The online world went into frenzy last week as Chelsea fans vented their frustrations about the failures of Anthony Taylor and Mike Dean following the Tottenham match. The Chelsea manager too had choice comments to make about the referring decisions and suggested that Taylor should not be allowed to officiate Chelsea matches. An online petition calling for Anthony Taylor to not be placed on Chelsea fixtures was started online shortly after the Tottenham match and quickly received over 50,000 signatures.
Now that the dust has settled, do Chelsea have a legitimate qualm?
The table below show the data and averages for referees who took charge of more than one Chelsea EPL match over the previous three seasons. The table is ranked by the average number of yellow cards handed out to Chelsea. The first observation of note is that Taylor is placed on a lot of Chelsea matches relative to others, only Stuart Attwell has taken charge of as many. Both Taylor and Dean are high up on this list of awarding yellows to Chelsea. Although Anthony Taylor does to tend to hand out more cards on average relative to other referee's, he doesn't seem to penalize Chelsea as much as others through calling fouls against (average fouls).
Maybe this combination of Taylor and Dean for on-field and VAR official was a stroke of luck for Tottenham? Chelsea fans may have a fair gripe. Of course, this will depend on the decisions of these referees for other clubs - perhaps Taylor and Dean are just card happy refs! I'll look at this in a follow-up post.