FIFA FIFPro World11 2016

December has arrived and that can mean only one thing, yep it’s time to crack open those advent calendars!

In other news, it’s also the month where the FIFA shortlist for the “team of the year” is released. In case you missed it, the full list is below:-

GK’s

Claudio Bravo, Gianluigi Buffon, David De Gea, Keylor Navas and Manuel Neur.

DEF’s

David Alaba, Jordi Alba, Serge Aurier, Hector Bellerin, Jerome Boateng, Leonardo Bonnucci, Daniel Carvajal, Giorgio Chellini, Dani Alves, David Luiz, Diego Godin, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Marcelo, Javier Mascherano, Pepe, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Raphael Varane.

MID’s

Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Andres Iniesta, N’Golo Kante, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, David Silva, Marco Veratti and Arturo Vidal.

FOR’s

Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Antoine Griezmann, Gonzalo Higuain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez and Jamie Vardy.

The list virtually appears to have been decided with eyes closed as most would have selected the named 55 players with a few minor tweaks. Our massive congratulations however go to Jamie Vardy, who (we hope doesn’t mind us saying that he) looks quite out of place in this company. His 2015/16 performance fully merits his place.

The FIFPro World11 is decided by the players, for the players. It collates the votes from roughly 25,000 professional players in 75 countries. Each vote contains 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards.

That’s right, even this award has moved away from footy’s traditional 4-4-2 to reflect the modern-day game, it won’t be long before we have a “holding midfielder” of the year award…you heard it here first!

The final team will be announced in Zurich on 9th January 2017 so we thought we’d cast our votes early and name our best 11:-

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Now obviously this is purely opinion but leaving Lionel Messi out of any selected XI requires some logic and our reasoning is pretty simple. The Argentine superstar is forever receiving accolades but he fell short where it mattered over the last few months, mainly when it came to his country. We chose Gareth Bale in his place thanks to his Champions League win and the superb leadership of Wales in the Euro’s.

One thing is for certain, is that whoever the chosen side is – that they all have been deserving in their own individual right and it’s fair to say that the ultimate combined XI would take some beating!

Image created by using Lineup11 app.

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Live TV Footy – Are we being entertained?

With the cost we are being asked to pay to watch football on TV these days I think it’s fair to say we expect a good level of entertainment for our hard earned £.

Watching the bore fest of Liverpool v Man Utd got me thinking…Just what are we paying to watch?

united-fan-sleeping

For anyone not a nerd like as myself, the players on show were bought by the North West giants for a combined total of £449M!!

They managed 5 shots on target and a passing averages equivalent of a part time side. Yes there will be the odd 3-3 or as the past weekend has shown a rare 5-4 but on the whole do we feel like we have enjoyed those 90+ minutes with the 0-0’s or “tactical” 2-1’s.

Sky and BT Sport are battling between themselves for supremacy. Major meetings take place to discuss who gets what game and at what time it will be played, bear in mind this is catered for the TV audience and not the fans travelling to the games (another story for another day). The 3 main leagues shown by the TV companies mentioned are The Barclays Premier League, La Liga and the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership.

I’m sure if I asked most to name the most “entertaining” the BPL would be the easiest and possibly most argued for answer. So is this correct?

Below is a basic breakdown of games shown, goals scored, shots on target and red cards dished out. I believe the latter 3 are the key to basic entertainment for the neutral TV viewer.

Premier League Total
Games Goals Shots On Target Red Cards
93 238 894 11
Average 2.5 Goals PG 9.6 Shots PG Every 8.4 Games
SPL Total
Games Goals Shots On Target Red Cards
27 80 248 7
Average 2.9 Goals PG 9.1 Shots PG Every 3.8 Games
La Liga Total
Games Goals Shots On Target Red Cards
141 485 1231 44
Average 3.4 Goals PG 8.7 Shots PG Every 3.2 Games
  • The Premier League gives us the lowest goals to game ratio
  • However does provide us with the most attempts on target
  • La Liga loves a red card with one being shown nearly every 3 games
  • The Spanish game provides us with nearly an additional 1 goal per game and before you ask….Barca & Real have featured in only 20% of the games shown
  • The Scottish Premiership performs very well in comparison, despite being considered “poor standard” by most

Sam-Nicholson-Hearts

So I urge football fans to shun the Swansea v Watford’s of this world and cast your eye to Partick Thistle, Eibar, Hearts and Getafe.

You may be pleasantly surprised in the quality you watch, entertainment it provides and potentially learn a bit more about other countries leagues to impress your mates with down the pub.

Happy watching!

Manchester United fans image sourced from; www.talkingbaws.co.uk
Hearts image sourced from; www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football