Football Commentator & Columnist
The most red cards, Darren Fletcher's impact, oldest scorers and more great stats from Martin Tyler...
Last Updated: 04/11/09 12:38pm
Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!
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 - City blankers
I was at St Andrews on Sunday to see Manchester City's first goalless draw in 55 matches, their previous one coming at Bolton in March 2008. It was also only the fourth 0-0 draw of the Premier League season in the 106 games played. It was also only the second time in 20 matches in all competitions that City have failed to score, the last occasion being their 2-0 defeat at Manchester United last season.
City's visit to Birmingham saw them become the final Premier League team to be involved in a match with a penalty this season. Following Nigel de Jong's handball, every team has either been awarded or conceded a penalty - more on that later. It was also City's first draw at Birmingham since March 1985 and means the wait for City's 150th Premier League win goes on after four draws in a row. Finally Birmingham are yet to score a goal before the 37th minute this season - Liam Ridgewell's effort against Sunderland remains their earliest of the season so far.HAVING AN OFF DAY
Martin. What a crazy weekend. When was the last time there were nine red cards in a Premier League weekend? John Thorsby.
MARTIN SAYS: The eight red cards - dished out to Philipp Degen, Jamie Carragher, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Carlos Cuellar, Kenwyne Jones, Radoslav Kovac, Geovanni and Jlloyd Samuel on Saturday - are a record. Never before have eight players been sent off on the same day in the Premier League.
However, Barry Ferguson's Super Sunday red card took the total to nine for the weekend, which is a 10-year high. The last time it happened was across the weekend of September 25-27 1999, Matchday 9 of that particular Premier League season. The nine men to see red over the course of that Matchday were: John Moncur (West Ham), Esteban Fuertes (Derby), Andrew Myers (Bradford), Gareth Southgate (Aston Villa), Paul Gascoigne (Middlesbrough), John Hartson (Wimbledon), Sander Westerveld (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) and Francis Jeffers (Everton). Thanks to our friends at Opta for those names.
CHELSEA'S FOUR BY FOURS
Dear Martin. Chelsea have now scored four goals (or more) in their last four games. Has this happened before in recent years? Are we on for some sort of record this season? Kate Anderson.
MARTIN SAYS: Those wins over Atletico Madrid, Blackburn and Bolton (twice) are indeed something of a milestone. During the Premier League era, this is the first time that Chelsea have scored four goals or more in four consecutive matches. On two occasions they have managed it in three consecutive matches: in October 2005, they beat Liverpool 4-1, Bolton 5-1 and Real Betis 4-0. In March 2002, they beat Spurs 4-0 in the FA Cup, then repeated the scoreline against the same side in the Premier League and then beat Sunderland 4-0. So Bolton aren't the only team to have lost 4-0 to Chelsea twice in less than a week!
Last season Chelsea hit four or more goals on six occasions, but their record highs came in the 2003/04 season when they managed it nine times in one campaign (Tottenham, Wolves [twice], Notts County, Lazio, Newcastle, Leicester, Watford, Southampton were on the receiving end). They repeated that feat the following season with four-goal hauls against Blackburn, West Brom, Fulham, Charlton, Newcastle, Norwich, Barcelona, Crystal Palace and Bayern Munich.
However, this season's tally is already better than what they achieved in 1992/93 and 1994/95 when they only scored four or more on two separate occasions.
Even though Chelsea's run ended when they only managed two in Madrid on Tuesday, they continue to have scored in all 18 competitive games they have played under Carlo Ancelotti.
THE FLETCH FACTOR
Hello Martin, I have a bet with my friend regarding Man Utd's big game record when Darren Fletcher is in the team. It seems to me that when he is playing, he seems to have a positive impact on the outcome against the other big three, whilst my friend believes it is irrelevant. Could you shed some light on this matter? Thank you, Fred Goodyear (Manchester United fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Looking at the stats, it would appear your friend is right. In the tables below I have outlined United's games against their big three rivals in all competitions since the start of the 2003/04 season when Fletcher starting playing regularly. Overall, United have a slightly better record when he's not in the team - but it is very close.
This is one occasion where I don't believe the stats don't do justice to the player. Sir Alex Ferguson referred to him as a "big-game" player this week and in their last two major away games - the Champions League final in Rome and the Premier League match at Anfield - United lost twice. What was the common denominator? Fletcher was missing. That's why Sir Alex was so keen to get him into the side against CSKA Moscow this week.
Manchester United's record since 2003/04
v rest of Big Four
NOT ON THE SPOT
Dear Martin. Fantastic column and absolutely love your commentary. Has this season seen a rise in the number of spot kicks given to the teams in the Premier League compared to this stage last year? I'm wondering because despite the fact that my team Arsenal haven't been given a penalty in the league this season, the only penalty that we have been awarded was the one that should not have been given [against Celtic]. Which brings me to my main question. Which team has gone the longest in the league without being awarded a penalty? (If the question was about a "legitimate" penalty, I'm guessing it to be Manchester United!) Thanks a lot Martin! Ganesh Viswanathan, Mumbai, India.
MARTIN SAYS: There has not been a rise in penalties this season, in fact there have been a very similar number awarded. After 11 Matchdays last season, 30 penalties had been awarded - while only 29 have been awarded so far this term.
Your other questions makes for quite interesting reading though, Ganesh and the boffins at Opta have produced some fascinating stats. As you say, Arsenal have not been awarded a penalty in their 10 games this season - but did get one in their final game of last season against Stoke City.
Only two other teams have not been awarded a penalty in the league this season. The first is Manchester City, who have now gone 13 games since their last league penalty. However, that is nothing compared to Hull City who have played 33 Premier League games since they were last awarded a spot kick. Their last penalty came on December 2008 in the 85th minute against Middlesbrough and was converted by Marlon King to secure a 2-1 win. However, Phil Brown is still awaiting his side's first penalty of 2009.
|Team||Games since last penalty|
NEIGHBOURS AT THE TOP
Dear Martin, Love the column - am an avid reader every week! My question is "When was the last time the top two in the Premier League or old First Division came from the same city? If my dad's memory serves him correctly (I'm only 15) Manchester United and City were the top two a while back with City winning on goal difference. Could you clear this up for me please? Thanks, Raphael Levy, London
MARTIN SAYS: The last time it happened was not so long ago Raphael. In 2004/05 London sides Chelsea and Arsenal finished in the top two positions in the Premier League - just as they did the previous season (in the opposite order). Given the number of London clubs, it is perhaps surprising it hadn't happened before then.
In fact, the top two have only ever come from the same city on six occasions. The Liverpool clubs did it three times in the 1980's and the Manchester clubs did it in the 1967/68 season - when City won the league by two points from their city rivals.
Top two from the same city:
2004/05: Chelsea and Arsenal
2003/04: Arsenal and Chelsea
1986/87: Everton and Liverpool
1985/86: Liverpool and Everton
1984/85: Everton and Liverpool
1967/68: Manchester City and Manchester United
Martin, I saw Graham Alexander score a brace today (Saturday) against Hull, as far as I know he turned 38 last month (October). Is he the oldest player to ever score two goals in a Premier League match? I'm sure Teddy Sheringham and a few others have scored goals in the League past their 38th birthday but two or more, not sure there's that many if any at all! Thanks, Conor, Cork, Ireland.
MARTIN SAYS: It does appear that Graham Alexander is the highest brace-scorer in Premier League history. His strikes against Hull at the weekend made him the sixth oldest scorer in Premier League history - but nobody older has ever scored two in one Premier League game. He only made his Premier League debut this season and has wasted little time in setting a record.
As you can see below, the oldest scorer in Premier League history is Teddy Sheringham who netted for West Ham after his 40th birthday. He is also the oldest scorer of a Premier League hat-trick, having netted three for Portsmouth in 2006 at the age of 37.
The oldest goascorers in Premier League history:
|John Wark||Ipswich||Blackburn||28/01/1995||37yrs, 177 days|
|Teddy Sheringham||West Ham||Portsmouth||26/12/2006||40yrs, 268 days|
|Stuart Pearce||West Ham||Southampton||25/11/2000||38yrs, 215 days|
|Mark Hughes||Blackburn||Leicester||30/03/2002||38yrs, 149 days|
|Tugay||Blackburn||Portsmouth||30/11/2008||38yrs, 98 days|
|Mick Harford||Wimbledon||West Ham||18/03/1997||38yrs, 34 days|
|Graham Alexander||Burnley||Hull||31/10/2009||38yrs, 21 days|
|Gary Speed||Bolton||Reading||25/08/2007||37yrs, 351 days|
|Peter Schmeichel||Aston Villa||Everton||20/10/2001||37yrs, 336 days|
|Les Ferdinand||Bolton||Man Utd||11/09/2004||37yrs, 268 days|
Last week we asked you to name all the players who have played at least one Premier League game for both Arsenal and West Ham.
The answers are: John Hartson, Davor Suker, Nigel Winterburn, Matthew Upson, Ian Wright, Luis Boa Morte, Fredrik Ljungberg, Jeremie Aliadiere and Kaba Diawara.
A few people suggested Omer Riza and Rami Shaaban, but they did not play in the league for both clubs.
Click on the video for this week's teaser and send in your answers using the feedback form below. Remember, you are looking for nine players who have played in the Premier League THIS season - and they share a surname with a CURRENT Premier League boss.