Stat, Viz, Quiz is the weekly Opta Analyst newsletter. Our latest edition includes numbers on Manchester City’s ‘other’ Belgian star, West Ham’s away-day specialist and who has run from Southampton to Algeria.
What had you achieved before you turned 22?
Got your first job? Met the love of your life? Had five goal involvements in a single Premier League game?
If you answered ‘yes’ to that last one and your name isn’t Jérémy Doku, then I’m afraid we know you’re telling porkies.
Have you ever scored in the first six away games of a Premier League season, though? Sorry non-Jarrod Bowen people who are nodding, but you’re also clearly fibbing.
We look at Doku and Bowen’s achievements in this week’s SVQ, before setting you five more juicy questions and then answering the latest ‘Ask Opta’ poser, which literally covers a lot of ground.
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STAT: Okey Doku
Manchester City were already very good, being treble winners and all.
Then they signed Jérémy Doku and added a completely different way to hurt teams. It’s a bit like allowing Max Verstappen to have heat-seeking missiles in his Red Bull, à la Wacky Races.
Doku arrived from Rennes with a reputation for being a tricky winger who would run at defenders for fun. The only thing missing from his game arguably was end product.
Well, he’s been at City for all of five minutes and appears to have already developed it, and the rest of the Premier League will probably be folding their arms in a huff that Pep Guardiola has another phenomenal weapon at his disposal. It just feels greedy at this point.
Doku came away from Man City’s 6-1 demolition of Bournemouth at the weekend with a goal and four assists, becoming the eighth player to manage that many assists in a single Premier League game, and the youngest at 21 years and 161 days old (surpassing José Antonio Reyes for Arsenal vs Middlesbrough at 22y 135d).
However, he also became the youngest to record five goal involvements in one Premier League game, making it one record his City teammate Erling Haaland no longer holds.
It just feels like the start for Doku, and we’ll be taking a closer look at the young Belgian on Opta Analyst later this week. Stay tuned…
VIZ: Bowen Enjoying Life on the Road
It hasn’t been a happy time of late for West Ham. They’ve won just one of their last seven Premier League games and that was at home to bottom side Sheffield United.
Saturday saw them lose 3-2 at Brentford, but there was at least a silver lining for one of their players.
Jarrod Bowen wrote his name into Hammers history as he scored the winner in last season’s UEFA Europa Conference League final in Prague, and he has made a habit of scoring on his travels ever since.
The former Hull City man started the 2023-24 campaign by bagging goals in away Premier League games at Bournemouth, Brighton, Luton, Liverpool and Aston Villa, putting him level with Thierry Henry and Mohamed Salah as one of only three players to score in his team’s first five away games of a Premier League season. His strike to put West Ham 2-1 up at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday put him out on his own as the only player to ever make it six.
Bowen’s six goals in six away games have come from 19 shots, and a combined total of 3.1 expected goals (xG), meaning he’s almost twice as deadly as he should be with his finishing on the road. For the sake of balance, it should be mentioned that he’s only scored once in five home games from 13 shots and 1.5 xG.
It hasn’t done David Moyes’ side much good recently, as they still lost at Liverpool, Villa and Brentford, but having a regular source of goals for tricky away days is never a bad thing.
Bowen will just hope he can get a bit more help from his teammates, and perhaps even extend his record when West Ham head to Burnley after the international break.
European final winners, constant away goals and making Danny Dyer a grandad. Is there anything the man can’t do?
The Data Day Podcast
On this week’s show, Ali Tweedale and David Segar join Graham Bell to look at the incredible game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium between Spurs and Chelsea. Also, as part of our Premier League Review: Matchday 11 episode, the trio run through the best stats from the weekend’s action at both the top and the bottom of the table, including Luton’s draw with Liverpool and Sheffield United’s first win of the season.
And then for our weekly trivia test, Ali and David go head-to-head as Graham poses one of the trickier questions we’ve seen in the ‘Pauline Quirke Quiz’.
QUIZ: Player Accolades
This week’s quiz looks at some of the notable things to come out of this latest Premier League round of fixtures (and one special non-PL one). Answers at the bottom of the page.
1. Burnley boss Vincent Kompany became only the second Premier League manager to lose his first six home league games after which former Sunderland boss?
2. Cameron Archer’s goal for Sheffield United in their first Premier League win of the season against Wolves was their first shot on target in how many minutes? A) 100, B) 150, or C) 200?
3. Darwin Núñez had nine shots in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Luton, the most by a Liverpool player in a Premier League match without scoring since who? A) Mohamed Salah, B) Roberto Firmino, or C) Sadio Mané?
4. Tottenham’s high line almost paid off despite having nine men against Chelsea, though it ultimately wasn’t to be. How many times were the Blues caught offside in their 4-1 victory, though?
5. If you’ll allow us to head to the Championship briefly, Preston North End’s win against Coventry City was their 2,000th in the English Football League (excluding play-offs), making them the seventh team in England to reach that milestone. Name any three of the other six teams.
This week’s question came to us via X from @CitizenSuburbia, who asks: “Which player has covered the most distance in the Premier League over their career since Opta began recording these stats?”
Opta only began recording distance covered data at the start of the 2019-20 season, but even since then we have seen some players cover enough ground to make you exhausted just looking at the numbers.
Since the start of 2019-20, the man who has covered more ground than anyone in the Premier League is James Ward-Prowse. The 29-year-old has totalled a distance of just over 1,151 miles (1,852.5 kilometres) for Southampton and West Ham. That’s the equivalent of running from the London Stadium to Iceland (the country, not the shop), or from St Mary’s to Biskra in Algeria. It would also cover 463 laps of the running track at the London Stadium.
Staying with hard-working Hammers, in second place is the man who Ward-Prowse replaced. Arsenal’s Declan Rice is the only other player to have covered more than 1,000 miles (1,051.3, or 1,691.8 km) in that time, roughly from the Emirates Stadium to Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol… nice.
We’re sure you’re all wondering where James Milner is in all this. Well, obviously his comparative lack of minutes meant even he couldn’t match up to Ward-Prowse and Rice’s totals, having played just 4,085 minutes since the start of the 2019-20 season. However, he has still covered 359.4 miles (578.5 km), at a rate of 7.9 miles per 90 minutes (or roughly from Leeds to Bradford every game). Of players to have played over 1,000 minutes in that time, only Donny van de Beek (8.2 miles per 90) has averaged more.
What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?
Here’s some of the latest data-driven offerings you can find on our website:
Opta is excited to bring you two fresh, new and FREE weekly football challenges, with Opta Max and Opta Five.
Compare the latest player ratings and stats. Then put your player ratings knowledge to the test for a chance to win big prizes each week of the football season.
1. Mick McCarthy, who lost his first seven.
2. C) 200 minutes, since a Rhian Brewster shot in the 52nd minute against Man Utd.
3. B) Roberto Firmino, vs Man Utd in December 2018 (9 attempts, 0 goals).
4. Seven times. Only Chelsea (10) v Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest (9) v Aston Villa have had more in a game this season.
5. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Wolves and Sheffield United.
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