Harry Kane in August, and 11 more weird streaks and hoodoos
1. Harry hates August
So let's get this one clear first, then: Harry Kane has now gone 10 Premier League games in August without scoring for Tottenham. On the opening day he missed a glorious chance to extend Spurs' advantage over Newcastle, and on Sunday fired off eight shots against Chelsea without fruition – the most he's ever attempted in a game without scoring.
With most players this wouldn't really be a thing, but Kane has thumped in 78 goals in 118 Premier League appearances for Spurs and is only one shy of netting his 100th for the club. "It's something that is spoken about a lot, but I'm not too bothered by it," Kane told The Telegraph. "It's part of the game, I just need to keep working hard, keep my head down and I'm sure the goals will come."
2. Dave Bassett's Christmas Party
Come Christmas 1990, newly promoted Sheffield United were languishing at the foot of the table, but a run of seven consecutive wins in the New Year meant they surged to safety. Similarly, they won just five league games before the festive period the following term, but 11 afterwards.
Inspired by their festive fillips, manager Dave Bassett organised an impromptu early Christmas party ahead of the 1992/93 season opener against Manchester United. Brian Deane netted the Premier League's first-ever goal, the Blades won 2-1 en route to a mid-table finish and they reached the FA Cup semi-finals for good measure. Bassett decided against a repeat party the following season, United were relegated and have enjoyed just one Premier League campaign in the two decades since.
3. The curse of Ryoichi Maeda
Ryoichi Maeda is a deadly finisher in more ways than one. For six seasons straight between 2007 and 2012, the team he scored his first goal of the season against were relegated from the J-League.
The former Japan international, at the time playing for Jubilo Iwata, sent Ventforet Kofu, Tokyo Verdy, Jef United Chiba, Kyoto Sanga, Motedio Yamagata and Gamba Osaka on their way to a tumble through the trap door to J2 – the latter having finished in the top three for the previous three seasons.
The sequence was finally broken in 2013 when Urawa Red Diamonds ended in a lofty sixth place. Jubilo, on the other hand, were relegated. A now-35-year-old Maeda currently plies his trade for FC Tokyo.
4. Sky Blues singing the blues
Coventry City hold the unbelievable unwanted record of having not finished in the top six of any division since 1970. The 47-year run has seen them relegated twice, but in that time only finish above 10th four times – in 1977/78 (7th), 1988/89 (7th), 2005/06 (8th) and 2015/16 (8th).
The Sky Blues initially dropped from the Premier League to League One, where financial woes helped them resume this remarkably pathetic run. In 2015/16 they came close to ending it – after the 27th matchday they were fourth, but won only two of their next 14 league games and plummeted to mid-table. Four wins from their last five helped them finish eighth, matching their 2005/06 Championship offering.
Last year they were relegated to League Two. So next time you hear a Sky Blue supporter banging on about their 1987 FA Cup triumph, just let them have their moment.