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  16-Dec-2018 05:01 GMT  

A Bunch of Fives

So when all is said and done, we analyse where, when and the quantity of times a ball has landed in the back of a net, past and present, or failed to, and somehow deduce why it was destined to be so. That’s the unenviable task of our resident expert Professor Statto, who brings us the benefit of his incisive intellect allied to half a century of football scholarship. And not least, his wry sense of humour.您的瀏覽器可能無法支援顯示此圖片。

He leaves the predictions to others, but he’ll provide you with the ammunition to sustain your challenge through your Score Five campaign. He’ll keep you up-to-date with what’s happening in the competition. He’ll lead you along byways exploring weird and wonderful facets of the game past and present, but always in his own inimitable style.

Some comedian once suggested that “98% of all statistics are made up”, but the Prof. cordially invites you all to verify any information he presents – if only because he does most of the calculations in his head. Professor Statto and his amazing statistics.

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Visit the Prof's 2008/09 season archives.

Previous analysis

2011-12 Round 17-20.... 2011-12 Round 11-16.... 2011-12 Round 8-10.... 2011-12 Round 5-7.... 2011-12 Round 1-4.... 2011-12 Round 1(2)

Hello again pals, and welcome back.

Wherever you may be, I hope things are well. If you're unfortunate enough to be living in an area affected by war, famine, plague or pestilence, spare a thought for the Football Association in England, as they too are suffering. Their national team manager has chucked in the towel, and the man most widely tipped to be his replacement has just spent three weeks in court on charges of tax evasion during which time he revealed that he has never written a letter or sent an email in his life. Maybe that's because he writes like a two year-old and can’t spell – his words, not mine. I'd love to be there when the Spurs players gather round after the team sheet is pinned up. “Does that say Walker?” “No, I think it's Gallas”. “Don't be daft, it's Kaboul”.

The man who has been the England captain in the run-up to the forthcoming European Championships is himself due in court to face racism charges, and the team's star striker is banned for the start of that tournament. In the English league's top division, 17 of the 20 clubs are in debt to the scale of £3 billion / US$5 billion / the wages of Carlos Tevez for the next 291 years. I wonder what the FA's aspirin bill is?

Any good news for them? Yes – England isn't among the long list of nations accused of football corruption (read about it here http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/16923742) unless you include the case of Star Striker's dad who is awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud a bookie by betting on a player getting sent off, after slipping him a wad of cash to persuade him to get sent off!)

Let's move on....

The Premier League is currently separated into three neat groups. There's a six point gap between the seven I'll call the Contenders, and the mid-table group (positions 8-15), then there's a five point gap, which must look like a chasm to the five teams below it, who are already worrying about that thing beginning with R and ending with elegation. The past month has been a tough time for the elite group, in that every round has seen at least three of them failing to win. Their combined record in this period was P56 W26 D16 L14. Let's get some details.

Season Tracker
Here are the details of the delayed outcome of Round 1, the last four rounds, and the season to date averages. Season highs in any category have a yellow highlight and lows have blue

Round

Basic pts

+ Banker

Results

P5s

Bankers

Goals/games

Comments

1

14.81

18.11

40.40%

7.90%

66.10%

20 & 10

Winner: tied, Magic Mike and MongrelG, 32 pts.

1 – 20 avges

16.64

20.03

47.10%

9.54%

67.89%

566 & 200 = 2.83 gpg

 

21

17.34

20.89

46.50%

10.10%

71.10%

22 &10

Winner Bada Bing, 32 pts.

22

13.17

14.72

35.60%

7.80%

31.30%

35 & 10

Winner Mainaeri, 29 pts.

23

16.51

20.6

45.80%

15.30%

81.70%

23 & 10

Winner: tied, JuvlivYugoslavia and Cool, 36 pts.

24

17.01

21.29

47.60%

11.30%

85.60%

31 & 10

Winner: Grayson's Aces, 35 pts.

Avge:

16.54

19.92

46.56%

9.80%

67.81%

2.82 gpg

Season avge score: 478 pts = global league #229

Round 1
On the opening day of the season, the Spurs/Everton fixture didn't take place because of local difficulties in the Tottenham area, i.e. half the district had been burned down by the inhabitants. (Is that where Mario Balotelli got the idea for letting off fireworks in his house?). The game was eventually played on Jan. 11 with Spurs winning, as most players expected. After a prolonged search through the thousands of players sharing 31 pts with Magic Mike, I finally unearthed one who did it without using a life – MongrelG, on Aussie QPR fan who claims to know nothing about football! He's now enshrined on the Famous Fives page at the top of our 2011-12 Wall Of Fame.

Round 21
A round with scoring on the high side of average would have been so much better if any of Liverpool, Spurs or Arsenal had won against opponents who they must have expected to beat, but didn't. This cost many of you your Banker. In a round short on inspired tips, Paul McS and Zakkespurs stood out for their 0-0 forecasts at Liverpool, while Maikankan was unique in nailing the 3-1 at Blackburn – that's our Tip Of The Week.

Topping the weekly competition for the second time this season was Irishman Bada Bing with 32 pts. One behind sharing second spot were Man. Utd. fans Johan1305 (S. Africa) and Amicii (Romania). Hammers supporter Garfee was among the disappointed crowd Banking on Spurs, but the man from the Brothers Grim League still reached the Top 10 without his Bonus 5, which is quite a feat.

Round 22
With four of the top seven teams meeting, selecting a Banker presented you with several dilemmas. Half of you opted for the other three, Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool, who were all playing away. Murphy's Law ensured that none of them won, and even the seemingly safe bet of Stoke (at home to West Brom) came unstuck. No surprises then that the successful Banker percentage was one of the lowest of the season.

We did at least see some enterprising (and successful) alternatives. Xandersgrampa and Agasbillion relied on Norwich to hold Chelsea; Kickboxer and Pooh6 decided the Villa would be too good for Wolves. Firruzi reckoned that Ba-less Newcastle were going to be second best at Fulham, but most daring of all was Seebecee tipping Bolton, with the worst home record in the four English divisions, to beat Liverpool. I reckon that was the Tip Of The Week, narrowly ahead of Berzerksky who had the sole P5 from the 2-3 game at Molineux.

Somehow, Mainaeri (Arsenal & Kenya) managed to avoid the pitfalls to accumulate nine results and 29 pts, while most other players had to settle for half that. This made him our second double-winner of the season after his success in Round 19. Once again, we had a tie for second, with Rob in Malaysia and LoRicco (Arsenal & Australia) on 27 pts.

Round 23
The midweek Round 23 once again saw several top teams – on this occasion Man. City, Arsenal and Chelsea – foiled by less-fancied opponents. While all the Bankers pinned on them went down the Swanee, we had half a dozen crafty winners from the drawn games. Xandersgrampa and Taffy76 decided that Villa/QPR was a guaranteed stalemate; Y64Jonjo and Warrior worked out that Fulham and West Brom couldn't be separated. Baz was alone in expecting Swansea to take a point from their game with Chelsea, while Seebecee put his trust in Bolton (again!), and remarkably, they came up trumps for him for the second week.

Good as they all were, Tip Of The Week goes to World Beaters for his P5 from Sunderland's 3-0 win over Norwich. The misfortunes of the aforementioned Big Three didn't hinder JuvlivYugoslavia (Man. Utd & Serbia) or Cool (Man. Utd & Italy) who both racked up an impressive 36 pts to share the winner's podium, six ahead of the pack. Congratulations also to Nixbalzan (Spurs & Spain) who, with 30 pts, shared third spot in his first week of competition!

Round 24
A thoroughly entertaining set of games – well, until Monday evening – threw up some terrific encounters, especially the goal-fests at the Emirates and the Bridge. There wasn't a single notable P5, but we again had half a dozen Banker draw successes. For the third week running, Seebecee said 'It's Bolton for me!'; shame, as they got tonked at Norwich, but that was good news for MarkCity and Adie65, who backed the home team.

Maikankan and Y64Jonjo went against the grain for a draw at Wigan, and prospered. Barclays Bank was the only player to bag a Bonus 5 from the Chelsea-Man Utd fireworks, while Igban pulled off the same trick from the damp squib at Anfield. Only one of those six was also a Perfecto: take a bow, Y64Jonjo for your Tip Of The week 10-pointer!

Our winner? Armed with 5 potent Perfectos, Grayson's Aces (Leeds & England) blew away all opposition, notching 35 pts. Charging into the Top 20 at #15, Vinylslider (Arsenal & USA) was the best of the rest, followed by Eylesy (West Ham & Australia). Well done, guys!

The Global League
After a disastrous Round 23 in which he scored only 12 pts, #1 JoshTz bounced back the following week with a commanding 31 to open up an 11 pt lead over second placed LadyInRed. HongKongMui, Dunscar, Peevemeisters and Trevorsio are all within a Perfecto of second place.

Of the hundred nationalities who make up ScoreFive, Brits and Aussies are the most numerous, and that's reflected in the Top 20. After Round 24, there were six from each. From Down Under, there were JoshTz, Peevemeisters (nee pagger like), BJP, cup wizard Trevorsio, relative of Josh Ctz and PieEater. The Brits were LadyInRed, Dunscar, JohnW, Dixie, WullieW (though I'm sure he'd prefer to be called a Scot) and ArseneAboutFace.

Them apart, only one territory had more than one. Paddy Kerrigan and HongKongMui are, temporarily at least, Hong Kongers. The other six are Bada Bing (Ireland) Babson (Nigeria) Mulugetazaneb (Ethiopia) Ktganesha (India) Vinylslider (USA) and VictorSilavwe from Zambia, who can look forward to seeing his national team in the African Cup Of Nations Final against Ivory Coast. Best of luck to the Chipolopolo, Vic!

The Form table
If predicting correct scores sometimes seems a hopeless task, concentrate on the results – they're an acceptable second prize. As a starting point, take a look at this table showing which teams are hot and which are not during the last eight rounds.

Form

Lge

Team

P

W

D

L

Pts

1

8

Sunderland

8

6

1

1

19

2

2

Manchester Utd

8

5

1

2

16

3

1

Manchester City

8

5

1

2

16

4

3

Spurs

8

4

3

1

15

5

5

Newcastle Utd

8

5

0

3

15

6

10

Swansea City

8

3

3

2

12

7

9

Norwich City

8

3

3

2

12

8

6

Arsenal

8

3

2

3

11

9

4

Chelsea

8

2

5

1

11

10

18

Bolton

8

3

2

3

11

11

7

Liverpool

8

2

4

2

10

12

11

Everton

8

2

4

2

10

13

13

Aston Villa

8

2

3

3

9

14

14

Fulham

8

2

3

3

9

15

16

West Brom

8

2

2

4

8

16

19

Blackburn

8

2

2

4

8

17

17

Wolves

8

1

4

3

7

18

12

Stoke City

8

1

3

4

6

19

16

QPR

8

1

2

5

5

20

20

Wigan Athletic

8

0

3

5

3

Martin O'Neill is doing an excellent job restoring Sunderland's confidence and fortunes. Remarkable as it may seem, none of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool performed better than Bolton in December/January.

This weekend's Round 25 sees all the bottom six teams (by league position) paired up in games that their managers will be labelling 'must-win'. On current form, Bolton appear the most likely to escape from Trapdoor City, while Stoke are going in the opposite direction. If you're looking for relegation omens, only Bolton of the bottom five have managed better than a point a game during the past two months.

The Other Da Silvas
Those of you who have been ScoreFiving since the early days may remember a story I brought you in 2009 about Luton Town's unlikely win in Europe's most prestigious kids competition. The Aarau Masters in Zurich always attracts hundreds of entries. The 2009 event featured the Under-11s of Man. Utd, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen, Zenit St. Petersburg, CSKA Moscow, the Brazilian champs Clube Nautico Caparibe, the national under-11s teams of Ivory Coast and New Zealand and 17 more European teams.

How did Luton get in? Having the top team in England, the organisers wondered what the standard was like at
the bottom of the English pyramid, so they invited the team who were then bottom of Div. 2. Luton were keen,
and decided to send a couple of their Under-10s along as well – kids who weren’t born when we were raving
about ‘young’ Michael Owen at France ’98!

As kids don't know the phrases ‘fixture congestion’ or ‘premature burnout’, they were happy to play a schedule
that required the finalists to get through 13 games in two days. Bayern finished top of their qualifying group
with Luton as surprising runners-up. In the best UEFA tradition, the kids then had to slog through another
qualifying group, where Luton saw off the Brazilians, Sachsen Leipzig and CSKA. In the knockout stages, they eliminated Werder Bremen 3-0 before squeezing past Zenit in the Semifinal on the golden goal rule.

Over 3,000 witnessed the Final, whose stars were the Da Silva brothers: more of Fergie’s fledgling Brazilians?
Nope, these were Luton’s Jay and Cole Da Silva, who shared the goals that defeated Bayern in a 3-2 come-from
-behind victory, the last goal hitting the net with four seconds left on the clock. The kids returned to Luton,
apparently unscathed despite a face-to-face encounter with Sepp Blatter, and in possession of a trophy that, at
137cm, was as tall as some of them!

Since then, the boys have continued to develop and Luton were hopeful that Jay, Cole and their brother Rio
would become their stars of the future, but when Chelsea called last month and offered £1.5m for the three,
the cash-strapped Hatters (now in the Conference) felt unable to refuse. Twins Cole and Rio are now 12, while
Jay is 13. I think we'll be seeing their names regularly in the years to come.

The return of the scorpion....
Remember Rene Higuita? Colombian goalie, known as El Loco (The Madman) to his fans and detractors alike. He regularly took free-kicks and penalties (and scored eight goals in internationals!) but will be remembered mostly as the inventor of the scorpion kick. Here he is at Wembley in 1995 against England:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zSGWpLkj8k&feature=fvst

Erlan Mealla of Bolivian side Nacional Potosi has clearly watched videos of Higuita and practised. His chance to show what he could do came in a recent game against The Strongest.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSkT6eGEcsY

Until next month, pals, keep well

Prof. Statto.













 

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