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Highs and woes

Tallest and shortest, Fletcher's fouls, City clean sheets and penalty pain

Martin Tyler - Martin Tyler Posted 2nd September 2009 view comments

Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is back for the new season.

Every week he will be here to offer you statistical gems to make your day, impress your mates and, on occasion, to settle the odd bet.

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.

Stoke: tower over the Premier League's shortest side

Stoke: tower over the Premier League's shortest side

If you have spotted something from a game or have been stumped by a pub quiz question, simply email here and he will do his best to help.

Tyler's Starting Stat

The first meeting between Manchester United and Arsenal of the season threw up the usual controversy, but also some fascinating stats, so where better to start this week's column? Arsenal of course lost 2-1 and have now failed to score more than one goal at Old Trafford in a Premier League game in 18 visits. They have scored eight goals in that sequence, all coming in one's as it were: they have included five 1-0 wins in 1985; 1990 (the infamous brawl match when Anders Limpar scored the winner and Arsenal went on to win the title); 1998 (Marc Overmars scored on the way to the title), 2002 (Sylvain Wiltord's title winner) and 2006 (Emmanuel Adebayor). Those names lead me on to my next stat as well, because in the wake of Andrei Arshavin's strike, Arsenal's last 33 strikes against United have all come from foreign players! You have to go way back to the 1999 Community Shield and Ray Parlour's strike for an Arsenal goal scored by an Englishman against their fierce rivals. The last Englishman to do that in a Premier League game was Tony Adams, who netted in a 3-0 win in at Highbury.

I can't believe Man City have gone three Premier League games without conceding a goal. Is this a record for City? Chris Wilson
In fact, I need to correct you Chris. If you take the 1-0 win over Bolton on the final day of last season into account, City have in fact managed four league clean sheets in a row. That is something they have never managed before in the Premier League. Interestingly, City didn't manage two clean sheets in a row in the whole of last season. Before this season, the last time they kept two consecutive shut-outs was in November 2007. The last time they managed three consecutive sheets was in fact in the first three games of the 2007/08 season when they beat West Ham, Derby and Manchester United without conceding a goal - Sven Goran Eriksson's first games in charge of the club. If you include City's Carling Cup win over Crystal Palace they have kept five consecutive clean sheet this season. This is their best run since August 1999 when they managed six in a row in all competitions. They beat Burnley twice in the League Cup, as well as recording a 0-0 draw with Fulham and wins over Sheffield United, Bolton and Nottingham Forest in the second tier. So much for Mark Hughes' squad being over-loaded with forwards, then!

Hi Martin, I was interested to hear Arsene Wenger's comments about Manchester United players persistently fouling and never getting booked. As a United fan I'm certain that this isn't the case, but I was hoping you could give me some stats to back this up as all my friends seem to have jumped on the same bandwagon and are convinced Darren Fletcher never gets a yellow! I'd like to know which player has committed the most fouls this season without getting booked. Thanks, Jamie Hamilton
Well Jamie, I can tell you that Darren Fletcher has committed nine fouls this season, but has already received one caution (in the opening game against Birmingham). Of the players who have fouled most but have not received a booking, Tim Cahill leads the way. The Everton attacker has 11 fouls to his name, but has not yet received a yellow card. I have compiled a table below to answer your question - and it is interesting to note that of the players in the list only Greg Halford and Chris Samba are recognised defenders. This would suggest to me that referees are less inclined to book players for fouls in the attacking half. Here are the players who have committed the most fouls without receiving a yellow card.

Tim Cahill 11
Dave Kitson 10
Jason Roberts10
Jermain Defoe 9
Greg Halford 9
Christoper Samba9
Michael Brown8
Carlton Cole 8
Kevin Davies8

Hi Martin, what with Blackburn's addition of Steven N'Zonzi and already having Chris Samba etc. I was wondering what the average height of each Premier League side was? Didn't it used to be Portsmouth? Thanks for any help. Michael, BosniaMARTIN SAYS:
Our good friends at Opta have provided all the stats you need Michael and I can tell you that Stoke City have, on average, the tallest squad in the Premier League - no great surprise there! Their squad is, on average, a centimetre taller than their nearest rivals Bolton and almost 5cm taller then the Premier League's smallest squad; Manchester United. Blackburn in fact come in the bottom half of the table with an average height of 181.49cm. Here is how the Premier League measures up:
Stoke City - 185.68cm
Bolton Wanderers - 184.19cm
Fulham - 183.80cm
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 183.68
West Ham United - 183.53
Chelsea - 183.18
Portsmouth - 183.16
Everton - 182.84
Liverpool - 182.75
Burnley - 182.52
Hull City - 182.06
Aston Villa - 181.94
Tottenham Hotspur - 181.79
Arsenal - 181.49
Blackburn Rovers -181.49
Birmingham City - 181.26
Wigan Athletic - 181.09
Manchester City - 180.97
Sunderland - 180.91
Manchester United - 180.74

Hi Martin. After the controversy over the weekend where United again didn't have a penalty awarded against them at Old Trafford, I was wondering what the stats are for penalties awarded to and against Premier League teams? I read somewhere that at one stage Man U had gone 10 years without a penalty being awarded against them at Old Trafford. Is this true, I mean it can't be? Thanks for your great commentary. Regards, Angus
Opta have been on the case once again and what you have heard is untrue. Man United have conceded five penalties at home in the last five years - which is more than Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham. In the last five season United have conceded a total of 11 penalties. Of the ever-presents, only Chelsea have conceded fewer. Only one team has not conceded a Premier League spot-kick at home in the last five seasons - and that's Stoke City. They went the whole of last season without a penalty being given against them at the Britannia, which is quite a contrast to Burnley who conceded two penalties in their first two Premier League home games! As a footnote, I have often wondered how decision making would be affected of referee's were given earplugs that prevented them hearing the roar of the crowd, because certainly the louder the roar, the more likely you are to turn your head. It would also stamp out the problem of dissent! I'll let the penatly stats for the current 20 top-flight side's speak for themselves:

TeamConceded (Home)Conceded (Away)Total
Aston Villa81422
Man City5914
Man Utd5611
West Ham9918

Hi Martin, Wayne Rooney just scored his 102nd Manchester United goal. I would like to know which team has suffered most at the legs and heads of this United whizz kid? Thank you. Chrispin Awuah, KumasiMARTIN SAYS:
It's always nice to receive some words from a distant part of the world, Chrispin! Based on Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League goals, I don't think any Newcastle fan in the country will be surprised to hear that Wayne Rooney licks his lips most when he faces The Magpies. Rooney has bagged nine goals for Manchester United against Newcastle, including that stunning volley at Old Trafford, which probably remains his best goal for the club. Somewhat fittingly, Rooney brought up the 100-goal landmark against the club that has suffered most out of the current 20 top flight clubs, Wigan...against whom he has struck eight times. Aston Villa, Bolton and Portsmouth have all seen the England man celebrate six times, while Arsenal, Fulham and Middlesbrough have suffered five times. Out of the current Premier League line-up, only Hull, Stoke and Wolves are yet to feel the Scouser's wrath.

Newcastle - 9 goals
Wigan - 8 goals
Aston Villa - 6 goals
Bolton - 6 goals
Arsenal - 5 goals
Fulham - 5 goals
Middlesbrough - 5 goals
Birmingham - 4 goals
Tottenham - 4 goals

I worked out that if the Premier League gave two points for a win, one point for draw, Liverpool would have won the league. Am I right? Sean Conroy (Liverpool fan)
Due to the fact Liverpool only lost twice last season (the only Premier League side to do so without winning the title), there is a common theory that Rafa Benitez's men would have won the league on a two-points-per-win basis. However, as the revised league table shows, even though Liverpool lost fewer games they drew 11 and therefore would still have missed out on the league title by one point. Interestingly, the greatest beneficiaries would have been Newcastle, who would still be playing Premier League football now - at the expense of Hull.

Manchester United38286468244462
Aston Villa381711105448645
West Ham38149154245-337
Manchester City38155185850835
West Brom3888223667-3124

Tyler's Teaser

Last week we asked you to name current Championship, League One or League Two players who have a Premier League winners medal. Your answers included: Sol Campbell, Quinton Fortune, Jeremie Aliadiere, Richard Wright, Geremi, Nicky Butt and Alan Smith, although I can confirm Quinton Fortune did not live up to his name because his best two seasons in terms of Manchester United appearances coincided with them not winning the league! Gary Speed has a title winners medal, but it was the last First Division title with Leeds before the Premier League era. Robert Huth was a correct answer this time last week, but is no longer so after signing for Stoke. Luke Chadwick and Ronnie Wallwork both made the required 10 Premier League appearances to pick up medals when Manchester United won the league in 2000/01 while Stephen Hughes did the same in Arsenal's successful 1997/98 campaign. Francis Jeffers did not pick up a winners medal while at Arsenal and goalkeepers Lenny Pidgeley (Chelsea) and Kevin Pilkington (Man Utd) did not.

As this week saw the closing of the transfer window, I thought we'd set a teaser about Premier League journeymen. How many CURRENT Premier League players can you come up with who have played for FOUR OR MORE CURRENT PREMIER LEAGUE clubs?

Answers include Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal, Bolton, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City) and Peter Crouch (Aston Villa, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham). See how many more you can come up with...

Remember, they have to be a CURRENT Premier League player. And the club must CURRENTLY be in the Premier League.

Comments (34)

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Marco Wilmots (Manchester United fan) says...

so there was proof that ref does award penaltys at trafford, more so than chelsea, arsenal and liverpool. but the question should be why do many more pens not be awarded against manu, cos there sould be. most of them baffle ya. dnt say the ref bottles it. i jus think he dnt want to give it. afterall the handball claim by chelsea against barca, a team that beat manu in cl. the ref was maybe under orders. therefore its cheating by the officials. simple as. i remember a ferdinand foul on ljunberg in pen box. crystal clear. no pen given. rooney dived a few seasons ago, no contact from campball. ref awards pen. most annoying thing for me? andy grey says as quik as possible its a penalty. fletcher, the guy the refs make seem a world class player fouled diaby in box last season. clear one too. AS FOR the pens given against manu, the stats clive should be asking is, does ref award opposing team a pen IF manu is losing or drawing say 0-0. id take a wild guess and say no. also refs inability to book manu players and then only book them when manu are winning 2-0, 15mins to go should be questioned. if the sky sports media keep saying old trafford is intimidating, then the ref shouldnt be there and also the sky sports team should quit.

Posted 16:14 4th September 2009

Darren Le gresley (Manchester United fan) says...

Emile Heskey _Liverpool,Birmingham,Wigan,Aston Villa, Marcus Bent _Blackburn,Everton,Wigan,Birmingham Gavin Mc cann _Everton,Sunderland,Aston Villa,Bolton Craig Bellamy_ Blackburn,Liverpool,West Ham,Man City David James _ Liverpool,Man City,Aston Villa,West Ham,Portsmouth Phill Bardsley _ Man United,Aston Villa,Burnley,Sunderland Peter Crouch _Aston Villa,Liverpool,Portsmouth,Tottenham Pascal Chimbonda _Wigan,spurs,Sunderland,Blackburn Steven Finnan _Birmingham,Fulham,Liverpool,Portsmouth Tal Ben Haim _ Bolton,Chelsea,Man City,Portsmouth Kevin kilbane _Sunderland,Everton,Wigan,Hull Stephen Kelly _Tottenham,Birmingham,Stoke,Fulham Sean Davies _Fulham, Tottenham,Portsmouth,Bolton Glen Johnson _West Ham,Chelsea,Portsmouth,Liverpool Michael Brown,Tottenham,Fulham,Wigan,Portsmouth Carlton Cole _ Chelsea,Wolves,Aston Villa,West Ham Frazier Campbell _Man united,Hull,Tottenham,Sunderland Michael Carrick _West Ham,Birmingham,Tottenham,m.u Diouf _ Bolton,Liverpool,Sunderland,Blackburn Nigel Quashire _ Portsmouth,Birmingham,Wolves,West Ham Carlo Nash _Wolves ,Man City,Stoke,Wigan,Everton Nick Barmby _Tottenham,Everton,Liverpool,Hull Jason Roberts _Wolves,Portsmouth,Wigan,Blackburn

Posted 22:08 3rd September 2009

George Mwangy (Manchester United fan) says...

Peter Crouch (West Ham, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham) Glen Johnson (West Ham, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Liverpool) Nicolas Anelka (Arsernal, Manchester City, Bolton, Chelsea) Emile Heskey (Liverpool, Birmingham City, Wigan, Aston Villa)

Posted 11:37 3rd September 2009

David Wyke (Middlesbrough fan) says...

I¿m a sucker for these quizzes, mentioned it last night to my mates in the pub and we came up with loads! A few players even had 5 clubs, they were: Carlo Nash (Wolves, Man City, Wigan, Stoke, Everton) David James (Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Man City, Portsmouth) Michael Brown (Man City, Spurs, Fulham, Wigan, Portsmouth) Ben-Haim (Bolton, Chelsea, Man City, Sunderland, Portsmouth) The best of the rest: Shay Given (Blackburn, Sunderland, Newcastle, Man City) Nick Barmby (Spurs, Everton, Liverpool, Hull) Glenn Johnson (West Ham, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Liverpool) Pascal Chimbonda (Wigan, Spurs, Sunderland, Blackburn) Emile Heskey (Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan, Aston Villa) Marcus Bent (Blackburn, Everton, Wigan, Birmingham) Stephen Kelly (Spurs, Birmingham, Stoke, Fulham) Gavin McCann (Everton, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Bolton) Michael Carrick (West Ham, Birmingham, Spurs, Man Utd) Steve Finnan (Birmingham City, Fulham, Liverpool, Portsmouth) Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland Everton, Wigan, Hull) Jimmy Bullard (West Ham, Wigan, Fulham, Hull) Sean Davies (Fulham, Spurs, Portsmouth, Bolton) Craig Bellamy (Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Man City) That's got to be a good shout for most of them, we started going through club by club but we probably have missed a few journeymen squad players.

Posted 10:50 3rd September 2009

Sam Kenyon (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan) says...

Marcus Bent - Blackburn - Everton- Wigan - Birmingham.

Posted 09:43 3rd September 2009

Pat Mc larnon (Arsenal fan) says...

The stats around players not getting booked despite persistent fouling are irrelevant when you consider the fact that the the world and his granny thought that Fletcher had taken out Arshavin in the Utd penalty box but Mike Dean didn't even think it was a foul. What next, stats on what should have been fouls?

Posted 08:42 3rd September 2009

Peter Williams (Liverpool fan) says...

Great question Martin. Looking at the responses you should have made it more interesting by excluding any players who have played for Liverpool !!

Posted 08:20 3rd September 2009

Robert Truscott (West Ham United fan) says...

Craig Bellamy-blackburn,newcastle,liverpool,west ham, man city

Posted 07:20 3rd September 2009

Scott Walters (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan) says...

Nigel Quashie; Birmingham, Wolves, Portsmouth, West Ham Sean Davis; Fulham, Spurs, Portsmouth, Bolton Michael Carrick; West Ham, Spurs, Birmingham, Man United Kevin Kilbane; Wigan, Hull, Everton, Sunderland Jimmy Bullard; West Ham, Fulham, Wigan, Hull

Posted 00:54 3rd September 2009

Wesley Faulkner (Manchester City fan) says...

nicolas anelka played for 5 premier league clubs, arsenal, liverpool, manchester city, bolton, chelsea

Posted 23:30 2nd September 2009

Stuart Kay (Arsenal fan) says...

Concerning Man Utd's fouls and lack of bookings, last weekend's match had the following stats - Man Utd 21 fouls 3 bokings; Arsenal 15 fouls 6 bookings. Man Utd's Valencia escaped a red or yellow card when he elbowed Vermaelen in the face - the ref gave the free kick! Say no more !

Posted 22:13 2nd September 2009

Leigh Brett (Manchester United fan) says...

Michael Carrick (west ham, birmingham, tottenham, man utd) kevin kilbane(sunderland, everton, wigan, hull) jimmy bullard(west ham, wigan, fulham, hull) stephen kelly(tottenham, birmingham, stoke. fulham)

Posted 21:43 2nd September 2009

Adrian Di-iorio (Liverpool fan) says...

There are a couple of ex Liverpool players. Firstly, Steve Finnan has played for Birmingham, Fulham, Liverpool and now Portsmouth. Secondly, the legendary Salif Diao, who Liverpool shipped out on loan to Birmingham City, Portsmouth and Stoke City.

Posted 19:29 2nd September 2009

Will Thompson (Manchester United fan) says...

I've gone for the less obvious ones in the teaser: Diouf - Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland, Blackburn; Marcus Bent - Birmingham, Wigan, Everton, Blackburn; Sean Davies - Bolton, Portsmouth, Spurs, Fulham; Jimmy Bullard - Hull, Fulham, Wigan, West Ham; Michael Carrick - West Ham, Birmingham, Spurs, Man United; Carlton Cole - West Ham, Villa, Chelsea, Wolves;

Posted 18:25 2nd September 2009

Pete Foster (Manchester United fan) says...

Also Nick Barmby: Spurs, Middlesbrough, Liverpool & Hull Sean Davis: Fulham, Spurs, Portsmouth & Bolton Kevin Kilbane: Sunderland, Everton, Wigan & Hull

Posted 17:41 2nd September 2009

Pete Foster (Manchester United fan) says...

Salif Diao: Liverpool, Birmingham, Portsmouth & Stoke.

Posted 17:26 2nd September 2009

Irfan Khan (Manchester United fan) says...

Michael Carrick - West Ham United, Birmingham City, Tottenham Hotspur & Manchester United

Posted 16:15 2nd September 2009

Patrick Copeland (Liverpool fan) says...

Nick Barmby (Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool, Hull) David James (West Ham, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Man City) Michael Carrick (West Ham, Birmingham City, Tottenham, Man Utd) El Hadji Diouf (Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland, Blackburn) Steve Finnan (Birmingham City, Fulham, Liverpool, Portsmouth) Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland, Everton, Wigan, Hull) Shay Given, (Blackburn, Sunderland, Newcastle, Man City)Glen Johnson (West Ham, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Liverpool)

Posted 16:14 2nd September 2009

Stuart Shield (Coventry City fan) says...

Hasn't Pascal Chimbonda now played for 4 premiership teams? Wigan, Tottenham, Sunderland, Tottenham again and now Blackburn....

Posted 15:50 2nd September 2009

Stephen Houghton (Sunderland fan) says...

Sorry for the distnace between entries. I go away and one pops in my head. Diouf (Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland, Blackburn)

Posted 15:48 2nd September 2009

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