Football Commentator & Columnist
Did you spot the spooky coincidence when Fabio scored against Arsenal? Martin Tyler did...
Last Updated: 18/03/11 10:59am
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Tyler's Starting Stat - Mirror images
I was at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, where Fabio scored his second ever goal for Manchester United, at home to Arsenal. His first was scored away to Wigan.
Bizarrely, it occurred to me that this was an exact mirror image of his twin brother Rafael's first two goals for United. His first goal was away at Arsenal and his second was at home to Wigan! Spooky!
Otherwise, this game was the 13th time that United and Arsenal had been drawn together in the FA Cup - and it proved to be lucky for United as they went 7-6 ahead in terms of progress. Amazingly, Arsenal have now failed to score in their last four FA Cup meetings with United, even though they have won the FA Cup in that time - by beating them on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the 2005 Final.
Wayne Rooney has scored in United's last two FA Cup ties against Arsenal, but still hasn't got a winner's medal; he's been a losing finalist in both 2005 and 2007.
GUNNING, BUT NOT SHOOTING
A lot has been made of Arsenal having no shots in their Champions League game against Barcelona. Has this happened before, either in the Champions League or the Premier League? Thomas W
MARTIN SAYS: Our friends at Opta have been keeping tabs of Champions League games since 2003/04 and in the 981 games played in that period, Arsenal became the first of 1,962 sides not to manage a single shot. Of course, the one shot they did have was chalked off and Robin van Persie was punished with a second yellow card!
Fewest shots (including blocked shots) in a Champions League game since 2003/04:
2010/11: Barcelona v Arsenal
2008/09: Marseille v Atletico Madrid
2009/10: Barcelona v Internazionale
2010/11: Barcelona v Panathinaikos
2003/04: Stuttgart v Chelsea
2003/04: Monaco v Lokomotiv Moscow
2004/05: PSV Eindhoven v Panathinaikos
2004/05: Barcelona v Celtic
2004/05: Barcelona v Chelsea
2005/06: FC Porto v Rangers
2007/08: FC Porto v Liverpool
2008/09: Steaua Bucharest v Fiorentina
2009/10: Barcelona v Stuttgart
2010/11: Manchester United v Rangers
In the Premier League (over the same period - since 2003/04), only West Brom, away at Man City away in 2004/05, have failed to manage a shot in a match.
Great column as usual. My question is relating to the England captaincy saga, and how John Terry should be reconsidered as captain of England. How do England's results compare to while John Terry was captain, to what they are after he was stripped of the captaincy? Michael Simpson (Arsenal fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Opta have been on the case and I can tell you that England have been captained by John Terry on 28 occasions since August 2006, winning 18 of those games and losing just four. His record reads P28 W18 D6 L4, which gives him a win percentage of 64%. England's record since he was stripped of the captaincy last February reads P13 W8 D3 L2 and their win percentage is 62% - so there hasn't really been much change.
I can also tell you that of the England captains since David Beckham's appointment in November 2000, John Terry has the best win percentage (unless you include Frank Lampard's winning game as captain against Denmark ), as you can see from the table below. Please note this table records when players started the game as captain - and some of the results may have changed when the captain was substituted.
|Captain||Games as captain||Wins||Draws||Losses||Win %||First game as captain|
|David Beckham||59||35||14||10||59%||15 November 2000 0-1 vs. Italy|
|Michael Owen||8||5||3||0||63%||17 April 2002 4-0 vs. Paraguay|
|Steven Gerrard||15||8||2||5||53%||31 March 2004 0-1 vs. Sweden|
|John Terry||28||18||6||4||64%||16 August 2006 4-0 vs. Greece|
|Rio Ferdinand||7||4||1||2||57%||26 March 2008 0-1 vs. France|
|Wayne Rooney||1||0||0||1||0%||14 November 2009 0-1 vs. Brazil|
|Frank Lampard||1||1||0||0||100%||9 February 2011 2-1 vs. Denmark|
TOP SCORE, NOT TOP FOUR
Dear Martin, With Manchester City just five points ahead of Spurs and having played an extra game there is a real possibility of them not finishing in the top four, so if City don't finish in the top four and Carlos Tevez goes on to become the top goalscorer, would it be the first time in the Premier League that the Golden Boot is won by a player from outside the top four teams? And could you please show at what positions the teams with the top goalscorers have finished in the respective seasons... Thanks, Vikas B (West Ham fan)
MARTIN SAYS: If this happens it would be the first time in 10 seasons that the Premier League's top scorer would be playing for a side that didn't finish inside the top four. The last time it happened was in 2000/01 when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the league's top scorer with 23 goals, but his Chelsea team only managed to finish sixth.
There have only been four Premier League seasons where the top scorer (or at least one of the joint top scorers) was not playing for a club in the top four: Hasselbaink in 2000/01, Sunderland's Kevin Phillips in 1999/00, Blackburn's Alan Shearer in 1995/96 and Tottenham's Teddy Sheringham in the very first Premier League season. Meanwhile, in seven of the 20 Premier League seasons to date, the top scorer has played for the eventual champions.
Premier League top scorers and where their teams finished:
|Season||Top scorer||Team||Finishing position|
|2007/08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Man Utd||1st|
|2002/03||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man Utd||1st|
|2000/01||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Chelsea||6th|
|1998/99||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink|
* One goal for Nottingham Forest
Hi Martin. A match on Football Manager got me thinking - when was the last time the FA Cup final was contested by two teams from outside the top flight? And have a team won the FA Cup and been relegated in the same season? Thanks, Nick (Villa fan)
MARTIN SAYS: The FA Cup Final has never been contested by two teams from outside the top flight. Perhaps the closest we've been was the 2007/08 season when three of the four semi-finalists - Barnsley, Cardiff and West Brom - were from outside the top flight, but Portsmouth beat West Brom in their semi-final and went on to win the cup. With four Premier League semi-finalists this year, that record will not change.
There have however been eight teams to have won the FA Cup, despite playing outside the top flight:
Notts County (1894)
Tottenham Hotspur (1901)
West Brom (1931)
West Ham (1980)
To answer your other question, no team has ever won the FA Cup and been relegated in the same season. However, six teams have reached the final and gone down. They are:
Man City (1926)
* Re-elected to the top division after the First World War without playing in the second tier.
Dear Martin. Love your page, anyways I was looking at the Premiership table and I realised the three teams in the drop zone had the same first letter, W. Has there ever been a league season where all relegated teams had the same first letter. Cheers, Ali Mahgoub (Arsenal fan)
MARTIN SAYS: We've had this question a number of times this season, as the bottom seven is currently made of teams starting with 'W' or 'B'. I can tell you there has never been an instance of three clubs being relegated, whose names all begin with the same letter. The closest we've been was in 1999/2000 when Wimbledon, Watford and (Sheffield) Wednesday were relegated or 1976/77 when Sunderland, Stoke and Spurs went down. However, using the full names of Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham would preclude both of these.
Below I have listed the occasions when two teams whose names start with the same letter have finished in the bottom three. Before the early 1970's it was common that only two teams were relegated, so sometimes all of the teams relegated from the top flight did have the same first letter.
More than one team in the bottom three with the same first letter:
2003/04: Leicester, Leeds
2002/03: West Ham, West Brom
1999/00: Wimbledon, Watford
1999/98: Bolton, Barnsley
1993/94: Sheffield United, Swindon
1984/85: Sunderland, Stoke
1976/77: Sunderland, Stoke
1974/75: Carlisle, Chelsea
1970/71: Burnley, Blackpool
1969/70: Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday
1964/65: Bolton, Birmingham*
1961/62: Cardiff, Chelsea
1959/60: Leeds, Luton
1957/58: Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday
1956/57: Cardiff, Charlton
1932/33: Blackpool, Bolton
1910/11: Bristol City, Bury*
1907/08: Bolton, Birmingham
1904/05: Notts County**, Nottingham Forest**
1902/03: Bolton, Blackburn*
1901/02: Small Heath, Stoke*
1897/98: Blackburn*, Bury*
1896/97: Burnley, Blackburn*
1895/96: West Brom, Wolves
1892/93: Notts County, Newton Heath*
* Finished in the bottom three, but not relegated
** No relegation that season due to league resizing
Dear Martin, loved your teaser regarding Man City players who have also won league titles, I wondered if you could answer the same question for my team Newcastle United. I believe players who have played in the Premiership for Newcastle and also won a league title includes; Batty, Shearer, Gallagher (Blackburn), Duff (Chelsea), Campbell (Arsenal) Gillespie, Andy Cole, Butt, Alan Smith (Man Utd) are there any others? Many thanks Gregg, Bristol
MARTIN SAYS: I can find nine players who have won Premier League medals and have also played in the Premier League for Newcastle. Those players are:
Nicky Butt (Man Utd: 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2002/03)
Andy Cole (Man Utd: 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01)
Sol Campbell (Arsenal, 2001/02, 2003/04)
Damien Duff (Chelsea: 2004/05, 2005/06)
Geremi (Chelsea, 2004/05: 2005/06)
Ronnie Johnsen* (Man Utd: 1996/97, 1998/99, 2000/01)
Louis Saha (Man Utd 2006/07, 2007/08)
Alan Shearer (Blackburn: 1994/95)
Alan Smith (Man Utd: 2006/07)
* Many people forget that Ronnie Johnsen played three Premier League games for Newcastle in 2004/05. You also missed Geremi and Louis Saha from your list.
Three names on your list did not qualify for the following reasons:
- David Batty was part of the Blackburn squad that won the title in 1994/95, but only played five games due to injury. Even though he was offered a medal under "special dispensation", he refused as he felt his contribution was too minimal.
- Kevin Gallacher was also in that Blackburn squad, but a broken leg restricted him to just one game in that title-winning season.
- Keith Gillespie was part of the Manchester United set-up in their title-winning seasons of 1992/93 and 1993/94, but did not play in any league games and did not qualify for a medal.
Fill in your answers to Martin's teaser using the feedback form below - and keep those questions coming in!