Ask any Arsenal fan and they will tell you that referees are quick to give penalties against them but not so quick to give a spot-kick to the Gunners, so is this true and who gives the most penalties against Arsenal?

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Referee Martin Atkinson awards a freekick to Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal FC at American Express Community Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – JUNE 20: Referee Martin Atkinson awards a freekick to Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal FC at American Express Community Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

As I showed in a recent post, Mike Dean has refereed more Arsenal games than any other official.

Martin Atkinson is second.

I was surprised, however, to see that Dean has only given two more penalties against Arsenal than he has in their favour (9 vs 7). That’s certainly not what the prevailing narrative, nor my memory, tells me is the case.

Over the course of the Premier League, no referee has given more penalties against Arsenal than Martin Atkinson. By a distance.

He’s awarded a whopping 15 to our opposition, which looks even worse when you consider that he has only given 5 to Arsenal. Five.

Atkinson, on average, gives a penalty to Arsenal’s opposition every 3.3 games but to Arsenal every 10. That simply can’t be an accurate reflection of the games. Are Arsenal really more than three times likely to make a foul in the box than their opposition?

Michael Oliver’s stats tell a similar story.

He’s awarded 10 against Arsenal but given only 4 to them, so he’s giving the opposition a penalty every 3.6 games but to Arsenal every 9.

Similarly, Anthony Taylor has given 9 to the opposition and just 4 to Arsenal.

Paul Durkin, on the other hand, who has refereed just one fewer Arsenal match than Oliver, has given Arsenal 5 penalties and the opposition just 1, proving that he hasn’t quite been indoctrinated yet.

As he’s only taken charge of Arsenal 35 times, that’s an average of one Arsenal penalty every seven games.

Chris Foy was another who gave Arsenal 5 and the opposition just 1. Lee Mason, clown that he is, has given Arsenal 3 and the opposition 2.

Andre Marriner has even given Arsenal 4 and the opposition just 3.

Craig Pawson sat at 2 and 2 in 19 games before he pointed to the spot for Arsenal against Aston Villa on Friday night, but, king of them all is the dear, departed Mark Clattenburg, who gave Arsenal an astonishing 9 penalties while only pointing to the spot for our opposition once.

No wonder they got rid of him!

Over the life of the Premier League, Arsenal have been awarded a total of 137 penalties and have had 110 given against them, a surprising find, I think you’ll agree.

That’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that we are robbed of so many stonewallers, we should probably have been awarded twice that number.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.