Sometimes it’s pretty obvious where inspiration for these ideas come from, and Spurs becoming the Premier League’s leading goalscorers of 2022 so far tickled us immensely.
But to be honest we’re pretty massive fans of calendar year stats in general. They always throw up such delightful nonsense, and it very often seems to involve Spurs.
Anyway, here’s some statistics based entirely on a Gregorian calendar that football doesn’t use.
Most points: Liverpool – 31
Okay, that’s quite boring. Impressive – because those 31 points have come from a possible 33 with the two dropped in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea on January 2 – but also boring because we know Liverpool are very good and have got a lot of points.
The fun in this table is just below them. Liverpool have a seven-point lead over two teams with 24 points in 2022. No cheating, have a guess who they are… No, it’s neither of them. It’s Tottenham and Wolves. They’ve both played three games more than Manchester City (23 points) and four games more than Arsenal (19 points) but we’re not remotely interested in your PPG fairness here. We want nonsense. Spurs are the second best Premier League team in 2022 so far FACT.
Fewest points: Everton – 6
That’s more like it. Straight in with the banter. Everton are the worst team in the Premier League this year, and there’s no way of massaging those figures with points per game or anything else to make that not the case. They’ve lost more games than anyone despite playing fewer than many and are two points behind a heroically bad Norwich from the same number of games. They’re at 0.55 points per game, with Watford (0.69) next and the Canaries positively flying at 0.73.
Most goals scored: Tottenham – 30
A striking turnaround that is even more pronounced over recent weeks. Spurs scored 31 goals in their first 24 Premier League games and have 21 in their last six. At the calendar year cut-off things are still quite stark, though: 22 from 17 in the 2021 segment of the season against 30 from 13 so far in 2022. Spurs’ three biggest wins of the season have all come in the space of their last six games – 4-0 at Leeds, 5-0 against Everton and Sunday’s wing-backageddon 5-1 daftness against Newcastle.
No surprise to see Liverpool second in this particular table with 27, more so to see Wolves third with 20 even if you were paying attention to their spot in the overall 2022 table earlier. That’s a lot of goals who spent the first half of the season specialising in 1-0s. The Manchester clubs trail in next on 19 each while the five lowest scoring sides don’t offer much in the way of surprises: Burnley, Watford, Everton, Brighton and Norwich. Slightly more surprising is the fact they are the only five teams with fewer Premier League goals this year than Arsenal.
Most goals conceded: Leeds – 32
A truly dominant display here from the wacky Whites. Yes, they have played 13 games which is the 2022 maximum, but they are so far out in front here that it barely matters. Brentford, with 23 goals conceded, are the only team within 10 of that absurd Leeds total, one rendered all the sillier by the fact they’ve still managed to secure a vaguely competent 14 points from those 13 games.
The bulk of the damage here clearly done during that horrific five-game run in which they shipped a total of 20 goals to Liverpool (fair enough), Tottenham (fair enough), Manchester United (okay), Aston Villa (bit much) and Everton (f***ing hell); a run of form so harrowing that the following 1-0 defeat at Leicester felt like a moral victory. They then promptly conceded another three goals to Aston Villa but have taken seven points from – and conceded ‘only’ four goals in – their last three games. Bonus points also awarded for having such a standout record in this category despite a run of 14 goals conceded in three games against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal coming immediately before the cut-off in December.
Top goalscorer: Harry Kane (Tottenham) – 8
Fair to say he’s back to his best in ’22. Top of the scoring chart with 8 and joint top of the assist chart with five to make it 13 goal contributions in 13 Premier League games this year. His rapport with Son Heung-min is right back to its best, undoubtedly helped along by the huge impact made by January arrival Dejan Kulusevski. Between them, that attacking trio have 27 goal contributions in Spurs’ last eight league games.
Most deliberately misleading claim based on malicious use of calendar year fixture vagueries: Newcastle are already better than Chelsea and Arsenal!
Facts are facts. Newcastle have 20 points this year, which is more than Arsenal (19) and Chelsea (17) and now let’s all sit back and enjoy that nugget without any deeper investigation into those numbers or looking at, say, how many games each team has played. Newcastle have more points is the fact, yeah?
Longest winning run: Liverpool – 10
Quite impressive to win 10 Premier League games in a row at any time, to be honest. To have already managed it in a calendar year by the first weekend of April and having played only 11 games in the year doubly so. Whether or not they can extend that to 11 at the Etihad on Sunday will go some way to telling the story of the whole season. Nevertheless, this remains a hugely impressive record not least for the fact there are teams who couldn’t match it even if they had been perfect all year.
Most clean sheets: Liverpool – 8
They’ve only conceded four goals this year, a key factor in a 2022 goal difference of +23, which is a full 10 goals better than next best Spurs and Manchester City. Even if they don’t win the actual league this season, they are firmly on course for plenty of 2022 calendar year awards and I think we can all agree that is definitely the real quiz.
Longest losing run: Norwich and Brighton – 6
Both teams managed to snap those grim runs with what was in hindsight the most obvious 0-0 draw in the history of the league at the weekend. Brighton really should have won the game, mind, having had 22 attempts on goal but Brighton gonna Brighton. Still, just as well they did get that point at least because their next three games are away at Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City. Could have been 10 straight defeats. In fact, it really is just as well Brighton probably already have enough points to stay up because they also still have to play Wolves, Manchester United and West Ham; that’s six of the top eight in a nightmarish run-in for a side so wildly out of form.
Most draws: Manchester United and Crystal Palace – 5
Funny how these things are spun. Palace’s draws mean they’ve lost just three of their 10 games in 2022. United’s five draws mean they’ve won just five of their 12 games in 2022. Palace’s opponents for their draws are fun: Brighton, Norwich, Brentford, Burnley and… Manchester City.