By Brian Sears
31 December 2009
At the end of a momentous decade for the English Premier League, most fans can take it as Red which club won the most points in the top division between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009. Yes, it was Manchester United, with 832 points from 381 Premier League games, and a record of 255 wins, 67 draws and 59 defeats in those 10 years. Look at the graph below and that’s United on the far left-hand side, towering above the 37 other clubs who were part of England’s top flight during the period.
Yet without looking at the detailed tables below, can you identify which clubs are next in line, simply from the size of their points’ columns? I’d guess that most seasoned observers would say the first four columns – United included – are the “big four”, and they’d be right. But what about the next little group of four? Or the next two clubs after that who make up the decade’s top 10?
The big four, in order, are United, Chelsea (788 pts), Arsenal (773) and Liverpool (706). Then come Aston Villa (533), Tottenham (527), Everton (524) and Newcastle (498). Then Middlesbrough (429, and that might come as a surprise to some) and then Blackburn (427), before we move outside the top 10. Man City and Bolton are equal on 403 points, followed by Fulham (391) and West Ham (379). After that, there’s a drop-off to what we might consider the also-rans: all 24 of them.
And here is the full table of the Premier League of the Noughties:
A twist in the tale
Something interesting happens, however, if we consider the amount of points won per game, rather than just the total amount of points won. Interesting, that is, if you’re a fan of Leeds United especially, and, to a lesser extent, Ipswich Town. Because in terms of points per game, Leeds are at No5 in the “points per game” table over the decade (see below). That is a massive 20 places higher than where they are on points per se.
Ipswich are No10 in the “points per game” table, up 15 places on points per se.
This might suggest that both those clubs had the calibre to be decent contenders in the top flight (mid table or upwards) but relegation snuck up on them in a terrible season, and they’ve both been living with the consequences since.
On the flip side, Middlesbrough are 10 places lower on “points per game” than overall points, suggesting they were flattering themselves in the Premier League at times; perhaps that is why they are where they are now.
The”big four”, meanwhile, have the best points per games records, as expected, with United on an impressive average of 2.18 points per game over the decade at the top of the pile.
The Premier League of the Noughties (points per game):