By Tony Attwood
According to the referees of the Premier League, Leeds are committing twice as many fouls as Manchester City. And this makes a certain type of sense because Manchester City undertake only half the number of tackles as Leeds.
But now consider this. Arsenal have received three times as many yellow cards as Manchester City but only commit 18% more tackles than Manchester City. So why on earth are Arsenal getting all these yellow cards? Are our players really getting on for three times as bad at tackling as Manchester City?
Let’s try another one. Leeds are fouled twice as often as Manchester City. Why are players going out of their way to tackle Leeds players?
The fact is the range that we find in terms of tackles, fouls, and yellow cards is rather large. So large it seems rather strange.
For example, Crystal Palace players are fouled almost twice as much as Manchester United players. Why is that? Is it because Palace players are so nimble that they need to be fouled to stop them.
And why are Arsenal the third most fouled team in the league and by a long way the most fouled team of the top group of clubs at the moment?
Here are the figures for the big seven…
|Team||Tackles||Fouls pg||Tackles per foul||Fouled PG|
So let’s try and get a view on these figures. Chelsea tackle 60% more than Manchester City. Arsenal tackle 18% more than Manchester City.
But Chelsea and Arsenal both get 43% more fouls given against them than Manchester City.
Here’s another interesting one. Chelsea are able to comit 35% more tackles than Arsenal before having one of their tackles called a foul. Are Chelsea really 35% better at tackling than Arsenal?
Arsenal get fouled 62% more than Manchester United this season. Why are teams going out to foul Arsenal?
Of course there can be answers – such as a desire by defensive thugs to cripple Martinelli and so take him out of the game. But I am not sure that explains everything.
This table shows the number of tackles each club does, the number of fouls it gets and in the final column the number of times its players are fouled.
|Team||Tackles pg||Fouls pg||Fouled PG|
|1. Manchester City||12.6||7.2||8.2|
|5. West Ham||15.2||9.1||7.2|
|6. Nottingham Forest||15.5||11.3||10.7|
|7. Manchester United||15.6||12.2||7.1|
|11. Crystal Palace||17.4||12||13.3|
|18. Aston Villa||19.5||12.6||12.5|
These really are enormous variations. Why are Aston Villa players fouled quite so much? And why are clubs going out of their way to foul Palace, Villa and Arsenal. Is it a deliberate ploy? And if it is, shouldn’t PGMO be doing something to protect these players?
- How some escape yellow cards but others are penalised for tackles
- The team that commits the most tackles get the easiest ride
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: the team news, Jesus’ problem, and winning records
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: injury update, and the record between the clubs
- Bournemouth v Arsenal and Tottenham’s yellow card bonanza
- Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the dirtiest team of all?
- The great injury conundrum: how can Arsenal cope, and how are other clubs suffering?