FOOTBALL – The reaction to Manchester United’s defeat by FC Midtjylland has been one of shock with the English club being derided as “dismal” in the media and the display described as “unacceptable” by one of United’s own players, Michael Carrick. Five days earlier, United lost by a similar scoreline to Sunderland without the same level of criticism from either outside or within. According to the Euro Club Index, Danish champions FC Midtjylland are actually at about the same level of quality as the Black Cats from England’s North East. Prior to Thursday night’s fixture, Midtjylland were ranked 136th by this pan-European ranking with Sunderland 132nd . The difference in opinion therefore lies in people’s perspective with the quality of smaller clubs like Midtjylland being underestimated by media and fans alike because of their lack of knowledge of the team or the league in which they play. Continue reading
FOOTBALL – Everton’s elimination by Dynamo Kyiv means that thee are no English teams left in Europe this season. For the first time in 22 years, there will not be a single English club in the quarterfinals of the various European cup competitions. Ever since 1992/93, England have always sent at least one representative to the last eight in Europe. The seven English sides that embarked on their European adventure this season were Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City.
FOOTBALL – How important is experience for a team’s success? Do teams with more experienced players perform better in the league or do they benefit more from fresh, new players? While ‘experience’ is a difficult concept to actually capture in numbers, we came up with a simple way of trying to compare experience with success, taking the 2014/15 Premier League as an example. Continue reading
FOOTBALL – Harry Kane scored two goals to hand Tottenham a 2-1 away win against Queens Park Rangers. Kane has now scored in six consecutive PL away matches, the second best run in the PL era. Check our stat here. Continue reading
FOOTBALL – 61 days ago – today is day 62 – Tottenham Hotspur lined up in Turkey to play their final Europa League group match against Besiktas which they went on to lose 1-0. Two days earlier, Liverpool drew 1-1 with FC Basel in what was their final Champions League match of the season. This evening, the two clubs play each other and for both, it will be their 17th match of the last nine weeks, the most played by any European club over that period.
FOOTBALL – On Saturday, 24 January, five teams from the top half of the Premier League table lost their FA Cup tie, of which four played at home of which three were leading.
With 17 matches remaining in this season’s Premier League, the race to the title currently involves just two teams, one of which has around twice the chance of the other of ending the season as 2014/2015 Premier League champions. Five more clubs have a realistic chance of a top-4 spot whilst eight teams are currently involved in the relegation battle. This leaves just five – West Ham, Swansea City, Stoke City, Newcastle United and Everton – without much left to play for.