by Bulldog Drummond
Tackles are not the only way of committing fouls or getting yellow cards, but they are the most common so is a good place to start as we try to get a feel of which each team in this afternoon’s game is likely to get up to.
Likewise committing fouls are not the only way of getting yellow cards, but again is seemingly the most common and so yellow card numbers tell us a lot.
|Tackles||71 (18th)||67 (20th)||Crystal Palace – 126||Arsenal – 67|
|Fouls||63 (5th)||56 (19th)||Brighton – 81||Liverpool – 52|
|Yellow cards||10 (9th)||8 (13th)||Leicester – 16||Wolves – 4|
So we have both Manchester United and Arsenal sitting very low in the tackles charts. Indeed Arsenal are bottom – we are not a tackling club, at least not at the moment.
But Manchester United are still committing fouls – the 5th most fouling team. That is interesting, because since the tackle is the most obvious way of fouling, what are Man U doing to commit all those fouls. Pulling shirts, elbowing, pushing… We should look out for that.
Hopefully the ref will have seen the figures too. But at the moment those fouls are not taking Man U into the referee’s notebook. Yet Arsenal, who are hardly tackling or fouling at all, are the 13th most commonly carded team. Just consider this: Man U commit 63 fouls and get 10 yellow cards (one per 6.3 fouls) Arsenal commit 56 fouls and have eight yellow cards getting one for every seven. It’s not a huge difference but enough to have an effect.
The other factor that is of interest is shots and goals – one might take it that the more of these the better, at least in general terms…
|Shots||71 (10th)||53 (18th)||Liverpool – 97||Palace – 32|
|Shots on Target||27 (5th)||20 (12th)||Tottenham – 37||Palace – 10|
|Goals scored||9||8||Liverpool – 15||Sheff Utd – 3|
Arsenal are not the least likely team to take shots, but are almost the least likely. We shoot half as much as Liverpool. When it comes to shots on target we are mid-table and Man U are 5th, but in effect that only means just over one more shot on target per game.
In a way today’s game could be considered a match between teams at the bottom end of the table, but the variation in the number of games plays makes the table a little misleading. We could rise to sixth if we win, but then of course those other teams on six games could jump up further. Man U, if they win could rise to tenth, depending on results.
But it is if we look at the goals scored we see the problem… Here is the league table in the order of goals for.
|6||West Ham United||7||2||2||3||13||10||3||8|
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||6||1||2||3||10||12||-2||5|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||6||0||3||3||6||14||-8||3|
We are holding on in there because of our defence – we have the second best defence in the League. Only Villa is better, and that may be because they have only played five games.
Really, virtually all other statistics can be set aside; we need to be scoring more goals and on a very consistent basis if we are going to rise up the actual table from 12th. The defence it seems will do their job, but the goals do have to start going in at the other end.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP