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Lost socks and points

By Trevor Powell :  14/04/2010 :  Comments (28) :
It may be something compulsive about my mathematical mind but I want to know where all the "lost" points go. Do they join the great sock ring of Saturn as suggested in the Hitch HiKers gude to the Galaxy?

I think we need them back. Just consider our two drawn games against Villa, totalling 3-3 on aggregate gets each side two points and tow disappear. On reflection a 1-0 and a 2-3 wins would have yielded 3 points each!

Why does football allow one point per drawn game disappear? What can we do about it?

My suggestion is a penalty shoot out after each drawn game. Think about it... the winner gets 2 points and the loser 1 point. Another column in the league table could read bonus points!

The advantages, are that supporters get an exciting end to the game even if it has been the all time bore draw! English clubs and players would get great practice for international and European matches! Mathematical nerds like me would be happier!

Anyone got any other suggestions for the lost points such as Everton getting them for scoring more away goals against Villa this season?

Personally I like the penalty shoot out!

Reader Comments

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David Hallwood
1   Posted 14/04/2010 at 23:55:07

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Nah If it ain't broke etc. We just can't hold onto leads full stop, thats 8 points we've thrown away recently Brum, Wolves. WHU & Villa + 1pt from Spurs, it's the differnce between a good team and a great team.
Bob Parrington
2   Posted 15/04/2010 at 00:00:01

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As the song goes..."When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"
We just cannot defend crosses. Never have done since David Weir & Stubbsy and it looks like we won't for some time to come. Talk about throwing away yet another golden opportunity for 3 points. This is so frustrating........... to put it mildly!
Matt Traynor
3   Posted 15/04/2010 at 01:23:41

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Going back to your original point Trevor, I've wouldn't be in favour. Don't forget, as well as gaining a point, you deny the other team an additional two points. It's not just about your points, it's what your competitors get.

There have been other suggestions like the away side should get 2 points, and the home 1.

When the USA introduced MLS for the 94 World Cup, I couldn't believe the "kick in" to settle "tied" games. FFS some of the best games I ever saw were draws - where a winner would seem unjust. I think it's part of the US sporting psyche - there has to be a winner and a loser.

And of course, despite last year's semi, we're shite at penalties.
Andy Peers
4   Posted 15/04/2010 at 03:40:30

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Dear Trevor,
Don,t forget that the reason the 3 point system was implemented, originally, was to make a difference in points for not just settling for a draw and therefore playing to win . So the points that go into thin air ( as you think ) are lost by the lack of effort for both teams to earn points . By the way i have been watching Everton since 1976 and Todays result reminds me about how we desire the will to win but never perform like that is our goal . Attack when you are on top and do not throw a defender on in the last minute ( yobo ) . Remember any team that is losing with only Injury Time left will push everybody forward so make them vunerable with people that can score.... By the way how did Neville miss that gift he was given to score .
Andy Peers
5   Posted 15/04/2010 at 04:13:31

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I know Coleman would have scored !!
Jamie Crowley
6   Posted 15/04/2010 at 04:29:30

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A draw is a draw is a tie....
Winning, and the desire to do so, should be rewarded.
Matt's 100% correct. A winner and loser is part of the US Sporting landscape.
Reward going for the win. And no gimmicks if two teams are level at the end of the contest.
Tony J Williams
7   Posted 15/04/2010 at 09:11:01

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Sorry to be blunt, but it's an effing stupid idea. Why should a team have the opportunity to get 3 points with the luck of a shootout if they have played anti-football for 90 minutes? We have all seen games like this, Hell we have all been the side looking for the draw so why would it be fair that they should have teh opportunity to win when they didn't try previously.

Daft idea
Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 15/04/2010 at 09:13:10

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Are you from the States Jamie? I guessing you are. Now I'm not one for anti-US sentiment (some of my best friends are...) but the US sporting landscape can only be seen in... well the US.

You've got your rounders, and you've got your stop start rugby with pads and helmets. Of course your up-side-down netball, and thoe guys on ice who were never told to stop chasing the puck once they became adults and grow up.

I certainly wouldn't want those gimmicks in case of a tie coming over here. Besides, where would the smaller teams be if they couldn't hold out for a draw. Would only benefit the top teams in my oppinion.

Shaun Brennan
9   Posted 15/04/2010 at 09:57:20

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Nick, does that mean you wouldn't be in favour of having quarters instead of halfs?
David Hallwood
10   Posted 15/04/2010 at 10:46:44

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How many times have we seen teams play for the draw, when there's a penalty shoot out, such as the World & Euro Cup, some of the most sterile games I've seen have is because play for the penalty shoot out, something the Americans might not understand
Phil Paulson
11   Posted 15/04/2010 at 11:38:13

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There's isn't much merit in his solution but Trevor Powell identifies a real problem.

Before a match starts its value is three points, but if it's a draw only two points are awarded, regardless of how attack-minded the teams have been during it.

The problem is due to a fundamental unfairness to awarding "points" for the outcome of a game which is decided by the number of goals scored - if you win 10-1 you get three points, same as if you win a tight one 1-0.

In a league format, the champion should be the one that has the greatest overall goal difference. However, how would a tie on goal difference be decided? Probably by loking at the record between the teams concerned.
Tony J Williams
12   Posted 15/04/2010 at 16:05:46

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Phil, that is how La Liga is decided if the points are the same, they look at the games between the teams involved. Good idea in my view.

The more points for more goals is just as bad as the penalty shoot out idea.
Mike Allison
13   Posted 15/04/2010 at 17:44:07

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There's nothing wrong with the current system, its perfect. This thread just shows how bored we all are.
Phil Paulson
14   Posted 15/04/2010 at 20:01:45

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Tony, I know teams are split in La Liga on the results between the two.

I was rather suggesting that points are abolished and the title is decided on overall goal difference.

I haven't looked back very far to see how such a change would have affected past honours, but - for example - when we finished fourth and pushed the other lot to fifth, their goal difference was much better than ours.

However, obviously you have a clear difference if the champions' goal difference has ever been inferior to another teams.
Dave Smith
15   Posted 15/04/2010 at 21:24:00

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Sorry Phil.

But all that would result in is teams playing a 0-0-10(11?) formation to get as many goals as possible.

Entertaining? Yes
Fair? Yes
Skilled? No
My intrest in football? Gone
Phil Paulson
16   Posted 15/04/2010 at 21:41:42

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Right, Dave.

And how many do you think you'd concede with that set-up?

There are problems with the suggestion I've made, but nobody has - so far - identified any of them.
David Ellis
17   Posted 16/04/2010 at 07:14:36

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Phil
The problem with your suggestion is that it would drain the life and drama out of every single football match. It would become like watching a basketball game that lasted 9 months.

No individual event, match or goal would be of much significance.

We beat Liverpool 1 nil - who cares. We equalise in the dying seconds of a game against Man U - who cares. Every goal is the same and we score 50-60 a season. Its just another goal.

We are losing 2-0 and suddenly pull one pack. The mood changes. The opponents are suddenly nervous and on the back foot. - This would no longer happen because every goal is worth the same and the result means nothing.
Matthew Mackey
18   Posted 16/04/2010 at 08:38:51

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Trevor, I admire your enthusiasm and I actually think some of the points you made might be worth investigating further. A penalty shoot out at the end of a bore draw would certainly create a bit of excitement.

BUT (there is always a 'but')..............remember, you are talking about making changes that require the approval by the same individuals and the same organisations who refuse to consider goal line technology or video replays. So what chance?............no chance!
Phil Paulson
19   Posted 16/04/2010 at 11:58:36

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10 points to Dave Ellis for identifying a flaw with the idea I floated.

You're right - it would rob early season games especially of much individual importance.

But I take it you still agree with me that awarding points for the outcome of a single match is an artificial device that "can" distort the true level of a team's performance during a season.

Consider this - if you give points for an outcome, why not start awarding points for "artistic merit", as in floor gymnastics.
Dave Smith
20   Posted 16/04/2010 at 19:26:18

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"And how many do you think you'd concede with that set-up?"

I see what your saying, but why bother with defending? When your playing a side like Man Utd or Chelsea, you will still need to score heavilly over 90 minutes.

So therefore It wouldn't matter, so long as you could out score the opposition. If at the end of season, two teams finnish with 120 goals conceded, the one that scored the most would finnish higher.

Allowing draws works, and has done since 1888. So why change it?
Phil Paulson
21   Posted 16/04/2010 at 22:03:23

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Dave, you would bother defending because a goal conceded would have the same value as a goal scored.

The idea here is that it's goal difference at the end of a season that determines who wins the title, not some artificial points tally.
The idea doesn't disallow or prevent draws in individual matches.


You can put the argument another way : 3 points for a win, not 2, was introduced to incentivise teams to go for wins, not settle for draws. But why stop there - how about 5 points for a win and one for a draw?

You could have set a similar incentive by giving 3 points for a win and 2 for a draw. Some will say that that would make every team play for a draw. Not necessarily true - look at it this way, if you were to go for a win instead of settling for a draw, you would deprive your opponent of 2 points.
Dave Smith
22   Posted 16/04/2010 at 22:47:34

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Hmm. Seems like a lot of messing around to fix a problem that doesn't exsist.

Draws are essential to our game. What about plucky Non-League teams that earn a money-spinning replay by drawing with a Premier League team?
Jamie Crowley
23   Posted 17/04/2010 at 03:26:38

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Nick-
Definately from the States. And the sporting landscape here can definately only be seen through American eyes.
The Draw is an integral part of your football, coupling it with the added points for actually winning. And it's a much better system that anything we have over here.
Americans, and I'm a very proud one, need to open their minds when it comes to a lot of things, but as this is sports related lets stop there.

For instance the idea of promotion and releagation is SO foreign over here, when you explain it to someone they seriously looked bewildered. No other way to explain it. I admit freely when I first learned of the concept I was like "What the Fuck???!!!"
Now I think it's just phenominal. Why should teams consistently finishing in the bottom 3 of 28-32 teams be allowed to stay in a league? Hell, over here like half the teams make the playoffs!! It's a joke.
The English / European system is really fantasic. every game matters. The best team at the end of the season is the Champion — no 8th place teams winning playoffs to hoist a Champions trophy....

And going full circle: the points system in your sports is superior to what we have here.

I still love my baseball, hockey and NFL though!
Phil Paulson
24   Posted 17/04/2010 at 14:24:58

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But Dave, progress in the Cup depends entirely on the outcome of one match; points don't come into it.

The knockout competition is more purely competitive than the league format, except a leage format that does indeed eschews points in favour of a goal difference approach.

Don't get me wrong - we're just thinking aloud here. Nothing is going to change anytime soon.
Dave Smith
25   Posted 17/04/2010 at 19:06:19

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Yeah sorry. I got my wires mixed up and forgot you weren't advocating a removal of draws from our game.

Our leagues already do favour greater goal differences though. And what about games that finnish 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 or 4-4, where both teams deserve the points?

I just feel that the current format we have still gives us an accurate picture of how a team has performed when you look at all 38 games. Take us for example. We where terrrible last year, and have been exceptional this year. The current league table reflects that perfectly.
Paul Oakes
26   Posted 18/04/2010 at 00:20:47

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Keep it the way it is, it's not broke. Completely daft idea.
Mike Green
27   Posted 18/04/2010 at 01:04:38

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It's not broke, But my tele is after the quality of analysis on our game v Blackburn on MOTD today. What a joke. Bastards.

Completely different story on Sky Football First. Nice one, eveb Phil Babb talking us up.

FOMOTD! COYB!
Tony I'Anson
28   Posted 19/04/2010 at 00:36:59

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I think goal difference is a good idea. Keeps interest in games to the final whistle. Teams still try to score even if 3-0 down in last 10 mins. Fans watch whole match.

Can you imagine the last games of the season for the title and relegation battles. Heart attack city all over the country, but it would be exciting.

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