The heart breaker for the soccer coach, and sometimes the game maker. If you look at the stats for the English Premier League over the past 10 years you can see a marked upward trend in the number of penalties awarded, with 2001-2 only seeing 39 awarded, to the 101 awarded in the past season. And no wonder it can be such an important moment in a game, as around 80% of penalties (in that league at least) result in a goal. Last year it was Arsenal who gave away a whopping 9 penalties, though not an uncommon tally over the past decade, there has only been one team to concede 10, which was Blackburn Rovers in 2006-7. Five years previous they conceded or won zero penalties. Times have changed.
What do the stats look like?
Which club is more likely to concede a penalty? Well if past history is an indicator of future behaviour (and we know it is not…but bear with us) then Aston Villa are a safe bet. Looking at those teams currently in the EPL who have played there for the past 11 years. They have managed to give away 55 penalties, an average of 5.5 per season. And which team does the analysis show that manages to be awarded the most penalties? Manchester United I hear you cry – most of them in the last 2 minutes at Old Trafford, right? Wrong. It’s Arsenal, who have accumulated 56 penalties, converting 46 of them since the beginning of the 2001 season. Check out all the stats here, at this wonderful website myfootballfacts.com. Including the fact that Matt Le Tissier in his career at Southampton scored 48 times from 49 spot kicks. All in the top flight of English football. Awesome.
A penalty kick may be awarded when a defending player commits a foul punishable by a direct free kick against an opponent or a handball, within the penalty area (“the box” or “18 yard box”).