I feared we wouldn’t be strong enough to cope in the second half.”

    I mean….come-on…and all this time Arsenal are a weak team etc etc ?!?! This is what happens to the Gunners most of the games…. nice to see you having to eat the same rotten PIGMOB pie once in a while – and I did not see the game, so no idea if the ruling was ok or not. I don’t even care. Just fun to see it happening to them.

    Funny thing when you think about it…Leicester and Spurs suddendly not the darlings of PIGMOB anymore….

    Table looks suddenly different… lots of climbing ahead. This is turning out to be an interesting season. I’ve got that feeling that our Gunners are getting into it.

  • Nitram

    Chris

    Any handball, deliberate or accidental, in the build up to a goal means the goal MUST be ruled out.

    In the build up to the Spurs goal there was an accidental handball by a Spurs player as he fell over. What made it particularly galling from a Spurs point of view was that the reason he fell over was that he was fouled. The referee played a good advantage and Spurs scored.

    But unfortunately there are no exceptions. Hand ball is hand ball.

    Oddly enough Man City just had a goal ruled out against Liverpool for an equally unfortunate hand ball in the build up to what would of been their 5th goal.

    On the face of it both are harsh but personally I like these non subjective rules.

    One thing you know is you are not being cheated by the officials. You may of been unlucky but you haven’t been cheated.

    There was an interesting debate about it at half time between Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness.

    Redknapp was incensed saying it was ridiculous and the referee should of used his ‘common sense’ and the goal allowed.

    Souness said, nowhere in the rules does it say the referee should use his ‘common sense’, he HAS to apply the rules, which he did. Exactly.

    At which point I’m sure Jamie’s bottom lip went. Ahhh.

  • Nitram

    Chris

    You also mention this from Mourinho

    “We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened during the game,” Mourinho said. “We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver gives a decision. I know it is very difficult to take but we have to be stronger….”

    Can you imagine what Talkshite would of made of this if it was us ?

    And as I pointed out above, our diabolical defence is somehow not quite as diabolical as either Spurs or chelseas.

    I’m extremely confident someone is going to come on here and show me how Spurs diabolical defence and mental capitulation have been torn apart all over the media.

  • Chris

    Nitram,

    the irony escaped most readers… and I thought the same thing. If Mrrs Wenger, Emery or Arteta had stated something like that, it would have been one hell of a s..t storm.

    Anyway, their loss and subsequent perspective of St Totteringham Day may my day !

  • nicky

    I see that our FA Cup semi versus Man City will be broadcast by BT.
    I thought the BBC had permanent rights to broadcast FA Cup games, especially the semi finals and final.
    In any case, the BBC has a far wider audience than BT and therefore should, in my view, be the broadcaster.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I await somebody to start an online pettition for Arsenal fans requesting that all home games to be played in an empty stadium. You know , seeing that this seems to motivate our players !

    Of course , there will be an initial loss of income , but we would save on policing , other matchday costs and maintenance . Without crowds , the chances of the statues being defaced is also reduced.

    Since we have millions of fans worldwide , I’m sure most of would be willing to pay directly to the club to watch our team play. Why should we pay those stupid commentators and so called experts ?

    I for one never learned anything of interest from any of them. Let them get a job suitable to their telents , which is zilch !

  • nicky

    @Brickfields Gunner,
    I’ve read somewhere that home games reap £3 million.
    If true, I can’t see the men in grey suits missing out on that sort of income.

  • Nitram

    Did anyone listen to Talkshite last night?

    If so:

    Did they have a night of Tottenham bashing?

    Did they have Spurs fans calling/texting in accusing them of being ‘Gutless’ ‘Bottlers’ ‘Worst team we’ve ever had’ and proclaiming ‘Player x not fit to wear the shirt’ ‘Sack the manager’ blah blah blah?

    After all it’s Spurs that win f*** all.

    After all Spurs have had as many, if not more embarrasing capitulations as us.

    NB: To Spurs fans who may read this. It is NOT Spurs I am having a pop at. I admire the way your club is trying to be run on a self sustaining basis similar to us. I realise you are hamstrung by building a new stadium similar to how we were. I believe given your budget you do pretty well, without actually winning anything, as did we. It’s the medias polar opposite take on you compared to us that riles me.

    So if anyone was brave enough to listen to talkshite let me know just how they and their fans tore in to spurs.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ nicky – If our fan base is as large,with a hard core foreign base , we can be able to use our home games tv rights directly to them.
    I have always steadfastly said that I will subscribe directly to the club to watch these home games.
    I am hoping that some Kerry Packer type individual pull the rug from under the tv companies .
    The time is nigh .

    I had been contemplating coming over to watch the Watford game which was supposed to be in May. A nephew of mine was to be married the day after, and he dangled a free ticket to the match to entice me!

    But this Covid 19 ended my dreams.

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