Manchester City was just pummeling Everton yesterday, so I kind of kept one eye on the game and was surfing Premier League stats with the other. City is going to win the Premiership unless they tank in historic fashion. (Which isn't going to happen.) How can I be so sure? Look at some of City's stats from today. 82% Possession! 18-6 in shots. 1114-337 in touches (can you imagine a soccer team having 800 more touches than the other?). 975-200 in passes. Just an incredible ownership of the stat sheet,
So I'm going through season stats and up comes the category of Own-Goals. Own-Goals? They keep track of that? I clicked on that section and no one in the Premier League has had more than 1 own-goal during the 2017-2018 season...except for Lewis Dunk. He has 4 (!) own-goals. (For the uninitiated, an own-goal is when you accidentally kick the ball into your own net. Sadly, the author has done this on a few occasions in youth leagues.)
Is Lewis Dunk a historically bad defender? Far from it. The Lewis Dunk story is one of hard work, success, and a few brief moments of bad luck. Lewis Dunk was born in the city of Brighton in 1991. He signed his first professional contract at age 18 with local League One club Brighton and Hove Albion. As Brighton and Hove Albion moved into the Championship, Lewis Dunk followed. And then this year B&HA returned to the top tier of English Soccer after a 34 year absence with Dunk in tow. Lewis Dunk's story was a nice, local boy makes good tale, making his 200th League appearance with B&HA this past week. But Dunk's not a defender along for the ride, he was one of the top defenders in the Championship and is one of the reasons B&HA is in the Premiership this season.
If B&HA can hold off relegation, which is debatable, Lewis Dunk's defense will be one of the key story lines. As of yesterday, March 31, 2018, Lewis Dunk was in the Top 20 in the League in these defensive statistics:
Last Man Tackles: #T-7
Headed Clearances: #12
Aerial Battles Won: #19
Also: Zero Errors leading to Goals.
Seventh on the Team in Fouls. Meaning he is playing sound, well-positioned defense.
But in under one season of the Premier League, Lewis Dunk already finds himself tied for 18th on the all-time Premier League Own-Goal List.
Unfortunately, Lewis Dunk was also famous for scoring own-goals before he even got to the Premier League. This own-goal was deemed one of the funniest in FA Cup history...back in 2012 when B&HA played Liverpool.
B&HA got shellacked when they returned to the top level of the soccer pyramid in August of 2017 and played City, but they stand in 13th place, 6 points clear of relegation, today. They don't have the best defense, but their problem this year has been on the other end, specifically generating goals. If B&HA can just hold tight, staying in the Premiership for another season would be a victory upon itself.
And the whole own-goal thing? I think it's a fluke. Dunk is the second highest rated player on the B&HA squad this season according to the statistical analysis driven, soccer-nerd, think tank WhoScored.com.
In case you're wondering, what's the most own-goals in a season, by an individual, in Premier League History?
4. Dunk so far this season and Martin Skrtel in 2013-2014 season.
Seeing there's a month and a half left in this season, and Dunk leads his team in playing time, let's hope he doesn't shatter the record...by accident.