STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : 2012-2013

Barring something dramatic, the 2012-2013 season is over for me in terms of football attending.

The season began in June at the Amsterdam Arena, and ended in May at Clandeboye Park.

Unsurprisingly, most of the Linfield matches I attended weren’t particularly enjoyable.

There wasn’t much in the way of curiousities (last season, I saw two twins on opposing sides) apart from going to two matches in once day – twice, and there being a power failure at a match I was at.

Amazingly, it was an FA Premier League game, rather than an Irish League game.

So here, is a statistical look back at my 2012-2013 football season :

Matches Attended : 52

Goals Seen : 147 (should be 149, but I missed 2 goals in 2 different matches due to being late)

Red Cards : 11 (Plus also 2 players sent-off in dressing room for on field incident)

Hat-Tricks : 2

Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield, Linfield v Coleraine)

Penalties Missed/Saved : 7

Highest Scoring Match : 7 (Linfield 5-2 Coleraine, Falkirk 3-4 Hibernian AET)

Countries Seen Matches In : 5

England, Holland, Northern Ireland, Republic Of Ireland, Scotland

Teams Seen Play : 35

Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Bangor, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Falkirk (1st time), Fulham, Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Hibernian, Heart of Midlothian, Holland (1st time), Israel, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rangers, Reading (1st time), Rosenborg, Shamrock Rovers (1st time), Scotland, Tobermore United (1st time)

Competitions Watched : 11

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship 1, Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League, Setanta Cup, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Stadiums Visited : 20

Amsterdam Arena, Ballyskeagh, Clandeboye Park, Craven Cottage (1st time), Cregagh Sports Ground (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Hampden Park, Ibrox (1st time), Loftus Road (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Stangmore Park, Solitude, Tallaght Stadium (1st time), The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park,

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – JUNE/JULY

For me, the 2012-2013 season began just two and a half weeks after the 2011-2012 season ended.

I had thought about going to the Holland v Northern Ireland game when it was announced, but I was going to Amsterdam in February 2012, so the idea was put on the shelf.

In March 2012, I won free flights with an airline. I had to redeem my prize within three months. Looking through the possible destinations, a trip to Amsterdam for the Northern Ireland match soon became a no brainer.

I had a great weekend in Amsterdam, and having been there before was so useful in getting around. Fantastic city, fantastic stadium, unfortunately, Holland have a fantastic football team (though they didn’t show it at Euro 2012)

The seat I had wasn’t that great for match photos, but I still managed to get some good shots.

My next football shots, came off the pitch in late June, as a new mural in Sandy Row celebrated the life of local heroes, including those who’ve had football careers such as Tommy Dickson and Joe Bambrick.

July started with European football, going to Linfield and Crusaders home matches.

The Crusaders match, v Rosenborg, was the most productive of the two in terms of phototaking, with the closeness to the pitch and a bright night making for good conditions.

The month ended with the Pre-Season Friendly between Orangefield OB and Linfield. It was a mixed night in terms of phototaking, but I got a good one of Orangefield’s bench.

Holland v Northern Ireland

Holland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Crusaders v Rosenborg

Crusaders v Rosenborg Photo Album

Orangefield OB v Linfield

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR

Having done a statistical analysis of the 2011-2012 season, I thought i’d do one for my football watching in 2012, with today having been my last match attended of the year.

Here is the breakdown.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 149

(Should have been 151, but I managed to miss two goals this year. Was late for second-half of Linfield v Portadown on 27.10.2012 and missed a goal. Missed the start of Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan on 14.11.2012 and missed a goal)

Red Cards: 10

(Doesn’t include red cards awarded in the dressing room to David Armstrong and Terry Fitzpatrick during Dungannon v Linfield on 13.10.2012)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 3

Aaron Burns (Linfield v Dungannon Swifts)
Peter Thompson (Linfield v Newry City)
Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield)

Teams Seen : 33

Ajax (1st time), Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Excelsior Rotterdam (1st time), FC Utrecht (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Holland (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Newry City, Northern Ireland, Norway, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rosenborg, Scotland, VVV Venlo (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 16

Amsterdam Arena (1st time), Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballyskeagh, Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Gibson Park (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park, Woudestein (1st time),

Competitions : 9

County Antrim Shield, Eredivise, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup

Curiosities

4th February – Watched a match in a stand named after Robin Van Persie

18th February – Twins (Aaron and Andrew Burns) on opposing sides in a competitive game

2012 IN PICTURES – JUNE

Not a lot happening this month, but still managed to get some good photos.

At the start of the month, I went to Amsterdam to see Northern Ireland play, and got some nice photos of the stadium (my seat was too far for match photos) and Street Art within Amsterdam.

Less said about the actual football, the better.

Fantastic city, can’t suggest you visit there enough.

Talking of Street Art, there was a Sandy Row Hall Of Fame mural launched in June, and I went out and got some snaps of the Linfield players featured, as well as Alex Higgins.

Amsterdam Street Art

Amsterdam Street Art Photo Album

Holland v Northern Ireland

Holland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Graffiti Round-Up

Knitted Art

Sandy Row Hall Of Fame/Rory McIlroy Mural

2012 IN PICTURES – FEBRUARY

Busy month this. February usually is, as I go away somewhere to forget the trauma that is my impending birthday.

Went to Amsterdam for a weekend, and also went to Rotterdam for a day. Both nice cities.

Went to football matches in both cities, both were enjoyable, but I enjoyed seeing Excelsior Rotterdam the most. Managed to get some brilliant photos of the ground and match when I was there.

Excelsior’s ground, Woudestein, has a stand named after Robin Van Persie. The club’s bar also has various pictures of him from throughout his career. In case you’re wondering, he began his career there.

Little did I know then, that six months later, he would be a Manchester United player.

It was snowing as well whenever I was there, which made for great photo opportunities.

That wasn’t the only travelling done that month, as I went to Old Trafford for the UEFA Cup tie between Manchester United and Ajax, and even managed to fit in trips to Portadown and North Belfast to watch Linfield.

This year, February had an extra day, and I made the most of it by going to see Northern Ireland v Norway.

It wasn’t all about football, as I went to see Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey.

A very photo-filled month. Enjoy

Amsterdam/Rotterdam Street Art

Amsterdam/Rotterdam Street Art Photos Album

Amsterdam Snow

Amsterdam Snow Photo Album

Rotterdam Snow

Rotterdam Snow Photo Album

The Tub

The Tub Photo Album

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo Photo Album

Ajax Amsterdam v FC Utrecht

Ajax Amsterdam v FC Utrecht Photo Album

Great Victoria Street Graffiti

Noel Gallagher Live At The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Holylands Graffiti

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Norway

Northern Ireland v Norway Photo Album

HOLLAND 6-0 NORTHERN IRELAND 2.6.2012

Must we really talk about the football?

In truth, Northern Ireland actually weren’t *that* bad. It was great to see young players not being afraid to have a go. The only problem was, the opposition were bloody brilliant.

If it wasn’t the fact that Northern Ireland were the opposition, i’d have enjoyed it a lot more. It was similar to their performance against Yugoslavia in Euro 2000 Quarter-Final. The Dutch could at least have had the decency to play the “4 goal rule” seeing as it was a friendly.

When the game was announced, I wasn’t originally planning to go, but I won free flights which needed to be used by June 30th. If it wasn’t a tournament year and La Liga ran on later, i’d have went to Malaga or Alicante for a game, or if Villa faced United at Villa Park, I probably would have headed to Birmingham to try and go to that.

An excellent trip, result aside. Spent some time in Oranje Park, a fanzone set up for Holland fans pre-match with some really bad techno outfit fronted by Jens Lehmann and Frank McAvennie lookalikes. They loved it.

Got some not bad photos, unfortunately my seat wasn’t handy for match action shots. Amsterdam Arena is a fantastic stadium worth visiting, I can’t suggest it enough.

The game marked my first match attended of the 2012-2013 season, only the 17 days since my last game of 2011-2012. So much for pre-season. By my maths, it was my 4th game been to in June ever.

Onwards and upwards I guess, it’s all about Finland in August (and hopefully, three points in Moscow in September)

Photo Album

AMSTERDAM STREET ART – JUNE 2012

Was in Amsterdam over the weekend just past, my second visit this year.

When I was last there in February, I got some Street Art photos, and some extra from when I spent a day in Rotterdam.

Took some photos of ones I missed on my first visit, and ones that have appeared since.

Got some fantastic pieces, my favourite was the one of the Big Cat.

Also got some sunset photos on the Friday night. Not worth doing a whole blog on, but some nice shots.

Got some photos of my shadow, one of which is now my Facebook photo.

Enjoy

Street Art Photo Album

Amsterdam Sunset

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : FEBRUARY

Busy month this month, with an international theme. To give you an idea, I saw Ajax play as many times as I saw Linfield play.

The first weekend of the month saw me visit Amsterdam for a weekend. While I was there, Ajax were at home, so I booked tickets to see them play.

That match was on the Sunday, so on the Saturday, I went to Rotterdam for the day.

Local side Excelsior were at home, so I went to see them play VVV Venlo in an Eredivise game.

Absolutely loved it. It was a small ground, but the atmosphere was fantastic and I got some nice photos. Excelsior won the game 3-1.

While in Rotterdam, I managed to get some exterior photos of De Kuip, home of Feyenoord.

The following day, I saw Ajax take on Utrecht in the Amsterdam Arena. Fantastic stadium. The game wasn’t as good as the game in Rotterdam, but still enjoyable. Except maybe, if you support Ajax, as the hosts lost 2-0.

My next trip, was to Portadown to see Linfield get a 1-1 draw.

From there, it was on to Old Trafford to see United take on Ajax. On my 42nd visit to Old Trafford, i’d seen United lose (I’d peviously seen defeats at Ewood Park and Windsor Park) for the first time, and it wasn’t nice. Managed to get some not bad photos.

Just 41 hours after leaving Old Trafford, I was heading to Solitude to see Linfield get a 3-1 win over Cliftonville. Usual arrangements at Solitude. Not the best for getting photos, so I had to make do with what I had.

On the last day of the month, a bonus extra day with it being a leap year, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Norway.

A busy month indeed. Enjoy.

De Kuip

De Kuip Photo Album

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo

Excelsior Rotterdam v VVV Venlo Photo Album

Ajax Amsterdam v Utrecht

Ajax Amsterdam v Utrecht Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam

Manchester United v Ajax Amsterdam Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Norway

Northern Ireland v Norway Photo Album

STLFTEM UPDATE

As the third month of 2012 is almost over, it was a bit of a close run thing in terms of getting a STLFTEM.

I’d originally planned, to go to Linfield’s Irish Cup Semi-Final at The Oval on March 31st, but that has bitten the dust. Instead, I shall be East Belfast bound on Saturday, but for Titanic Lockdown.

Should be a good day, looking forward to it.

To recap, my January STLFTEM was to go and see Roy Walker at Black Box. Was a very enjoyable show, a sort of Greatest Hits set, and a slideshow, looking back at his life and career to date.

The only downside was when he spoke about Frank Carson, alluding to the fact that he may not have long left to live. Sadly, it came to be in late February.

My STLFTEM for February was a double whammy, with trips to Amsterdam and Manchester taking that honour.

April hasn’t been confirmed, but i’m hoping Linfield will be able to play their Irish Cup Semi-Final, so I could make it that.

I’v got an application for a ticket to the Titanic Commemoration concert at Waterfront Hall featuring Bryan Ferry (quite apt) and Joss Stone pending, so I hope to get lucky with that.

For May, I am getting tickets for the Man United v Irish League XI game (haven’t actually seen them, but I am assured they are getting bought for me)

June’s STLFTEM will see visit Amsterdam (Again!) for the international between Holland and Northern Ireland. It will be my first “proper” Northern Ireland away game.

I won flights with an airline two weeks ago, and chose Amsterdam. The flights had to be taken by June, and having looked at the destinations, I plumped for Amsterdam for this game.

As tempting as catching a flight for a game in Malaga or Alicante was, I was a bit stuck for dates through not wanting to miss any Linfield games in the run-in.

Birmingham was an option, and if United were playing at Villa Park anytime soon, I would have taken it up.

Meanwhile, I got tickets today to see Michael Winslow at the Grand Opera House in June (and worth missing Germany v Portugal for)

I saw him in Edinburgh last year, and he was fantastic.

Meanwhile, I got tickets for Madness and Two Door Cinema Club at Belsonic, so very much looking forward to that. On Friday, I shall be trying to get Noel Gallagher tickets as well.

It will be my first time seeing Madness, a band i’ve always wanted to see live. I bough Heavy Heavy Hits with my first ever pay packet in 1999.

Of course, August will also see me (not yet booked) make my annual trip to Edinburgh.

Noah and the Whale are supporting Two Door Cinema Club. An excellent band worth checking out.

So that is my STLFTEM for the next couple of months. It’s hard work keeping it all up, but very worth it.

Scotland v Northern Ireland 2008

Belsonic 2008 Review

Belsonic 2008 Pictures

Belsonic 2010 Review

Belsonic 2010 Pictures

Edinburgh 2009

Edinburgh 2010

Edinburgh 2011

Noah and the Whale Review

Noah and the Whale Pictures

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Review

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Pictures

AJAX 0-2 FC UTRECHT 5.2.2012

Having been to a match in Rotterdam, I decided to go to a match in Amsterdam, with Ajax at home last weekend, I decided to take in their match against Utrecht.

Got to the stadium easy enough by tram, and got off at the relevent stop.

The area around the stadium is multi purpose with a concert arena, shopping centre, large stores and a cinema surrounding the stadium.

Got a ticket for behind the goal, and a free voucher worth €10 for food and drink.

Everything in the stadium is done via smartcard, the only money that passes is the money used to top-up cards.

I had decided to wait until the end of the game to get something, and all the kiosks were closed, Silly me.

If anyone is going to the Holland v Northern Ireland friendly in June and wants to chance using my voucher, just get in touch.

The match itself wasn’t great as a below-par Ajax fell to a shock 2-0 defeat.

Every misplace pass was met with jeers, and the stadium emptied when Utrecht went 2-0 up. If there was a protest in the carpark afterwards, it would have been just like being at The Oval.

I can also tick Ajax off in my UEFA 100 list. They are number 29. I’m going to see them again later in the month for their UEFA Cup clash at Old Trafford. Hopefully, i’ll scud them again.

My view was fantastic, but not the most photo friendly.

Photo Album