billsportsmaps.com

March 31, 2008

European Competitions: 2007-’08 Champions League, Quarter-Finals ; 2007-’08 UEFA Cup, Quarter-Finals.

Filed under: UEFA Champions League,UEFA Cup / Europa League — admin @ 7:14 pm

champions_lge_qurter-finals_post_f.gif


I already posted this map, but since the Champions League Quarter-Finals are being played Tuesday and Wednesday, I thought I’d put it up again.  (Have no fear, though…there is new content below.)

Click here, for the Champions League matchups (UEFA site).

uefa_cup_2008round_of8_post_d.gif


The map now shows the last 8 clubs in the UEFA Cup.  As with the Champions League map, I have added club stats, and home and away kits.

Click here, for the UEFA Cup matchups {uefa[dot]com}.

Thanks to http://www.colours-of-football.com for the kits.

March 29, 2008

2008 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament- Regional Finals (The Elite Eight).

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 7:01 am

ncaa_8teams_post_c.gif


It’s down to 8 teams, in this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.   Below are the Team pages from the CBS site;  click on the team names below to be directed to each team’s page on the CBS site.

North Carolina.   Xavier.   Louisville.   UCLA.   Texas.   Kansas.   Memphis.   Davidson.

The map now includes NCAA Tournament stats from all of the remaining schools.  Of the Eight, 4 have won the tournament in the past.  UCLA has the all-time most National Championships, with 11.  North Carolina has 4 Championships,  and Kansas and Louisville have 2 Championships.  Click here, for the full list of Champions (note, click on the small arrow-box at the top of the list there, where it says “sortable,” to see the Titles List chronologically). 

In the Elite Eight this year, one conferences is represented by 2 teams: the Big 12, with, Kansas and Texas.  The other conferences represented are: the ACC (North Carolina);  the Big East (Louisville);  the Atlantic 10 (Xavier);   the Southern Conference (Davidson);  Conference USA (Memphis);  and the Pac-10 (UCLA).

There are all four #1 seeds,  just one #2 seed,  two #3 seeds,  and one #10 seed (Davidson).

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament was formed in 1939.  The term “March Madness” came into common currency in the mid-1980′s.  I found an interesting entry from Wikipedia, about the origins of the term “March Madness.”  To see it, click here.

March 26, 2008

2008 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament-3rd Round (The Sweet Sixteen).

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 4:47 pm

ncaa_16teams_post.gif


There were two upsets in the 2nd Round of the tournament last weekend.  The bigger upset was tiny Davidson College (1,700 enrollment) beating March Madness heavyweights Georgetown (5 Final Four appearances, the last in 2007).  Also, up-and-coming West Virginia (who were in the Sweet Sixteen in 2006, and won the NIT tournament in 2007), surprised mighty Duke (3 NCAA Championships, the last in 2001; 14 Final Four appearances, the last in 2004).

Click here, for the “team report” section of the West Virginia Mountaineers‘ page, from the CBS site.

Click here for the “team report” section of the Davidson Wildcats‘ page, from the CBS site.

The big story is the play of Davidson Guard Stephen Curry.  Even though his father was a clutch 3-point specialist for the Carolina Hornets (among other teams, in his 16-year NBA career), no major schools gave him a look.  Too slight, was the verdict.  So, he stays in the Charlotte region, and goes to a small school of little renown.  And his performances in 2 games (40 pts. v. Gonzaga, with 30 in the second half; 30 pts. v. Georgetown, 25 in the second half) have propelled Davidson to the Sweet Sixteen.  The last time Davidson went past the 1st Round in the tournament was in 1969, when they made it to the Elite Eight.  {See this article about Stephen Curry, from earlier this month (ESPN).           See this article, from March 24 (Washington Post site) }.

There were two matchups where a low seed was guaranteed to advance.  #12 seed Villanova beat Siena, and #12 seed Western Kentucky beat San Diego.  The rest of the teams that advanced were all at #5 seed, or higher:  all four #1 seeds: North CarolinaMemphisKansas,  and UCLA;   two #2 seeds: Tennessee,  and Texas;  all four #3 seeds: LouisvilleStanfordWisconsin,  and Xavier;  just one #4 seed: Washington State;  and one #5 seed: Michigan State.

**Bonus Chart !**  Old and/or alternate school crests of all 16 teams. ncaa_16teams_old_logos_segment_b.gif

March 24, 2008

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

Filed under: Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 5:54 am

wolves_post1.gif


Formed in 1877, as the football team of the St. Luke’s school, in Blakenhall (a ward of Wolverhampton), the club merged with a local cricket club called the Wanderers, in 1879, to become Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.  In 1886, the club moved into their new grounds, Molineux, which has remained their home to this day.  Wolverhampton Wanderers became one of 12 founding members of the (English) Football League, in 1888.  They finished a respectable 3rd place in the inaugural season of the League (1888-’89), as well as making it all the way to the 1889 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Preston North End, 0-3 (Preston becoming the first winners of the League and Cup Double, that season).

Four years later (1893), Wolverhampton won their first FA Cup, with a 1-0 victory over Everton.  The goal was scored by Harry Allen, in the 60th minute.

wolves1893cup_b.gif

The club made it to the FA Cup Final again, three years later, in 1896,  but lost to Sheffield Wednesday 1-2, at London’s old Crystal Palace.  In 1898, Wolves finished 3rd.  But by 1901, the club had slipped to 13th place, and in 1906, they were relegated to the Second Division.  Nevertheless, two seasons later, Wolverhampton defied the odds by winning the 1908 FA Cup, while in the second tier.  They beat Newcastle United 3-1, at Crystal Palace, with goals by Kenneth Hunt {see this}, George Hedley {see this}, and Billy Harrison.

Wolverhampton was unable to capitalize on their Cup success, and push for promotion in the following seasons.  The war (now known as World War I) interrupted play for 4 seasons (1915-1919), just as Wolves seemed on the brink of promotion (with a 4th place finish in 1915).   But Wolverhampton began their post-War play with poor results, finishing in 19th place in 1920.  The following season (1920-’21) saw a slight improvement, to 15th, and another great Cup run.  This time, the second division underdogs lost, 0-1, to Tottenham Hotspur, at Stamford Bridge.  More dissapointment was to follow, as Wolverhampton were relegated to the Third Division (North), 2 years later (1923).

The Wanderers bounced right back the next season though (1923-’24), narrowly beating out Rochdale, to win the third tier, and gain promotion back to the second level.  In the first two seasons back, Wolves seemed poised for a return to the top flight, with finishes of 6th, then 4th.  But in the 1926-’27 season, the club fell to 15th place.  In July, 1927, the club hired Frank Buckley {see this} as manager.  Major Frank Buckley (as he was known) was ahead of his time, in that he combined the factors that define the successful football manager today: establishment of a good youth system;  shrewd transfer deals;  creation of a solid scouting network; and an ability to manipulate the media for the club’s benefit.

Initially, Buckley’s squad showed no improvement.  But by his fourth season in charge (1930-’31), Wolves finished 4th.  And the next year (1932), Wolverhampton won the Second Division, and were promoted.  The club had finally returned to the top flight, after 22 seasons.

Back in the top tier, Wolves struggled, with a 20th place finish in 1933.  15th, 17th, and 15th place finishes followed.  During this period, a young defender named Stan Cullis emerged as the leader of the squad.  Debuting in 1934, a year later he was captain at just 19 years of age; he became skipper of the English team at 22.  Cullis would make 122 appearances for Wolves, retiring in 1947 to become assistant manager.

In the 1936-’37 season, the squad finally gelled, and finished in 4th.  The following season, the Title was theirs to win, but they lost 1-0 at Sunderland on the final day, conceding the crown to Arsenal.  The next spring brought more dashed hopes for the Wolverhampton faithful, as the club lost the 1939 FA Cup Final, 1-3, to Portsmouth, at Wembley.  Wolves repeated as runners-up in the league that season, the last one before the onset of World War II.

Frank Buckley stepped down as manager, during the War, and was replaced by Frank Vizard.  When play resumed after WW II, in 1946-’47, Wolverhampton suffered another crushing last-day letdown, losing at home to Liverpool, and conceding the title to the Reds.  Wolves finished 3rd.  The next year brought about a drop to 5th, and Vizard was sacked, and replaced by Stan Cullis {see this article, from Wolves’ official site}.

In his first season in charge, Cullis led the Wolves to the 1949 FA Cup Final, where they defeated Leicester City 3-1, with goals by Jesse Pye (a brace), and Sammy Smythe.  It was Wolverhampton’s first major trophy in 41 years.

wolves1949cup.gif

Wolves finished in second place, once again, the following season (1949-’50), losing out to Portsmouth by the narrowest of margins: a goal average difference of just 0.4.  The next two seasons were disasters, with 14th and 16th place finishes.  But by 1952, Cullis had led his squad back up the table, and Wolves finished in 3rd place in ’53.

Stan Cullis was a stern disciplinarian who simplified the team’s approach to the game, scrapping the overly complicated tactics.  Detractors dubbed his Wolves sides “kick and run merchants,” and “cloggers,” but their longball tactics proved effective.   Central defender and captain Billy Wright {see this}, and wingers Johnny Hancocks and Jimmy Mullen were the key players, as Wolverhampton went on to win their first National Title in 1954, beating out arch-rivals West Bromwich Albion by 4 points.

Finishes of 2nd and 3rd place followed, and by the mid-1950′s, Cullis was rebuilding the squad around Wright.  After a 6th place finish in 1957, the re-tooled Wolves won their second Title in 1958, finishing 5 points clear of Preston North End.  [This season was overshadowed by the Munich Air Disaster, which claimed the lives of 8 Manchester United players.]  The following season, Wolves ran riot, dominating the league, and winning their third (and last) Title by 14 points over the re-building Manchester United.

The next season (1959-’60) saw the club revert to an old role of heart-breaking also-rans, as they lost the Title to Burnley by 1 point, on the last day of the season.  But the squad made up for it by winning the 1960 FA Cup, 3-0 over Blackburn.   Winger Victor Deeley {see this} was man of the match, as his brace of goals, plus a Rovers own-goal, was the tally. 

Wolves finished 3rd the following year, and slid to 15th place in 1962.  The club’s Golden Age was over.  In September, 1964, after a disasterous start, Stan Cullis was sacked, and Wolves were relegated the following spring.  In 12 seasons, from 1948 to 1960, the Wolverhampton Wanderers had won 3 English Titles, and 2 FA Cups.

Since that time (1965), Wolverhampton has spent just 16 of 43 seasons in the 1st Level, with 23 seasons in the 2nd Level, 2 seasons in the 3rd Level, and 2 seasons in the 4th Level.  The club’s low point was the three successive relegations, from 1984-’86, which landed them in the Fourth Division for a 2 year spell.  Wolverhampton won the League Cup twice, in 1974, and 1980.  Wolves have spent one season in the Premier League, in 2003-’04, when, after a last place finish, they returned to the second division (the League Championship), which has been their home for 18 of the last 19 seasons.

Mick McCarthy took over as manager of Wolves in July, 2006, replacing Glen Hoddle.  The club had just undergone a wholesale clearance, halving their wage bill with the departure of 12 senior players.  In spite of this, McCarthy was able to assemble a squad that made it to the playoffs, with a 5th place finish.  They lost to rivals West Bromwich in the 1st Round.  In August, 2007, property developer Steve Morgan {see this} bought the club. 

This season, Wolverhampton was picked by many for automatic promotion, but inconsistent form has kept them adrift of the top 6.  In the January transfer window they picked up prolific striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from Plymouth (11 league goals at Plymouth; 7 at Wolves).   The squad is led by striker/wing Andy Keough {see this}, an Ireland international, with 7 league goals.  The club has struggled without injured playmaker Michael Kightly {see this} and goalkeeper Matt Murray {see this}, who was voted player of the year last spring by Wolves fans.  Both are expected back by late April, Kightly perhaps earlier.  These two players returns could be the crucial factor in Wolverhampton’s promotion push.  The club has been playing well, with 4 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss in their last 8.  Last Saturday, it took a brace from Andy Keough, the second goal in extra-time, to grab a draw from the surging Queens Park Rangers.  Wolves sit two points below the playoff places, in 9th place, with a game in hand.

Click here, for the League Championship table.

Wolves FAQ:  Why is their ground named Molineux ?   Click here, for the answer.

Thanks to (historicalkits[dot]co[dot]uk): the 5 older kits on the chart, and the 2 kits in the first photo gallery are copyright Historical Football kits, and areeproduced by permission.  Thanks to (colours-of-football[dot]com): for the newer kits on the chart.  Thanks to: (viewimages[dot]com);  (webbaviation[dot]co[dot]uk;  (wolvespremiuntv[dot]co[dot]uk);  (media[dot]rivals[dot]net);  and (freewebs[dot]com/tims92/panoramics) for the great wide-angle shot of Molineux.

March 21, 2008

2008 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament-2nd Round (32 teams).

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 10:56 pm

ncaa_32teams_08post.gif


The map now shows the 32 teams remaining, after the Play-in game and the 1st Round.  The teams eliminated are shown in tiny 8 point type at the top of the map. 

In the South Regional, #1 through #8 all won- no upsets.  In the East Regional, there was only 1 slight upset, with #9 Arkansas defeating #8 Indiana.  In the Midwest Regional, there were four upsets, with teams seeded #’s 10-13 all advancing.  In the West Regional, there was 1 slight upset with #9 Texas A&M beating #8 BYU, and there were two thrilling games that were huge upsets, with total unknown San Diego University surprise winners over UConn;  and Western Kentucky beating Drake at the buzzer.

# 13 seed San Diego stunned hoops heavyweights Connecticut (#4 seed) 70-69, in overtime.  De’ Jon Jackson sunk a fadeaway jump shot with 1.2 seconds left, for the winner.   [San Diego, nicknamed the Toreros, are not to be confused with the San Diego State Aztecs, who are best known for their Division I football program.]  San Diego University was only founded in 1949, and has an enrollment of 7,400. 

Click here, for San Diego University page, from the CBS site.  [Note: the CBS site has good info in the "team report" section of each team's page .]

Click here, for the video of the winning shot, San Diego University 70, Connecticut 69  {youtube, via FanIQ}.

Another high seed to fall was Drake University (#5) .  They lost to Western Kentucky (#12 seed), a school from Bowling Green (which is actually more like part of central Kentucky), 70 miles north of Nashville, Tenn.  The school has an enrollment of 18,600.  The Hilltoppers won 101-99, in OT, when Ty Rogers hit a 3-pointer with 3 defenders on him, and no time on the clock.

Click here, for the video of that winning shot, from Western Kentucky 101-Drake 99 (via the FanIQ website).

Click here, for the Western Kentucky page, from the CBS site.

In the Midwest Region, #11 Kansas State crushed #6 USC by 13 points, 80-67.  Kansas State is in the town of Manhattan, in the east-central part of the state.  The Wildcats.  The school has an enrollment of 23,182.

Click here, for the Kansas State page, from the CBS site.

There were two other upsets in the Midwest region.  #10 Davidson beat perennial overachievers Gonzaga (#7 seed).  Davidson College is in west-central North Carolina, 20 miles north of Charlotte (it is in the same county, Mecklenburg).  They are also nicknamed the Wildcats.  The school’s enrollment is only 1,700, so the hoops team has already made a big accomplishment in advancing to the 2nd Round of the tournament.   Davidson has been picked by some to be a dark-horse team that surprises people, so their next opponent (Georgetown) could be in for a fall. 

Click here, for the Davidson team page, from the CBS site.

Also in the Midwest region, #13 Siena demolished #4 Vanderbilt, by an astounding 19 points, 83-62.  Siena College is in Loudonville, New York, a couple miles north of the state capital, Albany.  The college has an enrollment of just 2,900.  Their nickname is the Saints.

Click here, for the Siena team page, from the CBS site.

Early Saturday morning, #12 Villanova, who barely made it into the tournament, beat #5 Clemson.  Villanova is just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the Main Line {see this}.  The Villanova Wildcats have made it to the NCAA tournament 29 times (the 8th highest), and won the National Championship in 1985 {see their entry in Wikipedia, here.

Click here, for the Villanova Wildcats team page, from the CBS site. 

March 20, 2008

Seedings for 2008 March Madness.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 10:01 am

seedings_for_2008march_madness_b.gif


The crests of the top three seeded teams in each region are shown.

Click here, for coverage of the Tournament, from ESPN.

Click here, for the brackets {CBS}.

March 18, 2008

2008 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, Map.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 9:48 am

Please note: if you are looking for the March Madness Field of 68 map for 2015, click on the following… category: NCAA men’s basketball.
Otherwise, if you actually want to see the 2008 version of the map, scroll down further.


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
ncaa_div1_tournament2008_attendance_post.gif

As usual, the basketball programs of the 64 teams in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament have a wide variation in size of fan base.  Average attendance figures go from above 20,000 (Kentucky and North Carolina),  to below 1,000 per game (Mount St. Mary’sCal St.-Fullerton, of Orange County, California;  Portland St., of Oregon;  University of Texas-Arlington, from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of Texas;  and Coppin State.).

The genius of March Madness is in this combination of large and small.  On one hand, there are the big teams, from giant schools with huge followings.  And on the other hand, there are the tiny schools, who have a chance to capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame.  For these small schools, just making it to the NCAA Tournament is a victory in itself.  And if they are able to pull off a first round upset, things really get interesting.

Two of the aforementioned tiny schools faced off in the Play-In  game, Tuesday night, at Dayton Ohio.  Both are from Maryland {see this preview}.

Mount Saint Mary’s {see this} is from the hilly north-central part of Maryland, near the Mason-Dixon Line (ie, the Pennsylvania border).  The school has an enrollment of just 1,522.   The Mountaineers are making their 3rd visit to the NCAA Tournament, their first since 1999.

Coppin State {see this} is an historically black college, located in Baltimore, Maryland.  The school has an enrollment of 4,300.   This is Coppin State’s fouth time in the NCAA Tournament, the first since 1997.

The winner of this game will go on to the Tournament-proper, and will face the formidable North Carolina, so a win tonight will be most likely as good as it gets for one of these two teams.

First round games will be played March 20 and 21.  Click here, for the brackets {CBS site.

Click here, for the ESPN site.

March 16, 2008

2008 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament- Map.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 8:51 pm

ncaa_division1_basketball_tournament2008_post_b.gif





The 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament or, in the popular vernacular, “March Madness,”  starts this week.  The Final Four will be played at San Antonio, Texas, on April 5 to 7. 

The map shows the 65 teams involved, with each school’s home town, conference affiliation, and average attendance listed. 

The tournament starts Tuesday, with the play-in game.  The first round games are Thursday and Friday.

East Regional (@ Charlotte, NC).  #1. North Carolina.   2. Tennessee.   3. Louisville.

South Regional (@ Houston, TX).  #1. Memphis.   2. Texas.   3. Stanford.

Midwest Regional (@ Detroit, MI).  #1. Kansas.   2. Georgetown.   3. Wisconsin.

West Regional (@ Phoenix, AZ).  #1. UCLA.   2. Duke.   3. Xavier

Click here, for the ESPN site.

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on the whole tournament  (it’s easier to navigate than the official site, or the CBS site.) 

Click here, for updates. {si.com}.

Here is a blank brackets column to print.

[Note: There will be March Madness update posts, starting with a teams’ average attendance list, Tuesday night.    For non-USA based sports fans of this site, don’t worry, I will have some more European football maps in the next few weeks, including the 2008 Russian Premier League, and the UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals.   And sorry if there are errors…this map was done on the fly.
Finally, my pick is Memphis.

March 14, 2008

Burnley FC.

Filed under: Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 4:44 am

burnley_post_c.gif


Please note: there is a recent post that has info on the 2015-16 Burnley FC…click on the following,
2016–17 Premier League (1st division England, including Wales – location-map with chart: 14/15-&-15/16-crowds-&-finish + titles-&-seasons-in-1st-division./+ the 3 promoted clubs for 2016-17 (Burnley, Middlesbrough, Hull City AFC).

Burnley FC were one of the founding members of the English Football League.  The club started out as a rugby football team, but switched to association football in May, 1882.  The club moved to the Turf Moor ground in 1883, and have been there ever since.  They helped form the Football League, with 11 other clubs, on 17 April, 1888 {see this}.  Burnley spent 9 seasons in the First Division, before being relegated in 1897.  They bounced right back up in 1898, but were relegated again 2 seasons later (1900).

Burnley spent 13 seasons in the Second Division, before gaining promotion in the spring of 1913.  By this time, the club had switched to the claret and sky-blue kit that they have worn ever since (except for 4 seasons in the late 1930s, when they wore white jerseys and black pants).  They switched to the claret and blue, in 1910, in emulation of the successful Aston Villa FC.  This was done at the suggestion of their new manager, John Haworth.  Burnley had hired the Accrington secretary Haworth in 1910.  {See this article on John Haworth, from the Clarets-Mad site.} The young and untried Haworth made some good signings, including Bert Freeman, from Everton {see this article, from the Clarets-Mad website}.  3 years in, Haworth led the Lancashire club back to the First Division. 

Burnley finished in 12th place their first season back in the top flight ((1913-14).  The club had a strong cup run that season, making it all the way to th 1914 FA Cup Final.  At the old Crystal Palace {see this}, Burnley defeated Liverpool, 1-0, with the winning goal scored by Bert Freeman, in the 58th minute.  The Cup was presented to the winners by King George V.  This was the first time the reigning monarch had done so, and it was an indication of how prominent in the English cultural landscape the FA Cup (and football itself) had become. 

1914facup_b.gif

[The two kits above are copyright Historical Football Kits, and are reproduced by permission.]

The following season (1914-15), Burnley finished in 4th place.  The Great War (World War I) interrupted play from 1915-1919.  When play resumed, for the 1919-20 season, Burnley finished in 2nd place, 9 points behind champions West Bromwich Albion.  The following season (1920-21) Burnley lost its first three matches, but then went on a 30-game unbeaten run.  They went on to win the National Title, 4 points clear of 2nd place Manchester City.  This unbeaten streak lasted as a record for 83 years, until 2004, when it was broken by Arsenal.

Haworth set about rebuilding the aging Burnley side in the aftermath of the club’s championship.  Burnley finished in 3rd the following season (1921-22), but fell to 15th place in 1923.  Sadly, Howarth died in December, 1924, of pneumonia, at the age of 48.   Burnley stayed near the bottom of the table for 6 of the next 7 seasons, and were relegated in the spring of 1930. 

Burnley spent all the 1930s, and the first season after World War II (1946-47) in the Second Division.  They were promoted in 1947, under manager Cliff Britton.  That same season, Burnley made it all the way to the FA Cup Final, but they lost to Charlton, 0-1, in extra time.

Back in the First Division, and enjoying the post-War surge in attendance, Burnley had its peak season at the turnstiles in the 1947-48 season, averaging 33,621.  Throughout most of the next two decades (1949-’69), Burnley would average between 20 and 27,000 per game (but by 1970, their gate had shrunk to around 16,000). 

Burnley finished an impressive 3rd their first season back in the First Division (1948), but fell to 15th the next season. From 1950 to 1959, the club averaged an 8th place finish, with 6th place the best (twice) and 14th place worst. 

In February, 1958, Burnley hired Shrewsbury manager Harry Potts {see this}.  The squad at this time was centered around the duo of midfielder Jimmy Adamson {see this} and inside forward Jimmy McIlroy {see this}.  The 1959-’60 season was characterized by a 3-way race for the Title, between Tottenham, Wolverhampton, and Burnley.  The Clarets trailed Wolves and Spurs the entire campaign, only reaching first place on the final day of the season, with a 1-2 victory at Manchester City.  Goals were scored by Brian Pilkington and Trevor Meredith.

burnley1960_j_mcilroy.gif

The next season (1960-61), Burnley finished in 4th place.  That season, the club played in the European Cup for the first time, beating Reims of France, before bowing out to Hamburg, of Germany.  

The 1961-62 season saw Burnley almost win the double, only to come up short in the League (2nd place, 3 points behind champs Ipswich Town) and the FA Cup Final (a 1-3 loss to Tottenham Hotspur).  A 3rd place finish in 1963 showed that Burnley was in the upper echelon of English football in the first half of the 1960′s.  However, their time near the top of the table was about to end.  McIlroy had been transferred to Stoke City in ’62 (to the ourage of Burnley supporters), and Adamson retired in ’64, and Burnley was unable to build a successful new nucleus.   Although the club finished in 3rd place in 1966, four straight finishes of 14th place followed (1967 through 1970).  And in 1971, they were relegated. 

Jimmy Adamson had returned to the club as manager, in 1970, and he was able to guide Burnley back to the top flight, in 1973, after a 2 year spell in the Second Division.  But despite a respectable 6th place finish the next year (’74), the club were relegated again, in 1976.

Burnley has not been in the first division since then.  Since 1976, the Clarets have spent 14 seasons in the 2nd Level, 11 seasons in the 3rd Level, and 7 seasons in the 4th Level.  Their low point was the 1986-’87 season, when a final day win versus Leyton Orient, coupled with a Lincoln City loss, was the only thing that kept Burnley from being relegated out of the League.

Burnley made it back to the second tier in 2000.  Two straight seasons finishing in 7th place followed, but for the last four seasons, they have finished no higher than 13th place.  Lack of funds have kept the club from fielding a squad deep enough to withstand the rigors of second division football, and a late season fade had become their unwanted trademark.  That is until this season.  Manager Steve Cotterill had augmented leading goal scorer Andy Gray with a number of Premier League veterans, including goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly, defender David Unsworth, and forward Ade Akinbiyi.  However, an uninspiring run of form led Cotterill to depart, by mutual consent, in November ’07.

Cotterill was replaced by Scotsman Owen Coyle {see this}, who came over from second tier Scottish club St Johnstone.  Since Coyle’s arrival, Burnley have begun playing an attractive style of attacking football, and have risen up the table.  The club sold Gray to Charlton in the January 2008 transfer window (for 1.5 to 2 million pounds, depending on appearances); and they brought in veteran goal-machine Andy Cole. 

Striker Robbie Blake leads the club with 8 league goals (9 overall);  Akinbiyi has 7 league goals (8 overall).  During the transfer window, Burnley refused multi-million pound bids from both Celtic and Rangers for their Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty (a 6′ 4” midfielder/striker) {see this}.  This is a good indication that the club is serious about their promotion push.

Burnley drew away to Stoke City, 1-1, last Saturday (with a goal by Lafferty), and beat Charlton 1-0, on Tuesday (with a goal by Wade Elliot).  That’s two straight clubs in the playoff places that Burnley were able to handle.  And now, Burnley sit just 2 points shy of the playoff places, themselves, in 8th place.  Owen Coyle’s squad has the second best road record in the league (behind Watford), and show no sign of faltering down the stretch..

Thanks to (historical kits[dot]co[dot]uk):  the 8 older kits on the right hand side of the chart are copyright Historical Football Kits, and are reproduced by permission.   Thanks to (colours-of-football[dot]com);  (stadiumguide[dot]co[dot]uk);  (viewimages[dot]com);  (fa-cupfinals[dot]co[dot]uk);  (webbaviation[dot]co[dot]uk);  Northern Ireland Football Greats website (nifg[dot]co[dot]uk. 

March 11, 2008

2007-’08 Champions League, Quarter-Finals (the final 8 clubs).

Filed under: UEFA Champions League — admin @ 2:29 pm

champions_lge_qurter-finals_post_e.gif


The Champions League has been pared down from 16 clubs to 8, for the Quarter-Finals.

This is the first time 4 of the 8 clubs left are from England.

Click here, for the UEFA CL page.

I have added stats on each of the 8 clubs, plus home and away kits.

Last Tuesday, March 4, Arsenal, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Fenerbahce advanced.

Wednesday, March 5, Chelsea, Roma, and Schalke advanced.  And on Tuesday, March 11, Liverpool advanced.

The draw for the Quarter-Finals will be held on Friday, March 14.  Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on the CL Quarter-Finals, which includes leading goalscorers for the competition

Thanks to http://www.colours-of-football.com for the kits.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress