Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Fri 18 April 2008

All-Time Premier League Tables

(Article updated to correct errors and show data up to the end of the 2007/08 season)

Well here we are careering towards the end of the Premier League season, so with just a handful of games left, let's take a look at the Premier League table…

Actually, let's not.

Let's face it, we all have a pretty good idea of who sits where at the moment. At the top, Man United - 2007/08 champions in all but name now - followed by the resurgent Chelsea, then the faltering Arsenal and the always-fourth Liverpool.

So far, so predictable. Below the top four we have a series of teams that occasionally get a run together and are essentially a cut above the rest but aren't good enough to break into that top bunch, namely the Portsmouths, Blackburns, Aston Villas, Man Citys and even Evertons of this world.

Below them come the also-rans, the giants of mediocrity that harm no-one and come to no harm themselves. Stand up West Ham, Tottenham, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. And finally we have the stragglers, those teams fighting amongst themselves to avoid the falling guillotine when the dreaded moment comes.

All of which is what you've basically come to know for some time now, so you don't need to see the Premier League table. Far better, then, to show you a more interesting Premier League table, namely one showing the total number of points accrued by each team that's ever played in the top flight since 1992/93.

OK, so some of this is predictable and given that the more seasons you play, the more likely you are to accumulate a decent points total, and this probably isn't going to raise too many eyebrows but it does make for a more interesting read at least. Have a look and see where your team figures in the 'All-Time Greatest Premier League Teams Of All Time Table'... (see below - click for larger version)

As you can see, only five points separate Everton and Blackburn up in the Top 10, as is the case for Aston Villa and Newcastle.

All well and good, but at this point I'd like to admit once again that it's not exactly fair to look purely at 'total points scored' in the history of the Premier League, so by way of providing balance, here's a table showing the average points scored per game by each team instead (see below right).

In this pared-down table, you'll see that QPR have leapt up from 27th to 10th and Leeds are up to 7th. Swindon drop right to the bottom having picked up the lowest points-per-game ratio from their only Premier League season thus far.

Great, so now we know which teams have performed the best since the Premier League's inception in 1993. Except it'd be quite good to see which teams have scored and conceded the most goals, wouldn't it? If only we had the data for that… (ahem…)

So as you can see from the yellow column on the right in this table, Leeds remain in the Top 10 even though this is the fourth season they've been away from the top flight. That said, West Ham and Middlesbrough should leapfrog Southampton imminently to close the gap on the Elland Road side.

Higher up the table, you can see that Newcastle and Tottenham are engaged in a bitter battle for 5th place with only five goals being the difference between the two teams. It'd be nice to think both teams had this 'battle' on their minds the next time they played each other, but let's be honest, it's unlikely...

Finally, we come to a list showing the total number of goals conceded by every team that's played in the Premier League. Strangely enough, Spurs top this list, closely followed by Everton in second and Aston Villa in fourth - three teams you wouldn't expect to find there.

The likes of Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool are not that far behind, but not as far behind as Wolves who can at least claim to be at the right end of one table.

So there you are - several tables to generate a bit more interest than the current Premier League alternative and an exercise in showing that if you massage statistics enough, you can please and annoy everyone in equal amounts.

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