Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Mathematics of the English Premier Football League

Since the Premier League was reduced from 22 to 20 teams beginning with the 1995/1996 campaign, each season consists of 38 games, with a theoretical possible point total of 114 (a perfect season without any ties or losses). After averaging all of the title winners’ point totals over the last 16 seasons (since 1995/96), the average top finish is 85 points. For clubs hoping to qualify for the Champions League, the average 4th place finisher had a point score of 67.

Obviously, not every season is the same, and these numbers can occasionally be deceptive. For example, the highest point total in the modern EPL era was achieved by Chelsea during their 04/05 run, where they earned a whopping 95 points. Contrarily, Manchester United won the 96/97 title with a mere 75 points. Despite the 20 point difference between these two seasons, the law of averages does provide a clear benchmark and projected path for both fans and teams to follow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bayern Munich and Manchester City Meet for the Best Matchup in Day 2 of the Champions League

Manchester City will face their first big test of the season on Tuesday when they travel to Germany to take on European giant, Bayern Munich. So far, the Blues have fared well against the middle tier of the Premier League, defeating the likes of Bolton, Wigan, and even a strong showing against Spurs. Their only slip ups have come in an away match to Fulham, a draw, and in their first ever Champions League match at home to Napoli when they also drew. Quite wonderfully, this team has yet to face defeat this season. All that could well change in the next few hours.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can Anyone in the Premier League Stop Manchester United?

This team has started off the year right. Through five EPL matches Manchester United is off to a perfect start, winning each game. Although their attempt at becoming the second "Invincibles" stuttered midway through the season last year, the side looks even stronger this season.

Three of the matches won by the outfit occurred over Tottenham (3-0), Arsenal (8-2), and the most recent victory over Chelsea (3-1). These are no easy games. These teams were all considered contenders at the start of the season but were made to look like lower level English clubs in the recent weeks. Say what you want about their fortunate early season home game advantage over such sides. But with margins of victory such as this, who can argue with the statement that Manchester United looks poised to dominate England?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Fall of Fernando Torres AKA "El Nino"

There was a time when Fernando Torres, commonly known as "El Nino" was considered in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo, until he fell back a few years ago. It is hard to pinpoint why Torres simply is not the player he used to be, but many argue the deal Chelsea gave him a few years which was worth 80 million caused his ego to swell, and his play to well, not swell. It's hard to believe that this is the player that won both the Euro Championship and the World Cup with his native Spain, and also the same player that terrorized defenses as a member of Liverpool. However, with Chelsea which features an attack that relies on a trio of Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Didier Drogba that batter the opposition into submission by playing a tough, physical style, a finesse striker like Torres has not fit into the equation for whatever reason. Torres has been on record saying that he feels like his Chelsea teammates are "too old" and "slow" and he has not seen eye-to-eye with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, just check out his stats at Chelsea, which are well under his marks at Liverpool. Torres is a player that commands attention even when he is not scoring goals, because his speed combined with his incredible technical ability and precision makes him a player that can explode and score a goal at any point, unfortunately that has not happened often this year, and if that continues Torres will probably find himself on a new club next year.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is David Beckham Moving On From The Galaxy Soccer Team?

With the David Beckham experiment coming to an end probably very soon, some clubs are lining up to sign him. The MLS season is done in November and it appears the Galaxy will not be looking to sign him for another season or two. Ultimately we will probably look at David Beckham's time in America as a failure since it failed to bring the expected popularity and revenue to the sport people had dreamed of. Why did he not succeed in America as we hoped?Some people say Beckham did not care enough, others say he is and was never the type of player to achieve something like that, and others simply point to him simply being a celebrity mimicking a soccer player, we all have theories, but ultimately they are irrelevant. David Beckham is a good player, there is no question about it, even today at the age of 36 he can still probably produce for any club given the right opportunity. It appears the team most interested in signing him is Tottenham Spurs which is based in London. Beckham trained with Tottenham last MLS offseason and manager Harry Redknapp is interested in signing him, once his contract expires at the end of the year. Redknapp recently said, "He was a top-class professional and he's the kind of lad you would like around the place. He is someone the young lads can look up to and he is a great role model for anybody." However, the question of money comes in and although the Spurs would love to have Beckham it appears to be seen if Beckham would want to go there, as Redknapp admitted that he does not know if the Spurs will be able to afford him. Perhaps, a bigger club team such as Chelsea or even Manchester United can bring Beckham back for bigger money, but what we do know is that Beckham's time in America appears to be over, although the Galaxy could surprise people and offer Beckham a new deal.

UEFA Champions League Power Rankings

Although there are 32 teams in the Champions League, most of these teams don't have any hope for lifting the trophy. Teams like APOEL FC and KRC Genk would definitely fit into this category. They are in the tournament to legitimize some involvement from all the European Leagues but will merely serve as the whipping boys for the true contenders. In my opinion, only nine teams have any hope of winning in Munich next May, and truth be told, there are only five teams that will actually contend for the title.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Football Player Cristiano Ronaldo Versus Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi

In the past few years there has been much speculation about who is the better soccer player Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Although, much of the public has argued that Messi is the better player, there appears that there is a large public that believes that Cristiano is the better player. Although, both players are slightly different, Messi is the more complete player, largely because he makes other players around him better. This is not a knock on Ronaldo, because he is a great player, probably top 5 player, depending on who you ask, but he does not provide the total package that Messi provides. Messi has proven over the past few years that he can adapt to any style of playing, wether it is fast paced or a more technical game, and he also has proven that he can adapt to any player, such as David Villa or Zlatan Ibrahimovic before him.Cristiano Ronaldo tends to “showboat” a lot and sometimes forgets about other players around him and his authentic soccer jerseys, however nobody can deny the fact that he is probably the best one on one player in soccer today. His physical strength combined with his speed makes him almost unstoppable. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Soccer League Upsets?

Every soccer fan is familiar with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, AC Milan, Liverpool, Arsenal, Internazionale, and now Manchester City, but which league has the best chance of producing a surprise champion from a team that’s not a traditional soccer superpower? 

We’ll rank the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Serie A with a percentage based on the likelihood that they’ll produce a title winner that is not one of the teams listed above.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Diego Forlan to be the Best Buy of the Summer

With the departure of Samuel Eto'o, Inter Milan was beginning to look a side rather weakened since its thunderous Champions League success from 2010. The loss of mega-coach Jose Mourinho and the pathetic attempt of continued success under Rafa Benitez has greatly disrupted any hopes for a return to the top of Italian and European soccer. Additional losses to the squad included the talented yet delusional Mario Balotelli and the tricky Ricardo Quaresma.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Serie A Strike Over, But Troubles Remain

The Serie A strike is finally over—at least for now. The players’ union (AIC) and the league (Serie A) agreed upon a short-term deal that will allow the season to begin this Friday, with only a week’s worth of games being missed. 
One of the points of contention—the rights of players to participate in first team trainings—is still somewhat unresolved, and a stipulation was added to the deal requiring some sort of closure to the issue within the next 30 days. 
The second component of the strike revolved around a new solidarity tax that the Italian government would have applied to the league’s highest salaried players, but that has now been dropped. 
The strike was a long time coming, and even though it appears to be temporarily over, both sides could renew their conflict in the future once the current one-year contract ends. It was a similar short-term agreement that was enacted after the main collective agreement expired in June of 2010, and the resulting quick-fix didn’t provide much stability, resulting in the strike.