Arsenal v Fulham: what the statistics tell us ahead of the game


By Bulldog Drummond

We’re always looking for new approaches when presenting matches so here is another way of looking forward to a match, courtesy of some statistics we have not used before.  These come from the WhoScored site but the commentary is ours.   (Unless you disagree in which case we might deny it).


club P Goals Shots pg yellows Possession Pass Aerials Won Rating
Arsenal 3 9 14.3 4 50.6% 85.3% 16 6.88
Fulham 3 5 12 8 38.7% 68.1% 18.7 6.63


Obviously this early in the season and the clubs will not be so noticeably different, but there are one or two pointers already – most noticeably here, the number of yellow cards (Fulham have double our total) and the amount of possession – we are much more a possession-based team than Fulham.  Fulham have a little over a third possession in matches this season on average, while we have over half of the possession.

And even more so, the pass rate success is astoundingly different.  We have over 17% more possession per match than Fulham – and that really is quite a difference when maintained over three games.

The only thing this first table shows that gives Fulham the advantage is the number of aerials won, except for one thing.  There is a way of playing in which players can allow the opposition defenders to leap to head the ball, knowing that the attack will be quicker at moving on the ball as it drops.




club games Shots pg Tackles pg Interceptions pg Fouls pg Offsides pg Rating
Arsenal 3 7.3 17 9 12 2.3 6.88
Fulham 3 10.3 18.7 10 11.3 3 6.63


PG = Per game.   So we get 30% more shorts per game, and slighly more tackles and interceptions per game.   But our number of fouls per game is lower.



club games Shots pg Shots OT pg* Dribbles pg Fouled pg Rating
Arsenal 3 14.3 5 12 12.3 6.88
Fulham 3 12 5 4.3 7.3 6.63


*Shots on target per game.

So we are delivering more shots, but not more on target.  We are using dribbles nearly three times as much as Fulham, and we are being fouled two-thirds more than Fulham – which tells us quite a bit about the way teams are defending against Arsenal.




Tournament games Total Out Of Box Six Yard Box penalty area Rating
Arsenal 3 14.3 3 2 9.3 6.88
Fulham 3 12 2.7 1.7 7.7 6.63


Here we can see we are shooting slightly more often, and exceeding Fulham in terms of every position from which we take shots.  The difference is not enormous but it is there throughout the game.

Finally, what sort of difference does the referee make?

I know of course that there are many people who feel that our regular review of referee behaviour is irrelevant and it is simply up to the club to deal with the referee, as much as with the opposition.

But I thought it would be interesting to see if we could spot any differences between different referees.

And indeed we can see that Darren England gave 50% more fouls against Arsenal than Craig Pawson, largely because he was giving fouls for issues other than tackles.  Quite what they were we don’t know, but he certainly found them.


Referee games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Pen pg Yel pg Yellow
Anthony Taylor 1 11.00 0.38 0.00 2.00 2
Craig Pawson 1 10.00 0.71 0.00 1.00 1
Darren England 1 15.00 1.88 0.00 1.00 1
Average 12.00 0.71 0.00 1.33 4



Finally, what sort of results are Fulham getting here?


Referee games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Pen pg Yel pg Yellow
1.John Brooks 1 14.00 0.74 0.00 3.00 3
2.Andy Madley 1 7.00 0.28 0.00 2.00 2
3.Peter Bankes 1 13.00 1.08 0.00 3.00 3
Average 3 11.33 0.61 0.00 2.67 8


They too have suffered from variable referees, Madley giving half the number of fouls as Brooks.  And an astonishing range of fouls per tackle – Madley giving four times as many fouls per tackles as Bankes.   It just shows that games are determined to a fair degree by referees, not by the players.

But perhaps above all we will notice that Fulham pick up twice as many yellows as we do.

We shall see.


9 Replies to “Arsenal v Fulham: what the statistics tell us ahead of the game”

  1. Gallows humour…Bournemouth fans poking fun at Arsenal for only scoring 3 on them 🙂

  2. Well, our referee is certainly letting Fulham get stuck in. I wouldn’t exactly call them dirty but it is strange that we have more yellows than them despite their consistent fouling.

  3. Well a hard fougth win. We didn’t start as bright as in the previous matches. A bit of thinking things would be too easy? A terrible mistake by Gabriel, a lucky deflection on the Odegaard shot and then Gabriel making up for his mistake. Dirty wins also count. COYG!

  4. No quit in this team so far this season. They did not hangs their heads when they went down. Odegaard a terrific player and Captain.

  5. It was nice to see our level of committment remaining high throughout the match. Their goal did not spur us to attack…we were already attacking although it may have made us adjust some tactics. Arteta switched Martinelli and Saka and then brought on Nketiah who was a live wire. Full marks for the results!

  6. I was at the game and as usual I expected selective vision to miss important events. In the first minute when the corner was being taken by Martinelli, I noticed that Jesus was being pulled by his arm and being held back from the ball. The Referee obviously saw the foul and must know that it is a penalty. VAR must also have seen it, but then many don’t see the obvious. The rest of the game was bathed in the selective vision of the Jarred Gilett who robbed us of victory while on VAR a little while ago against Crystal Palace.

  7. Martin Ødegaard is the only Arsenal player to score more than 2 goals this season.

    I thought I’d get that one in before Lawrence or the Guardian steal my thunder.

  8. Gary Lineker still cannot understand (after 1 year) why Real Madrid sold Martin Ødegaard. Possibly because he wanted to leave after not getting any game time. 8 appearances in 6 years must have been quite discouraging for a player of his quality.

    Don’t forget that Raheem Sterling was “fuming, raging” at his treatment by Man. City.

    If I was on £200,000 p/w I’d be gutted, too.

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