What is the cause of Arsenal’s demise, and what does the club do now?

by Tony Attwood

“Arsenal are paying for their poor transfer business,” is the opening headline of the Guardian’s review of Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City, but their solutions to the current problem show a stunning lack of imagination.  For like virtually all the media it simply suggests the club do more of what they’ve done in the past, in the vague belief that this time it will work.

The basic argument is that everyone was naff, “with the exception of the burgeoning partnership between Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka.”   Except that 50% of that duo was a result of Arsenal’s transfer policy, which rather leads to questioning the generalisation at the start of the piece.

So what do we do?  Same as before hoping this time it will work, it seems, rather like the generals in the sending the troops out of the trenches time and time again in the vague notion that this time they’d get through?

As we have shown recently, in 2019/20 and 2020/21 Arsenal have spent £149,310,000 net on transfer fees.  Over this period the club has been the fourth highest spender in the league, and as a result of this expenditure has slipped down six places in the league table.

Given that the idea of all this spending was to rise up the table, that is a pretty awful outcome.  For the Guardian writer to say that Arsenal should do more of the same “only better” really is one of the most insulting (not to mention silliest) assaults on the club I have ever seen a journalist make.

So what should we do?  Go on spending and spending and spending in the vague hope that eventually we get it right?

Well, yes, that seems to be the solution, for overall the piece in the paper reveals the usual lack of imagination and insight.  “Buy better” is its only thought, and basically that of most so-called “journalists.”

Yet Arsenal are  tenth in the league, and six points off sixth, meaning that European football next season is looking increasingly unlikely, and is in fact utterly dependent on a collapse by Liverpool, Everton, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hots.  

And not just one or two of them, but all four of them.  Plus, given that all four of them are between two and six points ahead of Arsenal three of them also have a game or two in hand, that seems incredibly unlikely.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
6 Liverpool 25 11 7 7 45 34 11 40
7 Everton 24 12 4 8 37 33 4 40
8 Aston Villa 23 11 3 9 37 26 11 36
9 Tottenham Hotspur 24 10 6 8 37 27 10 36
10 Arsenal 25 10 4 11 31 26 5 34

Failure to get into the top six or win the Europa League will in turn mean that income is going to shrink still further.  Further, as the club is owned by a man whose entire investment is in sporting “franchises” which are haemorrhaging cash, he’s unlikely to keep throwing money at Arsenal.

However, over time there are of course lots of different ways forward for Arsenal.  Not necessarily ones I would agree with, but the Guardian’s “do more of the same” recommendation really does seem rather feeble, even by the paper’s extraordinarily low standards of imagination when it comes to football.  Indeed it does show why one should take no notice at all of football journalists; they simply have no idea of what possibilities are out there.

So  the Untold team have been knocking our heads together to try and come up with some solutions other than just seeing a process that isn’t working and then doing it again and again and again.

In fact it took all of 10 minutes to come up with ten different approaches that the club could adopt – the vast majority of which are never being mentioned at all by the uni-directional newspaper journalists, TV broadcasters and bloggers. That is not to say that the club will follow any of these routes, nor that they would all work, but it is to say there are alternatives to the current approach, which also isn’t working.

I’ll run through our list in the next article which will be published shortly.

(The picture at the top of the page is from The Truth about Blank Mind Syndrome)

Recent stories missed by the media but published in Untold


31 Replies to “What is the cause of Arsenal’s demise, and what does the club do now?”

  1. “as a result of this expenditure has slipped down six places in the league table”

    @Tony could you please explain what you mean by the above quote?

  2. Tony there are so many negativeties from the press surrounding our players, their preformences and ratings. Also all kind of suptleties to play one against the other like now between Oldegaard and Smit-Rowe and so creating a rift between players and supporters. Cant we get someone like Ian Wright to do for us the ratings after matches as well as the game reports. At least it will then be ballanced and much more objective. At least our player will then read some honest criticism where necessary but also praise and appreciation where due. At least they will know then what to believe about themselves and boost there self convidence.

  3. Arome
    I was going to post the same but you beat me to it. The wording suggests that our ‘decline’ is due entirely to us having spent all of this money.
    I am hoping Tony actually meant to say “despite this expenditure…” rather than “as a result of this expenditure…” which would change the meaning completely.
    Tony also regularly points out that new signings frequently take 1 or 2 years to reach their optimum performance levels so by his own admission the expenditure on players for the two seasons he quotes have yet to bear fruit so to blame them seems somewhat premature.
    We can also factor in unfortunate injuries to the likes of Tierney, Partey and Mari which have hampered their progress.

  4. Tony

    “So what do we do? Same as before hoping this time it will work, it seems, rather like the generals in the sending the troops out of the trenches time and time again in the vague notion that this time they’d get through?”

    Looking at 2 years of spending is simply not a big enough sample. As I showed in your previous article, once you look at 5 years of spending then the story is very different. For a start 3 of the top 4 biggest Nett spenders occupy 3 of the top 4 places. 8 of the top 10 spenders occupy the top 10 places. Therefore obviously 8 of the lowest 10 spenders sit in the bottom 10 places. Half the clubs sit in the table within 3 places of their corresponding spend. The correlation, though not an exact science, between CONTINUED high Nett spending and league position, as well as trophy winning, is undeniable. Why you insist on denying it I do not know.

    Yes there are outliers, which is not unusual in any statistical based analysis, but there are not many, it’s just unfortunate that we are one of them. But just because we haven’t (yet) reaped the benefits of our high nett spending doesn’t mean high nett spending doesn’t work because it clearly does.

    So in fact the answer to your question above “”So what do we do? Same as before hoping this time it will work ? is in fact yes.

    Again as I showed in your other article it took City 3 or 4 years of spending way more than we have to finally start reaping the rewards. City had no success after 3 seasons of high Nett spending, if they had took your advice and stopped their spending then do you think we would have the Man City we currently have today? No way would we. They are where they are today because they do exactly what you say teams (or Arsenal at least) shouldn’t do, and that’s just keep spending, season after season ,after season. The youngsters, should they bring any through are a bonus. If they don’t work out they buy someone. Simple as that. If they do they still buy someone but just put him on the bench.

    Nett LONG TERM spending works. Just because we haven’t got it right, yet, for whatever reason doesn’t change that. Having said that it may yet of worked, I believe it’s too early in Artetas reign to say. Given the rest of the season and in to next he may get this current squad performing to the level I believe they are capable of, and possibly, hopefully, in to the top 4 next season, again matching what Klopp did in his 2nd season.

    Just working with this current squad may yet work. I’m hopeful, not confident, but hopeful. If it doesn’t, then I tell you now, if we DON’T spend we will be in even bigger trouble than we are now.


    All I’m saying above is what I see to be true. If, at the end of the day we cannot afford to spend more, or in other words keep up with the mega spenders, so be it. If we choose, be it through desire or necessity, to go with this fantastic group of youngsters I will love it. Whatever happens I know we have to live within our means. Whatever that means and whatever that brings they will always have my undying love and support.

    K Foure,

    Ian Wright ? Have you heard him talk about us ? Seriously, the guys worse than most of the hacks.

  5. OT

    Given Bellerin & Xhaka were both carded again yesterday, I thought I’d have a quick look at some stats on cards and fouls.

    I decided to look at all our players with three or more cards (Y=1, R=2). There are six of them. Bellerin on 8 cards, Xhaka 7, with Ceballos, Luiz, Tierney and Partey all on 3.

    I then decided to looked at the ten players with the highest fouls per game ratio in the premier league and compared the two groups of players.

    The ten most prolific foulers in the PL made an average of 1.93 tackles per game and committed an average of 1.82 fouls per game.

    The six Arsenal players made an average of 1.22 tackles per game and committed an average of 0.98 fouls per game. It doesn’t surprise me that we commit fewer tackles and commit fewer fouls that’s blindingly obvious.

    So the worst foulers made 59% more tackles and committed 85% more fouls than the six most carded Arsenal players. The question for me was how did the ten most prolific foulers get treated when compared with our six i.e. how often did they get carded. Logic suggests it should generally be more often.

    The simple answer is, they got treated considerable more leniently than our six. On average they were given a card for every 8.1 tackles and every 7.5 fouls. The Arsenal players, on the other hand were given a card for every 4.7 tackles and every 4.0 fouls, almost twice as often.

    Looking specifically at fouls committed per game, one player stands out head and shoulder above all other PL players. Ashley Barnes of Burnley commits a staggering 2.4 fouls per game which is 33% more than the second worst. So naturally you’d expect him to be carded a lot. Well he actually picks up a card for every 10.8 fouls. Compare this to Bellerin who gets a card for every 2.8 fouls. Yep, Barnes commits fouls 140% more often than Bellerin but Hector picks up cards at almost four times the rate. And it would seem that orders have been given that Thomas Partey needs to be brought into line quickly by the PGMOL. Since his arrival at the club, he’s been shown a yellow card for every 2.3 fouls, that’s almost five times the rate of the most prolific fouler in the league.

    But it’s not just about how one or two players compare. So I looked at the averages across the two groups. The top ten foulers, on average picked up a card for every 7.5 fouls/8.1 tackles. The six Arsenal players were, on average, carded almost twice as often 4.0 fouls/4.7 tackles. And that despite the top ten committing an average of 85% more fouls.

    Another angle was to look at the player who commits the most tackles within the PL top ten. Here we have McArthur of Palace who is putting in the third highest number of tackles per game in the PL at 3.2 per game. So how often does he pick up a card? Well, it’s just once every 19.3 tackles/10.7 fouls. Yet another anomaly.

    So I took a quick look at the record of the player in the top ten foulers who was most often carded . This is Bissouma of Brighton. He picked up a card for every 5.0 fouls. Now bare in mind he is the most often carded of the worst ten foulers in the league. Then consider that he is still receiving fewer cards per game than the average for our six players. And even if we ignore averages but look at individuals, four of the six Arsenal players receive cards more often than the most carded of all the top ten foulers in the league. Even the player with the fewest fouls per card out of that top ten still only got one for every 4.9 fouls as opposed to our six at an average of 4.0.

    One last observation to throw in is that one of those top ten worst foulers in the League, Trezeguet who commits fouls at a rate 1.8 per game and has made 27 in total (that’s five more than Bellerin and four times as many as Partey) has yet to receive a card of any nature this season. So on his own he has committed exactly 25% of the fouls have committed by our six most carded players but they have received a total of 27 cards to his zero.

    Whichever way you look at these numbers, it indicates that our players are treated differently. The top ten foulers are, generally speaking, being treated more or less the same on average. There seems to be an element of consistency there. Where there is also a strong element of consistency is the way our players are treated, getting more cards even though they commit fewer fouls. It would therefore appear that one or more referees, either deliberately or subconsciously, single out Arsenal players unfairly. Although I sincerely doubt I’m telling anyone anything they didn’t already know.

    Ultimately what irks me is that all we get from the media are comments about what a dirty team we are when it simply isn’t true. What happens is we are allowed to play less freely than other clubs or choose our tactics not only to beat the opposition but also to combat the refereeing. Are the media too stupid, too biased or just corrupt in that they refuse to look at this?

    Have a nice day everyone and let’s look forward to Thursday 🙂

  6. It is more about the principle than the person. Lets get the right person. I would like to see a platform whith integrety and who support realy the interest of Arsenal

  7. John L my previous e-mail is stil under moderation.But this is so impotant to me that i try again anyway. It is not so much the name but the principle. Lets get the right person with integrety and who have seriously the interests of Arsenal at hart

  8. Mikey

    Brilliant work.

    “Are the media too stupid, too biased or just corrupt in that they refuse to look at this”?

    Probably all 3, but they cant do much about being stupid, but they could, if they so desired, do something about being biased or corrupt. The fact they chose not to is the disgrace.

    But as irksome as the media are, and Heaven knows I detest them with a passion, it’s the way fans of other clubs come on here claiming ‘it’s the way we tackle’ or some other pathetic excuse. These ridiculous statistics have been going on for nearly 15 years of these disproportionate statistics, because that’s how long it’s been going on.

    If you recall Mikey I did some stats on how our cards and penalty statistics changed dramatically the day Riley took over at the PGMO. It was a massive change to our detriment. It is undeniable. It is shameful.

    We are being cheated.

    And what rubs salt in the wounds is the way some our own fans still come on here denying this bias actually exists.

  9. Mikey taking on board all of your research the problem we face is not so much the number of fouls but the nature . Many of the fouls committed against us are the innocuous one that breaks the play but doesn’t look particularly bad . Whereas we tend to pick up cards for more obvious fouls and referring back to the Luiz sending off, Peter Walton’s comments about having previous , speak volumes.
    I remember years ago talking to a referee that handled games in the Isthmian and Athenian leagues , he got the call to do a cup final and on the train to the ground read the dossier he had been given by his refereeing commitee about the players and what to watch for .
    Since that day nothing has convinced me that certain players are not targets . He was told that book so and so early because it calms the team down and you will get better control .
    Seem familiar ?

  10. K Fourie

    Sorry, not having a go as in principle I agree with you, it’s just that Wright, despite his fake dancing around in the studio when we score, rarely has a good word to say about us. He has a history of encouraging Arsenal players to ‘leave the club if you want to win anything’ as well as endlessly criticising almost every aspect of the Club.

    To be fair I cant think of one ex Arsenal player that works in mainstream media who I would trust to give Arsenal the balanced appraisal of which you seek?

    Even Arsenal.com refuse point blank to criticise referees.

    They even follow standard anti Arsenal media lines more often than not.

    Take yesterday for example. In the build up to the match the link guy (sorry cant remember his name) suggested Wilsheres history of injuries was down to him being ‘overplayed’. Ergo it was Arsenals own fault. Not a mention of the endless assaults that went unpunished whilst playing for both Arsenal and England.

    Nope, lets just feed in to the media narrative that Wilsheres injuries were in fact all his own fault.

    Media wise you know you are in trouble when your own TV channel is reluctant to support your own players.

  11. @Mikey, I’m afraid using your logic. Eric Cantona would say after his kungfu kick on a fan and being handed an 8 months ban from football that he was treated less leniently than another player who committed a red card offence and got banned for 3 games. I repeat players are not carded based on the number of tackles they make. They are carded based on the quality of the individual foul made. I am yet to be convinced by this quantity of tackles to foul to card ratio argument

  12. Mikey that’s a fantastic bit of research we all knew something wasn’t right but you’ve done the work to prove it .
    I watch nearly all the Arsenal games and most of the yellow cards we get seem justified by the rules/laws of the game , but it’s when you compare the yellow and red cards other teams get there is a leniency by the referees to other teams not afforded to us . It seems that if referees can they will , red or yellow card our players .
    I don’t think any of our players are nasty or cynical , can you imagine if one of our players did to Auba what Dias did yesterday in the MC match they wouldn’t get away with it like he did .
    We have been refereed differently for years and we are the only club to have been deducted two(2) points for what happened on the pitch and there have been far worst incidents since that meeting with MU all those years ago

  13. @ Arome

    I get where you’re coming from but trying to use one single, extreme incident to try and justify a point of view doesn’t hold water. I am at a loss as to what more evidence you require to convince you that it is not about your totally unsubstantiated and totally subjective claim about “the quality of the foul”. But I’d be happy to pick up the discussion if you actually did provide some evidence to support your claim.

    If you do like the idea of comparing individual instances I’d love to hear your view on why Vieiria received the biggest ban for spitting every given before or since……..the quality of the saliva perhaps 😉

  14. @Mikey, if I get you right. When you say “totally unsubstantiated and totally subjective claim about ‘quality of the foul” are you actually debating the fact that cards are a result of “the quality of a foul” and not quantity?

  15. And saying I used one extreme incident to justify a point of view is a very wrong conclusion. I used it as an example because obviously I cannot list out all the possible incidents that buttress my point. Just so you are clear that I don’t have only one incident to cite, I’ll give you 4 more. And let me also make it clear, these 4 are simply examples, there are so many possible examples of incidents to show that punishment is dished out based on quality of foul play, the worse it is, the more likely to get stiffer punishment. Examples
    1. Suarez’s bite on Chiellini and his subsequent red card and long suspension
    2. Paolo Di canio got a red against arsenal, pushed the ref and got 11game suspension
    3. I believe Joey Barton saw red against Man city and got a 12match suspension
    4. A Southampton player saw red against arsenal and got 10 game ban in 2005 I believe

  16. Arome

    These statistics for red and yellow cards have been going on for many many years, as we have shown on here on numerous occasions. We have a similarly disproportionate amount of penalties against and for.

    Are you seriously claiming we have been making ‘poorer quality fouls’ (in other words and to use common parlance we have ‘dirtier’ players) than almost everybody else over that entire duration, remembering that that’s 100’s of different players who have trained under dozens of different coaches and now played under 3 different managers ? Seriously ?

    And lets not forget we constantly get ridiculed for being soft and getting bullied, yet in the next breath we’re the dirtiest team in the Premier League. Surly we cant be both?

  17. Arome

    The point is not whether some tackles are ‘more severe’ than others, of course they are, that’s so obvious as to not really be relevant.

    The point is do Arsenal make more of those ‘more severe’ fouls than just about everybody else, and more to the point, have they been doing so for about 15 years now.

    Maybe you think we have, that’s up to you. Personally I don’t

  18. @Nitram, no we haven’t been the worst or nearly worst offenders for 15years, you made that up. In fact within that period we’ve been the cleanest team twice I believe and been closer to the top of the fair play table several times too.
    Also you say we’ve been constantly ridiculed for being softies. Tony also tells us we have a reputation for being a dirty team and has written several articles to debunk that. But then again I disagree that when people say a player is being a softie, they mean he doesn’t foul. From my days as a footballer, being a softie means being easily bullied off the ball, in most cases legally. It’s why small statured players are encouraged to bulk up, especially strikers, because you’re expected to win those legal duels/tussles with defenders to make space for yourself and score a goal. I’ll give a few examples of what it means to be a softie
    1. Remember a match against Chelsea, I think we lost 1-3. Hazard charging through the midfield towards our goal, Coquelin charges at him to make the tackle, Coq seems to bounce off Hazard spinning like a top, Hazard continues his run and scores.
    2. Numerous times Drogba overpowered our defense to score against us or if you watched the champions League match where we lost to inter Milan 0-3 at Highbury, how inter’s Obafemi Martins used pace and power to obliterate Kolo Toure and the rest of our defense.
    Now the hazard Coquelin incident to me illustrates the softie and dirty situation. Coquelin tries to tackle legally, goes in for a shoulder to shoulder tackle, ricochets off Hazard. That’s what can be termed softie. I’d guess if it was Vieira or Yaya toure going for that shoulder barge Hazard wouldn’t have continued that run. Softie. Now suppose Hazard went on another similar run later in the game and coq had to stop him again, but this time decides to make a sliding tackle from behind, he would most likely bring hazard down and get a card in the process, it probably won’t change his reputation as a softie, but he might also add a reputation for being dirty.
    So, are we soft and dirty? Soft? I can’t say, it’s a comparative term, I haven’t watched much of football lately to be able to say. But I really hope we aren’t. Are we dirty? I really hope not, however we’ve picked up many cards especially this season from indiscipline, just off the top of my head, red cards only – Xhaka, Pepe, Leno. Red cards gotten from either violent conduct or cynical play. I’d also say we have dirty players like Xhaka who’d rather pull down an attacker after being beaten than chase him down and stop him making the best of the run. Luiz is also dirty in my opinion, there are so many incidents where he resorts to the dark arts to stop an opponent that has gotten past him. But do we resort to such illegal moves more than others? Or are our card stats padded by acts of indiscipline?? I can’t say without comparison. But I must say we need to be proactive, look at the game of some of the players that pad up our card stats and work on them. I’ll go back to the arsenal vs inter Milan match up in the champions League years ago. We lost 0-3 at Highbury. Obafemi Martins was our tormentor in chief on the night. Toure had pace, Martins was faster, Toure marked martins closely, whenever Martins turned Kolo he was bearing down on our goal, it was a choice to bring him down illegally or one on one with our keeper. Thankfully Martins was very profligate. In the return leg what did Wenger do to mitigate this risk? Kolo Toure was shunted out to right back. The much slower Pascal Cygan drafted in to central defense in one of his few games. We thought it was going to be worse since Cygan didn’t even have pace to recover. However Cygan defended deep, far from Martins. Martins thus couldn’t turn Cygan and get clear sight on our goal. He got the ball up turned and had to run at Cygan face to face, Cygan came up tops in most of such face to face challenges with Martins, it was a slaughter we beat them 5-1 at the San siro.
    Summary, most of the cards we’ve gotten at least this season, when reviewed I believe we would agree are justified according to the books. I believe quite a number of them have been due to our own discipline issues. We also need to tweak tactics to help our personnel who we know are prone to playing dirty when the game isn’t going our way… I believe Arteta gets it. I wasn’t surprised to see Luiz and Gabriel on the bench against Man city. Luiz in our central defense against the pace of the man city attack is a red card risk. Keeping on the bench most likely reduced our card count

  19. I think that having a clear idea about how you play and one that players buy into is more important than splurging millions on high profile players who do not know how they and their team mates are going to play from one week to the next and are beaten ten minutes after walking out on the pitch.

    To even draw at home to Man City a team full of confidence- very confident after hammering us at home recently-we have to defend far better- close down space far more effectively than we did at the beginning of this game. We are not competitive enough in some aspects of the game- fitness, aggression, defensive capability of the whole team, then the speed of switching defence to attack- in short team play.
    Man City are not unbeatable- as we have previously shown- even at their best but we did not look capable of doing so after 10 minutes.

    Can the motivation, coordination, team play, tactics of the team be enhanced to provide results without spending multi millions the club does not have? I think it can-but I am not at all sure that Arteta is the man to do it-he is still on a learning curve as a top level coach.

  20. I think there is a very important aspect we mis in this whole argument concerning Arsenal discipline and that is the amount of frustration that our players have to delt with. When 50/50 descitions most of the time go against you and when we can barely tuch a player and he fall over for a free kick or foul but the other side is mostly waved on to go. Not to speak of the so often iconsistency our players have to put up its very hard to be lily white all the time. We are teased into it. I can only admire our discipline in general under this circumstances. The whole issue of our discipline is very suptle isnt it!

  21. Arome

    “@Nitram, no we haven’t been the worst or nearly worst offenders for 15years, you made that up. In fact within that period we’ve been the cleanest team twice I believe and been closer to the top of the fair play table several times too.”

    You have basically accused me of making statistics up or put another way, lying. I can assure you I’m not making them up and I’m not a liar.

    Unfortunately I cant find my own recently posted statistics on how poorly we have been treated regarding red/yellow cards and penalties Since Riley’s appointment (but I will continue to search but it is very time consuming) but I have found an article posted by Tony and Vince back in 2017.

    The following is a small part of that article with particular relevance to red and yellow cards. There is a link to the entire article which exposes the full scale of bias we have faced since Mike Riley’s appointment at the PGMO including how badly we are treated regarding penalties, both for and against.


    By Vince

    Mike Riley have been appointed at the head of the PGMOB in 2009. Since then, 9 clubs played every season of PL : Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Stoke, Sunderland and Tottenham.

    Let’s see some referring statistics between those 9 clubs in the Riley era…

    Red card received

    1 Tottenham 16
    2 United 19
    3 Everton, Liverpool 21
    5 City 22
    6 Stoke 24
    7 Chelsea 25
    8 Arsenal 28
    9 Sunderland 39

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would classify Arsenal as a dirty team (they more likely would talk about the Gunners lack of aggressivity…), yet except Sunderland, no team receive more red cards. Yes even Stoke has fewer red cards. Quite funny too to see Tottenham and United at the top of this table. You know, the 2 teams that gets away nearly every week with nasty challenges. Actually it’s been close to 2 years since a Spurs got a red card…

    Yellow cards/Red cards ratio

    1 Tottenham 29.00
    2 United 24.42
    3 City 22.64
    4 Stoke 21.83
    5 Everton, Liverpool 21.24
    7 Chelsea 19.20
    8 Arsenal 15.57
    9 Sunderland 13.87

    This ratio too should be similar for every team. Obviously that is not the case at all. How many times have we seen referees give a second yellow card to an Arsenal player at the first occasion, while allowing opponents 5 or more fouls. When I see that table, I can’t help but think about the sending off of Coquelin last year in the NLD, when Lamela and Dier stayed on the field despite more clearer second yellow offenses…

    If, seeing all these statistics, some people want to deny the corruption that is happening right now in the Premier League, and the fact that for years, Arsenal has been robbed by referees, well there’s none so blind as those who will not see.


    Those figures are from 2017 and relate to seasons 2009 to 2017. They are a disgrace. And what is even more of a disgrace is that 3 years latter we are having the exact same conversation, about the exact same bias.

    What is worse Arome, is you, as an Arsenal fan, are bending over backwards to deny those statistics even exist by calling me a liar, and even if you concede they exist you try to suggest they exist because somehow we are, and have been for all that time, dirtier than every body else.

    Go and read the article and remember before accusing people of making things up know what you are talking about.


    Thanks to Tony and Vince for their hard work in compiling those statistics.

  22. Within that article there is also reference to what time in the match the cards are issued, which are also very wonky, as well as the following comment that uncannily predicts Tony’s recent work on the tackles to cards ratio, that seems to of also been an issue back in 017:

    @Mick Hazel

    “There was an article a while back I believe that showed we were given yellow cards per smaller number of fouls committed than any other teams.” – again it would be good to see all these facts in the one article and as Rich said you could also add the stats about what minute people get sent off against us in, compared to what minute our players get sent off in, which is very damning. You could then try and get as many people as possible to view the results.

    I know I’m banging on here but when someone insists on denying the undeniable it’s got to be done.

  23. @Nitram, with due respect you say you haven’t been reading my posts even though you have quite a few you obviously intend for me to read since they seem to be addressed to me. I however would like to know before going ahead to read your posts wether you are reading mine too, because I don’t think it is possible to have a debate when only one party is reading posts from the other. But just for your perusal, a quick Google of EPL fair play table shows you stats from transfer market. I think that’s a better source than previous work from you or positively arsenal.


    The transfer market stats show that our position on that table has fluctuated from top to bottom and every position in between. If that is a picture of how the refs treat us as some of you say, it means season by season the way the refs have treated us have ranged from most lenient to most brutal. I don’t know how much merit to put into summing the figures up, I would have done so, but I don’t think such an insignificant stat is worth the stress.

    As to whether people consider us dirty or soft. I really don’t want to into arguing based on opinions, we are having enough of a hard time debating facts as it were, bringing conjecture and hearsay in would just further complicate matters

  24. Also, I apologize for saying “you made a statement up” obviously you didn’t appreciate that. I didn’t intend to say you were lying, I meant it to mean that I thought you were exaggerating. You did say things like i foresaw Chelsea finishing in 10th place in 2016. I’m sure I never said anything like that, but you know that’s how it goes in a heated debate sometimes. So forgive me for saying you made stuff up

  25. No problem.

    I’ve read your post and all you do is cite individual events. But individual events are not the point. I could stand here and cite times we’ve been awarded a soft penalty, or got away with one. Of course it happens. And as to whether Drogba ‘Bullied’ us or was allowed to get away with it by lenient referees, well that is just a matter of opinion, similar to how Gary Neville claims Man United just ‘bullied’ us in match 49 at OT, when most people with half an eye know they were allowed to get away with murder, and by who, yep the infamous Mike Riley, who, surprise surprise soon after that disgraceful refereeing performance got promoted to head of the PGMOL. Well isn’t that a thing !!

    This notion we were constantly ‘bullied’ was simply misdirection to enable teams to kick us of the park without sanction. Our players didn’t actually get their legs broken it’s just they were too soft to look after themselves. Like Wilshere if you recall who never really got fouled but actually just kept injuring himself.

    The fact is Untold has produced tons of states that show the cards statistics we are talking about are disgraceful, both for, against, and even when they are issued in the match. Within that article I’ve linked to there are also stats about penalties that show what a disgraceful deal we get on them as well.

    As I say, I did a table of before and after Riley and the change is astonishing, and I will find it if I can.

    And yes I do get frustrated, because both I and many other regulars on untold, and other Arsenal Bloggs I linked to above, show, with hours and hours of in depth research, how we are screwed, and then, and excuse me being rude now, posters like you come here claiming either we’ve made it up, or perhaps worse, start excusing these diabolical anomalies under the notion that we are in fact somehow dirtier, softer, less clever, than almost every other team in the PL, which is utterly ridiculous. And what’s worse, you’re an Arsenal fan making up these excuses for Riley and his men in black.

    Honestly, I find it quite astonishing why you would want to do that.

    As you say, heated debate and all that. Nothing personal, but somehow despite all the states I’m sure you wont be convinced, which makes my hours of research rather pointless. Wont be the first time.

  26. @Nitram, I’m sorry I’ve been too busy to either read or respond to your posts. First of all I want to reiterate that I will not respond to opinions and hear says, so for example when you make statements like “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would classify Arsenal as a dirty team (they more likely would talk about the Gunners lack of aggressivity” or “Quite funny too to see Tottenham and United at the top of this table. You know, the 2 teams that gets away nearly every week with nasty challenges” I can’t respond to them because they are in the realms of hear say, you do not put forth any evidence to support that assertion, and I actually don’t know that those 2 teams get away with nasty challenges every week. I’m happy to take my stats from transfer market, which shows arsenal going from top of the fair play table through all the positions down to the bottom of the table. I don’t know how useful it is to sum all the numbers, however somebody must be top and someone bottom. We may never agree on this issue but I’m sure we’ll get closer to agreement when we analyse the quality of each card rather than the numbers

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