Club statistician Paul Dutton takes the opportunity of the two-week break in Chelsea matches to catch up on more number-related questions sent in by supporters…
I’m going to start this Ask Statman with a question I was pretty much certain I would receive as soon as I watched the ball hit the back of the Matthew Harding End net last month.
Scott Shephard emailed and wrote: ‘Like most Chelsea fans I was in a mixture of shock and joy when John Mikel Obi scored to make it 2-0 against Fulham. I read that ended a goal drought lasting 261 games in all competitions, do you know whether that’s the longest any Chelsea player (excluding goalkeepers, of course) had gone without scoring for the club?’
It wasn’t. There were 260 games without a goal between the second goal of Mikel’s Chelsea career in January 2007 and that one against Fulham, but George Smith, who was a full-back for the club between 1921 to 1932, played 370 games in that time without scoring at all.
Some additional stats are it took Mikel 185 Premier League appearances to notch his first goal in that competition, and there are seven others who had or have longer scoreless Premier League runs, but they are all defenders.
Timmie Xavier asks which football team has conceded the most goals against Chelsea since our inception in 1905, and against which team have we conceded the most goals?
The following figures are for all first-team competitions with the club whose net we have found the most being Everton, who have conceded 261 Chelsea goals, followed by Arsenal with 232 goals and Liverpool 232.
Into our net, the most successful side are Manchester United, who have scored 275 times against Chelsea, followed by Arsenal who’ve scored 259 and Liverpool with 254 goals.
Timmie also asks about single games.
Our biggest win is 13-0 in the Cup Winners’ Cup against Jeunesse Hautcharage in 1971, and our record defeat is 8-1 v Wolves in September 1953.
Anthony Ukam asks for the name of the first Chelsea player to wear the number 11 shirt. This clearly dates back to the time before squad numbers when players were allocated numbers on a game-by-game basis and very much linked to the position they played on the pitch.
On the 25 August 1928, Chelsea were involved in one of two matches that day in which the Football League trialled shirt numbers for the first time, and our no.11 was outside-left George Pearson.
I’ve had a couple of emails from people not exactly looking on the bright side of Chelsea life!
Albert Dotun asks what is Chelsea’s longest losing streak?
We have had two runs of seven losses in a row in our history – one spanning November and December 1952, and one starting in December 1960 and running into January 1961.
Kevin Carlton wants to know Chelsea’s biggest defeat since the Premier League started.
That was a 5-1 loss at Anfield on 21 September 1996.
Dave Barnes has asked me to help fill in a couple of gaps he has in his personal records, having kept details of nearly every match he has attended since 1970, including goalscorers and including reserve and youth matches, but he is missing the vital statistics from just two reserve games.
One is a home match against Arsenal Reserves on 14 March 1994.
That was a 2-1 Chelsea win with Darren Barnard and Gareth Hall our goalscorers, and Paul Dickov scoring for the Gunners.
The second match was on 10 October 1995 – Portsmouth Reserves v Chelsea Reserves.
Dave knows that it was a 4-0 win and recalls Mark Stein scoring. In fact Stein got two goals with David Rocastle and Zeke Rowe the others who found the net.
Shreesha from India wants some figures on Chelsea’s wins, draws and losses in the Premier League era and in the Roman Abramovich era.
What I have done is broken down those records from 1992 to 2003 (i.e. the start of the Premier League to the summer of the Abramovich arrival) and then from 2003 to the present date.
From 1992 to 2003 – Played 430, Won 179, Drawn 128, Lost 123. That’s a 41.6 per cent win ratio.
Since 2003 – Played 387, Won 248, Drawn 82, Lost 57. That’s a 64 per cent win ratio.
Emmanuel Longe asks a two-part question with the first part another request for a breakdown of wins, draws and losses, in this case Chelsea’s all-time record against Barcelona.
The two clubs have played against each other 15 times and the record is pretty even with Chelsea having won 5, drawn 5 and lost 5. We’ve scored 20 goals with 25 goals against.
Emmanuel’s second question is how many players from Chelsea’s youth system/academy have played an international match for England’s senior team?
There are 12 players who have come through the youth system here and went on to become England players while still at Chelsea, and listing them in alphabetical order they are:
Peter Osgood, who did play briefly for the youth team
Peter Osgood (pictured top) formed part of that last answer and the legendary striker is the subject of another couple of enquiries sent in. Mark Taylor refers to an answer in a previous Ask Statman when I wrote that Ossie’s testimonial match had been played between a Chelsea XI and a team of old Chelsea players.
Mark knew that George Best played as guest in that match but he recently met Rodney Marsh who claimed he also played.
The records show that not to be the case. The game was on 24 November 1975 – Chelsea v Chelsea Past and it ended up 4-3 to Chelsea, whose line up was:
Sherwood, Locke, R Harris, Stanley, Wicks, Dempsey, Britton, R Wilkins, Maybank, Hutchinson, Garner. Four subs came on – Hay, G Wilkins, Swain, Cooke.
The Chelsea Past team was: Bonetti, Mulligan, Murray, Hollins, Webb, Graham, Weller, Hudson, Osgood, Garland, George Best (guest). That team also used four subs – Houseman, McCalliog, Baldwin, Tambling.
The scorers for Chelsea were Garner, Britton, Hutchinson and Cooke. For the past team they were Best, who scored twice, and Baldwin.
The crowd was 19,847.
In the other question, Bob Turner refers to the famous Osgood record of scoring in every round of the FA Cup Chelsea played on the way to lifting the trophy in 1970, and asks for confirmation that no one has done that since. He is correct with that fact.
Yasser from London asks if Chelsea have had players with some form of physical disability and if so how many games they played.
Back in the early years of the club we had a centre-forward by the name of Bob Thomson who had one eye, having lost his left eye in a firework accident when he was seven years old.
Thomson scored 29 goals in 95 official games for Chelsea and 85 goals in 110 games if unofficial matches played during World War One are included. He was the centre-forward in our first FA Cup final, the ‘Khaki final’ of 1915 when he kept his place in the side despite the return from the war of the famous Vivian Woodward. That was at Woodward’s insistence with Thomson having played in all the previous rounds.
In opposition, when Chelsea beat Jeunesse Hautcharage of Luxembourg 21-0 over two legs in 1971 (the home leg mentioned above), Guy Thill, who was their youngest and most promising player, had one arm. The full story of those games has been told on this website.
The subject of low attendances has been discussed in past Ask Statmans and Steve Laurie raises the spectre of the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup, a long-running competition primarily won by non-league clubs from that part of London, but which Chelsea took pretty seriously in the late 1980s at a time when it was promoted by TV astrologer Russell Grant.
There was hope that the final would be at Wembley Stadium in 1989, as it had been previously, but Steve recalls instead a game at the Bridge with just under 1000 attending.
He suspects the game was recorded as a reserve fixture in the Chelsea records but writes, ‘the lines were blurred a bit that season with some of the very strong teams we put out, and there was an official programme on sale on the night of the final (for 50p).’
Steve is right, it does count as a reserve fixture but there was a first-team look about the selection.
The date was 10 October 1989, the opposition Kingsbury Town and the crowd was 898.
Chelsea won 4-0 and the team was: Hitchcock, Hall, C Wilson, Bumstead, D Lee, Monkou, Dickens, Hazard, Mitchell, McAllister, Le Saux (who was subbed by West).
The goals were scored by McAllister, Lee and Mitchell. Below is the cover of the programme Steve mentions.
A couple of questions now with short answers.
Eerik Yrjölä is curious about the history of Chelsea games on 13 September and is only aware of the team losing on one occasion on that date – 1975 away to Oldham Athletic in Division Two.
‘Am I correct in the assumption that we haven’t suffered any other defeats on September 13 as it is my birthday (1955)?’ is the question.
Actually, Chelsea have lost six times in all on that date.
Tim Francis Xavier wants to know what cup competitions Chelsea have competed in without ever lifting the trophy.
Taking this to mean proper first team competitions, there are two – the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
In the previous Ask Statman I asked if anyone could shed any light on a match that might have taken place at Stamford Bridge between Highgate School from north London and Charterhouse School from Surrey in the suggested year of 1945.
With a tremendous piece of research, Sam Shah found two such games played, one on 18 December 1946 and one on 17 December 1947 (4-0 and 3-0 to Charterhouse respectively). Thanks Sam.
I am also grateful to another reader who has provided an answer. In Ask Statman back in July I asked about a picture featuring two famous pre-war Chelsea players together, Jack Cock and Andy Wilson, taken in the stand at a game in their later years. It had been found in a scrapbook and the owner wanted to know which game.
Thanks to John Reidy who emailed in, we now know it appeared in the Chelsea programme for a match against Blackpool on Boxing Day 1964.
John writes that the accompanying narrative says it was taken ‘at a recent home match’, which suggests it was taken in late 1964.
Also in John’s email, and in another from Simon Marshall from Bournemouth, is a follow up to my listing of Chelsea’s match record against Real Madrid in the last Ask Statman.
That dealt with competitive games but they both point out there was also a friendly fixture they attended, when Real Madrid played a charity match at Stamford Bridge on 22 November 1966, Chelsea winning 2-0.
Andy Grigg, a fan since 1969, remembers seeing as a child a picture of Peter Bonetti taken from behind the goal, diving full length to his left, fists together, body as straight as a die. He thinks Bonetti could have been saving a penalty but is not certain about that. He says the picture often featured in football magazines of the time but he can’t find the photo now.
He wonders if I might know the picture and the details if it was a penalty save. I have a couple of suggestions – the pictures below.
The top one, the penalty save in the Liverpool game, has Bonetti diving to his right rather than his left. It was from Kevin Keegan in 1973. The bottom one is from a Man United game in 1966. If it is one of these Andy, please email in and let me know. If not, maybe someone reading will be able to help.
Finally this time, with Ask Statman having been going for over five years, there are some questions being sent in quite regularly that have been answered in the past. So I am going to start a sort of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and will start with these two, adding to them as we go along.
The first African to join Chelsea was Ralph Oelofse from South Africa, who played eight games for the club between 1951 and 1953.
There have been three Nigerians to play for the Chelsea first team – Celestine Babayaro, John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses. Kenneth Omeruo has yet to make his debut.
Apologies as ever for not yet covering all the questions sent in.
Please email [email protected] with any new questions, comments or corrections.