As football fans, we love our team to have a get out of jail free card when it comes to disappointing results, and right up there with ‘the ref was out to get us’ is blaming the woodwork.
The post and crossbar sometimes act as a magnet which has snatched some of the best strikes in Premier League history away from immortality, but is there actually any truth when hearing fans moan their team just can’t find the back of the net?
Here, we focus on the top ten unluckiest sides when it comes to hitting the woodwork in Premier League history since the 2006/07 season.
10. Stoke City – 105
Just pipping West Brom (100) and Aston Villa (101) into the top ten is recently relegated Stoke City, whose decade in the Premier League came to an end following a dismal 2017/18 campaign.
The Potters steal tenth spot with an unbelievable 105 shots hitting the woodwork during their Premier League era, meaning Stoke were denied by either the post or the crossbar once every 3.6 games.
9. Newcastle United – 114
Despite having a brief stint in the Championship, Newcastle rightfully have the history and status of a top flight side.
Although the Magpies have seen 114 of their efforts cannon back off the woodwork throughout their time in the Premier League, fans only saw their side cruelly denied in every 7.8 matches.
8. Everton – 140
Everton are the first team on this list to boast the title of an ever present during the Premier League era, making a total of 1,002 games in the top flight to date.
The Toffees have also been fairly well off in how many times they are denied by the woodwork, averaging one shot every 7.2 games hitting either the post or the crossbar.
7. West Ham – 145
If West Ham fans are feeling particularly aggrieved by seeing shots crash against the beans on toast in east London, then they’d be right to.
The Irons have seen one shot every 5.8 games denied by the woodwork in their long Premier League career.
6. Tottenham – 167
As we begin to enter the top six of this list, it’s no real surprise to see that the current day ‘big six’ occupy the top tiers of teams who hit the woodwork.
Tottenham take sixth spot with 167, and as we’re already two games into the new season, their tally means that Spurs incredibly find either the crossbar or post precisely once every six games.
5. Chelsea – 171
Supporters may joke that Chelsea didn’t exist before Roman Abramovich took over in 2003, but as another ever present during the Premier League era, there are no surprises to see Chelsea sitting in the top half of this list.
The Blues have seen 171 shots deflected away from goal thanks to the upright, meaning fans see their side denied by the woodwork every 5.9 games.
4. Manchester City – 180
While the ‘you weren’t a club before you had money’ argument may fall on deaf ears in west London, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City did spend time in the lower divisions before their takeover in 2008.
The Citizens on average hit the woodwork every 4.5 games, the most recent of which came in their 6-1 hammering of Huddersfield Town.
3. Manchester United – 185
Another ever present in the Premier League, Manchester United take the bronze medal for the number of times a shot has cannoned back off either the post or the crossbar.
But despite having more efforts denied by the upright than their Manchester rivals, United only find the woodwork every 5.4 games.
2. Arsenal – 206
The penultimate woodwork-hitters are Arsenal, who are the first team to break the 200 barrier for shots that have avoided the back of the net by inches thanks to the post or crossbar.
With over 1,000 games under their belt in the Premier League, fans in north London feel the anguish of hearing the ball crash back off the upright once every 4.9 times the Gunners take to the pitch.
1. Liverpool – 227
There are no real surprises to see a free scoring Liverpool at the top of this list, with the Reds having a gut-wrenching 227 shots rattle the woodwork during the Premier League era.
As an ever present in the Premier League, the club’s record high tally means Liverpool are denied by either the post or the crossbar on average every 4.4 matches.