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Only 3 Percent of EPL Matches End In A Shock Win

Before today’s two shock results (Portsmouth 2-1 Man United, and Arsenal 0-1 West Ham), how many times this season had there been shock wins? Well, the answer is 19. Out of the 619 matches played this season prior to Saturday, only 3% of those matches featured shock wins (which equates to a shock result once in every 32 matches). Some of you may disagree, but here are the 19 matches that I consider shock wins this season:Middlesbrough 2-1 ChelseaManchester City 1-0 ArsenalEverton 3-0 LiverpoolManchester United 0-1 ArsenalTottenham Hotspur 2-1 ChelseaWest Ham United 1-0 ArsenalBolton Wanderers 3-1 ArsenalFulham 2-1 ArsenalWest Ham United 1-0 Manchester UnitedArsenal 6-2 Blackburn RoversSheffield United 1-0 ArsenalReading 6-0 West Ham UnitedMiddlesbrough 5-1 Bolton WanderersLiverpool 2-0 ChelseaWatford 2-1 MiddlesbroughArsenal 2-1 Manchester UnitedSheffield United 2-1 Tottenham HotspurBlackburn Rovers 1-2 West Ham UnitedEverton 1-0 ArsenalWhat does this say about the English Premier League? By far, shock wins occur far too infrequently. Nineteen shock results out of 619 matches screams of far too many predictable matches. And predictability breeds boredom.What needs to happen to buck the trend? First, more teams need to play attacking football like Reading and go for the jugular in matches instead of sitting back in fear. Second, the top four teams in the four horse race need to move up to a European Super League to allow the remainder of the Premiership teams to face a fair fight and give them an opportunity to win the league. Otherwise the gap between the top four and the teams below will continue to increase even more to the detriment of the league.

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  1. ZTN

    April 8, 2007 at 11:41 am


    My opinion is split. Firstly, a Euro Super League sounds great. But while it would be a boon for those teams who would be in it, it would truly undermine interest in the rest of the leagues….especially at an international viewer level where the “Big 3”— EPL, Liga and Serie A—have made great strides in generating more TV revenue…especially the EPL.

    So, yes, a Super League, would get a huge amount of attention and may even get mainstream channels all over the world fighting for the TV rights. It makes sense. Could you imagine a league that looked like Champions League but all season long? I salivate at the idea.

    HOWEVER, the domestic leagues would suffer greatly and be reduced to majority viewer interest coming from inside the borders and therefore reducing their commerical clout and hence quality.

    Middle tier contenders like Everton, Newcastle, Spurs, Lazio, Fiorentina, R Zaragoza, Espanyol etc., etc. may grumble about never being able to consistently contend with the elite teams but they also need those elite teams to make their title runs credible. Otherwise, it’s a glorified Championship, Serie B or Segunda.

    My take is this:

    These leagues all suffer from a overly vertical revenue sharing scheme. Even the EPL, the best of the Big 3, as it tries to share TV revenue as a league (something Italy wants to copy) doesn’t go far enough in sharing revenue.

    Having the top teams earn a bigger share than the bottom teams is fine but I think the cut between Man U and Watford, for example, will be too drastic. I once saw the revenue sharing table and I find it too steep. A few steps toward parity in this respect would help smaller teams compete in terms of revenue and therefore make the league more competitve.

    The NFL does this (too much IMO), and it works though they’ve gone to the other extreme where nobody is really much better than the next team. That’s not good either. But I think you get my meaning.

  2. The Gaffer

    April 7, 2007 at 11:21 pm


    I did watch today’s games, and they were spectacular. All four live ones I saw (I can’t access Setanta Xtra). But today’s exciting matches are so far and few between compared to the rest of the season.

    The European Super League may not happen soon, but as you know, talks have been happening behind the scenes, so you know they’re discussing it.

    As for the remainder of the comments, I’ll leave that to the rest of the readers to see if their opinions are similar or differ (either way, that’s fine).

    But what I see is a poison spreading through the Premier League that’s slowly ruining the league.

    I agree that the Prem is the most popular league in the world, but I disagree that it’s the best and most exciting. Most exciting, definitely not. Best, it depends what you’re basing that on.

    Anonymous, I appreciate your honesty and being forthright, but I’m just calling it as I see it after watching this beautiful game for more than 30 years of my life.

    The Gaffer

  3. Anonymous

    April 7, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Gaffer, what European superleague? It isn’t happening any time soon-Champions League format is working just fine and will be there for the foreseeable future.
    Why do you keep bitching about the quality of the Premierleague?
    This season has been one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting in a decade. Title race, Champions League spots and a titanic relegation battle. We have seen some spectacular games. What more could you ask for?
    Seriously…every now and then you go into this rant of the “good ole’ days” and how the things used to be and how $ is corrupting football and how going to a premierleague game is not what it used to be…com’on-live in the present…the premier league is the best, most popular and most exciting sports league in the world…did you not watch the games today?

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