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40% of Premier League Sides Score Less Than a Goal a Game

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While the world has been blown away by the attacking potential of Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs this season, a less positive trend has emerged elsewhere in the Premier League.

Astonishingly, no fewer than eight of the 20 clubs – 40 per cent — are scoring at less than a-goal-a-game this season, and that would have been nine had Newcastle not hit three against hapless Southampton at the weekend. The 'problem' goes up as far as seventh-placed Burnley who have registered 27 goals in 30 games.

The statistics could have worrying consequences for the image of Premier League entertainment if it develops into a longer-term trend.

Last season, only the three relegated teams Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland scored fewer than 38 goals from their 38 games, the previous season just two clubs West Brom and Aston Villa reached that target.

We investigate the reasons why this year a significant section of the 'best league in the world' has become a goal-shy zone. For the record, the eight teams averaging less than a goal a game are: Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield, Southampton, Stoke, Swansea and West Brom. Newcastle have scored 30 in 30 games.

 
 

GAP BETWEEN TOP AND BOTTOM

The presence of world-class managers at the top end of the Premier League, men like Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp, have made the big clubs better. Results in the Champions League this season underline that.

The consequence for everyone else is that facing those teams is about damage limitation rather than trying to give it a go and trying to win games.

When Newcastle were beaten 2-0 at Liverpool two weeks ago, there was a sense they were happy to escape with that to avoid further damage to their goal difference. Ditto Stoke City in Monday night's loss by the same score against Manchester City.

Of the last 126 league games played between the Big Six and the rest, it's only happened twice that the lower-ranked side has scored three or more goals – Swansea's 3-1 victory against Arsenal in January, and Watford's 4-1 win over Chelsea at the start of February.

More typical was the last round of games when Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Watford and Stoke scored just two goals in total against Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City. Bournemouth apart, there was little intent from kick off to try and hurt the opposition.

 
 

THE AMOUNT OF RELEGATION SIX-POINTERS

Given the Big Six aren't giving much away this season, the pressure has intensified among the rest of the 14 clubs when they face each other.

Every point is precious in those games and the priority has often been not to concede given the financial consequences of relegation.

Saturday's tense battle between Huddersfield and Swansea ended 0-0 after the visitors launched a desperate rearguard action with 10 men following Jordan Ayew's dismissal. The previous weekend, it was Southampton and Stoke locked in a goalless draw.

 

Promoted sides Brighton and Huddersfield have both deservedly received credit for their results this season but part of their success has been keeping matches tight, with four 0-0 draws each.

Brighton's goalless draws have come against Burnley, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Watford – games in which they needed to pick up points and couldn't afford to lose. 

Huddersfield have drawn 0-0 home and away against Burnley, while Swansea have also collected four goalless draws this season.

 
 

LACK OF TOP-CLASS STRIKERS

Formation changes have seen many clubs play with just one recognised striker. Aspiring players these days have a better chance of making it as a No10 or holding midfielder and with top clubs taking the best centre-forwards, the rest are left with strikers holding very average goalscoring records.

Famously, Stoke City's £15million purchase Saido Berahino hasn't scored a goal for two years. Southampton paid a club-record £19million for Monaco's Guido Carrillo in January and he hasn't scored yet in eight matches.

Ditto, Crystal Palace are waiting for a goal from Alexander Sorloth (£9million), a natural No 9 who has been pushed wide to accommodate Christian Benteke. 

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was so desperate for a striker in January, he signed the injured Islam Slimani on loan from Leicester. The Algerian still hasn't been fit enough to play.

Eighteen of the 21 leading scorers in the Premier League play for the Big Six. Eleven clubs still haven't got a player who has scored more than seven goals, the amount claimed by Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho before he left in the New Year.

West Brom's leading scorer is £15million Salomon Rondon with five, the same number reached by Newcastle's top marksman Dwight Gayle. Poor Albion are the lowest scorers in the league with 23goals – fewer than Harry Kane or Mo Salah.

 
 

THE AGE OF DEFENSIVE MANAGERS

While Guardiola, Klopp and Arsene Wenger are naturally attacking coaches at the top end of the table, it shouldn't hide the fact that clubs lower down have turned to managers with reputations for prioritising defence.

Not surprising given there have been nine managerial changes in the Premier League this season, with the incoming bosses given the specific instruction of keeping their clubs in the division.

Roy Hodgson (Crsytal Palace), David Moyes (West Ham), Sam Allardyce (Everton) and Paul Lambert (Stoke City) have never won awards for artistic impression and letting their players off the leash.

Chris Hughton (Brighton) and Rafa Benitez (Newcastle) also pride themselves for making their teams organised and hard to beat. Even Sean Dyche (Burnley), a candidate for manager of the year, doesn't care if his team pick up points rather than become involved in high-scoring thrillers.

Burnley's 30 league matches this season have yielded a very modest total of 53 goals, 27 for and 26 against, not that Clarets diehards will care a jot.

 
 

WHAT'S NEXT?

Football is cyclical and Premier League bosses selling their wares around the world will hope this season's famine is a blip. However, there have to be concerns it will continue into next season as well.

While Manchester City and Manchester United lead the charge for the best and most expensive players, and Spurs and Liverpool aren't going anywhere, the gulf between top and bottom looks set to grow, having a detrimental effect on competition and therefore goals spread through the league.

The best-case scenario is that those more adventurous managers in mid-table or at the bottom, like Bournemouth's Eddie Howe, are successful, and emulated. Also, clubs like Leicester need to fight for as long as they can to keep their attacking gems Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez so the goalscorers aren't all stockpiled at the big clubs.

Looking at Arsenal and Chelsea, it may also be that two of the Big Six slip back to the pack in the next few years. It's up to clubs like Everton and Leicester to take advantage, and doing it by getting on the front foot.

It's not usually a good idea to tinker with long-established rules – introducing bonus points for goalscoring would add an extra layer of complication – but the Premier League will be anxious. To have nearly half the league scoring less than a-goal-per-game is not a good global look. 


Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-5494649/EIGHT-teams-scored-fewer-goal-game-Premier-League.html#ixzz59d4kPhZG 

 

 

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I'm amazed Brighton have only scored 28 goals. Feels like they've scored a fair few lately at home.

Burnley's record is pretty mental considering they're 7th.

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Who is surprised that PL is a bit shit lately?

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“Best League in the World”. 

In all seriousness, the riches that are associated with survival are pretty huge so if you’re a Brighton or a Huddersfield, staying in the Premier League for more than a couple of seasons is massive financially for those clubs and for the likes of West Brom, Swansea, Palace and a few more teams, having been in the Premier League for a few years now, it’s about retaining that income every year, so as a result we see numerous brands of Football these days where the impetus is more on ensuring goals aren’t scored by the opposition than trying to score a goal yourself, especially away from home and as a result, we see what we’re seeing in the article in the OP. 

 

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Burnley doing so well this season is both a great achievement and a massive shame.

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29 minutes ago, 6666 said:

Burnley doing so well this season is both a great achievement and a massive shame.

To be honest all leagues are the same in now days. The premier league is more competitive than most. For me Burnley doing so well shows that sticking with a good manager even if you get relegated can better in the long run. I know Burnley aren't great to watch but they are affective

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18 hours ago, The Palace Fan said:

Fuck you Benteke. Fuck you.

He looked like he had a lot of potential years ago. A shame when players don't fulfil it.

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I really, really don't know if I rate Burnley.

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1 minute ago, Dan said:

I really, really don't know if I rate Burnley.

I rate their defending. And for a defensive team, they've given it more of a go than some other sides we've faced in the league - so I can respect that to an extent. Their attacking output is absolutely pitiful though.

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3 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I rate their defending. And for a defensive team, they've given it more of a go than some other sides we've faced in the league - so I can respect that to an extent. Their attacking output is absolutely pitiful though.

I rate the way that they've stuck with a manager and really allowed him to build something over a number of years, and like the fact that it's paying some kind of dividends. He has a clear vision for what he wants in a player and I think at worst they'll be a midtable side at this level for it.

But there have been so many games where I've seen them and wondered how on earth they got the result they did. Seriously, they remind me of us towards the end of the title season, but even more extreme. Some of the chances missed against them are unbelievable.

I rate and respect Dyche as a manager but my god he's insufferable at times.

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Just now, Dan said:

I rate the way that they've stuck with a manager and really allowed him to build something over a number of years, and like the fact that it's paying some kind of dividends. He has a clear vision for what he wants in a player and I think at worst they'll be a midtable side at this level for it.

But there have been so many games where I've seen them and wondered how on earth they got the result they did. Seriously, they remind me of us towards the end of the title season, but even more extreme. Some of the chances missed against them are unbelievable.

I rate and respect Dyche as a manager but my god he's insufferable at times.

Barely clinging on to get a result is something that seems typical of sides that rely on their defense to get them their points. If you're asset is defending and you can't trust your attack to go and get you goals, some of your points are going to come down to being lucky the opposition fucks up from time to time. But I think it's the nature of having a strong defense and being pretty dogshit going forward, they've got the confidence to be under pressure a lot because they believe in their defenders... and also because they sort of have to with the attacking players they have now.

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Dyce wouldn't have to be so defensive with more resources though. I wouldn't want him at arsenal yet. But I'd like to see how he did at a club like Everton

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2 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

Barely clinging on to get a result is something that seems typical of sides that rely on their defense to get them their points. If you're asset is defending and you can't trust your attack to go and get you goals, some of your points are going to come down to being lucky the opposition fucks up from time to time. But I think it's the nature of having a strong defense and being pretty dogshit going forward, they've got the confidence to be under pressure a lot because they believe in their defenders... and also because they sort of have to with the attacking players they have now.

It is and it makes sense to focus on their strength, but they've gotten away with it a fair few times to my memory. Might just be me being biased because we're kind of in competition with them but I've watched a few games and wondered how on earth they've got the result. Sterling missing an open goal at 0-1 in a game they ended up drawing with Man City springs to mind.

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22 minutes ago, Dan said:

I really, really don't know if I rate Burnley.

One of the few teams to take points of us this season, make of that what you will

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Just now, Dan said:

It is and it makes sense to focus on their strength, but they've gotten away with it a fair few times to my memory. Might just be me being biased because we're kind of in competition with them but I've watched a few games and wondered how on earth they've got the result. Sterling missing an open goal at 0-1 in a game they ended up drawing with Man City springs to mind.

When you won the title, pretty much everyone was thinking that about you in the 2nd half of the season. And your attack wasn't anywhere near as shite as Burnley's lol. Sometimes football is strange as fuck.

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Just now, Happy Blue said:

One of the few teams to take points of us this season, make of that what you will

Does this mean we are the English side you rate the most?

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Just now, Dr. Gonzo said:

When you won the title, pretty much everyone was thinking that about you in the 2nd half of the season. And your attack wasn't anywhere near as shite as Burnley's lol. Sometimes football is strange as fuck.

I do think in the last couple of months we got fortunate a few times. Sunderland away where Rodwell misses an absolute sitter at 0-1 springs to mind. Southampton at home where they had two 50/50 penalty shouts springs to mind. Kante was a huge part of it for us.

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Just now, Dr. Gonzo said:

Does this mean we are the English team you rate the most?

Yes, when Liverpool are up for it, you are a match for anyone

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31 minutes ago, Gunnersauraus said:

Dyce wouldn't have to be so defensive with more resources though. I wouldn't want him at arsenal yet. But I'd like to see how he did at a club like Everton

Won't happen. 

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2 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

Dyche isn't big enough to manage Everton.

*Everton aren't big enough for Sean Dyche.

  • Upvote 1

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15 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

Dyche isn't big enough to manage Everton.

Do you only appoint overweight people now, then?

  • Haha 2

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20 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

Dyche isn't big enough to manage Everton.

I don't know if your joking but if you aren't :dam:

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53 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

Dyche isn't big enough to manage Everton.

Strange comment considering where your managerial appointments normally come from

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Dyche isn't in then Allardyce mould of just lumping it, and he's not a fucking cunt as far as I can tell. That's big enough for me.

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I thought we already gathered that Everton always have, and always will, have an unrealistic expectation of which managers they'll be able to attract. Carlo Ancelotti, Awsene Wenger....

I'm sure there fans will be expecting Unai Emery, Antonio Conte and Zinidene Zidane this summer if they become available.

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2 minutes ago, The Palace Fan said:

I thought we already gathered that Everton always have, and always will, have an unrealistic expectation of which managers they'll be able to attract. Carlo Ancelotti, Awsene Wenger....

I'm sure there fans will be expecting Unai Emery, Antonio Conte and Zinidene Zidane this summer if they become available.

None of them big enough, either. 

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1 minute ago, HK85 said:

None of them big enough, either. 

What you need is a visionary like David Unsworth.

  • Haha 1

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19 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

Can't believe this has got so many nibbles. 

Fantastic.

It's also frightening how many people think we're deluded enough to expect to get Ancelotti etc. :rofl: I challenge anyone to try and find one post from an Everton fan on here that says it would be realistic for us to attract someone like that.

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An unsurprisingly poor opening article (daily mail). The whole article is based around cherry picking stats to make the situation look worse than it probably is. Four teams are on 28 or 29 goals. If they score 2 next time out then there;s only 4 teams with less than a goal a game which will be the same as most seasons.

I'd like to see the stats of goals per game for clubs outside the top 6 it would be close to most other seasons. 

Hodgson and Lambert defensive coaches? Disagree with that also.

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