Football fans the world over will have been rubbing their eyes in disbelief at the news that Everton stalwart Phil Jagielka is the fastest man in the Premier League.
Fastest man in the Goodison Park outfit’s central defence (ahead of 36-year-old Sylvain Distin and the injured John Stones) possibly…
Yet according to the statisticians at EA Sports, who record galaxies of data from every Premier League game, the Toffees stopper made the fastest sprint of the season so far, clocking 35.99 kilometres an hour.
Surprisingly the England international’s Usain Bolt moment wasn’t recorded in the immediate aftermath of his pile-driving injury-time equaliser at Anfield but against Leicester.
However, as Jagielka himself would surely admit statistics can paint a peculiar picture of footballers’ relative merits.
Here’s four more numerical truisms from this season’s Premier League that have got news.bwin.com/en/ scratching their heads.
Calum Chambers is one of the league’s number one hatchet man.
Arsenal’s fresh-faced teenager centre-half-cum-right-back wouldn’t look out of place in Louis Walsh’s latest pubescent-girl baiting X Factor octet.
Yet the five yellow cards he has accumulated this term make him the most cautioned player in the division.
Papiss Cisse is the most lethal striker in the top flight.
That open-goal miss against Leicester City must have been a figment of the collective imagination; Newcastle’s line-leader averages 1.49 goals per 90 minutes played.
It’s a ratio puts Diego Costa (1.38) and Sergio Aguero (1.3) in the shade.
Stewart Downing is more creative than David Silva
The one-time Liverpool and England wideman isn’t a bad player, but he’d likely have dropped the ball if tasked with joining in Spain’s telepathic tiki-taka.
Downing however averages 2.9 key passes per game this term, Silva has managed just 2.4.
The Middlesbrough native’s accurate crosses output of 2.4 an outing also dwarves the Spaniard’s 0.9.
Only Burnley are bigger long-ball devotees than Manchester United
It was always to be expected that Sean Dyche’s Clarets might resort to hoof ball when the demands of retaining Premier League possession became too great.
Yet are we really to believe the Red Devils’ cosmopolitan midfield are playing the same kind of hit and hope football?