The brief decline of the Premier League hattrick

April 6, 2012

Last season, the number of Premier League hat-tricks was at its highest level since 1994, and this season looks like continuing the trend – with six games to go, the figure is one behind last season’s level.

It’s interesting that we’re now seeing so many hat-tricks in the Premier League – only a few years ago there were hardly any. The 2004-07 period saw some extremely defensive-minded football in the Premier League, when Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were the dominant side, and lesser teams were seeking to replicate their 4-3-3. Unfortunately, as Gianluca Vialli put it in The Italian Job, for many sides: “This consisted of little more than taking out a striker and playing another defensive midfielder.”

This is perhaps reflected in the low number of hat-tricks in that period (8, 7, 3), where now we’re up at around 17.

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