What a season it’s been so far.
“We know we’re having a strange year” Ranieri said. The understatement of the season.
No one could have predicted that with 12 games left to go that Leicester would be sitting at the top of the League Table, even though everyone seems to have that one mate that had a tenner on them at 5,000/1. We have already seen history being mad this season and with a third of the season still to come, we take a look at more records that may tumble.
Let’s start with the story of the season; Jamie Vardy and Leicester City.
In 2012 Vardy finished as top goal scorer in the Conference Premier with 31 goals for Fleetwood Town, he is now on course to repeat that fete in the Premier League with Leicester. This incredible story would be impressive in its own right, but the 29 year old has also broken a record that had stood since the ’03-04 season when Ruud Van Nistlerooy scored in 10 consecutive games. Enough has been written about Jamie Vardy’s meteoric rise to fame without me trying to add more; so I will leave you with one statistic to show just how massive this season has been for him. 43% of his goals in his entire 4 year Leicester career have come in this incredible season.
Leicester are still favourites for the title and if The Foxes do go on to finish the season as Champions it will be the first time that a team from outside of London or Manchester has won since Blackburn lifted the trophy in ’94-95. It also means they would be a first time winner of a league title, the last time that happened was Nottingham Forest in ’77-78 under Brian Clough.
Their current points per game ratio will see them finish on a total of 77, which if it’s enough to lift the title will be the lowest total of a winning team since Man United’s 75 points was enough to lead them to victory in the ’96-97 season.
If Jamie Vardy or Harry Kane, who himself is only 3 goals behind the Leicester striker, is to finish as the league’s top scorer it will be the first time an Englishman has won that accolade since……Alan Shearer? Nope, good guess. It was Kevin Phillips of Sunderland who scored 30 goals in his debut season.
A would be rival to Vardy’s top goal scorer title is the Argentinean Sergio Aguero, he himself has also entered the Premier League record books. His 5 goals in Manchester City’s 6-1 victory over Newcastle in October placed him alongside Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov as the only men who have scored 5 goals in a Premier League game.
Of course those goal scoring records couldn’t tumble down if it was not for those laying on the assists. And the one who took that accolade this season is Mesut Ozil. The German maestro stepped up to a different level this season and proved a lot of doubters wrong. His 17 assists in this campaign so far is only 3 shy of the all time record of 20 held by another former Arsenal star, Thierry Henry. The 27 year old has already broken the record for assists in consecutive games by laying on goals in 7 games in a row between September and November.
Let’s not forget about the men at the other end of the pitch. Petr Cech stood alone on the 28th of December. Arsenal recorded a 2-0 win over Bournemouth which meant that the Czech had recorded his 170th Premier League clean sheet surpassing David James at the peak of all time clean sheets. The Arsenal stopper is undoubtedly one of the greatest men to ever put on a pair of gloves in the Premier League era. David James achieved 169 clean sheets in 572 games. Cech’s record now stands at 174 clean sheets in 358 games or almost one in every other game. The definition of consistency.
There may only be 12 games left this year but there is still time for more records to fall.
Norwich are currently just above the relegation zone on goal difference. They will need to sort out their defence if they are to retain their current Premier League status. They have only kept 3 clean sheets all season; if that doesn’t change they will equal their own record from the ’11-12 season. Another holder of that unwanted record is the so called worst Premier League team in history, the infamous Derby County team of ’07-08. With Norwich still having to play Leicester, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, United and Everton in their final 12 games it may be an unwanted record and a swansong for the Canaries.
Speaking of Everton, they are on course to break a Premier League record of their own, but it’s not one to get too excited about. The Toffees have drawn 7 of their 12 away games so far this season. More than any other team. The record for most away draws in one season belongs to Newcastle, who shared the spoils on ten occasions in ’03-04. So there’s something for Everton fans to get excited about ay?
The 2015-16 Premier League season still has plenty of twists and turns ahead of it with no-one quite knowing which side will stand victorious on the 15th of May. This season has been one to remember and more unforgettable moments are on the way.
by Joe Gleeson