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

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2012 IN PICTURES – APRIL

Sun is out and the Irish League season is in the final straight.

Some of the photos of the day when Linfield clinched the title weren’t that great, but managed to get some lovely shots the following week at the Irish Cup Semi-Final against Newry City.

With Linfield in a commanding lead early on, managed to get some portrait shots of The Oval. The most productive photo day of the month.

On the day of the title presentation against Glentoran, the inevitable pitch invasion meant I had to change my plans in order to get photos of the celebrations.

Also managed to get some Graffiti/Street Art photos in Belfast, including a protest against the newly built Titanic Centre

Enjoy

Summer Was Here

New Graffiti Shots

Linfield v Portadown

Linfield v Cliftonville

Linfield v Newry City

Linfield v Glentoran

PHOTO OF THE SEASON : 2011-2012

After enjoying a month by month review of the past season, feel free to vote for your favourite photos from the following selected photos.

Corner

This photo was taken at the Hearts v Spurs UEFA Cup tie. I like it purely for the composition as Hearts fans look on helplessly as their team tries to restore some pride. They were 5-0 down when the corner was taken.

Statue

Again, the composition just makes this photo for me. Taken outside Old Trafford prior to a game against Sunderland on 5th November 2011

High Feet

Taken during a friendly between Derriaghy CC and Linfield in July. Again, the framing and composition just work for me.

Gaffers

Another one taken from Derriaghy CC v Linfield, I like this one showing Derriaghy’s management team watching the game, trying to see if there is anything they can spot which can help their team.

Lazy Summer Day

I used the pinhole effect in my camera for this shot, taken during a hastily arranged pre-season game between Linfield and Carrick Rangers.

I like the way it just captures watching football on a summer’s day. Even the Carrick Rangers subs appear to be relaxing while watching the game.

Linesman

Carrick Rangers again, this time a lot colder and darker, and more competitive, in a league match at their temporary home of Seaview.

I like this shot for the composition of the linesman, and the way the light reflects off Crusaders plastic pitch.

Boxing Day

This photo, taken on Boxing Day unsurprisingly, shows the crowd with their eyes fixed on Linfield taking a corner (taken, I think, by Rory Patterson) during a match against Glentoran.

Windsor Park

Taken prior to a match against Dungannon Swifts in January, I like this for the composition and the way the supporter’s shadows reflect.

Flag

Taken in Rotterdam while I was in Holland in February, Excelsior Rotterdam fans wave flags and release streamers as their side enters the field for a match against VVV Venlo

Cameraman

A TV cameraman captures the action during the Eredivise clash between Excelsior Rotterdam and VVV Venlo

Sunset

Photo outside Old Trafford prior to a UEFA Cup tie against Ajax on 23.2.2012

Old Trafford

Portrait shot of Old Trafford after the UEFA Cup tie against Ajax on 23.2.2012

City End

Linfield fans at The Oval, taken during a match against Newry City on 14.4.2012

Watson

Albert Watson, surrounded by supporters, is interviewed for TV after Linfield lift the Irish League title

Of ones not taken by me, there are two which stand out.

This one, credited to Getty Images, shows Kenny Dalglsh’s celebration just after Andy Carroll puts Liverpool 2-1 up in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Everton.

The composition and framing, capturing the emotion whcih makes it a fantastic photo.

I’m no lover of Liverpool FC, but credit where it’s due, that’s a fantastic photo.

The second photo, is of Ross Glendinning trying to save a shot during a friendly between Linfield and Rangers in May. It was credited to Pacemaker Press.

Like the Dalglish one, is the emotion and the framing which makes it, as Glendinning strains to try and stop the ball going into the back of the net.

For the record, the ball ended up in the back of the net.

I am aware that my natural footballing loyalties shouldn’t have me complimenting a photo of a Liverpool goal or a goal against Linfield, but, you’ve just to to appreciate good photography.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : APRIL

Onto April now, the time of year when trophies are decided and handed out.

My first game of the month was the day Linfield won he league against Portadown.

Not a great collection of photos, but I managed to have a more productive afternoon the following week.

That was at The Oval, for the Irish Cup Semi-Final against Newry City. A routine 7-0 win, but the weather was nice and I managed to get some good shots of the game and surrounding environs.

Inbetween that, fixture fulfilling games against Cliftonville and Coleraine saw me get some ok photos, nothing special.

So, the last game of the month, and last game of the season, against Glentoran, and it was all a big letdown.

The result (0-2) was bad enough, but the trophy presentation was ruined by one game a season supporters invading the pitch. Didn’t get the photos I wanted, but I did manage to get some.

Enjoy

Linfield v Portadown

Linfield v Portadown Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Linfield v Newry City

Linfield v Glentoran

Linfield v Glentoran Photo Album

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON

You can thank @philmojones4 for the inspiration for this pointless blogpost, when he commented on how many matches he’d been too during the 2011-2012 season, and it got me thinking, then I thought some more, and came up with this statistical analysis of the football season just past (I know technically the season is still going, but for me, it is over)

Matches Attended : 44

Goals Seen : 120

Red Cards : 5

Hat-Tricks : 2

Aaron Burns (Linfield v Dungannon Swifts) Peter Thompson (Linfield v Newry City)

(Last season I witnessed hat-tricks by Dimitar Berbatov and Lionel Messi)

Hat-tricks missed due to being on holiday : 1

Phil Lowry (Linfield v Donegal Celtic)

Hat-tricks missed due to not being arsed with Irish Cup ties v lower league opposition : 2

Rory Patterson (Linfield v Ballyclare Comrades) Peter Thompson (Linfield v Coagh United)

Highest scoring match : 7 (Linfield 7-0 Newry City)

Countries seen football in : 4

England, Holland, Northern Ireland, Scotland

(Last season, it was 4 as well – England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Spain)

Teams seen play : 28

Aberdeen, Ajax Amsterdam, Ballymena United, BATE Borisov, Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Derriaghy CC, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Excelsior Rotterdam, Faroe Islands, Glenavon, Glentoran, Heart of Midlothian, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Manchester United, Newry City, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portadown, Serbia, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, Utrecht, VVV Venlo

Competitions Watched : 8

Eredivise, Euro 2012, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish Premier League, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup

Stadiums Visited : 14

Amsterdam Arena, Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballyskeagh, Coleraine Showgrounds, Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, The Oval, Tynecastle, Windsor Park, Woudestein

NB: Stats do not include last night’s Manchester United v Irish League XI game. My visit to Amsterdam for the Holland v Northern Ireland game will be counted towards 2012-2013 statistics.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : AUGUST

Finally, in August, the season began, with Linfield looking to win a 50th title in the club’s 125th anniversary season. With all that hope and optimism, it was quickly brought back down to earth with a drab 0-0 draw at home to Ballymena United.

The following day, I jetted off to Edinburgh to take in the Edinburgh Festival, and managed to get some portrait shots of Tynecastle, home of SPL side Hearts.

Back home the following weekend, I visited Stangmore Park, to see Linfield’s title defence stutter more with a defeat against Dungannon Swifts, but on the plus side, I managed to get some good photos.

After home wins over Distillery and Coleraine, my next away match saw me use my new camera for the first time, and got some enjoyable shots, especially of Curtis Allen celebrating his winning goal.

The season, like my phototaking, was up and running.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Tynecastle

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Linfield v Lisburn Distillery

Linfield v Coleraine

Newry City v Linfield

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WORLD SOCCER – MARCH 2005

This edition of “The Magazine Archive” takes a look back at March 2005 when Adriano was “The King Of Siere A”, according to World Soccer, who had bagged an interview with Inter Milan’s Brazilian striker.

The editorial focuses on a match fixing scandal, and wether Wayne Rooney can have the same impact at the 2006 World Cup as he did at Euro 2004.

Ivory Coast’s national team was featured as they aimed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Former French international Basile Boli, born in Ivory Coast says in the article that they could emulate Senegal’s success in the 2002 World Cup in 2006.

As it turned out Ivory Coast did qualify, but were eliminated after defeats to Argentina and Holland.

Franco Carraro, President of the Italian Football Federation was interviewed as Italy unveiled their bid to host Euro 2012.

Italy eventually lost out in the bidding process to a joint bid from Poland and Ukraine.

Italy tried to bid for Euro 2016 but were unsuccessful, with the tournament being awarded to France.

Meanwhile, the big story from Croatia during the monthly round-up was Nico Krankjaer’s sensational transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Hadjuk Split.

Northern Ireland’s round-up consists of Linfield signing Shea Campbell, Newry City being thrown out of the Irish Cup, the launch of the Setanta Cup and Alan Dornan being sacked as manager of Crusaders. Quiet month then.

Meanwhile in South America, the player involved in the most expensive transfer between two clubs in that continent, Carlos Tevez, made his debut for Corinthians.

The recent South American Under 20 Championship allows for a feature on the 12 best young players in South America. Top scorer in the tournament Hugo Rodallega gets a lot of attention, alongside Lionel Messi.

THE FULL SET

By attending Linfield’s match at Solitude last night, it now meant that I had visited all the grounds of the clubs in the top flight of the Irish League.

Obviously, there are people who will have ‘achieved’ this feat before me, but it’s still a nice wee milestone.

Of course, i’ll have had my camera with me to these grounds, with varying results.

Ballymena Showgrounds – Ballymena United

Not great for amateur photography for away fans. The home stand looks as though it could be handy for amateur photography.

Minus points though for no stands behind the goal, meaning all photos are going to be side on.

Managed to get some good photos when I visited in March 2009, especially one of David Jeffrey barking out instructions on the touchline.

Haven’t had a chance to attaned a match in their new stand ofr away fans, so hopefully that will make it a more pleasurable excperiance for amateur photography.

Solitude – Cliftonville

Was there for the first time yesterday, and is absolutely horrible for amateur photography as an away fan, hence why the best I could get was pre-match portrait shots.

However, for home fans, it looks like you could get some good photos.

Coleraine Showgrounds – Coleraine

A long and enjoyable away trip, especially if you win, and also a fan friendly ground for photography.

Seaview – Crusaders

Nice and local, and always full when Linfield visit, Seaview is a great ground for getting amatuer photography.

Bonus points also for freedom of movement meaning you can stand behind whichever end your team is attacking.

Suffolk Road – Donegal Celtic

Like Ballymena, minus points for no access behind the goals.

The only time i’ve been there, Linfield didn’t create anything of note, meaning I was unable to find out if it was good for action photography.

Stangmore Park – Dungannon Swifts

Very much like Seaview, easy access to the heart of the action and no segregation.

Always manage to get some decent photos when here.

Mourneview Park – Glenavon

Absolutely love travelling to Mourneview. Easy to get to, and close to the pitch, making some excellent photos.

Managed to get free tickets for the 2009 CIS Cup Final and went snap happy. A full album can be found here.

The Oval – Glentoran

Always enjoy leaving here after a Linfield victory, be it a cup semi-final or a match against Glentoran.

Not that great for photos when a full crowd, but very good when the crowd is smaller.

Windsor Park – Linfield

Not that great at domestic games, excellent for internationals, as you can get closer access to the pitch.

It is good for portrait shots, be it from the Kop or South Stands, or from the Viewing Lounge.

Ballyskeagh – Lisburn Distillery

Horrible ground, that is officially impossible to get a good photo in.

Newry Showgrounds – Newry City

The new stand in recent years has improved the photographicability of this ground, especially when your team are attacking that end.

Shamrock Park – Portadown

Always enjoyable visiting here. Usually guaranteed an excellent view and photographing opportunity.

2010 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

Busy month, went to Edinburgh for a week for the Festival, taking in concerts by Doves and Duke Special (and various other comedy events) and then upon my return, Stereophonics at Belsonic, as well as the start of the Irish League season.

I also got a new camera, as a result of the one my had being damaged at Belsonic, although I was considering getting a new one, the decision was made for me.

One of the first times using it was to get some sunset photos, and for the next couple of weeks, it was a case of trial and error at various events, including my first night football match, where I got an excellent photo of Curtis Allen celebrating a goal at Newry.

My favourite photo of the month was Stephen Douglas waiting to take a throw-in at Dungannon, as the composition and framing just worked, as did the pure luck of it happening right in front of me.

That day, Linfield lost 2-1 to Dungannon Swifts, leaving them with only 1 point after 2 games.

Linfield’s form has improved since that day. Wether my photography has, you’ll have to wait for forthcoming blog posts.

Stereophonics Review

Stereophonics Photos

Duke Special Review

Duke Special Photos

Doves Review

Doves Photos

NEWRY CITY 1-1 LINFIELD 23.10.2010

Was at Newry yesterday for the CIS Cup tie between Newry City and Linfield.

If it wasn’t for the fact that i’ll miss next week’s trip to Ballymena due to being at Old Trafford and being unlikely to make the trip to Portadown the following week, I probably would have given this game a miss in all honesty.

The trip was worthwhile at about 3.20pm when Michael Gault scored a wonderful volley to put Linfield into the lead.

Unfortunately, Newry equalised before half-time and eventually won the tie when it went to a penalty shoot-out.

To make matters worse, my camera ran out of battery just before the shoot-out, with me in a prime photography position.

Newry is an amateur photography friendly ground and I managed to get some shots. Not great, but OK.

Enjoy


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