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Game 39: We’ve been here before haven’t we?


You might assume that the practice of two English clubs facing one another abroad was a recent invention, something adopted as part of the Premier League’s plan for global domination, however that assumption is far from correct. We haven’t quite reached the point where a Premier League match is hosted abroad, but that can’t be too far away, however friendly matches involving two English clubs are commonplace in the pre-season calendar (America and the far East being the two favoured destinations).

I was pleased to see on twitter early this evening James Dart posting a link to a match programme from 1989 featuring Middlesbrough and Coventry City. The two clubs were both on tour in Bermuda at the time and played one another in a friendly. A poorly filmed YouTube video shows Peter Davenport scoring a goal for Middlesbrough. (Hat tip to Christopher Ledger for that).

 

 

Whilst 1989 may seem like the dim and distant past, there are instances of English teams playing one another on foreign soil from early in the 20th Century. A great example of this comes from Willy Meisl’s book “Soccer Revolution”:

“Then on 7 May 1905 Hugo* staged an exhibition game between Everton and Tottenham. The two teams fought as if it were a Cup-tie. Never before had the 10,000 spectators – the crowd record was doubled by this sensational encounter – seen such tackling. Tottenham were favourites, but Everton won 2-0.”

* – Hugo Meisl, the author Willy’s brother who managed the Austrian ‘Wunderteam’ during the 1930s

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Club

 

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Championship: Doing the Double


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.

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7

  • Cardiff City: Millwall, Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United, Blackpool, Birmingham City, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday.

6

  • Hull City: Millwall, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Leeds United and Birmingham City.

5

  • Watford: Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest.

4

  • 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.

3

  • 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.

2

  • 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.

1

  • Blackpool: Millwall.
  • Leeds United: Bristol City.
  • Middlesbrough: Blackburn Rovers.

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  • 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)
 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Statistics

 

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CHAMPIONSHIP 2011/2012 SEASON REVIEW WORD CLOUDS

CHAMPIONSHIP 2011/2012 SEASON REVIEW WORD CLOUDS

With the new season upon us we at Spirit of Mirko are continuing our retrospective on the 2011/2012 season. Following on from our Premier League word-clouds we’ve now constructed twenty-four clouds that represent each Championship club’s season via the words used in their respective BBC match reports.

If you wish to use one of these images for your own site, then feel free. Just ensure you set up a link to this page and also give full credit to tagxedo (the wonderful site that these images were created in).

Barnsley

Barnsley

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Statistics

 

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Foreign players in the Championship 2011/2012


Of the 699 players who appeared for Championship clubs during the 2011/2012 season 387 were English. As you’d expect the other nations from the British Isles also featured heavily with (and no, this isn’t a joke) 52 Scotsmen, 50 Irishmen, 28 Welshmen and 19 Northern Irishmen.

The table below shows data on each of the twenty-four clubs in the Championship and the nationalities who played during the 2011/2012 season. The columns are as follows, Nats: number of nationalities used, Plyrs: total number of players used, Eng: Englishmen used (Sco, Wal, NI, Ire self-explanatory). %Eng is the percentage of the total number of players used who are English whilst %B&I is the percentage of players used who are from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. Whilst I understand that Ireland is a foreign country I feel that this metric is useful as players from the Republic of Ireland have been integral parts of squads in the football pyramid for many years.

Championship nationalities 2011/2012

Championship nationalities 2011/2012

Relegated Portsmouth are the side that can most adequately be labelled as the division’s “foreign-legion”, though it has to be said that the term “foreign legion” exited the football lexicon a few years ago. I think it dropped out of common usage at the same time that the goalkeepers union was finally disbanded.

Doncaster Rovers’ (Willie McKay inspired) policy of recruiting anything that moved during the second half of last season leaves them having used the most players in the division (41). Play-off semi finalists Birmingham City used the fewest players having only used 22 during the season. It’s a real credit to the Blues as they also had a gruelling (and very fun) sojourn in the Europa League to navigate.

Peterborough United fielded the highest percentage of English players (79%) but it was Barnsley who used the most (28). In fact the only player that Barnsley used who originated outside of the British Isles was Ricardo Vaz Te, and he signed for West Ham during the January transfer window.

Blackpool used the most Scottish players (7), Crystal Palace used the most Welshmen (4), Burnley were the club who fielded the most Northern Irish players (5) whilst Palace and Ipswich Town fielded the most Irishmen (5).

In 2011/2012 an incredible sixty-seven different countries were represented in the Championship. They were Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Iceland, Brazil, Netherlands, Denmark, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Spain, Senegal, Grenada, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Trinidad &Tobago, France, Mali, Slovakia, Malta, Jamaica, Slovenia, Serbia, Ghana, South Africa, DR Congo, Finland, Australia, Cote d’Ivoire, Bulgaria, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Israel, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Antigua and Barbuda, Curaoao, Czech Republic, Malawi, Morocco, Guadeloupe, Chile, Comoros, Argentina, Cameroon, Algeria, United States, Belgium, Estonia, Honduras, Hungary, Barbados, Switzerland, Fiji, Canada, Mexico, Croatia, Italy, New Zealand, Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Germany and Burundi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Statistics

 

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Championship Champions 2011: Reading


The following tables show the number of points earned by teams during 2011.

It’s very tight at the top of the Championship table for 2011. Reading have the best points average yet it’s Middlesbrough who picked up more points during the year. Both these sides are closely followed by Cardiff City who finish the year having picked up 82 points, an identical tally to Reading. It might be slightly controversial as Boro picked up more points during 2011, but I feel the trophy should be awarded to Reading who achieved their points tally playing one fewer matches than Middlesbrough.

Forest’s struggles are emphasised in the table below. Despite qualifying for the playoffs in 2010/2011 they find themselves languishing in the bottom half of this table. Three managers in 2011 tell its own story for the Midlands club. It’s Doncaster Rovers who end the calendar year rock bottom; no other side lost as many Championship games during the calendar year.

Championship: Calendar Year 2011 (sorted by average points per game)

Championship: Calendar Year 2011 (sorted by average points per game)

The following table includes all sides that spent any time in the Championship during the 2011 calendar year. It’s Southampton who end the year on top of the table (in average points per game terms). The south-coast club picked up an incredible 105 points during 2011 (58 in League One, and 47 in the Championship).

Championship: Calendar Year 2011 (sorted by average points per game)

Championship: Calendar Year 2011 (sorted by average points per game)

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Club, Statistics

 

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