December 30, 2013

NFL – All-time highest scoring teams (1920 to 2013, regular season/points per game) – #1: 1950 Los Angeles Rams, #2: 2013 Denver Broncos, #3: 2007 New England Patriots, #4: 1961 Houston Oilers (AFL), #5: 1941 Chicago Bears.

Filed under: NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 11:52 pm

Note, this illustration was included, after posting, into this post I made in November 2013 {click on the following,}. That post talks about the highest-scoring teams and eras in the NFL. I made the illustration below afterwards, because in the interim, the 2013 Denver Broncos became one of the highest scoring NFL teams ever (second-highest after the 1950 Los Angeles Rams). I decided to make the illustration below also as a stand-alone post, so it would not get lost in the shuffle.

All-time highest scoring teams (1920 to 2013, regular season/points per game) -
#1: 1950 Los Angeles Rams, #2: 2013 Denver Broncos, #3: 2007 New England Patriots, #4: 1961 Houston Oilers (AFL), #5: 1941 Chicago Bears.
Photo and Image credits above –
Helmet illustrations,
helmet illustrations from The Gridiron Uniforms Database at
1950 Rams,
Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin photo, from Corbis at
Crazy Legs Hirsch, action photo from
Tom Fears, action photo from
2013 Broncos,
Peyton Manning, photo from USA Today Sports Images
Demaryius Thomas, photo unattributed at
2007 Patriots,
Tom Brady. photo from Sports Illustrated via .
Randy Moss, photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images via
1961 Houston Oliers (AFL),
George Blanda, photo from
Bill Groman, photo from
1940 Chicago Bears,
Sid Luckman, photo public domain from
George McAfee, photo from
Hugh Gallarneau, photo from
Thanks to
Thanks to the Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving permission to use their helmet illustrations,

December 19, 2013

England and Wales: Premier League – 2013-14 home kit badges, with 13/14 location-map, and attendance data from the last 2.4 seasons. / Plus, illustrations for: the 2013-14 Everton crest controversy, the new 2013-14 Crystal Palace crest, and the 2012-14 Cardiff City jersey and crest controversy.

Premier League – 2013-14 home kit badges, with 13/14 location-map, and attendance data from the last two-and-a-half seasons

(Note – to see my latest map-&-post of the Premier League, click on the following: category: Eng>Premier League.)

After 8 home games for all 20 Premier League clubs, the club which is currently filling its stadium the closest to full capacity is Norwich City, who are playing to 99.2 percent-capacity at their 27,033-capacity Carrow Road in Norwich, Norfolk. Last season (2012-13), Arsenal had the best percent-capacity at 99.5 {see this}; two seasons ago (2011-12) the best was a 3-way tie at 99.4 between Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham {see this}.

The biggest numerical increases in attendance from 2011-12 (2.4 seasons ago)…
Crystal Palace, +8,054 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Cardiff City, +5,378 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Hull City AFC, +4,998 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
All 3 of those clubs were of course promoted to the Premier League last season (2012-13).

The clubs with the biggest numerical increases in attendance from 2011-12 which were not involved in a promotion since then are:
Everton, +3,276 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Aston Villa, +3,100 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.
Sunderland AFC, +2,833 per game versus 2011-12 average attendance.

The worst drop-offs in attendance:
Stoke City, down -1,646 per game since 2011-12.
Fulham, down -747 per game since 2011-12.

Below, Everton FC bows to fan pressure, and the club back-peddles on their crest change

From Daily Mail, from 3 October 2013, by Elliot Bretland, ‘Everton reveal new crest for 2014/15 season after original design was met with anger by Blues supporters‘ (

With the ill-fated 2003-14 Everton crest re-design, the biggest issue most Everton supporters had was the dropping of the club motto, Nil satis nisi optimum, (which is Latin for ‘nothing but the best is good enough’). The club explained that they needed to re-design the crest because their crest was appearing in truncated forms at some media outlets, with the shield-shape shown but not the ‘Everton’ text block; and also that the color-shift in the centre of the shield (blue-to-lighter-blue) was not reproducing properly in some reproductions of the crest.

So Everton FC wanted to move the ‘Everton’ text element to within the shield, and streamline the whole image. On the then-new 2013-14 design, the motto wouldn’t fit (nor would the two wreaths). The 1878 formation date remained, as did Prince Rupert’s Tower (aka the Everton Lock-up, built in 1787 [as a holding cell for miscreants], on Everton brow in Everton, Liverpool, and is still standing today/ see below). For the then-new 2013-14 crest, the Tower illustration was also re-worked, and despite what one might think of the modernist detailing of the brick-work on the ill-fated 2013-14 crest, the actual depiction of Prince Rupert’s Tower on the 2013-14 crest was the first time the Tower was accurately drawn on an Everton badge – showing the correct roof details and the correct proportion of conic roof to cylindrical body (the turret). Previously, the turret of the Tower was drawn too tall and thin in the badges from the 1978 to 2013 time period (see below). And on the previous Everton crest before this season – the crest the club had been wearing for the last 22 seasons (1991-92 to 2012-13) – the Everton Lock-up is depicted as multi-storied, with the turret actually above and below a spiraled structure (which has never existed on the actual Everton Lock-up). That fictional spiral structure on the 1991-2013 crest looks for all the world like an exterior spiral staircase. I mean, come on, what else can it be? It is not a fence that is sitting on a slanted hill…because you can see part of the turret BELOW the diagonal staircase structure. That is not the Everton Lock-up on the 1991-2013 crest, that is a three-story structure with a spiral staircase running around the outside of it making it look like a castle’s turret. It is totally made up. The edifice shown on the 1991-2013 Everton badge is an extremely fictionalized depiction of the Everton Lock-up. So is the earlier one (the 1983 to 1991 Everton crest). That one has turned the flat conical roof of the Everton Lock-up into a baroque witches-hat design, the sort of architecture one would find in illustrated fairy tales.

Furthermore, on 2 of the 3 the previous crests (the 1978-1983 crest and the 1991-2013 crest), the pinnacle of the conical roof was depicted not with the actual thing which was and still is there on the Tower – a ball (or spherical-shaped top cap), but with two crossed diagonal bits forming a V-shape (which makes no sense if you convert that to three dimensions). That V-shape did not exist at the top of the Tower. In past centuries the Eveton Lock-up did have a short spire (or maybe a lightning rod) {see this (}, but not a V-shaped ornament.

I was honestly starting to think that whomever drew the Tower for the 1978-1983 crest, or for the subsequent two Everton crests, did not even actually stroll over to the Everton brow and have a look at what the Tower really looks like, let alone take a look at any photo of the real Prince Rupert’s Tower. Either that, or the illustrators were told by EFC top brass to not let the depiction look too literal, and err on the side of a more-attractive-looking Tower (ie, taller, thinner, and looking more like a fairy-tale castle than a typical old English village lock-up). It is one or the other, and I am now inclined to believe that 35 years ago, and 30 years ago, and 22 years ago, and 3 months ago, Everton top brass were trying to sugar-coat the depiction of their iconic edifice on their crest by making it look more benign. In other words, they were trying to make the jail house (gaol house) that is on Everton’s crest look less like an old English overnight lock-up for recently arrested common criminals (which it was), and more like a nice-looking turret on some quaint old castle. Or made it look more like a lighthouse, which I initially thought it was when I first started following English football a decade ago.

To prove that there was no change in the shape nor in the pinnacle detail of the actual Prince Rupert’s Tower since those gussied-up and fanciful depictions of the Tower which existed on Everton’s badge from the 1978-2013 era, here is an old photo, ‘Old Police Lockup‘ (photo by Ken Rose at, from about 1948, that shows that same squat dimensions of the Tower and the ball at the pinnacle of Prince Rupert’s Tower, and not the fictional elongated tower-shape and the odd V-shape at the top of the Tower. Here is a photo that shows how short and squat the Everton Lock-up is, as you can see that the top of the lock-up’s doorway is only a few feet (not even a meter) from the roof-line {‘Prince Rupert’s Lock-Up‘, photo by Andrew Merryweather at}.

The new Everton crest for 2014-15 (voted for by Everton supporters in October 2013) restores the club motto and the wreaths to the crest. The Tower, however, is once again erroneously drawn as too tall and too thin, and the fact is for the new 2014-15 badge, the Everton Lock-up is depicted as a two-story structure. But at least the ball is up there at the pinnacle of the Tower like it always should have been.

From 29 May 2013, from The Football Attic – the Football Attic podcast #9, ‘Team Badges [with info and opinions on the Everton FC 2013-14 badge re-design]‘ (

Image and Photo credits above –
Everton crests through the years from
Prince Rupert’s Tower images on Everton crests from
Photo of Prince Rupert’s Tower by ColGould at

Below, the Crystal Palace FC crest re-design for 2013-14

From Cafe Thinking blog, from 8 May 2013, ‘New Crystal Palace FC badge scores with the fans‘ (

The new Crystal Palace crest was voted upon by Crystal Palace fans before the decision was made, not after, like at Everton, so no controversy ensued.

I like the 1955 Crystal Palace crest the best (see below). First of all, the eagle never existed in Crystal Palace FC tradition at all before 1973 – when the bombastic Malcolm Allison re-named the club’s nickname as ‘the Eagles’ instead of ‘the Glaziers’, and an eagle-with-football crest was introduced (the club also switched from white jerseys with claret-and-sky-blue trim to blue-and-red-vertical-striped jerseys in 1973-74). So for CPFC, the eagle really was just invented iconography and invented terminology, and is not an organic (or relevant) part of the club’s history, and smacks of the dreaded Americanization of English football nomenclature (see also, currently, the Hull Tigers controversy). And why does a club with so rich a history also need an eagle as a nickname and as the prominent crest element, when the club is named after a unique and storied and innovative and awe-inspiring Victorian era crystal-and-iron structure?

The Crystal Palace in South London was the first home of the club, and several members of the original squad were in fact glaziers and maintenance workers at The Crystal Palace back in the first decade of the 20th Century (ie, circa 1905). That to me is way more impressive than a random-but-supposedly-dignified nickname (the Eagles), which some big shot in a ridiculous big white hat (Allison) simply made up when he was in control there for a brief 3-and-one-quarter seasons spell in the Seventies. First off, he doesn’t deserve all the blame for being the manager who oversaw Crystal Palace’s relegation from the First Division in 1973 (Palace were too far behind that season too be realistically expected to survive the drop when Allison took over there in March 1973). However, Palace did lose 5 of their last 7 games that year, so he gets the blame for that I would imagine. Furthermore, the rest of Allison’s record as Crystal Palace needs to be pointed out. The following season, his first full season in charge at Palace, he got them relegated to the third division, in May 1974. So they went from the first division to the third division with Allison in charge. And they were still stuck in the third tier when he walked away from the job in 1976. And when Malcolm Allison was manager of the club for the second time, in 1980-81, when Crystal Palace were back in the First Division but were once again in a doomed relegation battle, Crystal Palace once again found themselves relegated with Allison at the helm. It must be pointed out that as in 1973, Palace in March 1981 were many points off safety when Allison took over. Palace were relegated to the second division, in May 1981. But then he waltzed off again. And that to me is the most damning. Talk about not being able to finish a job. So let me get this straight – this is the guy who gave Crystal Palace their nickname and their visual identity? A guy who dressed like a pimp and who got the club relegated three times in the 5 seasons he was in charge there at Selhurst Park? But then just left both times, with Palace worse off from when he started?

One could argue that The Crystal Palace is still there in the CPFC crest to this day (as you can see below). But I would counter that The Crystal Palace structure as it appears in the current CPFC crest has become a secondary aspect of the crest, by virtue of it being depicted in pale grey, at the bottom of the badge, dwarfed by the eagle.

Here is an excerpt from the Historical Kits page on Crystal Palace, written by Dave Moor,
{excerpt}…’FA Cup finals were staged at the Crystal Palace in South London a unique football venue set in extensive parkland, between 1895 and 1914. The original Crystal Palace was an enormous glass and cast iron structure built in Hyde Park for Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition in 1851 and represented Victorian engineering at its finest. When the exhibition closed, the palace was dismantled and rebuilt in South London where it formed the centrepiece of the world’s first entertainment theme park, surrounded by landscaped garden, lakes, spectacular fountains and concrete dinosaurs.’…{end of excerpt}.

Before Crystal Palace FC were allowed to join the Football League in 1920, and when the club was initially a member of the Southern League, the club played at The Crystal Palace in South London from the club’s inception in 1905 until mid-1915, when, at the onset of World War I, the ground was seized by the Admiralty (the British Navy) for the war effort. Crystal Palace FC found a ground nearby (at a velodrome), and a decade later the club moved into the nearby site where Selhurst Park was opened, in Croydon Park, South London, in August 1925. The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936. ‘The Crystal Palace‘ (

Old CPFC crests from

Below, the ongoing fiasco that is the divisive re-branding of Cardiff City FC

The Cardiff City jersey-and-crest controversy of 2012 can be summed up this way…as soon as Vincent Tan is gone, Cardiff City will wear blue again. End of story. I give it 2 more seasons, then when Tan realizes the extent of the enmity he has created and the lack of actual support he has within Cardiff, then the ego-inflated, sycophant-surrounded, football-clueless Malaysian will get bored with his new toy, sell the club, and slouch off back to the corrupt regime from whence he sprung. In the meantime, Tan’s juvenile insistence on changing Cardiff City from red to blue has distracted and divided the fans during what should be a joyful time for all Cardiff supporters, with the club’s first top flight appearance in 51 years.

From The Guardian, from 2 Nov. 2013, by Daniel Taylor, ‘Vincent Tan’s antics leave Cardiff’s faces as red as their shirts…We’ve seen the sort of boardroom buffoonery taking place before – and it rarely ends well for the fans‘ (

Image and Photo credits above –
Old CCFC crests from;
[Template for CCFC crests from last 25 years from].
Photo of Tan, from Getty Images via
Photo of Cardiff City fans from Reuters via
Photo of ‘Tan Out’ T-shirt uploaded by mugitmugit at,
Photo of Cardiff City fans’ protest banner from

Here are the photo credits for the jersey badges on the map page –
Photo of Arsenal 2013-14 home jersey badge from
Photo of Crystal Palace 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Everton 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Liverpool 2012-14 home jersey badge (liverbird with L.F.C in gold), by Pub Car Park Ninja at; Pub Car Park Ninja’s photostream.
Photo of Manchester City 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Manchester United 2013-14 home jersey badge, unattributed at
Photo of Southampton 2013-14 home jersey badge from
Photo of Sunderland 2013-14 home jersey badge from
Photo of Tottenham 2013-14 homes jersey badge from:
Photo of West Bromwich 2013-14 home jersey badge from

Thanks to the the contributors at, ‘2013–14 Premier League‘.

Thanks to the following sites for average attendance figures -
Thanks to, for current attendance figures,
Thanks to, for 2012-13 Premier League attendance figures.
Thanks to the Football League official site for 2012-13 Football League Championship attendance figures,,,10794~20127,00.html.

Thanks to Chris O. and Rich J. at the Football Attic site and podcast, for pointing out that the ill-fated Everton 2013-14 badge actually has the most realistic depiction of Prince Rupert’s Tower that any Everton badge ever had (regardless of whether EFC fans liked it or not).

December 16, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Belgium (UEFA), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Belgium, with 7 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Belgium — admin @ 8:53 pm

Belgium national team. UEFA (Europe). Nickname: Rode Duivels/ Diables Rouges/ Rote Teufel (Red Devils). Home jersey: red with yellow and black trim.
-Belgium is in Group H (with Algeria, South Korea, and Russia). ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group H‘ (
FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Belgium’s 12th qualification out of 20 tries.
Belgium has qualified for the World Cup in: 1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014.
Previous World Cup appearance: 2002, Round of 16/ 1-2-1. Highest World Cup finish: 1986, Fourth Place / 2-2-3.

Population of Belgium: 11.0 million {2012 census}. Capital and largest city: Brussels, pop. 1.8 million (metro area) {2011 figure}.

-Coach of Belgium national team:, Marc Wilmots. ‘Marc Wilmots‘.
-Squad captain, Manchester City CB Vincent Kompany. Vincent Kompany.
From ESPN, by Roger Bennett, from 7 Sept. 2013, ‘Belgium has talent to spare, but can it win?‘ (

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Belgium (with 7 other player-options further below) -
[Note: players shown below reflect 2014 WC final roster selection, 'Belgium national football team/current squad' (]
Photo and Image credits -
Map of Belgium/EU on globe, by NuclearVacuum at
Map of Belgium, by NordNordWest at
Belgium home jersey, photo from
Coach, Mark Wilmots, photo from [Belgium team, gallery]
Goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe via
Defenders, Toby Alderweireld (Atlético Madrid), photo from
Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), photo from
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) , photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via
Midfielders, Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea), photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via
Marouane Fellaini (Manchester Utd), photo by Ian Hodgson at
Axel Witsel (Zenit Saint Petersburg), photo by EuroFootball/Getty Images Europe via
Eden Hazard (Chelsea), photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images Europevia
Forwards, Christian Benteke (Aston Villa), photo from
Romelu Lukaku (Everton), photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via
Other options for squad –
Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham), photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images Europe via
Steven Defour (Porto), photo from
Kevin Mirallas (Everton), photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Europe via
Nacer Chadli (Tottenham), photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe via
Divock Origi (Lille), photo by Getty Images via
Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United), photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via

Dreis Mertens (Napoli), photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe via

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Belgium national football team‘ (
Thanks to, for player-position details.

December 13, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Australia (AFC), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Australia, with two other player options).

Filed under: Australia — admin @ 9:20 pm

Australia national association football team. AFC (Asia). Nickname: the Socceroos. Home jersey: gold (ie, yellow-orange), with green trim. Jersey badge features a kangaroo & emu crest.
Australia is in Group B (with Chile, Netherlands, and Spain). ‘2014 FIFA World Cup/Group B‘ (
FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Australia’s 4th qualification out of 13 tries [Australia did not participate in FIFA WC Q prior to 1966 [meaning no participation in the first 7 World Cups from 1930 to 1962]).
Australia has qualified for the World Cup in: 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC: 2010, Group Stage / 1-1-1.
Highest WC finish: 2006, Round of 16 / 1-1-2.

Population of Australia: 23.2 million {2013 estimate}. Capital: Canberra, pop. 367,000 {2012 figure}. Largest city: Sydney, pop. 4.6 million. Sydney, pop. 4.6 million. Second largest city: Melbourne, pop. 4.2 million. (metro areas) {2012 estimates}.

Coach of Australia: Ange Postecoglou. ‘Ange Postecoglou‘. Postecoglou won the 2011 A-League title as manager of Brisbane Roar. Before that, he had been the Socceroos’ U-20 team coach from 2000 to 2007. Postecoglou was hired to be the coach of Australia on 23 October 2013.
Captain of Australia squad: Lucas Neill. Lucas Neill. DF, age 35; current club, free agent [no club currently]; previous club: Omiya Ardijia (Japan). Prominent former clubs include: Millwall (1995-2001), Blackburn Rovers (2001-07), West Ham United (2007-09). From Australian Associated Press via Guardian/football, from 6 Dec. 2013, by , ‘Lucas Neill must play regularly before World Cup, warns Ange Postecoglou‘ (

From, from 7 Dec. 2013, by David Davutovic, ‘Ange Postecoglou undaunted by tough World Cup group, challenges players to ‘create history” [article, featuring 2 Fox Sports Australia videos, the first video (4:39) with reaction to Australia's tough Group Stage draw, incl. media asking Postecoglou questions/ plus another video (6:50) with commentators incl. Craig Moore analyzing Australia's group].

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Australia, with a couple of extra player-options -
Photos and Images above –
Socceroos’ jersey badge and 2012-13 jersey, photos from
Australia on globe, map by Addicted04 at ‘File:AUS orthographic.svg‘ (
Australia map by Rycherr at ‘File:Australia states blank.svg‘ (
Ange Postecoglou, photo by Matt King/Getty Images Asia-Pac via
Socceroos’ jersey badge and 2012-13 jersey, photos from
Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea), photo from
Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Image AsiaPac via
Saša Ognenovski (Umm-Salal), photo from Getty Images/Getty Images AsiaPac via
Lucas Neill, photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac via
Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow), photo from Getty Images via
Brett Holman (Al-Nasr), photo from
Mark Bresciano (Al-Gharafa SC), photo from
Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), photo from Getty Images via
Tommy Oar (Utrecht), photo by VI Images via Getty Images.
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), photo by ISI Photos via
Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen), photo from EPA via
Other options for Australia squad…Forwards, Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus Eight), photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images AsiaPac via Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac via

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Australia national association football team’ (
Thanks to, for player-position details.

December 8, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Argentina (CONMEBOL), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Argentina, with 6 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Argentina — admin @ 10:26 pm

Argentina national team. CONMEBOL (South America). Nickname: La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue). Home jersey: sky blue and white vertical stripes, with black trim.
-Argentina is in Group F (with Bosnia, Iran, and Nigeria). ‘2014 FIFA World Cup/Group F‘ (
FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Argentina’s 16th qualification out of 19 tries [note: Argentina withdrew from the qualifying for both the 1938 and for the 1950 World Cups, while in 1954 Argentina did not enter the qualifying for the World Cup at all. The only other time Argentina did not qualify for a WC tournament was for 1970. So technically, overall, Argentina have made it to the World Cup in 16 out of a possible 20 times].
Argentina has qualified for the World Cup in: 1930, 1934, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC Q: 2010, Quarterfinals / 4-0-1.
Highest World Cup finish:
1978, Champions / 5-1-1.
1986: Champions / 6-1-0.

Population of Argentina: 41.6 million {2013 estimate}. Capital (and largest city): Buenos Aires, pop. 12.8 million (metropolitan area) {2011 figure}.

-Coach of Argentina: Alejandro SabellaAlejandro Sabella‘. Sabella has had the job since July 2011. Sabella was a midfielder who played with River Plate, Sheffield United, Leeds United, and Estudiantes, winning Argentine titles with River in 1975, and with Estudiantes de La Plata in 1982 and ’83. He went on to coach as Daniel Passarella’s number two for many years (at Parma, the Uruguay national football team, Monterrey, and Corinthians). Sabella was hired to manage Estudiantes in March of 2009, with immediate success, guiding them to their winning of the 2009 Copa Libertadores title in July 2009, and, half-a-year later, the Argentine title for the 2012-Apertura.
-Captain of Argentina squad: Lionel Messi. FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, age 26 and born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina, is the first player ever to win 4 Ballons d’Or (2009-12). He also has the Guinness World Records title for most goals in a season, with 91 goals scored during the 2011-12 season {see this, ‘BARCELONA STAR LIONEL MESSI SETS NEW GOAL-SCORING RECORD‘ (}.
-Squad:. Argentina has questions in defense but boasts a wealth of attacking options. They will probably play 4-3-3 for some of their World Cup matches in Brazil. Aside from the Higuaín/ Messi/ Agüero trio featured in the illustration below, coach Sabella also will likely utilize PSG striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, and maybe former Boca Juniors and current Internazionale forward Rodrigo Palacio. In the midfield, besides the di Maria/ Mascherano/ Maxi Rodríguez trio featured below, Sabella might also utilize Lazio defensive midfielder Lucas Biglia, as well as Boca Juniors defensive midfielder Fernando Gago. Gago, and Rodríguez (of Newell’s Old Boys), are the only two outfield players selected for the 2014 WC squad who play in the Argentine first division. Despite his solid season in Italy in 13/14 with Juventus, striker Carlos Tévez will not feature at all in the squad, as he has fallen out of favor with Sabella (and the coach does not want to risk upsetting the team’s chemistry and discomfiting Messi, the team’s talisman). Argentina are expected to advance far into the tournament, and have a real a shot of going all the way. Odds for an Argentine World Cup win are 9/2, which is the second-best odds behind hosts Brazil, at 3/1 {see this}.

[Note: squad chart caps & goals are updated to Argentina’s Semifinals match on 9 July 2014, with all Argentina players (19 players) who have appeared in the 2014 World Cup shown ‘Argentina national football team/Current squad’ (
Below: Theoretical Best XI for Argentina (with 8 other player-options further below) -
Photo and Image credits above -
Map of Argentina on globe, by Addicted04 at
Map of Argentina with provinces by NordNordWest at
Argentina home jersey photo and photo of Argentina badge, from
Alejandro Sabella, photo from AFP via
Sergio Romero (AS Monaco), photo from
Pablo Zabaletta (Manchester City), photo from
Federico Fernández (Napoli), photo by Frank Augstein/AP Photo via
Hugo Campagnaro (Inter), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via
Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), photo by Getty Images Europe via
Ángel di María, photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe via
Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe via
Maxi Rodríguez (Newells Old Boys), photo by Télam via
Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli), photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe via
Lionel Messi (Barcelona), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via
Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via
Other options for squad -
Rodrigo Palacio FW/W (Inter), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via
Ezequiel Lavezzi FW(PSG), photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images Europe via
Lucas Biglia MF (Lazio), photo from
Fernando Gago DM (Boca Juniors), photo from
Marcos Rojo CB/LB (Sporting CP), photo from via
José María Basanta DF/LB (Monterrey), photo by Mexsport via
Martín Demichelis CB/DM (Manchester City), photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe via
Enzo Pérez CM/LM (Benfica), photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (
Thanks to the contriutors at ‘Argentina national football team‘ (
Thanks to, for player-position details.
Thanks to Sam Kelly & company at Hand of Pod, for Argentina national team info,

December 4, 2013

2013-14 FA Cup, Second Round Proper: location-map, and current average attendances of the 40 clubs.

Filed under: 2013-14 FA Cup — admin @ 1:00 pm

2013-14 FA Cup, Second Round Proper: location-map, and current average attendances of the 40 clubs

FA Cup – news, fixtures, results (

Thanks to the following sites for average attendance figures -
3rd Level/Football League One, [L3].
4th Level/Football League Two,[L4].
5th Level/Conference National,
6th Level/Conference North, & Conference South,
7th Level & 8th Level/Southern League,

Thanks to the FA site, for the [gold-colored] FA 150th Anniversary crest, from a banner at
Thanks to cup, for the image of the fixtures list on the map page,
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2013–14 FA Cup‘.

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