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Dimitar Berbatov: The Premier League’s most efficient goalscorer?

14 May

Van Persie may have scored more but Cisse was more efficient in front of goal

With the 2011-2012 Premier League season reaching its conclusion yesterday, Robin Van Persie, Arsenal’s talismanic forward, topped the seasons scoring chart with 30 league goals in just 37 games played. The Dutch international was closely followed by Man Utd’s Wayne Rooney with 27, while Man City’s Sergio Aguero managed to bag 23 goals in only his first season in the Premier League. Unlike recent seasons, the scoring charts were dominated by traditional forwards and strikers. As the list below demonstrates only one midfielder, Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, managed to score more than 15 league goals this season.

  • Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) 30 goals
  • Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 27 goals
  • Sergio Aguero (Man City) 23 goals
  • Emanuel Adebayor (Tottenham) 17 goals
  • Clint Dempsey (Fulham) 17 goals
  • Yakubu (Blackburn) 17 goals
  • Demba Ba (Newcastle) 16 goals
  • Grant Holt (Norwich) 15 goals
  • Edin Dzeko (Man City) 14 goals
  • Mario Balotelli (Man City) 13 goals
  • Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) 13 goals
  • Steven Fletcher (Wolves) 12 goals
  • Danny Graham (Swansea) 12 goals
  • Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 11 goals
  • Frank Lampard (Chelsea) 11 goals

While total goals per season are an obvious indicator of a players scoring prowess, there are other key metrics that can, in some eyes, better determine a player’s proficiency in front of goal. Primary among these is goals per minute. The following is a list of leading players in this seasons English Premier League adjusted to goals per minute.

  1. Dimitar Berbatov (Man Utd) 80 minutes
  2. Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) 88 minutes
  3. Mario Balotelli (Man City) 107 minutes
  4. Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 110 minutes
  5. Nikica Jelavic (Everton) 111 minutes
  6. Edin Dzeko (Man City) 115 minutes
  7. Sergio Aguero (Man City) 116 minutes
  8. Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) 117 minutes
  9. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 128 minutes
  10. Yakubu (Blackburn) 150 minutes
  11. Javier Hernandez (Man Utd) 155 minutes
  12. Grant Holt (Norwich) 159 minutes
  13. Pavel Pogrebynak (Fulham) 163 minutes
  14. Emanuel Adebayor (Tottenham) 174 minutes
  15. Demba Ba (Newcastle) 177 minutes
  16. Clint Dempsey (Fulham) 206 minutes
  17. Steven Fletcher  (Wolves) 206 minutes

Selected Others of Note;

  • Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 340 minutes
  • Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) 212 minutes
  • Frank Lampard (Chelsea) 216 minutes
  • Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 242 minutes
  • Andy Carroll (Liverpool) 554 minutes
  • Craig Bellamy (Liverpool) 223 minutes
  • Danny Graham (Swansea) 247 minutes

As the list clearly demonstrates, players with an efficient strike rate per minute are crucial to league success. Of the top eleven players listed, six played for the top two clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City. The list also confirms the widely held assumption that Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse, a £10 million transfer from Freiburg, was one of, if not, the best buy this season. On the flip side, with just one goal every 554 minutes, Liverpool’s Andy Carroll is increasingly looking like one of the greatest flops in Premier League history.


Mario Balotelli. Fact or Fiction.

14 Jan

Balotelli; The Premier League’s greatest ‘man-child’

The pupils and staff of Xaverian school received a shock visit this week after Manchester City forward, Mario Balotelli popped in briefly to use the loo.

Not prone to normal behaviour, Balotelli’s latest act is largely in keeping with a man known for his wild eccentricity.

With this in mind, Laymans News has constructed a list of alleged acts perpetrated by the Italian in his short but colourful career, some of which may be true, others false. See if you can spot fact from fiction.
  • Balotelli recently transformed the  landscaped back garden of his rented mansion in to a race track for quad bikes.
  • He once threw water balloons at a Serie A disciplinary hearing.
  • Was involved in a fracas with four bouncers after breaking the “no touching” rule at a strip club.
  • He once escorted an errant Manchester schoolboy back to his school, then promptly confronted the child’s alleged bullies.
  • Has also started fights at training with Kompany, Boateng, Tevez and Richards.
  • He was allegedly seen at the AC Milan superstore on multiple occasions while playing for Inter Milan.
  • Once went on TV wearing an AC Milan shirt with his name on the back while playing for Inter.
  • After the FA cup final, he said “ I have been sh*t this season, am I allowed say sh*t on TV? All of which was broadcast live.
  • Once broke up with a girlfriend via text whilst she was presenting a live show.
  • Slept with an Italian model while his girlfriend was downstairs.
  • Drove his car into a women’s prison because he wanted to “look around”
  • Has connections with the Italian mafia, having testified in court at a Mafia trial.

Parking spaces. Legal or not, Balotelli doesn’t care.

  • Despite having his car’s impounded on more than 20 occasions and accumulated up thousands of pounds in fines in the process, Balotelli regularly parks illegally rather than search for actual parking spaces.
  • Won £25,000 in a casino one night, then proceeded to give £1,000 to a tramp outside.
  • He brought his Ipad to the bench for Italy’s international against the Faroe Islands because he wanted to play games on it.
  • Became the face of a firework safety campaign a few days after setting his house on fire from letting off fireworks indoors.
  • Chanted “Rooney, Rooney” at the prostitute who claimed to have slept with Wayne Rooney.
  • Italy had just brought out a brand new home kit. At the start of the second half for their first match wearing the new kit, Balotelli came out in the old kit claiming he didn’t like the new one. Nobody else had changed.
  • When asked by police why he had £25,000 on his person, he coolly replied, ”Because I’m rich”.
  • Sent to John Lewis by his mother to buy essentials for the house, like an ironing board, Mario came back with a giant trampoline, a Vespa and Scalectrix.
  • After he won the European Golden Boy trophy,  Balotelli said he had never heard of Jack Wilshere,  he then said would find out who he was so he could remind Wilshere he came second.

If you answered false to any of these, you’re supposedly wrong. All of these incidents have been reported at some stage in the media as actual acts undertaken by the much maligned Italian international.

Balotelli, a man who can be accused of many things,  but fortunately boring is not one of them.

Trap to star in Naked Gun prequel

12 Jan

Nielsen (L) Trapattoni (R)

Hollywood, CaliforniaFomenting one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood, local sources reported that current Ireland football manager, Giovanni Trapatonni, met with executives from Paramount Studios on Monday last.

The report is just the latest in a series, linking the current Ireland boss with a soon to be shot prequel of the Naked Gun film series.

The 72-year-old Italian, and part-time Leslie Nielsen impersonator, was rumoured to have been approached last year following the sudden death of former Naked Gun lead Nielsen months earlier.

Given his theatrical nature and strong resemblance to the now deceased Nielsen, Trap (as he’s affectionately known) had been widely tipped as a logical fit for Paramount in their long-standing attempts to revitalize a franchise last seen with the 90’s hit Naked Gun 33 1/3.

Despite Trapatonni’s oft publicised struggles with English, film producers have been keen to stress that Trap’s Frank Drebin will not be an homage to Nielsen’s character, rather a reboot with an Italian twist.

“We don’t want Gio (Trapatonni) to be Les (Nielsen). He’s his own man, as soccer fans know, it would be ridiculous of us to expect him to be someone else” explained Lenny Steinberg, a veteran producer of comedy films. “Were even thinking of adding an ‘I’ to make it ‘Drebini’ so to make the most of Gio’s Italian heritage”

Despite the enthusiasm of Steinberg and others like him some critics believe that the prequel was forced on the studio due to the fact that a large part of the series cast are either now dead or incarcerated.

“The studio’s wanted to make a new Naked Gun film for a while now” James McMurrow, a prominent LA film critic told us. “Unfortunately though, we lost Les over a year ago, Anna Nicole (Smith) has been gone five years now and OJ (Simpson), well the less said about OJ the better.The studio initially wanted make a straight sequel but given present circumstances they’ve been forced to attempt a re-boot”

Whether or not Trap was the first choice to star in the to be titled, Naked Gun -1, seems to matter little to the former Juventus boss as his drive and confidence are seemingly still strong, with supposed friends of the Italian calling the news a culmination of a long-held dream.

“Trap’s always been a fan of movies, particularly comedies”, claimed Pete Tarquini, an alleged friend. “He loves all the movies of Chevy Chase. National lampoon Christmas vacation, National lampoon European vacation, he likes them all. Rob Schneider is a guy Trap likes too. He once said that Deuce Bigalow was a work of such cerebral significance that even Fellini (the famed Italian director) would have been proud of it”.

So fervent is Trap’s love of film it’s believed that his long and much publicised refusal to play Andy Reid in the Irish colours was, in part, due to the midfielder’s resemblance to an ageing Orsen Welles, a Hollywood star that Trap believed to highly overrated.

Although the FAI could not be reached for comment, it’s improbable that filming in Los Angeles will interfere with Traps commitments as Ireland manager. It’s also hoped that such a sojourn will allow him to build a closer relationship with current LA Galaxy star and Ireland captain Robbie Keane ahead of the European championships in Poland and Ukraine.

Keane is alleged to be delighted with the news and, according to sources, is hopeful that he too can make a name for himself in Hollywood as a ‘young Robert De Niro’.

A version of this article appears at

Can he kick it, no he can’t: Football’s worst misses.

11 Dec

We’ve all had the water cooler moments discussing the Fernando Torres miss, while fondly pondering as to whether it was worse than Ronnie Rosenthals shocker for Liverpool in the 90’s.

The following misses rival these, and in some cases surpass them for just the sheer hilarity of their nature.

Rocky Baptiste

A man with a name that you’d  likely pay for. Unfortunately the non-league legend from Harrow Borough failed to live up to his name, as he blasted wide the easiest of tap ins against fellow non-leaguer’s, Waltham Abbey.

Baptiste later made amends by firing in from all of 35 yards.

Fahad Khalfan

Khalfan, a teen international for Qatar, will not want to remember his time against Uzbekistan. Following a poor mistake by the Uzbeki goalkeeper, Khalfan smartly skirted in only to stab his shot against the far post with the goal at his mercy.

Unfortunately for the Qatari’s,  this will be many people’s  first exposure of the play of the hosts of the 2022  Football World Cup. Not exactly the kind of exposure you want when pining to be taken seriously.

David Villa

Fortunately for most of us, poor marksmanship can afflict even the very best player. Here Barcelona striker David Villa misses the easiest of sitters.

Unfortunately though, this man makes more money in a month, than most of us make in a decade.

Kei Kamara

Major League Soccer is on a campaign to be establish itself as one of the world’s foremost professional football leagues. Unfortunately no one seemed to inform Kei Kamara of the Kansas City Wizards.

Emile Heskey, given the amount of time he spends falling on his arse, could probably lend Kamara a sympathetic ear or two.