In my previous post – “Who Did it on a Cold Tuesday in Stoke?” – I looked at what teams had gone to Stoke on the supposed performance-proving cold Tuesday night and come away with points. Without spoiling the conclusion of that post (stop here, go and read it!), there was one team that shined in that role: Cardiff City in 2015. They managed to win two games in that calendar year (albeit in separate seasons) and are one of only two teams who have taken 6 points in league trips to Stoke on a Tuesday.
The list of teams that had gained points, however, isn’t the kind of teams that you expect superstars to be part of; it was the Fulham, Wigan and West Brom of this world (no offense to these teams) rather than Man Utd, Chelsea and that ilk . So, it seems unlikely that we can analyze the casual hypothesis of whether a multi-million dollar global superstar can perform on this stage.
However it doesn’t end there. Looking through the data, one man has emerged as the real global superstar that we deserve…
Cameron Jerome… the Man, the Myth, the ‘Greatest Footballer Ever’
Not only did Cardiff City go into Stoke and win twice in 2015, but they did it by scoring 6 goals (a 1-3 victory on 5th April and a 0-3 win on 27th September). However, here’s the amazing part: one man scored 4 of these goals: Cameron Jerome (pictured below).
This man is our “Mr Cold Day on a Tuesday in Stoke” (not his birth name). By hyperbolic extension, Cameron Jerome could be the greatest player to play in England.
Below is a plot of every teams cumulative goals versus Stoke on a Tuesday (since 1993) and Cameron Jerome’s tally. Cameron Jerome has scored more goals versus Stoke on a Tuesday in league play than every other team in England except two (and his four goals are part of one of those teams so, logically, we’re in a bit of a loop).
Now, admittedly, there is some logical leaps being made here. The x-axis on the previous plot is every team who were handed a fixture at Stoke on a Tuesday and it doesn’t feature any of what are commonly thought of as England’s top teams. So, whilst Cameron Jerome’s feat is impressive, it was because he was presented a rare opportunity to at least play in the conditions required on a couple of occasions.
Goals Against Stoke
During the period from 1993 to present day, Stoke have conceded 1178 (491 of these were at home) goals in 961 games (480 games at home); this works out as a rate of 1.23 goals/game conceded (total) or, an as-expected better, 1.02 goals/ game at home. Admittedly, this doesn’t take into consideration form, opponent and other factors as this is just a general average.
The average goals against per game on a cold Tuesday (albeit with a small sample) is 0.92 goals/game. Could it be that playing in Stoke on a Tuesday does make things trickier for teams to get goals and points? The plot below shows the rate of Goals/Game for each day of the week and shows that, in general, midweek games are harder for a team to score away from home against Stoke. Note: Thursday’s data should be ignored as there has been only two games played on a Thursday in Stoke so that’s really unreliable; Tuesday and Wednesday have seen 38 and 45 games played respectively. It does look as though midweek games in Stoke make it harder for opponents to score goals.
Back to Cameron Jerome
So, based on the fact that not only has Jerome scored 4 times in two opportunities when the team scoring rate is 0.92 goals/game under the circumstances, we can probably say that Cameron Jerome is the greatest footballer that ever played in England.
However, there’s a big twist in this tale…
The Fifth Goal
It’s true, Cameron Jerome has five goals on a Tuesday in Stoke and this one really puts a cherry on top of the cake.
In 2011, Jerome signed for Stoke and stayed for ~ 2years, making 50 appearances and scoring 7 goals. According to reports, he wasn’t in then-manager Tony Pulis’s plans and became a peripheral first team player, making appearances off the bench.
During the two years that Jerome played for The Potters, Stoke played on a Tuesday at home once. This was on 05/01/2012 and was a 1-1 draw versus Everton. Can you guess who scored?
Yes, Cameron Jerome came off the bench in the 66th minute to earn Stoke a draw.
So, it looks like Cameron Jerome has officially become the greatest footballer to ever live. His 4 goals against Stoke and 1 goal for Stoke on a Tuesday cement his credentials and show that not a Tuesday, the weather or an almost 300-mile round trip can stop Cameron Jerome.
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