Football

Upgraded Saints alive with potential … but now to handle the crunch

By Brian Sears 21 November 2014 Fans of Southampton must have been pinching themselves over the last year or so, having built on the survival of their 'return' season to the Premier League in 2012-13 with two storming starts last season and this. They were ever-present in the revamped top division between 1992 and 2005, and counting the 2012-13 season too they averaged a little under 10 points from their first 11 games in each of those 14 PL campaigns. Then last season their haul from the opening 11 games shot up to 22 points, and despite the turmoil of the summer at St...


Chelsea’s 10 unbeaten games keeps them on Invincibles course ….

By Brian Sears 7 November 2014 The 2014-15 Chelsea vintage are the 17th side to get into double figures of undefeated games at the start of a Premier League season but how long will they go unbeaten? Fourteen of their 16 predecessors did not get beyond 15 unbeaten games, although famously, 11 years ago, Arsenal set the ultimate standard in this regard. In the end their unbeaten run had lasted 49 games (including all 38 league games of 2003-04, read about that here) and, of course, they lost it at Old Trafford in October 2004. Only three of these unbeaten runs have been ended on home territory and...


City host United in Manchester derby on crest of rivalry rollercoaster

By Brian Sears 31 October 2014 The Manchester derby on Sunday reminds us how the pendulum has swung to the blue side of the city in recent years, and the graphic below charts the dramatic change over time. Manchester City have only been in the same division as United for 17 of the past 22 years of course - because in the other five years they were playing below the Premier League. But all the league meetings in those 17 years are mapped below, and we have created the chart on the right-hand side of the graphic to show the roller-coaster of respective dominance....