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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Stats, Upsets and Player of the Weekend

Written by on May 16, 2011 | 12 Comments »
Posted in General

Stats Facts

In Portugal Porto completed an unbeaten league season. A 2-0 away win against Maritimo was their 27th win of the season to go with just three draws. Benfica went unbeaten in 1973 and in 1978.

It could also be the start of an even more historic week for Porto as they have a chance to collect two more trophies. On Wednesday they play in the final of the Europa League and in the Portuguese Cup Final next weekend.

Rangers would have travelled to Rugby Park to play Kilmarnock in a confident mood. A win was needed to take the SPL and there was nothing in their recent record to indicate that they would not secure the three points.

And so it was with a 5-1 win. It is now 31 games since Kilmarnock beat Rangers at Rugby Park and it was the sixth loss to the Glasgow side this season.

Bolton’s horrific away form continued with a loss to Blackpool – that made it just one point from a possible 36 in their last 12 away matches.

Wolves 3-1 win at Sunderland was the latest in a series of poor home performances by Sunderland. The last seven visitors to the Stadium of Light have scored at least two goals and six of them have left with full points.

A 1-0 home win against Everton was West Brom’s first shut out at home since their home 0pener back in August when they beat Sunderland by the same score.

This one courtesy of  OptaFranz
1 – FSV Frankfurt have won just one of their last 16 matches and were relegated on Saturday from the Bundesliga.

In Ligue 1 Arles Avignon finally ended through winless streak at 22 games when they beat Toulouse 1-0.

Upsets

The biggest upset in the Barclay’s Premier League was Aston Villa’s 2-1 win at the Emirates. The odds against Villa winning were 15/2.

It was a weekend for long-shots in England. Wolves winning at Sunderland (9/5), Newcastle drawing at Chelsea (5/1), Spurs away win at Anfield (10/3), and Fulham beating Birmingham (5/2) were all results that attracted long-odds.

With Sampdoria pretty much in a win-or-die situation the bookies had them heavily favoured at 1/3 to beat Coppa Italia finalists Palermo. But Palermo won 2-1 and Sampdoria are now officially relegated. Palermo odds against winning were 13/2.

Catania’s 2-1 win that put an end to Roma’s Champions League hopes for next season was also a shocker at 6/1.

It is not surprising that Arles Avignon’s win over Toulouse was the French surprise. It was only their second win of the season and you would have got odds of 10/3 against a home win.

Borussia Moenchengladbach continued their unlikely escape act although there is still work to do even though the Bundesliga season finished on Saturday. Moenchengladbach drew 1-1 at Hamburg and according to the odds makers that was the biggest surprise in Germany – 5/2.

They now move into a play off with VfL Bochum to decide who will play in next season’s Bundesliga.

Not surprisingly Deportivo La Coruna’s scoreless draw away to Barcelona was the surprise result in Spain – 16/5.

It was another weekend of draws in MLS with five of the nine games finishing with the teams gaining a point each. Considering Real Salt Lake’s home record it is no surprise that their 0-0 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium with the Houston Dynamo was the upset in MLS – the odds 13/5 – until Sunday that is.

Anyone brave enough to pick Chivas USA to travel to New York and to beat the Red Bulls would have got odds on 5/1.

Player of the Weekend Nominees

Very simple this week – Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan)

The winner to be announced on Monday night’s Fox Soccer Report.

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You can also find other Soccer Report Extra.com contributors on Twitter by following this link.


12 responses to “Stats, Upsets and Player of the Weekend”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Daniel kanu – Are you sure you’re not a Liverpool fan? Bobby may be lots of things but the one thing he ain’t is bias against teams he “doesn’t like”.. unless Almunia ran over his cat.

    Moving on, is there a sign of a more uninspiring manager than being 2-0 up in a 6 point relegation battle only to come outta the tunnel after halftime and have your team concede 3 goals to get relegated.. Oy vey Avram!

    Finally, many people don’t understand why Blackburn sat back for the last 30 mins and were happy to play kick around and get 1 point against Manyoo. Well, considering that Manyoo only needed a point to clinch the title and Fergie wasn’t gonna leave it to the last game… Blackburn played it smart by not waking a sleeping lion and taking a point. Should Blackburn have gone on the attack and went for the win, Fergie could have easily unleashed his claws and went for Rover’s jugular and taken all 3 points… and then Blackburn get nothing out of the game and are left on 39 points with a game vs Wolves…. Kapish?

  2. Boris says:

    This is why I love Goal.com. They tell the truth. See below. I do however agree with Bobby that the player of the weeked was N’Zogbia.

    Never mind a new striker – keeping hold of Luka Modric must be Tottenham’s No.1 priority this summer
    Temptations to cash in on the Croatian will be strong with Manchester United leading the chase for the talented playmaker, but Spurs must hold firm and rebuild around him

    16 May 2011 08:40:00
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    FA Cup – Tottenham Hotspur vs Charlton Athletic, Jermain Defoe and Luka Modric(Getty Images)
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    COMMENT
    By Jonathan Birchall at Anfield

    Be it posturing for funds by a manager who is known to enjoy a delve into the transfer market or merely an excuse for recent form not befitting that of Champions League quarter finalists, Harry Redknapp once again made clear his desire to invest in his Tottenham squad this summer after defeating Liverpool to take pole position in the race for fifth.

    Since the transfer window closed in January, the Spurs boss has spoken frequently of the club’s need to freshen up, seemingly convinced that new faces are required if his side are to return to European football’s top table once again.

    He said: “I’m looking for a good front man if I can find one. I went to the cup final in France last night and I’m going to go abroad one or two times this week and keep following up leads and see what we come up with.

    “It’s very difficult to come up with something better than you’ve already got.”

    That couldn’t be truer of the one player that Spurs themselves will be desperate to keep away from the whirlwind of the window. For on Merseyside on Sunday afternoon, the inadequacies of Redknapp’s squad were a mere side note to the mastery of Luka Modric, a man whose influence is becoming irreplaceable.

    Gerard Houllier, the Aston Villa boss and one of the games most astute technicians, once said of the Croatian: “He did not just work hard, he made the other people play well around him.” It was the case again at Anfield and has been the case all season. The omission from Houllier’s quote is that he can also make the opposition look very, very ordinary.

    Luk-away now? | To cash in on Modric would be a massive gamble from Spurs

    Lucas and Jay Spearing, two players who have both rightfully gained plaudits in recent weeks for their own personal roles in the Kenny Dalglish transformation, had no answer to the wizardry of the man once dubbed as “the Croatian Cruyff.” No shame in that, European champions Inter were equally caught up in his spell earlier this season.

    This is not to say that Tottenham should be happy with their lot. A top quality striker is desperately needed at Spurs if they are to become as clinical as they were against Dalglish’s men with any sort of consistency.

    Also, despite having delivered a performance that belied another season spent on the sidelines, Ledley King needs replacing. A tragedy that arguably the country’s finest defender is only allowed to display his obvious quality on such inconsistent terms. To say the 30-year-old was good in spite of his injury woes would be to do him a disservice – a fully fit King would have beamed with pride at a performance that left Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll and the fans of the hosts all but tearing their hair out.

    But it is the little man from the coast of the Adriatic that made more waves on Merseyside than any other at the weekend, where his ability to slow the game to an almost metamorphic pace alongside an energy that makes him so much more than a simple attacking threat.

    Redknapp has already stated that the 25-year-old has “the heart of a lion,” and as is his unwaivering work ethic, Modric is as much play-breaker and he is playmaker.

    Little surprise then that Manchester United and Juventus have been linked with him in recent weeks. For the champions, the dynamism of the former Dinamo man would make him a seemingly perfect replacement to Paul Scholes, whose Old Trafford career looks likely to have ended on 10 titles at Ewood Park on Saturday.

    He wouldn’t come cheap. Redknapp and Tottenham know the value of their midfield gem but if the pound signs start flashing – especially with no Champions League next season – the temptation to cash in and rebuild again would be too big a risk to take.

    The Croatian’s domination of the game in front of the Kop will have reminded those present of another of the Premier League’s great creators in Xabi Alonso. Liverpool fans will tell you that the riches that they received for the Spaniard from Real Madrid would never be a sufficient comfort for the loss of a player who ran the show at Anfield.

    Tottenham can’t afford a similar fate in this upcoming transfer window; they simply won’t get better than Luka Modric.

    Our provides the best breaking news online and our football fan community is unmatched worldwide. Never miss a thing again!

  3. Erik says:

    Soccer: The L5 minutes of the Man Yoo/Blackburn game was “interesting” to say the least. Man U just kicked the ball back and forth in their own half and Burn stayed away content to let them do it – not sure if that was good for the overall game, or not. I was ectstatic because I cashed my Man U +215 to win the EPL bet but overall…..??

    Looking back on the EPL standings this Century (2001-02 the first year of it so almost 10 seasons) this is by far the best and worst year. Worst at the Top – Best at the Bottom making for a very close year overall.

    Before this season the least number of points from the winner was 02-03 when Man U got 83. This season United can top out at 80……..and I think they will finish with 77 or 78.

    With 1 week left in the season the T4 sides have combined for 280 points and 81 wins – meaning at most they can combine for 295 points and 86 wins – no chance that happens. The only other time the T4 sides combined for LESS than 300 points was 02-03 when they got 297. That same year saw the T4 win 88 games, the next season it was 89 and those are the only 2 times Under 90 (06-07 had 91). In the 05-06 season T4 wins was 99. The past 2 seasons it was 98 so we will have the lowest number of T4 wins – by far.

    But then at the Bottom of the Table

    Right now 17th has 39 points. Only Everton with 39 in 03-04, Bolton with 44 in 02-03 and Sunderland with 40 in 01-02 has had more and I will be stunned in it takes 39 to stay up meaning potentially only Bolton could finish with more in the 17 hole

    Right now 39 points is also how many 18th (and 19th) have. Since 01-02 only West Ham with 42 in 02-03 had more than 39 in the 18 hole and once again with 1 game left it is entirely possible that 41 could see Relegation (IF Wolves/Blackburn Draw and all 3 teams with 39 win Wolves/Blackburn would go DOWN with 41)

    In 03-04 Wolves, Leicester and Leeds all finished with 33 points for spots 18-20. That is the highest number of points the basement team had – right now West Ham has 33 and could finish with 34 or 36 meaning the highest number of points from the basement side.

    To me this last one is the most telling about how “even” the EPL is/was this season. The smallest gap between the Champion and Basement side was 03-04 when Arsenal went unbeaten and finished with a 57-point gap between Basement side Wolves (90-33). With 1 game left the gap between Man U and West Ham is 44 meaning it will finish anywhere from 41 to 47 the first time ever it will be less than 50 points. (Twice the gap was 76). Last season it was 67 in the standings and 57 on the field (Portsmouth finished with 19 because of a 10 point deduction – Chelsea finished with 86 on the field).

    We are in for an amazing Sunday and as a lot of people have said – don’t be shocked if the way the standings look at the 85 minute mark and the way the standings end up are 2 different things.

    Here’s all one needs to know about Sunday. Blackpool can WIN and STILL be Relegated………..They can LOSE and STILL Stay Up. Based on all we have seen this year – if either happen it won’t shock me at all

  4. Boris says:

    Things just keep getting better:

    Overwhelming majority of Goal.com readers vote Luka Modric as Tottenham’s Player of the Season
    Poll respondents feel that the Croatian playmaker has been the club’s best individual of the campaign, ahead of Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, after an impressive year

    16 May 2011 17:20:00
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    As the Premier League season enters its final week, Goal.com asked readers to vote for Tottenham’s best performer this season.

    After plenty of deliberation it was decided that Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart were the club’s standout performers, with the Croatian put forward by us as the team’s most consistent individual.

    Goal.com then opened the vote out to readers to decide who they thought the club’s player of the season was.

    A huge majority of 68.81 per cent agreed with Goal.com and thought that Modric was Spurs’ best player.

    Van der Vaart, who has proved a big hit at the club since his arrival last summer gained 19.19% of the vote, having scored 15 goals and assisted a further eight.

    Bale received 12% of the vote after having a fine season, scoring 11 goals, including a wonderful hat-trick against Inter in the Champions League group stages.

  5. I went back to the readers poll that ran the first week in March on the three teams to be relegated. Here is what the readers said.

    Wigan 29.27%
    Wolves 16.1%
    West Brom 14.63%
    Blackpool 14.63%
    Birmingham City 9.27%
    Blackburn Rovers 7.32%
    West Ham 6.34%
    Stoke City 1.95%
    Other 0.49%

  6. Boris says:

    Bobby, I believe you have done it in the past, but are you going to declare your EPL player of the season as well as the team of the year?

  7. Erik says:

    Bobby – I am STUNNED Blackpool “only” got that many – basically 1 out of every 7

    Almost EVERY prediction I saw had them finishing no higher than 19th (present company included – I had them 20th – like most) – and i am almost certain next monday when you reveal all pre-season pix we will see you had them 19 or 20

    I’d love to know who some of the “Other” votes were

  8. TomL says:

    Erik –
    Remember that the poll asked for only one (presumably the most likely) team to be relegated. If the poll had asked for all three relegated teams, all the percentages would have been about three times higher. When the poll was taken, Blackpool was still a couple places out of the relegation zone, so a (roughly) 44% chance of relegation wasn’t unreasonable at the time. If the poll had been taken in August, you’re right – it would have been about 98%.

    Bobby – How about bringing back an official “Predict the Table” contest for next season? Use the same rules as the old contest on the Bobby’s Blog. Prizes would be nice, but I’m sure all your resident “experts” would be happy with bragging rights.

  9. Erik says:

    Tom – solid point. Before the season my guess is about 90% or more had Blackpoo going down

    I caught Super Sunday Plus after the Totty/Pool game and Warren Barton DESTRPYED Avram Grant – calling him a “Loser” for all the osing he has done. Warren is also DEAD ON. If Wset Ham had canned Grant when their was talk they would I am fairly certain the Hammers would be staying up – but unlike Newcastle I think the Hammers could be down for more than 1 year. Imagine what the Olympic Stadium will look like when the Hammers play LC football there. Good tickets will be rather easy to come by

  10. Roberto Manita says:

    Bobby,

    Very simple this week – N’Zogbia???

    Did you catch the Villarreal v Real Madrid match by chance? CR7 scored two wicked free kick goals to tie Hugo Sanchez’ La Liga season scoring record with one game left to play in the schedule and you make a statement like that?

    Maybe you just watch EPL and Serie A matches? Or you didn’t watch that La Liga match? Or you overlook the historical context of which accomplishment was greater this weekend? Even if N’Zogbia’s performance saves Wigan from the drop a decade from now everyone will forget his name. Even if CR7 does not score in round 38 v Almeria his two stellar free kick strikes at Villarreal, thereby equalling the all time league scoring record, will place his name in the history books for all to remember and long after everyone has forgotten about Wigan and N’Zogbia. Yet CR7 cannot get any love from Mr. Bobby via his PoTW. Oh the humanity!!!

  11. Derek Taylor says:

    Roberto:

    Trust me when I say Bobby watches everything. Just my two cents, but seeing as it’s the “Player of the Weekend” award, Ronaldo scoring two goals in a meaningless game doesn’t seem to measure up to a player–whose team is in a relegation fight–putting his team on his back, scoring twice including the game winner in the 90th.

  12. Roberto Manita says:

    DT,

    “Meaningless game”? Ever heard of the Pichichi award? Its equivalent in England may be overlooked but in Spain it is huge. And if its a “meaningless game” why play them? Hey, I liked N’Zogbia’s performance too and he would have made my list no doubt. But Mr. Bobby didn’t even make a list this week. And he always overlooks CR7 and Messi because they are CR7 and Messi. Or his PVR broke and he missed that game or some other excuse. I’m saying that Mr. Bobby does this on a regular basis. He is a serial offender. Did you see those two free kicks? Mind boggling. I could see your point if it was CR7’s 30th La Liga goal. But he reached 38 and has a share of the record now. That’s historic and Bobby didn’t even put him on the list. That’s criminal.

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