By Brian Sears
27 April 2012
Aston Villa and Liverpool are probably both grateful not to be playing at home this weekend: both are guaranteed to finish this season with home wins tallies at record bad levels.
Neither’s plight on their own turf is acceptable to their fans, but Villa’s is particularly awful – all-time terrible in their history dating back to the late 19th century.
They have won just four Premier League games at Villa Park so far in 2011-12, and have won just 18 points. With one home game to go, against Tottenham next month, they are already guaranteed to amass fewer home points this season than in any previous Premier League season. Their lowest tally so far was 24, six years ago.
Even if they beat Spurs, they will have only five home wins in the season. When did they have as few as five?
Never in the Premier League, their lowest number of wins being six in the era, twice. (See graphic below for details).
What about in the 46 seasons between the Second World War and the Premier League era starting in 1992?
Nope. Their lowest number of home wins in that period was seven, six times.
Back further we go, back into the mists of time, to the years nestled between the wars. Again the fewest home wins in any season in that era was seven, just the once, in 1935-36.
‘Back further,’ I hear you cry.
And so we head to the 19th century, where we find just a single season in Villa’s history with as few as five home wins: in 1890-91!
But guess what? The whole of the Football League consisted of only 12 clubs so those five home Villa wins came from only 11 home games, a percentage return that if repeated this season would have more than doubled Villa’s home wins and have them well clear of any relegation worries.
If Villa beat Spurs in their final game, it will be their joint worst season at home, ever (measured by wins). And if they don’t, it will be the worst outright. This weekend’s trip to West Brom at least delays the outcome.
Liverpool are also in a more comfortable place this weekend, namely anywhere but Anfield! They play at Norwich.
They have two home games remaining after this weekend, against Fulham and Chelsea. Like Villa, even a 100 per cent record in the home games to be played still won’t stop Liverpool from amassing fewer home points this season than in any season in 20 years. Their lowest home tally in the Premier League to date has been 34 points, eight seasons ago. They can get a maximum of 30 this time, with two wins.
To find the last time that Liverpool had as few as the five homes in a season that they now also needs a trip back in time, albeit not the Victorian age necessary for Villa.
George VI was on the throne and Clement Atlee was the British Prime Minister the last time Liverpool won as few as five home games in a season. That was in 1948-49.
Aside from that, before this season Liverpool have only ever had home wins in single figures during four other seasons since WWII. They had nine home wins in 2002-03, seven in 1953-54 (when relegated to the old Second Division), six in 1951-52 and nine in 1947-48.
It should be pointed out that in each of those far back seasons before the Premier League, there were 21 home games a season. Nevertheless there’s quite a lot for King Kenny and his court to chew over in the summer months.
Home wins so far in the Premier League 2011-12 .win
16 Man City; 14 Man Utd; 12 Arsenal; 11 Newcastle, Tottenham; 10 Chelsea
9 Fulham; 8 Everton; 7 Sunderland, Swansea, Stoke; 6 West Brom, Norwich, QPR, Blackburn
5 Liverpool; 4 Aston Villa, Bolton; 3 Wigan, Wolves