Talking tactics (MSN)

By Mike Robinson 31/08/2012 15:55

Arsenal


In: Lukas Podolski (£11m, FC Koln), Olivier Giroud (£13m, Montpellier), Santi Cazorla (£16m, Malaga)


Out: Rhys Murphy (free, Telstar), Jeffrey Monakana (free, Preston), Tom Cruise (free, Torquay), Joe Campbell (loan, Real Betis), Denilson (loan, Sao Paulo), Gavin Hoyte (free, Dagenham), Manuel Almunia (free, Watford), Benik Afobe (loan, Bolton), Oguzhan Ozyakup (£440k, Besiktas), Carlos Vela (£3m, Real Sociedad), Ryo Miyaichi (loan, Wigan), Wellington Silva (loan, Ponferrada), Kyle Bartley (£1m, Swansea), Robin van Persie (£24m, Manchester United), Alex Song, (£15m, Barcelona), Henri Lansbury (£1m, Nottingham Forest), Ju Young Park, (loan, Celta Vigo), Nicklas Bendtner (loan, Juventus)


Aston Villa


In: Brett Holman (free, AZ Alkmaar), Karim El Ahmadi (£2m, Feyenoord), Matthew Lowton (£3m, Sheffield United), Ron Vlaar (£3m, Feyenoord), Joe Bennett (£2.5m, Middlesbrough), Jordan Bowery (£400k, Chesterfield), Ashley Westwood (£2m, Crewe), Christian Benteke (£7m, Genk)


Out: Emile Heskey (released), Carlos Cuellar (free, Sunderland), James Collins (£2.5m, West Ham), Nathan Delfouneso (loan, Blackpool)


Chelsea


In: Marko Marin (£6million, Werder Bremen), Eden Hazard (£32million, Lille), Thorgan Hazard (£500k, Lens), Oscar (£25million, Internacional), Cesar Azpilicueta (£7million, Marseille), Victor Moses (£9million, Wigan)


Out: Jose Bosingwa (free, QPR), Rhys Taylor (free, Southend), Didier Drogba (free, Shanghai Shenhua), Thibault Courtois (loan, Atletico Madrid), Salomon Kalou (free, Lille), Patrick van Aanholt (loan, Vitesse Arnhem), Tamas Kalas (loan, Vitesse Arnhem), Rohan Ince (loan, Yeovil), Kevin de Bruyne (loan, Werder Bremen), Ben Gordon (loan, Birmingham), Romelu Lukaku (loan, West Brom), Sam Walker (loan, Bristol Rovers), Sam Hutchinson (loan, Nottingham Forest), Conor Clifford (loan, Portsmouth), Josh McEachran (loan, Middlesbrough), Archange Nkumu (loan, Yeovil), Thorgan Hazard (loan, Zulte Waregem), Nathaniel Chalobah (loan, Watford), Gael Kakuta (loan, Vitesse Arnhem), Yossi Benayoun (loan, West Ham), Michael Essien (loan, Real Madrid)


Everton


In: Steven Naismith (free, Rangers), Steven Pienaar (£4.5million, Tottenham), Kevin Mirallas (£6m, Olympiakos), Bryan Oviedo (£5m, FC Copenhagen), Matthew Kennedy (nominal, Kilmarnock)


Out: Marcus Hahnemann, James McFadden (released), Adam Forshaw (free, Brentford), James Wallace (undiscl., Tranmere), João Silva (free, Levski Sofia), Tim Cahill (nominal, New York Red Bulls), Joseph Yobo (£2.5m, Fenerbache), Connor Roberts (free, Cheltenham), Jack Rodwell (£15m, Man City), Jack Bidwell (loan, Brentford)


Fulham


In: Mladen Petric (free, Hamburg), Sascha Riether (loan, Cologne), Hugo Rodallega (free, Wigan), Kieran Richardson (£2m, Sunderland), Chris David (undisc, FC Twente), Dimitar Berbatov (£4m, Manchester United), Ashkan Dejegah (undisc, Wolfsburg)


Out: Andrew Johnson (free, QPR), Danny Murphy (free, Blackburn), Pavel Pogrebnyak (free, Reading), Bjorn Helge Riise, Zdenek Grygera (released), Dickson Etuhu (£1million, Blackburn), Danny Hoesen (undiscl., Ajax), Moussa Dembele (£15m, Tottenham), Clint Demspey (£6m, Tottenham)


Liverpool


In: Fabio Borini (£7.8million, Roma), Joe Allen (£15m, Swansea), Oussama Assaidi (£3m, Heerenveen), Nuri Sahin (loan, Real Madrid), Samed Yesil (£1m, Bayer Leverkeusen)


Out: Fabio Aurelio (free, Gremio), Dirk Kuyt (£880,000, Fenerbahce), David Amoo (free, Preston), Stephen Darby (free, Bradford), Maxi Rodriguez (free, Newell's Old Boys), Toni Silva (free, Barnsley), Alberto Aquilani (£7m, Fiorentina), Henoc Mukendi (loan, Northampton), Craig Bellamy (free, Cardiff City), Jay Spearing (loan, Bolton), Andy Carroll (loan, West Ham), Charlie Adam (£6m, Stoke), Nathan Ellington (undisc, Blackpool)


Manchester City


In: Jack Rodwell (£15m, Everton), Richard Wright (free, Preston), Scott Sinclair (£6.2m, Swansea), Maicon (£3m, Inter Milan), Richard Wright (free), Mateja Nastasic (£10m, Fiorentina), Javi Garcia (£16m, Benfica)


Out: Owen Hargreaves (released), Gai Assulin (free, Racing Santander), Andreas Mancini (free, Real Valladolid), Joan Angel Roman (£880k, Barcelona), Greg Cunningham (undiscl, Bristol City), Wayne Bridge (loan, Brighton), Omar Elabdellaoui (loan, Feyenoord), Vladimir Weiss (£1.5m, Pescara), Stuart Taylor (free, Reading), Emmanuel Adebayor (£5m, Tottenham), Adam Johnson (£10m, Sunderland), Harry Bunn (loan, Crewe), Nigel de Jong (£3.5m., AC Milan), Roque Santa Cruz (loan, Malaga) Dedryck Boyata (loan, FC Twente) Stefan Savic (P-Ex, Fiorentina)


Manchester United


In: Shinji Kagawa (£12m, Borussia Dortmund), Nick Powell (£4m, Crewe), Robin van Persie (£24m, Arsenal), Alex Buttner (£3.9million, Vitesse Arnhem)


Out: Michael Owen (released), Oliver Norwood (£450k, Huddersfield), Matty James (£1.1m, Leicester), Ritchie De Laet (£1.1m, Leicester), Tomasz Kuszczak (free, Brighton), Fabio (loan, QPR). Ji-Sung Park (£2m, QPR), John Cofie (loan, Sheffield United), Ben Amos (loan, Hull), Reece Brown (loan, Coventry), Dimitar Berbatov (£4m, Fulham)


Newcastle United


In: Romain Amalfitano (free, Reims), Gael Bigirimana (£1.1m., Coventry), Curtis Good (£500k, Melbourne Heart), Vurnon Anita (£7.5m, Ajax)


Out: Ryan Donaldson, Tamas Kadar (released), Alan Smith (free, MK Dons), Leon Best (£3m, Blackburn), Fraser Forster (£2.2m, Celtic), Peter Lovenkrands (free, Birmingham), Danny Guthrie (free, Reading) Paul Dummett (loan, St Mirren)


Norwich City


In: Steven Whittaker (free, Rangers), Jacob Butterfield (tribunal, Barnsley), Robert Snodgrass (£3million, Leeds), Michael Turner (£1.5million, Sunderland), Javier Garrido (loan, Lazio), Sebastien Bassong (£2.6m, Tottenham), Alexander Tettey (£1.3m, Rennes), Mark Bunn (£1.1m, Blackburn), Harry Kane (loan, Tottenham)


Out: Adam Drury (free, Leeds), Aaron Wilbraham (free, Crystal Palace), Zak Whitbread (released), Andrew Crofts (£300k, Brighton), Daniel Ayala (loan, Nottingham Forest), James Vaughan (loan, Huddersfield), Tom Adeyemi (loan, Brentford), George Francomb (loan, AFC Wimbledon)


QPR


In: Ryan Nelsen (free, Tottenham), Andy Johnson (free, Fulham), Robert Green (free, West Ham), Samba Diakite (£3.5m, Nancy), Fabio (loan, Manchester United), Ji-Sung Park (£2m, Manchester United), Junior Hoilett (tribunal, Blackburn), Jose Bosingwa (free, Chelsea), Julio Cesar (free, Inter Milan), Esteban Granero (£4m, Real Madrid), Sam Magri (free, Portsmouth), Stephane Mbia (£5m, Marseille)


Out: Patrick Agyemang, Danny Gabbidon (released), Peter Ramage (free, Crystal Palace), Rowan Vine (free, St Johnston), Dan Shittu (free, Millwall) Paddy Kenny (£500k, Leeds), Fitz Hall (free, Watford), Matthew Connolly (£550k, Cardiff), Lee Cook (free, Leyton Orient), Tommy Smith (£350k, Cardiff) Jay Bothroyd (loan, Sheffield Wednesday), Joe Barton (loan, Marseille), Patrick Aygemang (free, Stevenage)


Reading


In: Garath McCleary (free, Nottingham Forest), Pavel Pogrebnyak (free, Fulham), Danny Guthrie (free, Newcastle), Nicky Shorey (free, West Brom), Adrian Mariappa (£3m, Watford), Chris Gunter (£2.5m, Nottingham Forest), Stuart Taylor (free, Man City)


Out: Brian Howard (free, Portsmouth), Tomasz Cywka (free, Barnsley), Andy Griffin, Jack Mills (all released), Joseph Mills (loan, Burnley), Michail Antonio (£800k, Sheffield Wednesday), Mikkel Andersen (loan, Portsmouth)


Southampton


In: Jay Rodriguez (£6m, Burnley), Steven Davis (free, Rangers), Nathaniel Clyne (£2.5m, Crystal Palace), Paulo Gazzaniga (£2.7m, Gillingham), Emmanuel Mayuka (£3.5m, Young Boys Berne), Gaston Ramirez (£12m, Bologna)


Out: Radhi Jaidi, David Connolly (released), Lee Holmes (free, Preston), Aaron Martin (loan, Crystal Palace), Dan Harding (free, Nottingham Forest), Lee Barnard (loan, Portsmouth), Jonathan Forte (loan, Crawley), Billy Sharp (loan, Nottingham Forest)


Stoke


In: Jamie Ness (free, Rangers), Michael Kightly (£3m, Wolves), Geoff Cameron (£1.9m, Houston Dynamo), Charlie Adam (£6m, Liverpool), Maurice Edu (undisc, Rangers), Steven N'Zonzi (£3m, Blackburn)


Out: Danny Higginbotham, Salif Diao, Tom Soares (released), Andrew Davies (free, Bradford), Jonathan Woodgate (free, Middlesbrough), Florent Cuvelier (loan, Walsall), Ryan Brunt (loan, Leyton Orient), Danny Collins (£500,000, Nottingham Forest), Louis Moult (free, Northampton), Ricardo Fuller (free, Charlton)


Sunderland


In: Carlos Cuellar (free, Aston Villa), Louis Saha (free, Tottenham), Steven Fletcher (£14million, Wolves), Adam Johnson (£10m, Man City), Danny Rose (loan, Tottenham)


Out: Craig Gordon (released), Trevor Carson (free, Bury), Jordan Cook (free, Charlton), George McCartney (undisc., West Ham), Asamoah Gyan (£6m, Al-Ain), Michael Liddle (free, Accrington Stanley), Ahmed Elmohamady (loan, Hull), Kieran Richardson (£2m, Fulham)


Swansea


In: Jose Manuel Flores (£2m, Genoa), Jonathan de Guzman (loan, Villarreal), Michu (£2m Rayo Vallecano), Itay Shechter (loan, Kaiserslautern), Kyle Bartley (£1m, Arsenal), Jamie Proctor (undiscl. Preston), Ki Sung-Yeung (£6million, Celtic), Pablo Hernandez (£5.55m, Valencia)


Out: Ferrie Bodde (released), Joe Allen (£15m, Liverpool), Joe Walsh (free, Crawley), Andrea Orlandi (undiscl., Brighton), Scott Sinclair (£6.2m, Man City), Federico Bessone (free, Swindon), Stephen Dobbie (undisclosed, Brighton)


Tottenham


In: Gylfi Sigurdsson (£8.7million, Hoffenheim), Jan Vertonghen (£8m, Ajax), Emmanuel Adebayor (£5m, Manchester City), Moussa Dembele (£15m, Fulham), Hugo Lloris (£8m, Lyon), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, £6m)


Out: Ledley King (retired), Louis Saha (free, Sunderland), Ben Alnwick (free, Barnsley), Niko Kranjcar (£6m, Dynamo Kiev), Ryan Nelsen (free, QPR), Vedran Corluka (£6m, Lokomotiv Moscow), Massimo Luongo (loan, Ipswich), Steven Pienaar (£4.5m, Everton), Ryan Fredericks (loan, Brentford), Sebastien Bassong (£2.6m, Norwich), Luka Modric (£30m, Real Madrid), David Button (£500k, Charlton), John Bostock (loan, Swindon), Danny Rose (loan, Sunderland), Giovani dos Santos (undisc, Mallorca), Rafa van der Vaart (£10million, Hamburg), Harry Kane (loan, Norwich)


West Brom


In: Ben Foster (£4.5m, Birmingham), Yassine El Ghanassy (loan, Gent), Massimo Luongo (free), Markus Rosenberg (free, Werder Bremen), Claudio Yacob (free, Racing Club), Romelu Lukaku (loan, Chelsea), Goran Popov (loan, Dynamo Kiev)


Out: Keith Andrews (free, Bolton), Paul Scharner (free, Hamburg), Somen Tchoyi (released), Marton Fulop (free, Asteras Tripoli), Joe Mattock (free, Sheffield Wednesday), Nicky Shorey (free, Reading), Simon Cox (£2million, Nottingham Forest)


West Ham


In: Stephen Henderson (£650k, Portsmouth), Jussi Jaaskelainen (free, Bolton), Mohamed Diame (free, Wigan), George McCartney (free, Sunderland), Modibo Maiga (£4.7m, Sochaux), James Collins (£2.5m, Aston Villa), Alou Diarra (£2.2m, Marseille), Matt Jarvis (£10.75million, Wolves), Andy Carroll (loan, Liverpool), Yossi Benayoun (loan, Chelsea)


Out: Robert Green (free, QPR), Frank Nouble (free, Wolves), John Carew (released), Julien Faubert (free, Elazýðspor), Papa Bouba Diop, Abdoulaye Faye (free, Hull), Pablo Barrera (undisclosed, Cruz Azul), Ravel Morrison (loan, Birmingham), Cristian Montano (undiscl., Oldham), Sam Baldock (£1.2m, Bristol City), Nicky Maynard (undisc, Cardiff)


Wigan


In: Fraser Fyvie (£600,000, Aberdeen), Ivan Ramis (£5m, Real Mallorca), Ryo Miyaichi (loan, Arsenal), Arouna Kone (£2.75m, Sevilla)


Out: Chris Kirkland (free, Sheffield Wednesday), Hugo Rodallega (free, Fulham), Mohamed Diame (free, West Ham), Steve Gohouri (released), Hendry Thomas (free, Colorado Rapids), Lee Nicholls (loan, Northampton), Ryan Watson (loan, Accrington), Nouha Dicko (loan, Blackpool), Conor Sammon (£1.3m, Derby), Victor Moses (£9million, Chelsea), Roman Golobart (loan, Tranmere)

 

By Rob Neil Jones 28/08/2012 09:13

Raheem Sterling, Liverpool - PALiverpool v Manchester City

Sunday saw Liverpool’s youngest starting XI in the Premier League since December 2003 v Newcastle (24y 364d).

Joe Hart has conceded four Premier League goals this season, but has made just one save.

Luis Suárez scored with a direct free kick for the first time in the Premier League.


Stoke City v Arsenal

There wasn’t a single shot on target in the second half.

Stoke had the highest proportion of long passes this weekend (18%)

No team contested more tackle than Stoke and Arsenal this weekend (both 28)

Santi Cazorla had more touches in the opposition half than any other player this weekend – 78


Swansea City v West Ham United

Michu has scored 17 of his 18 league goals (La Liga & Premier League combined) since the start of 2011-12 from inside the box.

Swansea City have scored eight goals from just 11 shots on target so far this season.


Aston Villa v Everton

Nikica Jelavic has scored eight goals in his last eight Premier League appearances.

Villa had fewer touches in the opposition box than any other side this weekend (11), Everton had the most (31).

Leighton Baines created the most chances this weekend (8)

 

Manchester United v Fulham

Robin van Persie scored a goal with his first shot in a Manchester United shirt.
Shinji Kagawa scored 13 goals in the Bundesliga last season, and all 13 came from inside the area (as did his goal vs Fulham).

United had the best pass completion this weekend (93%)

Tom Cleverley made the most successful passes in the attacking third this weekend (30).

 

Norwich City v Queens Park Rangers

30% of Norwich’s goals in the Premier League since the start of last season have come from headed shots.
Norwich have scored a higher proportion of their goals from crosses (47%) than any other side in the Premier League since the start of 2011-12.
Bobby Zamora scored his first Premier League away goal since August 2010, after a run of 10 successive goals at home.

QPR caught offside five times, most this weekend (four of the instances were Cisse).


Southampton v Wigan Athletic

Arouna Koné has scored in seven of his last 10 league appearances in La Liga and Premier League combined (for Levante & Wigan).

The Latics have only failed to score in one of their last 15 Premier League away games.

Saints the only team to hit the woodwork more than once this weekend (twice).   

Gareth Bale had the most shots (excl. blocked) in the Premier League this weekend (five).


Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion

Six of James Morrison’s last seven Premier League goals have been scored away from home.

Spurs had six shots on target from outside the box this weekend. Averaged only 2.5 in 2011-12.

WBA conceded the lowest number of fouls this weekend – six.

 

Chelsea v Newcastle United

Hazard has scored 12 goals and assisted 13 (25 goals involved in) in his last 17 league appearances for Lille and Chelsea combined.

Hazard has scored all 10 of his penalties in league football.

Two goals from six shots for Torres this season, compared to six from 48 in the 2011-12 Premier League.

Hazard the first player in period 2003-present to have a total of four assists just three games into the season

 

Alan Curbishley and Phil Brown give their best Championship XIs

By Rob Neil Jones 17/08/2012 16:34
Alan Curbishley - PAAlan Curbishley (4-3-3)

GK Ádám Bogdán (Bolton Wanderers) – ‘Despite Bolton’s relegation last season,
Bogdan had a brilliant season, dislodging Jussi Jaaskelainen as first choice keeper
by the end of the campaign. He will play a major part in aiding Bolton’s promotion
push and will certainly contribute to a few clean sheets.’

DF Wayne Bridge (Brighton & Hove Albion) – ‘Very experienced left back that will
excel in the Championship. Will definitely tighten up Brighton at the back and be a
huge threat going forward too.’

DF Roger Johnson (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – ‘Played at this level before with Cardiff so will know exactly what to expect. A massive threat from set pieces and a “never say die” attitude.’

DF Leon Cort (Charlton Athletic) – ‘Found his playing time limited at times last season, but was a regular feature in Chris Powell’s team by the end of the season. Very experienced defender that will play a big role in the development of Charlton’s younger players.’

DF Bradley Orr (Blackburn Rovers) – ‘Likely to be Blackburn’s first choice right-back. Very pacey and almost plays as a right winger at times. Can see him keeping a few clean sheets as well as chipping in with the odd goal and assist.’

MF Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic) – ‘Had a fantastic season last time around and captained Charlton to promotion. Full of goals and will certainly lay on a few opportunities for Bradley Wright-Phillips. Will be a huge threat from set pieces too.’

MF Chris Eagles (Bolton Wanderers) – ‘I don’t think Bolton have seen the best of him yet, but was unplayable at times when he played at this level with Burnley. I think he’ll definitely find his creative spark this season and we’ll see a few more goals from him too.’

MF Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) – ‘Cardiff’s player of the season last time around. Excellent vision, neat passer of the ball and possesses a fantastic first touch. Also a massive danger from dead ball situations.’

ST Bradley Wright-Phillips (Charlton Athletic) – ‘A goal machine for Charlton last season. If they create the chances for him this time around, Bradley will not need a second invitation.’

ST Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town) – ‘Very hot property at the minute and I have no doubt he will make the step up to Championship level. Now a full Scottish international too and he is only going to get better.’

ST Kevin Phillips (Blackpool) – ‘His goal scoring record throughout his career speaks for itself. Although his playing time may be slightly more limited than in previous seasons, he will certainly make an impact as a sub. Don’t be surprised to see a few late goals from Kevin Phillips.’

Phil Brown - PAPhil Brown (4-4-2)

GK Paddy Kenny (Leeds United) – “A top keeper with bags of experience”

DF Liam Rosenior (Hull City) – “Pacey and attacking, has done it before at this
level”

DF Martin Olsson (Blackburn Rovers) – “An international left-back, and still very
young. Might get snapped up before the end of the transfer window”

DF Curtis Davies (Birmingham City) – “A solid centre-back with a serious
pedigree”

DF Roger Johnson (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – “Didn’t have the best debut season at Wolves, will be looking to prove himself in the Championship”

MF Stephen Hunt (Wolverhampton Wanders) – “We’ve seen him performing week in, week out in the Premier League, and he will be looking to make an impact”

MF Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers) – “Looked like a quality player before a serious injury last season”

MF Robert Koren (Hull City) – “Set piece specialist, will be looking to provide the ammunition for Hull’s strikers”

MF Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) – “My player of the season in 2011/2012”

ST Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest) – “If he stays fit you’re guaranteed 20 goals a season”

ST Ross McCormack (Leeds United) – “Can see Leeds doing well, with McCormack’s goals firing them to at least a Play-Off spot”

Alan Curbishley and Phil Brown were talking on behalf of
http://fantasy.football-league.co.uk/  
 

By SportUK 17/08/2012 15:37

Is your team historically more likely to get off to a flyer or suffer defeat on the opening day of the Premier League season? We reveal all...

(AP Photo-Tim Hales)

In the 20-year history of the Premier League, 45 clubs have contested top flight games on the opening day of the season. Five of them, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa, have played in 20 opening day games.

 

Were it not for the aftermath of last year’s London riots, Spurs and Everton would have also contested 20 Premier League opening day games too.

 

In terms of points won on opening day, Manchester United lead the way with 43 from their 20 games, with 13 wins, four draws and three defeats and a goal difference of +24. Chelsea and Arsenal have comparable records with 41 points from their 20 games. The Blues average more than two goals a game on opening day (41 goals from 20 matches).

 

Of the 45 teams listed in the Premier League opening day table, perhaps the most impressive record belongs to Leeds United.

 

The West Yorkshire club has contested 12 top flight matches on the first day of the season since the advent of the Premier League and has never suffered a defeat. Their record stands at five wins and seven draws with nine goals conceded.

 

Of clubs who have contested more than 10 Premier League opening day games, only two average less than one point per game.

 

Middlesbrough’s miserable opening day record consists of two wins, six defeats and six draws: 12 points from 14 matches. Southampton’s record is even worse. The south coast club has won once in 13 Premier League matches on the opening day of the season and found the net 10 times in those games.

 

The Saints are not the only current Premier League club with an opening day record to forget. West Bromwich Albion haven’t won a season opener in the Premier League in six attempts while QPR boast one draw and four defeats from their five games.

 

How has your club performed in Premier League season openers? Find out in the league table below.

(Opta)

Follow Lee on Twitter @msnsportlee

 

By SportUK 15/08/2012 21:27

(Nick Potts-PA Archive)

Manchester United have confirmed they have agreed a deal to sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal. The transfer is subject to the Dutch striker passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

 

Given van Persie's prolific goalscoring form in last season's Premier League, Gunners fans' first reaction will be to mourn the loss of their talismanic striker.

 

Van Persie's return of 30 goals from 38 games in the 2011/12 domestic league season was his best in his eight years in North London and took his Arsenal career goal tally to 94 in 194 league matches. He also provided nine assists, the second best tally of his Arsenal career.

 

Although 2011/12's stellar effort was the best of van Persie's Arsenal career, the Dutchman's goals to games ratio in 2010/11 (18 from 25 games) and 2009/10 (nine from 16 games) also comfortably exceeded a goal every two games, the accepted return of a top class striker.

 

Robin van Persie Arsenal career stats - Premier League matches

(Opta)

If Robin van Persie is indispensable to Arsenal's success, why were Arsenal willing to sell him? After his remarkable 2011/12 campaign, the 29-year-old's stock has never been higher, so the transfer makes good business sense for the London club.

 

In addition, statistics suggest Arsenal are not as reliant on the Dutchman as conventional wisdom dictates.

 

With van Persie in their line-up, Arsenal have won 103 of 194 Premier League games, a win percentage of 53%. The Gunners average 1.85 points in these games.(Opta)

 

However, with van Persie missing from the team because of injury and suspension, Arsene Wenger's side win a higher percentage of their matches and earn an average of 2.04 points per game.

 

These numbers, combined with the signings Arsene Wenger has made this summer, suggest there is most definitely life after RVP. No supporters want to see their team's best player sold, especially to a rival, but the Gunners have proven they can cope and succeed for short periods without their star man.

 

Now they must prove they can do so permanently.

 

By SportUK 03/07/2012 15:08
As Andre Villas-Boas signs a three-year contract to become manager of Tottenham, MSN Sport looks and what must be on his to-do list at White Hart Lane...
Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham Hotspur manager - EMPICS Sport
  • Persuade Luka Modric to stay

  • Sign a new goalkeeper to replace the ageing Brad Friedel

  • Getting off to a good start so people forget about his Chelsea nightmare
  • Buy a couple of top-drawer players to really strengthen their spine to challenge for the title
  • Getting the senior players onside – Parker, King, Gallas - unlike at Chelsea
  • Keep hold of Rafael van Der Vaart

  • Get on with Levy, or he knows all too well what will happen

  • Persuade Daniel Levy to break the club wage cap to sign Emmanuel Adebayor
  • Buy some strong youth prospects

  • Help facilitate a new stadium

Let us know if there's anything else you think should be added to the list in the comments below...

 

By SportUK 15/05/2012 20:33

If he were picking by the stats, Roy Hodgson would include John Ruddy, Danny Graham and Grant Holt in his first England squad.

 

Roy Hodgson's bored of the statsThe three players are among the best in their positions according to an index compiled by EA Sports using official data from the Premier League.

 

The quad has been compiled from an index based on key stats for each position but if you disagree you can choose your own squad here.

 

By SportUK 13/05/2012 21:54

Kenny Dalglish, LiverpoolLiverpool are the first team to miss five penalties in a single Premier League season since 1998/99 (six taken in total).


Blackburn managed their lowest points total in a league season since 1978/79, when they picked up 30 points in the second division with two points for a win.

 

Adjusting for three points for a win, this was Liverpool’s lowest points total in a season since 1953/54 when they were relegated from the top-flight with (an amended) 37 pts.

 

Everton finished higher than Liverpool for only the second time since 1986/87 when they won the league (also 2004/05).

 

Man Utd’s tally of 89 points is the highest tally ever achieved by a side not to win the English top-flight (ahead of 88 by United in 1994/95).

 

Aston Villa’s points total was their lowest in the Premier League era.

 

There were 28 missed penalties in the Premier League this season, more than in any other campaign since 1998/99.

 

Only once before have Liverpool won fewer games at home in a league season (6): five in 1948/49.

 

This was only the second time that two teams were level on points at the top going into the final game of a Premier League season (after 2007/08).

 

Djibril Cissé played in eight Premier League games this season: he was sent off in two and scored in the other six.

 

This was only the second time that none of the newly-promoted sides in the Premier League were relegated (after 2001/02).

 

Bolton and Blackburn are the first two sides from the three who were promoted in 2001/02 (with Fulham) to be relegated from the Premier League.

 

Terry Connor became the first manager since Mick McCarthy at Sunderland to fail to win in his first 13 games in the Premier League.

 

Only two players in PL history have scored over eight goals in their first eight games, two of them this season (Sergio Agüero and Papiss Demba Cissé, as well as Mark Quinn and Mark Viduka).

 

Only once since the second world war (1988/89) has the league been won by a side not in first place going into the last round of matches.

 

Grant Holt made the most fouls in the Premier League this season (89): Kevin Davies had made the most in the last three seasons and seven of the last eight.

 

Only Andy Johnson (21) has ever scored more goals for a relegated side in a Premier League season than Yakubu for Blackburn this season (17).

 

Nikica Jelavic was Everton’s top-scorer in the Premier League this season, despite only playing his first game in February.

 

Demba Ba failed to score in all 13 league games where he and Papiss Demba Cisse have started together this season.

 

The last player to score more goals in his debut Premier League season than Agüero (23) was Fernando Torres (24 in 07/08).

 

No South American player has ever scored more goals in a single PL season than Agüero (23, level with Tévez in 09/10).

 

Joey Barton, QPRQPR received nine red cards in the Premier League this season, the joint-most by a team in a single Premier League campaign (with Sunderland 09/10).

 

City are the third team in Premier League history to earn 55 points from a possible 57 on home soil (Chelsea 2005-06 & Man Utd (2010-11).

 

This was Aston Villa’s fewest wins in a top-flight season since 1890/91 (7), when there were only 12 teams in the division.

 

2.81 goals per game is the highest in the English top-flight since 3.03 in 1967-68, the last time City won the title.

 

The youngest goalscorer this season was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (18 years 173 days v Blackburn).

 

Fastest goal of the season – Andrea Orlandi (Swansea v Wolves April – 22 seconds).

 

Latest goal of the season – Yakubu (Blackburn v Wigan 98 min 14 seconds)

 

Tim Howard became the fourth goalkeeper to score in a Premier League game.

 

30.5% of games ended in away wins, the highest proportion in Premier League history.

 

Old Trafford saw more goals than any other ground – 71.

 

Manchester City’s David Silva assisted the most goals in the Premier League this season, 15.

 

Stewart Downing had 72 shots without scoring (more than any other player) and created 55 chances without supplying an assist (more than any other player) in the Premier League. He also took one penalty and hit the woodwork five times.

 

Downing has missed his last three Premier League penalties and is the first player to do so since Juan Pablo Angel in February 2005.

 

David De Gea ended the season with the best saves-to-shots ratio in the Premier League (77.9%)

 

Man Utd were the only team to record 20 clean sheets this season.

 

Chelsea took fewer points from London derbies than any other Premier League side.

 

Man City recorded 81% possession v QPR on the final day, more than any other Premier League game this season (all clubs).

 

Liverpool hit the woodwork four times in their home game with Aston Villa and 33 times overall, the most in a single season since Opta started recording that metric.

 

Robin van Persie hit the woodwork more than any other player this season, 10 times.

 

Only two outfield players played every minute of every game this season, Stephen Ward and Brede Hangeland.

 

Man Utd (11) and Man City (8) were awarded 19% of the Premier League penalties this season.

 

Man City scored 20 goals from outside the box this season, more than any other side.

 

Aston Villa were the only side not to score a goal from a corner routine this season.

 

Swansea conceded fewer fouls (318) and were shown fewer yellow cards than any other side (40).

 

Fulham were the only team not to be shown a red card in 2011-12.

 

Yaya Toure became the first player to win the Premier League title on his birthday.

 

Liverpool ended the season with the most yellow cards for simulation (4).

 

QPR picked up four of the 13 red cards for violent conduct in 2011-12 (no other team had more than one), Joey Barton was the only player to be sent off more than once for this (2).

 

Norwich saw the opposition hit their woodwork most often (26 times).

 

Manchester United’s win at Sunderland on the final day was their 500th in the Premier League.

 

2011-12 was only the sixth time the English title has been decided on goal average/goal difference/goals scored.

 

19 hat-tricks is the most scored in a 20-team Premier League season.

 

Arsenal became the first side to win four consecutive games from behind.

 

In December, Marc Albrighton scored the 20,000th goal in Premier League history.

 

Gareth Bale was the only player to be booked more than once for simulation in 2011-12 (twice).

 
  • Rob JonesRob Jones

    A fan of all things competitive, Rob plays, watches and shouts on the terraces of most sports.

  • Lee HarveyLee Harvey

    Whether it's football, cricket, cycling, NFL, NBA or major league baseball, Lee will be there and won't be short of an opinion.

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