Fact or Fiction: Five of the biggest footballing myths
One of the many reasons why we love football is because of the wild debates that we have with friends and rival fans. Whilst we have these debates there are myths creative in the football circle, some that are true and some that are false. We look at five of the biggest myths
Tottenham’s trophy cabinet is empty
One of the most told jokes in recent football is around Tottenham and their disastrous time when it comes to winning a trophy. Since Spurs’ last trophy win in 2008 (the League Cup), the North London side have failed to win any silverware since. Spurs have been ever so close to breaking their trophy drought recently with final appearances in both the domestic and European trophies, however the Lilywhites came up short both times.
This is indeed a myth, however and although the club haven’t added any new trophies recently to their cabinet, Tottenham are in fact the sixth most decorated side in England. This includes three European trophies, two league titles and 12 domestic trophies. Whilst a lot of these trophies came in the 1950s and 1960s, Spurs are still considered one of the most successful clubs in England, even if more recently they’re known for falling close to the final hurdle.
A Man Utd fan in London that's never been to Manchester? Surely not... 👀— SPORTbible (@sportbible) September 28, 2023
Is the early kick-off curse a thing? 😬
Is Spurs' trophy cabinet empty? 🏆
We took to the streets with @Ladbrokes to ask people if they thought certain football myths were fact or fiction 🤔 #ad
More Man Utd fans live in London than Manchester
You’ll be stretched to find a busier place than a London to Manchester train on matchday. With people growing up in the 1990s and 2000s watching Man United dominate English football under Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s clear to see why they were a popular choice when choosing a team to support. But whilst London-based side Arsenal were trying to challenge them, it seemed that Londoners were bedazzled by the Red Devils.
This myth is in fact true, with 18% of Man United fans residing in the capital with only 14% of supporters living in Manchester according to a Virgin Media poll taken in 2021. However, it’s not just the team from the red side of Manchester that relies on fans from the capital. In the survey it was found that 14% of Liverpool fans also reside in London, that’s in comparison to only 13% coming from Merseyside. How many of those Londoners are yet to take a trip to Manchester or Liverpool is yet to be known.
Liverpool benefited from more VAR decisions than any other club last season
Since its introduction to the league, VAR has caused debates with some seeing it as a positive and others suggesting it ruins the beautiful game. All over social media there has been a suggestion that the video referees have favoured Liverpool when making decisions which has led to rival fans calling them ‘LiVARpool’.
Whilst Liverpool are high on the list of those that have benefited from VAR decisions last season, it was actually Brentford who gained more points from overturned decisions during the 2022/23 season. The Bees gained six points from VAR overturning decisions made by the on-field referee whereas Liverpool and Fulham gained five. Man City were at the other spectrum, losing out on four points due to VAR.
Man City have the highest percentage of empty seats in the league
It’s only been since 2008 that Man City have really been in the spotlight of English football. Since their rise they’ve been hard to mock in regards to their performances on the pitch so rival fans took to mocking the blue side of Manchester on their attendances and number of empty seats. This led to Manchester City’s stadium being dubbed the ‘Emptihad’.
Whilst Man City are quite high on the list for percentage of empty seats there were other teams in the league whose average capacity was lower. Man City had 96.82% average occupancy whereas Bournemouth had 91% and recently relegated Southampton had 93%. However, there is an argument that those who assumed Man City suffer from empty seats is in fact true as they had the most empty seats out of anyone in the top half of the league, and by some distance.
Fans don’t back the early kick off
One of the biggest myths in betting is that the early kick off will let you down. No matter who is playing, the favourite will always cost your accumulator before it’s even started.
However, looking at the start of this season, that myth seems to be false. In the early kick offs so far this season, Arsenal have beaten Nottingham Forest, Tottenham were victorious over Bournemouth and Liverpool have defeated Wolves. This would suggest that the early kick off should not be as feared as some people think. In addition to this, last season’s early kick off games were averaging more goals than the afternoon and evening games, as well as more yellow cards.
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