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Premier League 2013/2014 – a graphical review


The BBC website produces match reports for all of the games every single Premier League side plays during the season. From Premier League and FA Cup, to Champions League to League Cup ties the BBC reports on them all. I thought it would be interesting to compile all of these reports for each of the twenty Premier League sides, and to produce word-clouds for each side. If a particular word is used more often, then it is shown on screen as larger than the other less used words.

I created one for Square One Football Radio, and felt I should create word clouds for all twenty clubs. I used the excellent online tool wordle.net to create the word clouds. Please feel free to use these on your blog or website, but I’d appreciate a link back.

To see a higher resolution image of the word cloud, click on it.

Arsenal

Arsenal

astonvilla_20132014

Aston Villa

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Cardiff City

chelsea_20132014

Chelsea

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Crystal Palace

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Everton

fulham_20132014

Fulham

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Hull City

liverpool_20132014

Liverpool

manchestercity_20132014

Manchester City

manchesterunited_20132014

Manchester United

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Newcastle United

norwichcity_20132014

Norwich City

southampton_20132014

Southampton

stokecity_20132014

Stoke City

sunderland_20132014

Sunderland

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Swansea City

tottenhamhotspur_20132014

Tottenham Hotspur

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West Bromwich Albion

westhamunited_20132014

West Ham United

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Club

 

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Alliterative Footballers in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two


A list of footballers who have played in the Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two this season with their first name beginning with the same letter as their surname. Please let me know if you are aware of any others.

  • Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town)
  • Adebayo Azeez (Wycombe Wanderers & Leyton Orient)
  • Ahmed Abdulla (Barnet)
  • Akwasi Asante (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Ali Al Habsi (Wigan Athletic)
  • Almen Abdi (Watford)
  • Andreas Arestidou (Morecambe)
  • Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal)
  • Antolín Alcáraz (Wigan Athletic)
  • Barry Bannan (Aston Villa)
  • Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County)
  • Billy Bodin (Torquay United)
  • Brian Barry-Murphy (Rochdale)
  • Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
  • Christopher Chantler (Carlisle United)
  • Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
  • Clarke Carlisle (York City & Northampton Town)
  • Conor Clifford (Portsmouth & Crawley Town)
  • Courtney Cameron (Rotherham United)
  • Craig Cathcart (Blackpool)
  • Craig Clay (Chesterfield)
  • Craig Conway (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Craig Curran (Rochdale)
  • Cyrus Christie (Coventry Dragons)
  • Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace & Ipswich Town)
  • Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
  • Darryl Duffy (Cheltenham Town)
  • David Davis (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • David De Gea (Manchester United)
  • David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Diego De Girolamo (Sheffield United)
  • Donervon Daniels (Tranmere Rovers)
  • Dorian Dervite (Charlton Athletic)
  • Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Bury)
  • Frank Fielding (Derby County)
  • Gábor Gyepes (Portsmouth)
  • Gaël Givet (Blackburn Rovers)
  • Gary Gardner (Aston Villa)
  • Gianluca Gracco (Dagenham & Redbridge)
  • Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • Harry Hooman (Cheltenham Town)
  • Heidar Helguson (Cardiff Dragons)
  • Jake Jervis (Portsmouth, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United & Birmingham City)
  • Jake Jones (Walsall)
  • Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient)
  • Jermaine Jenas (Nottingham Forest & Queens Park Rangers)
  • Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday)
  • Joe Jacobson (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic)
  • Jussi Jääskeläinen (West Ham United)
  • Kei Kamara (Norwich City)
  • Keith Keane (Preston North End)
  • Leon Legge (Gillingham & Brentford)
  • Leroy Lita (Sheffield Wednesday & Birmingham City)
  • Marcus Marshall (Bury)
  • Mark Molesley (Exeter City & Plymouth Argyle)
  • Marko Marin (Chelsea)
  • Marvin Morgan (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Mathieu Manset (Carlisle United)
  • Matt Mitchel-King (AFC Wimbledon)
  • Matthew McClure (Wycombe Wanderers)
  • Matthew Mills (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Michael Morrison (Charlton Athletic)
  • Modibo Maïga (West Ham United)
  • Nyron Nosworthy (Watford)
  • Olanrewaju Oyebanjo (York City)
  • Osayamen Osawe (Accrington Stanley)
  • Oulwasanmi Odelusi (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Paul Parry (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading)
  • Phil Picken (Bury)
  • Richard Ravenhill (Bradford City)
  • Robbie Rogers (Stevenage)
  • Sam Saunders (Brentford)
  • Sam Slocombe (Scunthorpe United)
  • Sam Sodje (Portsmouth)
  • Scott Shearer (Rotherham United)
  • Scott Sinclair (Manchester City)
  • Sean Scannell (Huddersfield Town)
  • Sean St. Ledger (Leicester City & Millwall)
  • Stéphane Sessègnon (Sunderland)
  • Steve Sidwell (Fulham)
  • Steve Simonsen (Preston North End)
  • Steven Schumacher (Bury)
 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Alliteration XI, Club

 

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Premier League table for the 2012 calendar year


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.

prem2012final

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.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Club, Statistics

 

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Premier League 2011/2012 to 2012/2013 player changes

Premier League 2011/2012 to 2012/2013 player changes

The close season is traditionally a time where clubs jettison their weak players, replacing them with footballers with the skill to take the club one step further, whether that be to qualify or European competition or avoid another year’s relegation struggle. With that in mind I thought it would be interesting to see which clubs decided a wholesale change would be preferable to keeping faith with the players who toiled their way through the 2011/2012 season.

I took the line-ups from the last day’s action of  the twenty Premier League sides of the 2011/2012 season (this includes West Ham, Southampton and Reading’s last Championship game of the season) and compared these line-ups with the opening day of this year’s Premier League season (2012/2013). The headline figure from this process is that 40% of all players who started the first game of the 2012/2013 season did not start in the last game of the 2011/2012 season (or if they did, it was for a different football club). Obviously this 40% is not entirely made up of new signings as it also includes players who were on the squads of their current teams last season but for whatever reason (be that injury or not being selected) did not start the game.

TEN

Of the twenty current Premier League clubs no club fielded an identical line-up between the end of last season and the start of this season. However, two clubs made only one change. These two clubs were Everton and Manchester City who fielded ten players on the last day of the 2011/2012 season that also started in the club’s opening fixture this season. The only difference between the Everton XI against Newcastle United in 2011/2012 and their opening day side that started (and defeated) Manchester United is that Sylvian Distin started against Manchester United. Interestingly Distin did play against Newcastle in 2011/2012 when he came on as a substitute for Hetinga. We weren’t to know it at the time but between the minutes of ’70 and ’74 the team Everton had on the field against Newcastle United would be the identical eleven that would start the season against Manchester United over three months later. It’s perhaps ironic (if you enjoy using the term loosely, or incorrectly) that the only change in Manchester City‘s starting line-up for their opening day 3-2 victory over Southampton to their last day win against QPR was the inclusion of Everton’s (another club who enjoy making few changes) Jack Rodwell (a replacement for Gareth Barry).

NINE

Two clubs who enjoyed successful seasons in 2011/2012 also made very few changes. Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United only made two changes between the end of last season and the beginning of this. Wigan Athletic brought in new signing Ivan Ramis and burly centre-half Alvaro Alcaraz whilst Alan Pardew also made defensive changes with Danny Simpson and Steve Taylor joining the starting XI. Of all the Premier League clubs it’s only Everton and Newcastle United that fielded starting elevens on the opening day of the 2012/2013 season who were also contracted to the club in the previous season.

EIGHT

Tottenham HotspurReading and Stoke City all started eight players who started last season’s finale. The three clubs had differing reasons for their trio of changes. Spurs were under a new manager in Andre Villas-Boas who was trying to put his own stamp on the side with new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson starting alongside Jermaine Defoe in attack. The Biscuitmen, promoted under Brian McDermott last season, fielded three new signings in Chris Gunter, Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak who they hope will help keep them in the division. Finally Stoke City in an attempt to consolidate their presence in the Premier League started with Marc Wilson, Asmir Begovic and Michael Kightly, none started The Potters’ final game of the 2011/2012 season.

SEVEN

Sunderland, Southampton, Swansea City and West Ham United began the season with seven of the eleven who began the last game of the previous season. Notable signings for these sides included Swansea’s Michu and Chico who have made impacts for differing reasons in the opening weeks of the season for their goalscoring and red card exploits. Similarly to Reading, Saints have signed players they feel are good enough to keep them in the division, both Jay Rodriguez and Nathaniel Clyne started in their opening 2012/2013 fixture. Martin O’Neil has started his first full season as Sunderland boss and fielded new signing Carlos Cuellar in the Rokerites’ (no I didn’t get the memo) first match of the season.

SIX

2011/2012 Premier League runners-up Manchester United fielded five players on the opening day who didn’t start the last game of the previous seaosn. These included the injured Tom Cleverley and Nemanja Vidic as well as new signing Shinji Kigawa. Other clubs who featured five different players were Fulham, Norwich City and West Brom.

FIVE

QPR and Liverpool were the two sides that fielded five players for the last game of the 2011/2012 season who also started the 2012/2013 season. QPR’s slapdash signings have led to the likes of Fabio,  Ji-Sung Park, Robert Green and confused Julian Hoilett playing for the London club whilst Liverpool’s new boss Brendan Rodgers has brought the likes of Joe Allen and Fabio Borini to Anfield.

FOUR

The four Arsenal players to survive from the last game of last season were Gervinho, Wojciech Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson. The seven players who started this season were Santiago Cazorla, Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Kieran Gibbs. Podolski and Carzola were the two new signings for the north-London club. The other five players were already on the books at Arsenal.

THREE

Only three of Chelsea‘s line-up for the final game of the 2011/2012 season started this season’s opener. This can largely be explained by the fact that Roberto di Matteo was resting a lot of his star men in preparation for the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich. I think it’s fair to say that this tactic worked as his Chelsea side were victorious in a penalty shoout-out after a gruelling period of extra-time. For the record, the three Chelsea players who played in last season’s last game and this season’s opener were Ryan Bertrand, captain-fantastic John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.

The other side who only had three players to achieve the feat were Aston Villa. I think this case is a little less surprising than most. Villa sacked their manager Alex McLeish in the summer, replacing him with Norwich boss Paul Lambert. Despite replacing a Scotsman with a Scotsman it appears Lambert has his own ideas on how he wants Aston Villa to play. The only three players who started in McLeish’s last game and Lambert’s first were Stephen Ireland. Ciaran Clark and Shay Given.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Club, Featured

 

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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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Analysis of player nationalities at Premier League clubs 2010/2011


As a follow up to my previous blogpost related to the different nationalities represented in the Premier League I thought it might be interesting to slice the data slightly differently. This time I’m going to look at player nationality by club. The data in this article relates to the nationality of players who started matches in the Premier League last season (2010/2011). For example, every club has 418 starting berths each season, that’s 11 players multiplied by 38 games. Of those 418 potential starting berths, Birmingham City used 242 Englishmen. That’s a percentage of around 57%.

Only six teams in the Premier League last season fielded teams that featured more than 50% Englishmen. These were  Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and West Ham United. The following table displays the most English clubs in the Premier League last season.

Clubs with most English starting players in the Premier League 2010/2011 season

Clubs with most English starting players in the Premier League 2010/2011 season

A few things of note:

  • The three relegated sides Birmingham City, Blackpool and West Ham are in the top seven most English sides.
  • It is Wigan Athletic and Arsenal who have the least English sides by far. They are also the only two clubs in the Premier League whose most used nationality was not English. Arsenal’s was (unsurprisingly) French, whilst Wigan Athletic had more Honduran starters than any other nationality last season.
  • Of England’s Champions League representatives for the 2011/2012 season it is Manchester City who are the most English having started Englishmen 43 more times than their city rivals Manchester United.
Clubs featuring most of one particular nationaliy

Clubs featuring most of one particular nationaliy

A few things to note on the above data:

  • Wolves feature a large number of Irishmen, this is probably unsurprising due to their manager being ex-Ireland international Mick McCarthy.
  • Blackpool were the “most Welsh” Premier League side during 2010/2011. Both David Vaughan and Neal Eardley featured regularly for the Tangerines.
  • Fulham featured a number of Northern Irish players, a hang-over from Lawrie Sanchez’ era at Craven Cottage perhaps?
  • Liverpool featured more Spanish starters than any other side, their previous manager to Kenny Dalglishg was (of course) Spaniard Rafa Benitez,
Different nationalities starting games by club Premier League 2010/2011

Different nationalities starting games by club Premier League 2010/2011

A couple of things to note related to the above data:
  • The most English side Birmingham City also started the least number of nationalities (only 9) during the Premier League campaign.
  • West Brom used more than double the number of nationalities than Birmingham City.
If you have any ideas on ways this data can be further analysed I’d be happy to hear from you.
 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Club

 

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Premier League Season Review 2010/2011: #18 West Ham United


The word cloud below is generated from all of the BBC’s match reports from the 2010/2011 season for West Ham United. The cloud offers a visual review of the past season, illustrating the players who were important – or at least were mentioned in the match reports most times! Click on the image to see a larger, easier to read version:

Premier League 2010/2011 Season Review: West Ham United

Premier League 2010/2011 Season Review: West Ham United

World Cloud (description from wikipedia): A tag cloud (word cloud, or weighted list in visual design) is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. ‘Tags’ are usually single words, normally listed alphabetically, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Club

 

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Winners and Losers of the calendar year (2010)


As any supporter knows, the football season runs from summer to summer, however I felt as we approach the end of 2010 that it would be interesting to take a look at how well clubs have done over the calendar year. This stuff is obviously totally irrelevant when it comes to handing out trophies or deciding promotion or relegation but it may give an indication as to which sides have had a good 2010.

I’ve set out a few lists below, clubs in bold are those that have played in two different divisions during 2010.

Points gained (top ten)

  • Norwich City 89
  • Millwall 81
  • Manchester United 80
  • Cardiff City 79
  • Notts County 79
  • Southampton 76
  • Port Vale 75
  • Chelsea 75
  • Reading 74
  • Huddersfield Town 74

Norwich City sit atop of the top ten for 2010 with an impressive 89 points. They gained many of the points during their League One promotion run-in, and have started their Championship season very well, currently sitting in a playoff place.  The Canaries have only bettered this tally of 89 points once in their history, when they scored 91 in 1959.

Manchester United have accrued the most Premier League points in 2010 (80), the honour for the Championship goes to Cardiff City (79), League One’s most prolific side are Southampton (76) whilst Port Vale accrued an impressive 75 in League Two during 2010.

Points gained (bottom ten)

  • West Ham United 34
  • Stockport County 34
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers 37
  • Birmingham City 37
  • Wigan Athletic 37
  • Southend United 37
  • Fulham 38
  • Barnet 39
  • Yeovil Town 41
  • Burnley 42

For West Ham United 2010 can’t come to an end too soon, they only picked up 34 points in 2010. It isn’t too surprising to see a few other Premier League clubs in the top ten due to the disparity between top and bottom in that division. Five of the top ten are current Premier League sides whilst Burnley spent the first half of 2010 as a Premier League club.

Most Improved Sides (Points difference between first half of 2010 to second half of 2010)

  • Queens Park Rangers +23
  • Burnley +22
  • Hull City +18
  • Portsmouth +16
  • Peterborough United +14
  • Stockport County +12
  • Watford +11
  • Leeds United +10
  • Southend United +9

It’s unsurprising to followers of Championship football that QPR score so highly on this list. They have picked up 47 points in the second half of 2010, 7 more than any other club in the country. In the first half of 2010 they only picked up 24.

Interestingly seven of the above list of nine have played Championship football at some time during 2010. This can probably be put down to the unpredictable nature of the division as well as the fact that positions 2, 3 and 4 are held by ex-Premier League sides who find the second flight a far more tolerable level of football to operate in.

A lot of praise needs to be handed to Simon Grayson’s Leeds United who have managed to pick up more points in the second half of 2010 (in the Championship) than they managed in the first half of 2010 (in League One).

Top Ten “Most Degraded” sides (Points difference between first half of 2010 to second half of 2010)

  • Notts County -33
  • Newcastle United -29
  • West Bromwich Albion -24
  • Swindon Town – 19
  • Hereford United -19
  • Morecambe -18
  • Millwall -17
  • Northampton Town -17
  • Everton -17
  • Dagenham & Redbridge -17

As you’d expect it’s the promoted sides that find it the toughest. There appears to be some sort of 2010 curse with black & white stripes as both Notts County have found the latter half of 2010 harder going than the first half.

Ultimately it’s where you finish in May 2010 that determines which sides are deemed successful or not and the above stats are mere trivialities.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Club, Statistics

 

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