So when all is said and done we translate the number of times a ball has landed in the back of a net, past and present, and somehow work out why it was so obviously going to be so and what will happen in the future!! That’s the unenviable task of our resident expert Professor Statto, Nobel Prize Winner in waiting, who’s been explaining the meaning of football life and giving comfort to his followers for years.
He’ll tell you why your predictions were bound to be wrong. He’ll tell you about the most outrageous possibilities to come. He’ll tell you…But whatever he says remember:
“98% of all statistics are made up.” ~Author Unknown
Professor Statto and his amazing statistics.
Previous analysis Week 4.... Week 3.... Week 2.... Week 1.... Scenesetter
Hello again, all
Every time I turn on TV to watch the football highlights or the live game, there’s a Breaking News Bulletin with a serious-looking reporter saying that another hitherto rock-solid financial institution has collapsed and Wall St. is panicking. I’ve no doubt this is true, but no-one’s panicking in my street except Ike the Spurs fan and Wor Ted, the Newcastle supporter, so I’m ignoring it all, at least until we see Abramovich selling off his yachts. For now, I’m just enjoying the season.
It’s great to see several underdogs defying expectations. Hull occupying a UEFA Cup spot, Fulham looking down on Man U, Spurs propping up the table and the (joint) leading scorer plays for Wigan! Marvellous, long may it continue! And we know that one of Chelsea and Man U aren’t going to win this weekend. I’m relying on Bolton to be their usual awkward selves for the visit of travel-weary Arsenal. I suppose it’s a bit much to hope that Stoke can take something from Anfield on Saturday…. Alas Magic Mike doesn’t foresee any upsets.
Four weeks gone, and for a place in the Top Ten, you need 79 pts - call it 20 a week. Plenty of you are managing to keep up an average of five correct results a week, but six (and with it, 48 pts for Results) is what separates the experts (or the lucky ones) from the crowd.
Likewise Perfect Fives, there’s plenty of you with six (Magic Mike’s devotees I suspect) but there’s not many with seven and upwards. Remember the fireworks of Week 1 when we had Simoscy and Katona777 with seven each? They’re still among the front-runners, but they’re only managing about one a week since. Ten is the expert’s benchmark to date.
The top score of Week 4 was Andrew Welsh with 26, closely followed by Hemel Heskey on 25 and andy4u91p on 24. Well done to the three of you.
Is this a trend?
It’s a bit early to say whether there’s been any quantifiable shift in this season’s Premier League, but the number of goals scored so far is 10% up on last season’s average. The most frequent score to date is 2-1, (eight of 39 games played) followed by four 1-2s and four 1-1s.
Curiously, we haven’t yet seen a 2-0 or a 0-2. I’m banking on a couple this weekend. While 2s are in short supply, the percentage of 3s and 4s is up - 18% of all scores, compared with 12% last season. I’ll revisit this in a few weeks, but if you fancy taking the brakes off a bit when doing your predictions this weekend, you can say a month’s stats are on your side.
The blind leading the blind
I’m often asked for advice, but this week, I received an enquiry that wasn’t of the usual statistical nature. “Dear Prof,” it said, “I get a lot of earache from the wife, complaining about our family holidays being interrupted by my Scorefive predictions, the draft for my Fantasy League and me trying to stay up to date with all the football news. Can you suggest a way of keeping her quiet? Yours sincerely, Henpecked of Hong Kong”.
My first thought was that it is reassuring to know I’m not the only one who suffers in this regard. Only last week, Mrs. Statto and I had a frank exchange of views vis-à-vis the desirability of painting the bathroom versus the priority of assessing the Champions League groups. She felt unable to make the dinner as long as I ignored the former and continued with the latter. My solution to this was to go to the pub: this works as long as you have cash in your pocket, but you do run the risk of a bolted door when you get home, pals.
I think most of us (the males at least) can learn something in this regard from my Aussie pal Norman Norman of the Wagga Wagga Institute Of Big Numbers. Statistical Norm, (as he is known) has evolved a neat method of countering any sort of criticism from Mrs. Norm….he mentions he is considering doing something that he knows would alarm her even more. She then decides not to provoke him further. Problem solved! With this in mind, I wrote back to Henpacked…
Dear Mike, er sorry, Henpacked,
Clearly your good lady does not understand the importance of footy in a well-balanced gent’s lifestyle. If she refuses to acknowledge the financial benefits your knowledge and expertise have brought to the household over the years, you should resort to cunning and subterfuge. “Yes dear, you’re right. I think next year, it will be better if you go off with the kids, and I’ll get out of your way. I’m thinking of going on a tour of Bangkok’s shrines and temples with (insert name of your pal she dislikes most). Expensive? No, he can get us discount rates at the Nana Hotel on Soi 4. A bad reputation? Has it? No, I wasn’t aware”.
You don’t need to wait for next year though: “Some of the lads are getting together tonight in the Hellfire Club in Wanchai. They’ve asked me to go. Surprisingly, a couple of the new Brazilian barmaids there are (insert name of your club) supporters.” If that doesn’t get the desired reaction, mention you’ve been offered an old Jag to restore, or you’re taking up some other expensive hobby like deep-sea diving. If she reacts badly and storms out, at least you’ll get some temporary peace.
Best of luck, anyhow.