History tells us Antonio Conte should be fearing for his job

From BBC - August 13, 2017

No-one saw it coming.

Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, losing at home to Burnley (that's Burnley, the team that won once away in the whole of 2016-17) on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

It is, of course, very early days. But should Antonio Conte be worried?

History suggests he should.

It's been eight years since a side staged a successful defence of the Premier League title, Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2008-09.

And going back even further, since 2006-07 the Scot is the only manager to win the title and still be in his job 12 months later.

Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea, 2009-10), Roberto Mancini (Manchester City, 2011-12), Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City, 2013-14), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea, 2014-15) and Claudio Ranieri (Leicester, 2015-16) have all failed to last the year after winning English top flight's biggest prize.

And then there's David Moyes, who took over a title-winning side from the retiring Ferguson but failed to make it to the end of his first season in charge.

So unless your surname is Ferguson, it is pretty clear that even Premier League success is no guarantee of job security.

Might be worth Conte considering a trip to the Deed Poll office...

And if that's not enough to worry Chelsea's Italian manager, what about these stats?

Chelsea are only the second reigning Premier League champions to lose the opening game of the following campaign (after Leicester last season).

They are also the first title holders to concede three goals in the opening game of the next season, and the first side to pick up two red cards on the opening day of a Premier League season.

Worrying times.

Top tip - do not pick Kane in Fantasy Football

At least, not in August.

There's probably not a single person in your office who did not have Harry Kane in their Fantasy Football team, and why not? The Tottenham striker was the Premier League's top scorer last season with 29 goals.

However, there's a strange statistic about the deadly finisher - he has not scored a single goal in August in 11 Premier League appearances.Not one.

With six efforts against Newcastle, no-one had more shots on goal this weekend than Kane. The ball just would not go in the net.

Spend that Fantasy Football cash elsewhere...

A good night's sleep for Wagner

Conte might have had a nightmare on Saturday but one manager certain to have slept soundly was David Wagner.

The Huddersfield boss led the Premier League new boys to a stunning 3-0 win at Crystal Palace, a result which meant the Terriers spent a night as the leaders of England's top flight for the first time since 18 August 1970.

Only a last-minute goal by Paul Pogba for Manchester United against the Hammers on Sunday denied the Terriers top spot heading into the second round of fixtures.

But we are sure Huddersfield fans will get over that disappointment when they read this statistic - of the 14 previous teams to win their Premier League opener following promotion, only four have gone on to be relegated.

Expected goals - what did it tell us?

If you watched Match of the Day on Saturday then you might have been scratching your head at the addition of a new statistic on the end-of-match stats - expected goals.

The metric is designed to assess every chance and determine how many goals a team should score in a game. Still confused? Head here to read more.

This weekend marked the first time "expected goals" had been rolled out for the Premier League, so what did it tell us?

What stands out from the table below is that Burnley and Huddersfield were clinical. Very clinical.

They both scored three goals in their respective games, despite their xG value being low. In fact, they are the only two teams to win their games despite having a lower xG value than their opponent.

Debuts to remember...

A debut to forget...

Long wait over for true blue Rooney

No opening-day blues for Red Devils

Seeing red

Vive la France


Continue reading at BBC »