Match Of The Day Football Yearbook

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Match Of The Day Football Yearbook

Post by Scottish » Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:27 pm

This is the only real rival to David Goldblatt's 'World Football Yearbook' for in-depth coverage of European leagues but its coverage of Scottish football is quite shocking.

Certainly it devotes far more space than Rothmans to the UEFA competitions and the 'big' continental leagues of Spain, Italy, France, Germany & Holland but unlike Goldblatt - who gives comprehensive coverage of every continent - there's nothing else on other European leagues.

In this sense it's very much a yearbook for televised leagues.

There are forty pages on Scottish football but the Second & Third Divisions don't feature at all. And the Scottish Cup and the other domestic knockout competitions are ignored too.

It starts off with the League table - and manages to get that wrong, showing Killie as 6th and Motherwell as 7th. I don't really blame them for that as Kilmarnock had more points than Motherwell. It's the 'split' which is to blame here.

There are some unusual stats concerning the SPL. Showing for instance the average time between scoring and conceding goals and also on disciplinary matters. Celtic scored every 40 minutes while Dunfermline and Livingston took 101 on average. It took Rangers 155 minutes to lose a goal but Dundee just 48. The Dens Park side had the best disciplinary record, receiving a card every 81 minutes while it took Hearts just 44 minutes to do the same.

Average attendances aren't given as numbers but as a percentage of capacity though each clubs' highs and lows both home and away are listed.

Their stats on top scorers and best keepers are easy enough to understand, tabulated on the basis of time between scoring/conceding goals. Unsurprisingly, John Hartson and Stefan Klos top the respective charts while the best Scots are Kris Boyd (2nd) and Craig Gordon (3rd).

But their charts for midfield and defence show up the folly of lies, damned lies and statistics. Not so much at the top where Fernando Ricksen and Jean-Alain Boumsong come out as best but looking at the best Scots. Players are rated according to the difference in minutes between goals scored and conceded by their club.

Thus Stephen Glass comes out as best Scottish midfielder (6th overall). He's six places higher than Paul Hartley who scored 11 goals last season. Glass scored just two.

But it's the defensive ratings that are pure nonsense. According to these stats the best Scottish defender last season was (pause for drum roll) - BOB MALCOLM :!:

Let's hope Walter Smith doesn't read this book.

There's then a two-page graphic on the course of the season before the club pages start.

This is where it gets weird. It may sound strange coming from someone once described in the Sunday Herald as 'the anorak's anorak' but I reckon this is stats overkill.

We don't really need to know who the top scorers, midfielders, defenders and keepers are at every club. It's already obvious. Nor do we need a 'team of the season' for every club either. And how they work out which players are the best 'point earners' is beyond me. if I tell you that the likes of Thomas Buffel, Aiden McGeady, Phil Stamp & David Preece come into this category you'll see what I mean.

Nor is a little box with a monthly points total necessary. Most of us can work this out for ourselves.

The problem with this jumble of stats is that you can't see the wood for the trees. Games are listed in order but without dates or half-times. They are colour coded according to win, loss or draw - pretty superfluous I think.

Team line-ups are on the opposite page from the results, making selections difficult to make out. And on the list of players for each club a new category of 'counting' games has been introduced. These are games where a player is on the pitch for at least 70 minutes. Quite why the authors felt this was necessasy I have no idea.

The First Division has reduced coverage with only 'key' player appearances listed - no full line-ups. So while I can tell you, for instance, that Francois Dubordeau was one of four keepers at Dens Park last season and while he never spent a single minute in goal for Dundee, he was on the bench ten times, I can't tell you who replaced Kenny Arthur in the solitary match he missed for Partick Thistle. Nor which match it was. Not without looking elsewhere anyway.

And that's about it. The only mention of cup games come on the club pages with the Challenge Cup ignored totally.

If you want to know anything at all about the two lower divisions then go elsewhere. If you're interested in the top leagues then this is the book for you.

£19-99 in the shops. Less at Amazon.

bobby s
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Post by bobby s » Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:49 pm

Thus Stephen Glass comes out as best Scottish midfielder (6th overall). He's six places higher than Paul Hartley who scored 11 goals last season. Glass scored just two.
That sounds about right to me.
It's the Hope I can't stand

Gersman
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Post by Gersman » Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:12 pm

Even after today :?:
Fifty one and counting

bobby s
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Post by bobby s » Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:20 pm

Gersman wrote:Even after today :?:
Even after today.

Todays best quote was....
I hope Hartley does move to Celtic. Just think. Two of our rivals weakened
:twisted:
It's the Hope I can't stand

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