Most Feared Opponents

Posted by on Nov 15, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The superb website Mirko Bolesan, named after an Italian midfielder who enjoyed a single appearance for Cardiff City a few years ago, is a great port of call for an assessment of some of football’s oddities. Amongst the varied topics discussed can be counted a masterly account of 2009-10 kit sponsors, club badges (didn’t we call them “crests” in the seventies?) and the Czech Republic’s Gambrinus Liga.

Now, the site’s instigators have turned their attention to the notion of the bogey side. I’m sure all of us are guilty of pronouncements along the lines of “we never beat Pompey” or “Andy Johnson always scores against us”, but this post attempts something resembling a statistical analysis, with fascinating results.

The full text is at this link and I certainly won’t attempt to improve on it. However, some details are pertinent. Whereas many Championships sides count the big guns of English football among their “most feared opponents” (another seventies term, evoking memories of the Focus feature in Shoot, in the course of which many wags would nominate “The Taxman”), who would have thought that Cardiff City would find Millwall particularly perplexing (no win in 11), that Nottingham Forest would have struggled against Walsall over the course of eleven matches and that Scunthorpe would be suffering a seven game winless streak at the hands of now non-league Mansfield? Go to the site and peruse the stats with pleasure yourselves.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.

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