By Tony Attwood
We have often looked at how different referees have different ways of handling matches. And indeed it looks like this season will be no different, meaning that in part, how well a club does in the league, depends on which referees the club gets.
But as the figures below, the PGMO-wide bias against some clubs in favour of others still continues and this is truly shocking.
And that’s not all. We’ll come to the way referees consider different clubs in a moment but first, consider this…
Stuart Attwell has overseen four PL games this season. All have been home wins. Now that might not seem too extreme – after all it is only four games. But last season Attwell refereed 20 Premier League games and 60% of these were home wins. David Coote on the other hand refereed 20 games of which only 25% were home wins – a staggering difference.
Craig Pawson however has refereed five games this season and none have been home wins. In fact four of Pawson’s games have resulted in away wins – again a remarkable number.
In the figures that follow the number of fouls per game is for both sides per game, so I’ve made the assumption that the referee hands these out equally, and then divided by two to get the average fouls per game per team. The same process applies for yellow cards.
This table sets out the basics for the most regularly operating referees. The explanations of the columns are below, but if you are in a hurry you can skip these and the table and move on to the conclusions further down the page.
The columns represent
Fouls PG AFC = Fouls committed by Arsenal per game
50% fouls PG all games = The average number of fouls per game awarded by the referee divided by two (to give an approximation of fouls awarded by this ref to clubs on average.
So we can compare the first two columns and see that only one referee really seems to be targetting Arsenal and that is Darren England who marked up 15 fouls in a game against Arsenal, while on average only handing out 10.8 fouls per club per match.
Yel PG AFC = Arsenal yellow cards per game.
Ref Yel PG 50% of total per match = number of yellows given out by this ref on average per match, divided by two, so as to reflect the number per team. This figure can be compared with the previous column which shows Arsenal’s yellow card per game. The figures suggest Arsenal is not being singled out.
The final two columns show the percentage of games for each referee that end up as home wins and away wins.
|Referee||Fouls pg AFC||50% Fouls PG All games||Yel pg AFC||Ref Yel PG 50% of total per match||home wins||away wins|
What we can see is that Arsenal are absolutely middle of the road for fouls and yellow cards this season.
But clearly, the figures for several referees are eccentric. Pawson and Taylor have overseen no home wins in 21 matches between them! Jones has seen no away wins or draws! What is going on?
Against this, we can note that there have been 67 games this season in the league. 33 have been home wins. 19 have been draws and 15 have been away wins. In percentage terms that means 49.25% have been home wins, 28.36% have been draws and 22.38% have been away wins. Yet Pawson and Taylor have between them not overseen a single one of these!!!!!
|Club||Home wins||Away wins||Draws|
|All Premier League||49.25%||22.38%||28.36%|
|Refs of Arsenal games||42.57%||34.42%||33.01%|
We can also take a look at the analysis which compares tackles, fouls and yellow cards – all figures are per game.
And we can see the power of Liverpool and Manchester City here. Manchester City can commit 11.69 fouls before getting a yellow card. That is over twice the number of fouls that it takes before Arsenal get a card. Liverpool can commit 9.12 fouls before getting a yellow card. That is almost as bad.
Of course, we are not being as hard done by as Manchester United who are getting a yellow card for every 3.75 fouls. Manchester City have to commit three times as many fouls as Manchester United before getting a yellow card.
And yes I know that Manchester United are a bunch of hearty roughs, but not 312% heartier and rougher than Manchester City.
And again, has anyone seriously watched Leicester and compared them with Tottenham to be able to suggest that Leicester’s tackles are consistently 33% worse than Tottenham’s? And for goodness sake, everyone knows I’m not a Tottenham fan. Are Arsenal really operating at the same level as Leeds when it comes to punishing fouls?
According to today’s referees in the PGMO, Arsenal fouls are twice as bad as Manchester City’s. And quite simply I have seen no evidence to show that is true.
In fact, I’d say if you want some statistical evidence that there is something seriously wrong with PGMO referees, it’s here, in these numbers.
- How some escape yellow cards but others are penalised for tackles
- The team that commits the most tackles get the easiest ride
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: their problems with fouls and cards, and the team
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences