By Tony Attwood
Last season is one that investigators into the oddities of football will probably dwell on for a long time, because it gave us a unique insight into the influence of the crowd upon referees.
Of course it’s not something PGMO encourage their pals in the media to talk about, but…
I wondered about Arsenal and red cards and penalties. It seems that we do get more red cards than other teams. But is that right?
Actually yes it is. Here are the total number of red cards awarded to the teams that have played every Premier League season…
|Club||Red cards||Percentage of total|
Untold raised this issue, again to some abuse from those not liking out statistical view of life. But to see what happened the table below breaks down 2020/1 into two sections – the first third of the season, and then the rest. What we’ve done is taken the number of penalties each club had by Christmas, and then assumed that the similar process would continue, and looked at how many they might get.
And as Untold pointed out in an article – if Leicester’s rate went on, they would break every single record for penalties.
But rather interesting the mass of penalty awards didn’t continue. Of course we don’t know why, but one little point we made was that most of Leicester’s penalties came from Vardy falling over. We even described the way it happened. Vardy entered the area with or without the ball and then turned 180 degrees to go the other way. This often made the defender collide with Vardy – they couldn’t get out of the way in time. Referees gave penalties, but really that was not quite right, since there was no way the defender coming behind Vardy could know Vardy was going to turn and allow the defender to collide with him.
Anyway, we made that point, and instead of ending the season with 27 penalties as would have happened if everything had continued as before Leicester ended with 12. PGMO it seems, worked it out for themselves.
And in fact it seemed to the little Untold team that many clubs were using the lack of crowd to try out all sorts of similar pesky tricks. As a result by Christmas the penalty rate was running at an all-time high.
Fortunately either some naughty clubs stopped trying to cheat, or else the referees stumbled on the same issue as we did and the penalty awards dropped back to a normal level.
The “Penalties expected” column shows how many penalties we would have seen if the pre-Christmas rush had continued. The “deficit” column shows how many penalties each club did not get which on pre-Christmas terms they might have expected.
|Club||Penalties received first third of season||Penalties expected by end of season||Actual Penalties received||Deficit|
|3||Brighton & Hove Albion||5||15||9||6|
47 penalties fewer were awarded than that wild opening third of the season had predicted. Had that not happened we would have had 171 penalties this past season. The previous highest was 108 in 2006/7.
It would have been a 58% increase in penalties!!!!
Did we help? I’m sure PGMO have a few computers and a few statisticians around, and someone would have said, “Have you guys seen what Leicester are up to?” The real problem to lay at PGMO’s door is that it took them a third of the season to work it out.
And of course there is no punishment for collectively trying to fool the referee, which maybe there should be. Now there’s a thought.
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- Arsenal’s yellow cards dropped by 45% last season. How? Why? And how did it help?
- Arsenal transfers: Gnabry return, White a disaster, Martinez a loss?
- Why do journalists get so fixated on scoring in double figures?
- Buying players does not mean success as last season shows…
- All change with PGMO and the refs.. But what change?
- The last five years proves one big thing: nothing is guaranteed.