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August 2021
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Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the tactics and why Arsenal are still getting injuries

By Bulldog Drummond

If you have been paying attention you will know that this season we have been analysing what clubs are doing in their matches in the premier league in terms of tackles, fouls, yellow cards and penalties.

And some quite amazing facts and figures are emerging overall.

But more than that, this now gives us a chance to consider each league game from a new angle – an angle that no one else is offering in their analyses.

Wolverhampton are 12th in the tackle table and 19th in the foul table.  Which leaves them fifth in the league table of tackles per fouls.  Put another way they are not making as many tackles as other clubs, but when they do, they are less likely to get a yellow card each time than other clubs.

Perhaps because of this they have only had seven yellow cards this season.  This is quite remarkable, for Leicester City, who top of the yellow card table, have had three times as many yellows as Wolverhampton.  No club has had fewer yellow cards that Wolverhampton.

In part Leicester’s problem may be due to the publicity we gave them last season when we pointed out how they were tackling with impunity.  Now they can’t, but they have not changed their tactics, and hence in a short while will start to get multiple players missing a game because of accumulated yellows.

But they are compensating for this by getting almost one penalty a game – a penalty that has several times been enough to win them the game.

Wolverhampton can get away with 11.7 fouls per yellow card.  Arsenal get a yellow every 7.1 fouls.  The worst offenders now are Leicester with one yellow card for every 4.24 fouls; the reverse of last season.

Wolverhampton don’t get penalties – at least not so far.  They have not had a single one, which is odd when moving from the West Midlands to the East Midlands we see Leicester having been given eight penalties.   They have however had three penalties against them.  Which suggests that if Arsenal constantly get players into the box there is every chance of a foul and a penalty.

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Below is an abbreviated table showing Arsenal and Wolverhampton and a few of the clubs with outlying figures.  The full table on how clubs foul with impunity is given here.

Club Tackles Fouls Tackles per foul Yellows Fouls per yellow Penalties for Penalties against Lge pos
1. Leeds United 186 83 2.24 14 5.93 1 4 14
6. Leicester City 146 89 1.64 21 4.24 8 0 4
9. Brighton and H 134 123 1.09 13 9.46 2 4 16
11. Chelsea 131 105 1.25 8 13.12 4 0 3
12. Wolverhampton 126 82 1.54 7 11.7 0 3 12
18. Arsenal 104 87 1.20 11 7.91 1 1 11

Figures in bold show the highest figure for that parameter in each section and the area in which they are the extremists is shown in bold.   Neither Wolverhampton nor Arsenal are extreme in this regard in any of these statistics.

As we can see, Arsenal are not a tackling team, and are a fair way down the list in terms of fouls.  But Arsenal are penalised twice as often as Leeds in terms of tackles being seen as fouls.  Wolverhampton as noted above hardly get any yellows.

Moving on to the injuries…

  • Arsenal: 10
  • Brighton and Hove: 9
  • Manchester United: 9
  • Aston Villa: 8
  • Liverpool: 8

At  the other end of  the table we have Manchester City and Chelsea with one each, West Ham with two.

So why does Arsenal keep getting so many injuries?  As noted in the past, in earlier times the media’s answer was given virtually every week: it was Mr Wenger’s fault because of his antiquated training methods, which he refused to train.  In the end the club dug up the training pitches but that still didn’t make any difference.

Thus we can say now after all this time, it wasn’t Mr Wenger.  But we still don’t know why Arsenal get so many injuries, unless it is because PGMO officials persistently and wilfully allow fouls against Arsenal to go unpunished.

Details of all the injuries will be given in the next piece.

 

12 comments to Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the tactics and why Arsenal are still getting injuries

  • Zedsaunt

    ”But we still don’t know why Arsenal get so many injuries, unless it is because PGMO officials persistently and wilfully allow fouls against Arsenal to go unpunished.”’

    Never.

    Here was I thinking the nine minutes it took to get Eduardo off the pitch, and Sky’s refusal to show the tackle which crippled him in those nine minutes, just followed a vivid example of football’s immortal spirit. An excess. Could have happened to anyone. It will all even out in the end. Just one of those things.

  • John L

    Also the assailant was “distraught”, because he wasn’t “that type of lad”

  • Menace

    The same Alioski that fel to the ground following the Pepe ‘tete a tete’, kicked an opponent (Everton player) mon the back of his leg that should have got a red card. The Referee didn’t card the foul and VAR didn’t review it. The force applied was several times that ogf the Pepe sending off.

    It makes the officiating a sham! but then we know it is an absolute farce.

  • John L

    It is tempting to suggest that Pepe should have really headbutted him, to at least get full value for the red card.

  • How is it possible for a team to get 8 penalties in 9 league games?

    It is about time that there is an investigation into each and every penalty to ascertain how such a thing is possible.

    If players are being trained to encourage and invite penalties, then surely that is ungentlemanly conduct.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Which ever game playing plan that Arsenal will want to adopt to enabled them beat Wolves when they host them in their today’s PL match, let the Gunners adopt the plan and play it against the Wolves. But provided the adopted game playing plan is the working kind that will make them beat they Wolves to the collection of all the three points that will be in the match as the stake.

    All of us the Arsenal faithful are fully aware that our beloved Arsenal FC are currently not performing optimally in the PL so far this seasonally as the Gunners performances for Arsenal in the PL this season leave much to be desired.

    Both Leicester City and Aston Villa teams got the better of Arsenal in the game when these two club sides inflicted two consecutive home defeats on Arsenal in the PL. Therefore, a three consecutive home loss in the PL must be allowed by the Gunners to happen to Arsenal today in their home match against Wolves.

    But rather, Arsenal who are in need to move up in the PL table to remain in contentiont for the PL title win this season which is still a possibility should give it all that it takes to beat Wolves and beat them squarely in the game to clinched all the three points at stake in the match.

    Playing to a draw match by the Gunners for Arsenal in the match will certainly not be enough. But the deflection of all the three points in the match will do absolutely.

    I don’t know if the Gunners gaffer Arteta, will agree with me to adopt a 442 game playing formation as his primary formation for the match. And with his usual 433 formation as a plan B for the match. While the formation of 532 should be adopted as a backup to stall Wolves in their fast counterattacking game play they reknown for should also be looked into for adoption for the match by his selected Gunners who will play the match. And the Gunners should efficiently be able to inter switch to all these three game playing formations when the outlook of the game demands they should do so. So that they can counter Wolves in their game playing plan and foil it.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Please allow me as I make two corrections on my last comment posting.

    Which ever game playing plan that Arsenal will want to adopt to enabled them beat Wolves when they host them in their today’s PL match, let the Gunners adopt the plan and play it against the Wolves. But provided the adopted game playing plan is the working kind that will make them beat they Wolves to the collection of all the three points that will be in the match as the stake.

    All of us the Arsenal faithful are fully aware that our beloved Arsenal FC team are currently not performing optimally in the PL so far this season as the Gunners performances for Arsenal in the PL leave much to be desired.

    Just imagine the way and manner Both Leicester City and Aston Villa teams were allowed by the Gunners to get the better of Arsenal in their last two hpme games when these two club sides inflicted two consecutive defeats on Arsenal in the PL. Therefore, a three consecutive home loss in the PL must not be allowed by the Gunners to happen to Arsenal today in their home match against Wolves.

    But rather, Arsenal who are in need to rapidly move up in the PL table to catch their top rival club sifrs to remain in contention for the PL title win this season which is still a possibility should give it all that it takes in the game to beat Wolves and beat them squarely to clinched all the three points at stake in the match.

    Playing to a draw game by the Gunners for Arsenal in the match will certainly not be enough. But the deflection of all the three points in the match will do absolutely.

    I don’t know if the Gunners gaffer Arteta, will agree with me to adopt a 442 game playing formation as his primary formation for the match. And with his usual 433 formation as a plan B for the match. While the formation of 532 should be adopted as a backup to stall Wolves in their fast counterattacking game play that they ate reknown for should also be looked into for adoption for the match by his selected Gunners team who will play the match. And the Gunners should efficiently be able to inter switch to all these three game playing formations whenever the outlook of the game demands they should do so. So that they can counter Wolves in their game playing plan and foil it.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Please allow me as I make more corrections on my second last comment posting.

    Which ever game playing plan that Arsenal will want to adopt to enabled them beat Wolves when they host them in their today’s PL match, let the Gunners adopt the plan and play it against the Wolves. But provided the adopted game playing plan is the working kind that will make them beat they Wolves to the collection of all the three points that will be in the match as the stake.

    All of us the Arsenal faithful are fully aware that our beloved Arsenal FC team are currently not performing optimally in the PL so far this season as the Gunners performances for Arsenal in the PL leave much to be desired.

    Just imagine the way and manner Both Leicester City and Aston Villa teams were allowed by the Gunners to get the better of them in their last two home games when these two club sides inflicted two consecutive defeats on Arsenal in the PL. Therefore, a three consecutive home loss in the PL must not be allowed by the Gunners to happen to Arsenal today in their home match against Wolves.

    But rather, Arsenal who are in dire need to rapidly move up in the PL table to catch their top rival club sides to remain in contention for the PL title win this season, which is still a possibility should give it all that it takes in the game today to beat Wolves and beat them squarely to clinch all the three points at stake in the match.

    Playing to a draw game by the Gunners for Arsenal in the match will certainly not be enough. But the collectio of all the three points in the match will do absolutely.

    I don’t know if the Gunners gaffer Arteta, will agree with me to adopt a 442 game playing formation as his primary formation for the match. And with his usual 433 formation as a plan B for the match. While the formation of 532 should be adopted as a backup to stall Wolves in their fast counterattacking game play that they ate reknown for should also be looked into for adoption for the match by his selected Gunners team who will play the match. And the Gunners should efficiently be able to inter switch to all these three game playing formations whenever the outlook of the game demands they should do so. So that they can counter Wolves in their game playing plan and foil it.

  • Mikey

    @jjgsol

    8 penalties in 9 games is far from ridiculous when compared to some examples. The lord and master of referees Mike Riley holds that accolade. (You remember, the bloke who deliberately screwed us in what should have been our 50th game unbeaten.)

    Apologies to those of you that I’ve bored previously with this fact.

    In one particular season (I can’t remember which) Riley refereed 49 games. 41 didn’t involve Man Utd. He gave one penalty in those 41 games.

    In the 8 games that he reffed Man U he gave nine penalties…….every single one of them to Man U. Now that was something that should have been investigated. But far from being punished for such bias, he was rewarded with the top reffing job in this country. While ever that bloke is in charge it’s absolutely certain that fair play is not a part of the PGMO ethos.

  • Mikey. Thanks and noted.

    That 50th game was notable not only for the penalty that wasn’t but for the way Riley allowed one manure player after another literally assault Reyes and others with impunity.

    But my question remains, why Leicester?

    We know that Vardy is a prime diver but does it mean that other players there have mastered the art and, if so are they being coached in how to do it?

  • Nitram,

    Whether something is investigated or not usually depends on the media. If the media kick up a stink about something it has a good chance of being looked into. If the media ignore a contentious issue it will disappear without a trace.

    Rooney, Kane, Mane, Vardy go down under the slightest touch and they’ve ‘won’ a penalty and are often as not even praised for being ‘clever’. Pires goes down in a similar fashion and he’s a disgrace and has actually been credited for starting the diving culture in this country by certain talking heads (Mills I think it was?) despite Klinsman and Franny Lee to name but 2 famous divers from well before him.

    Also when it suits, as with Alioski, going down as if you’ve been shot under the merest of touches is fine, and in fact deemed ‘necessary’ if you are to believe the MOTD pundits last week. Yet on another day trying to get a fellow professional sent off is ‘shameful’.

    And that’s the point, it depends on who the perpetrator is, or who he plays for, and who the victim is, or who he plays for. Depending on that is what dictates whether a ‘fuss’ is made and an inquiry called for and retrospective punishment deemed necessary, or whether there’s a ‘nothing to see here’ collective reaction, to the extent that an incident may not even make the MOTD highlights package for instance, as we have seen many many times.

    If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, the media run football. They determine who is favoured and who is not.

    A referee is not judged by assessors or the pigmob. He is judged by how SKY BTS and MOTD portray him. If he gives us a ‘soft’ penalty the referee is likely to get pelted from all sides. He will be hung out to dry and sometimes he may even find himself demoted. As for us we are due some payback. Referees take note ! Conversely if he gives a ‘soft’ one against us we’ll hear endless ‘I’ve seen them given’ excuses. Nothing to see here. Typical Arsenal always whinging. Remember Pires, the diving foreign cheat !!!

    It’s been as such for years and I see no sign of it changing.

  • Menace

    The pathetic PGMOL goes on…..in the Chavs v Spuds match two chavs got carded because the spuds went down screaming!! The screams got the yellow card out like it was sound activated. Similar fouls on Chavs got no cards!!

    The sham that is PGMOL officiating just doesn’t stop. It is a continous flow of cheating that will decide the winners of the EPL. It is all 100% correct as VAR proves it to be fair and obvious. Donut Trump eat your heart out these bastards put you to shame.