For the second week running Arsenal face a team that uses fouls as a defence



By Tony Attwood

We noted last weekend how, in playing Arsenal, Liverpool upped their level of fouling dramatically – and ultimately disrupted both the Arsenal team and the Arsenal manager enough, to be able to take the game.

Newcastle are made of different stuff but once again the foul was the weapon of choice.   While Arsenal committed five fouls, Newcastle committed 12 – 20% up on their normal level of fouls per game.

Arsenal on the other hand reduced their foul level by just under 50%.  20% up to one team, 50% down to the other – quite a different set of tactics.   Mind you we did have just about two thirds of the possession and the vast majority of shots.  24 shots from Arsenal, nine from Newcastle.  In other words over three quarters of the shots were Arsenal, two thirds of the possession was Arsenal and seven tenths of the fouls were Newcastles.

Not that the media will report any of that, but it does give quite a neat idea of what the game was all about.

And then to top it all Martinelli scored a goal which in terms of impossible technique ought to be in the running for the goal of the season.   The ball dropped over his shoulder and immediately Martinelli hit it over the keeper and into the goal.  An utter sensation.  If a Liverpool player had scored that there would be talk of the “goal of the season”.

But at least let us hope that as a result Martinelli gets some more minutes on the pitch.  He most certainly ought to be leading the line when it comes to the League Cup quarter final.

However let us say a word for the Newcastle support.   With a ludicrous kick off time of 1230, they had a coach journey without stops of nine and a half hours.   With stops probably 11 hours.  That means leaving at around midnight.

Their team were never seriously in the game and all the brave talk by the latest in a long line of Newcastle managers was really camouflage.  They will get back to Newcastle  at around 3am or 4am.

And for what?  To see a really ordinary performance.  And yet they made a lot of noise, and endured chants about becoming the richest club in the championship.  It is hard to imagine the AAA mobs who use to run the “fourth is not a trophy” protests against coming fourth several years running, taking such performances and still supporting their club.

Plus it is not just the Newcastle riches that have made them as they are.  They’ve been like this for quite a few seasons.

9 Replies to “For the second week running Arsenal face a team that uses fouls as a defence”

  1. Have you also noted how, on all media outlets, Martinelli’s goal was ‘controversial’ because Newcastle had also-called claim for a penaly, when in fact, the Newcastle player had deliberately bounced himself off Tavares and then dived to the ground. But typically, nothing was said about the physical assault on Martinelli by La Salles that was a clear penalty and an obvious 2nd yellow.

  2. Give over… the only reason for the additional fouls is that your team is (and has been for the last 10-12 years) made up of a bunch of pussies who don’t like a tackle. Your reduction in fouls had something to do with the fella with the whistle, or lack of it maybe…. And no it’s not sour grapes, the far better team won but arsenal are one of the reasons I’ve gone off football a bit over the last few years…. Lovely to watch at times but for gods sake grow a pair between the 11 of you!

  3. Your obviously haven’t the balls to publish my post, that’s fair enough…. But you’re now having a conversation with yourself, getting all worked up that you didn’t get a penalty… for what it’s worth I didn’t think either were a penalty…. But yet again you don’t like being tackled…. And by the way, that Tavares fella…is that the one that sang about heaven missing an Angel back in the 70’s because he’s definitely not a footballer?

  4. Get over yourselves will you. You’re no great shakes in a league that has many very bang average sides.
    Yes, the Toon are poor… we know that. We’ve been sprouting it under one of your near neighbour supporting ‘owners’, Ashley, for 14 years.
    One day your lot will be bang average and the only reason you’re near the top each time is because you’re London based attracting night life.
    Before you say owt my mum was a Londoner….
    To the guy about that penalty… we should have had two. Your own was nothing like one… get over it.
    Why? If a shoulder charge is a free kick outside the box then it is a penalty inside the box.
    Do I feel hard done by?
    No. Because we didn’t deserve anything. We’re far too negative and we gave you the first goal when we gave it away at the back and your lads played with us before popping it in. The second? Nice touch but again we were poor defending it.
    Prepare for a sceond season outside of the four. Champions League? For one club yeah… the others are runers-up which makes the competition a mickey mouse one… even if the Toon are in it every year for years. Hate it.
    Champions League my rear… 7-0, 5-4, 6-3 and more stupid scores from so called champions. I’m off now to have a laugh.

  5. Graham that is an absolute classic, and one that I shall be giving a lot of publicity to in the next few days. I rather suspect that you haven’t bothered to look at the statistics in the last 10 years, nor have you bothered to look at this website where there has probably been more analysis of tackles / fouls / cards ratios than on any other football site.
    You mention 10 years ago – an interesting time when Arsenal and Newcastle committed just about the same number of tackles as Newcastle across the whole season. And then the following season, oh, look Arsenal committed more tackles than Newcastle. So were Newcastle “pussies” as you so elegantly call Arsenal.
    Yes it is true that most of the time Newcastle tackle more than Arsenal but half the time the difference between the clubs has been tiny – mostly about 3%.
    What you have missed however is that the way referees differ the way they handle each club, and the only thing that clubs that are penalised heavily by referees can do is to adjust their play according to how refs treat the clubs.

    Indeed as we pointed out in one of our match previews, last season Newcastle got 61 yellow cards but this season, if they go on at the current rate they will end up with 101 cards – an all time record.
    I do like your comment, because we get so many like this where an assertion is made without any reference to the facts at all, and often as here, they have little to do with the prime issue. In fact, despite your rudeness I can tell you what Newcastle need to worry about – you can see it in these figures from this season…
    Arsenal 10.5 tackles per yellow card,Newcastle 6.65 tackles per yellow card
    Arsenal 6.59 fouls per yellow card, Newcastle 3.75 fouls per yellow card
    And believe me Arsenal themselves need to get those figures under control. If you really want to see a difference, compare Newcastle to Liverpool.
    Newcastle need to get their tackles and fouls under control, because your club is being screwed by the referees. The data is there for anyone to see – but instead of thanking us for pointing this out, hilariously all you can do is tell us to grow up.

    With that sort of attitude, if it has spread from you into the club, your club is likely to spend the billions it now has without actually even thinking about what the referees are doing to you.

    One day you might realise, abusing people who actually bother to study the data, is a pretty dumb thing to do.

  6. Oh Graham, I think you don’t actually know how blogs work. “Obviously don’t have the balls” indeed.
    We get swamped with abuse every day, and it needs filtering out, so people who have never posted before, and those who have posted comments that seem to ignore what is on the site, have their comments held in moderation until they can be approved.
    Now that’s primarily my job – I’m a north Londoner who for work has moved to the East Midlands, so on match days comments can be held until I get back home from the game.
    You of course don’t know any of that – and indeed why should you – but you instantly jump to the conclusion that because the comment has not appeared at once it is because we are somehow frightened by it. Actually it did take a little longer than normal because I wanted to give you a fulsome reply with information, even though you couldn’t be bothered to check the information yourself before writing.
    Your sense of entitlement and disregard for factual information in relation to writing about football really is quite something to behold, and will become a central part of our forthcoming article on this topic. As noted, we will be publishing more about your interesting claims tomorrow, and should you wish to you can read quite a bit about football statistics in this site – including the way referees handle clubs. Which is actually quite interesting in Newcastle’s case.

  7. AugC as you’ve gone for your laugh I won’t bother to answer the points you make, but if you ever do want to take a little more time you will find a huge amount of data on this site relating to the topics you raise. But of course, there are many people who much prefer opinion to evidence – indeed we have huge numbers who claim to be Arsenal supporters with exactly that view who send abuse to this site on a daily basis. We may not be great shakes in the league, but after our record beating run of seasons in Europe, and record beating run of seasons in the top division in England, I do see significant signs that the very young team we have (the youngest in the League in fact) and our inexperienced manager are putting something quite remarkable together. Of course I might be wrong – I’m just a supporter not a football professional – but the data we publish strongly suggest we are moving in the right direction. And data and statistics are things I know something about, as do many readers of this site).

  8. @Graham,

    I just don’t get it. Untold has proven beyond any doubt that referees are being much harder on Newcastle then many other teams in the PL. Untold pretty much takes your defence in underlining the wrongs done to your team game after game. As well as to Spurs and others.

    And all you are able to do is utter invectives and use foul and limited language where the english language has so many possibilities to express yourself.

    What a pity, can’t have a discussion with you.

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