By Brian Sears
and Nick Harris SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year
28 February 2013
SEVEN clubs have been “ever present” in the Premier League since it began in 1992-93, and as they all prepare to play their 800th league games of the Premier League era this weekend, one club stands heads and shoulders above the rest: Manchester United.
The seven clubs are United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton – and that is the order in which they have been most successful in terms of Premier League points.
Alex Ferguson’s team(s) have won 522 of their 799 games to date, drawing 165 and losing 112, for a total of 1,731 points, equivalent to a staggering 2.17 points per game on average over more than 20 years. By any standards, that is phenomenal consistency. It is also way ahead of any of the other ‘ever presents’.
Some people, inevitably, will be saying: “Hang on, football wasn’t invented in 1992”.
But the Premier League era is a distinct era when money has poured into the game in unprecedented fashion and changed the entire landscape. Seriously. Massively. Have a look at THIS.
That is one reason it is entirely proper to separate the PL era and examine it on its own.
This first graphic shows the records of the ever present clubs in the Premier League, with Arsenal (1496 points) in second place to United, trailing by 235 points, and Chelsea ahead of Liverpool, Spurs, Villa and Everton.
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The second graphic shows only the games between the ever-present seven, up to an including the end of last season, and they remain in the same order except Villa sneak above Tottenham into fifth place.
Note that United have lost 45 of these games: or almost half of their entire PL losses have come against ever-present teams, with the balance against the other 38 clubs who have played in the Premier League combined.
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The last graphic shows the inter-ever-present table for the current season.
Most notable here is Liverpool’s record. They have yet to record a win in this particular league this season after three home defeats to Arsenal, United and Aston Villa and draws at Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal, along with defeats at Tottenham and United.
Chelsea meanwhile are poised three points behind United but with two games in hand. Chelsea have won all their three away games played at Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton.
The only 800th game this weekend that matches ever-present clubs against each other is Sunday’s clash at White Hart Lane between Spurs and Arsenal.