Premier League Nuggets

As the thirtieth Premier League season is over, it is high time for some Nuggets, all 30 of them firstly club-by-club, and then some generic ones. 

1. Starting with Arsenal who lost more games (13) than Brighton (11) & Palace (12) but won more (22) than Chelsea (21).

2. Next up it’s Aston Villa – Ezri Konsa is one of only two players to have been sent off twice this season, vs West Ham & Leeds. The other player was Wolves’ Raul Jimenez

3. New boys Brentford survived with comfort, finishing 13th winning 13 games & became 13th club to stay up having come up via Play-Offs. Both clubs who gained automatic promotion went down – 1st time P-Os winner survived & other 2 relegated

4. Brighton achieved their highest PL position of 9th this season despite the fact that they didn’t score a goal at home for over three months between 18th January & 24th April.

5. Burnley suffered relegation after a six-year stint in PL, but they did set record for number of consecutive matches (119) without a red card before Nathan Collins’ dismissal at Brentford. Also Maxwell Cornet’s goal on final day was Burnley’s 300th in PL

6. Chelsea finished third for sixth time in PL & in Top 4 for 19th time in last 25 seasons. The Blues are now only three points behind Arsenal (2141) in all-time PL table and could overtake them for the first time next season.

7. For first time in their thirteen seasons in PL Crystal Palace had a positive goal difference of +4. Also they were only PL club to stop Man City scoring, winning 2-0 at Etihad & drawing 0-0 at Selhurst.

8. Everton did survive just but managed a not particularly desirable double this season of most red cards (6) & own goals (5). They also lead all-time PL rankings for reds (104) & OGs (58).

9. Another survivor by the skin of their teeth Leeds United (aka Dirty) who became first PL club to reach 100 yellow cards in a season, finishing on 101. Junior Firpo led the pack with 11 & overall, 22 Leeds players were cautioned. Previous record holders Sunderland had 94 in 2014/15 with Lee Cattermole on 14.

10. Leicester City were only club this season to win same number of games (14) as they lost. Last time this happened was when Chelsea won and lost a dozen games in 2015/16.

11. Liverpool’s 92 points only 13th time a club has amassed 90+ points in PL season & would have been enough to win the league title in 24 of 30. They only lost two games & only twice has champion lost fewer Chelsea one in 04/05 & Arsenal’s Invincibles in 03/04.

12. Man City’s sixth PL title was third time they have pipped Liverpool to the title – 13/14 by 2 points, 18/19 & 21/22 by 1 point. For their other three titles in 11/12 (GD), 17/18 (19 points) & 20/21 (12 points) Man United were runners-up.

13. Manchester United’s zero goal difference was seventh time a club has done so in PL & first time United have not had a positive goal difference, previous lowest was +11 in 18/19.

14. When Eddie Howe took over at Newcastle United on 8 November they had five points from 11 games, with no win. In 27 games since they won 13 including six successive home wins & collected 44 points. 

15. Norwich suffered a record sixth relegation with second worst goal difference of -61 in PL history just behind Derby’s disastrous -69 in 2007/08. In their last two PL campaigns, of their 49 goals, Teemu Pukki has scored 45% with 11 in each season.

16. Southampton’s disappointing season had one bright spot – James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick expertise, 14 of his 40 PL goals (35%) have come from direct free-kicks. He is now clear in second place behind only David Beckham who scored 18 out of 62 (29%) 

17. When Son Heung-Min set up Harry Kane for Tottenham’s first in their 3-1 win over Leicester it was 41st time the pair had combined for a PL goal. They are now five goals clear of Drogba/Lampard pairing & 50 is in sight for dynamic duo.

18. Watford have set a few PL records this season, but not particularly desirable ones – first club to suffer 11 consecutive home defeats, most defeats at home in a season (15), and most goals conceded at home in a season (46).

19. West Ham recorded a positive goal difference of +9, for only third time in their 26 seasons (+15 20/21, +14 15/16). For first time in PL they have back-to-back Top 7 finishes, seventh this year following sixth last year.

20. Wolves’ games this season produced fewest goals in total – 81. Finishing tenth they scored exactly one goal per game & only bottom three scored fewer than their tally of 38. Once before has a club scored fewer & finished in top half, that was Burnley with 36 in 2017/18.

Generic Nuggets 

21. Total number of goals scored this season – 1,071, which is only one behind record set in 2018/19.

22. Salah & Son sharing PL Golden Boot was only fifth time it has been shared, last time 2010/11 Berbatov & Tevez. Prior to that 2018/19 Aubameyang, Mane & Salah 1998/99 Hasselbaink, Owen & Yorke 1997/98 Dublin, Owen & Sutton.

23. As well as being leading scorer Salah also topped Assists chart with 13. Happened 3 times before – last season Harry Kane, 1998/99 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink & 1993/94 Andy Cole.

24. There were 34 Own Goals this season, which is average figure over 30 seasons. Two players scored 2 OGs Michael Keane & Jamaal Lascelles. Tottenham benefited from 6 & only Son & Kane scored more for Spurs in the league. 

25. This season every PL club received at least one red card, the last time this happened was in 2014/15 when there were 71 dismissals compared to 43 this season.

26. After last season’s extraordinary circumstances which led to away wins outnumbering home wins for the first time in the English top flight there was a return to normal. There were 24 fewer away wins (129) & 19 more home wins (163) this season compared to 2020/21.

27. With Fulham’s promotion there will be seven London clubs in Premier League next season, which has only happened once before in 1994/95 where alongside the three ever-presents were Palace, QPR, West Ham and Wimbledon.

28. When West Ham played West Ham in December David Moyes became the fourth manager to take charge of 6oo PL matches, joining Arsene Wenger (828), Alex Ferguson (810) and Harry Redknapp (641). Moyes ended on 621 and assuming he stays with West Ham will overtake Redknapp halfway through next season.

29. Ten managers were sacked during the season, with unsurprisingly Watford leading the way with two, after replacing Xisco Munoz Claudio Ranieri’s reign lasted just over three months. All three relegated clubs dismissed their manager at some stage of the season.

30. There were thirteen hat-tricks, eight of which were scored away from home. The two Manchester clubs scored the most with three each and poor old Norwich were on the receiving end of four of them – Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, Ivan Toney and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo also notched a treble against Tottenham and was the only player to score more than one. 

Published by richardfoster60

Author, broadcaster, historian, journalist. A regular contributor to the Guardian, Sky Sports and talkSPORT, my latest book is highly acclaimed Premier League Nuggets - "brilliantly written" - Darren Fletcher, "I love Premier League Nuggets" - Guy Mowbray, "the book is a labour of love" - Peter Drury.

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