In football distance makes no difference
By Tony Attwood
Pep Guardiola said after his side lost to Tottenham, “Coming from Manchester to London, it’s like going to northern Europe. It’s four hours, 20 minutes to get to a hotel. It’s so exhausting, I’m sorry. We need to come back to Manchester and prepare the game against Aston Villa.”
So we wondered just how far other clubs had had to travel and how many games they had had to play in the last 15 days – compared to poor travel-weary Manchester City.
And it turns out that the most road-weary team must be poor West Ham United who have travelled 587km in the last 15 days.
Anyway, we have taken the league positions of each club, looked at how many games they have played in the last 15 days in the league, and how far they have had to travel. It may seem a trivial load of old whatnot to you but the Manchester City manager said it so it must be important.
After West Ham in terms of kilometres travelled on the road (or maybe in the air), Southampton have travelled the second furthest, which you’d expect given where the ground is, and then Arsenal come in third.
Manchester City with all the moaning have travelled fractionally over half the distance in the last 15 days that Arsenal have. Which just goes to show something or other, but mostly it suggests that the Manchester City manager can say anything he likes and no one bothers to check. Except Untold.
We have also looked at distance travelled per game in the last 15 days, and the distance travelled per game in the last 15 days with many thanks to our friends in Grimsby.
|Lge pos||Team||Games in last 15||KM in last 15||KM PER Game|
|6||Brighton & Hove||2||0||0|
So what we can see is that far from being troubled by lots of long journeys in the last couple of weeks Manchester City have travelled around half the distance of Arsenal. In fact nine clubs have travelled more in the last 15 days than poor impoverished Manchester City.
In fact it is hard to see that travelling has much impact at all on clubs, although I am sure that Newcastle, Southampton, Bournemouth and Brighton will use the issue as a reason why they have none of them won the league of late.
Anyway thinking further of excuses, here’s a hilarious one from the Guardian: Harry Kane doesn’t need trophies at Tottenham to prove his greatness.
That of course is helpful since their trophy cabinet has not been weighed down with pots of late. Their recent record being, in the 21st century, and you might want to take a deep breath first…
League Cup: 2008
… and that seems to be about it for the 2000s. Prior to that they won the FA Cup in 1991. So that makes two trophies in 32 years. But I suppose it cuts down on the polishing costs which is where Arsenal suffer, having won the FA Cup nine times since Tottenham were last allowed to look at it. Still they have won the league cup, so that’s all right.
Anyway, so excited has the media become about Arsenal being beaten that the Telegraph is running the headline The blueprint for how to beat Arsenal.
And it turns out that “to succeed against Mikel Arteta’s side you need to have legs in midfield and stifle Martin Odegaard – Sean Dyche’s team did that to a tee.” So there we are – it is dead simple, and no one else has ever realised that before. Amazing.
What with all this travelling and trophy cleaning, it is indeed a funny old game. And to make it even funnier, here is the latest league table based on the last six games played.
I’ve just given the top ten because after that it only includes little clubs. I leave you to work out which clubs are missing.
|2||Brighton & Hove||6||4||1||1||15||8||7||13|
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- Luton Town v Arsenal: Grim football, fewest goals, lowest possession rate