By Bulldog Drummond
- Arsenal v Sunderland: a contrast in statues
- Arsenal v Sunderland: difficult years for the opposition on and off the pitch
Three of the four quarter finals in the League Cup this season are being played in London. Brentford are playing at home to Chelsea, and Tottenham are playing West Ham while the other game is Liverpool against Leicester
Sunderland have won the old First Division of the League six times, most recently in 1936, the FA Cup twice (most recently as a second division team in 1972–73), They also won Division 2 in 1976 and Division 3 in 1988. In more recent times they have won the second tier of English football (under different names) four times: 1996, 1999, 2005 and 2007. Which is of course four more times than Arsenal have done, particularly with Arsenal not being out of the top league for over 100 years.
They also won the Football League Trophy last season beating Tranmere Rovers 1-0 at Wembley.
Transfer Market reports that they have injuries to Jordan Willis, Niall Huggins, Denver Hume, Dennis Cirkin, Aiden McGeady, and Like O’Nien, which might seem like a lot but they are something of bunch of hearty roughs in League One and may well recover quickly.
Tackles, fouls and yellow cards
If you are a regular reader of Untold you will know that before each game we analyse the number of tackles, fouls and yellow cards that the two teams have to their name. Unfortunately, this sort of detail isn’t available when it comes to League One teams, but we have got data on the number of fouls and the number of yellow cards, which of course gives us the “fouls per yellow card” position of each club.
|Fouls per game||Yellow card per game||Fouls per yellow|
Arsenal are shown as committing more fouls per game than Sunderland, but part of that will be because a tackle that is a foul in the Premier League is not a foul in League One. It should be, but to keep the game flowing referees are more lenient in the lower leagues. However when it comes to dishing out the yellow cards, referees are more inclined toward the Premier League model, and so although Arsenal are seen by referees to commit more fouls, they get penalised less in terms of cards.
In fact, in terms of Premier League fouls Arsenal are one from bottom in terms of the fouls committed per game, currently being on 8.89 per game as shown above, with only Manchester City scoring fewer on 8.78
In terms of yellow cards Arsenal are 17th out of 20 clubs in the yellow card table, equal with Liverpool with 25 cards. Only Leicester and West Ham have fewer cards. Sunderland have 44 yellow cards, the 8th highest number in the league.
So quite obviously Sunderland are picking up more than twice as many yellow cards per game than Arsenal and something is causing it. We may suppose that they could be a bunch of hearty roughs, for example.
As for the referee – he is Simon Hooper. Here is his record this season…
|Games||Fouls per game||Yellow per game||Fouls per yellow|
So if he maintains his Premier League standard of 6.52 fouls per yellow, and maintains that against both teams, we will be in trouble, because Sunderland are regularly adjudged to foul less than Arsenal.
But if he judges both terms by Premier League standards in terms of fouls committed, they are liable to have quite a few players on yellow cards and maybe even one or two sent off.
More tomorrow ahead of the game.
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