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Paying the Penalty

By Ian Tanner

Stats reveal Arsenal suffer when it comes to spot kicks

Twelve months ago, in A Fox in the Box, I noted the importance of penalties awarded (13) to Leicester City’s remarkable triumph. By contrast, we Gooners were awarded just two, neither of which were at THOF. My argument – then and still – goes as follows: the more attacking a team, the more goals should be scored from what we could refer to as “open-play”. Stands to reason, dunnit? Goals from open-play I term “non-penalty goals”, a true reflection of a team’s potency or impotency in and around the opposition’s box, if you’ll excuse the double entendre. And the more non-penalty goals, the more penalties one can expect to be awarded, or so goes my theory.

Dividing the number of non-penalty goals by the number of penalties awarded gives a ratio which indicates how many non-penalty goals a team must score in order to be awarded a penalty, whether scored or not and, for that matter, whether justified or not. Last season, Leicester City also topped “my” table, needing to score a mere 4.5 non-penalty goals to be awarded a penalty. Arsenal’s ratio was 32 as we scored 65 goals, including one of the two penalties awarded: (65 – 1) / 2 = 32. QED. Officialdom was only less parsimonious to relegated Norwich City than to Arsenal. Referees obviously didn’t feel intimidated into giving us spot-kicks, deserved or otherwise.

This season, the winner of the fewest number of non-penalty goals scored per penalty awarded is AFC Bournemouth. For your delectation, the full list, with all numbers shown to 1 decimal place is illustrated… on the left side of the two tables.

Dean Court (as I still call it) was the first ground to which my dad took me when Ted MacDougall was in his heyday, so to see a cherry on the top is the icing on the cake. At the other end, The Baggies bagged just one penalty. Incidentally, the PL’s bottom 6 clubs – by which I mean from 15th placed Swansea, Burnley and Watford to relegated Hull, Boro and Sunderland – scored all 22 penalties they were awarded.

Whereas last season we didn’t get a home Premier League penalty, this season we only had to wait 28 minutes. Theo missed! Incidentally, talking of ex-Saints, in that opening-day home defeat to Liverpool, there were five of them on the scoresheet. Dear Norris, is this a record?

Now you may well be thinking: “But what about goals that are scored from penalty rebounds, not directly from the spot? Have you accounted for such and, if so, how?” My answer: “No, and get a life! If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s a pedant.” Chickens and eggs spring to mind.

But there’s more. This season, I’ve applied my logic to defence as well as attack, a corollary to the above. If a team concedes a lot of penalties, it surely follows that they concede a commensurate number of non-penalty goals. You should know already that Everton’s penalty was the tenth awarded against us this season, putting us second behind relegated Hull City, who were surely unlucky to concede 13. All ten were converted, by the way, and three (all dodgy, IMHO) were conceded in successive home games against the Spuds, Bournemouth and Stoke. So our “Goals Against” column, at 44, translated to 34 non-penalty goals. Dividing this into the ten penalties conceded gives a ratio of 3.4. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that we have the dubious honour of topping my second table (and by some margin) – on the right hand side of the two tables above.

Looking back, it’s easy to forget that the three-month period from 22nd October saw us concede just four goals in seven home Premier League matches, all of them penalties. Dear Norris, is this a record?

7th June 2017 11:13:01

(5.1/10)

Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

mbg  11:35am 7th Jun 2017

I wonder what or who is to blame for that ? i'd imagine the more attacking team you are the more pens you'd get instead of tippy tappying crap back and forward around the box going nowhere, and we know who's fault that is. We want wenger out. - Post No. 107911


Yes its Ron  11:40am 7th Jun 2017

To be honest, though youre correct is saying that an attacking team should get more pens. i think these days the ability to dive, con and cheat is the major factor in getting them. Lets face it, most of the pens are harshly given these days in today's non physical game. The ability to cheat is essential. I personally think many of them gained by Vardy for e.g as Leics won the title were given by dint of his impressive conning ability (and the Foxes are my 2nd team!). We dont have , shall we say any serious' game nous'forwards. Its laudable on one hand but naive on the other. All of the other so called top clubs have a cheat or 2! - Post No. 107912


Hi Berry  12:17pm 7th Jun 2017

Not quite sure if this sets out to prove anything or not....sounds like the sort of article Untold would revel in which would thereby confirm their long held belief of a refereeing conspiracy against us. My take on it is that in order to be awarded a penalty, attackers need to be in possession of the ball in the box whereas we tend to spend a lot of the time passing the interminably from side to side outside the box. Perhaps if our defence were schooled correctly in the art of stopping opposition players getting into our box with the ball and setting themselves in readiness for a possible counter-attack we wouldn't be making desperate lunges and tackles that result in penalties. The other factor that might be taken into account would be the ingrained attitude of officials after years of being moaned at by our manager over every contentious issue during a game. - Post No. 107913


jjetplane  12:39pm 7th Jun 2017

Hi Berry on the nail - more Untold fodder that Atwood would print all day. More important just saw a video of the new signing Super Sead K. He is in the record books for scoring the quickest own goal in the history of the World Cup. Lovely little back flick under no pressure but sure such accidents will not happen under Wenger. AFC just keep giving laughs for free. Also note AFC are 6th richest club in the world - not bad for a poor footballing side with not a single major trophy for 13 years. No wonder Wenger took another free ride for two years. Cushiest job in football and forget the so-called pressure - there isn't any. - Post No. 107914


Yes its Ron  13:50pm 7th Jun 2017

JJ - A bit unfair. I think none other than Stuart Pearce scored 4 maybe 5 own goals in his career as i recall reading somewhere. Carragher was once a full back and he scored 6 or 7 OGs in his time from FB and CB. A few OGs dont a bad defender make. How many did our esteemed Mr Keown notch? A few as i recall seeing. - Post No. 107915


jjetplane  15:08pm 7th Jun 2017

What's unfair about a fact. It's gone viral, it's a perfect fit for the perception that AFC are a bit of a joke under Wenger. RON you appear to have moved to the other side and seem to be in the Wenger apologist camp. Amusing. I see our old mate with the brazen German teeth is on a spend frenzy. Will we see a blazing Liverpool next season. I hope so along with Utd, Chelsea, City, Totts and hopefully Everton with the Hammers looking for a place. Wenger to finish 9th and go out of last 16 in Europa. It's only football and that means AFC are always good for a laugh. Ps the new boy is also described as a tree - sounds promising. - Post No. 107917


Yes its Ron  15:31pm 7th Jun 2017

jj - my view on AW needing to have gone remains the same as ever its been. Fact is that he s not going anywhere until hes on his way down a river with no paddle so i dont see the point in carrying on beating the drum for him to be dismissed or to resign. The issue is his new defender. Its not right to condemn the bloke as Santos revisited until we ve seen him surely? Holdings a decent player in my view and he was a cheapo buy wasnt he. Circumstances and the inevitable pattern of static progress or decline will see AW off now. The debates done for me. PS i think Liverpool will shape up well but not Everton mate. About the same for them i suspect. I think Spurs will do ok despite Wembley. Chelsea will go from strength to strength and maybe do back to back titles. Still unconvinced about Pep at City. Much to do there i reckon for one close Season? Arsenal - about the same. - Post No. 107918


mbg  16:33pm 7th Jun 2017

And as usual just like every other season and among all the furore of the weasel's so called usual spending spree with a couple of cartons of Benson + Hedges (and a free lighter) everybody is forgetting (well not everybody of course ) and no doubt in a lot of cases conveniently, thinking this time it's going to be different, again, LOL, who and what is the biggest liability of all regardless of who we sign even if their for forty King size and a box of matches, TOF himself, he ruins everything/person he touches. wenger out. - Post No. 107919


jjetplane  17:04pm 7th Jun 2017

RON Wenger will no doubt be at AFC until he is 90 and it really is a shame. Any proper top club would have shown him the door years ago. Arsenal stands out amongst the top clubs as the one who are nowhere the big trophies and will not be any time soon. Know what you mean about Everton but like Palace, Hammers, Bournemouth, Baggies, Stoke, Foxes et al Wenger will find himself in new company next season with these clubs hunting for points of Arsenal. Two or three losses against such clubs before Xmas should make things interesting. Will not make an iota of difference to Wenger's position and expect to see another contract after this one too. AFC are meaningless now and taking the P out of another freebie is fair game in my book. No club is bigger than football. - Post No. 107920


Badarse  17:18pm 7th Jun 2017

'Is it really him?'-'Oh, I bloody hope not.'-'Must be, mustn't it?'-'What if it's that clown Jamerson?'-'No, OG wouldn't let that happen.'-'Well he did do those three "Brian" posts thingy.'-'Yeah, a twit!'-'True, but I know he wanted to wipe the slate and start again, that's why he did it.'-'As I said, twit!'-'It could be ArseneKnewBest.'-'How do you work that out?'-'Well they are both looney lefties, and I have never seen them both together at the same time at any of the Online Gooner Virtual Reality gatherings.'-'What like Superman and Clark Kent?'-'Exactly!'-'No, AKB is a trades unionist, Baddie is a socialist and never the twain, and all that.'-'Hang on Badarse was a shop steward once.'-'Yeah, a socialist can be a trade unionist, but it doesn't always work the other way around.'-'It's been 16 months since he last posted though, a long time'-'Well I blame jj.'-'How come?'-'Well he said we just need Baddie and westie to appear now that AW has signed for 2 more years. It was like invoking the devil.'-'But is it really Badarse?'-'Yeah it is. I just got the wire from John F, he said he was given the code word "Leeds", so it is him.'-'Oh, bloody hell.'-'Wonder when westie will return now Baddie has?'-'Here's some confirmation, he left this note behind. It says, "Must return as I don't want to be like the characters in Agadoo Crispy's book, 'Ten Lidl niggle boils.', and disappear one by one." Then he signed it, "The Scarlet Pimple".-'See it is Baddie's gibberish.'-'Yup, as I said, a twit!'-'Oh, bloody hell.' - Post No. 107921


TonyEvans  17:19pm 7th Jun 2017

JJ - have to disagree with your 'no major trophy for 13 years' comment. The FA Cup will always be a major trophy as far as I am concerned - and that probably goes for many others too. - Post No. 107922


GoonerRon  18:17pm 7th Jun 2017

@ Tony Evans / Ron - don't try and get JJ to see any level of reason on anything. If the moderators had anything about them they'd have him off this Arsenal fan site for trolling. - Post No. 107923


jjetplane  19:44pm 7th Jun 2017

To each his own and I have probably still seen more AFC games than you WengerRon. Nice to see it just takes an FA Cup against a poor Chelsea side to righten the course. No doubt certain previously disinterested bodies have now made up with the Messiah. Why are you not on Untold anyway. They all think a fresh wind is a blowing. Laughable. - Post No. 107925


GoonerRon  21:39pm 7th Jun 2017

No, what's laughable is a supposed Arsenal supporter giving it large for the Spuds. You probably have been to more games than me - that makes your bile on here even more nonsensical, you should be better than that. As I said before, given your penchant for hand gesture celebrations you genuinely should **** off down the lane. - Post No. 107926


TOOAW  6:45am 8th Jun 2017

Is it me or are we witnessing a slight turnaround in support for Arsenal FC on this site. Jj the spud and the Jameson drinker appear to getting some well deserved flak. - Post No. 107928


jjetplane  8:45am 8th Jun 2017

I think you might be right why even myself after a long good reflection and how the brothers on here are responding so well to Sead 'the Bosnian Tree' hereby commit myself to following Arsene over land and sea where maybe even Sead's homeland will be visited on some glorious Thursday night when those bloody Spuds are playing CL football at Wembley. The cheek of it! Enjoy this site AKBs because for some reason though you hate the editorial line you just cannot help yourselves. I shall be reading with much amusement. Now I just need to find a Spud site to welcome me. Bye suckerz! - Post No. 107930


Bard  9:02am 8th Jun 2017

TOOAW; I hope so. I love reading the AKB posts. They really give my day a lift. They are the embodiment of the belief in hope over reason. Its like grown men still believing in the tooth fairy. I do think that at a deeper level there is something homoerotic about their love of all things Arsene. I have grown bored of Tony A's 'bring on the facts' and 'its a ref conspiracy' over on Untold. Lets have some proper articles on here extolling the virtues of the man who created Arsenal allegedly. - Post No. 107931


equalizer  11:25am 8th Jun 2017

GoonerRon, calling on registered users to be banned by moderators? The only place I've seen that before is on TOOAW's Wenger funded propaganda site. Unlike Goebbels Attwood who moderates all comments from known dissenters with valid arguments, Online Gooner has shown itself to be an open forum for all. Shame on you calling on users to be banned like a child. If you don't like the opinions go elsewhere, or back to your 'safe space' on Untrue - Post No. 107933


GoonerRon  14:20pm 8th Jun 2017

@ Equaliser - when the editor of an Arsenal fan site says the 'site is an open church' I don't think that extends to sympathisers of The Spuds. And honestly, I've never been on Untold. - Post No. 107939


equalizer  15:50pm 8th Jun 2017

@TOOAW____To answer the question you asked, yes, it is most certainly YOU, because this site is and has always been in support of Arsenal FC. Not in support of Arsene FC, a subsidiary of Kronke Investment Corp. Most of the people here were Arsenal supporters long before Wenger came and will be long after he's gone. - Post No. 107942


mbg  19:51pm 8th Jun 2017

equalizer, yes, only a blow in and calling for and wanting others banned, he's really showing his true colours, it was only a matter of time until they'd break through again, him and his ilk would just love that wouldn't they. It's just like during the season it just takes/took a couple of results (regardless who against)to make them forget and get all moist and optimistic again, so here we are again another cup to save TOF's arse and reputation although Thursday nights channel 5 has glossed over and put paid to that, (but funny we don't hear that mentioned) but nevertheless the optimism is back, (regardless of all the embarrassments and humiliations) thanks to the spin of the fabled war chest, and season ticket sales, and a regulation wenger top top qualittee signing, even after the last eleven or so it's going to be different (again) this season, short memory syndrome again, you have to laugh, you couldn't make it up, but as we all know it's just a matter of time to the big bang, the big bang of back down to earth with a big sore arse syndrome of yet another false dawn, and how a lot of us on here are going to enjoy reminding them of it, that's if their not long gone and still here, You couldn't make it up. we want wenger out. - Post No. 107947


GoonerRon  22:26pm 8th Jun 2017

@ mbg - my comments about JJ were relating to his embarrassing, uncalled for disparaging remarks about our new signing and mostly due to new love for the Spuds. Nothing to do with Wenger in, out or anything else - you more than anyone should know whilst we may not always agree it's a legitimate debate. JJ's recent posts make him sound like Leek at the opposite end of the Wenger out spectrum. - Post No. 107951


Issue #266 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

12th August 2017

That’s Entertainment!

Online Ed: But nature of performance in win v Leicester a warning sign