This all stemmed from a text conversation between me and a friend about El Clasico on 3rd December, 2016. Neither of us care much about the much-hyped “best club game” and so we quickly, as a joke, got into discussing the players and whether they could “do it on a cold Tuesday in Stoke”. It’s that old commentator / football talking-head cliche that is now a tongue-in-cheek joke made about any over-hyped and over-priced import into English football.
Well, the goal of this post is to anlayze the cliche of which teams could “do it on a cold Tuesday in Stoke”? Data is from football-data.co.uk and covers the range 1993-08-14 to 2016-11-27.
All data in this report is for League Games. Cup games will – hopefully – be covered in future posts. Also, it just looks at the teams and doesn’t delve into and individual player or team performances… that’s for a future post.
Stoke-on-Trent (i/stoʊk ɒn trɛnt/; often abbreviated to Stoke) is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). Together with the neighbouring boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands, it is part of North Staffordshire, which, in 2011, had a population of 469,000.
The Weather in Stoke
Below are plots of the average low and high temp, the average rainfall and the average number of days of ran for Stoke-on-Trent.
Making the assumption that the Avg Low Temp is close to (or slightly below) the temp, on a Tuesday evening in Stoke and “cold” is defined as <5C, only May to October have temps that could be deemed “not cold”. So, you definitely get “cold nights” in Stoke and the assumption is that Tuesdays are just as cold as any other day.
Total rain (on average) per year is 600mm. The UK average is 855mm, so Stoke is slightly below average rain-wise.
Tuesdays are cold but they aren’t always wet.
Games on a Cold Tuesday in Stoke
So, firstly, what is the breakdown of Games on a Tuesday in Stoke? The below graph shows the split of all league games played at Stoke by Day. In total, since 1993, there have been 480 played at Stoke and 38 of these games played on a Tuesday. That’s 7.92% of the total games played.
Looking at the 38 games, by year (plotted below – note scale is not continuous, i really need to get a fix for that and I just can’t – any tips would be appreciated), in 2005, there was 6 played; a bumper year for testing the mettle of foreign-born footballers.
So, Who Did it on These Cold Tuesdays in Stoke?
Below is a bar plot of Home Wins (Stoke), Away Wins (opponents) and Draw. Out of the 38 games played on a Tuesday, Away teams have successfully won 9 times.
Next, the goal breakdown of the 38 games is shown:
So, what are the games where a team showed they can “do it” on a Cold Tuesday in Stoke? They are tabulated below (in chronological order):
|1999-03-16||Fulham||0 – 1|
|2003-11-25||Crystal Palace||0 – 1|
|2004-11-02||Wigan||0 – 1|
|2005-04-05||Cardiff||1 – 3|
|2005-04-19||West Ham||0 – 1|
|2005-09-27||Cardiff||0 – 3|
|2005-11-22||Derby||1 – 2|
|2006-12-26||Sheffield Weds||1 – 2|
|2010-12-28||Fulham||0 – 2|
Both Fulham and Cardiff have done it twice but Congratulations to Cardiff City who did it twice in the year 2005!!!
It’s also worthwhile to look at the total points a team has gained (don’t ignore those draws – that’s still a successful 90 minutes on that frigid pitch on a Tuesday night!). Below are the point totals for teams who have claimed at least a point.
Who couldn’t do it?
So, who couldn’t do it on a Cold Tuesday in Stoke. Here’s the teams who have played in Stoke on a Tuesday and never gained a point:
Crewe, Leicester, QPR, Sunderland, Watford, Wolves, Southampton, West Brom, Bolton, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bury
Poor show (although I don’t think Leicester City will care that much about this critique!)