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Forget Four in a Row ? Here?s Seven

By Greg Murphy :  05/11/2007 :  Comments (18) :
Am I missing something? All this guff that Everton haven?t won four-in-a-row since 1991? Isn?t it a bit bitchy?

So the Fat Kid?s 'remember the name' winner against Arsenal in October 2002 ? under Moyes ? didn?t spark a seven-match winning sequence, then?

For the record:
Prem Oct 19th 2002: Arsenal (H) 2.1 (Canadian-Polish rat, Fat Kid)
Prem Oct 27th 2002: W Ham (A) 0.1 (Carsley - the diving header)
Prem Nov 3rd 2002: Leeds (A) 0.1 (Fat Kid)
Worthington Nov 6th 2002: Newcastle (A) 3.3 (Super Kev, Watson, Rhino) Everton won 3.2 on penalties
Prem Nov 9th 2002: Charlton (H) 1.0 (Canadian-Polish rat)
Prem Nov 17th 2002: Blackburn (A) 0.1 (Super Kev)
Prem Nov 23rd 2002: WBA (H) 1.0 (Canadian-Polish rat)

So okay, technically we drew with Newcastle in the Worthington Cup. Therefore we ?only? won six league games on the spin but it was interspersed by a pesky cup draw. But if you take that thinking to its nth degree then, by my reckoning, Liverpool have only won 3 European Cups and are minus an FA and Carling Cup too.

Also, the added inference of this spurious stat, that we?ve just won four-in-a-row for the first time since 1991, is that it?s being used to underline how poo we?ve been in that whole time.

Well, while we?re all too aware of how dire the majority of the period 1991 to present has been, this is a really skewed interpretation of a statistical oddity.

For it?s a fact that had we lost to Wrexham in the 2nd Rd of the Worthington in September 2002 (the Fat Kid?s first goals) then we wouldn?t have had to bother with playing Newcastle in the next round and so make even more progress!!

And that way we wouldn?t have had our six-game winning run in the league so rudely interrupted. And therefore we wouldn?t have been made to look so inept that we managed to go 16 years since we gamely strung four wins together! No wonder Moyes was surprised by the stat when it was bounced off him for a quick response on Saturday.

That aspect alone indicates just how baseless this ?four on the spin for the first time since 1991? stat is.

And surely if we?re being really technical, didn?t we actually draw our ?game? with Luton last week 0.0? So we?re only on three wins in a row now? Or does Extra Time count? Whereas penalties don?t?

I?d love to know who first aired this lame stat in the post-match conference on Saturday, in the eager hope that it would catch-on like it indeed has (but I can guess) and I really have to wonder what the motivation was behind being so pedantic.

Again, I can guess.

Reader Comments

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John Crawley
1   Posted 05/11/2007 at 20:49:01

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I had the same thoughts exactly when I heard this ’fact’. Indeed you don’t even need to go back that far, season 2004-05 saw us win 4 games on the bounce:
11 Sept 1-0 away at Man City, 19 Sept 1-0 at home to Boro, 22 Sept away to Bristol City 4-3 on penalties, 26 Sept 1-0 away at Portsmouth. Although as you say perhaps wins on penalties don’t count!!
2   Posted 05/11/2007 at 21:52:54

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A win on pens is considered to be a draw AET for statistical purposes.... it’s just the way it is!
Ed Fitz
3   Posted 05/11/2007 at 23:33:21

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Matt - stop being a statto it has certainly felt like a defeat everyitme we have gone out on pens, I did not come away thinking well we got a draw there!
Stephen Flanagan
4   Posted 06/11/2007 at 08:27:54

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Matt is correct when it comes to winning games in a penalty shoot-out.

Whilst you do actually win the match, for statistical purposes, it does count as a draw - even for UEFA, the FA, etc - although in these cases a note is usually made against the draws column to indicate how many penalty shoot-outs are included.

Whilst this may seem at odds, it is, when you consider it, perfectly logical. For example, if we get into the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup and draw 1:1 at home, but 2:2 away, we go through on "away goals" although there are 2 draws. Similarly, a penalty shoot-out is only a means of separating two teams - which can be seen by the fact that the "goals" scored in the shoot-out are not included in the final score.
Greg Murphy
5   Posted 06/11/2007 at 09:33:39

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Yep, fair and conceded points (no pun) regarding the "statistical" accuracy of the 16-year stat. Indeed I already conceded that matter in the main text, in anticipation.

But my chief point was regarding the pickiness, the pedantry, the bitchiness, even, on display in some media quarters.

You really have to question the motivation - in certain quarters, mentioning no names, ahem - for dragging-up such an arcane statistic. Don’t you?

I mean, fair dos, if the reporter(s) in question were being honest, they’d have said something to Moyes like "well, technically, it’s the first time since 1991 that you’ve strung four wins together although you did manage six league wins on the trot in 2002".

But that would have ruined a good and, in my view, mendacious (non)story wouldn’t it? And it would have killed it stone dead. Probably because on hearing it the stats correctly Moyes would have just laughed.

As it was, Moyes was caught intentionally on the hop, and before you could say "Carsley screamer" he issued his "I’m surprised" quote. Ergo job done. Just one more turn of the media-screw and the story is "Everton have been so poor for the last 16 years that this is the first time they’ve actually managed to string four wins on the spin together."

So, as I said, we shot ourselves in the foot didn’t we by beating Wrexham in 02 and progressing to then "beat" Newcastle on penalties? If we hadn’t have been so stupid in beating Wrexham we wouldn’t have any of this "16 years since four wins" nonsense.

And that’s what it is - utter nonsense. Because you’re not telling me that the reporter(s) in question, knowing full well that this would catch-on right across the media (which it has, yawn) were so blind to the events of autumn 2002 - or even as John Crawley says, autumn 05 - when they managed to unearth the 1991 stats?

No, they knew exactly what they were doing when they bandied this sniggering stat around (with a built-in straight-arsed defence along the lines of "uh, yuh, wull, tucknically it’s currect").

Tell yer chaps, don’t let this type of media slant go unchecked - it’s bloody hard enough being a Blue in this city as it is, without doing kopites’ bidding for them.

Anyway, seeing as though "statistical purposes" so obviously tell the real story of events, I’ll have to start checking out all those media references to when they "drew" with Roma in Rome in 84, with Milan in Istanbul in 05, with with West Ham in Cardiff in 06 and with Birmingham in Cardiff in 01.

Don’t give em an inch!
chris briddon
6   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:22:58

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Wow, talk about paranoid.

You could argue that by pointing out our 1st(?) run of 4 wins in a row since 1991 was used to illustrate how much we have progressed and what a strong team we have become.

If you say since 2005 or 2001 then it doesn’t give the impression of dramatic improvement but steady progression.

It’s just a different way of interpreting comments. As I am not a paranoid anti-pinkie I don’t always see Liverpool conspiracies in every post-match interview
Greg Murphy
7   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:41:55

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Not paro, Chris. Just alert.
Richard Flaherty
8   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:53:15

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I thought winning a game on penalties constituted a victory. See no further than some crap in close proximity in some game in turkey a couple of years back.

I do remember a winning streak during the 2002-03 season which included a single goal win over west bromwich albion for which i was present at goodison, and even managed to get tomasz radzinskis autograph post game.

In any event, this four match winning streak can be put to bed as of now, as i understand our next league fixture may just prove to be a bit awkward. Still theres the germany game on thursday beforehand so a five out of five is a distinct possibility.

Incidentally it is on Channel five so the listings say to save any more queries.
harry charles
9   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:04:15

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Well tell me how you win a [Cup] European cup,when you havent even won one game out of three.Well i will tell you,have your own ref and rules to help you.Helps in derby games too
Chris Masey
10   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:40:35

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Hey, it may not have been in the cup competitions, but didn’t we win 6 in a row the season we finished fourth?? Starting with a 3-1 win away at Palace??
Greg Murphy
11   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:50:18

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Chris - It’s one of the great unsung elements of web-Evertonia!
Peter Venkman
12   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:54:25

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I was already aware of that site.

Perfect for that anorak who wishes to know how many people used the toilet at half time away at Sunderland in the zenith data systems trophy quarter final 2nd leg 2nd replay in some long lost year.

Not that i use it myself.....
No Show Joe
13   Posted 06/11/2007 at 17:12:06

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This isn’t the first time useless and pointed remarks have been made in the media to publise how "well" we are doing in a patronising and almost embarassing way. Worst of them all was Moyes himself, who was quick to point out on MOTD the other year, that "this is the first time ever Everton have finished in the top 10 two years running". What he meant - but didnt say - was this referred to the FAPL only, not historically. Even so, why mention it at all? It’s nothing to shout about - nor is winning 4 games on the bounce. Moyes mentioned it because it was all about ’look at me, how great am I’. I’ve never been a huge Moyes fan, and from that remark onwards my opinion of him was finalised. ps. check out page 808 of the Tesco Direct catalogue and see who our soon to be new best financial buddies are. Goddison ForEverton!
Paul Kellett
14   Posted 06/11/2007 at 17:37:43

Report abuse it probably means we will lose on Thursday night in Germany !!?? We dare not make it 5 in a row... and for the record when was that ??
Greg Murphy
15   Posted 06/11/2007 at 18:28:14

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Ironically, Paul, it looks like the last time we did five-in-a-row is from the same disputed "four-in-a-row" from 1991...if you catch my drift.

We were starting to get a head-of-steam up after the Dome’s first return and the run started with a 1.0 win against Villa at Goodison on Boxing Day 1990 (Graeme Sharp - was the the game the "Skippy Youds" danced to the Enclosure/Park End byeline and centred for Sharpy to nod?

We then won three days later, again at home, to Derby 2.0 (Nevin, Newell), then again on New Year’s Day at Chelsea - dem’s the days ey? - winning 1.2 (Sharp, Cundy og), then away at Charlton in the FA Cup on Jan 5th (0.2 - Ebbrell both), then again at home to City on Jan 13th (Beagrie, Sheedy - think this was Beagrie’s first goal and back-flip for us...seem to recall it was televised and freezing).
colin potter
16   Posted 06/11/2007 at 18:11:26

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Just a small point about the RS only winning two european cups,because of drawing against Roma and AC Milan.I can't remember the name of the team,it may have been Borussia Dortmund,but they only drew with them,and they won the european cup on THE TOSS OF A COIN !!!!!!so really speaking they have only won it twice,same number as utd.
Greg Murphy
17   Posted 06/11/2007 at 18:47:04

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I wish it were so Col but they haven’t actually won the EC on a toss. There were two occasions in the 60s when they were subject to a coin farce (one lost, one won - and indeed, you’re right, Bor. Dortmund did feature and were the team that "lost" to Liverpool this way). But all their finals (Bor. Moengladbach, Bruges, Real Madrid, Roma, Milan) were all legitimate (presuming that they didn’t actually "draw" with the last two!).
Steve Flanagan
18   Posted 07/11/2007 at 08:35:58

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In reference to the RS coin toss win over Dortmund, it is interesting to note that there were actually 2 tosses of the coin that night.

In those days, the referee was provided with a special coin which was coloured on both sides, one side in one team’s colours and the other side in their opponents colours.

On the first toss the coin came down "mainly" on Dortmund’s side, but the coin fell at an angle in the mud (i.e. nearly upright, but is was leaning to the side which would have given Dortmund the win). The referee re-tossed the coin and guess who’s colour came up?

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