2009-2010 Premiership

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22 June 2007

Don't Argue...These Really Are The Premiership's Best Players

I've blogged before about Daniel Finkelstein's Fink Tank column in The Times newspaper but this is his best work yet.

What his Fink Tank team have done is to use mathematical modeling to determine who really are the best players in the Premiership.

The model focused on examining the relationship between goals scored and every kick of the ball made by every player for every club and determining whether a player added or subtracted points from his team compared to an average replacement.

But that's all boring geek stuff. What we want are the results, right? Who really were the best players in the Premiership last season.

Well, not Stevie G for one (he was 80th), not Dimitar Berbatov (he was outside the top 20) : the top ten best Premiership football players are :

KEY: Player, club, position, time on the pitch, time-adjusted points

1 C Ronaldo Manchester United Midfield 85.12% 19.12

2 F Lampard Chelsea M 97.31% 16.24

3 Gilberto Arsenal M 88.14% 16.01 P

4 P Cech Chelsea G 50.15% 14.41

5 J Lehmann Arsenal G 97.30% 13.94

6 P Scholes Man Utd M 79.10% 13.50

7 T Howard Everton G 94.59% 12.96

8 N Vidic Man Utd D 66.11% 10.48

9 B McCarthy Blackburn F 88.98% 9.91

10 A Hleb Arsenal M 68.14% 9.87

No, I'm sorry. There's no arguing about this. If the mathematicians say that Alexander Hleb was the 10th best footballer in the Premier League, then it must be true, mustn't it?

If you want to read the full list of all 403 players, it's here. Don't blame me if you don't agree with any of it.

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18 June 2007

The 25 Most Stupid Footballers Quotes... In The World...Ever

Footballers are not brain surgeons. And here's the proof. The wit and wisdom of some of the best players ever to kick a ball. To be honest, I had trouble keeping it down to 25 stupid quotes, but enjoy :

25: "Leeds is a great club and it's been my home for years, even though I live in Middlesborough."
Jonathan Woodgate

24: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition don't like it - you can see it all over their faces."
Ron Atkinson

23: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."
Terry Venables

22: "They're the second best team in the world, and there's no higher praise than that."
Kevin Keegan

21: "A game is not won until it is lost."
David Pleat

20: "I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don't know into what religion yet."
David Beckham

19: "I never wanted to leave. I'm here for the rest of my life, and hopefully after that as well."
Alan Shearer

18: "I never make predictions, and I never will."
Paul Gascoigne

17: "That's football, Mike, Northern Ireland have had several chances and haven't scored but England have had no chances and scored twice."
Trevor Brooking

16: "The minute's silence was immaculate, I have never heard a minute's silence like that."
Glenn Hoddle

15: "I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat."
Ron Atkinson

14: "I faxed a transfer request to the club at the beginning of the week, but let me state that I don't want to leave Leicester."
Stan Collymore

13: "I couldn't settle in Italy. It was like living in a foreign country."
Ian Rush

12: "There are two ways of getting the ball. One is from your own team-mates, and that's the only way."
Terry Venables

11: "Germany are a very difficult team to play...they had 11 internationals out there today."
Steve Lomas

10: "You've got to believe that you're going to win, and I believe we'll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we're knocked out."
Peter Shilton

9: "The first ninety minutes of a football match are the most important."
Bobby Robson

8: "The world looks a totally different place after two wins. I can even enjoy watching Blind Date or laugh at Noel's House Party."
Gordon Strachan

7: "You've got to take the rough with the smooth. It's like love and hate, war and peace, all that bollocks."
Ian Wright

6: "My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about 7."
David Beckham

5: "I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel."
Stuart Pearce

4: "I always used to put my right boot on first, and then obviously my right sock."
Barry Venison

3: "We haven't been scoring goals, but football's not just about scoring goals. It's about winning."
Alan Shearer

2: "We must have had 99 per cent of the match. It was the other three per cent that cost us."
Ruud Gullit

1: "A contract on a piece of paper, saying you want to leave, is like a piece of paper saying you want to leave."
John Hollins

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17 June 2007

Pointless Transfer Rumours

I hate this time of year. There's no actual Premiership football to watch and all you get is a bunch of tedious transfer rumours, not so cunningly placed in the press by agents and representatives of players and managers alike.

Henry to Barca. Every left footed midfielder to Spurs (Pedersen, Figo, Schneider, etc, etc, etc). Villa to Man Utd or Liverpool or someone. The list goes on and on and it's utterly pointless.

Newspapers are so desperate to fill their ever-expanding sports sections that they print every rumour as if it was fact and try to give the impression that they have an inside track into the deals before they happen.

Someone should do yer actual proper scientific study on how many transfer rumours printed over the summer actually turned out to be true. My money is on less than 5%.

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