Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What is Success?

I fully admit to being someone who looks at success relatively. If Pompey had finished 17th I would have said that we had a successful season. Spurs finished fourth, they had a successful season. However there are those people out there that believe success is winning things full stop. Granted these people tend to be fans of bigger clubs, who feel they have had an unsuccessful season if the trophy cabinet remains empty. So I thought if success is winning something who are the most successful teams in the past five years? I looked at the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League and UEFA Cup / Europa League, and this may surprise you, Only 5 premier league teams have won anything. They are Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Portsmouth, and Tottenham. When you look at the numbers there is not so much a "big four" as a big two. Chelsea and Manchester United have dominated English football for the past five years. United have won three League Titles, three League Cups, and the Champions League. Chelsea have won two League Titles, the League Cup, and two FA Cups. Spurs have won the League Cup, Liverpool and Pompey have both won the FA Cup. Pompey and Chelsea meet in the FA Cup final this weekend, which I am confident Pompey will win. So people that like clubs that win things here are the five clubs that have won things in the last five years. Go ahead and say it, Pompey are a more successful club than Arsenal, Everton, Villa any club that didn't make the list.

Wait what are you saying teams should get recognized for making the final, well alright, if we adjust the table so that you get three points for winning something and a single point for being the runner up, here is what the table looks like.

Manchester United - 24
Chelsea - 22 /20*
Portsmouth - 6 / 4*
Liverpool - 5
Tottenham - 4
Arsenal - 2
Fulham - 1
Middlesbrough - 1
Everton - 1
West Ham - 1
Aston Villa - 1
Wigan Athletic - 1

So there you have it, an FA Cup victory would put Pompey as the third most successful team in England over the last five years. It also shows you just how dominate United & Chelsea have been. Also it worth repeating that Arsenal have not won anything in the last five years, and that you can make that same statement about Liverpool if they don't win anything next year.

Of course there are other realities in football that dictate what success is, it is better to finish in the top four of the league and get into the Champions League than it is to win the League Cup. In my mind it all comes down to depth. If you have a deep squad you can compete across many competitions at the same time, if you don't have a deep squad then you will be exhausted and not about to compete effectively in all of them. Case in point Fulham finished mid table but made the Europa League final, the same thing happened to Pompey when we were playing in the UEFA Cup. I think that we would see better matches in the League, FA Cup, and in Europe if the League Cup was scratched as it overstretches most team, and funny enough affects the confidence of the bigger sides when they are knocked out by minnows. To make it through to the final of a Cup Competition or to stay in the hunt for a league title takes a lot of hard work and focus, full marks to the "Big 5" (Pompey, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Spurs in case you forgot) for being able to win something in the last five years, because there are a lot of expensive trophy rooms that haven't had any new additions recently.

No comments: