RICHARD Dunne shares two unwanted Premier League records – the highest number of own goals (six, with Jamie Carragher and Frank Sinclair) and the most red cards (eight, with Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson).
As he explained in an interview shortly after joining Aston Villa in early September: “To be fair, I don’t get many bookings. I just get a lot of red cards.”
I should make clear, though, that Dunne’s two shared records apply to Premier League games only. He’s got a long way to go to match the Football League record of 13, jointly held by former Leicester defender Steve Walsh and ex-Colchester and Southend striker Roy McDonough.
Indeed, McDonough – who spent a part of his playing career in non-league football – managed a whopping 21 red cards altogether, which makes Dunne’s tally look pathetic.
With Vieira and Ferguson long gone from the Premier League, Dunne will have to accept sharing that record for a while yet. But with the own goals record, there is always the hope that Carragher will knock one into his own net to edge into an outright lead. (Sinclair is playing in the Conference for Wrexham these days, so he is out of the equation.)
All that Dunne has to do is make sure he doesn’t score any more own goals himself while waiting for Carragher to slip up during a Liverpool game. Since joining Villa, Dunne has avoided adding to the half-dozen he put into his own net while a Manchester City player. Mind you, it was a close thing at Burnley yesterday.
Last night’s final match: Burnley 1 Aston Villa 1
Commentator: Steve Wilson
Dunne’s two most recent own goals came last autumn while he was still a City player – one at Newcastle, one at Bolton. Maybe his reputation in this area precedes him.
That would explain why Steve Wilson initially believed the centre-back had scored Premier League own goal number seven at Turf Moor yesterday afternoon. Then again, it did look an own goal at first glance.
“Driven in – and it’s gone in, I think off Richard Dunne,” exclaimed Wilson as Robbie Blake’s ninth-minute free-kick bounced into the net off somebody’s head. But replays showed that somebody was Burnley centre-back Steven Caldwell.
Given that Caldwell doesn’t score all that often, it would have been extra-harsh to take it off him. And after what happened in Paris on Wednesday night, Dunne has had enough grief for one week, without being handed outright a record he doesn’t want.
I’ll bet Carragher and Sinclair were a bit disappointed, though, to discover just how close they were to shaking off the tag.
In any case, the goal wasn’t the winner, as Emile Heskey’s late equaliser – his first goal of the season – saved a point for Villa. Maybe, just maybe, Richard Dunne’s luck is turning.
1. Portsmouth: 4 (GD: 1. 2L: 0.)
2. Everton: 3 (GD: 1. 2L: 0.)
3. Wigan: 3 (GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
4. Gubba: 2 (GD: 2. 2L: 1.)
5. West Ham: 2 (GD: 1. 2L: 1.)
6. Blackburn: 2 (GD: 1. 2L: 0.)
7. Hull: 2 (GD: 0. 2L: 4.)
8=. Stoke: 2 (GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
8=. Wolves: 2 (GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
10. Aston Villa: 2 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
11. Birmingham: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 3.)
12=. Bolton: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
12=. Burnley: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
12=. Fulham: 1 (GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
15. Sunderland: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 4.)
16=. Arsenal: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
16=. Chelsea: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
16=. Tottenham: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
19=. Liverpool: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
19=. Manchester City: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
19=. Manchester United: 0 (GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
GD = Gubba difference
2L = On second last (Last night’s penultimate match was: Birmingham 1 Fulham 0.)
(NB. Teams will receive one point for every time they appear last on MOTD. Appearances on MOTD2 are not included. Teams level on points will be separated by Gubba difference – the number of times a team is on last with Tony Gubba commentating. Teams still level will then be separated by the number of times they appear second last on MOTD.)