Stat, Viz, Quiz is the weekly Opta Analyst football newsletter. Our latest edition includes numbers on David Moyes, Manchester United’s (lack of) centre-backs, and players to score 50+ goals for more than one Premier League team.

And scene. 

Is that the curtain closing on Casemiro’s glittering footballing career? The 32-year-old has a trophy cabinet to die for but looked a shadow of his former self last night as Manchester United put in another rudderless performance. We look at why their problems at centre-back encapsulate their chaotic situation. 

Speaking of Manchester United, their former manager David Moyes is set to move on from West Ham at the end of the season. We examine the numbers behind his most recent spell in east London.

We’ve also got the usual quiztastic goodness for you to sink your teeth into, as well as an AskOpta question about players scoring 50+ goals for multiple teams. It took the ‘Senior Data Editor’ on our team four attempts to get it right so when you see the answer, tell us if you think we should sack him: We will read it. 

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STAT Moyes Makes Way

Like many of our New Years’ Eve parties, everything was going well for David Moyes until the clock struck midnight and year changed to 2024.

An impressive 2-0 Premier League win over Arsenal at the London Stadium meant that the Hammers ended 2023 sitting in sixth place, just seven points off the Champions League qualification spots with a game in hand. They’d also comfortably won their Europa League group to advance to the knockout stages.

Then 2024 happened.

Ten defeats in 23 competitive games have only been surpassed by two Premier League clubs this year – Sheffield United (12) and Luton (11) – while West Ham have won just four times. Their 46 goals conceded in 23 matches is 16 more than they’ve scored themselves.

Following the latest drubbing – a 5-0 loss to London rivals Chelsea on Sunday – Moyes’ departure at the end of the season was hastily announced in a press release.

Recent form suggests the time for change in the West Ham dugout is right, but overall Moyes’ second spell as West Ham manager should be remembered fondly by supporters.

David Moyes Best Seasons

The Scot led West Ham to their first major European trophy since Cup Winners’ Cup success in 1965, with a Europa Conference League victory last year. That came a season after an excellent Europa League campaign, when they reached the semi-finals and only lost out to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

In his first full season back as manager in 2020-21, Moyes guided West Ham to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, which was their highest league position in 22 years. He then followed that up with a seventh-place finish in 2021-22 to secure consecutive top-seven finishes for West Ham in the top flight for the first time since 1991.

Although this season has eventually seen a drop off in form, Moyes should lead the club to a top-half finish, which will be an improvement on last season’s 14th in the Premier League. They have already won nine more points than last campaign, with two games remaining.

Moyes has currently taken charge of the third-most Premier League games as a manager in history (695) behind only Alex Ferguson (810) and Arsène Wenger (828) and will increase that to 697 with games against Luton and Manchester City to end 2023-24.

His replacement looks likely to be Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui, who left his position as Wolves manager before a ball was kicked this season and has been waiting in the wings ever since.

Lopetegui did an excellent job at Wolves last season, with the side bottom of the Premier League and four points from safety when he took over in November. Following his appointment, Wolves won 31 points in 23 games, with only nine teams securing more, as they finished seven points above the drop zone.

With 1.71 points-per-game in 2020-21, Moyes leaves West Ham having overseen their most prolific points-scoring season in Premier League history. Not bad at all.

VIZ Centre-Back Chaos for United

Manchester United Centre-back partnerships viz
Viz by Jonny Whitmore

Manchester United’s season has been littered with desperate lows, but it arguably hit its nadir on Monday night when they were battered 4-0 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The thing about this defeat was that it could quite easily have been much worse. They were, in fairness, up against a Palace side who had the rare luxury of having Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze both available – something that hasn’t happened much this season – and the home side ran riot.

Palace have now won five of their seven Premier League games this season when both of their star players are available.

For many, though, United manager Erik ten Hag is running out of excuses. United have now lost 13 league games this season – their most in a season since 1989-90. They have also conceded a whopping 81 goals in all competitions, which is their highest in a season since 1976-77. It hasn’t been an easy watch for United fans, and Monday night was probably as bad as it has been all campaign.

Whatever you might say about United’s disastrous campaign, though, the lack of consistency at centre-back hasn’t helped. Whether it’s enough of an excuse is a subject for another day (or maybe even later this week on the Opta Analyst website, if you catch my drift, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Injuries have been a major disruption to United’s season. On Monday night, Ten Hag was forced into fielding a 14th different combination at centre-back. And it didn’t help that on this occasion the partnership was 36-year-old Jonny Evans, who surely wasn’t signed to play as much as he has done, and Casemiro, who is a central midfielder and is, erm, looking past his best, shall we say?

Casemiro was dribbled past a frankly ridiculous seven times – the joint-highest by any player in a Premier League game this season and at least three times more than any other centre-back has in a game. Just for, well, an entertaining comparison, fellow Premier League centre-backs Ezri Konsa and Virgil van Dijk have been dribbled past five times between them all season, in the equivalent game time of 65 full matches.

No United centre-back pair has played together more than six times this season, and other than the Evans-Raphaël Varane combination, nobody has played together in more than four games. They could desperately do with more consistency at the back. And the middle. And the front.

QUIZ Haaland’s Hat-Trick Heroics

After his goal-related antics at the weekend, this week’s quiz is inspired by Haaland’s four-goal haul at the weekend. We usually do five quiz questions in this section, but this week you get six. Wow. Aren’t we generous? Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Erling Haaland scored his sixth Premier League hat-trick this weekend, but which player has scored the most hat-tricks in the history of the competition (12)?

2. Haaland ended with four goals in the win over Wolves. His fourth goal came in the 54th minute, which made it the second earliest that any player has scored four goals in a Premier League match. Who scored was the player to reach four goals the earliest in a single PL match?

3. Haaland has now played in matches where he’s scored once, twice, three times, four times and five times this season. Against which opponent did he score five goals in a single match this season?

4. Haaland is one of seven Norwegian players to score a hat-trick in the Premier League. Can you name the other six to do so?

5. Haaland is one of three players to have scored more than one Premier League hat-trick this season. Who are the other two players?

6. Only one player has scored a hat-trick on their Premier League debut. Who is he?

Ask Opta

This week’s question comes to us from Paul Heighton, who asks: “Can you tell me if there are any Premier League players who scored 50+ goals for more than one team?”

Do you have a stat-based question you’d like Opta to answer in a future edition of SVQ? Email us at or message us on X @OptaAnalyst with #AskOpta and we’ll pick the best one.


This week’s question comes to us from Paul Heighton, who asks: “Can you tell me if there are any Premier League players who scored 50+ goals for more than one team?”

Do you have a stat-based question you’d like Opta to answer in a future edition of SVQ? Email us at or message us on X @OptaAnalyst with #AskOpta and we’ll pick the best one.


A good question, Paul, and one that entertained us in the office for a good 15 minutes.

In total, 134 players have bagged 50 or more goals overall in the Premier League. When you look at players to score 50 or more for a single club, that number dwindles down to 77.

And of that illustrious bunch, one lone figure emerges.

The only player to have scored 50 or more goals for two teams in Premier League history is, of course, Alan Shearer. The Premier League record scorer notched 148 goals for Newcastle and a further 112 for Blackburn. So not only is he the only player to have scored 50+ for two sides, he’s the only one to have scored 100+. Show off.

A few players got close. Andrew Cole scored 93 goals for Manchester United and 43 at Newcastle; Dion Dublin bagged 61 for Coventry City and 48 for Aston Villa; Dwight Yorke hit 60 for Villa and 48 for Manchester United; and Robin van Persie needed just two more goals to register the half-century at United having scored 62 for Arsenal.

Of active players, Callum Wilson’s into the forties for both Bournemouth and Newcastle – but unless an unlikely return move to the south coast transpires, he’ll always be stuck on 41 goals for the Cherries.

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Quiz Answers

1. Sergio Agüero

2. Gabriel Jesus vs Watford in April 2022 (53 mins)

3. Against Luton in the FA Cup on 27 February

4. Ole Gunnar Solskjær (3), Josh King (2), Steffan Iversen (2), Jan Åge Fjørtoft, Tore Andre Flo and John Carew.

5. Cole Palmer and Phil Foden6. Fabrizio Ravanelli for Middlesbrough vs Liverpool on 17 August 1996.

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