By Bulldog Drummond
And so almost for the last time this season, the analysis of tackles, fouls and yellow cards.
Not quite the last time because after this final game we’ll go back and have a look at every club in the League and see how Arsenal managed to break out of the noose that the PGMO had attempted to tie around the club’s neck, with their attempt to turn every Arsenal tackle into a foul and every foul into a yellow card.
Just to show the variety of tackling level take a look at these numbers
|Pos in tackles table||Club||Tackles||Fouls||Yellow cards||Tackles per yellow||Fouls per yellow|
|8.||Brighton and Hove||611||419||46||13.28||8.98|
What Mr Arteta has done, through reducing the level of tackling, has reduced the number of fouls Arsenal concedes. We are still getting way more yellows for each tackle we commit than should happen, but the number of fouls we can commit before getting a yellow is down.
It is quite ludicrous that clubs like Leeds United and Brighton and Hove can make an extra three or four tackles more than Arsenal before getting their yellow card, but at least these days it is only three or four.
All we can do is continue to publish these tables (tables that the Premier League don’t and won’t publish) in order to tell PGMO we are still watching them.
But the fact that Mr Arteta has has cut the number of tackles so that in a season we are undertaking 277 tackles fewer than Leeds, but at the same time have us rising up the table in the latter part of the season, shows how much planning and player training has gone into this move.
PGMO are undoubtedly watching and quite possibly contemplating a retaliation, secure in the knowledge that Untold Arsenal is the only place where you can read this, and secure in the knowledge that the national media obey the command not to touch this with a barge pole. But our manager has shown his guile and kept his nerve while journalists and alleged Arsenal supporters in the two groups each claiming to be the biggest supporters’ group, have attacked him from all sides.
As for this game, Brighton are going to lay into Arsenal with the tackles and they will have more fouls called against them, but they probably won’t get more yellow cards.
Let’s move on to the home v away table that we have been running all season but with two extra lines to show the difference since Christmas
|14||Brighton and Hove Albion away||18||5||5||8||18||22||-4||20|
|Arsenal home since Xmas||11||5||3||3||16||11||5||18|
|Brighton and H away since Xmas||11||3||3||5||9||11||-2||12|
Comparing the season as a whole Arsenal have the edge although they have lost as many at home as have been won – something that is a reflection on the way referees are influenced and not influenced in certain settings. We have been over this many times before; the media and football generally are in denial.
Since Christmas we have more of an edge. Our goal difference is four better, their’s is two better when we just look at the post-Xmas data. But whichever way we look at it we look like the team most likely to win.
Looking at the results most recently, we’ve just won four in a row in the League
|2 May 2021||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-2|
|9 May 2021||Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion||W||3-1|
|12 May 2021||Chelsea v Arsenal||W||0-1|
|19 May 2021||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||W||1-3|
As for Brighton and H their last four show two wins, a defeat and a draw.
|1 May 2021||Brighton and Hove Albion v Leeds United||W||2-0|
|9 May 2021||Wolverhampton Wand v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||2-1|
|15 May 2021||Brighton and Hove Albion v West Ham United||D||1-1|
|18 May 2021||Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City||W||3-2|
They haven’t won away since 14 March.
So the omens for a fifth win a row look rather good. Let’s hope the referee has not been ordered by PGMO to take revenge on Arsenal for showing what a cut in tackles can do on a very uneven playing field. At least if they do try it, it will be bleedingly obviously.
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