Wolverhampton v Arsenal, tackles, fouls penalties and oddities



by Bulldog Drummond

Moving on from the basic observations we now come to the regular comparison we make of tackles, fouls and yellow cards between teams.

Data from WhoScored.   And as with past seasons, once there have been enough games to help us generate meaningful tables we look at how Arsenal are doing in terms of their defending and then compare the ratios with others.  If you are a regular reader you’ll know that this is where, in the past, we have found some extraordinary figures for clubs.   Today I’m taking a look at not only Arsenal and the team we are playing but also Manchester United and Leicester City.


Tackles pg Fouls pg Yellows pg
Arsenal 15.1 10.2 1.62
Wolverhampton 17.9 11.0 1.86`
Manchester Utd 16.2 11.6 2.77
Leicester City 17.8 10.1 1.29


So we can see that Wolverhampton are tackling more than Arsenal, fouling more than Arsenal and getting yellow cards more than Arsenal.   By way of comparison Manchester United and Leicester put in more tackles than Arsenal but fewer than Wolverhampton.

But Leicester as we have seen each year, get away with many more tackles than others, and once again they are getting called out for lower foul numbers per game than we might expect.  And when it comes to yellow cards, the ref hardly seems to be able to find them in his pocket when refereeing a Leicester game.

However, we also know after three years of analysis of this type of data that the more tackles a team puts in the more they get away with, and thus we find they can put in more tackles per foul, and more tackles per yellow.

But then quite often we find that the club is pulled back and gets yellow cards more rapidly in terms of the number of fouls.  And indeed Wolverhampton follow this pattern…


Tackles/foul Tackles/yellow Fouls/yellow
Arsenal 1.48 9.32 6.30
Wolverhampton 1.63 9.62 5.91
Manchester United 1.40 5.85 4.19
Leicester City 1.76 13.80 7.83


So yes Wolverhampton can put in more tackles before a foul is called than Arsenal, and more tackles before a yellow card is called.    They can tackle more before having a yellow card.   But if we consider the number of fouls they can commit before they get a yellow card, it is fewer than Arsenal.

Now if you are a regular reader you will know that we don’t normally concern ourselves with red cards because the number issued is low, and we certainly normally don’t look at red cards this early in the season, but it is noteworthy that while they are 8th in the league for yellow cards, they are top for red cards – having had three already.  Which is more than they got in the whole of last season.

Of course three is a small number and one must be cautious about drawing conclusions but it is an interesting point and one to keep in mind as we watch the tackles going in.  But let’s move on and introduce the Manchester United and Leicester City figures by way of comparison.

Manchester United are being constantly penalised by referees.  Arsenal can commit 59% more tackles before getting a yellow card than Arsenal.  With Wolverhampton the figures are similar to Arsenal although they get the yellow cards more often in terms of the number of fouls.

However, Leicester is a totally different club – playing an utterly different game.   If you are a long-term reader you will know that we have exposed their tactics before, and clearly we need to do so again.  They can commit over twice as many tackles as Man U before getting a foul called.  And more fouls than other teams before they get a yellow card.

How are they doing this?  Well, last time we looked we reached a conclusion and within a matter of weeks referees realised what was going on and changed their attitude.   We’ll keep an eye on Leicester to see if it happens again.

Arsenal and Leicester: Why PGMO have a lot to answer for

One Reply to “Wolverhampton v Arsenal, tackles, fouls penalties and oddities”

  1. Is this a Leicester thing or a Brendan Rodgers thing? After all, he’s their 4th manager since winning the league in ’16.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *