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#41 [url]

May 7 16 8:22 AM

Perhaps nowadays the power of capital is more decisive than in the past. I mean: the gap between Leicester City's budget and the one of the other English giants (Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City) is much deeper than the one that in the past separated Nottingham Forest or Ipswich Town from the other English giants.
On the other hand, Forest's achievements were even more resounding than Leicester's, because theye were also able to conquer two European titles. Unlikely Leicester will be able to equalize Forest, because, in my opinion, the Champions League level, nowadays, is probably higher than in the 1970s and 1980s.

Last Edited By: Luca May 7 16 8:39 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#43 [url]

May 8 16 8:32 AM

Yes, one of the few exceptions was indeed the 1978/79 European Cup, when, in the very first round, Forest knocked out Liverpool, that is to say the reigning European champions.

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#44 [url]

May 8 16 10:05 AM

A good thing about Leicester's success is that is shows the irrelevancy of the possession & passing statistics with which many "fashionable" football commentators are obsessed. Leicester are among the lowest for both possession and passing accuracy.

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#45 [url]

May 8 16 11:38 AM

The only relevant statistics to me are goals because that's why the game is invented for. The team that scores most goals will win the match. A 78% ball possession is completely meaningless as almost all passes have been meaningless shuffles.

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#46 [url]

May 8 16 3:38 PM

I agree in general, though there are more statistics which can give a better idea (i.e. a better correlation with goals or wins). For example, shots on target, or "chances" created. Leicester will be very high on those.

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#47 [url]

May 8 16 3:43 PM

shots on target are not always real scoring chances, but sometimes attempts against all odds. The number of chances created is the second best parameter, but one also need skills to convert them.

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#48 [url]

May 8 16 8:23 PM

Still you won't score many if you don't have possession. Unless you're AS Adema, of course...

Though right now the trend is in calculating "expected goals" - sort of a metric for the number of chances created times how good they are. Four chances from long range will probably result in fewer (expected) goals than two shots inside the penalty area.

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#49 [url]

May 8 16 10:24 PM

You won't score many but you can score one or two and that is enough for Leicester or Atletico, as they have solid defences. Also they don't care about risking losing the ball by attacking, because they know their defences are strong. The difficulty comes when such teams are forced to change their approach when they *need* to score, i.e. they are losing or they play against a team with a similar style of counter-attack.

Possession should be replaced by some measure of momentum (or flux). The speed of players carrying the ball or running onto a pass or getting behind a defender should be included in the calculation. Or a sense of "incisiveness" : one dribble or pass which cuts through the defence is better than 50 sideways taps, even if no goal results. Simple statistics of "total possession" or "number of passes" include all phases of play, not only the attacking ones or successful ones.

For example Leicester plays very direct football - a lot of long well-aimed hoofs with fast runners who can carry the ball well but also make many first-time efforts. The "accuracy" of such hoofs is lower than normal passes, but they have a higher expected gain.

Having watched some of their matches at altitude, I think Bolivia follows the approach of North Korea's missile programme - launch random rockets and hope one of them hits something.

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#50 [url]

May 17 16 6:33 PM

Fast Midfielder wrote:
A 78% ball possession is completely meaningless as almost all passes have been meaningless shuffles.
This man disagrees:

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#51 [url]

May 17 16 11:13 PM

I say keep LvG just for his spiky interviews, which are much more interesting than the 90 minutes preceding. Also, keep LvG just to see Mourinho get increasingly frustrated.

Top 3 alchemists:
1. C.Ranieri
2. R.Koeman
3. B.Sam (narrowly pipping S.Bilic)

Top 3 dismal plummet-meisters:
1. S.McClaren
2. G.Neville
3. Man Utd's bus driver (narrowly pipping R.Martinez and J.Mourinho)

As there seems to be some correlation with England (assistant) managers, I expect Roberto Martinez to be sat alongside Roy at the Euros.

Overall some highly puzzling management decisions in the Premier League this year. If every match in this league is really so important, stop picking pathetic players who are clearly inadequate at this level (Cameron Jerome?!).

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#52 [url]

May 19 16 8:50 PM

nfm24 wrote:
If every match in this league is really so important, stop picking pathetic players who are clearly inadequate at this level
Step forward Alberto Moreno.  Managed to make David Luiz look like a solid no-nonsense chopper.

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#55 [url]

Jun 8 16 1:18 PM

That's my paradox: I'm a disaster in predicting results, but I'm infallible in judging players' skills and potentialities...

Remember this name: Mikel Oiarzabal, Spaniard, aged 19, advanced midfielder of Real Sociedad. He will become a "star".

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#56 [url]

Jun 8 16 9:02 PM

Hardly a bold prediction, but I like the look of Renato Sanches, an exciting dribbler.

Also there is a young player in Italy, he is mostly a substitute but has a good impact when he appears, but the coach seems afraid to give him too many opportunities. I think he plays for Roma or something like that. I forget his name now but it sounds a bit like a potato. Tattie or Potti or something like that.

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Posts: 5,526 Site Admin

#58 [url]

Jul 13 16 12:05 PM

Lincoln Red Imps 1-0 Celtic, yesterday.

Surely this is one of the bigger upsets in European football (even Celtic are not a European power these days).

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#59 [url]

Feb 26 17 12:36 AM

In the 1983 Polish Cup final, Lechia Gdansk (of the 3rd level) beat Piast Gliwice (2nd level).  Given that the 2nd level in Poland consisted of two parallel divisions (A and B), this means the cup was essentially won by a fourth division team.

Along the way, Lechia beat:
 Ruch Chorzow [1st level, finished 3rd in league]
 Zaglebie Sosnowiec [1st level, 11th]
 Slask Wroclaw [1st level, 6th]
 Widzew Lodz [1st level, 2nd]
 Olimpia Elblag [2nd level]

The runners-up Piast beat
 Lech Poznan [1st level, 1st]
 Wisla Krakow [1st level, 5th]
 Baltyk Gdynia [1st level, 10th]
 Gwardia Warszawa [1st level, 16th]

Lechia followed their Cup win by also winning the Supercup, beating league champion Lech Poznan.

Sadly Lechia couldn't take their giant-killing form into Europe, being battered 10-2 on aggregate by Juventus in the first round of the ECWC, but those matches are historic for reasons beyond football, due to the political anti-government support of the crowd in Gdansk.

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