Monthly Archives: February 2012

Twins

When Marcus Olsson laced up for Saturday’s Blackburn team against Chelsea, he joined his brother Martin as the sixth pair of twins to make a Premier League squad. Guessing the other five would be one for a pub quiz.
Here is the full list with their career records summarized

The da Silva twins, both at Manchester United, promise to be the most famous set, in due time. In addition to playing for an elite club, they are the only pair that have both figured in at least 20 Premiership outings and are still just 21 years old. As fringe players, however, they have only played in the same game on two occasions
The Chambers brothers set several firsts for twins including representing England at Youth level, appearing for WBA and playing in the same Premiership game.
The Linighan pair barely broke in, with Brian failing to complete his one start and John restricted to bench appearances. They were overshadowed by brothers Andy and David who both notched more than 100 Premier League games
Michael Johansen played for Bolton for several years but only one of them in the top flight. On the team sheet 34 times that season, he only appeared on 16 occasions and played the full 90 minutes just once. He was pipped to the post by brother Martin who appeared as a sub in just two games of Coventry’s 1997/8 campaign
The most succesful twin, to date, is Rod Wallace who scored over 150 goals in all league competitions and was a member of the Leeds team that won the final Division One championship in 1991/2. Twin Ray also played for Southampton before joining Rod at Leeds but only featured seven times; the only Leeds player he played alongside in each game was his twin

Goal gaps

As a swift follow up to the previous post here is a table of the players with the greatest time-periods – in years – between scoring goals in the Premiership

Matt Jackson was usually a starter for Everton in the first three years of the EPL and he actually scored in just his eighth Premiership appearance. More league goals eluded him until he left to play in the Championship with Norwich and it probably surprised him that he had another shot at the elite league in his mid-thirties with Wigan. Even then, he did not score in his first season back but came on as a sub to score what proved to be the winner more than thirteen and a half years after his previous strike
Next up is Andy Johnson, the Norwich/WBA version rather than the better known Fulham striker. He actually scored on his first start for Norwich having just turned 19 but was almost ten years older before he notched his only other goal – for West Brom

Also of note is Jamie Carragher, the Liverpool stalwart. Amazingly, like Johnson, he scored on his debut this time just shy of his 19th birthday. He then scored in a 7-1 laugher in January 1999. It was more than 260 league games before he scored again!

Gap Years

Imagine yourself as an 18 year old Patrick Agyemang back on the 5th of May 1999. Keen as mustard you have worked your way through Wimbledon’s ranks and have been rewarded with a place in the EPL senior squad for the first time. It has not been the best of season’s for the club but they are safe from relegation, unlike today’s opponents Southampton. Perhaps it will be an easy game and you will b allowed to play the last few minutes in front of friends and family. In the event, Le Tissier sets up a goal for the visitors in the 72nd minute. Surely a good time to get on in place of the ineffective Cort and Hartson. But the moment passes and Le Tissier seals the win, and another season in the Premiership, a few minutes later.

Still there is always next year.

But the 1999/2000 season is one of struggle for the Dons, the Saints reprise their 2-0 victory at the end of the campaign and the London club go down without Agyemang ever being called on.

Slow forward to the beginning of this season. Agymang has moved on and toiled at Gillingham and Preston but things have perked up and he appeared 19 times – all as sub – for promoted QPR. After another bench appearance he finally get on in a win at Everton and started the next game. Unfortunately, that is it as far as good news goes as he failed to be named to the 25 man squad for the latter part of the season

Still, that gap between bench appearances is something to be remembered for as it amounts to more than twelve and a quarter calendar years – tops all time in the Premier League

Of course, Agyemang, did not actually play in the first game referred to and the honour for the longest time period between pitch appearances goes to the 4th on the list, Craig Fleming. Here are top six all-time

Fleming was actually a pretty good player. Ferguson spoke highly of him in his early days at Oldham and he had a ten year career at Norwich as well. His spell there only featured one year, 2004/5, in the top flight but he did play every minute of the season – an achievement matched other than goalies by only Jamie Carragher and Ledley King that year