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Aston Villa v Arsenal: Villa tackle, foul and get carded more and Smith Rowe’s amazing figures.

By Bulldog Drummond

Aston Villa v Arsenal: ranting, and the form of the two clubs.

Here is the regular list of tackles, fouls and yellow cards for the two sides in tomorrow’s game…

Club Tackles Fouls Yellows
Aston Villa 473 282 60
Arsenal 395 248 37
Most 574 357 85
Least 373 235 35

What these figures show is that Arsenal are continuing the reduced tackle policy and it is keeping the fouls and yellow card numbers down.

Aston Villa have played one more game than Arsenal and so for our main numbers, we need to look at the per game figures.

Club Tackles/pg Fouls/pg Yellows/pg
Aston Villa (28 games) 16.89 10.07 2.14
Arsenal (27 games) 14.62 9.18 1.32

So as we can see Villa are putting in more tackles, and as a result getting round about one more foul against them per game, but also getting almost one more yellow per game which doesn’t seem a very good plan.

But this is an interesting statistic – and perhaps needs a bit of spelling out.  Villa put in two more tackles per game, get called up for one more foul per game and end up with just under one more yellow per game.

That looks like Villa being particularly penalised by referees, and although I don’t want to help them ahead of this match (not that they would ever take any notice of anything that appears here anyway) it looks from those figures as if they need to follow Arsenal’s approach of moving over to a reduced tackle programme. 

When Arsenal did this the yellow cards dropped from 80+ to around 45 in a season.  They have crept up a bit this season because of the introduction of a totally new defence, who took a while to get used to the policy, but the policy is still in place.

In terms of comparison between the two clubs concerning goals, Arsenal have scored two more than Villa, having played one fewer game.   Arsenal have also conceded eight goals fewer than Villa.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
9 Aston Villa 28 11 3 14 41 39 2 36
4 Arsenal 27 16 3 8 43 31 12 51

Since Christmas Aston Villa have played 12 matches – 11 in the league and one in the FA Cup.  Of these, they have won four, drawn two and lost six.  However, in recent times they have had a little flurry of success, beating Brighton and Hove away, Southampton at home and Leeds United away with a combined score of nine goals to nil.

But we might also note that all three of these sides are middle to lower range clubs in the league at the moment, and when, in their most recent game on 13 March, Villa were away to West Ham United their sequence ended and they lost 2-1.

This is Villa’s third season back in the Premiership after joining the Championship for three seasons.  In 2018/19 they came fifth, and then won promotion through the playoffs.  In the two seasons since then, they have come 17th and 11th.

In fact, Villa’s best season in the Premier League was the very first Premier League season when they came runners up, a height they have not reached since.  They have, however, during the Premier League years won the League Cup twice.  During this same period Arsenal have won the FA Cup nine times, the League cup once, the Cup Winners Cup once, and the Premier League three times.

Finally, I thought it might be worth looking at a list we have not seen before – goalscorers in the Premier League

Name Goals Pl Goals per 90 Mins per Goal  Shots Goal Conver Shot Accuracy
1
Mohamed Salah
20 27 0.80 113 87 23% 62%
2
Diogo Jota
13 26 0.67 135 52 25% 48%
3
Cristiano Ronaldo
12 24 0.56 160 62 19% 53%
3
Harry Kane
12 27 0.46 194 69 17% 58%
3
Sadio Mané
12 26 0.48 186 53 23% 58%
6
Son Heung-Min
11 25 0.46 197 45 24% 67%
6
Ivan Toney
11 24 0.47 191 43 26% 58%
8
Riyad Mahrez
10 22 0.75 121 37 27% 57%
8
Jamie Vardy
10 18 0.64 140 32 31% 53%
8
Raheem Sterling
10 23 0.57 157 38 26% 63%
11
Bruno Fernandes 
9 27 0.35 257 42 21% 50%
11
Emmanuel Dennis
9 27 0.37 243 39 23% 59%
11
Kevin De Bruyne
9 22 0.53 171 39 23% 59%
11
Raphinha
9 27 0.36 250 50 18% 40%
11
Emile Smith Rowe
9 23 0.57 157 24 38% 79%
11
Wilfried Zaha
9 24 0.40 225 32 28% 53%
17
Jarrod Bowen
8 28 0.31 295 47 17% 60%
17
Mason Mount
8 24 0.43 208 35 23% 63%
17
Michail Antonio
8 28 0.30 304 46 17% 50%
17
Bukayo Saka
8 27 0.35 260 40 20% 55%
17
Conor Gallagher
8 25 0.33 276 34 24% 59%
17
Neal Maupay
8 27 0.35 256 37 22% 38%
17
Teemu Pukki
8 28 0.29 306 31 26% 61%

Smith Rowe is fifth in the “minutes per goal” table this season across the whole league for players who has scored at least eight goals.

Smith Rowe has the highest goal conversion rate of any player who has scored eight or more this season.

Smith Rowe has the highest shot accuracy rating in the Premier League this season for anyone with eight or more goals this season.

And still people are going on and on and on and on and on and on about us being in desperate trouble because of a lack of a centre forward.

This football journalism – it’s a funny ol’ game.

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