Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is back for another season here on skysports.com!
Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.
It could be on a side in the Premier League or Football League, international scene or European competitions - or it could be about an individual player or manager.
If you have spotted something from a game or have been stumped by a pub quiz question, simply Email here and Martin will do his best to answer.
Tyler's starting stat:
Momo's magical moment
Last weekend's action saw the 'big four' back to winning ways, which could be an ominous sign for the remainder of the Premier League. With three sides at home and Liverpool away to newly promoted Sunderland, perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised but the signs are that the new season is settling down.
A landmark goal was scored at the Stadium of Light on my commentary stint and although those that keep an eye out for the statistics won't have been surprised that Liverpool scored their 7000th league goal, it came from an unlikely source. No doubt Mohamed Sissoko will look back fondly on the proud day that he scored his first ever goal for Liverpool and his name will join some famous Liverpool names in the history books as scorers of landmark goals.
A list of them is included below and it is likely that Malcolm McVean, who scored Liverpool's first ever league goal, was the only other player whose first league goal has also been consigned to Liverpool's history pages. He scored against Middlesbrough Ironopolis on September 2 1893. The latest player to score his first league goal for Liverpool is Andriy Voronin, although I suspect people might forget that it was the 7001st. (From a Sky Sports perspective, Paul Walsh scored the 5500th away to Manchester United in September 1984).
Liverpool's landmark goalscorers
|7000||Momo Sissoko||Sunderland (a)||Aug 2007|
|6000||Jan Molby||Derby County (a)||Mar 1991|
|5000||Kenny Dalglish||Wolves (a)||Mar 1978|
|4000||Roger Hunt||Sheffield Wednesday (a)||Dec 1962|
|3000||Willie Fagan||Everton (h)||Dec 1949|
|2000||Gordon Hodgson||Bury (a)||Dec 1928|
|1000||Ronald Orr||Sunderland (a)||Apr 1909|
|1||Malcolm McVean||Middlesbrough Ironopolis||Sept 1893|
BETTER THAN THE REDS
Hello Martin, My name is Juan Flores Jimenez and I live in Guam. I support Liverpool and we scored our 7000th League goal at Sunderland on Saturday. I was wondering, who has scored more League goals in English football? Thanks.
MARTIN SAYS: Juan, thank you so much for your question from so far afield. As you can see above, I have already touched on this subject, and I hope you like the extra information on Liverpool's landmark goals. I suspect you didn't hear my commentary from the Stadium of Light on Saturday because if you had, you might have heard me say that Manchester United (7098) and Wolves (7085) are ahead of Liverpool. The next team who should reach 7000 is Aston Villa, who after their 2-1 win over Fulham at the weekend, currently have 6961 league goals to their name.
RAF OFF TO A FLYER
Hi Martin, at the start of every Premier League season everyone talks about whether Liverpool are going to be title contenders and a lot of experts say that if they can avoid their slow start, then they have a chance. Well, with seven points from their first three games, is this Liverpool's best start to a Premier League ever? Brian Weller, Reading.
MARTIN SAYS: Brian, the seven points won so far is not Liverpool's best Premier League start after three games. In 1992/3 and 1993/4, Liverpool won their first three matches, giving them nine points, but lost their fourth, to Arsenal and Tottenham respectively. In 1994/5, Liverpool also won their first three games and then drew their fourth against West Ham. This season's return represents their best three-match return since 2002/3, when victories over Southampton and Villa were followed by a draw against Blackburn. Liverpool drew their next two games, so if they beat Derby this weekend, this season will represent their best start since 2002/3 and if they then win at Portsmouth, 13 points would be their best ever start to a Premier League season. However, before you start celebrating, in 2002/3, Liverpool were unbeaten after 12 games (nine wins and three draws), but finished fifth, having acheived second place the season before.
Hi Martin, loving the return of your column on skysports.com. This weekend I will be travelling to Old Trafford with Sunderland for what will be an emotional return for Roy Keane. I am sure that it is the sort of thing that will come up in the commentary, but would you be able to tell me how many games Keano played for Manchester United, how many goals he scored and how many titles/cups he won? Thanks - and we won't mention the red cards! Joseph Hamblin, 13, Sunderland.
MARTIN SAYS: Well Joseph, I dare say your manager will thank you for not mentioning the red cards and in fact Roy Keane will not be the only man returning to Manchester United this weekend, as it is a bit of an old boys' reunion. Keane's stats first though and in his remarkable career as a United player and captain he made 480 appearances, scoring 51 goals between 1993 and 2005. He won 12 major trophies at the club, seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League - although of course he was suspended for the final victory over Bayern Munich.
But as well as Keane on his way back to Manchester United, there will also be his former team-mates at Old Trafford, Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole and Keiron Richardson, who all now play for Sunderland, although Richardson came off injured on Saturday and might be an injury doubt. Raymond van der Gouw, a former first-team goalkeeper at United, is now first-team goalkeeping coach at Sunderland, and Neil Bailey, a former Academy coach at United, is first-team coach. Mick Brown, who was assistant manager to 'Big' Ron Atkinson at United is Roy Keane's chief scout; Michael Clegg, who made nine appearances as right back for United before moving to Oldham in 2002, is the Sunderland strength and conditioning coach. His father, Michael Clegg Senior, is the strength and conditioning coach at United, so that is a rare, family head-to-head. We should also mention Paul McShane in the centre of Sunderland's defence who started his professional career at United. We can also add to the long list of players, Danny Higginbotham, who signed for Sunderland from Southampton on Wednesday and made five appearances for United in all competitions.
Hey Martin, really enjoy reading your column! I recently read that Jon Dahl Tomasson was one of only five players to have played in the top leagues in England, Italy, Spain and Germany. Is this true? And, if so, would you be able to tell me who the other four are and which teams they all played for? I suspect Edgar Davids is one but I can't think of the rest. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out on this one. Thanks, Stephen, Dublin.
MARTIN SAYS: Thanks for your question Stephen, we like these kinds of teasers on this page. John Dahl Tomasson is one such player that you mention, having played for Newcastle, AC Milan, Stuttgart and Villarreal. Edgar Davids, I am afraid to say, is not. He has played in England, Italy and Spain but never in Germany. I can come up with four more players that have played in all four countries. They are:
Florin Raducioiu - AC Milan, Brescia, West Ham United, Espanyol and Stuttgart.
Gica Popescu - Lecce, Tottenham, Barcelona and Hannover
Pierre Wome - Roma, Brescia, Inter, Fulham, Espanyol and Werder Bremen.
Abel Xavier - Hannover, Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Everton, Real Oviedo and Bari.
I suspect that there may be others although I can't think of any right now. We welcome your suggestions here and if anyone can come up with any more players, we will print them next time. Send your players to me here.
CHELSEA'S VILLA PARK BLUES
Hi Martin, I am a Villa fan and I am curious. When was the last time Chelsea beat us at Villa Park. Kind regards and thanks in advance, Sam Webb.
MARTIN SAYS: The last time Chelsea beat Villa at Villa Park was during the 1998/1999 season, when on March 21 1999, goals from Bjarne Goldbaek and two from Tore Andre Flo, helped Chelsea to a 3-0 win. I actually commentated on that game for Sky Sports. Since then Chelsea have travelled to Villa Park and failed to win on nine occasions, eight in the Premier League and the ninth was a Carling Cup quarter-final in December 2003 when Juan Pablo Angel and Gavin McCann scored in a 2-1 win for Villa, Joe Cole scored for Chelsea. Aston Villa was actually the first place that Jose Mourinho dropped a point and in the 2005/6 season Luke Moore scored home and away against Chelsea, with the goal at Stamford Bridge the first Chelsea conceded that season in the Premier League, coming in their seventh match. We'll see what happens this weekend when Sky's cameras cover the latest duel at Villa Park.
Chelsea's record at Villa Park since last victory
|2006/2007||Aston Villa 0-0 Chelsea||Jan 2007|
|2005/2006||Aston Villa 1-1 Chelsea||Feb 2006||Moore - Robben|
|2004/2005||Aston Villa 0-0 Chelsea||Sep 2004|
|2003/2004||Aston Villa 3-2 Chelsea||Apr 2004||Vassell, Hitzelspurger, Hendrie|
|2003/4||Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea||Dec 2003*||Angel, McCann - J. Cole|
|2002/3||Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea||Apr 2003||Allback 2 - Terry|
|2001/2||Aston Villa 1-1 Chelsea||Feb 2002||Merson - Lampard|
|2000/1||Aston Villa 1-1 Chelsea||Aug 2000||Nilis - Desailly|
|1999/2000||Aston Villa 0-0 Chelsea||Jan 2000|
|1998/9||Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea||Mar 1999||Goldbaek, Flo 2.|
A JOL-LY GOOD MANAGER
Martin, With all of the rumour and speculation concerning Martin Jol's future at Tottenham, I wondered if you would be kind enough to let me know how his record at Spurs compares to all of his recent predecessors? In my opinion he is easily the best manager we have had at the Lane since El-Tel and I can't help but wonder if his record is even better than Venables'? Thanks, Miles Tucker
MARTIN SAYS: Miles, it is hard to measure success as a manager. Where you can look at the percentage of games won or points per game won by a manager, that sometimes only tells you half of the story. By the end of last season, Martin Jol's record as Spurs manager was fourth only to Arthur Turner, David Pleat and the great Bill Nicholson on the basis of percentage of games won while boss. Terry Venables doesn't feature in the top ten of that list, but in comparison to Jol, he was in charge when Spurs last won the FA Cup. George Graham was in charge the last time Spurs won some silverware, the 1999 Worthington Cup. Statistically though, Jol does compare favourably to all his predecessors of the past decade and also has a better record than Terry Venables. The only manager of the last decade whose record is better than the Dutchman's is caretaker boss David Pleat who, as well as being in charge between 1986/7, took control of the team in 1998, 2001 and 2003-04. There are a couple of tables below that help indicate this point.
Spurs managers of the past decade
Most successful Spurs managers over the last century until May 2007 by winning percentage
|1 Arthur Turner||1942-46||49||27||55.10|
|2 David Pleat||1986-87||117||58||49.57|
|3 Bill Nicholson||1958-74||832||408||49.03|
|4 Martin Jol||2004-||134||64||47.76|
WRITE TO REPLY:
This is the section where Martin and his team of statisticians right their wrongs, often as pointed out by you, the readers.
BIG FOUR FLOORED
MARTIN SAYS: In BIG FOUR FLOORED (Aug 20, Like Father, Like Son), I said that the last time the big four all failed to win on the same weekend was two seasons ago on February 1, 2006, on a Wednesday night. However as Matt Dragon correctly pointed out... "The answer given is the wrong one as the last time it happened was the last day of the last season with Man Utd losing 1-0 to West Ham allowing them to stay up, Arsenal drawing 0-0 (away) with Portsmouth, Liverpool drawing 2-2 with the already relegated Charton and Chelsea drawing with Everton 1-1 - 13th May 2007." Thanks to Matt for that. We are always happy to hold our hands up when we have made a mistake and I can only imagine that we overlooked that momentous weekend for all the happenings around the country on the last day of the season.
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON:
MARTIN SAYS: Graham Paterson wrote in with regard to any fathers and sons that played in the Premier League (Aug 20, Like Father, Like Son), and suggested that "John Hendrie (Middlesbrough) and Lee Hendrie (Aston Villa) satisfy that criterion?" It is a good try Graham but John and Lee are in fact cousins, rather than father and son. They are a very footballing family though as Lee is the son of Paul Hendrie, who played for Birmingham, Bristol Rovers, Halifax and Stockport and scored a famous FA Cup goal when Fourth Division Halifax knocked out Manchester City, but I am afraid he did not play in the Premier League.
We have also had a few suggestions of the two Frank Lampards but Frank Lampard Senior, although he played in the top flight, never played in the Premier League. Nice tries though both of them and we welcome your suggestions. Send them to me here.