“I have a question!” exclaimed Edward Brown last week. “With Norwich needing a mighty 17-goal swing to avoid relegation in their final game (and results to go their way, of course), what has been the greatest escape by a club on the last day of the season thanks to a reverse of their goal difference? Surely no team has overcome anything more than a five-goal deficit on the final day to send another team down?” Norwich, you may have noticed, did not manage a 17-goal swing or, indeed, even a victory on the final day, so the Canaries will be playing Championship football next season. When it comes to the greatest deficits overturned, however, there are several notable instances and a few astonishing non-relegation-related final day turnarounds. First though to a final-day Houdini act from the Bundesliga in 1998-99. Here’s Rob Smyth in his Joy of Six: great escapes to explain: With four games to go, a deficit of four points seemingly made Frankfurt, er, dead … [Read more...] about The greatest final-day football turnarounds
Womens football world cup
“How many professional players bear tattoos with the name of their favourite club but ply their trade elsewhere?” wondered Roger Sleigh last week. It’s surprisingly common to find ink in homage to one club on a player wearing the shirt of another. “Leicester City’s Polish defender Marcin Wasilewski has a tattoo of Anderlecht’s badge on his right leg. He spent six years playing for them and was so popular that on two occasions a group of Anderlecht fans came over to watch him play for his new team in the 2013-14 season,” writes Liam Derry. “Incidentally it’s the same leg he broke after a shocking tackle by Standard Liège’s Axel Witsel in 2009.” “Watford’s (and previously Walsall’s) Troy Deeney is well known as a Birmingham City supporter, and has a tattoo on one of his calves – a quick Google search fails to produce any pictorial evidence but there are lots of references to it,” sleuths … [Read more...] about Which footballers have tattoos of their former clubs?
"Neither Spurs nor Fulham seem that excited about the prospect of Europa League football next season," writes Julius Scott. "If they qualify, do they have to play in it?" Short answer: No, with an if. Long answer: Yes, with a but. It's all a matter of the Uefa licence. In early spring clubs are invited by the FA to apply for a Uefa licence – essentially a piece of paper that confirms that a club's stadium is up to the job, that their finances are in order, that their vol-au-vents in the directors' box meet Uefa-approved standards, that sort of thing. In order to play in the Champions League or the Europa League clubs have to have a Uefa licence and the list of those who have applied and meet the criteria is sent off to Uefa in June. A club not wanting to participate in Europe the following season, for whatever reason, therefore has a very simple get-out – just don't apply for a licence. In that case, should a club without a licence qualify in the Champions League or Europa … [Read more...] about Do Tottenham and Fulham have to play in the Europa League?
"With all the talk of Arsenal's terribly 'long' wait for a trophy (almost nine years), spare a thought for Rochdale," writes Peter Hughes. "In their 107 year history they are yet to win a trophy. This could change at the weekend if results go their way [They didn't – Knowledge Ed]. Can any other team top this?" Before we look into this, here's Malcolm Warburton with some important clarifications: "Rochdale won the Lancashire Combination in 1910-11 and 1911-12. On the first occasion they finished seven points ahead of reserve teams from Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, but these all left, together with nine other reserve teams, to become founder members of the Central League. The second time they won by six points from St Helens Recreation before themselves joining the Central League, which at that time was a sort of Greg Dyke-style mixture of reserve and first teams. But when Third Division North was founded in 1921 all the first team members became … [Read more...] about Have there been any teams who have never won a single thing?