Arsenal have had just two penalties all season and, when you consider that they have more touches in the opposition box than any other side, it makes you wonder what is going on…
We all know that Arsenal rarely get penalties.
They’ve had just two awarded all season.
A good indicator of how many penalties you can perhaps expect is how often you touch the ball in the opposition box. It stands to reason that the more you are in the other box, the more likely you are to be fouled.
So how, exactly, do Arsenal only have two penalties when they make more touches in the box than any other side in the Premier League?
Do teams magically tackle better when they face Arsenal?
Two penalties puts Arsenal 12th in terms of penalty awards this season.
By my count, Arsenal have had at least eight good calls turned down, including a number on Gabriel and, of course, the assaults that happen to Bukayo Saka on a regular basis without punishment.
Top touches in the opposition box this season
|Squad||Touches in oppo box|
As you can see, Manchester City are second in the touches table. They are also second in the number of penalties awarded.
Penalties awarded in 22/23
Last season, Arsenal were awarded eight penalties (the third highest in the Premier League behind Chelsea and Manchester City (9 each)) and were fourth for the number of touches in the opposition box (behind City, Liverpool (5th for pen awards) and Chelsea).
As you can see, the number of penalties awarded that season roughly equates to the amount of touches a team has in the opposition box.
So, it’s clear that something has changed this season.
Whatever that could be, who could say…