Arsenal v Newcastle: the story so far
By Sir Hardly Anyone
Our referee for the game against Newcastle is Andy Madley, and that means Arsenal have a problem. Because A. Madley is one of those referees (not to be confused with R Madley, also a Premier League referee) who doesn’t give in to home team bias.
Now leaving aside the fact that of course we want Arsenal to win, and Arsenal are at home, the fact is that seven of the PGMO’s Premier League referees persistently oversee more home wins than away wins. Which may sound normal and natural until you realise that there are four PGMO referees who oversee away wins in 50% or more of the games they oversee.
So it is not as bad as it could have been, if for example, we had been given Chris Kavanagh as the referee, since 60 percent (and that is not a misprint, it is sixty percent) of the Premier League games he referees, end up as away wins!
But just think of the help we would have if the referee were Simon Hooper and not Andy Madley. Such is the lunatic bias of refereeing within the PGMO.
Now of course it shouldn’t be like this at all – referees should all be coming in with roughly the same percentage levels of home wins. But the fact that there is so much variation shows that clubs that are able to influence the PGMO into giving them a home referee when they are at home and an away referee when away, gain a huge advantage.
And of course, the PGMO may well say (if they ever say anything) that referees are assigned at random, but given their hyper-secrecy and the real oddness of these figures, the question is, what on earth would make us ever believe anything they say?
Still, they have the media in their pockets for they never discuss this subject at all, so PGMO must be quite pleased about that.
And so Madley it is, so let’s consider his figures – and compare them with a couple of other referees…
|Referee||GAMES||Fouls pg||Fouls/TackLES||Yel pg|
But what about home and away bias? Here our referee tends to give slightly fewer fouls against the home team, and he also tends to be harsher on the away teams…
|Referee||Apps||Fouls pg||Fouls/Tackles||Yel pg||Yel|
|Andy Madley home||11||10.45||0.61||1.36||15|
|Andy Madley away||11||11.36||0.73||1.45||16|
So given these figures how do Arsenal and Newcastle compare in terms of their own record of tackles, fouls and yellow cards. In looking at these figures it is interesting to note just where Manchester United – who have recently crept up the league – are. They have 43 yellow cards, over three times as many as Liverpool.
But back to our game… Arsenal, continuing their Arteta-inspired revolution two seasons ago, are the third-lowest tackling team in the league.
|Club||Tackles pg||Fouls pg||Yellow cards|
So on to our regular analysis
|Club||Tackles per foul||Tackles per yellow||Fouls per yellow|
So by a series of modest margins Newcastle are treated more leniently by referees than Arsenal. They can put in more tackles per foul, they can put in more tackles per yellow card, and they can commit more fouls before picking up a yellow card.
Now of course, each time we show figures like this (which is in fact how the figures look for most games) the argument can be put that Arsenal have players who are less adept at producing clean legal tackles. And yet if this were so, surely we would observe it somehow, and surely the commentators who seem to pick up on every negative thing that can be thrown at Arsenal, would also mention this.
But they don’t which seems to suggest that there is a persistent, if small, tendency to penalise Arsenal defenders more than those of other teams.
It was ever thus.
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