Blogs & Opinion


Martin Tyler: Liverpool title omens and common Premier League surnames

Martin Tyler - Martin Tyler Posted 25th March 2014 view comments

Tyler's Teaser

Every week, Martin will set you a question of his own to get your grey matter working. Click above for this week's Tyler's Teaser - which comes from Anfield ahead of Liverpool v Tottenham.

Send your questions to Martin

1: Email your posers to skysportsclub@bskyb.com

2. Use the feedback form at the bottom of this page.

Martin’s Starting Stats

Eight in a row

Hi Martin. Liverpool beat Tottenham 4-0 to make it 8 wins in a row. Has a team ever won 8 games in a row and not won the title? If so, has a team gone 9, 10, or 11 games and so on without winning it? Thanks :) Scott

MARTIN SAYS: Hello Scott. You are indeed correct to say that Liverpool have won eight games in a row, but remember Manchester City did exactly the same thing earlier in the season, winning eight straight games between December 14 and January 29. Obviously they can’t both go on to win the Premier League!

Before this season we have seen 18 teams put eight-game winning runs together within a single season – and 12 of those sides ended up winning the title. As you can see from Opta’s table below, 11 of those teams won nine straight Premier League games and seven of those sides went on to win the league.

Only six sides in Premier League history have won 10 consecutive games and five of them went on to win the Premier League. The only team to fail was – would you believe – Liverpool who went on a 10-game winning run in 2005/06 (and also went on a separate nine-game winning run), but finished third behind Chelsea.

Every team to have won 11 straight Premier League games has ended up winning the title, including Arsenal who boast the longest winning streak within a Premier League season of 13 matches in 2001/02. For Liverpool to break that record they would need to win all six of their remaining games – which would include wins over both Manchester City and Chelsea.

Teams to have won eight consecutive Premier League games

TeamSeasonWinning StreakFinal Position
Arsenal2001/2002131
Man Utd1999/2000111
Man Utd2008/2009111
Arsenal1997/1998101
Chelsea2005/2006101
Liverpool2005/2006103
Arsenal2003/200491
Chelsea2005/200691
Chelsea2006/200792
Liverpool2005/200693
Man Utd2005/200692
Arsenal1999/200082
Chelsea2004/200581
Liverpool2013/20148 (ongoing)?
Man City2013/20148?
Man Utd1993/199481
Man Utd2000/200181
Man Utd2001/200283
Man Utd2007/200881
Man Utd2011/201282

Top goal-getters

Hi Martin, love your column. Keep the good work. Luis Suarez took his Premier League goals tally to 29. I'm wondering who has scored the most goals in a 38 games season and also Cristiano Ronaldo boasts the highest goals-to-games ratio. Could Suarez be on his way to breaking that record? Sheikh, (Liverpool fan in Ghana)

MARTIN SAYS: As you correctly state, Luis Suarez is now just one goal shy of 30 goals in a Premier League season and if he scores once more he would become just the sixth player to achieve that feat in a 38-game season.

The last player to do it was Robin van Persie, who scored 30 for Arsenal in 2011/12 and before that Cristiano Ronaldo scored 31 for Manchester United in 2007/08; Thierry Henry scored 30 for Arsenal in 2003/04; Kevin Phillips scored 30 for Sunderland in 1999/2000 and Alan Shearer scored 31 for Blackburn in 1995/96. As you can see the record for a 20-team Premier League season is 31 goals, a record held by both Shearer and Ronaldo.

In terms of goals per game, we asked Opta to look at players who have played in at least 10 Premier League games in a season and work out who had the best goals ratio. Under these criteria, Cristiano Ronaldo is not on top of the list as you suggest, even though he scored 31 goals in just 34 games in 2007/08 (a ratio of 0.93 goals per game). In fact, the best goals-per-game ratio in a completed season belongs to Papiss Cisse, who scored 13 goals in 14 games for Newcastle in 2011/12 – a ratio of 0.93.

However, Suarez is clearly on course to break this record. His 29 goals so far have come in just 27 games – that’s 1.07 goals per game. Even if he plays in all six of Liverpool’s remaining games, he’d need just two goals to break this record – and if he carries on at his current rate then he will finish the season with 35 goals to his name.

Best goals per game records in completed Premier League seasons

SeasonPlayerGoalsGames PlayedGoals per Game
2013/2014Luis Suarez29271.07
2011/2012Papiss Cisse13140.93
2007/2008Cristiano Ronaldo31340.91
2009/2010Didier Drogba29320.91
1995/1996Alan Shearer31350.89
2013/2014Sergio Aguero15170.88
1993/1994Andrew Cole34400.85
2005/2006Thierry Henry27320.84
1999/2000Kevin Phillips30360.83
2013/2014Daniel Sturridge20240.83

Early birds

Hi Martin. Liverpool again enjoyed a great start, this time against Tottenham. It looks like that's happened a few times this season (Everton and Arsenal at home come to mind), so I was asking myself what is the record for goals scored in the first 15 minutes of the game. I don't remember a team being able to score as early as Liverpool this season with this consistency since I follow the Premier League, but as a Liverpool fan I may be biased! Cheers! Michele from Italy

MARTIN SAYS: With the help of the boffins at Opta I can tell you that Liverpool have scored 12 times in the first 15 minutes of games this season. That’s the joint highest tally in the Premier League this season, along with Manchester City. Interestingly, Sunday’s opponents Tottenham have not scored a Premier League goal in the first 15 minutes all season.

Goals in the first 15 minutes (Premier League 2013/14)

TWELVE: Liverpool, Man City

SEVEN: Arsenal, Southampton

SIX: Aston Villa, Chelsea, West Brom

FIVE: Hull, Man Utd, Swansea, West Ham

FOUR: Cardiff, C Palace, Everton, Newcastle, Norwich, Sunderland

THREE: Stoke

ONE: Fulham

ZERO: Tottenham

Only 11 teams have ended a 38-game season with more than 12 goals scored in the first 15 minutes of matches, including Manchester United’s title-winning side from last season who netted 16 times in that period of matches. However, the record for early goals is the Arsenal side of 2002/03, which scored 17 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches. However, they finished second in the Premier League behind Manchester United that season.

Record for goals in first 15 minutes (38-game seasons)

TeamSeasonGoals in first 15 mons
Arsenal2002/200317
Man Utd2012/201316
Man Utd1995/199615
Arsenal2003/200414
Arsenal2010/201113
Liverpool1995/199613
Liverpool2000/200113
Man City2010/201113
Man Utd2006/200713
Sunderland2009/201013
Tottenham2007/200813

Own no!

Dear Martin. When Younes Kaboul scored an own goal on Sunday I turned to my mate and said ‘I knew that was going to happen’ because there always seems to be own goals when Liverpool play Tottenham. I can remember Gareth Bale scoring one last year and Martin Skrtel scored one before that. Has any Premier League fixture had more own goals than this one?

MARTIN SAYS: With the help of Opta I can tell you that no Premier League fixture has produced more own goals than matches between Liverpool and Tottenham. In their 44 Premier League meetings we have seen nine own goals. Younes Kaboul is the latest in a long list of offenders which includes my Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher, who has netted Premier League goals FOR Tottenham on three occasions.

Own goal scorers in Liverpool v Tottenham Premier League games

26/11/1994: Neil Ruddock

26/08/1995: John Barnes

05/12/1998: Jamie Carragher

01/05/1999: Jamie Carragher

01/11/2008: Jamie Carragher

24/05/2009: Alan Hutton

28/11/2010: Martin Skrtel

28/11/2012: Gareth Bale

30/03/2014: Younes Kaboul

This is the only fixture that has witnessed more than seven Premier League own goals. behind it on the list are Newcastle v Southampton games, Manchester United v Sunderland and Everton v Manchester United games – both of which have seen seven own goals.

Premier League fixtures (home and away) with the most own goals

Liverpool v Tottenham – 9 own goals

Newcastle v Southampton – 7 own goals

Man Utd v Sunderland – 7 own goals

Everton v Man Utd – 7 own goals

Chelsea v Leicester - 6 own goals

Everton v Liverpool - 6 own goals

Fulham v Liverpool - 6 own goals

Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers - 6 own goals

The name game

Hello Martin. I am not a great fan of you, I am quite literally obsessed with your commentary work. And I love the column. My question is which name (surname), has been the most common in the Premier League? I would like to think Johnson, Davies and probably Smith. I can remember about 5 players who played in the Premier League with the name Davies? Is that a record? Posab, Botswana

MARTIN SAYS:We asked Opta to tell us which surnames have been the most common among Premier League players (although we are only counting players to have played in at least one match).

I can tell you that we have found eight players called DAVIES - Andrew Davies, Ben Davies, Curtis Davies, Gareth Davies, Kevin Davies, Mark Davies, Simon Davies (Spurs, Everton, Newcastle) and Simon Davies (Man Utd) – but that is far from being the most common surname.

Many people would assume that SMITH would be the most common surname and according to Opta we have seen 16 players with that surname appear in the Premier League.

Alex Smith, Adam Smith, Alan Smith (Arsenal),  Alan Smith (Leeds, Man Utd, Newcastle), Brad Smith, Daniel Smith, David Smith (Norwich), David Smith (Coventry), Jamie Smith, Jeff Smith, Jimmy Smith, Johann Smith, Martin Smith, Paul Smith, Richard Smith, Tommy Smith,

However, according to Opta, the most common surname in Premier League history is JOHNSON. We have seen 19 players with that surname appear in Premier League matches.

Adam Johnson,  Andrew Johnson, Andy Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Damien Johnson, David Johnson, Eddie Johnson, Gavin Johnson, Glen Johnson, Jemal Johnson, Jermaine Johnson, John Johnson, Michael Johnson (Derby, Birmingham), Michael Johnson (Man City), Richard Johnson, Roger Johnson, Seth Johnson, Simon Johnson, Tommy Johnson.

Here are the most common surnames in Premier League history

Johnson (19)

Smith (16)

Taylor (14)

Hughes, Wright (12)

Brown, Lee, Robinson, Ward (10)

Allen (9)

Miller, Moore (8)

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