In the first of three stat reviews, we look at the individuals who made big contributions in the final third and which teams had a better defence than Donald Trump’s parents (i.e. everyone). There’s also a comparison table between the last two seasons to assess where improvements were and could be made as well as the impact (if any) of certain signings.
|PLAYER||TEAM||GOALS||MINUTES PER GOAL||ASSISTS|
|Sergio Aguero||Man City||24||99||2|
Harry Kane became the first English player to finish top scorer in the Premier League since Kevin Phillips in 2000. The Tottenham forward scored four more than last season despite a slow start, which saw him wait until his seventh league game to open his account.
Jamie Vardy broke the league record when he scored 11 games in a row, ending the campaign 19 goals better off than his 2014/15 total.
Man City’s Sergio Aguero had the best minutes to goal ratio as he made it 102 Premier League goals in 150 appearances since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo scored 70% of Watford’s league goals this season to ensure Premier League safety. Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe’s 15 strikes certainly went a long way to helping Sunderland win the relegation battle for a fourth consecutive season.
|Dimitri Payet||West Ham||12||9|
|David Silva||Man City||11||1|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Man City||9||7|
Mesut Ozil looked like he would beat former Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry’s record of 20-asssits in a season when he reached 16 by the halfway point. But a dip in form and poor finishing by his teammates saw only three more assists added to his total.
Dusan Tadic’s six assists in his last five games saw the Serbian climb above Riyad Mahrez who scored seven more than the next top scorer (Dele Alli) out of the top ten for assists.
David Silva will be disappointed with only one league goal as injuries continue to trouble the Spaniard, while his former teammate, James Milner, had a productive first season at Liverpool despite playing his standard half a dozen different positions.
West Ham’s Dimitri Payet excited Hammers’ fans as well as neutrals with his set-pieces and trickery. The French international’s performances will no doubt have supporters in the new stadium on the edge of their seats.
Finally, with three Tottenham players making the top-ten (Eriksen, Alli and Lamela) it’s no wonder Kane finished top of the scoring charts.
Last v This season
Leicester – 13-positions and 40-points better off, 22 more goals scored with 19 fewer conceded, while the Foxes managed five extra clean sheets during their title-winning season.
The influence of an experienced, calm and pizza offering Claudio Ranieri – rightly awarded Manager of the Year – can’t be understated. However, the improved individual performances of Vardy, Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater, Wes Morgan and Kasper Schmeichel were also telling. New signings Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth (permanent) and N’Golo Kante for a combined total of £8.6m proved to be great business for the Thai owned club.
Arsenal – four-points less, six-goals worse off but five more clean sheets compared to their 2014/15 efforts.
The lack of outfield signings during the summer had supporters worked up like an Oxford student without a pig. But the acquisition of Petr Cech from rivals and reigning champions, Chelsea, was deemed to have been a real coup for the club. They still conceded the same as last season (36), but they did keep more clean sheets with Cech claiming the Golden Glove award thanks to Chris Smalling’s last minute own goal against Bournemouth.
The reduction in goals and points suggests improvements are needed despite finishing higher in the league and yes, above Tottenham.
Tottenham – two-places, six-points and 11 more goals as well as 18 less conceded suggest that all the talk of a club on the rise does have substance.
The emergence of young, British talent caught the eye but the signing of Toby Alderweireld has been hugely beneficial to Spurs. His partnership with fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen has seen a marked improvement in goals conceded and four more clean sheets.
Further sound investment provided by the Stanley Tucci lookalike, Daniel Levy, should see Mauricio Pochettino’s side anticipate another title challenge.
Man City – two-positions, 13-points and 12-goals down on the previous season doesn’t make particularly good reading.
There was at least an increase of clean sheets but the lack of goals will be a big disappointment given the £100m spent on Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
Pep Guardiola’s arrival is likely to result in a more productive attack while the frequent injuries to unfortunate glass man, Vincent Kompany, means a new commanding centre-back is needed.
Man Utd – four-points and 13-goals worse but a real improvement in defence, much to the ‘delight’ of their fans.
Louis Van Gaal’s time at United has ended following a season that delivered as much excitement as the weekly bin collection…and there’s been a lot of rubbish. The Dutchman’s work off the pitch has probably generated more interest thanks to the occasional sexual reference and a rather confrontational manner.
The poor return on investment from the likes of Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger haven’t gone unnoticed. However, they have been marginally covered up by the emergence of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s impressive adjustment to life in England.
The anticipated and apt arrival of Jose Mourinho at the Red Devils is likely to see United become a more balanced side. Meanwhile, another summer of heavy investment is expected to see them compete for honours beyond the FA Cup which they won in extra-time against Crystal Palace.
Southampton – one-place and three-points better off despite conceding eight more goals.
The Saints lost key personnel for the second consecutive summer as Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Alderweireld (Tottenham) and Morgan Schneiderlin (Man Utd) all left St. Mary’s.
They were seamlessly replaced based on their final position with Virgil Van Dijk’s performances heavily responsible. The former Celtic defender had a great campaign and was rightly mentioned by many as the signing of the season.
Ronald Koeman will hope to be allowed to build further on his success by retaining his current squad, but Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane have already been linked with moves away.
West Ham – five-positions, 15-points and an impressive increase of 21-goals has seen Slaven Bilic enjoy a positive first season back at the Hammers.
The Croatian manager has been a gentleman throughout the season and his club’s acquisition of Dimitri Payet, Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini and Angelo Ogbonna have been pivotal to their achievements.
A move to the Taxpayers (Olympic) Stadium and further signings should see West Ham regularly challenge the top six for years to come.
Liverpool – two-positions and two-points worse than last season but 11 more goals adds to the obvious hope at Anfield.
A change of manager felt necessary following a stuttering start and the availability of Jurgen Klopp. The German manager and Liverpool are like a cheese and jam sandwich – against the norm (despite Klopp’s opening statement) but a great combination nonetheless.
More goals are a result of a more productive frontline that includes a fitter Daniel Sturridge, an impressive Divock Origi and a fleetingly brilliant Roberto Firmino. Even Christian Benteke has chipped in with nine league goals despite his obvious struggles to fit in with the Reds style of play.
A third consecutive season of around 50 goals conceded suggests that the free signing of Joel Matip won’t be the last defensive recruit.
Stoke – three-points and seven goals worse off while the Potters’ leaked ten more at the other end.
There have been glimpses of progress at Stoke following wins at home to Man City and Man Utd but the end of season form, which coincided with Jack Butland’s injury, highlights defensive frailties, which were a rarity under former manager Tony Pulis.
Current manager, Mark Hughes, will need to address his defence in light of the club’s reliance on Ryan Shawcross and a lack of cover for England keeper Butland.
Meanwhile, the attacking trio of Marko Arnautovic, Xerdan Shaqiri and Bojan is enough to raise the locals’ optimism. But Hughes will need to find new competition for those three with Peter Crouch now 35 and Mame Biram Diouf finishing on just five league goals despite scoring three in his first six appearances.
Chelsea – nine-place drop, 37-points down, 14 fewer goals scored, 21 more conceded and eight clean sheets worse off. It’s been about as good as being on the receiving end of a fart in a lift.
The Blues’ transfer dealings yielded little in return, particularly the loan signings of Radamel Falcao and Alexandre Pato. But it was the form of those who were integral to helping their side win the title by eight-points last season that contributed to Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December.
Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and Oscar failed to deliver on a consistent basis, especially during the first half of the season, while Thibaut Courtois also suffered a dip in form.
Antonio Conte will be looking to shake things up after the Euros.
Everton – Same position and points as the previous season saw little to no progress under Roberto Martinez, which ultimately cost him his job.
Romelu Lukaku’s season certainly helped the Toffees improve on their goals but losing points late on and drawing too many games became an issue that wouldn’t budge. The limp end to the season suggested Martinez had very much lost the dressing room he had often blindly praised like an overly optimistic, tree-hugging, grass-smoking hippie despite performances implying quite the opposite.
The supporters will be expecting to see more of a return on the £13.5m spent on Oumar Niasse who only made five league appearances without scoring since his January arrival.
Swansea – down on all categories during a season that Garry Monk was replaced by Francesco Guidolin as the Welsh side flirted with relegation.
The Swans appeared to overachieve last season as their positive start to this campaign was followed by a run of one win in 12, which left Monk’s position untenable.
Andre Ayew can look back on a effective debut season in the Premier League following his arrival on a free from Marseille. The £5m signing of Portuguese forward Eder however, was less fruitful after 12 appearances, no goals and a January loan move to Lille.
Watford – Finish 13th and avoid immediate relegation from the topflight for the first time. Not bad considering the turnover of players as 21 arrived and 23 left on permanent or loan deals.
Quique Sanchez Flores replaced Slavisa Jokanovic – who guided the Hornets to automatic promotion despite being the fourth different manager that season. The former Valencia and Atletico Madrid manager consolidated Watford’s position in the Premier League thanks to Deeney’s and Ighalo’s goals.
But as one season ends a new manager arrives. Stray Baldwin brother, Walter Mazzarri – former Napoli and Inter Milan manager – has replaced Flores and will be looking to improve on the end of season form, which probably cost the Spaniard his job.
West Brom – A drop in position, points, goals scored and clean sheets saw Pulis’ side remain in the league despite some drab matches.
Watching a puddle evaporate was sometimes an equally entertaining alternative to the Baggies this season as they continued to be stubborn opponents without much threat in attack. Although a drop from 16 clean sheets to 11 must have Pulis fuming.
Saido Berahino’s off-field issues had a negative effect on his on-field performances, which may lead to a reduction in his value. But West Brom’s performances at Liverpool (draw), Tottenham (draw), Man City (narrow defeat), Leicester (draw) and Chelsea (draw) as well as home wins against Arsenal and Man Utd have brought some joy to the cap-wearing manager.
Crystal Palace – Five-positions, six-points and eight-goals worse off than last season has thankfully seen less talk of Alan Pardew for England despite reaching an FA Cup final.
A collapse that would make Ashley Young proud saw Palace go from fifth and level on points with Tottenham on Boxing Day to 16th with seven games remaining following a 14-match winless streak.
The fact that not one player scored more than seven goals in all competitions suggests a fundamental problem which Pardew – who needs to develop the ability to arrest a slump – should address with his transfer dealings.
Bournemouth – Safety in the club’s first ever season in England’s top division was always the priority and Eddie Howe can be very satisfied with a 16th place finish.
Following up the away win at Chelsea with a home victory over Man Utd was the highlight of a season, which started with long-term injuries to key personnel.
The prime concern for Howe will be to avoid a repeat of those injuries, retain the core of his current squad and add some defensive solidity after the Cherries conceded 67 goals, the joint-second worst in the league.
Sunderland – one-point and 17-goals more saw Sam Allardyce’s side avoid relegation despite a poorer defence compared to last year.
The Black Cats achieved less than half the 13 clean sheets they kept under Dick Advocaat and Gus Poyet last season, which is surprising given Allardyce’s reputation for strong backlines.
But the Wearsiders are certainly more expansive thanks to Defoe, Fabio Borini and Wahbi Khazri proving dangerous on the break.
Sunderland supporters will be hoping for a mediocre season in mid-table following the stresses and strains of the last four campaigns.
Newcastle – Small (think the Board’s understanding of football) margins in terms of points and goals led to the huge (think Mike Ashley’s waistline/warehouse) difference between survival and relegation.
Rafa Benitez’s arrival was too late in the season as the Geordies suffered what they only just avoided last year.
How much of the squad will remain is anyone’s guess with Moussa Sissoko one of many likely to leave. But it appears Benitez is going to be brave (sometimes confused with stupid) and stay on in the hope of building a legacy and gaining promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking. Best of luck, Rafa.
Norwich – Joint-third worst scorers and joint-second worst defence sums up why the Canaries were relegated.
Like Palace, not one Norwich player scored more than seven-goals in all competitions. Alex Neil saw his side regularly punished for individual mistakes in a league that is more unforgiving than the Championship.
One thing in their favour is that few players will be of interest to anyone so retaining the current squad shouldn’t be too challenging.
Aston Villa – Bloody awful on all accounts, so much so that the word ‘crap’ is being taken as a compliment.
Despite winning the first game of the season, the Villains never did much to excite their supporters. Joleon Lescott’s trouser pocket seemed to trigger more of a reaction than his team’s efforts on the pitch.
A run of 19 without a win or 11 straight defeats this season saw the fans suffer the equivalent of Fabien Delph as a solo carol singer, wearing a Birmingham City shirt and scratching a blackboard whilst you rub your face with sandpaper.