Monthly Archives: February 2017

From me this month… – February 2017

Where do we go from here? Stoke City and midtable problems (Eastbridge Sports Betting) – Looking around current and previous examples of solidly upper midtable clubs to see if there are lessons Stoke can learn about where to aim for next, given the European places look off limits at the moment.

Stat-packed preview of the Premier League weekend games 4-5 February (ETNAR) – Does what it says on the tin, this time focussing on Hull vs Liverpool, Leicester vs Manchester United, and Watford vs Burnley.

Wingers are the Future (Eastbridge) – Arguing that the progression of football will swing back in the winger’s favour, led (possibly) by a certain Pep Guardiola.

Barcelona struck through the heart on Valentine’s Day (ETNAR) – Match report of the PSG-Barcelona Champions League game (a florid rather than straight-factual one, given that everyone has seen the game).

Manchester United’s remarkable position (Eastbridge) – After 10 games I said United wouldn’t reach the top 4. After 25 games, I defend those comments (using stats and a killer paragraph about Trump).

Burnley: Doing it Differently? (Statsbomb) – The Statsbomb debut, using data and video to try and uncover some of the things that Burnley are doing which are propelling them to an unexpected midtable finish (in all likelihood)

Stones and Otamendi (ETNAR Facebook) – A short post on the brand new Every Team Needs A Ron Facebook page about Stones and Otamendi, in the aftermath of the ludicrous 5-3 match against Monaco, coming as a slight defence of them.

The narrative around Leicester’s rise and fall is overly simplistic (Eastbridge) – A run through of the *many* factors involved first in Leicester’s rise last season, and more heavily on their problems this season.

Sevilla vs Leicester, A match in 5 acts (ETNAR) – A match report of the Sevilla vs Leicester Champions League game, making use of the wonderful StatsZone app.

Leicester’s signings (ETNAR Facebook) – Given that poor signings were a reason being cited for Leicester underperformance, I ran through their 2016/17 season signings and gave a quick assessment of them all.

ETNAR Investigates: Ranieri rumours (ETNAR) – Continuing the Leicester trend, this time after the Ranieri sacking, I synthesised the rumours that were swirling to try and distill what they were saying and make a little more sense out of them.





ETNAR Investigates: Ranieri Rumours

The sacking of Claudio Ranieri has been followed by plenty of rumours. This isn’t surprising. Whenever something fails people will be unhappy, other people will want to know why things went wrong, and the two groups will pair off to feed each other tips of the icebergs of truth; everyone, in some incomplete but nonetheless therapeutic way, happy.

With manager sackings, this can take several courses. Sometimes no gossip comes out immediately, but these are usually cases where nothing much interesting happened. Sometimes the firing or fired party will pre-empt rumours by making public statements.

Other times, the ships are a little leakier. Continue reading

Sevilla vs Leicester: A match in 5 Acts

Sevilla played Leicester. The home side won 2-1, although Leicester will have felt like winners too, coming away just a goal down with a potentially important away goal in their pocket.

There was some talk of Sevilla ripping Leicester apart. This was not quite true, Leicester doing most of the ripping themselves, intent on a high press despite a back line that will never be able to cope with the need to play high themselves. Thusly, big gaps open up in the midfield, as the team fails to concertina and squeeze themselves up to support the high pressers. Continue reading

Barcelona struck through the heart on Valentine’s Day – PSG 4 Barcelona 0

The Parc des Princes was a Colosseum. The crowds of the masses roared, the people speaking in the language of passion and rage. There they prayed to the lords, to imbue their soldiers on the arena below them with the spirit, the strength, of their thousands in the stands. Though Barcelona have been wilting this season against their usual high standards, their aura often lands a starting blow halfway across the world before their players have got out of bed.

“Tell me,” PSG asked as the two sides shook hands in the obligatory pre-bout ceremony, “Do you bleed?”. Barcelona did not just bleed. They gushed. They gushed from open wounds that would not close and that no amount of sawdust could absorb. Were it not for the sheer showmanship with which PSG wielded their blades this would have been butchery. Continue reading

Crunch game weekend – Statty previews for the Premier League gameweek 04/02/2017-05/02/2017

This is a week of crunch games. At the very least, 6 of the 10 Premier League games are of potentially vital importance, with the other 4 giving potential for wild swings in mid-table.

Three games – Hull vs Liverpool, Tottenham vs Middlesbrough, and Manchester City vs Swansea – involve one side tightly tied up in the top 4 race with the other more or less tightly involved in the relegation battle.

Hull have the home advantage, both over Liverpool and their relegation rivals, and although Marco Silva seems to have tightened things up a bit, they’ve still been conceding 5.7 shots on target a game under him. Through the season as a whole they’ve conceded 6. Continue reading

Red for Leicester Free Speech

Note: This article was originally hosted on the Leicester Ripple website (the University of Leicester’s student paper). Leicester university student media has since changed and the website, and therefore the article, are no longer online there. It was originally posted in March 2015.


The University of Leicester has been given a red ranking for free speech, among the worst in the country, by a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by and sponsored by The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and Policy Exchange, gave the University’s policies and amber light but the Student Union’s policies and actions brought the whole institution down to red.

Cited among the free speech infringements are the University’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy and the SU’s boycott of The Sun.

The red light may not come as a surprise to some, who campaigned against the boycott of The Sun just under a year ago and the ban of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines during the 2013 Fresher’s Week.

However, Michael Rubin, the Student Union President, has said that “the methodology these people have used is ridiculous, unscientific and totally subjective”, also pointing out that “many of the policies…are part of a HR policy to keep staff and volunteers safe in their work environment.” Continue reading