Blogs & Opinion


28 days later

Martin's back with some fascinating stats...

Features - Martin Tyler Posted 25th September 2012 view comments

Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!

Every week he will be here on skysports.com to answer your questions and to offer 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.

Gerrard: enjoys scoring against Manchester United

Gerrard: enjoys scoring against Manchester United

So if you have spotted something from a game 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

Arsenal became the third team in 32 Premier League games to get a draw at Manchester City (Fulham and Sunderland have also done it in that time), but Roberto Mancini's side remain unbeaten at home since December 20, 2010 (a 2-1 defeat to Everton).

Joleon Lescott's goal was only the second that Arsenal have conceded in the Premier League this season and the first time they've gone behind. They've now twice conceded in the run-up to half-time, but they were 4-0 up on the last occasion against Southampton! Lescott's goal was also only the second scored by Man City in six Premier League games against Arsenal under Mancini. The other was a David Silva winner in December 2011.

We witnessed the first change to Arsenal's back four in the Premier League / Champions League this season as Thomas Vermaelen missed out, but Laurent Koscielny, who had only played a few minutes against Liverpool, came in and not only played 90 minutes but also scored the winner.

Man City ended a run of six consecutive league wins with Mike Dean in charge and Arsenal took their record with Dean in charge to one victory in the last 15 league games. In my opinion, the referee had an excellent game on Sunday.

DEVILS FOR RED DEVILS
Hi Martin, I was watching the Liverpool v Man United match and saw Steven Gerrard score his 7th Premier League goal (correct me if I am wrong) against United. Is this the most number of goals an individual player has scored against the Red Devils? Also, what's the maximum number of goals one single player has scored against one team in the Premier League? Zaid (Man United fan).

MARTIN SAYS: Sunday's strike was actually Gerrard's sixth Premier League goal in his 25th Premier League appearance against Manchester United (although he also scored in a League Cup win against them in March 2003) and that makes him the joint sixth highest scorer against Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the Premier League.

Players who have scored more Premier League goals against Manchester United include Duncan Ferguson (7 - in 16 games), Les Ferdinand (8 - in 19 games), Robbie Fowler (8 - in 19 games) and Thierry Henry (8 - in just 14 games).

You may not be surprised to hear, however, that the player who has scored the most goals against Manchester United is Alan Shearer. He scored 10 times against them during 25 games for Blackburn and Newcastle.

Most Premier League goals against Manchester United:

Alan Shearer (10)
Thierry Henry (8)
Les Ferdinand (8)
Robbie Fowler (8)
Duncan Ferguson (7)
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (6)
Steven Gerrard (6)

To answer your other question I can point you towards the same player! The most goals one single player has scored against one single team in the Premier League is the 20 that Shearer scored against Leeds United. Remarkably he only played against them 19 times, so finished his career with an average of more than one goal per game against them.

Most Premier League goals scored by one player against one team:

20: Alan Shearer v Leeds United
16: Les Ferdinand v Everton
16: Alan Shearer v Everton
14: Alan Shearer v Coventry City
14: Alan Shearer v Tottenham Hotspur
14: Alan Shearer v Southampton
13: Michael Owen v Newcastle United
13: Michael Owen v West Ham
13: Alan Shearer v Sheffield Wednesday

REDS FOR REDS
Dear Martin. After Jonjo Shelvey got a red card in the Liverpool v Man Utd match and Jonny Evans should arguably have got one as well I was wondering if this fixture has seen more red cards than any other in the Premier League era? Jamie (Liverpool fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Shelvey's red card was the 14th dismissal this fixture has seen in 41 Premier League meetings. It was Liverpool's sixth compared to Manchester United's eight in this fixture and we've broken them down for you below:

Liverpool: Shelvey (Anfield 2012), Mascherano (Anfield 2009), Mascherano (Old Trafford 2008), Hyypia (Old Trafford 2003), Murphy (Anfield 2001), Owen (Old Trafford 1998)

Man Utd: Vidic (Anfield 2009), Vidic (Old Trafford 2009), Vidic (Anfield 2008), Scholes (Anfield 2007), Brown (Anfield 2005), Chadwick (Old Trafford 2000), Cole (Anfield 1999), Irwin (Anfield 1999)

Games between Manchester United and Liverpool have seen more red cards than every other Premier League fixture bar one. That unwanted record belongs to the Merseyside derby, which has seen 20 red cards in 40 Premier League games so far.

Thanks to Opta, here is a list of the Premier League fixtures that have heralded the most red cards:

Team 1Team 2Total RedsGames Played
EvertonLiverpool2040
LiverpoolMan Utd1441
EvertonNewcastle 1337
ChelseaEverton1240
Aston VillaNewcastle 1237
ArsenalBlackburn 1136
ArsenalLiverpool1041
ArsenalNewcastle 1036
EvertonMan City1030
ArsenalMiddlesbrough1028

With more focus on rash challenges than ever before from top-flight referees, one can only assume these figures will get higher!

FALLING BEHIND
Hey Martin. Big fan here. I love reading your column every week. As a die-hard Man Utd fan, I am not used to seeing us go behind. We have already conceded first in four of the five Premier League games so far (thankfully, we won three of those!!). Can you tell me which club has the record for going behind in the most number of games in a Premier League season? As an extra, could you tell me what is the worst record for United in this respect? Cheers, Anup M. Kumar (Manchester United fanatic)

MARTIN SAYS: Thanks to the boys at Opta I can tell you that the Ipswich Town team of 1994/95 went behind in 35 matches (83% of their games). Premier League teams played 42 games back then and so there were only seven fixtures in which they did not fall behind. You won't be surprised to discover they ended the season rock bottom and were relegated.

However, the worst record in a 38-team season - and statistically the worst record in Premier League history - belongs to both the Derby side of 2007/08 and the Wolves team of last season. Both of those sides went behind in 32 (84%) of their 38 games. Derby finished bottom with a Premier League low points tally of 11 that year and Wolves also finished rock bottom that season. However, they showed a little more spirit by battling back to pick up 25 points.

Manchester United have already fallen behind in their games against Everton, Fulham, Southampton and Liverpool this season which means they have gone behind in 80 per cent of their games. Were that record to continue for the whole season, which seems highly unlikely, they would need to come from behind in 30 of their 38 games.

According to Opta, their worst Premier League season for falling behind was 2001/02 when they went behind in 17 games, just under half of their matches. That season they similarly went behind in four of their first five games - against Fulham, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Newcastle. That year they had 11 points (3 wins, two draws) after five games as opposed to 12 points (4 wins, 1 defeat) this season. They finished that season in third place behind Arsenal and Liverpool.

The impression is that scoring the first goal is very important in a Premier League game, but some of these stats give a lie to that.

28 DAYS LATER
Reading had a break of 25 days between their games with Chelsea and Tottenham. What is the longest a Premier League team has gone between games once the season has started? Joe Matthews

MARTIN SAYS: Reading's unusually long break was due to a variety of factors. Their game against Chelsea - originally scheduled for Saturday September 1 - was put back to Wednesday August 22 due to the Blues' participation in the Super Cup. Their game against Sunderland was then postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. That meant that they did not play another Premier League fixture until Sunday September 16 due to the planned empty weekend (due to the Super Cup) and an international break the following weekend.

However, this was not the longest gap between Premier League fixtures for one club. We have seen THREE teams previously have an even longer gap.

Manchester United (1999/2000) - 27 days: Sir Alex Ferguson's side did not play in the Premier League between a 2-2 draw at Sunderland on December 28 and a 1-1 home draw with Arsenal on January 24 due to their participation in the World Club Championship.

Portsmouth (2009/10) - 27 days: After Portsmouth lost to Arsenal on December 30, they did not play again until January 26 when they faced West Ham. They played three FA Cup fixtures in that time, but their scheduled Premier League fixtures away at Fulham and at home to Birmingham were postponed due to severe weather conditions.

QPR (1993/94) - 28 days: The longest break between games for any Premier League team came in the second Premier League season when QPR lost to Manchester United on Saturday February 5 and did not play again until exactly four weeks later against Manchester City on Saturday March 5. In fact, they didn't play a game at all in that time as they'd already been knocked out of the FA Cup by Stockport.

We think February 5 had been set aside for an international break, but several Premier League fixtures were played that day following England's failure to qualify for the World Cup. That included QPR's game with Manchester United, which was moved from February 12 because United were playing in a League Cup semi-final on that weekend. QPR's game with West Ham on February 19 was postponed because the Hammers were playing in the FA Cup and the game at Sheffield United on February 26 was postponed due to bad weather. That meant they went four whole weeks without a game!

THE GREAT ENTERTAINERS
Hi Martin, I'm sure that Manchester United will have the highest "goals for" record over the years but would they still lead the pack on "goals per game"? They may win 3-0 or 4-0 reasonably often but we don't have many 4 - 4 games like the Everton result. Regards, Kevan Rogers, Christchurch, New Zealand

MARTIN SAYS: With 1553 Premier League goals to date, Manchester United have indeed scored more than any other side, but when you add on the 666 they have conceded it gives a ratio of 2.86 goals per game - and that's only the seventh highest of all the clubs that have played in the Premier League.

The record, in fact, is shared by Blackpool and Swindon. Ian Holloway's Blackpool side gave their fans plenty of memories to cherish during their first and only season in the Premier League in 2010/11 - and they gave neutrals plenty of entertainment too. In their 38 top flight games that term, the Seasiders recorded a higher average of goals per game - 3.50 - than any other side in Premier League history, with the exception of Swindon, who conceded 100 goals in their only Premier League season in 1993/94.

At the other end of the spectrum Stoke City have shown keeping games tight can be a recipe for success in the Premier League, with Tony Pulis' side enjoying their fifth consecutive season in the top flight. The average number of goals per game in matches involving the Potters is 2.34, fewer than any other team.

Total goals per game involving each club in Premier League history:

TEAMGOALSGOALS CONCEDEDTOTAL GOALSGAMES PLAYEDGOALS PER GAME
Blackpool5578133383.50
Swindon Town47100147423.50
Burnley4282124383.26
Barnsley3782119383.13
Oldham Athletic105142247842.94
Wolverhampton Wanderers1562814371522.88
Manchester United155366622197772.86
Norwich City2593315902072.85
Queens Park Rangers2703095792072.80
Hull City73139212762.79
Reading97122219802.74
Sheffield Wednesday4094538623162.73
Newcastle United100289118936972.72
Bradford City68138206762.71
Tottenham Hotspur1080102621067772.71
Wimbledon3844728563162.71
Bolton Wanderers57574513204942.67
Arsenal135471920737772.67
Southampton60775313605112.66
West Bromwich Albion2403786182332.65
Blackburn Rovers92790718346962.64
Watford64136200762.63
Leicester City3544568103082.63
Ipswich Town2193125312022.63
Chelsea129174320347772.62
Nottingham Forest2292875161982.61
Swansea City5458112432.60
Derby County2714206912662.60
Manchester City78174315245872.60
West Ham United72888416126212.60
Leeds United64157312144682.59
Charlton Athletic3424427843042.58
Liverpool124076320037772.58
Wigan Athletic2744196932712.56
Middlesbrough62174113625362.54
Everton98398419677772.53
Portsmouth2923806722662.53
Crystal Palace1602434031602.52
Fulham49255910514232.48
Coventry City3874908773542.48
Aston Villa97893219107772.46
Sunderland42661010364222.45
Sheffield United1281682961222.43
Birmingham City2733606332662.38
Stoke City1582093671572.34

TITLES, BUT NO CAPS
Many Englishmen have won the Premiership but never played for England. I would guess Steve Bruce is the most high profile, Luke Chadwick springs to mind but are there any others? Gregg Thompson

MARTIN SAYS: We have found 11 players who fall into this category, Gregg, and we can even make them into a starting XI in a 4-4-2 formation for you.

Goalkeeper: Stuart Taylor (Arsenal 2001/02)

Right-Back: David May (Man Utd 1995/96, 1996/97)

Left-back: Ronnie Wallwork (Man Utd 2000/01)

Centre-backs: Steve Bruce (Man Utd 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95) and Tony Gale (Blackburn 1994/95)

Central midfield: Ian Pearce (Blackburn 1994/95) and Mark Atkins (Blackburn 1994/95)

Wingers: Stephen Hughes (Arsenal 1997/98) and Luke Chadwick (Man Utd 2000/01)

Strikers: Mike Newell (Blackburn 1994/95) and Paul Warhurst (Blackburn 1994/95)

If you're questioning some of my tactical decisions, Paul Warhurst played in a number of positions but he was called up for England as a striker - but did not get a game due to a groin injury.

And if you're wondering why I put Ian Pearce in midfield I can explain! I have managed Pearce for Kingstonian in recent times and he came to us wanting to play up front - a position where he started his career at Chelsea. We gave him his debut in a 6-1 home defeat to Averley and it was mutually agreed that he would never play up front for us again! He returned the following season as a holding midfield player, most memorably in a 2-1 win at Hastings. It was a great privilege to work with him and only last week he popped down to watch us train at Kingston University.

I'll also mention Tony Gale, who is also involved in non-league football in Surrey as chairman of Walton Casuals, so I see plenty of him. It was a pleasure to commentate for Sky with him last week on the Man City v Real Madrid game.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

Which letter surname gets the most goals? Who has made the most passes? Martin has the stats......

Guillem Balague

Balague: Real lack logic

Guillem Balague says Real Madrid’s poor football judgement has left them weaker than last season....

Alan Smith

Smith - Welbeck exit sad for United

Alan Smith says many Man Utd fans will be upset to see Danny Welbeck move to Arsenal....

Latest News RSS feeds

Stones handed England start

John Stones has been named in England’s starting line-up for Wednesday night’s friendly against Norway.

Live transfer updates

Aston Villa seal Tom Cleverley loan, Cesar Azpilicueta signs new Chelsea deal and Wayne Rooney welcomes Radamel Falcao.

Yorke: United spree could win title

Radamel Falcao can fire Manchester United to the Premier League title this season, says Dwight Yorke.

Rooney salutes Falcao arrival

England captain Wayne Rooney claims Manchester United have made a statement of intent by bringing in Radamel Falcao.

Cleverley joins Villa on loan

Tom Cleverley has joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Manchester United, both clubs have confirmed.

Features

Free Transfer XI: The pick of the players still available following the closure of the transfer window

Free Transfer XI: The pick of the players still available following the closure of the transfer window

Still not had your transfer fix? There are still players out there looking to find a new club this summer...

The Science of Scouting: Abroad

The Science of Scouting: Abroad

The globalisation of football is an opportunity for clubs savvy enough to identify talent from abroad. However, with players being expected to adapt to a new country, the risks are increased in line with the reward.