Sunday, 14 August 2011

Arsenal's trophy cabinet laid bare

by Martin McCutcheon

Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005. They have however been in the Champions League every season since, and as the graphic shows, after six seasons representing the cream of English football, their trophy cabinet is bare.

Other big name teams that have been in Europe consistently have several domestic (green and orange circles) and even European titles (red ones) to show. Inter have 9, Barcelona have 8, and Arsenal’s English rivals Chelsea and Manchester United have 5 apiece.

Even teams that do not always play in Europe every season have won titles, like Valencia, as shown.

It is high time Arsenal won something, or perhaps UEFA change who gets into the Champions League.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Premier league congestion table

By Martin McCutcheon

Is the premiership competitive enough? Many people complain about how it’s the same teams that win the league (man united, chelsea or arsenal since 1995) and the same teams in contention for the champions league. But looking at the tables distorted by point differences you see a clearer picture of how competitive it actually is – a point decided the winner last year, and while Portsmouth got left well behind (for financial reasons) there were several bunches of congestion in the table. This season, the title is anything but decided, european spots will be fought down to the wire and the entire bottom half of the table is as congested as a rush hour traffic jam.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

What price ignominy?

By Martin McCutcheon

A few years ago the Times published the then worst 50 players in the premiership, and footyfactor have gone one step further; naming the biggest failures - those who arrived with high expectations and never lived up to them.

Everyone will have their own personal favourite scapegoat, and we're not talking about Ali Dia, but rather those who had a proven track record, those who came with high expectations - it's a trade off of their price tag and performance. Even Winston Bogarde gets a mention, but we’re looking at those who played more than a handful of games, so there’s no Guiv’arch here either.

Looking at the two lists it’s easiest to compare the strikers – they score the goals and have often transferred for the most money. (After all what statistic do we use for ranking a defender?).

Footyfactor name Shevchenko and Rebrov as the biggest failures. Shevchenko came to Chelsea for £30m, as a former European Player of the year, Rebrov with a fantastic goal scoring reputation (joint top scorer in the Champions League in ‘99/00 and having scored 93 goals for Dynamo Kiev)

Other past strikers, who moved for large figures, Jose Anonio Reyes and Afonso Alves didn’t perform much better than Shevchenko, but even their transfer fees pale in comparison.

The question is, are any of the current stars - given the fees usually it’s foreign ones, who have to adjust to a new league too - under threat of making it into this infamous starting line up?

Torres is Liverpool’s costliest player and isn’t having a great season, but looking at the graph (showing goals per game against their transfer fee), he seems to have done enough to avoid such a tag. Berbatov arrived at United for a hefty £30.75m fee and until this season, where he has bagged 5 goals in one game, hadn’t seemed to justify his reputation; in his previous two seasons he scored only 21 goals in 60 odd matches.

Fortunately for both foreign stars, they wouldn’t push Shevchenko* or Rebrov off their post.

And Adebayor might look like he’s justifying his £25m price tag with a near half decent goals per game ratio, but the truth is he isn’t playing many games. If he doesn’t get on the pitch, let alone the score-sheet he might be joining the “Failures XI”.