How many goals do you think you’d score over the course of a 38-game Premier League season?
For 104 players this season, the answer is one. One solitary experience of that unique jubilation which follows the ball hitting the back of the net.
But members of this season’s Premier League one-goal club come in many shapes and sizes. Rather than reeling off all 104 inductees, we’ll use them to paint a picture of the campaign.
I was there when Cesar Azpilicueta scored
No one worked harder to enter the Premier League’s one-goal club this season than Chelsea defender Azpilicueta, whose solitary strike came against Cardiff.
The 29-year-old spent more minutes on the pitch- 3,403- than any other player with a single goal to their name and started every game as Chelsea returned to the Champions League.
Given Maurizio Sarri’s propensity for keeping everyone on their toes, don’t be surprised to see Cesar tasked with replacing Eden Hazard next season.
England’s no.2, England’s England’s no.2
England’s right-back options at the 2014 World Cup consisted of Glen Johnson and, in case of injury, Jon Flanagan.
Thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier, those days of worrying about Costa Rica’s left winger are long gone.
With 12 assists to his name, Alexander-Arnold is the pick of the bunch. With 715 crosses inexplicably fizzed straight out of play, Trippier is the class clown.
A Man United story told in three parts
United’s Player of the Season award was awarded to Luke Shaw. The same Shaw who was part of a United defence that conceded more goals than Crystal Palace.
Shaw scored one goal for United this season, as did Alexis Sanchez. To watch a nanosecond of Sanchez’s 877 Premier League minutes this season is to instantly understand the deepest meaning of losing one’s mojo.
The only thing Sanchez can take solace in is the fact he cost United sweet nothing (aside from £500k-a-week in wages). The same can’t be said of Fred, whose single Premier League goal came at a price of £47million.
Holding Midfielders are the New Black
Is there anything more fashionable in world football right now than the once-humble holding midfielder?
As well as being bonded by playing in the most desirable position on the pitch, Fabinho, Fernandinho, Etienne Capoue, Joao Moutinho, Nemanja Matic and Oriol Romeu can meet up once a year for dinner and discuss how they all scored one goal in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
That meeting will soon descend into tactical fouls and protestation towards the waiters, before they all do a runner and leave Matic to pay the bill.
The 63-minute men
Of all the players to score a single Premier League this season, Eddie Nketiah and Ben Gibson have played the fewest minutes.
Nketiah’s 63 minutes for Arsenal came across five appearances, while Gibson played just once for Burnley despite costing £15m from Middlesbrough in the summer.
Some might rush to label Gibson a flop, but you can’t argue with a minutes-per-goal ratio that would leave One Night In Andorra-era David Nugent green with envy.
Vincent Kompany chose a good time to score his first Premier League striker from outside the box, and only goal of the season.
The three points Kompany’s unexpected rocket secured against Leicester ensured Liverpool’s 97-point campaign was all in vain.
He can now spend his summer deciding what he wants his Etihad statue to look like.
We’d recommend avoiding the sculptor who managed to make Cristiano Ronaldo look like a Picasso painting.
READ MORE FROM THE WORLD OF DREAM TEAM:
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- Andros Townsend scored the Goal of the Season and no one can tell me otherwise
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and how ‘big chances missed’ can be the sign of a world-class goalscorer