Burnley among least frequent foulers in Europe despite their 'physical' reputation!

Burnley's disciplinary record was again remarkable during the last Premier League season.

Sunday, 20th June 2021, 11:54 am
Updated Sunday, 20th June 2021, 11:58 am
Erik Pieters' red card against Arsenal, which was overturned by VAR

The Clarets were the only side not to have a player sent off - with Erik Pieters' red card for handball against Arsenal correctly overruled by VAR in March.

Indeed, Burnley can equal the Premier League record of 94 games without a red card - set by Ipswich Town from the league’s inaugural season in 1992 and 1994 - on the opening day of next season against Brighton at Turf Moor in August.

Burnley have also set a new Premier League record of 133 home games without a red card - with none of their seven reds at this level coming at Turf Moor.

Only four Premier League clubs had fewer bookings.

And statistics show a Burnley side with a reputation outside the club at times as physical, dirty and even anti-football, to be one of the sides with the lowest foul frequency in Europe.

The CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post, using data provided by In Stat, showed that the lowest foul frequency was measured for Arsenal (one foul every 10’44”), while Getafe is at the bottom end of the table (one foul every 5’44”).

Burnley came in at 20th across Europe at one foul every 9'16", ranking them eighth in the Premier League.

Apart from Getafe, the highest foul frequency per big-5 league was measured for Hellas Verona (5’54”), FSV Mainz (6’30”), AS St-Etienne (7’10”) and Fulham (7’48”).

Conversely, apart from Arsenal, the following teams committed the least fouls per minute: Barcelona (10’29”), Bayern Munich (10’19”), SSC Napoli (9’37”) and Nîmes Olympique (9’13”).

Out of all the 30 leagues surveyed, the extreme values were measured for FC Zenit (one foul every 12’34”) at one end, and for two Greek teams at the other: PAS Giannina and Volos NFC (one foul every 4’51”).

Eleven Greek top division clubs are among the 20 ones committing the most fouls per minute. Conversely, eight Russian teams are among the 20 with the lowest foul frequency.

As Sean Dyche said in May of his players: "We try and play firm but fair, and there's nothing wrong with that.

"With our players, I don't remember any real bad challenges, really over the top stuff - although there's not a lot of that in the game now anyway.

"All I ask our players is to play firm but fair, play hard, play like you want to win - there should be nothing wrong with that in the game, but it's going the wrong way.

"I've spoken about this openly, still a lot of fans out there want to see a tackle - a proper tackle, not horrible tackles, just tackles.

"Two players jumping to head the ball, one wins it and the other doesn't fall on the floor like they need a trainer on for six minutes because they got a tiny little touch on their eyebrow.

"There are some fans out there who want to see two teams try really hard and really compete.”

So how have Burnley picked up a reputation as a physical side?: "They are allowed to compete, and that is a sign of that - we're this 'rough' side with no sendings off in 90-odd games...

"How can you be rough if you have no sendings off in 90 games?

"I don't know where the reputation comes from, because the manager has got a skinhead probably, and the players try hard!

"I'm bereft of reasons, I just marvel at the madness, just call it how you want, no problem...”