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  16-Dec-2018 05:03 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 28-31.... 2011-12 Round 25-27.... 2011-12 Round 21-24.... 2011-12 Round 17-20.... 2011-12 Round 11-16.... 2011-12 Round 8-10

Hello again pals,
And welcome back. There is something particularly stirring about a comeback against all expectations. Last season, Newcastle recovered from 0-4 at half time to draw with a fine Arsenal side – exciting stuff, but as they were at home, we can only call it good. Let's raise the bar: how about bigger games, in Europe, say?

For nearly 40 years, Celtic's victory in the European Cup Final of 1967 against Inter Milan had a mythical status. The Italians were Europe's top team and had bought the best available talent in every position. Celtic had 11 Glasgow lads. Inter just didn't concede goals, especially when they had taken the lead. How they lost is still difficult to fathom.

Man. Utd's 1999 Champions League win was thrilling, but more for the timing of their goals than anything else. They were the favourites, too. Very good, then. That Celtic triumph was eclipsed in 2005. Even Liverpool's detractors would be hard put to find anything to match the Scouse miracle in Istanbul on May 25 that year. You know the story: AC Milan, six times kings of Europe and hot favourites, were 3-0 ahead at half time in the Champions League Final against an unheralded Liverpool side including Djimi Traore.... Fast forward 90 tumultuous minutes and Djimi had a winner's medal – which he probably dropped. I'm not a Liverpool supporter, but for the following 12 months, whenever I thought of that result, it cheered me up.

Tuesday night brought us another game to rival that. By common consent, Barcelona are the world's best team. With 100,000 supporters roaring them on in their own backyard, how could they fail once they were 2-0 ahead? And against 10 men? And enjoying 70% possession? And when gifted a penalty?

Whatever happens in Munich on May 19th will be an anticlimax, but even if Bayern are a couple of goals clear as 90 minutes ticks round, until the ref blows, they're not going to be confident they have got the better of Chelsea. I'm not a Chelsea supporter either, but I was thrilled by their collective spirit against Barcelona in the most testing of circumstances. Their acheivement matches Liverpool's. I trust I'm not wearing British-tinted glasses when I say these two victories qualify equally as Europe's most inspiring and unequalled comebacks.

Back to the Premier League: it's wonderful for all us neutrals to see there's every chance of the title race going to the final day. And at the bottom, with everyone (well, everyone except Wolves) picking up unexpected wins, we could be risking dislocated eyeballs by trying to watch both ends of the table at once on May 13th!.

One newbie, two or three?
There are currently 27 ScoreFive Supporters Leagues. We began with the 20 teams who were in the Prem when ScoreFive kicked off in 2008-09; seven promoted teams have been added, and we've had two returnees, Newcastle and West Brom. The ScoreFive Supremo is a generous chap, and once a team is In, he allows them to stay, even if, like Portsmouth, they have declined to being a long way from premier status, and growing more remote with each financial crisis, entry into administration, change of ownership etc. (My condolences to #264 Castaway1, our only current Pompey regular, on your latest misfortune).

If you peruse these Supporters Leagues – you'll find them below the Top 20 players list – you'll notice that only 26 teams are listed. I've no idea why Middlesbrough aren't there, particularly with Boro loyalist #7 LadyinRed in such an elevated position. Most likely the gremlins who inhabit the darkest recesses of the mainframe have stolen them. We'll conduct a search during the season end spring-clean.

When we reassemble for the new term in August, there will be at least one newbie, since Reading climaxed a devastating 14-2-1 sprint to become the first team to book their place on the Going Up Express. If Southampton add to their impressive 15-4-3 home record by seeing off relegated Coventry on Saturday, we'll have two, and it'll be difficult to get the Supremo down off the ceiling. West Ham, Blackpool, or Birmingham would all be returnees. Completing the playoff picture are Cardiff. I'll say two newbies and a returnee.

Season Tracker
Here are the details of the last four rounds, the completed Round 29 update 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

29

14.82

17.71

39.90%

9.30%

57.90%

27 & 10

Aston Villa 1-2 Bolton (24.4.12)

1 – 31 avge:

16.6

20.03

46.62%

10.06%

68.58%

871 & 310 = Avge 2.81

Season avge score: 621 pts = Global League #207

32

16.73

20.78

51.20%

8.50%

81.00%

23 & 10

 

33

18.37

21.42

53.40%

12.10%

61.10%

29 & 10

 

34

9.34

11.77

30.70%

1.60%

53.50%

18 & 6

4 games postponed to May 2-3

35

15.12

17.84

41.50%

9.20%

54.50%

22 & 10

 

1-35 avge

16.59

20.02

46.88%

9.92%

68.67%

963 & 346 Avge 2.78

Season avge score: 693 pts = Global League #200

A note for any of you sharp-eyed types who might have seen there's a slight difference between the basic/+ banker points shown above and those that appear on your Dashboard when you sign in: my figures are based on active players only. The dashboard figures include players using a Magic Mike Life.

Round 29 update
The result of the delayed Aston Villa-Bolton game didn't boost many players points, but it was ideal for WullieW (Rangers & Scotland) who picked up a Perfecto to climb to joint second on 28 pts with John Makris (Liverpool & Australia). This meant that Scorefive and Hong Kong's Nikita, who doesn't support anyone in particular, maintained her lead to win the round with 30 pts, and she can now place a crown next to her name in the table – and she's still in her first full season.

Tip Of The Week? The three players who collected 10 pt Banker Perfectos with Bolton (Desjohn, Skippotee and Dinney) all deserve a mention, but I'd still put Leigh05 ahead of them for his 0-5 Wolves-Man. Utd. Perfecto. If my memory's accurate, we've only had two previous 0-5 Perfectos in four seasons.

Round 32
This was spread over the Easter weekend, and featured seven matches where the favourites couldn't muster 50% support. Fortunately, the three well-backed teams, Chelsea, Man. Utd and Stoke, all won to boost the result percentage. The was a single notable P5: Jeet nailed the Sunderland-Spurs 0-0. Thankfully we had a few interesting Bankers, with Y64Jonjo and Barclays Bank profiting from the draws at Norwich and Sunderland respectively, while Russian Peter backed Newcastle to continue their winning run at Swansea and Warrior relied on Blackburn to lose at West Brom.

Our top scorer was Guobe (Chelsea and the Netherlands) with 31 pts. For the third round in succession, we had a tie for second place. Our 2010-11 champ Filiposworku (Arsenal & Ethiopia) and Andrew Watson (Chelsea & England) both collected 30 pts, just ahead of a long queue on 29. Tip Of The Week? Jeet takes it.

Round 33
We had barely got our breath back before we were embroiled in the midweek Round 33, which caught out dozens of regular players who failed to get their predictions in. Forty-one who still had a Magic Mike Life got lucky, as our Tipster racked up 32 pts, the joint leading score. As he's excluded from prizes, the other 32er was entered on our Great Wall of Fame as the winner – Sarajevo, from Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Hawkeye, Bearweger and Major.sahab were spot-on with their 3-0 tips for QPR while Xironimoh was the only player to go for the 2-3 at Blackburn. Ignoring the fact that Wigan have never taken a point from Man. Utd, Bangkok Blues, Gaucin and MickD took the contrary view and pocketed an unlikely two points. Sensing an upset at White Hart Lane, Diesel backed Norwich to win and collected the sole P5 from their defeat of Spurs – good enough for Tip Of The Week, I reckon.

Round 34
With the FA Cup semi-finals taking place the same weekend, four league matches were postponed, so we must wait until the first week of May to know our winner. At present, we're heading for a P5 drought and a low average score, and we're short of star performers too. AlWildman and Jogrew are the best of a bad lot for their Perfectos from Swansea's 3-0 dismembering of Blackburn.

There are two dozen players with 19-20 pts and plenty poised to catch them pending the outcome of Liverpool v Fulham, a game with almost 50 Bankers riding on it.

From feast to famine: in Round 33, all the players who used a Magic Mike Life picked up the top score of 32 pts. One week on, and our tipster (carrying the hopes of 75 others) decided that Arsenal at home to Wigan was a safe Banker bet....oh dear! With only 10 pts in the bag, Mike and his followers need a big haul from the remaining four games to post a decent score.

Round 35
With only two of the Prem's top six able to force a win, our leading players all came from the group who Banked on Sky Blue or Black & White. Taking top spot with 28 pts were Memorabilia_Australia (Arsenal, and, surprisingly, Australia) ahead of a dozen on 26-27, including AllWrong (Notts. Co. & New Zealand) who bagged the week's top haul of seven results.

Those who bet on Red in the Scorefive Casino went unrewarded – it's nigh on 50 years since Man. Utd. scored four at home and didn't win. It's a mere 45 since the Albion won at Anfield. While dozens of you Banked on Arsenal or Chelsea, only three went for the draw.

Only two correct results – at Fulham and Newcastle – were backed by a majority if you, so points totals were destined to be moderate at best. We didn't have one notable Perfect 5, though the aforementioned misfortunes among the top six at least allowed a few Banker mavericks to shine. Taffy76 went for the draw at Villa Park while Saif8 and the ever-unreliable Statistical Norm decided this would be one of Blackburn's good weeks. Best of the lot was Studley, who forecast Bolton's 1-1 and picked up 10 pts, and Tip Of The Week to boot.

The Global League
Round 33 brought a change at the summit, with HongKongMui taking over the #1 spot after JoshTz slipped, ending his seven-month spell atop the rankings. Peevemeisters is now HK's closest challenger, while Aluks22 and Nitin04it480 share fourth spot.

Round 35's big climber was Spieretti, who now occupies the #10 spot after racking up 26 pts.

The Banker busters
It was early February, and the season hadn't unfolded in the way the manager and supporters hoped - 23 games played, only three won and a miserable 15 pts overall. Bottom of the Prem and on a run of four losses and eight games without a win. Everyone (at least, everyone outside the club) was agreed that the annual escape-the-drop bid was doomed this year.

The manager made a bold decision. He decided to change nothing. Tactics would stay as they were, the players, barring injuries, would keep their places. What did change was results. Five wins and four draws in the next 11 matches. I am, of course talking about Wigan, and Roberto Martinez.

The wins weren't the sort you migh expect. At Bolton? Over Blackburn? No, the Wiganers appear to have deliberately set out to ruin your ScoreFive Bankers. Away wins at Liverpool and Arsenal, and Man. Utd at home combined to sink almost 500 of your Bonus 5s. They're at home to high-flying Newcastle this weekend. Not many of you are Banking on an away win, I see.

Let's not forget QPR, who have also had some remarkable wins, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs all leaving Loftus Rd. empty-handed in recent weeks, not to mention hundreds of you who expected away wins. Rangers are visiting the neighbours at Stamford Bridge this weekend. That doesn't appear to worry the 50+% of you who have made Chelsea your Banker.

I think this would be an opportune moment to consider who's hot and who's not!

The Form table
I read last week that Spurs current bad run began the week Capello resigned and everyone in the media started shouting 'Harry For England'. The front page poll suggests that ScoreFivers are more balanced.

 

   

W

D

L

Pts

1

Manchester U.

6

1

1

19

2

Newcastle Utd

6

1

1

19

3

Arsenal

5

1

2

16

4

Manchester C.

4

2

2

14

5

Everton

4

2

2

14

6

Wigan Athlet.

4

2

2

14

7

Fulham

4

1

3

13

8

Bolton

4

1

3

13

9

Chelsea

3

3

2

12

10

QP Rangers

4

0

4

12

11

Swansea City

3

1

4

10

12

Sunderland

2

4

2

10

13

West Bromwich

3

1

4

10

14

Blackburn

3

0

5

9

15

Stoke City

2

3

3

9

16

Norwich City

2

2

4

8

17

Liverpool

2

1

5

7

18

Tottenham

1

3

4

6

19

Aston Villa

1

3

4

6

20

Wolverhampton

0

1

7

1

Dad would have been proud
Statto Senior must have been a handy footballer. While sorting through a box of old photos last year, I found one from his boyhood. There he was, seated in the middle of the front row, captain of the town boys team for the game against Birmingham Boys. His brother – “I wasn't as good as your Dad” he modestly told me – was signed by Wolves, but before he had a chance of a first-team game, he, along with many others was transferred. To the Armed Forces.

My Dad and his brother were of the generation whose footballing ambitions were relegated by the lost seasons of 1939-45. The only team my Dad represented during those years was 7 Squadron RAF, who played all their games away in Europe, or at least, above it, in De Havilland Mosquitoes and Lancaster bombers.

When peace returned, at the end of the 1940s, while training to become a teacher in the North-West of England, he signed on for the local team in the Lancashire Combination and quickly established himself on the right side of midfield. I have a heap of faded photos showing him doing the same job for the League XI, but his club side never progressed far. Despite playing in red shirts with white sleeves at a ground named Highbury, they were no Arsenal. The team was Fleetwood. After two seasons, Dad discovered golf. From that point on, Fleetwood and football took second-place as he became a golf fanatic for the rest of his life – and a 4-handicap says he was handy at that, too.

Fleetwood bounced around the lower reaches of the football pyramid for the next 50 years, surviving via several reformations as their town's prosperity declined in tandem with it's principal employer, the fishing industry. Contrary to the the old proverb, there aren't plenty more fish in the sea. Salvation arrived in 2002, in the shape of Andy Pilley, a traditional 'ambitious local businessman', who bought the club, attracted sponsorship and began to invest in the squad, facilities and the ground. If you believe the gossip, he has lashed out enough to pay the salary of a Man. City benchwarmer for a whole year!

During the eight seasons following his arrival, Pilley presided over multiple promotions as the townsfolk embraced his vision. Backed by their raucous 'Cod Army' and with ex-West Brom midfielder Micky Mellon in the manager's seat, Fleetwood brought a fishy tang to the rarefied air of the Conference in 2010. After a fifth-place finish at their first attempt, Pilley decided on the risky and expensive move from part-time to full-time for this season. Two weeks ago, after filleting all opposition in a six-month unbeaten run, they secured the Conference title to guarantee a place in League 2 for next season. I'm sure Dad would have been proud. He might even have been able to tear himself away from the golf course to go and see them.

I'd better call a halt and get these scribbles online, folks, but I'll be back in time for the season finale. Until then, take care.

Prof. Statto























 

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