Has a football game ever been described as a “four point”? | Soccer
“Hearing a game is a ‘six point’ is pretty common in the modern game, but I don’t remember hearing a game was a ‘four point’ when there was only two points for a win. Can anyone find examples of pre-1981 games called four points?” asks Ed Butler.
The Guardian and Observer archive is our friend here. A quick search of “four dots” yields many hits, including an 1836 ad for an auction, with items for sale including “about 18 dozen first-rate old ports, 15 dozen sherries, which will be sold in batches at the option of the purchasers; a garden roller, two iron garden seats; four pointing dogs and various other valuable effects”.
We digress, but frankly why not you with something like that? Anyway, the first football-related mention in the Guardian’s archives comes from Ronald Atkin’s report of West Ham 3-1 Leicester in February 1980. “It was really what the pundits call a four-pointer”, he began, “and the points were firmly and fairly claimed by West Ham. In the end, both teams ended the season happy – Leicester won the Second Division title, and while the form of the The Hammers’ league ran out of steam as they shocked Arsenal in the FA Cup final – the last second-tier side to lift the trophy.
The earliest mention we can find elsewhere dates back to 1970-71, when Tranmere manager Jackie Wright spoke about his team’s relegation battle. Their run-in was full of games against teams around them and Wright said every game was “a four-pointer”. They won enough to finish 18th and avoid relegation to the old Division Four.
John Spooner can go further by doing more of our work for us. “A cursory analysis of British newspaper archives suggests that the ‘four dots’ was first used in the early 1950s,” he writes. “From the Yorkshire Evening Post of Thursday 13th December 1951: ‘Leeds United and Brentford are hoping to be strong for their match at Griffin Park on Saturday, a game which is seen by both clubs as a ‘four point’ in the race to the promotion. .’ Not many cases in the 1950s and 1960s, but usage took off in the 1970s and 1980s.”
But James Morgan can leave even further back. “The oldest reference I can find is from 20 February 1939 in the Birmingham Evening Despatch, about Wolves and Everton battling for the title: ‘While Everton have to play eight of their remaining 14 games on the opponent grounds, Wolves have only seven such games. This Wednesday game is, of course, a “four point” in that if Wolves win, they will only have two points from trailing the leaders, while a loss would put them six points behind the title by—you guessed it!—four points.
Single-club national teams
“With another Danish signing, Brentford continue their evolution into the next Danish national team. It got me thinking, has a national team ever fielded an XI entirely from one club before? asks Robin Hine.
“Having a national football team field an XI from just one club is literally the oldest trick in the book of international football,” Atlanta’s Chai notes. “In the very first international match against England in 1872, all Scottish players were selected from their flagship club, Queen’s Park.
“The first Olympic football tournaments featured clubs representing the national team. At the 1900 Games in France, the host country was represented by the French Club, Upton Park FC represented Great Britain and the players of the Université Libre de Bruxelles represented Belgium. At the 1904 Games in the United States, the hosts had two teams representing them, Christian Brothers College and St Rose Parish, and Canada was represented by Galt FC. At the 1913 Far Eastern Championship Games, the national teams of the Republic of China and the Philippines were represented by the South China AA and the Bohemian Club respectively.
Elsewhere… “England have twice fielded an XI entirely of players from one club, once in 1894 and again in 1895,” writes Em Kent. “Both times they played against Wales, with the squad provided entirely by Corinthians FC.” Jarek Zaba provides some additional information: “Nicholas ‘Pa’ Lane Jackson founded Corinthians in 1882, hoping to improve England’s fortunes by ensuring that the best players developed an understanding by playing for the same club .”
“The entire Italy XI outfield was made up of Turin players for their game against Hungary in 1947,” writes Jon Cullen. “Turin dominated the Italian national team and league, winning five league titles before the Superga air disaster.” Martin van Neck has two others. “On September 30, 1964, Belgium played a friendly match against the Netherlands at home,” he begins. “Belgium started with 10 players from Anderlecht plus a goalkeeper from Liège. He got injured and was replaced at half-time by the Anderlecht goalkeeper, so Belgium played with 11 Anderlecht players in the second half. Belgium won 1-0.
“In 1975, Valeriy Lobanovskyi was manager of both Dynamo Kyiv and the Soviet national team,” adds Martin. “In the USSR’s Euro qualifier against Ireland, the entire starting XI (plus one of the two substitutes) were Dynamo Kyiv players – and the game was played on Dynamo’s home ground, the Olimpiyskiy.”
“In their FA Cup fourth round victory at Port Vale, Brighton won 3-1, their three goals being the the striker’s first goal for the club”, noted Karl Stringer in 2014. “Can this be beaten?”
“Maybe not beaten, but equaled,” said Kevin, from Sydney via Glasgow. “Chelsea against West Ham, in the first game of the Premier League season in 2000, scored four debutant goals: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Frederic Kanouté and two from Mario Stanic.”
Tim Dockery added: “In the first two weeks of the inaugural MLS season, almost every goal scored was that player’s first for his club. On May 5, 1996, Kansas City Wiz was defeated 4-0 by the Colorado Rapids. All of Colorado’s goals have come from players who have never scored for them before: Scott Benedetti, Steve Trittschuh, Sean Henderson and Richard Sharpe. Three days earlier, Kansas City had beaten Columbus Crew 6-4 with six of the eight scorers scoring their first goals for the club. KC’s scorers were Preki (two), Mo Johnston (two), Mike Sorber and Mark Chung. Newcomers Michael Clark and Todd Yeagley scored one each for Columbus.
Can you help ?
“What is the longest league name in the UK, at any level, including the name of the sponsor? Or further? asks Roger Kirkby. “I qualify the question by saying that they must have a website to be able to verify it.”
“Stoke City currently have three players whose fathers – and in one case their grandfathers too – played in the top flight,” says Robin Wiles. “Tyrese Campbell (son of Kevin), D’Margio Wright-Phillips (son of Shaun, grandson of Ian) and Liam Delap (son of Rory). Are there examples of teams with even more children of former top flight players? »
“In the summer of 2003, Chelsea recruited three goalkeepers (Neil Sullivan, Jürgen Macho and Marco Ambrosio)”, notes Tom Solan. Is it a record? Has a team ever signed four goalkeepers in a single window? »
“Olimpija Ljubljana have started their league season with six straight wins and are yet to concede a goal,” writes Richard Wilson. “So far I have found Chelsea (2005-06) and Dinamo Zagreb (2011-12) whose perfect streaks both ended with a goal in the 44th minute of their seventh game. has he ever won his first seven games (or more) without conceding a single one?
“After this weekend, Brighton’s last seven Premier League games will all have been against United (Manchester, Leeds, West Ham last season; Manchester, Newcastle, West Ham and Leeds this season),” notes Jim Caris. “Is this a record?”
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