These stats and facts are all completely useless, but nonetheless interesting. Compared to some things, anyway. (All taken from The Times.)
- Steven Fletcher of Sunderland is the only top division player to score his team’s first five goals in the Premier League era without any of them being a penalty.
- On September 29, Liverpool became the first Premier League team for four years to start with three teenagers in their line-up.
- When Man Utd lost at home to Spurs in September, it was the fifth time in the last 20 years they’ve lost 3-2 at home, but they haven’t lost a home match 2-0 in the same period.
- Dinamo Zagreb against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League this season is the first meeting of two Dynamo/Dinamos in European competition since 1989.
- One in ten of Premier League players last season has a brother who has also played League football in England – 21 of 217.
- From April 2011 to September 2012 more hat-tricks were scored away from home than by home teams in the Premier League – 13 to 12.
- Liverpool have 24 points from 26 Premier League matches in 2012.
- In 1991-92 Chris Bart-Williams was the only league footballer with a hyphenated surname. In 2011-12 there are 34, all but four of whom were born or raised in the UK.
- When Man Utd beat Liverpool at Anfield recently, Robin van Persie had to wait almost 5 minutes to take a penalty. In 1994 Robbie Fowler scored a hat-trick against Arsenal on the same ground in less time (4 mins 32 secs).
- Swansea committed 318 fouls last season, 57 fewer than any other Premier League team. After a change of manager, as at Sept 24th they were on course for 532 fouls this season, which would be 47 more than any of their competitors last season.
- The current 92 English League teams have moved grounds a total of 176 times between them. 68 per cent of the moves occurred before 1925, and 21 per cent have occurred since 1987. Only 11 per cent took place between 1925 and 1987 – which is half the total years of league football.
- The Premier League has got less competitive in recent years, and is in some ways similar to the early years of league football. Competitiveness in the top flight can be measured by calculating the most points per game gained by a team in a season, assuming 3 points for a win throughout. Of the top 20 best seasons by any single club, five occurred before 1900 and 12 since 2000, leaving three in the whole of the 20thcentury. Preston have the best ever season, having averaged 2.64 points per game in the inaugural season of 1887-88 (and were the only team to remain unbeaten until Arsenal in 2004). In modern times Chelsea hold the record with an average 2.5 points per game in 2005.
- Only two players in the whole of league history have been top scorer two seasons in a row for different clubs: Gary Lineker for Leicester in 1985 (won jointly with Kerry Dixon of Chelsea) and for Everton in 1986, then Alan Shearer for Blackburn in 1996 and Newcastle in 1997. Robin van Persie could repeat this in 2013. But let’s hope not.