That’s midfielder Rachel Williams at the top today.
Ramble of the Day
The holiday season being what it is in English football, there have been enough games for a solid update of my Expectation-Embarrassment Index. I linked to the original Hoddle which goes into detail about the scoring, but the basic recap is this: each team is graded on their last five games in points, in meeting (or exceeding) expectations, entertainment value, and whether or not they’re bad losers. If you’re at the top, you’re as far away from embarrassing as they get. If you’re at the bottom, you’re the definition of embarrassing.
This table will always be a measure of recency bias, because any method of short term measurement will have some recency bias built in. As a result, expectation will be measured on whether or not Team X maintained its form from the last index. Basically: If Team X staked a claim in the top four race, did they stay in it, and did the last five games go predictably based on those previous expectations?
Without further ado, this month’s rankings:
- Manchester United, 44 points (+15 places)
- Manchester City, 43 points (+10 places)
- Leeds United, 37 points (+6 places)
- Aston Villa, 37 points (+1 place)
- Liverpool, 35 points (+5 places)
- Leicester City, 34 points (-2 places)
- Burnley, 32 points (+7 places)
- Everton, 32 points (-1 place)
- Arsenal, 30 points (+10 places)
- Tottenham, 30 points (-7 places)
- West Ham, 30 points (-10 points)
- Southampton, 30 points (-10 places)
- Crystal Palace, 28 points (-5 places)
- Fulham, 27 points (-3 places)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers, 25 points (+2 places)
- Brighton, 25 points (-1 place)
- Chelsea, 21 points (-4 places)
- Newcastle United, 21 points (-12 places)
- West Bromwich Albion, 19 points (-1 place)
- Sheffield United, 11 points (no change)
Two conclusions: I’ve found that almost everyone was a good loser, so everyone got almost a full score there. The more troubling development is that Arsenal now ranks above Tottenham, so maybe this index should be ended. To be fair, this is not at all my fault and is really Tottenham’s fault so if they want a better place on the index, maybe they shouldn’t bore us and drop points.
tl;dr: The Expectation-Embarrassment Index is back, with good news for Manchester United and not so great news for Tottenham.
Stay informed, read this: Victor Mather and Marc Stein on San Antonio Spurs’ Becky Hammon, who last week became the first woman to serve as a head coach during an NBA game for The New York Times
Links of the Day
Manchester City’s Eric Garcia tested positive for COVID-19.
Gerry Marsden, who sang the version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” that plays at Anfield, died aged 78.
Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy broke COVID-19 protocol by hosting a New Year’s party.
Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas was racially abused on social media.
FIFA postponed Kieran Trippier’s betting suspension after he appealed the ban.
A longer read: Donald McRae interviews Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson on overcoming a particularly challenging personal and professional period early on in his time with the club, and working with a sports psychologist for The Guardian