Southampton Fans Beware: Manchester United's Crazy 2012 Ref Stats Revealed

There have been suggestions that Fergie's treatment of officials can influence whether they get to referee United games or not. Here's a closer look in to the facts...
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There have been suggestions that Fergie's treatment of officials can influence whether they get to referee United games or not. Here's a closer look in to the facts...

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Southampton Fans Beware: Manchester United's 2012 Ref Stats Are Insane...

We would like to congratulate Manchester United for the double achievement of going through the whole of 2012 without getting a single player sent off and also without conceding a single penalty in the year.

United themselves have received a total of 13 penalties in the same period and have also seen 7 of their opponents dismissed with a red card. To have a team of such honourable professionals that don’t lose their heads and commit bad tackles in their own penalty area takes some doing and Ferguson has certainly made his squad very skilled at doing so.

However, they don’t seem to do quite as well at yellow cards, receiving a total of 63 in 2012 compared to their opponents’ 61. It would suggest therefore that the Manchester United players are so skilled that when they do commit fouls and receive a booking they then sort their heads out and make sure they never commit another bad foul and ensure that all fouls are committed away from their own penalty area.

Further plaudits must go to Ferguson’s team for timekeeping and the way that they ensure that when they are losing or drawing and need a goal that they have made sure enough time has been wasted in the game to ensure they receive a good amount of added time to help them score a vital goal.

In 2012 when they needed a goal at 90 minutes, at least 5 minutes was added on in 91% of matches they played in. At least 6 minutes was added on in 55% of matches. However when they are winning the results are very different; only 35% of matches receive at least 5 minutes added time and only 21% of matches receive 6 or more minutes.

The last honour must go to their phenomenal ability to control the referees who are allowed to officiate in their matches, particularly at Old Trafford.

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Andre Marriner has refereed Manchester United 3 times in 2012, but every time away from Old Trafford, the last 2 being the defeats in April against Man City and in August against Everton. Most notably, he is the only ref to add on less than 5 minutes injury time when United needed a goal. He hasn’t refereed ANY United games since the defeat against Everton.

Mark Clattenburg refereed the 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford in October 2011 and hasn’t been back to Old Trafford since. The next United game he took charge of was the recent match at Stamford Bridge, over a year later. This seems particularly surprising as Clattenburg is one of the most experienced referees in the league. However, by sending two Chelsea players off, Mark was sure to be defended by Ferguson following Chelsea’s ridiculous comments and may now be allowed back to Old Trafford in the near future.

The following is a list of all the refs to officiate United games in 2012 and the decisions they have made during those games. We will leave you to draw your own conclusions around the number of Manchester United games and the common themes among the decisions.

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As Rafa Benitez once said: “This is not my opinion, these are facts.”