By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal have been charged by the FA “with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 following their Premier League fixture against Leeds United FC on Sunday 16 October 2022. And of course this being Arsenal, the media tell us not that Arsenal have been “charged” but Arsenal “have been hit with a charge.”
The actual statement reads
“It’s alleged that the club failed to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 92nd minute of the fixture. Arsenal FC have until Monday 24 October 2022 to provide a response.”
Details of FA charges month by month are available online after the end of the month. The September reports are here and they really do make insightful reading. And it is interesting to read that there were 14 reports of “Mass confrontation” of the referee during September alone which suggests that matters are getting completely out of hand. Except that, no, this is refereeing, and this is PGMO, and this is the English media, so everything is ok.
A brawl is of course the responsibility of the players who fight, but the fact that so many brawls break out must suggest that there is something wrong with the way the referees are keeping order.
In Arsenal’s case the issue arose after the referee decided to send off Gabriel Magalhaes in time added on, and award Leeds a penalty. Both the card and penalty were shown to be completely wrong and Gabriel was given a yellow instead. So the charge really should be that, “It’s alleged that the club failed to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 92nd minute of the fixture AFTER THE REFEREE GOT TWO DECISIONS COMPLETELY WRONG.”
Anyway moving on to this weekend… and I think we should start with the home and away comparison, which I have found since we launched it several years ago, to be a very decent indicator of what might happen…
Southampton are 18th in the home fixture table, on goal difference above Everton and Nottingham Forest while Arsenal are top of the league on away performances
So on the basis of that table of Southampton and home and Arsenal away, a win for Arsenal looks obvious. Taking the goals chart the most likely result would seem to be 1-2 to Arsenal.
In fact, although we don’t normally run this it is worth pausing to see just how well Arsenal are doing away compared to other clubs near the top…
The Away Table – top five
In fact, only three clubs in the league have got a positive goal difference away from home at the moment, Arsenal with +7, Manchester City with +4 and Newcastle with +2. That is a remarkable achievement for Arsenal, given the access to limitless money that the other two teams have, and of course, one that seems to be totally missed by the media. Strange that.
September was a desperate month for Southampton as was the opening of October, and matters have only improved in the last two games with a 1-1 draw with WHAM and a 0-1 away win along the coast at AFC Bournemouth.
|3 Sep 2022||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton||L||1-0||Premier League|
|16 Sep 2022||Aston Villa v Southampton||L||1-0||Premier League|
|1 Oct 2022||Southampton v Everton||L||1-2||Premier League|
|8 Oct 2022||Manchester City v Southampton||L||4-0||Premier League|
|16 Oct 2022||Southampton v West Ham United||D||1-1||Premier League|
|19 Oct 2022||AFC Bournemouth v Southampton||W||0-1||Premier League|
This might suggest that Arsenal could do better than the 2-1 win suggested but our recent games have shown a drying up of goals.
|13 Oct 2022||FK Bodo Glimt v Arsenal||W||0-1||Europa League|
|16 Oct 2022||Leeds United v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|20 Oct 2022||Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven||W||1-0||Europa League|
In the league this season Southampton have never scored more than two goals in a game – they did that twice in August against Leeds and Leicester. In their last six Premier League matches they have scored one goal in each of three games, and no goals in the other three games.
In Arsenal’s last six Premier League matches Arsenal have scored three goals three times, two goals twice, and one goal once.
So whichever way we look at this it is going to be a huge turnup if Arsenal don’t win, and quite a disappointment if Arsenal don’t score two. Or more.
- On the Arsenal History Society site today: 22 October: It’s Arsène Wenger’s birthday and on our day by day video archive for this day we have Arsenal beat Everton 5-2 away: time to watch the goals go in