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Features - Martin Tyler Posted 19th March 2013 view comments

Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!

Every week on skysports.com he answers your questions and offers you statistical gems from what he's seen as he tours the world commentating for Sky Sports.

Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts want your queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.

Hoolahan: celebrates the first Premier League goal for an Irishman on St Patrick's Day

Hoolahan: celebrates the first Premier League goal for an Irishman on St Patrick's Day

So if you have spotted something from a match or have been stumped by a pub quiz question, simply email skysportsclub@bskyb.com and he will do his best to help.

Tyler's teaser

But as usual we'll kick off with a question for YOU. Click play to see this week's Tyler's Teaser.

Martin's Starting Stat

I was at Goodison Park on Saturday to see Manchester City's fourth consecutive defeat away to Everton in the Premier League and they now have just one win in their last 21 visits to Merseyside in all competitions. In 16 Premier League visits to Goodison Park, City have picked up just 10 points and kept just one clean sheet. Everton also became only the third team to score against City in 13 games in 2013 (after Liverpool and Southampton).

Nikica Jelavic only played a few seconds of the game, but it was his 50th game for Everton and he scored his first goal in 12 games in all competitions since his goal at Cheltenham in the FA Cup. It was his first goal in 13 Premier League appearances; his last one was also a very late one in the home game with Spurs.

Steven Pienaar was sent off for the second time this season with the other one also coming for two yellow cards against QPR.

Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy were both substitutes and each came on to make his 50th appearances for the club, just as James Milner - a starter - did. Alex Kolorov started in the Premier League for the first time since the home game with Everton on December 1, while Pablo Zabaleta has now played seven times against Everton without winning. He's drawn one and lost six!

CITY SLIPPING
Hi Martin. Big fan of your column. Being a United supporter I was thrilled this weekend as United went 15 points clear at the top which got me thinking: what is the biggest margin by which a defending Premier League champion has lost its title? United were defending champions last time around and they lost it on goal difference and the year before that if I am not wrong Chelsea were defending champions and lost it by 9 points. If things remain the same come end of May would City be the team to lose its defending title by the biggest points margin? Waiting for your reply. ABDUL GHANI (Pakistan)

MARTIN SAYS: In the very first Premier League season, defending champions Leeds finished 33 points behind winners Manchester United. Since then the biggest margin by which a defending Premier League champion has finished behind the title-winner in the following season is the 21 points that Blackburn trailed Manchester United in 1995/96. Since the turn of the century, the biggest gap is the 18 points that Manchester United finished behind Arsenal's Invincibles in 2003/04.

Your question got us wondering about the biggest EVER decline for a defending champion in the season after they won the title. So we asked our friends at Opta to look through the history books for us to find out. Obviously, teams were only awarded two points for a win until 1981, so we asked them to convert all tables to the current system of three points for a win to provide a fair comparison.

Under this scenario, the biggest ever decline we've witnessed from a title-winning side was the Everton team that won the First Division Championship in 1969/70. The following season they finished down in 14th place with 37 points, which was 28 points behind champions Arsenal. If we applied the three points for a win rule to that season, then Everton would have had 49 points and Arsenal would have had 94. That's a gap of 45 points!

But while that would be the biggest points gap behind the eventual winner, Everton's 14th-place finish is not the lowest for a defending champion. Manchester City were champions in 1937 and the following season they finished 21st and got relegated, even though they won 14 matches!

Biggest declines for defending champions (applying three points for a win)

TeamWon title in...Following season positionFollowing season points (3/win)Gap to champions (3/win)
Everton197014th49-45
Ipswich 196217th47-39
Man City196813th55-39
Everton191516th50-38
Man Utd19579th59-33
Leeds 199217th51-33
Chelsea195516th5332
Aston Villa198111th57-30
West Brom192014th53-29
Liverpool190615th46-27

DEFLECTING THE QUESTION
Hello Martin. Wonderful writing as usual, hope you keep it coming for many more years. I watched Man Utd beat Reading in a rather dull game, in which the only goal was scored by a very fortunate deflection. That got me thinking: Which team, and which player has scored the most deflected goals (which are credited to them - i.e. not own goals)? Thanks very much. Sincerely, Delbi

MARTIN SAYS: The boffins at Opta do keep statistics on deflected goals and according to them, Wayne Rooney's strike against Reading was his first deflected goal of the season. In total it was Manchester United's fourth deflected goal in the Premier League and the other three have all been scored by Robin van Persie (against West Ham in November, Man City in December and Everton in February). He is the only player in the league to score more than two deflected goals in this campaign.

Players with two or more deflected goals in the Premier League this season:

Robin van Persie (3)
Clint Dempsey (2)
Marouane Fellaini (2)
Eden Hazard (2)
Leon Osman (2)
Mladen Petric (2)
Lukas Podolski (2)
Luis Suarez (2)
Pablo Zabaleta (2)
Demba Ba (2)

Robin van Persie has actually scored more deflected goals than six entire Premier League teams this season. West Brom and West Ham have only benefitted from two, while Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke and Wigan have all had just one.

Four teams have had more deflected Premier League goals than Manchester United this season. Everton and Fulham have both had five and Manchester City have had six, but the team with the most is Chelsea. Seven of their 58 goals this term have been deflected, which means more than 12% of their goals have hit an opposition player on its way into the net. Those goals were:

29/09/2012: Mata v Arsenal
20/10/2012: Cahill v Tottenham
17/11/2012: Hazard v West Brom
23/12/2012: Hazard v Aston Villa
23/12/2012: Ramires v Aston Villa
16/01/2013: Ba v Southampton
30/01/2013: Lampard v Reading

Deflected goals for each Premier League team (2012/13):

SEVEN: Chelsea
SIX: Man City
FIVE: Everton, Fulham
FOUR: Arsenal, Man City, Newcastle
THREE: Liverpool, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham
TWO: West Brom, West Ham
ONE: Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke, Wigan

It's worth pointing out that the dubious goals panel still sits to officially decide whether deflected goals go down as own goals and any debate is settled by them. They're now doing it much quicker, which is great for us commentators!

10 IN A ROW
Hi Martin. I heard you mention during commentary on the Everton v Man City game that City would need to win all 10 remaining games and even then it would require United to drop 9 points. You then went onto mention that very few teams have ever won 10 games in a row in Premier League history. I wonder if you could tell us which teams have actually managed it, as a Liverpool fan I'm sure I remember us doing it during the 05/06 season (though I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong) and I would imagine Man United and Chelsea would have managed it at some point. Regards, David

MARTIN SAYS: I actually think Gary Neville said the first part of that, but it's a good question. Only seven teams in the 20-and-a-bit seasons of the Premier League have won 10 (or more) games in a row and you are right to suggest that Liverpool are one of them. They won 10 straight matches in the first half of the 2005/06 season and are the only team in Premier League history to achieve such a feat without winning the title at the end of the relevant season.

Chelsea also won 10 straight games in that season and ended up as champions, while Arsenal won the 10 games towards the end of the 1997/98 campaign to take the championship ahead of Manchester United.

Chelsea's champions of 2009/10 and Manchester United's title winners of 2008/09 won 11 straight games, while the Manchester United team of 2000/01 won 12 games during their title-winning season. However, the Premier League record for consecutive wins is held by Arsenal, who picked up 13 victories at the end of the 2001/02 season as they won the title and then won the first game of the next season before the run came to an end against West Ham in a 2-2 draw.

Teams to have won 10 Premier League games in a row:

Date of final game in runTeamSeasonSuccessive wins
18/08/02Arsenal200314
20/08/00Man Utd200112
20/09/09Chelsea201011
04/03/09Man Utd200911
03/05/98Arsenal199810
15/01/06Chelsea200610
31/12/05Liverpool200610

Out of interest, David, with nine games left this season, there are a further six teams to have won nine straight Premier League games; Arsenal (2003/04); Chelsea (another run in 2005/06); Chelsea (2006/07); Liverpool (another run in 2005/06); Manchester United (1992/93 into 1993/94); and Manchester United (2005/06).

TEEN DREAMS
Dear Martin, great column mate always a good read. I've just heard about West Brom's Lukaku becoming the highest teenage scorer in a season since a young Michael Owen in 97/98. My question is who has scored the most goals as a teenager in TOTAL in Premier League history? I'm guessing it may be Rooney as he was so young starting at 16. P.S. Cheers for your good work at my home town club Kingstonians! (We're due a run in the FA Cup next year) Thanks, Sean Gallagher, Donegal

MARTIN SAYS: You're right. Michael Owen, who announced his retirement this week, remains the highest teenage Premier League goalscorer in a Premier League season with 18 in both the 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons. In total, he scored 40 of his 150 Premier League goals before his 20th birthday, which is more than any other teenager.

Only two other players have scored more than 20 Premier League goals as a teenager. One is Robbie Fowler, who scored 35 times for Liverpool before turning 20, including 23 in part of one campaign before he turned 20 during the 1994/95 season. The other is your guess - Wayne Rooney - who netted 30 times as a teenager for Manchester United and Everton.

Lukaku has scored 13 Premier League goals as a teenager, putting him eighth on the all-time list, ahead of the likes of Robbie Keane and Ryan Giggs and level with Emile Heskey. He is unlikely to become the fourth teen to reach 20 goals, as he turns 20 on May 13, but needs just one goal to equal former Sheffield Wednesday player Chris Bart-Williams and four to move into the top five highest-scoring Premier League teens of all time alongside Francis Jeffers and Alan Smith.

A lot of these players played many years ago, so it's an exceptional achievement for Lukaku to join this list, especially as he had to leave his parent club to do it. It's hard enough for teenagers to get into the team in the modern Premier League, let alone score a bagful of goals.

Highest scoring teenagers in the Premier League:

1. Michael Owen (40)
2. Robbie Fowler (35)
3. Wayne Rooney (30)
4. Nicolas Anelka (19)
5. Alan Smith, Francis Jeffers (17)
7. Chris Bart-Williams (14)
8. Emile Heskey, Romelu Lukaku (13)
9. Robbie Keane, Ryan Giggs (12)

LACK OF THE IRISH
Dear Martin. Sunday was St Patrick's Day and Wes Hoolahan scored for Norwich against Sunderland. He is of course an Irish player and I was wondering how many other Irish footballers have scored on St Patrick's Day and was wondering how this works for other nationalities too? How many Scottish players have scored on St Andrew's Day, how many Welshmen have scored on St David's Day and how many Englishmen have scored on St George's Day (I assume there will be a lot of these)? Thanks and keep up the good work. Tommy (Celtic fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Good question! Our friends at Opta have told us that Wes Hoolahan became the first player from either Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland to score a Premier League goal on St Patrick's Day (March 17), so that was quite a way to mark the occasion!

Similarly, only one Scotsman has scored a Premier League goal on St Andrew's Day (November 30). That man is Duncan Ferguson who scored for Everton against Sunderland all the way back in 1996.

We have seen three Welsh players score a Premier League goal on St David's Day (March 1), though it falls on a Saturday again next year, so look out for more players being added to this list:

01/03/1997: Dean Saunders scored for Nottingham Forest v Manchester City
01/03/1997: Mark Pembridge scored for Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough
01/03/2009: Jack Collison scored for West Ham v Manchester City

As for St George's Day, you're right to suggest that plenty of Englishmen have scored on that day. To date we have seen 29 Englishmen score a St George's Day goal with 15 coming in 1994 (Saturday), one in 1997 (Wednesday), one in 2000 (Sunday), three in 2002 (Tuesday), five in 2005 (Saturday), and seven in 2011 (Saturday).

That includes three players to have scored on St George's Day twice in their careers:

Joe Cole for Chelsea v Fulham in 2005 and for Liverpool v Birmingham in 2011
Andrew Johnson for Crystal Palace v Liverpool in 2005 and for Fulham v Wolves in 2011
Frank Lampard for Chelsea v Fulham in 2005 and for Chelsea v West Ham in 2011

There are no Premier League games currently scheduled on St George's Day this year, which falls on a Tuesday so we're unlikely to add to this list for some time.

The full list of Englishmen to have scored on St George's Day is as follows:

Martin Allen, Darren Anderton, Chris Bart-Williams, Peter Beardsley, Darren Bent, Mark Bright, DJ Campbell, Andrew Cole, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Stewart Downing, John Fashanu, Robbie Fowler, Barry Hayles, Jordan Henderson, Emile Heskey, Dean Holdsworth, Richard Jobson, Andrew Johnson, Frank Lampard, Robert Lee, John Moncur, Ray Parlour, Andy Pearce, Vinny Samways, Steve Sedgley, Alan Shearer, Nicky Summerbee, Ian Wright

I also feel I should apologise for March 1st 2011 when Luiz scored for Chelsea against Manchester United and I called it Saint DAVID'S day... which put a slightly different twist on it!

During the international break, this column will be taking a break of its own, but will return the week after so keep sending in your questions and we'll tackle the best ones next time.

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