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On The Spot: Premier League Penalty Stats

Wednesday 8th February 2012
Penalties have always been an issue in football, with so many given and so many not, so many scored and so many missed. Penalties are, for many the scourge of the game, with fans all having their own points of view of what should be and what shouldn't.

Referees of course are key; they are the decision makers, although we all know they get plenty of assistance from the players, the fans and sometimes even from their assistants on the touchlines.

Most pundits however agree that what goes around comes around and that penalties even out over a course of a season but do they?

The following list is made up from those teams who have spent the last decade in the Premier League, along with penalties awarded and conceded during that time. In some cases it completely contradicts the belief that penalties balance out, particularly for teams who have, shall we say, been a regular top five or six team during that period.

Not too surprisingly is the fact that Manchester United lead the way in terms of the differential between those awarded and those conceded. Up until February 2nd this year, the ‘Red Devils' had been awarded 52 penalties and conceded only 26, and they were given two more last weekend in their 3-3 draw against Chelsea.

It is the Blues in fact that come next with 52 awarded and 25 conceded, although that of course should be 27 conceded after the ‘United' game. Liverpool come next with a differential of 20 while Arsenal are fourth placed with a difference of 18.

It is only after the ‘big four' that the stats tend to even out, with Spurs for instance having been awarded 42 penalties in the last ten years in the Premier League while conceding 43. Aston Villa also have a negative differential, with 49 against 52, Blackburn Rovers are level with 44 on both sides, while neighbours Bolton must think they are doing something wrong having been given 33 spot kicks while having 42 given against them.

Everton and Fulham are just about on the plus side of the stats, with Everton 37-33 ahead and Fulham 41-39 to the good. Manchester City too are in the black figures with 44 awarded and only 39 conceded.

Of course it would be unfair to view these stats as numbers alone, as clearly, those four teams who have benefited the most are generally all associated with attacking football, playing the game in their opponents box as opposed to their own. However some fans cannot be blamed for thinking that there is a slight bias in favour of the bigger clubs. This appears to be particularly so when the home match stats are studied, which reveal, a little bit surprisingly that Arsenal have had the most penalties awarded at home, with 40 given in the last ten years. Man Utd come next with 36 and are one clear of Chelsea on 35.

Of course a penalty counts for nothing if it is not converted and this is where United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson will be a little bit it agitated. United in fact has only scored 39 of their 52 penalties, while Chelsea are by far and away the penalty taking kings with 48 of their 55 scored, the vast majority of those were scored inevitably by Frank Lampard. Everton also has a great record with 37 from 43 scored, Newcastle are 40 from 47 while Arsenal weigh in with 47 hits from 57, a little better than Liverpool who has 43 from 55.

If there is one team who could do with additional penalty taking practice it is Blackburn Rovers who have had 15 of their 44 penalties saved or missed.

Rod Crowley

Total articles: 2

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