Football Commentator & Columnist
Will Blues blow it?
Chelsea losing leads, title run-in omens and non-British bosses... Martin Tyler's stats column is here!
Last Updated: 25/03/10 8:16am
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 - United's home fortress
I was at Old Trafford on Sunday to see Manchester United's first win against Liverpool for two years, a result which almost certainly confirms they will finish above their rivals for the 17th time in 18 Premier League seasons.
Liverpool became only the sixth of 16 visiting teams to score at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season and the first since December 12. Fernando Torres was just the eighth visiting player to score a league goal at the home of the champions following Andrey Arshavin, Gareth Barry, Craig Bellamy (twice), Darren Bent, Kenwyne Jones, Matt Taylor and Gabriel Agbonlahor. It was only Liverpool's 13th away league goal this season, of which Torres has scored six. Surprisingly after two away goals at Tottenham and Bolton, Steven Gerrard has not scored away in the Premier League since August.
At the other end, Rooney scored his 130th goal in 277 Manchester United appearances and his 25th goal in 23 games (all competitions). However, it was only his second goal against Liverpool in 16 games; the previous one was a winner at Anfield in January 2005.Meanwhile, Park Ji-Sung scored only his third goal of the season in his 100th start for Manchester United. However, those goals have come against Arsenal, AC Milan and Liverpool so United supporters will be very pleased with his return.
Hi Martin. As we come closer to the end of the season, it is quite clear that while the title race is very closely fought, Manchester United still need to drop points for Arsenal and Chelsea to have any hope. Which of the top three (Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United) has the easiest run-in till the end of the season based on the number of points won against the teams they are due to play? Thanks, Arjun Kudva (Man United fan)
MARTIN SAYS: This is hugely hypothetical, but if Manchester, United, Chelsea and Arsenal were to replicate the results against their run-in opponents from earlier in the season, then the end of the season would look like this:
Bolton - Won 2-1
Chelsea - Lost 1-0
Blackburn - Won 2-0
Man City - Won 4-3
Tottenham - Won 3-1
Sunderland - Drew 2-2
Stoke - Won 2-0
Birmingham - Won 3-1
Wolves - Won 4-1
Tottenham - Won 3-0
Wigan - Won 4-0
Man City - Lost 4-2
Blackburn - Won 6-2
Fulham - Won 1-0
Portsmouth - Won 2-1
Aston Villa Lost 2-1
Man Utd - Won 1-0
Bolton - Won 4-0
Tottenham - Won 3-0
Stoke - Won 2-1
Liverpool - Won 2-0
Wigan - Lost 3-1
A repeat of those results would spell bad news for Chelsea as they are yet to play two teams who beat them earlier this season - Aston Villa and Wigan. On this basis, the Blues would finish third - however it would certainly be a surprise were Wigan to win 3-1 at Stamford Bridge!
I noted at the weekend that apart from a trip to Sunderland, United do not have much travelling to do. Their other away games are at Bolton, Man City and Blackburn. However, if the results are replicated then Arsenal and United would both finish on 85 points - but Arsenal would narrowly take the title on goal difference:
BLUE-SING A LEAD
Dear Martin. I've just watched the Blackburn v Chelsea game on Sky TV and yet again Chelsea failed to hang on to a lead. This has happened against Everton and Man City lately, which is unusual because usually Chelsea win games when they score first. My question is this: how many points have Chelsea dropped from winning positions this season? How does this compare to the seasons we won the title under Mourinho? Chris Dicks (Chelsea fan).
MARTIN SAYS: Chelsea have led in 26 of their 30 games this season, but they have only won 20 of those matches. The other six were as follows:
Lost 2-1 v Aston Villa
Lost 2-1 v Man City
Drew 3-3 v Everton
Lost 2-1 v Everton
Lost 4-2 v Man City
Drew 1-1 v Blackburn
So far Chelsea have dropped 16 points from winning positions this campaign.
This contrasts heavily with Chelsea's title-winning seasons. In 2004/05 Mourinho's Chelsea took a lead in 30 games and only failed to win once. That was a 2-2 draw against Bolton.
In 2005/06, Chelsea took the lead in 31 games and only failed to win twice: a 1-1 against Charlton and a 1-1 draw against Villa.
So while Chelsea have dropped 16 points from winning positions this season, they only dropped six points in those two seasons combined after taking a lead. They also never lost from a winning position; something they have done on four occasions this season. Chelsea supporters will also be worried that they have let leads slip in three of their last five games.
Hi Martin, I was thinking about Darren Bent's recent goal scoring exploits and his lack of England appearances. I would like to know who was the last Englishman to score 20+ league goals in a World Cup year and then not go to the tournament (excluding players who couldn't go due to injury)? Danny Greeves (Manchester Utd fan)
MARTIN SAYS: A number of people have sent in this question this week, so how can I not answer this for you? In the Premier League years, only one other Englishman has scored 20 goals in a World Cup year and not gone to the finals (when England have qualified) - and that was Alan Shearer in 2002. But of course, he had retired from international football by then and was not available for selection.
So the last time an Englishman scored 20+ top flight goals and wasn't selected was 1990 when both Matt Le Tissier and Kerry Dixon scored exactly 20 goals. Neither were called up for Italia 90 by Bobby Robson.
As you can see from the table below, the likes of Tony Cottee, Mick Harford and Joe Royle all scored 20 goals without going to a World Cup. Furthermore, Pop Robson scored 22 goals in 1970 and Tony Hateley scored 27 goals in 1966 (four more than Geoff Hurst that season) - and neither of those two players were even capped during their careers (although Ton's son Mark did go to the 1986 World Cup).
Before 1966, multiple players scored more than 20 goals so here is a list of Englishmen to have scored 20+ goals in a World Cup year and not gone to the tournament (when England have qualified) since 1966:
|1990||Matt Le Tissier||20|
* Retired from international football
Dear Martin, Amazing column... I would like to throw a trivia along with the ever growing list of questions for ya!!! I have heard so much about Italian Serie A being called as boring and EPL to be the best league. Not to mention, the Spanish league as well. Just wanted to know, which league has produced most goals in a season in the last 10 years. Shank Krish (Manchester Utd fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Shank, the simple answer to your question is La Liga! In season 2008/09, a striking tally of 1,101 goals was scored in the Spanish top-flight with Barcelona leading the way, eclipsing the previous best total since the turn of the millennium of 1,095 goals, scored in season 2000/01. More than a thousand goals have been scored in the Premier League four times since 2000/01 - those campaigns being 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2003/04. The feat was also achieved in 2007/08. Over the same period the highest return from a single Serie A season is 991 goals, in season 2005/06.
However, there were only 18 teams in Serie A up until 2004/05 so a fairer way to compare the leagues is on a goals-per-game ratio. Check out this table:
|Season||PL goals (goals-per-game)||La Liga goals (goals-per-game)||Serie A goals (goals-per-game)|
|2009/10||844 (2.795)||723 (2.678)||743 (2.562)|
|2008/09||942 (2.479)||1101 (2.897)||988 (2.6)|
|2007/08||1002 (2.637)||1021 (2.687)||970 (2.552)|
|2006/07||931 (2.45)||942 (2.479)||969 (2.55)|
|2005/06||944 (2.484)||936 (2.463)||991 (2.601)|
|2004/05||975 (2.566)||980 (2.579)||960 (2.526)|
|2003/04||1012 (2.663)||1015 (2.671)||816 (2.667)|
|2002/03||1000 (2.632)||1016 (2.674)||789 (2.578)|
|2001/02||1001 (2.634)||962 (2.529)||806 (2.634)|
|2000/01||992 (2.610)||1095 (2.882)||845 (2.761)|
|TOTAL||9,643 goals in 3,722 games (2.591)||9,790 goals in 3,690 games (2.653)||8,877 goals in 3,414 games (2.600)|
The good news this season, Shank, is that Premier League fans are getting more goals per game this season than ever before. You're also getting more goals per game than La Liga and Serie A supporters - so make sure you enjoy it!
Hey Martin. In this day of age of talking about young British managers my question is out of the current Premiership teams which teams have never had a non-British manager. I know my beloved Manchester United haven't. Scott Sunderland (Manchester Utd fan)
MARTIN SAYS: I need to correct you Scott, because Manchester United have had one non-British manager. The Irishman Frank O'Farrell managed the club from 1971 to 1972 and remains the only manager from outside Britain in their history.
The Premier League club that have clearly never had a non-British manager in their history is Birmingham City. All of their managers have come from either England or Scotland - although the likes of Owen Coyle (who was born in Scotland but played for Republic of Ireland) and Mick McCarthy (who was born in England but also played for Republic of Ireland) rather complicate the issue.
Clearly the side that have had the most non-British managers are Chelsea, who can boast three Italians, one Portuguese, one Israeli, one Brazilian and two Dutchmen in their history.
Non-British managers of the current 20 Premier League clubs:
Arsenal: Arsene Wenger
Aston Villa: Jozef Venglo, David O'Leary (Ireland)
Blackburn: Johnny Carey (Ireland)
Bolton: Owen Coyle*
Burnley: Owen Coyle*
Chelsea: Gianluca Vialli, Ruud Gullit, Claudio Ranieri, José Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti
Everton: Johnny Carey (Ireland)
Fulham: Jean Tigana
Hull City: Jan Mølby
Liverpool: John McKenna (Ireland), Gerard Houllier, Rafael Benitez
Man City: Sven-Göran Eriksson, Roberto Mancini
Man Utd: Frank O'Farrell (Ireland)
Portsmouth: Velimir Zajec, Alain Perrin, Avram Grant
Stoke: Gudjon Thordarson, Johan Boskamp
Sunderland: Mick McCarthy**, Niall Quinn, Roy Keane (all Ireland)
Tottenham: Ossie Ardiles, Chris Hughton (Caretaker, Ireland), Christian Gross, Jacques Santini, Martin Jol, Juande Ramos
West Ham: Gianfranco Zola
Wigan: Roberto Martinez
Wolves: Mick McCarthy**
* Born in Scotland, played for Republic of Ireland
** Born in England, played for Republic of Ireland
SWING LOWS FOR BOLTON
Hi Martin, Last weekend Bolton thumped Wigan 4-0, but the England rugby team failed to win. This always seems to happen, that when both teams are playing on the same weekend that one or neither of them will win. Is this true? James Allen
MARTIN SAYS: We've looked into this for you James after both Bolton and England (rugby) lost this weekend. I can confirm that on the last 13 occasions that the England rugby team and Bolton Wanderers have played on the same weekend, one or both of the sides has lost. The last time they both won on the same weekend was November 8 2008 when England beat the Pacific Islands in an Autumn international and Bolton won at Hull.
The last time Bolton won a Premier League match and England won a Six Nations match on the same weekend was February 10 2007 when Bolton beat Fulham and England overcame Italy.
I've also checked out the greatest day in England's rugby history for you. On the same day that England won the World Cup in 2003, Bolton won 2-0 away at Leeds United. I'm sure that was a day of double celebration for you, James!
Results when England rugby and Bolton play on the same day:
|Mar 20, 2010||Lost v France||Lost v Everton|
|Mar 13, 2010||Drew v Scotland||Lost v Wigan|
|Feb 27, 2010||Lost v Ireland||Won v Wolves|
|Feb 14, 2010||Won v Italy||Drew v Tottenham|
|Feb 6, 2010||Won v Wales||Drew v Fulham|
|Nov 21, 2009||Lost v New Zealand||Lost v Blackburn|
|Nov 7, 2009||Lost v Australia||Lost v Aston Villa|
|Mar 21, 2009||Won v Scotland||Drew v West Brom|
|Mar 15, 2009||Won v France||Lost v Fulham|
|Feb 7, 2009||Won v Italy||Lost v Everton|
|Nov 29, 2008||Lost v New Zealand||Won v Sunderland|
|Nov 22, 2008||Lost v South Africa||Won v Middlesbrough|
|Nov 15, 2008||Lost v Australia||Lost v Liverpool|
|Nov 8, 2008||Won v Pacific Islands||Won v Hull|
Fill in your answers to Martin's teaser using the feedback form below - and keep those questions coming in!