Arsenal v Southampton: the tackles, the fouls, and the cards

By Bulldog Drummond

To get a prediction of how the game will be played out, the regular tackles, fouls and yellow card statistics generally gives quite a good measure. 

Indeed the only time it does not is in cases such as the recent game against Liverpool where the opposition deliberately set out to unsettle Arsenal through upping the level of aggression dramatically just for that match – in order to take both the Arsenal defenders and the referee by surprise.

In all three of the categories we measure for each match, Southampton persistently outdo Arsenal, putting in more tackles, getting more fouls against them and ultimately more yellows.  At least with them the numbers make sense!

The last row shows how far above Arsenal the opposition today are, putting in seven percent more tackles, getting 26 percent more fouls against and receiving 40 percent more yellow cards than Arsenal.

Tackles Fouls Yellow cards
Arsenal 222 140 20
Southampton 237 176 28
Percentage difference 7% 26% 40%

Although this works in Arsenal’s favour this time, it is a perfect example of refereeing by perception, in which the referee enters the game not considering the two teams as equals, but knowing the reputation of each.   Much of the time this approach of referees works against Arsenal but here we see it working against Southampton.

So let us have a look at the ratios…

Tackles/foul Foul/yellow cards Tackle/yellow cards
Arsenal 1.59 7.0 11.1
Southampton 1.34 6.28 8.46

Arsenal can put in 1.59 tackles before getting a foul given against the team, while for Southampton it is slightly less at 1.34.

Arsenal can get away with seven fouls before a yellow card is given while with Southampton it is 6.28.

Neither of those numbers seem very important but the real difference comes at the measure of the number of tackles Arsenal can put in for each yellow card – we can get away with just under three more than they do – which given that they already have two players out for having got to five yellow cards, should make them slightly more nervous in their play.

Moving on I should also add that Arsenal have put out a notice this morning saying “All fans aged 12 and over must wear a face covering in all indoor areas of the stadium.”

They also have a notice saying “All fans must bring COVID certification with them. Click here to find out more.”

Finally they point out that if we want more information we should call 020 7619 5003.

I rather suspect that if they are seriously going to check everyone’s covid pass on entry into the ground this is going to take quite a while to get in today.  A report will follow tomorrow.

Meanwhile the BBC tell us that “Arsenal have gone 26 home league games without defeat against Southampton. Their longest unbeaten home run against a single team in the top flight is 27 matches, against Fulham until 1949 and Manchester City ending in 2012.”

Likewise “Southampton’s sequence of 22 winless Premier League matches at Arsenal is the longest by any club away from home in the competition’s history.”  In fact, they have won only two of the 44 away league fixtures, with their last win coming in 1987 at Arsenal in December 2018.

11 Replies to “Arsenal v Southampton: the tackles, the fouls, and the cards”

  1. Just learned of the discipline.

    2-0 really flatters. Really lazy, sloppy play. They give away the ball very cheaply. At least a half dozen so far, including Odegaard!

  2. Apart from those first 20 mins or so it sounded like a good performance and a well deserved 3 – 0 victory.

    Lovely to see Odegard come to the party.

    Just to say yet another mass brawl. This time Chelsea leeds.

    And what do we get from Stelling?

    Oh, there we go, all sorted out.

    No outrage, disgrace, unacceptable.

    That must be the 4th on pitch mass brawl I’ve seen and hardly a card shown, let alone red cards, let alone post match discipline.


  3. Steve Vallins

    Agree on both points. Also, the first goal illustrates the way Arteta wants to play, i.e., out from the back with decisive passing. The style certainly suits Ramsdale who is very good with the ball. For me, players of the match:
    1. Ramsdale
    2. Martinelli
    3. Xhaka

  4. Man City 1 – 0 win

    Winning goal: Penalty

    Liverpool 1 – 0 win

    Winning goal: Penalty

    Chelsea 3 – 2 win

    Winning goal: Penalty

    Man Utd 1 – 0 win

    Winning goal: Penalty

    When needs must I suppose.

  5. @ Nitram
    Not the first time Chelsea have got out of trouble with a penalty , Man Utd last home game I think
    @ goonersince72
    Agree our 1st goal was a treat , fast , direct and not a Southampton player getting near the ball .
    I thought we played out well from Ramsdale but lost our way around the halfway line with many misplaced passes which put us back defending .

  6. Thought both our fullbacks had really good games , from what I remember no crosses/pull backs came from the bye line , most of there crosses were angled in , the wide player not going past either fullback .

  7. Just had the chance to see that first goal on the highlights. Lovely to watch. Lovely to think about it.

  8. our first goal was an absolute beauty, all the more surprising since our start’d been particularly messy
    if that’s what the team becomes capable of delivering on a weekly basis … well, it’ll have been worth the wait
    i think bukayo could’ve been rested a little, once we were 3 goals up, i’m always afraid his (seemingly unbreakable) body’ll let him down at some point
    the hammers’ve been very good so far, their athleticism’ll be an interesting test, hope we gathered enough confidence yesterday

  9. I’ve noticed a numerous amounts of double speak this weekend about the “achievements” or “miserable failure” of teams depending, of course on who they are! A favoured team with one shot on target that wins by virtue of a highly disputable penalty is, of course, magnificent whilst a team which has 30 shots but loses to a team with no shots on target but happens to score via three deflections and a dodgy VAR decision, utterly deserved their win (depending, of course, on whether liked the opposition or not)!!

    By way of just one example, this was the BBC’s take on Arsenal Ladies. In consecutive sentences they said, Arsenal Ladies were “thrashed 4-0” by Barcelona and in the next sentence went on to say that Arsenal Ladies “best Hoffenheim 4-0”. So apparently when it happens to Arsenal we are “thrashed” but when we do the same to another team we merely “beat” them.

    Sorry BBC but that level of bias is not only extraordinarily impartial and completely unprofessional but also conflicts with a huge amount of the normal xenophobic shit you come out with. I’m sure the political editor will be horrified…….when he gets back from his/her trip to Old Trafford!!

Comments are closed.