End of season rumination

It’s that time of the football season when everyone starts wondering about next season (with the mild irritant of the World Cup not withstanding). Not this chap, of course. He’s upset because he doesn’t like something that a lot of other people do like and he’s comparing it to archaeology because that’s also something that over a quarter of the World’s population enjoy on a weekly basis, so it’s totes a completely valid comparison. I would say that I’m sorry that he doesn’t like football, but that would be lying because I actually don’t give a toss that he doesn’t like football.


And so to the real subject of this post, which is not whiny people who choose their friends poorly and can’t use an iPod or change a radio channel, but… FOOTBALL!

The way Sheffield United finished off this season was little short of spectacular, which was great because we (easily) avoided the ignominy of relegation and we almost (almost) even made the playoffs. This, however, is not so good, because it has raised expectations ahead of next season and left us thinking that we are favourites to win the league and be promoted, just like we were this season, when we nearly got relegated. Even I am getting my hopes up and I’m notoriously boring and rational. It’s stoopid.

Those hopes and dreams can be easily shattered. Look at Liverpool. So near, and yet so far. The Tall Accountant always believed that they could go all the way and win it, but it just wasn’t to be.
We’ve all done it: “We could have won the league, if only… if only… if only…”

Well, for the TA’s delight and delectation, here it is! The definitive way that Liverpool could have won the league: If Only Goals Scored By English Players Counted:


Yep. Even with Luis’ fantastic contribution, Liverpool would have won the league. Man U would have done ok, Arsenal would have been nowhere and Champions Manchester City would have been relegated as joint lowest scorers with Newcastle – just 4 goals each. Half of Norwich’s goals were scored by English players, but then they only got 28 in the real world. Cardiff did surprising well, with 70% of their goals being scored by English players, despite them not being English club. Madness, ne?

I’d love to work this out for Sheffield United (who have 19/32 English players in their squad), but given that it (cleverly) takes into account the nationality of the players scoring against us as well, it’s just too complicated. Four of our top five scorers were English, but then… do you count own goals too? And if so, only by English players?

Let’s just assume we’d have won the league as well. Just like we’re going to next season.

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