PGMO invents new rules to take Arsenal top of the league, as the triumph continues

By Tony Attwood

They’ve been anxious to do it for some time, finding that Arsenal have been on the same number of red cards in the league this season as almost half the clubs in the Premier League, but finally they got their desire and Arsenal are back on top (taking alphabetical order into account).  Here’s the list of number of red cards in the league this season…

Rank Club No of red cards
1. Arsenal 3
2. Aston Villa 3
3. Manchester City 2
4. Manchester United 2
5. Newcastle United 2
6. Southampton 2
7. Watford 2
8. West Ham United 2
9. Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

Of course, there will be a lot of chit-chat about cards awarded in cup matches, but having Arsenal on the same number of reds as the likes of the much-admired and truly-loved Manchester City and West Ham, was never going to last, and so the additional card duly turned up last night.

Do refs have to stop play and tell players they have been carded?  Well, I thought so, but seemingly not, play is allowed to go on, and then the card comes out retrospectively.   Although it was somewhat refreshing to see that even some of the media felt that was all a bit weird, stretching PGMO rule playing just a little bit further than seemed comfortable.

The Guardian’s headline is “Gabriel bundles Arsenal past Wolves despite Martinelli’s remarkable red card while the Telegraph offers, “Arsenal battle to victory at Wolves after Gabriel Martinelli shown strangest of red cards.”   

In the Mail we have “Martin Keown blasts ‘PEDANTIC’ referee Michael Oliver for sending Gabriel Martinelli off for two fouls in the SAME passage of play… and praises Arsenal for channelling anger to seal win at Wolves”

Only the Mirror deviates a little, and even then they recognise that the event was downright odd, with “Bruno Lage blames “strange” decisions after “better team” Wolves beaten by Arsenal” although in typical Mirronian fashion there is nothing in the text that follows that really tells us what the strange decisions were.  Although I guess we know.

At least the BBC gives us a certain amount of balance with its headline Gabriel scores only goal at Molineux.   “That,” as someone once said, as Tony Adams raised his arms to the heavens, “sums it all up”.

But the main point was that the red card gave the media yet another excuse to avoid the key issues, which shows Arsenal with the sixth-best attack in the league and the sixth-best defence in the league.  Not perfect but since the defence is totally new this season, and we have the youngest team in the league, that does give me a reason to be cheerful for the future.

And that current form issue that we were featuring ahead of the game proved its validity as a predictor once again.  Not a perfect predictor of course because all runs come to an end some time, but still one of the better predictors of the next result that there is.

Across the last six league games played by each club, we are still in second place, and although our goal tally has slipped a little we still have the best attack in the league over the last league six games (equal with two other teams) and the best defence in the league, equal with one other team.

Wouldn’t you think that was worth a mention somewhere?   But no, apart from here, I am not sure where you will find that.

What makes this so extraordinary is that throughout the winter break the media had one theme when it came to Arsenal.  The transfer window was a disaster and Arsenal were on a slippery slope.

And yes maybe we do need some more attackers (although I am doubtful that we need more defenders) but really, just how desperate is this form of raging journalism, when we are the top-scoring team in the league across the last six league games?

And incidentally, there is not something quirky about the last six Premier League games – if we went to the last seven the results would be even better…   Here they are…

Date Match Res Score
11 Dec 2021 Arsenal v Southampton W 3-0
15 Dec 2021 Arsenal v West Ham United W 2-0
18 Dec 2021 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4
26 Dec 2021 Norwich City v Arsenal W 0-5
1 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Manchester City L 1-2
23 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Burnley D 0-0
10 Feb 2022 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal W 0-1

… and we are sticking with six because we have been running this all season (as you may recall since I got the table wrong the first time we ran it – although unlike most of the media I did apologise).

But no I won’t change things now and start doing the last seven.  Six it will stay.   Here is the actual table for the last six games…

League table for last six games in the Premier League
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 6 5 1 0 13 5 8 16
2 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 13 3 10 13
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 4 1 1 7 3 4 13
4 West Ham United 6 4 0 2 12 7 5 12
5 Liverpool 6 3 2 1 12 6 6 11
6 Manchester Utd 6 3 2 1 10 6 4 11
7 Southampton 6 3 2 1 13 10 3 11
8 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 2 4 0 9 6 3 10
9 Tottenham Hotspur 6 3 1 2 10 8 2 10
10 Chelsea 6 2 3 1 9 6 3 9

Oh, and just to deal with one other bit of knocking copy.  It is said in some quarters that we’ve had a very easy run of games in the last six so the table is misleading.  Actually no, because three of those six Arsenal games have been against the teams sitting first, third and fourth in the last six games table.

But of course, the media have been saying all winter that we need more players, so that makes it rather embarrassing for them.  Or at least it would if they were able to feel embarrassed. 


13 Replies to “PGMO invents new rules to take Arsenal top of the league, as the triumph continues”

  1. Tony

    “Do refs have to stop play and tell players they have been carded? Well, I thought so “

    It has been in the laws for as long as I can remember that of a yellow card offence has been committed and advantage played.

    Here’s the law and to be fair I think we see this happening quite a lot.

    If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution/sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play.

    There is an exception to this and that is when it’s the players second

    I think last night you have to put the sending off to Martinelli and not try and blame it on anyone else.

  2. The ball was out of play for the throw in. Aren’t you suppose to restart the throw in and give a yellow card straight away? How can you give an advantage? Have you ever seen an advantage given for a throw in or a free kick where the opposing player stands in the way etc? No! They get booked and free kick is retaken.

    I don’t know the rulebook, but surely the ref made a mistake here. Both incidents were isolated yellows no doubt, but the second shouldn’t been allowed to happen if the ref did his job.

  3. MikeT
    I don’t think many of us disagree that both cards were worthy of a yellow and with how Oliver implemented the rules.
    The problem I have is that these sort of ‘two possible yellows in one phase of play’ situations almost always result in just the one yellow being issued. I cannot recall having seen a similar implementation of the rules as happened last night. Most ‘experts’ who’s opinions I have seen seem to agree with that assessment. So yet again we seem to have been treated strictly to the letter of the law where other teams may have been treated less harshly.

  4. Funny thought….if it had been Xhaka…what would most everybody be saying ?
    This just to show how even as we supporters come with our bias…

    Arsenal players are not robots, this is a thing I like about them. But they need to apply the rule : don’t get mad, get even.

    And the table looks funny. Incapable Arsenal on 5th with a couple of games in hand.
    All those moaners about refereeing, what are they upset about ? I mean, visibly they are helping us out, are they not ?!?!??!
    They even assigned one of them 5 times since the start of the season : if this is not the proof Arsenal are being helped, then what is it ?!

  5. Advantage
    If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution/sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play.

    What I do not understand is when the incident happened the ball was out of play so surely the game should not of been restarted if the official was going to book Martinelli.

  6. @Steve,

    you are just re-enforcing my argument :

    the referees of PGMOL are an incompetent bunch. Don’t even know the rules of the game and cannot even start justifying their own decisions.

    These are based more on their own preferences or biases then on the actual ‘rule of law’. No two decisions in two similar events will be producing the same result.
    And the wild swings in statistics like tackle per foul, yellows per foul are just the proof of it.

    We ought to start a tatistic of yellows for non-game events that would show another way they express their bias toward some players and/or teams.

    Incompetent, arrogant morons.
    Repeat after me :
    incompetent arrogant morons.


  7. It seems Arteta is not happy with last nights red card and the VAR treatment we have had and is going to ask for explanations.

    Arteta sounds sick and tired of the treatment we receive from the refs but I am afraid if he kicks up a fuss it could lead to even harsher treatment from Riley and his cronies.

  8. It could be very different with Mr Arteta and the PGMO precisely because he had a number of seasons as a player with Everton and Arsenal in the Riley era, and therefore has the dressing room knowledge of how players deal with the nonsense.

    Rileyand the PGMO are on thin ice because sport is a cauldron and no one single sport can control the temperature of the boiling pot. The bias of officiating referees/the administration of sports, cannot be taken out of the cauldron.

  9. I was very concerned with the way events unfolded regarding Martinelli’s dismissal:-
    a) Martinelli was fouled
    b) when he petulantly hindered the throw in the ball the result was a foul throw which, of course, the linesman failed to indicate
    c) the game therefore should not have restarted until Martinelli had received a caution
    d) Oliver was very demonstrative with the brandishing of the cards
    Surely the Arsenal management highlighted .to the players who the referee was and his almost orgasmic pleasure in dismissing our players. His failure to dismiss Evans at Leicester and Fernandes for raking his studs down Xhaka’s leg were inexcusable but alarmingly predictable.
    Mark Halsey today said “Oliver was looking for trouble and found it”
    Keith Hackett was also vvery criticalsaying “Oliver could have managed the situation better”
    We recall Alex Ferguson having Mark Clattenburg stopped from officiating Man United games.
    Let’s hope Mr Areteta can have the same clout – but don’t bank on it.

  10. One thing that seemingly has not been discussed is that Martinelli’s first infringement occurred when the ball was not in play. Therefore, the advantage rule does not apply. Play should not have continued and Martinelli should have received a yellow card at that time.

  11. @Mick,

    Oliver is an arrogant incompetent moron. IAM
    Forget Arsenal for a while and just go back to the way he screwed up the Borussia Dortmund CL game in the fall. Tell you what : fans in germany where shocked as were the press.
    He is the perfect example of how total lack of any kind of human management at PGMOL is starting to be clearly visible.
    Such a referee would be kicked out of any kids game by the parents themselves yet he is proving game after game urbi et orbi how incompetent he is in what is supposed the best league in the world.
    PGMOL have NO quality control whatsoever. Or, I should say they have quality control in form of their boss stating they get 99.whatever % of decisions correct. This is not an organisation, but a clan of thugs out to wreck the beautiful game.
    And the more it goes on and gets worse, the more I lose respect for the owners who basically let the village idiot mechanic not even capable of fixing his skateboard drive their ferraris and lamborghinis.

    The owners are not any less idiotoc then PGMOL. As for the PL management, they’ve proven their total incapability beyond any doubt in the past decades.
    Visibly being a billionaire is not some part of the equation ending with = intelligent.

    The one interesting development is that slowly but surely the seeds of doubts Untold as been sowing for years are starting to blossom and negative story-telling has appeared.

  12. Thomas Partey has been carded for each of the last 3 fouls he has committed. That is a very strange statistic.

    Partey, Xhaka and Gabriel Mag were all carded last night. Are PGMOL trying to arrange for them all to be suspended for a particular game later in the season? Keep an eye on this one.

  13. Surely if Oliver has administered a punishment in contravention of the laws of the game then the first caution must be
    null and void as would happen in a court of law?

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