Why this Aston Villa team is the most boring in Premier League history
After back-to-back goalless draws, many of us have asked the question.
Aston Villa's last 10 Premier League matches have produced just 12 goals, contributing to a dismal season average of just 1.65 per game. So FFT decided it was time to find out where Paul Lambert’s team stand in the pantheon of top-flight dullness.
And the results are in: as things stand, this Aston Villa side of 2014/15 are indeed, statistically speaking, the dullest side in Premier League history – the West Midlands side's games currently bemoan the lowest goals-per-game average since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.
The Villans' closest competition for the unwanted honour comes from Leeds United's team of 1996/97, whose games mustered a snooze-inducing 1.74 net-ripplers per game. No other team in the last 22 years has even come close (although Sunderland deserve an honorary mention for having managed to claim the unwanted award for three consecutive seasons between 2000 and 2003).
You have to bury your nose deep into the history books to find a less entertaining top-tier English team than Villa. The last team with a lower goals-per-game figure was in 1970/71, in the form of Bill Shankly’s watertight Liverpool side who finished fifth after netting just 42 goals and conceding a league-low 24 (1.64 per game).
Worse than West Ham heads
It gets even worse for suffering Villa fans when you consider their miserly goal haul of just 11 this season. To put that total in context, West Ham have scored three more from headers (14) than Lambert's men have altogether.
Only two teams have scored fewer goals after 20 games of a Premier League season (Manchester City and Derby, both 10, in 1995/96 and 2007/08 respectively) – unsurprising when you consider that they've managed to score more than once in just two games this season (vs Hull and Leicester).
If they were to continue scoring at their current rate until the end of the season, the claret-and-blue clan would finish with 21 goals (well, 20.9 technically), the joint-second-worst total alongside the Sunderland team of 2002/03.
The disastrous Derby team of 2007/08 hold the record with just 20. Only 11 teams in top-flight history have ever netted fewer than 30 goals in a season, and just three of them avoided the drop (Leeds 1996/97 and Manchester City 2001/02, 2006/07).
Nevertheless, Lambert’s team currently sit 12th, five points clear of the relegation zone. So remember, folks: being boring pays. Apparently.