STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2013

So, my football watching is over for 2013. Time to look back at the year just gone. And what better way to do it than with a load of stats.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 135

Red Cards : 19

Missed/Saved Penalties : 5

Hat-Tricks : 2

Matthew Tipton (Linfield v Coleraine)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Northern Ireland v Portugal)

Teams Seen : 35

Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Bangor, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crystal Palace (1st time), Crusaders, Derriaghy CC, Drogheda United, Dundee United (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Falkirk (1st time), Fulham, Glenavon, Glentoran, Hibernian, IF Fuglafjordur (1st time), Israel (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Portadown, Portugal, Queens Park Rangers, Rangers, Reading (1st time), Russia (1st time), Shamrock Rovers (1st time), Skoda Xanthi (1st time), St Patrick’s Athletic, Tobermore United (1st time) Warrenpoint Town (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 21

Ballymena Showgrounds, Clandeboye Park, Coleraine Showgrounds, Craven Cottage (1st time), Dixon Park (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park, Hampden Park, Ibrox (1st time), Loftus Road (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Richmond Park, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Tallaght Stadium (1st time), The Oval, Windsor Park

Competitions : 11

FA Premier League, IFA Championship, IFA Premiership, Irish Cup, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Setanta Cup, Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Curiousities :

2nd Feb/6th Apr : Two matches in one day

2nd Feb : First ever floodlight failure at a match attended, Fulham v Manchester United

Feb – Apr : Visiting, Queen’s Park, Rangers, and Queens Park Rangers grounds.

UEFA 100 Club : Dundee United (now at 30 clubs)

Top Five Matches :

1. Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal
2. Falkirk 3-4 Hibernian AET
3. Fulham 0-1 Manchester United
4. Linfield 3-1 Cliftonville
5. Coleraine 2-3 Linfield

2013 IN PICTURES – FEBRUARY

February began for me in London, as I decided to go for my now traditional weekend away at the start of February. I went to London, and absolutely loved it.

I went to two football matches on the Saturday (Loftus Road and Craven Cottage) and then spent the Sunday in Camden, and got some photos of the Street Art in the area.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to do the London Street Art Tour, which I would have loved to have done.

Unsurprisingly, I was camera happy during my weekend in London.

Upon my return to Belfast, I was met by snow, so out with my camera I went.

Over the remaining three Saturdays, I went to Linfield matches, having mixed results with my phototaking, the most successful, was the trip to Dungannon on 9th February.

Towards the end of the month, I went to The Odyssey to see The Killers in concert. Absolutely fantastic concert, and managed to get some great shots.

Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City

QPR v Norwich City Photo Album

Fulham v Manchester United

Fulham v Manchester United Photo Album

Camden Street Art

Camden Street Art Photo Album

Snow

Snow Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Glentoran v Linfield

The Killers Live At The Odyssey

The Killers Live At The Odyssey Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – FEBRUARY

As is now a February tradition, I headed away for a weekend at the start of February. This year, I went to London. Like with my previous February trips, I planned to take in a game, or two.

I’d hoped for games Friday-Saturday-Sunday when I was there, but there was only games on the Saturday, but I decided to do something i’d never done before …… go to two matches on the one day.

I’d hoped to maybe take in a Football League game, but ended up going to two Premier League games, mainly because TV scheduling made it easy.

QPR were playing Norwich on the Saturday lunchtime, so I headed over to Loftus Road. No problem getting a ticket and had a nice view and shooting position. Pity there wasn’t much action in the game.

From there, a quick Tube across West London to Craven Cottage for Fulham v Manchester United. I’d booked the trip blind, not knowing United were playing in London, so this was a bonus when I checked the fixture list.

Managed to get a ticket that week, in the Fulham end. My seat was at the back of the stand, but at half-time, I managed to get a seat nearer the front that was vacant.

For 78 minutes, it looked as though it had 0-0 written all over it, but Wayne Rooney won the game for United. It would have been typical me to go to two matches in one day, and not see a goal.

The following Saturday, I was at Stangmore Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon in a rearranged league game, with both clubs taking advantage of their early Irish Cup exit to fit this game in.

I’d previously had a terrible record attending games at Dungannon, but Linfield won there for once in my presence.

Dungannon is one of the most photo friendly grounds in the league, and I got some nice shots, despite a lack of natural light.

The week after that, I was at The Oval for possibly the worst football match ever, and as a result, not much in the way of photo opportunities.

It was very much the same the following week when Linfield took on Portadown

Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City

Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City Photo Album

Fulham v Manchester United

Fulham v Manchester United Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Portadown

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,

QUEENS PARK RANGERS 0-0 NORWICH CITY 2.2.2013

Was in London over the weekend, so decided to take in two matches …. on the same day.

The first game was at lunchtime, at Loftus Road, as QPR took on Norwich.

I arrived at the ground early, and had time to kill, spending some at the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre. It was at the club shop at Loftus Road, that the most curious shopping experience came, as you could buy a Tony Fernandes gnome, or a model QPR plane.

The main attraction in merchandising terms was Ji Sung Park. You name it, you could buy something with his image on it in the club shop. There were quite a lot of people from South Korea purchasing it. Maybe that’s QPR’s business plan to pay their players if they get relegated?

Was behind the goal, the one to the left of your TV screen, below the Norwich City fans. Had a brilliant view and got some nice photos.

The match itself was very dull. The hightlight of the game came when fans taunted their rivals with “Peter Odemwingie/Gary Hooper ….. would’ve scored that” when an opportunity was missed.

QPR missed the biggest opportunity of all, a penalty early in the second-half.

Some games, you just know are going to finish 0-0. This, was one of them.

Photo Album

 

LONDON

There was always something that put me off going to London. I’d only previously been through London in 2008, to go to a match at Wembley, and trying to negotiate the Underground from Gatwick was a nightmare, which really put me off.

Over the past year, i’d begun to start about giving London a second chance. I usually go away at the start of February (this is the 4th successive year i’ve done so) for a weekend, so I started thinking that maybe 2013 was the time for London (of course, 2012 was the year for London, but I am, fashionably late)

The lack of options (discounting Barcelona and Amsterdam, having recently been there) in Mainland Europe made up my mind for me. London it was for me.

I flew into Gatwick on the Friday morning, and arrived in my hotel in Paddington. I was going blind in London, not having any tourist guides and not knowing anywhere.

I wasn’t that keen on the cliched touristy places such as Madame Tussauds, Houses Of Parliament, etc. You could be inclined to ask what on earth I was going to London for?

I got myself an Oyster Card, and topped it up with £30 (only spent about £25, which isn’t too bad for a weekend), which was so handy and convenient. I headed to Oxford Circus and went around the shops and Central London, before heading back to Paddington for a bite to eat.

It’s a bit of a culture shock being on The Tube in comparison with train stations in Northern Ireland. Any spare wall space has advertising, and you can actually shop while waiting on your train. No offence to Great Victoria Street station, but …….

What I love most about train stations on the mainland is Metro. I wish we had Metro newspaper in Northern Ireland.

Saturday was always going to be the main day of the trip, doing something i’d never done before …….. attend two football matches in one day.

I’d attended a football match and a rugby match in the same day in December, but never two football matches.

I had the opportunity last April when Carrick Rangers faced Glenavon in the afternoon of Easter Tuesday, while Linfield faced Cliftonville that night. I decided to only go to the Linfield match. Missed out on a good game at Seaview as Carrick and Glenavon drew 4-4.

As with my previous February trips, i’d always planned to take in a football match, and London was always going to have a lot of options.

I didn’t look at the fixture list when booking the weekend, and couldn’t believe my luck when I saw that Manchester United were playing Fulham at Craven Cottage. This match was what the football watching was going to be based around.

I’d hoped that TV would give me the opportunity to see matches Friday-Saturday-Sunday, but that wasn’t to be the case. With Fulham v Manchester United kicking off at 5.30pm, the 12.45pm kick-off at Loftus Road between QPR and Norwich City gave me a chance to go to two games in the one day.

Getting a ticket for the QPR game was easy, just purchased online when they went on General Sale. I had plenty of time to kill when I arrived at Loftus Road, so I decided to head to nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.

There was a surreal moment when I bumped into two guys wearing Linfield tops. Got chatting to them for a bit. One lived in London, the other was visiting, and they were both going to the game at Loftus Road.

I’m not sure how many QPR fans were at Windsor Park for Linfield v Ballymena United on Saturday.

The match itself, wasn’t very good. Every other part of the matchday aspect was good, apart from the actual football on offer. It finished 0-0. Everytime QPR missed a chance, Norwich fans taunted them with “Peter Odemwingie …… he would have scored that”, which QPR fans replied with “Gary Hooper …. he would have scored that” when Norwich missed a chance.

Sometimes you just know a match will finish 0-0 early in the second-half. This, was one of those games.

A quick dash across West London saw me in Hammersmith to collect a ticket for the Fulham v United game that was advertised on Twitter. The holder couldn’t go, so I was collecting it off a friend of his. Got it for face value, which was nice.

I headed down to Craven Cottage. A curious setting for a football stadium, right by the Thames. There was a beautiful sunset on Saturday, so I got some photos of it, as well as a statue of Fulham legend Johnny Haynes. Of course, it would have been rude not to get a photo of the Michael Jackson statue.

This was a more entertaining game than the one earlier in the day. With 12 minutes to go, it looked like I would be witnessing two 0-0 draws in the one day, before Wayne Rooney won it for United.

On Sunday, I decided to head to Camden, and had an enjoyable day the the markets. I also got some nice Street Art photos.

I’d considered doing the London Street Art tour, but didn’t want to dedicate four hours to it, with only having a weekend.

If I ever do go to London again, i’ll make time for this.

Had an enjoyable time in Camden on the Sunday. That night, I went to a comedy gig at Bloomsbury Theatre presented by Ardal O’Hanlon, and headlined by Milton Jones. You either get Milton Jones or you don’t. I do, and his brand of deadpan bad jokes was groan a minute stuff.

It would have been great if there was a concert I was interested in (no offence to Men In Hats, but one great song 28 years ago isn’t enough) or even a TV recording on the Friday (not even a Radio 2 concert) or a football match on the Sunday.

That’s just being greedy, I had a great time.

QPR v Norwich City Photo Album

Fulham v Manchester United Photo Album

Camden Street Art Photo Album

London Randomness Photo Album