Arsenal v Brighton: the astounding advantage Brighton bring into this game



By Bulldog Drummond

With this match being a League Cup affair it is possible that either or both sides will put out some reserve or junior players for the event, but I feel it is still worth looking at he tackles, fouls and yellow cards statistics, as this will probably be indicative of how each club approaches the game, and how the referee sees each club.  Each has played 13 games in the League so far.


Club Tackles Fouls Yellows
Arsenal 15.1 pg 10.2 pg 1.62 pg
Brighton 17.5 pg 10.8 pg 1.31 pg


So immediately we can see what is going on.  Brighton are putting in 16% more tackles than Arsenal but only getting called for 6% more fouls, and are actually getting 19% fewer yellow cards than Arsenal.

16% more tackles, 19% fewer yellow cards.  It’s a good trick if you can pull it off and I imagine a lot of clubs will be watching to see quite how they manage that.


Club Tackles per foul Tackles per yellow Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 1.48 9.32 6.30
Brighton 1.62 13.36 8.24
B&HA advantage 9.46% 43.35% 30.79%


Immediately we can see the staggering advantage Brighton and Hove Albion have on approaching this game.  They can commit 9.46% more tackles before being called out for a foul.  They can commit 43.35% more tackles before getting a yellow card than Arsenal.  And they can commit 30.79% more fouls than Arsenal before getting a yellow card.

These differences give Brighton and Hove a major advantage over Arsenal and show why Arteta is constantly working on reducing the number of tackles Arsenal make – as he has done since joining the club.

And if you don’t like all the statistics or believe that anything can be proven with statistics, here’s the basic fact.  Brighton commit more tackles and get called up for more fouls than Arsenal but despite this get a lot fewer yellow cards.

Here is the abbreviated yellow card chart as of today


Rank Club Cards
1. Manchester United 36
2. Fulham 35
3. Nottingham Forest 35
4. Everton 33
13. Arsenal 21
17. Brighton and Hove Albion 17
18. West Ham United 16
19. Liverpool 12
20. Manchester City 9


The referee is Jarred Gillett and here are his details…


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg
1.Michael Oliver 12 19.58 0.60 3.25
2.Anthony Taylor 12 20.17 0.53 3.50
3.Paul Tierney 11 20.45 0.62 3.91
15.Jarred Gillett 6 17.17 0.58 3.83


Gillett calls on average 17.17 fouls per game.   The median point is 20.67.   He gives 0.58 fouls per tackle which puts him in the bottom fifth on this measure.  And he gives out 3.83 yellow cards per game.  Data from Whoscored.  He has not awarded a single penalty all season thus far.

So if he hands it out true to form Arsenal are going to get more fouls given against them, overall and per tackle, and more yellow cards than Brighton.  But also it looks as if he will be letting go some fouls that most other referees will give.  It does not spell good news for Arsenal.

We have already compared the two clubs in terms of Arsenal at home and Brighton away, but if we compare them…


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 13 11 1 1 31 11 20 34
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 6 3 4 22 17 5 21


…we can see the big difference is in goals scored and conceded leading to Arsenal having a +15 better goal difference.

Indeed we can celebrate the fact that Arsenal have the most wins in the league this season, the fewest defeats, the fewest draws, the best defence, and are only second best in terms of goals scored.

So despite the referee we should have hope of a victory.

5 Replies to “Arsenal v Brighton: the astounding advantage Brighton bring into this game”

  1. It’s hardly surprising we get so many yellows when Saka gets constantly carded for being fouled!!

  2. I read somewhere that Saka has been fouled 19 times (that is only the fouls the ref has blown up for) and his assailants have received just one yellow card between them. I do not know how many fouls Saka has committed but he has received 3 yellow cards. Incredible really when you see how Saka is targeted by the opposition who must know that they have free reign to dish out the rough stuff without fear of repercussion.

  3. mick shelly

    My comment was based simply on what I felt I had seen, which I tend not to do. I like evidence.

    But your researched proves beyond doubt there is something very amiss with how Saka is being treated. Thanks for doing the research.

    It’s a disgrace. Yet another one of our young stars being kicked off the park with the full backing of the odious PIGMOB.

    Ramsey. Wilshire. Walcott.

    Is Saka going to be, yet another young gunner whos’ career will be blighted by injury, not because he ‘Injures Himself’, but because the men in black allow it to happen?

  4. I thought I’d do a little research, and I do mean a little, just for a bit of balance.

    Saka has committed 17 fouls for 3 Yellows. But 2 of those yellows were for diving. So, a card every 17 fouls. Now for a bit of perspective with regards to that relatively high foul count. Saka has won 14 tackles. That suggests Saka is working his socks off and putting in a lot of tackles. Xhaka, for example has won 10 tackles.

    Saka has been fouled 19 times. A card every 19 fouls. But as you say mick, that’s just the fouls that have been called.

    But here’s an interesting thing.

    Harry Kane has been called for just 10 fouls. On first glance you may think that suggests he’s getting away with murder, but given he’s only won 4 tackles suggests he doesn’t actually put many tackles in, hence the low foul count. But here’s the thing. On the back of those 10 fouls, Kane has received 4 yellow cards. A card every 2.5 fouls.

    Harsh? Or about time? Take your pick I suppose depending on who you support.

    Stats ay? Just shows you how small samples can be a bit misleading. If you want to know what’s really happening, you have to take as broad a sample as possible. I dug a little deeper but only really scratched the surface.

    For what it’s worth, my conclusions on how Saka is being treated by referees:

    -Given the immense effort he’s putting in with regards to his defensive duties he’s probably being called a reasonable number of fouls per tackle.

    -Given the number of fouls he’s been called for the cards/fouls ratio is not harsh.

    -The 2 cards he received for diving were a joke.

    -The number of times he’s been fouled is extremely high.

    -The leniency with which his assailants are treated is going to result in a serious injury if it is allowed to continue.

  5. Hi Tony

    I appreciate your article, but your data shows that over the course of the game, based on the average number of tackles each team actually makes in a game, the probability is that Brighton will get 1.2 yellow cards and Arsenal will get 1.6. In other words, both teams should get somewhere between 1 and 2 yellow cards. I don’t see this as an “astounding advantage”.


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