Hitting the woodwork is a peculiar quirk of football.
99% of efforts that hit the post or bar are applauded even though they technically count as off-target.
Since 2006/07, stats boffins OPTA have kept a record of which Premier League players have hit the woodwork the most.
Let’s run through the top 11…
11 Romelu Lukaku (19)
The hulking Belgian is one of five players still playing in the Prem to make this list.
Lukaku has only been denied by the woodwork once this season.
In contrast to…
10 Harry Kane (19)
Spurs’s prolific centre-forward has the hit the post six times this season, two more than any other player.
He’s level with Lukaku on 19 frame bothering efforts since making his league debut.
9 Stewart Downing (20)
One of only two midfielders featured in this list.
In 2011/12, Downing famously went the whole Premier League season without scoring or providing an assist… while playing 36 games as a winger for Liverpool.
He did hit the post five times throughout the campaign though — no luck for the lad.
8 Fernando Torres (21)
From the most complete No9 in world to a hapless laughing stock.
There has never been a dull moment in El Nino’s career.
For some reason, it just feels right that he’s rattled the woodwork more than most.
7 Sergio Aguero (21)
Man City’s all-time top scorer has finished in the top two for shots taken in the last three seasons.
When you’re firing off efforts with such regularity, it stands to reason you’re going to chip your fair share of paint off the frame.
6 Peter Crouch (22)
“The ball is sent towards to the back post… Crouch with the header! Oh… off the bar. So close from the big man.”
5 Jermain Defoe (23)
Did you know that Defoe has hit the woodwork more times than he’s passed to a team-mate in the opposition’s half?
That’s definitely not true but you wouldn’t be surprised, would you?
4 Luis Suarez (26)
The tenacious Uruguayan is fourth on this list despite only playing in the Premier League for three and a half seasons.
In 2013/14, Suarez equalled the record for most goals in a Prem 38-game season with 31 goals.
He also hit the woodwork nine times that season, four more than any other player.
3 Steven Gerrard (26)
Stevie G has considerably more Premier League games under his belt than Suarez.
Liverpool’s talismanic captain of old has rattled the woodwork more than any other midfielder since records began.
2 Wayne Rooney (29)
If all of Wazza’s efforts that had hit the woodwork had found the net then he’d be just 23 goals off equalling Alan Shearer’s Premier League goal record.
Although, that’s not exactly a fair representation as we don’t know how many times the Newcastle legend was frustrated by the frame — probably a lot.
Rooney may be second on this list but he averages under three woodwork hits a season.
1 Robin van Persie (44)
RVP is way out in front!
The difference between second-placed Rooney and the Dutchman is greater than that between Rooney and the eight players tied in 23rd place — which is crazy when you think about it.
For whatever reason, Van Persie’s shots were naturally drawn to the woodwork.
If Van Persie had converted half of the efforts that hit the post/bar, he would still be level with Crouch on this list, and he’d be the sixth top scorer in Prem history, just ahead of Robbie Fowler.
As it is, his 144 goals make him the 11th top scorer, although Aguero is just one goal behind him as it stands.
Unlucky or wasteful? We reckon we know what RVP thinks…