Is it possible...

Discussion in 'Referee' started by billyireland, May 28, 2009.

  1. billyireland

    billyireland Member+

    May 4, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Just a quick little question in here for you guys. As referees you obviously can give a far better answer to me on this, so I was just wondering... what are the chances of a team receiving no red cards over 38 consecutive games? As a referee would you consider it possible over that span of games, or would it need to involve a lot of lucky, dubious, and/or favourable calls to be achieved?

    Secondly, if a team plays 38 games and in this spell they have an opposition player sent off on 10 separate occasions... what would this lead you to believe? Again, how do-able would it be for a team in terms of style of play, gamesmanship, embellishment and whatnot?

    Now, if the one team were to simultaneously receive no red cards and have an opposition player sent off on ten separate occasions (particularly if they were in the 'bigger' games) how would this rankle with you? Would it seem little more than run-of-the-mill, or maybe out of the ordinary, or even peculiar enough to merit further investigation of some form?
  2. intechpc

    intechpc Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    West Bend, WI
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well you don't provide a lot of context with your question. Is this a youth team, adult team? What level of play? I don't think it's at all impossible even for teams at the highest levels. If a team is well disciplined, I don't see any reason why they couldn't go without a red card in 38 games. I definitely seen my share of teams who just played cleaner than the others. Usually it's a sign of a more skilled team as compared to their competition. The fact that their opponents have had red cards means nothing, in fact it almost supports the fact that this team is probably a dominant team that doesn't need to take chances on risky fouls and doesn't get frustrated, meanwhile their competition has to take chances and does get frustrated resulting in stupidity.

    Hope that answers your question.
  3. ColumbusSoccerRef

    ColumbusSoccerRef New Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    I generally agree with intechpc. I think it's definitely possible. But there are a lot of variables involved in getting there. Such as. . .having a group of players who are disciplined and play under control. . .in each match, they would need a CR who understands there are more tools than just cards to help him manage a match. . .they'd need their guys to not have a bad day - or have a situation where they want to retaliate, etc.

    And my cynical side also says. . .just because they had 38 matches where they did not receive a red card, that doesn't mean that they didn't do anything in those 38 matches that would warrant a send-off. i.e. a referee choosing to manage a situation rather than showing a 2nd caution, etc.

    It could happen, but even a disciplined team isn't immune to a referee just having a bad match.

    -- CSR
  4. jkc313

    jkc313 Member

    Nov 21, 2001
    Your tone seems to assume there is some referee bias going on here especially during big games. That seems far fetched in that there were probably 30 plus referees working the games. AT the youth level I have worked games with teams that virtually never get ANY cards they are so disciplined and concerned with fair play. I could easily see a team like this going 38 games with no send-offs and the opponents receiving 10. I have also worked games with teams that are so undisciplined cards start flying within the first 10 minutes
  5. billyireland

    billyireland Member+

    May 4, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    True, but that is why I brought it up as over a 38 game season, so that a single 'off day' would not effect things so much in the grand scheme.

    To add to the context, I am talking about Liverpool in the Premiership this season. Funny how the 'Man Utd-loving media' kept that one so hush-hush, innit ;)? The received no red cards all season (and with 'dogged' type players like Carragher, Mascherano, Kuyt, Arbeloa, etc I don't see how that actually possible by weighing out the laws of averages. Meanwhile, their opponents recieved 10 red cards in total (including twice for Man United, once for Chelsea, and Arsenal, and Everton too; curiously high-profile matches against top teams).

    Liverpool are a very good team, but to my mind they do not play in the expansive, possession-based football that could draw many cards, while they also defend in a more 'rugged' fashion by and large (not saying dirty, but over 38 games a 'rugged' team will invariably commit a number of cardable offense, be it straight red or two yellows).

    I stumbled on this when researching about how many late winners Man United had this season in the midst of all the Setanta/Sky hype around our 'lucky late goals' (only to find out Liverpool had more game winners in the 80+ minute, and more in injury time as well). I then moved on to look at the penalties out of curiousity where again Liverpool were given more and conceded less, and finally came to the cards. I just found it interesting, and for contrast Man United were given 5 red cards thier season, and our oppoenents were given 2 (vs. Stoke & West Brom, which helps back up intechpc's point about disparate levels of quality - which Liverpool's run entirely in contrast with).

    I am not trying to turn this into a Man Utd - Liverpool thread or anything btw, which is why I tried to keep it hypothetical at first. I am just interested to know what the likelihood of a team that plays as Liverpool does, against the standard of competition that they regularly do, to be given no red cards vs. the 10 their opponents were given.
  6. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

    May 27, 2004
    However, they did have a player sent off in the FA Cup round against Everton.

    This type of occurence has happened 22 times since the advent of the Premier League in 92/93. The majority of them occured in the first few seasons, but both Liverpool and Chelsea have done it over the last 4-5 seasons, and teams as diverse as Bolton have had the worst number of reds and also no reds!

    I don't know what the split is on straight reds vs. second yellow, but the better teams do not seem to follow any particular pattern. Except for Liverpool, which seems to be a a better disciplined side over a longer period of time. For example, Man U had 64 yellows and 5 red cards this year. Two of them came against Liverpool, but both were deserved.

    The other thing to look at is number of fouls. Fellaini for Everton committed 101 fouls this year, whicle Dirk Kuyt committed 24. Gerrard committed the same number, while Tim Cahill committed 68.

    Even though I THINK there is a Sky 4 conspiracy, I more likely put it down to emotions rather than actual facts.

    Plus, never let facts get in the way of a good argument.

    I am an Evertonian, so I am a bit biased when it comes to Liverpool, but I think they tend to get those players with a yellow off the pitch (Mascerano comes to mind) rather then let the player work it out.

    Usually, the worse you are down the table the more yellows you have. Usually.
  7. Pierre Head

    Pierre Head Member+

    Dec 24, 2005
    It is funny that this came up right after the Champions League

    Man Utd fans will always find something to complain about.

    Winning the Premiership and League Cup is not enough for them.

    Peronally, I agree with rufusabc. Liverpool are well disciplined and have
    a very shrewd manager. I am sure he realizes that playing with 10
    men gets the team nowhere, and so he instructs his team accordingly.
    (E.G. Everton are in the FA Cup Final, Liverpool are not, after Lucas got
    sent off at 76 mins in the cup tie replay vs. Everton, who scored the only goal of the match in the 118th minute).

    And very smart to avoid 2nd yellows by subbing off a cautioned player,
    if he is somewhat volatile like Mascherano.
  8. billyireland

    billyireland Member+

    May 4, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    you see, this is exactly why I kept it hypothetical at first. I am not sure which team you follow, but I was fairly sure that if I was so direct about it that comments about "typical Man Utd fan" flying around left right and centre.

    The fact is that this is a very out of the ordinary number, and especially in a season where Man United were judged to have had the majority of refs decisions go their way compared to rivals. My aim here had less to do with Liverpool themselves, and more to do with dispelling the myths of Man Utd getting far more calls than any team in the league go their way. It's easy to shoot things down based on generalisations (which is what you seem to have attempted) but what I am looking at here is for some actual productive and constructive input on the matter. In case you are unaware btw, I probably have more cordial relations with both the Chelsea and Liverpool (and possibly Arsenal) forums than any Man Utd-affiliated poster on the entire site, and I really do respect how they play as a more unified 11 than any other team in the league, since Hughes left Blackburn. You can query this on their forum, PM their most known posters about it, or even go directly to the mods. As a matter of fact, Twenty26Six (Liverpool mod) & I both put very large efforts into trying to improve inter-forum relations between Premiership clubs sides before I resigned as a mod on the basis of the majority of the Man Utd forum being absolute idiots. So your take is not only ill-founded, it is actually quite insulting to be honest.

    I am 100% sure that almost any manager in the world worth their salt realises this... it's hardly rocket science. What I was referring to however is that Liverpool's defenders (sans Agger) play far more like Nemanja Vidic and less like Rio Ferdinand; e.g. they are not afraid to get 'stuck in' and take a gamble on a challenge. What I was wondering from a refs perspective, is what are the chances of a team that is defenxively not afriad to take such chances and go for last-ditch challenges, recieving zero red cards over a thirty-eight game season. It just seems odd, at best, to me...
  9. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

    May 27, 2004
    But if you look at their fouls by their back liners, the Liverpudlians are not hackers at all. I think Carragher had about 30 fouls this year.

    Plus, they play a higher line too. I think that might equate to less fouls in the area and less chance of a red for any dogso infringements.

    I think ManU had one of their worst seasons when it comes to discipline this year. Liverpool on the other hand has the least amount of red cards of those teams who have played the longest in the premier league.

    I don't think that referees favor Liverpool. But I think it follows their style of play. They have attacked for the last few years with very strong forward players. That allows them to defend in a less "defensive" manner.

    My team...Everton on the other hand has the the worst record in the Prem. One red card for every ten games played.

    And you asked a question of referees. And we are answering it like referees. We don't care who wins.

    BTW, are you supporting my club tomorrow morning?

  10. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Reading didn't pick up a single red card in their 54 League & Cup games in the 2005/6 season. When faced with players more skilled at "making the most of challenge" in the premiership the following year, however, the first red came as early as the 2nd match.
  11. Pierre Head

    Pierre Head Member+

    Dec 24, 2005

    I didn't mean to upset you, my comments were sort of in jest.
    Since I don't read the other forums, I have no idea about your prior history.
    Congratulations on your ecumenical efforts to get rival EPL fans to
    respect one another. But I won't be holding my breath!

    But to cut to the chase, without specific reference to any particular teams,
    you have asked an essentially unanswerable question. Although it is unlikely
    for a team to go a whole season without a red card, it is not impossible. It all depends on the actual matches concerned. There are no formulas for this. There are always going to be outliers in any statistical analysis, and one season can throw up all kinds of variations. Each referee makes up his own mind at the time. Long-term trends are more reliable, but that is not
    what you asked.

    I don't believe there are
    biases towards or against any teams, especially in the EPL, on the part
    of the referees. It is all hype drummed up by newspapers and TV commentators to sell their wares. And of course fans who get decisions
    that go against them are only happy to believe that they were victims
    of bias. Managers who constantly complain about referees
    decisions also feed the fire.
  12. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    at most levels the teams at the top get the rub of the green more than those at the bottom. I've seen both sides of it often enough.

    It probably is worse at the very top because managers are very skilled at putting pressure on referees. I doubt there's any direct bias, but a referee only has to have it in his head that he'll get a lot of stick if he makes a controversial decision against one of the top sides, for him to maybe judge those 50/50 decisions in favour of that top side. He's not going to change his mind on any decision he's pretty sure about, but on those where he's not really sure, it takes a lot more bravery to give wigan a late penalty at Old Trafford than it does to give one to Man Utd.
  13. Pierre Head

    Pierre Head Member+

    Dec 24, 2005
    Yes, but Billy was talking about e.g Liverpool vs other top teams, Man U
    in particular.

    And what about the idea that giving a tough decision against
    a lower team could send them down? That is just as much pressure IMO.

    Also the decision to give a red card, which was Billy's
    question, should never be 50/50. It has to be closer
    to 100% correct, certainly at least 85-90%. As for home/away
    influence, Vidic got sent off against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

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