Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored the 25,000th Premier League goal and, so far this season, the most frequent score line has been a 1-1 draw. Millions of fans watch the Premier League every week and after the match we are bamboozled with facts; who made the most runs, which player completed the most passes, how many times the goalie touched the ball, the stats go on and on.
Instead of these endless tedious statistics (let’s be honest, all football fans really care about is whether their team has won, drawn or lost!) let’s look at the most bizarre and fascinating football facts and put a bit of fun back into the beautiful game…
Own goals are normally a strange moment in a game, off the centre-back’s knee or a deflection off the goalie’s body, but perhaps even more strange is there are only three players in the Premier League that have scored an own goal, assisted a goal and grabbed one of their own all in one single match – Wayne Rooney, Kevin Davis and Gareth Bale can claim this oddity.
There are also only three outfield players ever to have played every match for their Premier League club and then gone on to win the title. Gary Pallister was the first footballer to do this for Manchester United in the 1992/93 season, it then took over ten years for John Terry to follow suit when he won the league with Chelsea in 2015. The latest player is Wes Morgan, he started every one of Leicester’s games in their title winning 2015/16 season. Whilst on the subject of the Foxes, another crazy fact to note is the season before being crowned champions, they spent the longest at the foot of the table (140 days) than any other club in Premier League history without being relegated.
Penalties always throw up all kinds of stats for the pundits to mull over after a match – whether the goal keeper prefers to dive to his left or right, does the taker like to place the ball or boot it into the net? The stats are endless but one of the most fascinating facts from the spot is there are only two Premier League players who have scored a penalty with both feet; Bobby Zamora and Obafemi Martins. Alan Shearer is the all-time leading Premier League penalty scorer with 56, he also leads the way with the most missed, in total 11.
That’s the penalty taker facts, but what about the men between the sticks? Or should I say man? as it does appear one goalkeeper holds all the stats. David James has made the most appearances by a goalkeeper (572) – a record in the Premier League, he has also kept 169 clean sheets as well as claiming the Premier League’s 150th clean sheet milestone. While these figures are very impressive, the most peculiar fact, as the subject of David and James arises, it that during the 2010/11 season, David was the most popular name of a player in the Premier League, 14, and James was second with 11. Ironically, that was the first season David James did not play in England’s top division.
So, while we enjoy the up and downs of the current Premier League season, as we cheer on our respective teams, the bizarre facts will keep coming. Will there be a weekend where every Premier League match ends in a 1-1 draw?! Will David De Gea become the first goalkeeper to score an own goal, assist a scorer and grab a goal himself?! Or maybe, just maybe, Sunderland will spend 141 days at the bottom of the Premier League, survive the drop, then go onto win the title the following season… football can be a funny old game…!