Football Commentator & Columnist
Toon going forth
Martin Tyler has good omens for Newcastle, while Spurs are set for a unique home nations treble.
Last Updated: 05/10/11 3:49pm
Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is back for the new season!
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.
Tyler's Starting Stat - Rafael earns his Spurs
I was commentating on Sunday's North London derby and witnessed Tottenham's third Premier League win in four games against Arsenal - but only their fourth win in the last 32. They are now unbeaten at home in their last 16 Premier League London derbies since a 3-1 reversal to the Gunners in September 2007.
Rafael van der Vaart became Tottenham's highest Premier League scorer against Arsenal, even though he has only played against them three times. His strike on Sunday was his fourth and he overtook Gareth Bale, who is on three - and maybe should have scored at 2-1 to kill the game off. Arsenal's leading Premier League scorer against Spurs remains Robert Pires with seven.
Kyle Walker bagged his first Tottenham goal in his first North London derby having played once in a Birmingham derby for Aston Villa and once in a Sheffield derby for Sheff United.
Meanwhile, Arsenal's worst Premier League away run continues - eight games without a win since a 3-1 success at Blackpool on April 10.
Last week's leftovers
Last week we promised to research the last time Manchester United lost a game after being two goals ahead. We can tell you it was on December 8, 1984 when they lost 3-2 at Nottingham Forest in the league. A Gordon Strachan brace gave the away side a two-goal lead, but goals from Gary Mills, John Metgod and Steve Hodge saw Forest come back to win. So Basel nearly achieved something that had not been done for 27 years!
TOON GO FORTH
Newcastle are fourth in the league after seven matches, could you do a rundown of where the fourth placed team after seven matches have finished in the Premier League's history? Cheers, Michael Robson (Newcastle Utd fan)
MARTIN SAYS: In each of the last four seasons, the team that has been fourth at the end of the seventh Premier League matchday has gone on to finish the season in fourth place. So the omens are good for Newcastle supporters.
As you can see from the list below, every team that has been in fourth place at the end of the seventh round of fixtures has finished the season in the top half of the table. I am looking forward to seeing how Newcastle get on against Tottenham in my next commentary game in a couple of week's time.
|Season||Team fourth after seven matchdays||Final league position|
UNBEATEN RECORD IS UNBEATEN
Dear Martin. I am a Man United fan from Egypt and I am very surprised that FOUR Premier League teams are yet to taste defeat despite the fact that each of the teams has already played seven Premier League matches, is that a sort of a new record? Mohamed El-Kholy, Cairo, Egypt
MARTIN SAYS: This is indeed a Premier League record. Manchester United, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Newcastle are all unbeaten after seven games and that has never happened before. As you can see from the list below, the previous high after seven games was three unbeaten teams, which occurred in four seasons - 1994/95, 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2003/04.
In each of those four seasons, one of the three unbeaten teams lost their eighth match (Birmingham in 2003/04, Chelsea in 2002/03, Aston Villa in 2001/02 and Blackburn in 1994/95), so we have never seen more than two teams unbeaten after eight games.
Teams unbeaten after seven games:
1992/93: Ipswich, Blackburn
1994/95: Newcastle, Blackburn, Nottingham Forest
1995/96: Arsenal, Nottingham Forest
1996/97: Liverpool, Man Utd
1997/98: Man Utd, Arsenal
1998/99: Aston Villa, Leeds
1999/00: Man Utd
2000/01: Man Utd, Leicester
2001/02: Leeds, Aston Villa, Chelsea
2002/03: Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea
2003/04: Arsenal, Chelsea, Birmingham
2004/05: Arsenal, Chelsea
2006/07: Everton, Aston Villa
2007/08: Arsenal, Liverpool
2008/09: Chelsea, Liverpool
2010/11: Man Utd, Fulham
2011/12: Man Utd, Man City, Newcastle, Aston Villa
Dear Martin, Bolton have conceded 21 goals in their first seven Premier League games. Is this a record? Cheers, Mark Simpson
MARTIN SAYS: Yes, Mark, it is. No side has previously conceded more than 20 goals in their opening seven games. The Derby team of 2007/08 - who eventually got relegated having amassed just one victory all season - had the previous worst with 20 goals conceded from the opening seven games but Bolton have eclipsed that.
The Trotters' porous defence has left them bottom of the table at this point but they can take heart from the Newcastle side of 1999/2000. The Toon Army conceded 19 goals from their maiden seven games (the third-worst in Premier League history) but still went on to finish in a respectable 11th place come May.
However, as our table below shows, that is a rarity. Most teams with such leaky backlines after seven games do go down.
As has been mentioned in other quarters, Bolton have played a high calibre of team so far and perhaps should be judged after the next seven games.
Blackburn (17 conceded this season) and Arsenal (16 conceded this season) figure quite highly in the overall standings of goals shipped after seven Premier League games. Should they be worried?
|West Ham||01/02||7||16||N (7th)|
*22-team Premier League
ONE TO THREE
Hi Martin, I was surprised to read that Andy Johnson's hat-trick against QPR was Fulham's first in the Premier League. It got me thinking: how many hat-tricks have all the other teams in Premier League history got? Thanks, Danny Stephens
MARTIN SAYS: You're right. Johnson scored Fulham's first top-flight hat-trick since Allan Clarke on February 4 1967 in a 5-1 home win against Newcastle when the Cottagers finished 18th in the old Division One.
The accolade for most Premier League hat-tricks goes to Arsenal who have notched 30 since September 1993 when Kevin Campbell opened their account against Ipswich. Of that 30, Thierry Henry notched eight. Great rivals Liverpool and Manchester United come next with 28 apiece, while Chelsea and Blackburn complete the top five with 17 and 16 respectively.
As the table below shows, Fulham are one of nine teams to have scored just one Premier League hat-trick, along with Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Ipswich, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Swindon and Wimbledon.
Of the 45 teams to play in the Premier League, 33 have accrued hat-tricks. Wolves, Stoke and Swansea could all score their first Premier League hat-tricks this season, while other sides who have played in the Premier League but failed to score a hat-trick are: Burnley, Barnsley, Blackpool, Watford, Hull, Oldham, Reading, Crystal Palace and Derby.
|Team||No of PL hat-tricks||First hat-trick scorer||Date||Opposition|
|Arsenal||30||Kevin Campbell||11 September, 1993||Ipswich|
|Liverpool||28||Mark Walters||17 April, 1993||Coventry|
|Man United||28||Andrei Kanchelskis||10 November, 1994||Man City|
|Chelsea||17||Gavin Peacock||4 February, 1996||Middlesbrough|
|Blackburn||16||Alan Shearer||23 October, 1993||Leeds|
|Tottenham||14||Teddy Sheringham||20 February, 1993||Leeds|
|Newcastle||11||Peter Beardsley||23 October, 1993||Wimbledon|
|Everton||10||Tony Cottee||21 August, 1993||Sheffield United|
|Leeds||10||Eric Cantona||25 August, 1992||Tottenham|
|Man City||9||Nicolas Anelka||14 September, 2003||Aston Villa|
|Aston Villa||8||Dean Saunders||12 February, 1994||Swindon|
|Coventry||6||Micky Quinn||14 August 1993||Arsenal|
|Portsmouth||6||Teddy Sheringham||26 August, 2003||Bolton|
|Middlesbrough||5||John Hendrie||5 December, 1992||Blackburn|
|Southampton||5||Matt Le Tissier||8 May, 1993||Oldham|
|QPR||4||Andy Sinton||28 December, 1992||Everton|
|West Ham||4||Tony Cottee||17 December, 1994||Man City|
|Sunderland||3||Kevin Phillips||18 September, 1999||Derby|
|Norwich||3||Mark Robins||9 November, 1992||Oldham|
|Charlton||2||Clive Mendonca||22 August, 1999||Southampton|
|Leicester||2||Ian Marshall||22 February, 1997||Derby|
|Sheff Wednesday||2||Chris Bart-Williams||12 April 1993||Southampton|
|West Brom||2||Robert Earnshaw||19 March, 2005||Charlton|
|Wigan||2||Henri Camara||16 December, 2005||Charlton|
|Birmingham||1||Mikael Forssell||1 March, 2008||Spurs|
|Bolton||1||Fredi Bobic||6 April, 2002||Ipswich|
|Bradford||1||Dean Windass||21 April, 2000||Derby|
|Fulham||1||Andy Johnson||2 October, 2011||QPR|
|Ipswich||1||Marcus Stewart||7 April 2001||Southampton|
|Nottingham Forest||1||Kevin Campbell||17 November, 1996||Coventry|
|Sheff Utd||1||Brian Deane||6 January, 1993||Ipswich|
|Swindon||1||Jan Age Fjortoft||5 February, 1994||Coventry|
|Wimbledon||1||Dean Holdsworth||26 April, 1994||Oldham|
Hi Martin. I am currently watching the Bolton v Chelsea game live on Sky Sports. Are Chelsea the first Premier League team to lead by four goals at half-time in an away game in the Premier League? I can't imagine it's happened very often before, if at all. Mark (Chelsea fan)
MARTIN SAYS: On Sunday, Chelsea became the 38th side to be four - or more - goals up at half time in the Premier League. It's the third time they've done this themselves, but the first time away from home.
To answer your question, eight sides have previously been 4-0 up at half-time in a league game in an away game. The last side to do so was Arsenal at Newcastle last season - and they were pegged back to 4-4 by the end of the game!
Furthermore, you may recall a side that was 5-0 up at half-time in a Premier League away game. Back in April 2010, Manchester City led 5-0 at half-time at Burnley thanks to goals from Emmanuel Adebayor (2), Craig Bellamy, Patrick Vieira and Carlos Tevez. They went on to win 6-1 and no other side has ever led by that many goals at half-time in a Premier League game, even at home.
Four goals ahead at half-time in the Premier League (thanks to Opta for these stats):
13/04/1998: Blackburn 0-4 Arsenal
26/04/1998: Derby 0-4 Leicester
11/04/2001: Man City 0-4 Arsenal
18/08/2001: Leicester 0-4 Bolton
22/02/2003: Man City 0-4 Arsenal
23/08/2003: Wolves 0-4 Charlton
02/12/2006: Wigan 0-4 Liverpool
03/04/2010: Burnley 0-5 Man City
05/02/2011: Newcastle 0-4 Arsenal
02/10/2011: Bolton 0-4 Chelsea
HAT-TRICK OF HOME NATIONS
Dear Martin. Really love the column and I would be very grateful if you could answer a question. I support Spurs, and after our victory against Shamrock Rovers and Hearts in the Europa League, I was wondering if we could complete an unique treble if we beat Swansea in the league. I really can't remember the last time an English team beat opposition from Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and I was wondering if this has ever been done? Kind Regards, Phillip Lee
MARTIN SAYS: If Tottenham beat Swansea in the Premier League this season then they will indeed become the first side to beat Welsh, Irish and Scottish opponents in competitive games in the same campaign.
In fact, they are going to become the first English side to play teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the same season no matter what happens.
With the help of Opta, we can tell you the instances of English teams beating nations from two other home nations in the past.
Beating sides from Scotland and Republic of Ireland in the same season:
1970/71: Wolves beat Dundee, Hearts, Morton and Derry City (Texaco Cup)
2011/12: Tottenham beat Hearts (Europa League) and Shamrock Rovers (Europa League)
Beating sides from Wales and Republic of Ireland in the same season:
1969/70: Liverpool beat Wrexham (FA Cup) and Dundalk (Fairs Cup)
1981/82: Tottenham beat Swansea (league) and Dundalk (Cup Winners Cup)
1981/82: Southampton beat Swansea (league) and Limerick City (UEFA Cup)
1982/83: Liverpool beat Swansea (league) and Dundalk (European Cup)
Beating sides from Wales and Northern Ireland in the same season:
1961/62: Leicester City beat Cardiff (league) and Glenavon (Cup Winners Cup)
1976/77: Southampton beat Cardiff (league) and Carrick Rangers (Cup Winners Cup)
1982/83: Tottenham beat Swansea (league) and Coleraine (Cup Winners Cup)
NB. We have not included teams beating sides from Scotland and Wales in the same season. Due to the presence of the Texaco Cup / Anglo-Scottish Cup in the 1970's and the prevalence of Welsh teams in the English leagues this is quite a common occurrence.
Fill in your answers to Martin's teaser using the feedback form below - and keep those questions coming in!