Items tagged "epl":
some (irreverent) thoughts whilst catching up on Saturday matches
part 2… the rest of epl action:
Aston Villa v. Newcastle
not sure why i dvr’d this - i’ll probably be fine with the highlights on the FS. then again, i do have one or two of these guys on fantasy thingers*…
- 12th min >hot damn, goal. i do have gabby agbonlahor on at least one fantasy team*!!
- demba ba is also a very fun name to say.
- 25th min >ugh. way to miss darren bent… i’ve never liked him. i hold a grudge from a certain beach ball incident. but still, really nice play from petrov/n’zogbia.
- whoa crazy save off the line.
- 32nd min, FFW’dingX3 commenced. feeling sleepy.
- really impressive run back to clear the line by Steven Taylor, saves Krul’s misplaced ass.
- does this end as a draw? that’s no fun.
Everton 3-1 Wigan
is there is hope for everton after all? roberto martinez seems like such a nice guy though…
Bolton 1-2 Norwich
um. i probably would have bet on Bolton had i disposable income. yikes. it’s good i’m not a betting real money kinda girl.
Wolves 0-3 QPR
joey barton’s on a fantasy 5 team. then again, i did have roger johnson in defense too, didn’t i? doh.
Swansea 3-0 W.Brom
michel vorm’s also on a fantasy 5 team.
*i have many fantasy thingers going on: fantasy fives (which is great fun! Red,White & Blue pod people have a fan league!), espn’s EPL, yahoo EPL, ESPN deportes serie a (en español) (Juventiknows has a fan league!), serie a live
Tags#footie calendar #perhaps i should take the carling cup out #too much footie #soccer calendar #serie a #ligue un #epl #carling cup #coppa italia #bundesliga #uefa #europa #champions league #wc qualifiers #int'l friendlies
Competitive balance an issue in EPL
Competitive balance an issue in EPL
…That alone does not suggest a lack of competitiveness; it may be that one big score begets another. In Italy, for instance, there is a general code that says sides shouldn’t humiliate their opponents, but should ease off once the game is won. That has never existed in such a formal way in England, but when one team starts scoring five or six times, rivals have to try to do similarly so as not to fall behind on goal difference. There may be psychological factors at work, too. Winning teams may previously have thought of, say, four goals as a realistic limit, and so they eased off; or, whereas once the losing side may have fought desperately to avoid the humiliation of letting in five, it may now reason that teams are getting beaten by big scores every week and so it matters less.
But there are other signs of decreasing competitiveness. It’s a difficult concept to pin down, but let’s consider five measures: the number of points won by the champions; the number of points needed to avoid relegation; the gap between top and fourth; the gap between top and fifth; and the gap between fourth and fourth from the bottom.
The first 38-game Premier League season was 1996-97, when Manchester United won the championship with 75 points. Arsenal won the next season with 78, and United followed with 79. Since then, no side has won the Premier League with fewer than 80 points, and only twice with fewer than 85. Five times the champion has accumulated 90 or more — in 2000, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06 and ‘09.
To put that in a wider context, only once has the Spanish champion won more than 90 points, which was last season when Barcelona had 99. In Italy, it’s happened twice: Juventus won 91 points in 2006 but was stripped of its title as part of the Calciopoli scandal; and a year later Internazionale collected 97 in a league weakened by Calciopoli. In Germany, Bayern Munich’s 77 points in 2005 are the most by a champion in the past decade. The Bundesliga features only a 34-game schedule, so working from points per game (a rough and ready measure, I accept), Bayern’s total equates to 86 points.
Last season in the Premiership, third-from-the-bottom Burnley was relegated with 30 points, the lowest total by the best relegated club in league history. In only one of the past 10 seasons has the third-to-last side in the Premier League earned more points than the equivalent in Spain. Direct comparison with Serie A can only really be made since 2005, when the number of relegated sides was dropped from four to three; since then, only once has Italy’s third-from-the-bottom club recorded fewer points than the same one in England.
The other measures reveal a similar picture. Between 1999 and 2003, the average gap between first and fourth in England was 16 points, and between first and fifth 20.4. In the following five seasons, those averages increased to 24 and 29.6, respectively, proof of an ever-stretching league. But in 2009, the gulfs were 18 and 27 points and last season they were 16 and 19. The chasm, seemingly, is closing again, perhaps because of the arrival of big-spending Manchester City, perhaps because the global economic crisis has calmed spending. In Spain last season, the divide from first to fourth was 26 points, an indication of the stretching of its table behind Barcelona and Real Madrid.
In 2007-08, the team finishing fourth in the Premier League, Liverpool, averaged 1.05 points per game more than the side finishing fourth from the bottom, Fulham, the greatest such separation in Europe’s major four leagues over the past decade. That difference has been greater in the Premier League than in Germany, Italy or Spain in 10 of the past 12 seasons. The competitiveness cliché is utterly wrong: In England, the disparity between top and bottom is greater than in rival leagues.
The why is obvious. As Wall Street told us, greed was good in the 1980s, and that was as true in Margaret Thatcher's Britain as it was anywhere.
Even as the Thatcher government’s ill-conceived measures to tackle hooliganism threatened to kill the game, the ideology she fostered was transforming it beyond all recognition.