Reina's quick century, Arsenal without Fabregas and Fulham's away-day blues... it's Martin Tyler.
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Tyler's Starting Stat - Cats get the cream
I was at the Stadium of Light to see Sunderland pick up their second win in 12 Premier League meetings against West Ham, the previous one coming in May 2008. The result also avenged the 2-1 home defeat to the Hammers in the Carling Cup in September; their only home defeat of the season.
In league football, Sunderland have lost just one of their last 18 home games - to Manchester United in May. In contrast, West Ham have gone 26 Premier League games without an away win - a club record that they don't want, but keeps getting longer. In fact, their only away win in 28 games in all competitions was that Carling Cup win at Sunderland in September.
Jordan Henderson scored only his second Premier League goal, almost a year since his first in a madcap game at Manchester City when Mark Hughes pretty much knew his time as manager was up and Sunderland lost 4-3.
Sunday's game also marked the first time in the Premier League that Sunderland have started with all three of their main attackers - Darren Bent, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck. The only previous occasion they have all started in the starting XI was at home to West Ham in that Carling Cup game!
THE REIGN OF REINA
Hi Martin, I was watching the Liverpool vs Aston Villa game and Pepe Reina achieved his 100th clean sheet in the league. It only took him 198 games to achieve this feat which beat Ray Clemence's previous record of 217 games. Who are the top 10 keepers to achieve 100 clean sheets in the Premier Leauge in the least number of games? Thanks, Daren
Jose Reina did indeed enjoy his 100th Premier League clean sheet against Aston Villa on Monday night and reached the landmark in his 198th game.
It was nice that he achieved it as captain and not only did he keep a clean sheet, but he also set up the move for the third goal with a typical piece of sharp distribution.
However, he is not the quickest to 100 clean sheets - Chelsea rival Petr Cech managed to get there in just 180 games.
However, as you mention, he is the fastest ever Liverpool goalkeeper to 100 clean sheets in the league, beating Ray Clemence - who did it in 217 games - and Bruce Grobbelaar, who did it in 235.
Reina has become the 11th goalkeeper to achieve the feat in the Premier League era. Here is the full list, courtesy of our friends at Opta, including how long it took them to get to 100 clean sheets:
Fastest to 100 Premier League clean sheets:
1. Petr Cech (180 games)
2. Jose Reina (198 games)
3. Peter Schmeichel (212 games)
4. David Seaman (225 games)
5. Edwin van der Sar (247 games)
6. Nigel Martyn (275 games)
7. David James (302)
8. Thomas Sorensen (322 games)
9. Brad Friedel (339 games)
10. Mark Schwarzer (350 games)
11. Shay Given (381 games)
ARSENAL'S CESC APPEAL
Hi Martin, Big fan of your column here in Kenya. Looking forward to the Man U v Arsenal "derby" and getting really tired of all this talk about Cesc Fabregas being an important miss. My question is, since Fabregas joined the first team, how many times has Arsenal won the big games (Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool) without him? I however see a Man U win though. Thanks, Dennis Waigi (Arsenal fan)
You may be tired of such talk Dennis, but according to our friends at Opta Arsenal really do miss Fabregas when he's not available against the teams you mention.
Since the start of the 2004/05 season, Arsenal have played 38 games against those three teams and Fabregas has played in 34 of those matches. His record against those teams is as follows:
V Chelsea: P12 W2 D4 L6 (0 goals)
V Liverpool: P12 W5 D4 L3 (2 goals)
V Man Utd: P10 W3 D3 L4 (1 goal)
Arsenal's overall record in those games is: P34 W10 D11 L13 F40 A51 Win% 29%
However, when Fabregas is absent, the win ratio drops to zero as Arsenal have not won a game against one of those teams in the last seven seasons without the Spaniard among their ranks. Two of those games were the fixtures against Liverpool and Chelsea this season.
The four games they played without him are:
24/10/2004: Man Utd 2-0 Arsenal
29/08/2009: Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal
15/08/2010: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal
03/10/2010: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
Arsenal's record in those games is: P4 W0 D1 L3 F2 A7 Win% 0%
Dear Martin. Great work on the column this week. A lot of people have been talking about Sol Campbell joining the '500' club and I noticed that all the players with 500 appearances are either English or Welsh. Who is in line to become the first overseas player to rack up 500 PL games? Izmal (Arsenal fan)
You're absolutely right. The four players to have topped 500 appearances in the Premier League are David James, Ryan Giggs, Gary Speed and now Sol Campbell, who played his 500th Premier League game against West Brom last weekend. Behind them are the likes of Emile Heskey (475), Frank Lampard (470), Paul Scholes (456) and Jamie Carragher (450).
To answer your question, the overseas player with the most Premier League appearances is Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who has played 419 games in the English top flight for Middlesbrough and Fulham. If we include the Republic of Ireland as being "overseas" then his nearest challenger is Shay Given, who has 406 Premier League games under his belt.
Here are the top 10 non-British Premier League appearance-makers of all time:
1. Mark Schwarzer (419)
2. Shay Given (406)
3. George Boateng (383)
4. Brad Friedel (377)
5. Dwight Yorke (375)
6. Roy Keane (366)
7. Richard Dunne (362)
8. Stephen Carr (354)9. Thomas Sorensen (343)
10. Jussi Jasskelainen (340)
The fact these are all recent players reminds us that at the start of the Premier League, there were very few non-British players. Campbell and Giggs remain the only two players to play in every Premier League season.
CAR'S A STAR
Dear Martin. Carlos Tevez always seems to score against Bolton. Can you tell us if we're his favourite club to play against? Chris H (Bolton fan).
Carlos Tevez's winner against Bolton on Saturday was his sixth Premier League goal in nine games against the Trotters. No team has been on the receiving end of more Tevez goals in the Premier League, but he has fired six Premier League goals against two other clubs. He has hit the net six times in his nine games against Wigan, but even more impressively, he has hit six goals against Chelsea in just six games . With an average of a goal-per-game against the Blues, they are surely his favourite team to play against.
Blackburn Rovers fans may disagree with that statement though. Tevez has scored five Premier League goals against them - but also managed four more in a Carling Cup tie for Manchester United in December 2008.
Tevez goals v opponents in the Premier League:
SIX: Bolton, Chelsea, Wigan
THREE: Birmingham, Fulham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, West Ham
TWO: Aston Villa, Blackpool, Derby, Stoke, Tottenham, Wolves
ONE: Burnley, Man City, Man Utd, Sunderland, West Brom
Tevez has played against 29 teams during his four years in the Premier League and he has only failed to score against eight of them. His toughest opponent is arguably Everton as he has failed to find the net in eight games against the Toffees. He has also failed to score in seven matches against Arsenal.
Teams Tevez has failed to score against in the Premier League:
Everton (8 games)
Arsenal (7 games)
Portsmouth (6 games)
Hull (3 games)
Reading, Sheffield United (2 games)
Watford, Charlton (1 game)
FULHAM'S TRAVEL SICKNESS
I don't think Fulham have won an away game since the start of last season. Is this the worst away record in the history of the Premier League? Dave F (Fulham fan)
You're right. According to those clever folk at Opta, Fulham have now gone 26 away games without winning, a run stretching back to their victory over Portsmouth on the opening day of last season. It's a record that is matched by West Ham, who have also failed to win any of their last 26 away games in the Premier League. Their last away win was also on the first day of last season at Wolves. It will be interesting to see which of them breaks their duck first.
However, this is not the longest winless run away from home in Premier League history. That unwanted record actually belongs to Fulham, who played 33 games between September 9, 2006 and April 12, 2008 without winning on the road. Remarkably, a 2-0 win at Reading broke the duck and that was soon followed by a 3-2 win at Man City and a 1-0 win at Portsmouth as Roy Hodgson steered the club to safety. Those were their first away wins in the Premier League more than 18 months, the previous one coming at Newcastle.
Here are the longest winless away runs in Premier League history. Please note, some of these teams were relegated and have not returned to the Premier League, so in effect the runs are ongoing:
|Date of last game in run||Team||Away games without a win
* Have not played in Premier League since
Hi Martin. The mighty Arsenal moved to top of the Premier League this week. If they managed to win the league would they have the youngest squad to ever do so? Thanks, Yatesy
We asked Opta to look into this for you Yatesy and while they couldn't go through all of the clubs to have won the Premier League, they went back to the last time Arsenal won the title in 2003/04 to provide a point of comparison for you.
They decided to look at the average age of the starting XI in the opening game of each season - because sometimes teams send out youngsters towards the end of the season if they wrap the title up early. Interestingly, there has been very little difference in the average age of the last three Premier League champions - all just over 28-and-a-half.
The average age of the Arsenal starting XI on the opening day of the season was 25years 321 days and that would be younger than any other side in the same time period. However, the Chelsea side of 2004/05 was only an average of 90 days older than the current Arsenal crop.
|Season||Champions||Average age of starting XI in opening game of the season
|2008/09||Man Utd||28y 216d
|2007/08||Man Utd||28y 147d
|2006/07||Man Utd||27y 351d
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