The 11v11 blog focuses on football statistics, records and football history.
AFC Bournemouth and Watford have already made it to the Premier League, with Middlesbrough and Norwich due to battle it out for the third promotion place. They may be fresh faced young whippersnappers starting the first day of Big School right now, but who’s going to end up with their dinner money pinched, head flushed down the toilet and ‘Kick me’ written on their back? (That sound you can hear is a metaphor being stretched to breaking point)
by Matthew Harris
The knee-jerk reaction of the average football fan is to opine, sadly but wisely, that all of the promoted teams are clearly going to struggle, such is the gulf in class and finances between blah blah blah… but the truth is more nuanced. Only once in the last 17 years – 1997-98 to be precise – have all
Updated Yesterday at 12:13 PM by Veritas
It has been yet another wonderful season in the Championship, with 2014/2015 seeing one of the closest races for the title, play-off spots and relegation places in recent years. The quality of football continues to increase year-by-year, with the ability for any team to beat anyone illustrates just how difficult it is to secure promotion to the Premier League. Top flight teams who have recently dropped down a division will vouch for how hard it has become to bounce straight back up, with former Premier League side Wigan and Blackpool suffering the ignominy of being relegated to League 1 after a season to forget on and off the pitch for both clubs.
Although there is still plenty to play for in the final game of the season, the Football League awards have already been handed out
Updated 13th May 2015 at 09:14 PM by 11v11
Yeovil Town have already been relegated with new boss Paul Sturrock now planning for life in League Two, but who will be joining the Glovers in the basement division in 2015-16?
This week’s fixtures have some more of those clichéd six-pointers for the sides still fighting for their League One lives. Next to bottom Colchester United entertain Scunthorpe United and third from bottom Crawley Town play the team just above them, Notts County.
By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)
Elsewhere, struggling Crewe Alexandra host Walsall, who look to be safe while Port Vale visit high-flying Preston North End on Friday night and Leyton Orient make the short but tricky trip to promotion chasing Milton Keynes Dons.
If these latter games go with
Updated 16th April 2015 at 09:14 PM by Veritas
As we near the end of another fascinating Championship season, the best strikers in the league are battling it out to finish as the division's leading scorer. There has been no shortage of prolific front men in the Championship this year, and at this point of the season it could well be one of those strikers who fires their team to the play-offs or better still, the Premier League.
With it as close as it has ever been at the top of the table at this stage in the season, those teams vying for promotion will need their forwards firing on all cylinders between now and the beginning of May.
So who have been the Championship's sharpest shooters this season, and what might the future hold come for those players who have in fact caught the eye this year.
Updated 15th April 2015 at 06:40 AM by Veritas
As 2015 took its first tentative steps, it seemed that putting your mortgage on Hartlepool United to be relegated was one of the safest investments you could make for the New Year. Not only were Pool bottom of the league, they had just been dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Blyth Spartans in front of a national TV audience.
by Steve Sands (AFS contributor)
But Hartlepool weren’t just rock bottom of League Two, they were cast adrift without a paddle, ten points behind third from bottom Carlisle United and seemingly doomed.
When you look at the table today it makes unbelievable reading, as the north-east side have lifted themselves out of the bottom two and can now look down on both Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers with a degree of satisfaction
We now experience televised sport, and football in particular, in a matrix of graphical wizardry. Sky, BT Sports, BBC, and even Setanta introduced so many nuances to the Beautiful Game, aided and abetted by pitch-side fans armed with smartphones, that the thought of just one, grainy camera at games, a la Kenneth Wolstenholme introducing Match of the Day way back when, seems totally alien.
by Alex Jones
Even international games at footballing outposts are now delivered in HD (and soon UHD), multiple cameras transporting images thousands of miles in crystal-clear vision. With our own, handheld technology in place to record goals and incidents, allied to the proliferation of cameras at every match, timing is now everything.
One wonders how many
Updated 28th March 2015 at 10:51 AM by Veritas
After the recent sixth round FA Cup clash, which saw Aston Villa knocking out West Bromwich Albion, many journalists were keen to write about something other than the Villans’ victory.
By Ryan James
In one of the most open FA Cups ever, Aston Villa displayed fantastic talent on the pitch, with particular kudos to youngster Jack Grealish, who scored the 90th minute winner. However, such was the excitement caused by the 19-year-old’s goal that fans gathered in their droves in a classic ‘pitch invasion’ before the final whistle was even blown.
Thousands of celebrating fans were the source of public condemnation by managers, journalists and the Football Association itself, which is allegedly investigating the
Updated 27th March 2015 at 12:09 PM by Veritas
In 2013/14, Everton finished fifth with a new club record haul of 72 Premier League points and saw average attendances at Goodison Park take another positive step in the right direction – some 4,500 more than where they were as recently as 2011/12.
Fast forward 12 months and even if the Toffees were to win all of their remaining 10 top-flight fixtures – which is highly unlikely – they would still only end the campaign with 58 points to their name.
Where has it all gone wrong?
by Ben Sutherland
Roberto Martinez – a man heralded as a coaching legend after building upon David Moyes’ foundations – is still at the helm while few alterations have been made
Updated 11th March 2015 at 03:46 PM by Veritas
By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)
Five Premier League games kick-off this week at the traditional 3.00 pm (GMT) Saturday time slot. Below are my predictions. They are very ambitious after last week’s super flop, I know, but hey, fortune favours the brave!
Burnley v Swansea City
Since the beginning of December, Burnley have drawn three home league games.
The other four games in that period have been decided by just one goal in either direction, suggesting that Turf Moor encounters are always tight affairs.
Meanwhile Swansea City, fresh from completing the double over Manchester United, will be expecting something from the game having had tight wins on the road at Southampton and Hull City in the corresponding period.
Updated 26th February 2015 at 04:33 PM by Veritas
By Matt Harris
Realistically, every club in the bottom eight of the Premier League table is presently facing a relegation battle.
That’s 12th place Everton down to the bottom three of Aston Villa, Burnley and Leicester City.
The clubs in between are Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Hull City and Queens Park Rangers.
So what do the stats say about league’s most threatened teams?
Are the Magpies safe?
Newcastle United sit five points clear of Everton in 11th place with 32 points.
The Magpies seem to be constantly on the brink of disaster, but at the moment it looks like they will do enough to stay in the top division before hiring a new manager in the summer.
Various bookmakers see Leicester
Updated 20th February 2015 at 11:38 AM by Veritas