Monday, April 05, 2021

It Only Looks Like Bad Luck

I've been a Newcastle United fan since I first started watching English Premier League metric football around 2010. The last several years have been brutal. 

Note: In the EPL, at the end of the season the three worst teams in the league are sent down, "relegated," into the league below them and the three best teams in the league below are "promoted" to the EPL. It makes the end of the season exciting for everyone as they all have a stake in the games, even the bottom feeders. Imagine if the Baltimore Orioles had been threatened with AAA status at the end of the 2019 season.

Newcastle's owner is a greedy idiot who only wants to keep the the team in the EPL for the TV money. His goal isn't a good team, but the cheapest team he can have to end up around 15th place out of 20. He likes to buy good, young talent and then sell them a few years later. He usually hires stiffs as managers, people who will go out and say whatever he wants them to say.

Smaller market franchises like Leeds United can field exciting teams and play terrific ball, but Newcastle's ambitions are simply survival and it shows. I've actually gotten to the point where I want to see them go down this year. They're currently right above the drop zone in the league. The team below them, Fulham, is a legit, small-market team who is working like mad to stay in the EPL.

In any case, I've been watching a lot of bad metric football lately. Yesterday, Newcastle tied one of the better teams, but there were moments when it looked like they might win. This has happened many times during the season. I kept thinking if they had just gotten a break or two, they'd be an average team instead of a horrible one. Dig this from yesterday.

Such bad luck! Dwight Gayle misses scoring by inches and then misses scoring on his follow-up chance by inches. There have been lots and lots of these throughout the year.

That's when it dawned on me that they don't have bad luck. They're just a bad team. When one of the big boys like Manchester City have chances like this, the ball goes into the back of the net. When Newcastle has them, the ball goes off the crossbar, gets tipped away by the goalie or ricochets just barely out of reach of their strikers.

That's not luck. Luck doesn't work that way. Flipping a coin gets you 50-50, not 95-5. When it's 95-5, the explanation is something else.

When your team is near the bottom of the standings and you think they've had a run of bad luck, think again. The scoreboard doesn't lie. They're simply a terrible team.


psudrozz said...

Happy belated Easter, KT

K T Cat said...

Same to you, psudrozz!

Mostly Nothing said...

When the world comes to its senses and makes me King, my son will be put in charge of all professional sports. The Packers, the Red Sox, and the NCAA, for instance, will be in for a rude awakening.

Anyway, he has worked on a plan to fix the NFL. And it will include relegation.

MLB, obviously will take a lot of work. Having a commissioner that doesn't absolutely hate the sport, will be a good start.

K T Cat said...

Having a commissioner that doesn't absolutely hate the sport, will be a good start