- Leicester v Arsenal (I think!) The form guide
- Leicester City v Arsenal: the (revised) question of the referee
By Bulldog Drummond
Back in the 1930s there was a rather amusing set of results between Leicester and Arsenal. Between 11 September 1926 and 21 April 1930 the clubs played each other eight times and Arsenal failed to win any of these. The last of the games was an insane 6-6 draw in which Bastin got two and David Halliday got four.
That game seemed to spur Arsenal on (if you will forgive the expression) as in the next nine games Arsenal won seven, drew one and lost one. But that was not the most extraordinary thing, for starting with the game on 21 April 1930, across the ten Arsenal / Leicester league games continuing on to 15 December 1934, there were 59 goals. That is just under six goals a game. These included a 6-6 draw, an Arsenal away win 2-7, an Arsenal home win 8-2 and finally on 15 December 1934 an Arsenal 8-0 victory.
More of the same would go down well today – and as the BBC points out “Leicester could lose five consecutive league games against Arsenal for the first time in 91 years”. It would also mean three consecutive away wins against Leicester for the first time in 98 years.
Arsenal will be helped by the fact that Leicester have an atrocious home record – here is their record for this season at their own ground compared with Arsenal’s and the worst club in the league at home – Southampton.
|19||Leicester City home||11||3||3||5||15||13||2||12|
It is also noted that Leicester have the worst second-half record in the league, leaking 23 second half goals so far, and they have not once kept a clean sheet since football resumed after the mid-season break.
Much of the problem is down to Jamie Vardy who has scored one goal this season. Last season he got 15 goals, as he did the season before that. And indeed in 2015/16 he got 24.
However part of his decline may owe a little to Untold Arsenal for since we ran the story Leicester heading for all-time record number of penalties – which was statistically undeniable, their number of penalties has almost completely dried up.
The most penalties a club normally scores in a season is ten, but with Leicester, in 2020/21 they scored nine before Christmas which led us to suggest they were going to get double the normal number of penalties – and create that all-time record. Except that, immediately after our article (which also helpfully points out exactly how Leicester were convincing the refs to give them so many penalties) the penalties absolutely stopped. And have never re-started. It has been a major issue in their subsequent decline.
In a separate piece, the Mirror also has a comment from Mikel Arteta on Saka’s lack of protection from the referees, saying “he has also been targeted for some tough treatment with just four yellow cards shown to opponents from 40 fouls on him.
The first one who has to protect Bukayo is himself. There are many ways to do that on a football pitch – within the rules – and he needs to learn and improve that.
“He reacted in a way but that line is extremely thin and that cannot take him out of his game and lose the focus. But he can help that, as well, to have more focus, more determination, more belief for the next action. So it’s something he needs to do.”
“The word I would use is normality,” Arteta added on Saka’s treatment. “He’s used to it since he was 10, 11, 12 years old because that’s the game that he plays. I don’t see it like he’s concerned at all. It’s a challenge he’s going to face with every opponent he faces – he wants to win that challenge. That’s it.” He could have added “the referees won’t help him; that’s it” but of course he is far too good a diplomat for that. And we all know what PGMO is like.
As for the team The Mirror offers
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;
The Hard Tackle gives the same players as starting but with different positions
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka;
Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
90 min announce that Leicester have been doing better than Arsenal in the past month, which is probably true, but it is a bit arbitrary to do it on dates rather than last six games. As for the team, they agree with the Hard Tackle.
And in fact that seem to be the consensus of everyone.
So, after what has not been one of our finest moments in actually getting the location of the game wrong in an earlier post, we have caught up with reality to some degree. It is an away match, and we, like the media at large, expect an Arsenal win.
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21 Replies to “Leicester v Arsenal. An amusing statistic, and the predicted team”
Well everyone got our team wrong!! Trossard starts in attack with Eddie on the bench. Partey and ESR also start on the bench.
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Trossard.
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, Holding, Partey, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nketiah
When will we see the appearance of a new metric – xF (expected fines)? Curious minds need to know.
I am struggling to get my head around the recent spate of fines for Arsenal. It’s not as if were are worse than other teams in terms of surrounding the referee.
I wonder if it is related to PGMOL’s record of appalling decisions against Arsenal, and not wanting to have attention drawn towards their less than wholesome activities.
Funny how VAR can spot the most minor of infractions by an Arsenal player and completely miss Saka being flattened by a Leicester player!
Another three points despite the efforts of the PGMO.
Yes Andrew, amazing… but we beat yet again the opponent and the PGMO and the VAR… 🙂
Yes, a good performance, overcoming both Leicester and the VAR / match officials.
One nil to the Arsenal…. well a real vintage result.
Second time in a row we beat the referees.
The Young Gunners are showing mettle, resistance, persistance, will…. this is good.
And no vardy penalty…not even a chance for him to get one. Good.
As for the Guadrian, they just can’t keep finding negatives : “The last time they were in this position at this stage of the season they finished fourth.” at the end of the mbm, same remark at the beginning. Like if 10 years ago could still have some impact on a team. Deadwood journalists…
Good to get that 1-0 win at Leicester today . Is it true we have to score 3 times to make 1 goal count ?
Yes it is. Also, we have to accept the FA rule that no penalty can be awarded to Arsenal.
Leicester 13 fouls, no yellow
Arsenal 9 fouls one yellow, as usual Saka…
F…..g disgrace. Even the Guardian thought he should have been awarded a penalty, that is how bad the VAR/ref was.
The officials didn’t even try and hide their bias . Just as well the team put in a very decent performance and got the win they deserved.
When are they going to get a handle on these bent officials
Either Howard Webb is wanting more of the same, or perhaps they resent Webb , and Arsenal for the demise of Lee Mason?
According to the Premier League website, Saka’s goal was ruled out due to Gabriel Magalhães being offside. Interestingly, they make no mention of the fact that a goal was scored in this instance. Are they trying to hide something?
How many goals have Arsenal had disallowed this season? It must be 10-15.
How many penalties have we been awarded this season? Only 2
19 Red cards have been dished out in the PL this season.
92 Red cards have been given out in La Liga this season.
In their rush to create a “flowing” spectacle for spectators, PGMOL has kicked sporting fairness into touch, and put the health of players at risk.
I’ve watched it a dozen times on Arsenal.com and Gabriel Magalhaes is not involved in the move at any time so it couldn’t be him.
The ball was played to Gabriel Martinelli on the left of the box, who crossed it in for Saka to score. Saka was behind Martinelli when he crossed the ball. Gabriel played the ball backwards. Therefore it is impossible for Saka to be off side.
The only possible offside is when the ball is played through to Martinelli, and it is very close. It could be off it could be on but it’s hard to tell as Arsenal.com do not put the ‘lines’ up, for whatever reason.
I watched MOTD to see what they showed as they normally do put the lines up, but guess what? They didn’t even show the disallowed goal, or obviously talk about it.
Why is that? Surely a ‘contentious’ offside goal is a ‘highlight’, especially in a match with, it has to be said, so very little action in it, with Arsenal contributing just the ten shots with two on target, and Leicester City just the one shot off target. I mean you’d of thought they were crying out for a bit of contention, something to talk about. But nothing.
Add to that the fact it was very similar in nature to the Brentford ‘offside’ goal that contributed to the dismissal of Lee Mason. That alone makes it a major talking point. But nothing. WHY? Why would the BBC see fit to avoid even showing such a relevant decision?
I’m not saying it wasn’t offside, it was very close, so close, surely we as fans deserve seeing it ‘cleared up’ one way or the other, especially as I say, given recent events, but no, the BBC didn’t even show it.
Even if it’s nothing sinister, ignoring such a big incident in a match of so few incidents stinks!!!
The “Gabriel confusion” reminds me of the time when Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a game against Chelsea. It must be easy for the PL to mistake one Brazilian for another.
Like you, I watched MOTD, expecting to see the disallowed Saka goal, as it was a major incident, but they didn’t show it, or even mention it in the post-match “discussion”. I tweeted MOTD to ask why they were not showing the critical match incidents, but they didn’t reply. They are much too important (or complicit) for that. It’s very annoying, because the BBC has such an aggressive policy towards “fake news”, and has specialist disinformation reporters, but shows no interest in correcting its own errors.
I turned over to Sky, and they did show the second disallowed goal. Martinelli may have been onside or offside. No lines were drawn, so I can only conclude that VAR was never involved.
PGMOL did not want Arsenal to win the game. Unfortunately, they forgot to make allowances for a team that couldn’t manage one shot on target, apart from the Iheanacho goal, which was rightly disallowed because he was 4-5 feet offside.
Ben White’s “interference” with the Leicester goalkeeper was minor when compared with Aston Villa and Brentford WWE tactics, which the referees seem to be supporting.
In the Express today, Lewis Winter wrote – “Arsenal defender William Saliba was involved in an angry bust-up with centre-back partner Gabriel following the loss to Leicester, according to reports”.
You couldn’t make this crap up, unless you are a “Sports Reporter” for the national media.
I actually I think this ‘error’ is bigger than it is being made out to be. Or more accurately the way it is being ignored. The reason Lee Mason was fired was not really because he made an error. Although that is bad enough. It was because he didn’t follow procedure. And the procedure he failed to follow was to ‘draw the lines’.
This is what was said at the time:
“Arsenal were the victims of a huge VAR blunder during their 1-1 draw with Brentford at the Emirates as Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason forgot to draw the lines for the Bees’ equaliser”
This is the statement from the PGMOL:
“PGMOL can confirm its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted both Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday”.
“Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed by PGMOL.”
In other words he was sacked for not following procedure. For not putting down the lines.
Now as far as I can tell, this is exactly what happened in relation to Sakas goal. VAR seem not to of put down the lines AGAIN. Now I didn’t see the SKY highlights but I would be interested to know if they made anything of that because if they didn’t you have to ask why not, because just 2 weeks ago a VAR official was sacked for failing to do the very same.
Irrespective of whether it was on side or off side, it was a close call and surely procedure says lines must be drawn. It seems they weren’t and that, as we know, is a sackable offence, yet nothing.
The BBC totally ignore it.
SKY appear to make nothing of it.
I certainly haven’t seen anything in the press.
Sounds like at the very least it’s being brushed under the carpet, or more likely it’s a cover up. And if it is at who’s behest. It stinks.
Neil Swarbrick (head of implementation of VAR) will be leaving PGMOL at the end of the season.
I just gave myself a hernia reading an article from ESPN sports trying to justify the poor VAR decisions at the Arsenal match vs. Leicester. They were insisting that lines do not need to be shown when VAR checks offside decisions.
ESPN is now BT Sport 4, soon to become TNT sports.
Sports broadcaster doesn’t support transparent refereeing.
The media bending over backwards to defend the officials.
As you say, shocking.