Aston Villa v Arsenal: “We’re trying to manage Tierney”; Arsenal 5% advantage

By Bulldog Drummond

Back in the days of Arsene Wenger the media used to give attention to injury totals in order to “prove” that he was the cause of Arsenal’s high level of injuries.

This was of course completely untrue, and we discovered several sets of data that were completely faked in order to “prove” the thesis put forward by one or two highly eccentric people such as Raymond Verheijen who put all the blame on Mr Wenger.  Raymond Verheijen was quickly discredited and Wales rapidly got rid of him from their coaching department.  He has seemingly been without work in professional coaching ever since.

Here are the current numbers of players unavailable or just recovering from injury

  • Southampton: 12
  • Crystal Palace: 10
  • Brighton and Hove Albion: 9
  • Liverpool: 8
  • Leeds United: 6
  • Leicester City: 6
  • Sheffield United: 6
  • Arsenal: 5
  • Burnley: 5
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers: 5
  • Tottenham Hots: 4
  • Chelsea: 3
  • Everton: 3
  • Manchester City: 3
  • Aston Villa: 2
  • Fulham: 2
  • Manchester United: 2
  • Newcastle United: 2
  • West Ham United: 2
  • West Bromwich Albion: 1

Arsenal’s list of five non-availables from shows us

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
David Luiz Moreira Marinho Suspended Sending Off – Red Card 14/02/2021 None Ruled Out
Bernd Leno Suspended Sending Off – Red Card 14/02/2021 None Ruled Out
Mathew Ryan Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury Feb 04: “He has not been available to train yet. If he is able to train [then] we will have a decision to make.” 06/02/2021 Late Fitness Test 25%
Pablo Mari Villar Calf/Shin/Heel Injury Feb 01: “Returned to full training and his availability will be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s match.” 06/02/2021 Late Fitness Test 50%
Kieran Tierney Calf/Shin/Heel Injury Feb 04: “We are trying to manage him in the best way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible.” No Return Date None 25%

Villa’s two injuries are both long term: Wesley Moraes Ferreira da Silva is still recovering from a knee injury while Kortney Hause has a foot injury and is seemingly over a month from being available.

Arsenal and Aston Villa have played each other 196 times in first team games, with Arsenal winning 83 (42%) and losing 68 (35%).

Villa have won the last two games that the clubs have played – the first time this has happened since 1998.  Indeed the 21st century record between the two clubs is Arsenal won 24, Aston Villa won five, and eight have been draws.  So those two recent defeats have been way out of order.  Our biggest win against them was on 14 December 1935 when we beat them 7-1 away.

In that game Ted Drake scored all seven, and had an eighth disallowed for off-side.

215 games have been played in the Premier League this season, as of 5 February.  79 have been home wins, 48 have been draws, 88 have been away wins.  This gives percentages of

  • 36% home wins (41% in 2018/19)
  • 22% draws (24% in 2018/19)
  • 41% away wins (35% in 2018/19)

The media has now long since given up trying to explain these strange numbers – quite simply because they don’t like the proven evidence based explanation.  This explanation was discovered through experimentation undertaken with qualified referees at undertaken at London School of Economics overseen by a director of Atletico Madrid who is also a senior academic at university.

He found that when referees watched a match on a TV monitor without the sound they gave different decisions from when they watched a match on TV with the sound of the crowd.  In short the home crowd biases the refs decisions, thus making a total nonsense of the claims of 98% accuracy by PGMO referees in the Premier League.

So given that Arsenal and Villa are equal in terms of their relative home and away performances (Villa winning four, losing four and drawing one at home, Arsenal winning five, losing five and drawing one away, with both clubs have a goal difference in those two categories of +4,) the only thing to separate the clubs is the national home/away divide.  That gives Arsenal a 5% greater chance of winning, by playing away.

Reality is elsewhere. Why certain stories are never covered by football journalists

What made the Observer newspaper publish its false away wins story?

 “Do Arsenal really get more injuries than anyone else?”