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Arsenal v Molde and the implication of the new referee research

By Bulldog Drummond

As yesterday’s research paper showed, and of course all the other research papers that we have come across which have built up to this point, referees from different countries have responded in different ways to crowdless grounds.  All are favouring the away teams more, but by how much differs from one country to another.  All are changing the level at which fouls become yellow cards, but again this varies from country to country.

Thus although we have become used to different referees reading the rules in different ways, now this situation has escalated because of national differences as a result of empty stadia.

One can only hope Arsenal have done their research into this referee tonight, his country of origin, and how that country’s referees differs from the notorious out-of-sync PGMO referees that we see in League and FA Cup games.

Tonight’s referee is Halil Umut Meler who is Turkish, and of course we don’t have any figures on how refereeing in the Turkish league has changed.  In Turkey the situation looks like paradise compared to England… the wearing of masks of obligatory outside people who have a Residence Permit and who are  over 65 years old, you must stay inside between 8pm and 10am on a daily basis. This does not apply to those visiting for tourism.

So very relaxed compared to here – I wonder how relaxed the interpretation of the rules is going to be, and if the referee is ready for the utterly different world of football without crowds in England.

Norway, home of our opponents tonight, have restrictions in terms of football that are similar to ours.  The prime difference remains that their season runs through the summer, for obvious geographic reasons.

On the injury front our position has greatly improved… for the first time this season we are in the bottom half of the table of players injured

  • Crystal Palace: 9
  • Brighton and Hove: 8
  • Everton: 8
  • Southampton: 7
  • Leeds Utd: 6
  • Leicester City: 6
  • Burnley: 5
  • Fulham: 5
  • Liverpool: 5
  • Manchester United: 5
  • Liverpool: 5
  • Arsenal: 4
  • Aston Villa: 4
  • Newcastle: 4
  • Tottenham: 4

The list that physioroom.com has for us is

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Calum Chambers Knee Injury “Now back in full training and progressing well towards full match fitness.” 03/12/2020 None Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle/Foot Injury “Aiming to integrate into full training after the November international period.” 21/11/2020 None Ruled Out
David Luiz Moreira Marinho Thigh Injury No new statement this week 05/11/2020 None 100%
Gabriel Martinelli Knee Injury “Will step up his rehab with the aim of a return to full training by the end of the calendar year.” No Return Date None Ruled Out

So in fact our number out might be down to three with David Luiz down as returning today, perhaps.

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Here is the table from Norway – our opponents are in second position but a long way behind the league leaders.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bodoe/Glimt 23 20 2 1 76 27 49 62
2 Molde 23 15 1 7 57 28 29 46
3 Rosenborg 23 13 6 4 43 22 21 45
4 Odds Ballklubb 23 13 3 7 44 33 11 42
5 Vaalerenga 23 12 6 5 39 28 11 42
6 Kristiansund BK 23 9 9 5 44 33 11 36
7 Stabaek 23 7 9 7 31 34 -3 30
8 Viking 23 8 6 9 39 43 -4 30
9 FK Haugesund 23 8 5 10 27 36 -9 29
10 Sarpsborg 08 23 8 4 11 27 30 -3 28
11 Sandefjord 23 8 3 12 25 37 -12 27
12 Stroemsgodset 23 5 9 9 30 42 -12 24
13 Brann 23 5 8 10 28 39 -11 23
14 Start 23 4 7 12 25 42 -17 19
15 Mjoendalen 23 5 2 16 18 41 -23 17
16 Aalesund 23 2 4 17 26 64 -38 10

As for the Europa league table they are currently the second club having won their opening two games but with a goal difference of 3-1 as opposed to our 5-1.

More on the forthcoming match shortly…

 

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