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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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 : 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

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.

EXCELSIOR ROTTERDAM 3-1 VVV VENLO 4.2.2012

As you’ve guessed by the prevous posts, I was in Holland over the past week, doing an Amsterdam/Rotterdam double header.

When it comes to Rotterdam football, i’d already knew of the city’s two main clubs, Feyenoord and Sparta Rotterdam, but it was a pleasant surprise to discover that there is a third team in Rotterdam, and they also play in the top flight.

The fixture list was kind, as the game was taking place on the Saturday when I was in Rotterdam. Sparta Rotterdam were at home on the Sunday, but I was unable to make that game.

I booked a ticket online and did some web browsing before heading over, and I didn’t get a surprise when I arrived.

Excelsior are a very small club, punching way above their weight (think Wimbledon when they were in the Premier League) and kicked-off the game bottom of the league, but facing the team that were second bottom, VVV Venlo.

The stadium is very much like an all seater Stangmore Park, and that’s a compliment.

But the most Irish League aspect about the club is that they have their club shop in their social club.

I spent pre kick-off and half-time there purely to stay warm, it was “Wile caul” as they say in Coleraine.

The main stand behind the goal is known as the Robin Van Persie Stand, in tribute to the player who began is career at the club, before moving on to Feyenoord and then Arsenal.

Perhaps he should fly me over to all Excelsior home games as he had scored a hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers earlier that day.

That is where the clubs “Ultras” are based, and when the teams emerged, they waved flags and shot tickertape into the air.

Managed to get some OK views and shooting positions.

Excelsior deservedly won the match 3-1, a much needed win in their fight against relegation.

Photo Album