Are England just unlucky? No!

12/06/2016 | By | Reply More

When brushing up for the Euro’s I had a good look at prior records to see if there were any trends. One of things that stood out was England’s terrible opening game record.

Since this Euro’s started in 1960 England have never won their opening game, a proud record that was upheld yesterday. So in 15 competitions spanning 52 years. It will be at least 56 years before England win their opening game of the tournament, possibly more. An amazing record, seemingly almost impossible. Their record reads XXLXXDXLDDLLXD, where X means they didn’t even qualify. Not a ‘W’ in sight!

I thought I would have a look at how much of that could be to chance.

Yesterday England were odds on for the win, but lets be really pessimistic and say for each game they played they were on an equal level with their opponents and we assign that a 1/3rd chance or 33%. That means the chance of not winning was 67%, generous I think.

There have been nine tournaments in the sample so the odds on not a single win in nine is .67^9. That works out to a 97.25% chance that a win should have occurred in nine attempts, less than a 3% chance that one couldn’t have occurred. If you bump up England’s chance of winning to an average of 50%, pretty fair given the opponents in the tournaments. The chance of a win in nine ends up at 99.9%, virtually no chance of England not winning. So it’s very fair to say England must have won at least one of these nine matches, yet the fact remains that they haven’t.

These stats are quite remarkable, until you parallel it against England’s penalty shoot out records.

According to data I’ve collected over the years there is an 84.62% chance of scoring a penalty. (Sample taken from 1794 penalties taken in the Premier League). Forgoing complexity, you would expect the chance of winning a penalty shoot out to be fairly random at that scoring rate. However England’s record is way below 50% waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay below.

My conclusion, England don’t need a decent manager, they need a full time psychologist!

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Category: Football trading strategies

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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