Football Commentator & Columnist
Heads and tall tales
Wayne Rooney's headers, bookings for tall players and staying up with the fewest wins... it's Martin Tyler.
Last Updated: 24/02/10 1:21pm
Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!
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Tyler's Starting Stat - Rooney's head of the class
I was at Old Trafford on Tuesday night where Wayne Rooney scored two headers in Manchester United's 3-0 win over West Ham. After his headed goals against Hull City, Portsmouth, AC Milan (2) and Manchester City he has scored seven headers in his last eight games. Incredibly he had only scored four in his previous 342 career appearances. I mentioned that stat to him before our interview on Tuesday night and he just smiled. I don't think he could quite believe it.
Those goals took his tally for the season to 27 goals in all competitions and 23 in the Premier League but he told me he's set no targets. He has Premier League games against Wolves, Fulham, Liverpool, Bolton, Chelsea, Blackburn, Man City, Tottenham, Sunderland and Stoke to add to his league tally. He also told me he hopes to play in Sunday's Carling Cup Final after missing out last year.Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand's absence means he has now played in just six of United's 28 Premier League games this season.
TAKING AWAY THE TOP SCORERS
Hello, I have a question. With Rooney doing so well this season and seeming to carry the rest of the United team, I would like to see how much of a 'one man team' they are compared to the rest of the league. Could you show what the league table would look like if each team's top scorer was omitted from their results, eg: if you exclude all Drogba's goals then Chelsea's result from Saturday would change from 2-0 to 0-0. Thanks! Bruce, St Albans
MARTIN SAYS: Bruce, we have new Premier League leaders! Under your system, Arsenal go two points clear at the top. Remarkably, if you take Cesc Fabregas' 12 goals away from the records, Arsenal would be just one point worse off (the point earned from his goal in the 1-1 draw with Burnley).
In contrast, Drogba's 19 goals have added 15 points to Chelsea's tally so without them the Blues drop down to third spot. Wayne Rooney's goals have earned Manchester United eight points and they would remain second.
Tottenham remain in the fourth Champions League spot in part because Spurs would have beaten Wigan 'without' Jermain Defoe's five-goal haul earlier this season - therefore the White Hart Lane club only drop six points in comparison to the nine lost by Manchester City, for whom Carlos Tevez has scored two fewer goals.
Sunderland suffer badly, dropping from 14th to 19th spot, such is the value of Darren Bent's goals to the cause but they are kept off the bottom by Portsmouth on goal difference. If you remove the goals of Bent and Aruna Dindane then Sunderland's goal difference is -27, Pompey's is -28.
Where there is more than one top-scorer, the player whose goals have contributed the most points has been selected. For example with Stoke City, Matthew Etherington's goals 'contribute' one point, so he loses out to Robert Huth and Tuncay who have each 'contributed' four.
Premier League table 'minus each team's top scorer'
|Team||Top scorer (goals)||Points change||New points||New position (change)|
|Arsenal||Fabregas (12)||1||54||1st (+2)|
|Man Utd||Rooney (23)||8||52||2nd (=)|
|Chelsea||Drogba (19)||15||46||3rd (-2)|
|Spurs||Defoe (16)||6||40||4th (=)|
|Aston Villa||Agbonlahor (11)||8||37||5th (+2)|
|Man City||Tevez (13)||9||37||6th (-1)|
|Liverpool||Torres (12)||9||36||7th (-1)|
|Fulham||Zamora (8)||7||30||8th (+1)|
|Stoke||Huth/Tuncay (3)||4||30||9th (+2)|
|Birmingham||Jerome (5)||7||30||10th (=)|
|Blackburn||Dunn (5)||4||30||11th (=)|
|Everton||Saha (13)||11||27||12th (-4)|
|West Ham||C Cole (9)||3||24||13th (=)|
|Wolves||Doyle (6)||4||20||14th (+2)|
|Hull||S Hunt (6)||4||20||15th (+2)|
|Burnley||Fletcher (7)||3||20||16th (+3)|
|Bolton||Klasnic (6)||5||18||17th (+1)|
|Wigan||Rodallega (7)||7||18||18th (-3)|
|Sunderland||Bent (15)||11||15||19th (-5)|
|Portsmouth||Dindane (5)||1||15||20th (=)|
Hi Martin, greetings from China. I love your column and I can't wait to read it every week. Anyway, I am a West Ham fan and I am disappointed that the Hammers have managed just 5 victories and only one of them came away from home, and I don't think they can win the remaining 6 away games easily. Would you please tell me that in the Premier League history, what were the worst records for both victories and away records of a team who successfully stayed up? Thank you and looking forward to seeing you next week. Shucong Fu (West Ham fan)
MARTIN SAYS: The West Brom side that launched the famous "great escape" in 2005 hold the record for the fewest wins recorded by a non-relegated Premier League side. They picked up just six wins that season before staying up on Survival Sunday. Last season, Hull City managed only eight wins - as did Fulham in the two seasons before that.
Fewest wins in a Premier League season by non-relegated teams:
West Brom (2004/05)
Fulham (2007/08 & 2006/07)
Bolton (2007/08 & 2001/02)
Blackburn (2004/05 &1996/97)
Man City (2003/04 & 1993/94)
Everton (2003/04 & 1997/98)
As for away wins, two sides in Premier League history have survived without winning a single match on the road. In 1992/93, defending champions Leeds United went through an entire 42-game campaign without winning away. Yet they still managed to finish three places above the relegation zone. More recently in 1999/2000 Coventry City finished 14th without winning away.
Several teams have won just one away game and survived. They are: Fulham (2006/07 and 2005/06), West Brom (2004/05), Everton (2003/04), Aston Villa (2002/03) and Blackburn (1996/97). So there is plenty of hope for West Ham fans!
BIG SAM'S BIG FINISHES
Hi Martin. As a Blackburn Rovers fan I constantly read about Sam Allardyce knowing how to "save a team from relegation" and "how to get out of relegation battles". However I always believed that his time at Bolton saw him finish numerous times in the top half of the table, he was sacked from Newcastle when they were mid table and Rovers currently do not look like they will be involved in a relegation battle. I would like to know how many times Big Sam's teams have finished in the top half and how many times they have been battling relegation. Sophie Holt
MARTIN SAYS: I have detailed below Sam Allardyce's complete seasons in charge of professional English clubs, taking in spells at Blackpool, Notts County and Bolton. As you can see, when Allardyce has been in charge for the entire season, his team has only finished in the bottom half on three occasions; once with Notts County in 1999 and then in Bolton's first two seasons in the Premier League at the start of the last decade. So in 75% of his complete seasons as a manager he has finished in the top half - including four years in a row in the top eight of the Premier League with Bolton.
Having watched him work he has adopted a real scientific approach involving specific fitness trainers, dieticians and anything else to gain half a per cent advantage. That attention to detail has made him an outstanding manager.
Sam Allardyce's complete seasons as a manager:
|Season||Team||Finish||Top half / bottom half|
|1994/95||Blackpool||12th in Division Two||Top half|
|1995/96||Blackpool||3rd in Division Two||Top half|
|1997/98||Notts County||1st in Division Three||Top half|
|1998/99||Notts County||16th in Division Two||Bottom half|
|2000/01||Bolton||3rd in Division One||Top half|
|2001/02||Bolton||16th in Premier League||Bottom half|
|2002/03||Bolton||17th in Premier League||Bottom half|
|2003/04||Bolton||8th in Premier League||Top half|
|2004/05||Bolton||6th in Premier League||Top half|
|2005/06||Bolton||8th in Premier League||Top half|
|2006/07||Bolton||7th in Premier League||Top half|
To fill in the gaps, here are the seasons when Allardyce was in charge of teams for only part of the time:
In 1997/98 he took over at Notts County in January, but could not stop the club finishing 24th (and bottom) in Division Two
He took over at Bolton in October 1999 and guided the club to 6th in Division One that season.
When he left Newcastle in January 2008, the club were sitting in 11th position.
He took over at Blackburn in December last year and guided them to 15th by the end of the season.
I recently read an article from Sam Alladyce and he's reported to have said that Chris Samba is being penalised by referees because he is too tall. I wonder how true or false this statement is. Is Alladyce's comment on his influential centre back true or is it because he feels aggrieved? Peter McLaughlin
MARTIN SAYS: A good question. As somebody of 6ft 3ins myself, I have great sympathy for tall players. During my undistinguished non-league career I always felt referees penalised taller players for aesthetic reasons; sometimes they look ungainly and are penalised in a fair fight for the ball or for backing in when the referee should just allow play to carry on. I mentioned it in reference to Peter Crouch in commentary last Sunday and I do think it can be very frustrating for tall players.
Taking a more scientific approach and using the Premier League's official website, I have looked at the disciplinary records of the tallest players in the Premier League. I have looked only at outfield players who have played at least five Premier League games this season.
Of this small sample, 0.99 fouls are committed per game and these eight players are booked once every 12.58 games. On average, a Premier League player has committed 12 fouls this season and has picked up two yellow cards. So you could suggest that the tallest players tend to concede more fouls, but don't really tend to pick up more bookings.
Outfield players above 193cm. Must have played at least five Premier League games:
|Player||Height (cm)||Appearances||Fouls committed||Yellow Cards||Red cards|
WOOD YOU BELIEVE IT?
Hi Martin, Good column as always. As a Rovers fan I have noticed recently that Nikola Kalinic manages to hit the post almost every game at the moment. What I would like to know is Kalinic top of the 'Hit the Woodwork' table this season and how does he compare to other players? Keep up the good work! Peter Stock (Blackburn Rovers fan)
MARTIN SAYS: In terms of the Premier League Nikola Kalinic has hit the woodwork on just two occasions. The boys at Opta have given us the stats you want and Wayne Rooney leads the way in terms of hitting the post or crossbar. The Manchester United striker has hit it six times this season, one more than Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia.
Hitting the woodwork in the Premier League:
Rooney (Manchester United)
N'Zogbia (Wigan Athletic)
Pedersen (Blackburn Rovers)
Scotland (Wigan Athletic)
Tevez (Manchester City)
van Persie (Arsenal)
Benitez (Birmingham City)
Benni McCarthy (Blackburn, now West Ham)
Kalinic (Blackburn Rovers)
Keogh (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Rodallega (Wigan Athletic)
Taylor (Bolton Wanderers)
With Portsmouth looking doomed to the drop this season and their keeper David James probably going to the World Cup I was wondering how many players have been relegated from the Premier League then went to the World Cup or Euros with England the same season, Thanks. Ste Nickson
MARTIN SAYS: We've looked through all of England's squads throughout history and we can only find three instances of this happening before - and only one in the Premier League era as your question states. That player was Ian Walker, who was relegated with Leicester City in 2004, but went to the European Championships in Portugal as goalkeepeing cover.
Two other men went to a major tournament with England shortly after relegation, both in the 1980's. Tony Dorigo was relegated with Chelsea in 1988 and was a surprise inclusion in Bobby Robson's squad for that year's European Championships as cover for Kenny Sansom, after regular deputy Stuart Pearce withdrew through injury.
And finally Terry Butcher suffered relegation with Ipswich in 1986, but went on to play for England in that year's World Cup in Mexico.
Fill in your answers to Martin's teaser using the feedback form below - and keep those questions coming in!