Football Commentator & Columnist
Home sweet home
Fernando's form, spot-kick kings, own goal records and Big Four defeats. Martin Tyler has it all!
Last Updated: 29/10/09 1:43pm
Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is back!
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.
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 - Upton sparks
I was at Upton Park on Sunday where Arsenal took their goal tally to 29 in nine Premier League games. By my reckoning that equals the best tally from the first nine games of any team in any Premier League season, matching the 29 Arsenal themselves managed in 2004. Robin van Persie scored his sixth of the season to become the club's current top scorer, although ahead of Arsenal's Carling Cup clash with Liverpool, Thomas Vermaelen, Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin were just behind the Dutchman on five each. Meanwhile, Carlton Cole has now scored in five consecutive home Premier League games for West Ham, having scored in all four this year and also in the last home game of last season.
FERNANDO'S HOME COMFORTS
Dear Martin. People keep going on about Fernando Torres' goalscoring record but I have a theory that he's very good at Anfield in familiar surroundings, but he's not very good when he has to play away from home. What do the statistics suggest about this? Karl.
MARTIN SAYS: Torres' goal against Manchester United on Super Sunday continued a remarkable run of goalscoring form for the Spaniard at Anfield. That was his 34th goal in 35 games (0.97 goals per game), compared to just 13 goals in his 31 away games in the league (0.42 goals per game).
In the Champions League he is also stronger at home, as you can see from the table below. He manages 0.45 goals per game at Anfield in that competition, as opposed to 0.27 goals per game on the road. However, that pattern does not continue in the domestic cups. He has failed to score in the three domestic cup games he has played at Anfield, but in his four away cup games he has managed four goals - one per game.
Overall, in his two-and-a-bit seasons at Liverpool, he has managed 0.80 goals per game at Anfield and 0.43 goals per game on the road. Perhaps you could say his away record suffers in comparison to his home record - but any striker would be happy with a return like that away from home!
Fernando Torres' goals for Liverpool:
|Competition||Home goals / apps||Away goals / apps|
|Total||39 / 49||20 / 46|
|Premier League||34 / 35||13 / 31|
|Champions League||5 / 11||3 / 11|
|FA Cup||0 / 2||1 / 2|
|Carling Cup||0 / 1||3 / 2|
THE BIG FLAW
So much for the so-called Big Four. I've just added it up and they've already lost 10 games between them this season. Is that some sort of record? I swear they can't have lost that many games before by this stage. Seb (Bolton fan)
MARTIN SAYS: It's not quite a record, Seb, but it is the highest number of defeats suffered by the Big Four of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United since the 1999/2000 season. As you say, after 10 games each they have lost a total of 10 games (and if Arsenal lose their 10th match against Spurs on Saturday that number will increase to 11). As you can see from the table below, they had lost just four games between them at this stage last season - and only lost 17 over the whole campaign. In the year before they'd lost just three matches by this stage and lost only 15 between them all season!
Number of defeats after 10 Premier League games:
* Still to play 10th game
If you look further back into Premier League history you can see they have made worse combined starts - they lost more than 10 in the first three Premier League seasons. However, it would be labouring a point to describe them as the "Big Four" during this period. Out of interest, here are the stats:
Dear Martin, me and my mates were wondering who the best penalty taker was / is. Some of us came up to the suggestion that Darren Bent and a host of other players have never missed a penalty. Could you help out by listing the players with the best conversion rates. And also it would be of great help if you could help determine the best penalty taker in the Premier league era. Thanks, Ovais Ahmed.
MARTIN SAYS: Our friends at Opta have been on the case for us and have provided us with a list of the Premier League's all time top 10 goalscorers. You'll be unsurprised to hear Alan Shearer is well ahead of the pack with a stunning 56 goals from penalties in Premier League matches. That's 31 more than my Sky Sports colleague Matt Le Tissier, who only ever missed one penalty in his entire career. His haul of 25 penalties could soon be bettered by Frank Lampard. The Chelsea midfielder has scored 22 successful spot kicks in the Premier League and is the highest-scoring penalty taker still playing - four goals ahead of his England team-mate Gareth Barry.
Top 10 penalty scorers of all time in Premier League:
1. Alan Shearer (56)
2. Matt Le Tissier (25)
3. Thierry Henry (23)
4= Frank Lampard, David Unsworth (22)
6. Teddy Sheringham (21)
7= Gareth Barry, Peter Beardsley, Gary McAllister, Ruud van Nistelrooy (18)
As for the best conversion rates, Opta have only been keeping data on missed penalties since the 2005/06 season. So below I can show you the top five consecutive penalty scorers since then. Lampard tops this particular list, but as you suspected Ovais, Darren Bent figures highly too.
Most consecutive successful penalties in Premier League since 2005/06:
1. Frank Lampard (10)
2. Darren Bent (9)
3. Mikel Arteta, Elano, Danny Murphy (7)
On Sunday I saw Alessandro Diamanti take his Premier League penalty record to two from two, watched by arguably West Ham's best penalty taker of all time, Ray 'Tonka' Stewart (who converted 76 out of 86 penalties during his career). I caught up with Ray on Sunday and we discussed a Stewart-like penalty that had been scored a day earlier by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake - an old-style foot through the ball. No messing!
BACK TO FRONT
Has any Premier League team got more goalscoring defenders than Aston Villa this season? Our centre-halves are on fire. Dave Wright.
MARTIN SAYS: I can answer your question in two ways, Dave. If you want to know the team with the most goalscoring defenders in the Premier League this season then the answer is Tottenham, who have four. Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Sebastien Bassong, Vedran Corluka and Ledley King have all scored in the league.
Before last weekend there were just two teams that hadn't benefited from a goalscoring defender this season - Birmingham City and Manchester City - but Joleon Lescott and Liam Ridgewell put that particular statistic right.
However, if you're looking for the team with the most number of goals scored by a defender, that is Arsenal. Thomas Vermaelen (4) and William Gallas (3) have contributed a total of seven goals from the back. The stats you need are below:
Most goalscoring defenders in the Premier League this season:
FOUR: Tottenham (Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Corluka, King)
THREE: Aston Villa (Davies, Dunne, Collins)
Stoke City (Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Huth)
Blackburn Rovers (Givet, Samba, Chimbonda)
TWO: Arsenal (Vermaelen, Gallas)
Everton (Baines, Yobo)
Wigan (Bramble, Boyce)
Premier League goals scored by defenders this season:
FOUR: Tottenham, Aston Villa,
TWO: Bolton, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, West Ham, Wigan
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Dear Martin, I look thoroughly enjoy reading your posts on Skysports. Even though the season has only just begun I found myself looking at goal differences this afternoon and I was wondering if any teams have ever been relegated from the Premier League with a positive goal difference, and if so what was the best goal difference of any relegated team? Tris
MARTIN SAYS: No team has ever been relegated from the Premier League with a positive goal difference. The closest a side came was arguably Manchester City, who finished 16th - two places above the drop - in 2003/04 with a goal difference of +1.
The highest goal difference of a relegated side was Middlesbrough's -9 in the 1996/97 when they were deducted three points. That put them 60 goals ahead of Derby County's class of 2007/08 who have by far the worst goal difference in Premier League history.
It is worth noting that a positive goal difference doesn't necessarily result in a high finish. Everton finished fourth in 2004/05 - and qualified for the Champions League - despite finishing the season with a negative goal difference.
Five best goal differences of relegated teams:
Middlesbrough: -9 (1996/97)
Crystal Palace: -13 (1992/93)
Blackburn: -14 (1998/99)
Crystal Palace: -15 (1994/95)
Charlton: -15 (1998/99)
Five worst goal differences of relegated teams:
Derby: -69 (2007/08)
Ipswich: -57 (1994/95)
Swindon: -53 (1993/94)
Barnsley: -45 (1997/98)
Sunderland: -44 (2002/03)
OWN GOALS AND NO GOALS
Hi Martin, fantastic column, I have a few questions, if you don't mind, I noticed that in the Rangers vs Unirea match there were 3 own goals, which had me thinking is this a record? Also, on a different subject, excluding goalkeepers, who has made the most appearances without actually scoring in the Premiership and still playing? And not still playing? Thank You. Neil Robinson (Oldham Athletic fan)
MARTIN SAYS: The outfield player with the most Premier League appearances without scoring is Kenny Cunningham. He made 335 Premier League appearances for Wimbledon, Birmingham and Sunderland (currently 40th on the all-time list of all-time Premier League appearance-makers), but never once scored for any of those clubs. He did manage one for Millwall at the start of his career, but never managed to repeat that in the Premier League.
As for the current crop, I initially thought the man with the most Premier League appearances without a goal was Portsmouth's Aaron Mokoena. In 111 appearances for Pompey and Blackburn he still hasn't found the target. I do have the honour of having commentated on a rare Mokoena goal in the FA Cup when Blackburn beat Man City 2-0 in 2007. Mokoena was in fact red carded in the same game. Perhaps the shock of scoring got to him!
However, some sharp-eyed Everton fans have e-mailed in to point out that Tony Hibbert has beaten that total. In 190 Premier League games for Everton he is yet to hit the target. Thanks to Stephen Hawkes and Neil Bullock for that information.
As for your question on own goals, I can recall a Premier League game when three own goals were scored by the same side. According to my records, when Charlton beat Sunderland 3-1 at the Stadium of Light on February 1 2003, all of Charlton's goals were credited to opposition players. Stephen Wright and Michael Proctor (2) put through their own net on that day.
However, three-in-a-game is far from the record. Back in 2002, Madagascan side Stade Olymique L'Emyrne scored an incredible 149 own goals in a league match against AS Adema. SOE, who had won the Madagascan league in the previous season, were instructed to deliberately put the ball into their own net as many times as possible by coach Ratsimandresy Ratsarazaka in protest at a refereeing decision. AS Adema, who had been crowned champions the previous week, stood around and didn't touch the ball as their opponents helped them to rack up a record scoreline!
Last week I told you Wigan Athletic were one of the few teams to have played in all four English professional divisions during the Premier League era and asked you to name the others.
The answers were: Bradford City, Fulham, Hull City, Swindon Town, Wimbledon/MK Dons.
Click on the video for this week's teaser and send in your answers using the feedback form below...