Despite many English football fans claiming to be disgruntled with their national side, they are the best supported side in Europe. Although England didn’t always fill Wembley Stadium during qualification for the World Cup, they normally got pretty close and come out top of the attendances ladder for Brazil 2014 qualification.
World Cup 2014 UEFA Qualification – average attendances by team
Looking at the attendances by group shows that France & Spain’s group came out on top. This is almost certainly due to the lack of a micro-state minnow such as Andorra or San Marino in their group.
World Cup 2014 UEFA Qualification – Average attendances by group
- Russia are the side who had the largest disparity between their highest (54,212) and their lowest (14,300) attendances.
- Belgium fans are the most consistent. Their lowest crowd (39,987) was 87% of their highest crowd (45,844)
- The least consistent fans were the Cypriots whose smallest gate was (937) and the largest gate was (2,493).
- Serbia also managed to draw some erratic crowds with 30,000 fans for one game yet only 6,500 for another.
- Highest crowd was at Wembley (86,645) for England’s demolishion of San Marino.
- Lowest crowd during qualification (excluding the two games which were played behind closed doors) was a paltry 341 in Nicosia where Cyprus played out a 0-0 draw with Albania.
Tags: Attendances, UEFA, World Cup, World Cup 2014
The following list shows the number of times each club in the Championship won home and away against one of their rivals during the 2012/2013 Championship season. Every single one of the 24 clubs managed to achieve this feat against at least one of their opponents during the season.
- Cardiff City: Millwall, Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United, Blackpool, Birmingham City, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday.
- Hull City: Millwall, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Leeds United and Birmingham City.
- Watford: Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest.
- Birmingham City: Bristol City, Peterborough United, Leeds United and Middlesbrough.
- Crystal Palace: Peterborough United, Derby County, Wolves and Charlton Athletic.
- Leicester City: Bristol City, Huddersfield Town, Burnley and Middlesbrough.
- Nottingham Forest: Peterborough United, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic.
- Burnley: Bristol City, Derby County and Wolves.
- Charlton Athletic: Bristol City, Blackpool and Leicester City.
- Huddersfield Town: Bristol City, Burnley and Wolves.
- Sheffield Wednesday: Millwall, Barnsley and Charlton Athletic.
- Barnsley: Millwall and Middlesbrough.
- Blackburn Rovers: Bristol City and Barnsley.
- Bolton Wanderers: Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers.
- Brighton & Hove Albion: Huddersfield Town and Burnley.
- Bristol City: Peterborough United and Middlesbrough.
- Derby County: Bristol City and Leeds United.
- Ipswich Town: Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers.
- Millwall: Leicester City and Middlesbrough.
- Peterborough United: Barnsley and Cardiff City.
- Wolves: Bristol City and Birmingham City.
- Blackpool: Millwall.
- Leeds United: Bristol City.
- Middlesbrough: Blackburn Rovers.
- No side did the double over promoted Hull City or play-off finalists Crystal Palace and Watford.
- Cardiff did the double over seven other sides but relegated Peterborough were the only side to do the double over the Dragons.
- Ten sides did the double against Bristol City which may explain why the club finished bottom.
- The three sides who did the double against only one other club finished in 13th (Leeds United), 15th (Blackpool) and 16th (Middlesbrough)
Tags: Barnsley, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, Championship, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Nottingham Forest, Peterborough United, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield Wednesday Hull City, Watford, Wolves
If a club wins both the home fixture and the away fixture during a league season then they are said to have “done the double” over that side. In the Premier League during the 2012/2013 season 16 of the 20 sides did the double over a rival.
The following lists show the teams that each club in the Premier League managed to do the double against.
- Manchester United: Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke City, QPR, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Fulham, Wigan Athletic, Reading and Liverpool.
- Chelsea: Sunderland, Stoke City, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Everton, Wigan Athletic and Arsenal.
- Arsenal: QPR, Newcastle United, West Brom, West Ham, Wigan Athletic and Reading.
- Manchester City: Newcastle United, Aston Villa, West Brom, Fulham, Wigan Athletic and Reading.
- Tottenham Hotspur: Southampton, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Swansea City, West Ham and Reading.
- Liverpool: QPR, Norwich City, Fulham and Wigan Athletic.
- West Brom: Southampton, Sunderland, QPR and Liverpool.
- Swansea City: QPR, Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic.
- Aston Villa: Sunderland and Reading.
- Southampton: Aston Villa and Reading.
- Everton: West Ham.
- Fulham: West Brom.
- Sunderland: Wigan Athletic,
- Stoke City: QPR.
- Newcastle United: QPR.
- Wigan Athletic: Reading
- Norwich City: None.
- QPR: None.
- Reading: None.
- West Ham: None.
Of the three relegated sides Wigan Athletic were the only team who managed to win home and away against another club (Wigan did the double over fellow relegated side Reading).
Four sides in the Premier League did not lose home and away to another club. Those sides were Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United. Nine clubs did the double over eventual FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic.
Tags: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Premier League, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom, West Ham, Wigan Athletic
The following list shows the players who started the first and last league games for their League clubs in the 2012/2013 season.
- Stevenage (8) – James Dunne, Luke Freeman, Marcus Haber, Darius Charles, Chris Day, Mark Roberts, David Gray and Bondz N’Gala.
- Carlisle United (7) – Liam Noble, Brad Potts, Lee Miller, James Trevor Berrett, Danny Livesey, Matthew James Robson and Paul Thirlwell.
- Crawley Town (7) – Nicky Adams, Josh Simpson, Billy Clarke, Matthew Sadler, Paul Jones, Dannie Bulman and Mark Connolly.
- Hartlepool United (7) – Andy Monkhouse, Jonathan Franks, Simon Walton, Sam Collins, Scott Flinders, Neil Jeffrey Austin and Peter Hartley.
- Leyton Orient (7) – Dean Cox, Lloyd James, Kevin Lisbie, Jimmy Dean Smith, Gary Sawyer, Jamie Jones and Nathan Clarke.
- Tranmere Rovers (7) – Jean-Louis Akpro, Andy Robinson, Liam Palmer, Danny Holmes, Zoumana Bakayogo, Ash Taylor and Ben Gibson.
- Brentford (6) – Harlee Dean, Clayton Donaldson, Shaleum Logan, Simon Moore, Toumani Diagouraga and Jonathan Douglas.
- Doncaster Rovers (6) – Chris Brown, David Cotterill, Robert Jones, Paul Quinn, Jamie Paul McCombe and Tommy Spurr.
- Notts County (6) – Alan Judge, Jeff Hughes, Yoann Arquin, Gary Liddle, Bartosz Bialkowski and Dean Leacock.
- Preston North End (6) – Nicky Wroe, Keith Keane, Jack King, John Mousinho, Paul Huntington and David Buchanan.
- Yeovil Town (6) – James Hayter, Edward Upson, Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Sam Foley and Dominic Blizzard.
- AFC Bournemouth (5) – Charlie Daniels, Marc Pugh, Shaun MacDonald, Tommy Elphick and Simon Francis.
- MK Dons* (5) – Antony Kay, Dean Peter Bowditch, Daniel Powell, Luke Chadwick and Darren Potter.
- Scunthorpe United (5) – Jimmy Ryan, Mark Duffy, Sam Slocombe, David Mirfin and Tom Newey.
- Walsall (5) – Adam Craig Chambers, Jamie Paterson, William Grigg, Nicky Featherstone and Dean Holden.
- Crewe Alexandra (4) – Byron Moore, Max Clayton, Ajay Leitch-Smith and Harry Davis.
- Sheffield United (4) – Harry Maguire, Kevin McDonald, Michael Doyle and Neill Collins.
- Swindon Town (4) – Raffaele De Vita, Alan McCormack, Wesley Foderingham and Joe Devera.
- Colchester United (3) – Magnus Okuonghae, Marcus Bean and Brian Wilson.
- Coventry City (3) – Adam Barton, John Fleck and Richard Wood.
- Oldham Athletic (3) – Lee Croft, Christian Alexis Montaño Castillo and Jean-Yves Mvoto.
- Bury (2) – Mark Hughes and David Worrall.
- Shrewsbury Town (2) – Luke Summerfield and Chris Weale.
- Portsmouth (0)
Not one player who started Portsmouth’s first game of the season also started the last game of the league season. This perhaps demonstrates what a turbulent season the club has had. The club didn’t even have the same manager for their first and last games of the season.
Tags: AFC Bournemouth, Brentford, Bury, Carlisle United, Colchester United, Coventry City, Crawley Town, Crewe Alexandra, Doncaster Rovers, Hartlepool United, League One, Leyton Orient, Milton Keynes Dons, Notts County, Oldham Athletic, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield United, Shrewsbury Town, Stevenage, Swindon Town, Tranmere Rovers, Walsall, Yeovil Town
The vast majority of clubs in the Championship supplement their squads with players on loan from the Premier League or further afield. In fact, many clubs depend on taking a few players on loan at the start of every season and often pay substantial loan fees in order to do so. It’s a fact of life in the Championship.
However, Watford have taken this to another level this season by taking a dozen or so players on loan from various clubs in Italy and Spain. Whilst this is within Football League rules it has infuriated many including rent-a-quote Ian Holloway and rent-a-rant Adrian Durham.
The percentages above represent the total number of minutes all players have played for each club divided by the number of minutes played by loan players for the club.
It’s perhaps unsurprising to see Watford out on top after their well reported deals. They’re followed by Ipswich Town who have had a turbulent season, recently bringing in Mick McCarthy to steady their sinking tractor. Hull City’s Egyptian experiment sees them also feature in the upper echelons of the chart.
Whilst Hull City and Watford are undoubtedly having great seasons with much of their squad made up of loan players, it doesn’t always lead to success. Cardiff City have fielded the lowest amount of loan players during games this season yet the Dragons currently lead the division.
Tags: Loan Players, Watford
With the Africa Cup of Nations a fading memory and the European leagues back in full swing I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Africans represented in five of Europe’s top leagues: Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga.
Despite their non qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations 2013, Senegal have the most players playing in the five European leagues mentioned in the introduction. 32 Senegalese players play in these leagues. Twenty-nine different nationalities are represented in these leagues from Morocco to Mauritania.
With much of Africa being Francophone and many French born players opting to play for the countries in the Maghreb it’s unsurprisng that Ligue 1 features so many African footballers.
Number of African players used so far in the 2012/2013 league season.
French teams dominate the list. Every single one of Ligue 1’s twenty sides have fielded an African footballer during the current 2012/2013 season. However, it’s Rennes who are the club who have used the most African players. They’ve used an impressive eleven different African players so far this season. Brilliantly this is enough to field a whole first XI of African players:
Possible Rennes first XI
Tags: Africa, African footbalelrs, La Liga, Premier League
Manchester United were the club who picked up the most Premier League points during 2012. They are followed by their city rivals Manchester City who despite losing the same number of games as United, couldn’t convert many of their draws to wins.
Interestingly Everton picked up more points than both Chelsea and Arsenal during 2012 though this may have something to do with the fact that Everton played more games than both Chelsea and Arsenal during the year. Additionally the contrast between Everton and their neighbours across Stanley Park is stark. Liverpool only won 11 out of their 38 games in 2012. The only two sides who weren’t relegated or promoted during 2012 with a lower points tally than Liverpool were Aston Villa and QPR.
For more statistics related to the 2012 calendar year including stats from the Football League, take a look at the ever excellent Sporting Intelligence.
Tags: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Premier League, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic, Wolves
Unsurprisingly Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated Spanish football in 2012. Barca accumulated over 100 points, whilst Real Madrid were ten points behind their bitter rivals. Interestingly during 2012 Valencia and Rayo Vallecano picked up the same number of points as each other, however Valencia drew 10 of their games, Vallecano drew just one – a goalless game with Sevilla in September.
La Liga 2012
For the best Spanish football coverage head over to Inside Spanish Football.
Tags: Athletic Bilbao, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Celta Vigo, Deportivo La Coruña, Espanyol, Getafe, Granada, La Liga, Levante, Málaga, Osasuna, Racing Santander, Rayo Vallecano, Real Betis, Real Madrid, Real Mallorca, Real Sociedad, Real Valladolid, Real Zaragoza, Sevilla, Spain, Sporting Gijón, Valencia, Villarreal
With German football currently taking a winter break, Eintracht Frankfurt can look back on 2012 with a satisfaction that few other clubs can match. Since their promotion to the Bundesliga last May they have accumulated an impressive thirty points and currently sit fourth in the table, behind only Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund. In fact, during 2012 only Bayern, Bayer Leverkusen and Dortmund have a higher points per game average than them and during 2012 Eintracht Frankfurt have managed 30 points in their 17 games. Their excellent start to the 2012/2013 season is also demonstrated by the fact that during their half a year in the Bundesliga they collected almost as many points as Hoffenheim and Augsburg, despite both of those sides spending the whole of 2012 in the top flight!
It’s Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund who have dominated German football during 2012. Bayern Munich collected one more point than Dortmund during 2012, though it should be noted that Dortmund actually lost fewer games than their Munich rivals.
Bundesliga 2012 table
You can also read the same stats but for Serie A and Ligue 1 on this site.
If you want more in depth Bundesliga coverage then it’s worth taking a look at Bundesliga Lounge.
Tags: Augsburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bundesliga, Cologne, Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Nürnberg, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Freiburg, Greuther Fürth, Hamburg, Hannover 96, Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim, Kaiserslautern, Mainz, Schalke, VfB Stuttgart, Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg
For the latest in French football head over to French Football Weekly.
As the calendar year 2012 comes to an end and with French football all wrapped up for another year, it’s unsurprising to see that “Zlatan Ibrahimović’s Paris St. Germain” are the club that have topped the French charts during 2012.
It’s quite interesting to note that the three promoted sides Bastia, Reims and Troyes haven’t performed very strongly in the first half of the 2012/2013 season. Of the sides that were not relegated at the end of the 2011/2012 season, Nancy are the only club with a lower points average than any of the three promoted sides.
Ligue 1 2012 table
Disclaimer: No trophies are awarded for being the best team over a calendar year. It is not (and will hopefully never be) a “thing”. However, I thought compiling the stats may give an indication as to which sides have not only started the 2012/2013 season well, but also had a strong end to the previous season.
Tags: Ajaccio, Auxerre, Bastia, Bordeaux, Brest, Caen, Dijon, Evian, Ligue 1, Lille, Lorient, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nancy, Nice, Paris Saint-Germain, Reims, Rennes, Saint-Étienne, Sochaux, Toulouse, Troyes, Valenciennes