By Bulldog Drummond
Normally around this time, Untold would publish its comparison table of tackles, fouls and yellow cards, but today we can’t do that because the data on fouls per club has not been updated by any of the sources we use, since the last round of matches.
As I have noted before, the Premier League itself refuses to publish data on fouls on their own website but it does turn up on other sites. The Premier League does have a page for this data, and you can see it here, and when the data appears elsewhere all sources publish the same figures – which presumably comes from the PL. But for the moment, nothing is being updated.
But ahead of the Leeds game, which as of 8am on 17 December is still scheduled for 5.30pm tomorrow, there is an interesting news story, which is that of players who have not had the vaccine.
As the Telegraph points out, “People who are double jabbed are not currently required to self-isolate if they come into contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19. Unvaccinated people, however, must quarantine for 10 days, meaning that just one or two positive tests could spiral into widespread unavailability if those players have been in close contact with unvaccinated players.”
Now we know that in Germany players who are not vaccinated are not paid if they miss a game or training session because of contact with a Covid positive person.
In the USA unvaccinated NFL players are restricted in terms of using club facilities and have to remain quarantined during away games. Vaccination among players there has risen to 95 per cent.
I’m not wanting to debate whether players should be punished for not being vaccinated because my experience is that the debate is futile, in the sense that nothing new emerges and no one changes her or his mind. Some people accept the scientific data, some believe different data – after a debate very few people change their mind. As you might guess, given the amount of data used on this site, I one who accepts the science.
But the clubs can put pressure on players to be vaccinated, for as the Telegraph reports, ‘Joseph Lappin, the head of employment law at the legal firm Stewarts, says the vast majority of player contracts will require them to follow “reasonable and lawful instructions” and that vaccination could be argued to fall into this category. “It could be on health and safety grounds but it could also be because it thinks having too many unvaccinated players means there is too high a risk of games being called off,” he said. “They may simply decide it is a necessary requirement of the job”.’
Certainly, it seems that ahead of the January transfer window clubs are letting it be known that they will be asking about vaccination status ahead of agreeing a transfer, just as they look at players’ injury history before signing a player.
Moving on, we can however see who the ref is: Andre Marriner – one of six referees that we had multiple times last season:
|Referee||Games||Fouls awarded against Arsenal per game||Yellow cards against Arsenal per game|
He is heavy-handed in giving fouls against Arsenal in each game as we can see, giving out 38% more fouls per game against Arsenal than Martin Atkinson. Only Craig Pawson hand out more yellow cards per game. So expect fouls against and yellow cards.
Moving on let’s finish with the home and away comparison:
|14||Leeds United home||8||2||4||2||9||11||-2||10|
This is where the league table takes on a not very encouraging perspective and makes Leeds favourite to win the game. They score more at home than we do away, they concede fewer at home than we do away.
So although we are fourth in the league overall against Leeds’ 14th and with 10 more points than they have, and a goal difference that is 10 better than theirs, on a pure home and away form, we could be in trouble. But a look at the league table overall suggests we will win…
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