By Bulldog Drummond
The referee is either Andre Marriner or Mike Dean, depending on which website one reads. Marriner we have not had at all. However last season we had him in charge of our games three times. Mike Dean we have had once for the game in October against Palace.
Last season, six referees oversaw Arsenal matches more than once – Mr Marriner got the job three times. He awarded an average of 10.67 fouls per game against Arsenal (compared with an average across the season of 9.08) and 1.67 yellow cards per game (compared with an average of 1.24).
Mike Dean however we only had the once and the way he dealt with Arsenal on that occasion was utterly frightening. We got 12 fouls given against Arsenal and three yellow cards – a ludicrous performance by a referee who simply seemed to start with the notion that Arsenal were a fouling team and needed to be punished.
Indeed which ever of these two referees is actually taking the game (and the more recent reports say it is Dean) if this referee performs to type, he will be awarding more fouls than usual against Arsenal and more yellow cards than usual against us as well. We are in fact going to be playing 12 men.
Now although I can’t prove it at all, one very clear way of reading the statistics is that referees are chosen with specific situations in mind, and this is obviously one that helps Everton.
But let us also have a look at the clubs’ performances. We have already seen that in the last six and ten games Arsenal have done much better than Everton, but that if we compare Everton’s home form against Arsenal’s away form, Everton certainly look like potential winners. However if the suggested crowd protest comes off, that could give Arsenal quite a boost – just as teams we play against have been greatly helped in recent seasons by the negativity created by Arsenal Supporters Trust), Black Scarf (who organised multiple protests) and Arsenal Fans TV (the ranting platform).
Generally speaking we beat Everton – we have won 108 games against them, drawn 46 and lost 62. However we have only won one game against them in the last five.
|7 Apr 2019||Everton v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|21 Dec 2019||Everton v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|23 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Everton||W||3-2||Premier League|
|19 Dec 2020||Everton v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|23 Apr 2021||Arsenal v Everton||L||0-1||Premier League|
But go back a little further and things were a lot better
|1 Mar 2015||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-0||Premier League|
|18 Jul 2015||Everton v Arsenal||W||1-3||Asia Trophy|
|24 Oct 2015||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-1||Premier League|
|19 Mar 2016||Everton v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|13 Dec 2016||Everton v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|21 May 2017||Arsenal v Everton||W||3-1||Premier League|
|22 Oct 2017||Everton v Arsenal||W||2-5||Premier League|
|3 Feb 2018||Arsenal v Everton||W||5-1||Premier League|
|23 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-0||Premier League|
So we very much need to shake off the memories of that recent run and recall the fact that even though we had, overall, a poor season last campaign, coming in eighth, that was pretty much run of the mill for Everton. They have only come above 8th once in the last seven seasons when they finished up seventh.
The Evening Standard has gone out on its own suggesting Emile Smith Rowe has an injury and may not be able to play. They may of course have simply made that up. We’ll come to that in the next piece.
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