World Rankings and real life
I've ranted before about the FIFA World Rankings and how wrong they appear, it seems that I'm not the only one and that a new method of ranking will be used after this World Cup. However, I've also found an alternative ranking system called the World Football Elo Ratings based on the Elo rating systems originally used to rate chess players. It appears to be far more relevent to real life than the FIFA scheme, and the following table shows this in the 16 qualifiers for the knock out round of the World Cup
|Team||FIFA rank||Elo rank|
|Germany ||19 ||8|
|Sweden ||16 ||13|
|Argentina ||8 ||4|
|Mexico ||6 ||17|
|England ||10 ||5|
|Ecuador ||39 ||28|
|Portugal ||8 ||3|
|Holland ||3 ||7|
|Italy ||14 ||6|
|Australia ||44 ||16|
|Ukraine ||41 ||20|
|Brazil ||1 ||1|
|Ghana ||50 ||35|
|Spain ||5 ||2|
|France ||7 ||9|
The figures tell the story, FIFA's rankings have teams rated 50th in the World in the last 16 of the World Cup. With 6 of the last 16 being ranked higher than 16. Noticable omissions being the team rated second and fourth in the world by FIFA; the Czech Republic and USA respectively, who are 11th and 27th on the Elo rankings. Need I say any more?
[Mon, 26 Jun 2006 22:37
2 Million Reasons to play Theo
At least as far as a Southampton fan is concerned, because 2 million pounds is the rumoured payment that Arsenal have to make to Southampton for Theo's first England cap. Sure, Arsenal got him on the cheap, but at least they're having to pay up quickly.
Is he ready for the World Cup? That's a different question altogether, but, he's certainly looking more ready than Sven...
[Tue, 30 May 2006 22:08
UEFA Looking Pretty Silly
So Liverpool do the impossible and come back from 3-0 down and win the
European Cup, but don't qualify to defend it next year. How come the winners
of the Champions League don't qualify for the Champions League, but the
winners of the Welsh League do? Haven't UEFA heard of the trades
description act? Is being Champions of Champions meaningless?
Congratulations Liverpoool, shame on you UEFA.
UEFA could do far worse than automatically granting the holders entry
to next year's competition, it would be a useful automatic measure to
allow one more teams from the strongest country into the competition
without external wrangling.
[Wed, 25 May 2005 22:41
last week's events,
this week brings even more weirdness down at St Mary's.
Last week, the manager was sacked and head of the coaching staff
(Steve Wigley) was promoted to head coach, with further organisational
changes "to be decided". This week Sir Clive Woodward, England's
World Cup winning
and is linked with
a senior role at Southampton,
sporting director, perchance?
Strange stuff indeed, but if anyone can make this sort of
transistion it would be a proven winner like Clive.
The Guardian provide a little
[Thu, 02 Sep 2004 13:27
Saints and Sinners
Weird stuff down at St Mary's the last few days. First off
which Saints won with a disputed last minute penalty,
during the awarding of this the referee Andy D'Urso managed to
a Blackburn player twice,
but not send him off! So slender was D'Urso's tenuous grasp
on reality that the
have charged him
with "less than proficiently applying the laws of the game".
Then this morning the Sturrock affair moved to a conclusion
"by mutual agreement".
One wonders if this is based around the on-going James
Beattie transfer speculation. Did Luggy state "either
he goes or I do" or "if he goes so do I"?
Strange, after all you'd need your head examined
if you thought Beattie was worth more than a
tenner, yet again he wandered aimlessly through the
game, his only contributions being to fall over in
the box and tuck away the resulting penalty.
[Mon, 23 Aug 2004 13:54
Football's Coming Home
it went to penalties; the
boy got injured;
made numerous incomprehensible decisions, including disallowing
a perfectly valid goal; Sven made some odd decisions too, like
bringing on Phil Neville and letting
take a penalty.
A great game though, 2 hours plus of intensity, let down by the
referee and the appalling condition of the pitch - in all three
penalties missed, the striker slipped or mishit the ball due to
the loose surface around the penalty spot. Hardly a fair way to
conclude a major international game.
Roll on the World Cup, with any luck Beckham and the ugly
brothers will have retired, and Owen might have consistantly
found his shooting boots again.
Talking of boots, many players are sponsored to wear different
football boots in the hope that dumb punters would want to
emulate their heros. But, would you buy the same boots as
Van Nistelroy or Heskey? After all, the rest of your team
will laugh at you continually falling over.
seem to be following the usual knee jerk anti-English traditions, it's
nice to see Martin
more rational approach.
[Fri, 25 Jun 2004 14:11
The Tin Man goeth
This time he's back in Ecuador for good, looks like
I was too optimistic
back in November. It's a shame that Tino never got a chance to have a
good shot at the Premiership, but with injuries and a strike force
more prolific than all of the strikers England have taken to
Portugal he never had the opportunity to break into the Saints side.
[Fri, 18 Jun 2004 13:42
World's Top Soccer Championship?
A quick thought about
is it the World's top soccer championship?
Yes, I know it hasn't got the mighty Brazil
or Argentina, but other than that there are no
teams of note missing from the championship.
This is rather different to the World Cup
finals where there are perennial no-hopers like
The top of the
FIFA World Rankings
suggest that Mexico, Turkey (knocked out by England
and Latvia in qualifying), USA, Cameroon, Republic of
Ireland (knocked out in qualifying), and Iran(!), are
significant omissions. But to be honest this only
highlights how seriously flawed the
rankings really are.
for instance - they're fouth in the rankings somehow -
and apart from a 1-0 win over Brazil 12 months ago they
have only played friendlies, one of which was a 0-0 draw
against 65th ranked Iceland. Or the
- ranked 9th - where they have no wins over any significant
opposition since beating a mediocre Portugal 2 years
ago at the World Cup.
Euro 2004 vs World Cup 2002? My money says Euro 2004 is the
better tougher tournament.
[Fri, 18 Jun 2004 13:34
Another season of Aussie Rules has started and the regular
I have with my mate Steve in Melbourne is also underway,
unfortunately I'm currently third and last (we have a virtual
player who only tips based on the current ladder position, and
he's beating me too). Also
now seem to want you to register to read their stories so
it looks like I'll be going elsewhere for my news fixes;
I don't register for news stories anywhere as a matter
of a principle. They can find some other mugs to sell
their ads to...
On the plus side, my team the
are picking up where they left off and are already
heading in the right direction to win their fourth
successive grand final, although it's very early days
yet. Another plus point is that
now take Aussie Rules bets - I'm sure they didn't
last year - I reckon this could be a profitable season!
[Tue, 06 Apr 2004 22:18
14 Vs. 11
In all the debate about the new
most commentators have missed the small print that says
"Ruud van Nistelrooy
are mostly exempt from this law especially when playing at home"...
There's another good reason that Arsenal are unbeaten in the premiership
this season, it's not just the quality of their squad, it's the number
of players they have on the pitch, sure the three dressed in black have
mediocre ball skills, but they're playing a vital part in Arsenal's
success. I'd love to see stats on how many penalties Arsenal (and also
ManUre) have conceded at home this season, it's probably none.
Do I sound bitter? Yes, well I am rather. The last thing the premiership
needs is to descend to a level where the refereeing is so poor and weak
that a home side or "big-club" automatically has a
significant advantage before a ball is kicked.
[Wed, 11 Feb 2004 14:56
BBC Sport's Football front page
Supporters of the so called "smaller clubs" have long been
frustrated by the media bias towards the likes of Manchester Utd,
but it gets a bit much when they can't even face up to reporting
the true score...
If you're wondering, Man Utd lost
last night, not
their first loss
of the season and undoubtedly not their last.
[Thu, 04 Dec 2003 13:21
Pompey falls again?
The Saints take on Portsmouth (twinned with
apparently) tonight in the Carling Cup.
I'm biting fingernails already, it's going to be a close thing,
as recently the Saints have scored less often than Bill Gates, so
don't expect a cricket score. In fact,
Gordon Strachan is predicting a 0-0 score after penalties!
The Ugly Inside
fan site has a funny
guide to Southampton
for Portsmouth's more troglodytic fans...
Update : Final score Saints 2 (Beattie twice): Pompey
[Tue, 02 Dec 2003 19:31
The Tim Man cometh
After performing as football's equivalent of the invisible man
for the past two or so seasons, Agustin Delgado came on as a substitute
against Chelski on Saturday and he's also playing for the reserves
Excellent stuff, if he turns out to be half as prolific as his past
record suggests we'll have a strike force capable of getting us into
Europe again next season.
[Mon, 24 Nov 2003 17:47
When I was 2...
We won the World Cup.
Well blow me down,
we've done it again!
There's just the cricket World Cup to go and we'll
have collected the full set :-)
[Mon, 24 Nov 2003 13:43
Euro 2004 dreams over for some
was bad news for Scottish and Welsh football fans,
but a cracking result for Southampton's
as Latvia knocked out Turkey to reach the
finals in Portugal next summer.
I'd been extolling Latvia's chances all day, but never got around to
putting any money on the game, doh...
[Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:28
it looks like Bryan's boys got their
nice! Now we just need
to pull out some good results tonight.
[Wed, 19 Nov 2003 13:04
One of the more interesting words the English language
has recently grabbed from German, definition from
Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
Maybe it's because I'm a Southampton fan, or maybe
it's because I had a bet on who would be the first
Premiership manager to get the sack this season.
Anyway, I am currently experiencing and enjoying
large dollops of schadenfreude.
[Sun, 21 Sep 2003 21:15