England Stats-a-go-go

England are out of the World Cup – and too right, because they were rubbish.

Everyone thought they could win it too –- bookies made them 3rd favourites, we had better players than everyone else according to the 2 Alan’s on MOTD. And this was the golden generation – how could they NOT win the cup??

So I thought I’d take a look at whether or not we’re actually likely to win based on past World Cup & European Championship performances.

I’d like to work out whether we’re likely to win a major championship in my lifetime and how long I have to wait until we play well (and win) in a meaningful match against good opposition. I’ll go back as far as the 1970 World Cup, because I was born in 1976, and we didn’t quality for 1974 or 1978.

Matches in bold are ones I am highlighting as games against top opposition, those rare ones in bold italic are ones we won!

1970 World Cup

1-0 v Romania
0-1 v Brazil
1-0 v Czechoslovakia
2-3 v West Germany

So we won 2 against mediocre opposition, and lost against the big boys. We are 0/2 so far

1980 European Championships

1-1 v Belgium
0-1 v Italy
2-1 v Spain

Yes! The first one, although I don’t know if we played well or not as I was too young. But we’ll have it. 1/4

1982 World Cup

3-1 v France
2-0 v Czechoslovakia
1-0 v Kuwait
0-0 v West Germany
0-0 v Spain

2/7 – Rock and Roll – 2 tournaments in a row that we beat a top team – this was clearly the golden age of English football

1986 World Cup

0-1 v Portugal
0-0 v Kuwait
3-0 v Poland
3-0 v Paraguay
1-2 v Argentina


1988 European Championships

0-1 v Republic of Ireland
1-3 v Netherlands
1-3 v Soviet Union


1990 World Cup

1-1 v Republic of Ireland
0-0 v Netherlands
1-0 v Egypt
1-0 v Belgium
3-2 v Cameroon
1-1 v West Germany

2/13 – 3 tournaments in a row without a decent win

1992 European Championships

0-0 v Denmark
0-0 v France
1-2 v Sweden

2/14 (Being kind to England here – Denmark won the cup, but you’d expect to beat them)

1996 European Championships

1-1 v Switzerland
2-0 v Scotland
4-1 v Netherlands
0-0 v Spain
1-1 v Germany

3/17 (Not counting Spain because we won on pens and they were better than us anyway)

1998 World Cup

2-0 v Tunisia
1-2 v Romania
2-0 v Colombia
2-2 v Argentina


2000 European Championships

2-3 v Portugal
1-0 v Germany
2-3 v Romania

3/20 (not counting the Germany victory because we were woeful, just less woeful than Germany)

2002 World Cup

1-1 v Sweden
1-0 v Argentina
0-0 v Nigeria
3-0 v Denmark
1-2 v Brazil


2004 European Championships

1-2 v France
3-0 v Switzerland
4-2 v Croatia
2-2 v Portugal


2006 World Cup

1-0 v Paraguay
2-0 v Trinidad & Tobago
2-2 v Sweden
1-0 v Ecuador
0-0 v Portugal


2010 World Cup

1-1 v USA
0-0 v Algeria
1-0 v Slovenia
1-4 v Germany


So there you have it – in 40 years of major football championships, we’ve won 4 games that count. Four!! That’s one every 10 years, or one every 2 and a half tournaments. And I’ve also been kind, because we didn’t beat Republic of Ireland twice in the early 1990’s and they were a good team.

If I live to 80, I’ve got around another 4 matches to look forward to and the next performance will be in the 2020 European Championships. Wonderful.

If you go back further, you’ve got the 1966 win which may skew the results – but it may not, because we didn’t win a single match of importance in ANYTHING prior to

So now I know why we’re so keen to get the World Cup hosted in England in 2018, because without it, we have zero chance of winning!

Post By Rich Gubby (29 Posts)

Tea Drinker Extraordinaire

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7 Responses to “England Stats-a-go-go”

  1. Dan says:

    That’s dead depressing. However, there is some nice talent coming through soon, so it’s not all doom and gloom: Gibbs and Wilshere (if only Aaron Ramsay was English), Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell from Everton, Joe Hart of course…

    Hmm. That’s only half a squad. Damn.

  2. Chris says:

    You can’t NOT count the Germany win in 2000 just because we were slightly less rubbish than Germany! So I make that 5 which makes much better…… oh.

    We clearly need to invest in young coaches as much as young players.

  3. Eddie H says:

    You can probably unbold the Portugal game from 1986 as well as they weren’t in the same ‘good team’ bracket as they’ve been considered to be since roughly ’98.

  4. Rich Gubby says:

    OK – I’ll add the Germany win and unbold the Portugal loss.

    That puts England at 5/25

    But on that basis – should I include Rep. of Ireland in 1988 & 1990? They were decent then – I would be tempted to add them, so that’s 5/27, still not great!

    I’m going to take these stats a step further and work out these stats out for all of the top nations and see where England rank – my guess would be not very high!

  5. SK says:

    Depressing for us but good news for Hurst, Charlton, Stiles, Banks, Peters et al as they will not be out of a job whilst they’re still alive!!

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Davies. Chris Davies said: RT @zqxwzq: Why did we ever think we could win the world cup? Stats are against us! Check this out: http://redyellow.co.uk/england-stats … […]

  7. Ceri says:

    Hey, we’re gonna need Ramsey when Wales crack on and challenge the European elite before breaking into the next World Cup :-)

    Wales MUST qualify for a World Cup in my lifetime. We can’t do anyworse then England according to Rich’s stats.

    What’s England rating in the Euro Finals? Is it just as depressing?

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