So after “The Stokers” initial season in the Barclays Premier League, a 4th place finish, an FA Cup final appearance and qualification for the Champions League, it must be said that they had a phenomenal season.
First things first, 38 games played. Similar to 100% of all teams ever to play in the BPL, they completed all of their games. With a points average of just over 2.1 points per game, “The Stokers” managed 28 wins – tied with Arsenal for 4th most wins for the season; however they lost just 6 of their games, with only Wigan Athletic and West Ham United losing more in the season. They are also tied on the least number of draws with Liverpool and Wolves, with 4 draws apiece. By converting two of their losses or draws into wins, there was a possibility of finishing up to 2 places higher in the league table, meaning leapfrogging Chelsea into 3rd place.
“The Stokers” kept 14 clean sheets throughout the season, their 48 goals conceded average out at just over 0.82 goals per game, with only Man Utd and Man City conceding less. In contrast, “The Stokers” scored 76 goals, with only 1 team scoring higher, and equal to Arsenal and Chelsea– both finishing above them in the final table.
The latest racism incident occurred last night in Moscow. The former Blackburn defender, Chris Samba, who is now with Russian team FC AnzhiMakhachkala, spoke out about this after a banana was thrown from the VIP section of the crowd. Although we have the “Show Racism the Red Card” campaign to try to educate all about racism, do you really think that we will ever be able to fully get racism out of football?
Fabrice Muamba collapsed at White Hart Lane on 17 March 2012. It is thought that he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a hereditary condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken and scar, raising the risk of irregular heart rhythms and cardiac arrest. It is unknown when this problem might occur in those who have it, and it has been described as “the hidden heart timebomb” (Daily Mail, 20 March 2012).
In Italy all young people under age of 35 participating in sporting activity are required by Italian law to undergo regular check-ups usually annually. This has led to a dramatic reduction in deaths from HCM, the main cause of sudden cardiac death and other conditions. In Italy screening of athletes by Sports Cardiologists has led to an 89% reduction in sudden cardiac deaths (especially HCM from 36% to only 2%).
Should better scanning now be introduced for footballers in the UK?