Hitting 25 can be a daunting moment for many of us, with the sudden realisation that you’ve burned through half of your twenties hitting you like a tonne of bricks. When it comes to the Premier League, however, the future is brighter than ever and it’s time for us to celebrate a quarter-century of some truly memorable moments.
Of course, we’ve had a few dull seasons here and there with one team running away with the title and the relegated sides being decided weeks before the final day, but where’s the fun in reminiscing about that? Instead, we’re taking a few snippets from BBC Sport’s facts and figures piece that allows us to nerd out like all good football fans should.
Whilst fans of the present day may be more familiar with foreign players than back in the day, it really is staggering to hear that footballers from a grand total of 113 different nations have competed in the Premier League over the last 25 years. Better yet, the figure overall in terms of how many have played at least one PL game stands at 3,835. Baffling.
Gareth Barry on the pitch. Countdown to a yellow card.
— Andrew (@Deckard1982) August 3, 2017
But then, upon turning our attention to the disciplinary charts, our focus shifts dramatically. A massive 1,477 red cards have been handed out, leaving us at an average of 59.08 per campaign. Whilst you attempt to digest that, also remember that of all people Gareth Barry holds the record for most yellow cards with 119. The good boy turned bad?
At least fan attendances have grown in their numbers, though, with the growing price of tickets seemingly not detracting punters from making their way to stadiums throughout the country. Back in 1992 the average crowd total stood at 21,130 and yet last year, it went up to 35,805 – sure that was down from 2013/14, but you can’t say it’s not impressive.
Alas, our venture through the annals of PL history isn’t going to get any cheerier, as we move onto the gaffers. By the end of last season the average number of managerial ‘alterations’, shall we say, stood at 8.84 with 221 different managers having taken charge of a game since 1992. Just imagine the aura of failure in the room if you gathered them all together for a reunion.
They say many records are meant to be broken but there are some near embarrassing statistics that feature here, with Mr Richard Dunne’s grand total of 10 own goals for three different clubs taking the metaphorical biscuit. Still, we can’t all be like Teddy Sheringham or Jermain Defoe, scoring at the age of 40 and netting five goals in one-half of football respectively.
— Anslem Frank (@anslem_frank) November 22, 2016
As we power on towards a half century of the Premier League we can only be thankful for the level of footballing brilliance that has been bestowed upon us over the years, no matter how much we moan and groan over social media. Sure things aren’t perfect, but what on earth would we do on a Saturday afternoon without it?
So from David James’ 13 penalty saves to Sadio Mane’s ridiculous 176-second hat-trick, let’s hope that the numbers continue to fall.