European Competition Effect – Historical Split

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Well, if there’s no difference between teams according to the competition they’re in, how about whether those teams who have been enjoying European football in the past are positively effected by that.

Certainly, impirically, Torino (no) struggled, while the likes of Sevilla (yes) didn’t.

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In actuality, too, there’s far more of a gap between those teams who featured in Europe in 2013/14 and those that did not. Indeed, the fact that those teams with European experience actually perform slightly better after UEFA games than not, while those unused to the long journeys and the midweek games really suffer – those gaps are noticeable – two points per season better off after UEFA games on the left compared to six points per season worse off on the right; an eight point disparity.

In other words, if you weren’t in Europe one year, but were the next, you’re fairly likely not be the one after. Does that make Europe a closed shop?

In principle, it does to a point, except that by those teams not qualifying, another cohort of teams that weren’t in Europe the season before have the opportunity to make a different crack at it.

What is does suggest is that for teams who on the rise, they might be better finishing outside Europe in the first ‘big’ season (take note Bournemouth and Carpi – if you want to succeed longer term, you need only domestic games next season).

Of course, more splits will follow, but these were the first two that seemed to leap out.

European Competition Effect – Competition Split

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So, after looking through the teams league by league and seeing a variety of differences, I can now move onto more general splits – I should caveat this by mentioning that it only applies to Europe’s ‘Top Five’ leagues, a grouping which rather ignores Portugal’s Primeira Liga, which often represents well in the Europa League, and the Eredivisie, which is rather less forceful at UEFA level.

The first split that might make sense is the competition itself. If a team is in the Champions League, are they likely to struggle more than in the Europa League; certainly, the latter competition is blamed for a lot of teams’ poor form, and, well, looking at the graphs previously, it tended to be teams that were EL based who endured the worst disparity.

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In short, no. Teams in the EL are poorer – but we already knew that – but both competitions have a slightly negative effect overall on the league games that follow their involvement. In both cases, that gap represents around 1/10 of a point and balances out at around 3 points a season.

On that basis, if you have an option of qualifying for either, it shouldn’t negatively affect your next season if you end up in the Europa League instead of the Champions League.

Great Tournaments Of Our Time – The Eesti Karikas

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I’m sure I’m not the only person who peruses football scores from all over the world in case something peculiar has happened; you’ll have seen me Tweet screenshots of surprising things – quick hat-tricks, silly comebacks, multiple sendings off.

The Eesti Karikas (the Estonian Cup) deserves a post of its own. Allow me to signpost why it drew my attention.

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Both those games took place on June 13th. That’s fifty goals – unanswered – across two games. Yes, Infonet are in the top flight and Virtsu are non-league, but 36-0 is an extreme result.

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There’s the goals and their minutes divided into halves.

Ludicrous results are only part of the story, though. I can take ludicrous results with a raised eyebrow and a knowing nod. Look at the names of some of the teams who are attempting to reach the second round.

Here’s a selection of first round fixtures (I’ve boldened my favourites) – or, in a couple of cases, results.

  • FC Jogeva Wolves 1-2 FC Like & Share
  • SK Imavere Forss 6-2 Tallinna FC Twister
  • Navi 4-0 Warrior
  • Taaksi 10-1 Icebears FC
  • Lelle v. Moe FC
  • Poseidon JK v. Rumori Calcio
  • Roosad Pantrid v. Tartu FC Bronx Wood
  • Joker v. Kuusalu JK Rada
  • Eston Villa v. Tartu FC
  • Marjamaa RJK v. Transferwise FC
  • Retro v. Peedu

In short, the Estonian Cup is brilliant. They give random byes (spread throughout the leagues) for the early rounds, so the likes of Lootos FCR aren’t involved yet despite being non-league. There is, obviously, a huge imbalance in some of the teams. And, perhaps best of all, some of the teams have wonderful names.

Keep your eye on it. The first round is going on practically as we speak.

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