EPL Week 23

Man City’s unbeaten run ended by a Coutinho-less Liverpool in seven goal thriller

Match of the Day


On Saturday an oddity occurred. The kind of ‘Dog didn’t bark in the night’ sort. Roy Hodgson, with his team hanging on to a precious three points for what would make a ’massive win" failed to make a substitution: a norm for time-wasting

He may have been giving a message to the hierarchy that with the club’s injury problems he did not trust his subs to be up to it and they need to make purchases in the transfer window. Perhaps he was so engrossed in the game - he is 70, after all.

Whatever the reason, it was the first time it has happened for any team in the Premier League this season

See how this has changed over time.

In 2015/16 there were also no occurrences though it picked up a bit last year - when three substitutes were used a record 82.6% of the time

The rules have changed over the years

  • From the 1992-93 season, teams could name three substitutes, one of whom had to be a goalkeeper, and could use any two of them for any reason
  • From the 1994-95 season, teams could name and use up to three substitutes (one of whom could only be used to replace the goalkeeper) for any reason
  • From the 1995-96 season, teams could name and use up to three substitutes for any reason with no restriction on positions
  • From the 1996-97 season, teams could name up to five and use up to three substitutes for any reason
  • From the 2008-09 season, teams could name up to seven and use up to three substitutes for any reason

(Thanks Wikipedia)

With Stoke replacing Mark Hughes with Paul Lambert, there have been seven changes since the season started and, outside of the top seven teams, only Eddie Howe, at Bournemouth, was a Premier League manager at the end of last season

Recovery from Doom

Arguably, particularly given their long injury-list, the best performance has been by Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace. After four games of Frank de Boer and three more defeats including away fixtures at both Manchester clubs, Palace had recorded the worst ever seven game start to a Premier League season with no points, no goals scored and 17 conceded

How have the next nine worst-starting clubs fared between the 7th and 23rd rounds and on until the final standings

In spite of Palace’s achievements, the Newcastle team featuring Alan Shearer (23 goals), Nolberto Solano(20 assists) and Gary Speed fared even better after their sticky start.
They were already six points clear of relegation after 23 games and finished 11th - only six points away from a top 6 place.

Currently only two points off 9th-placed-Everton, a top half finish is certainly feasible for Hodgson’s team - though even 17th spot will be acceptable given the initial circumstances

Stoke have already conceded 50 goals this season, eight more than any other team. Only twice, has the team conceding the most goals avoided relegation. And both Middlesbrough (1996/97) and Fulham(2006/7) only let in a total of 60. Stoke are on pace for 83

Tweet of the Week

Totally Football and Guardian Weekly Review Podcasts

Results and Table

Final Factoid

Harry Kane now tops the goal charts for Spurs in the Premier League. Two more will see him reach the century mark, becoming just the 15th player to reach this level for one club

Plenty more NEW data at the premiersoccerstats site

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