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Footballers winning their league’s Golden Boot and suffering relegation | The Knowledge


“Giorgos Giakoumakis has finished as the Eredivisie’s top scorer (by some margin) yet his team, VVV-Venlo, have been relegated,” writes Willem Cleven. “Has any Golden Boot winner suffered such an ignominious fate before?”

They certainly have, Willem. Let’s start down on the south coast of England. “Southampton’s Mick Channon managed that feat,” writes Andy Grace. “The famous windmill celebration was seen 21 times in 1973-74 and he topped the Division One scoring charts, despite the club getting relegated that same season.”

Dirk Maas points out that just a couple of years later, in the 1975-76 La Liga season, Enrique Castro González (better known as ‘Quini’) suffered the same fate at Sporting Gijón. He stuck around to fire them straight back up to La Liga the next season, though, when they even qualified for the Uefa Cup. Dirk also found that Thomas Dalgaard went down with Viborg FF in the 2013-14 Danish Super Liga while scoring 18 goals in 33 games.

It’s happened in Italy, too. “Igor Protti was the only Serie A player to have suffered this fate,” offers Jörg Michner. “In 1995-96 he scored 24 goals and became capocannoniere alongside Lazio legend Giuseppe Signori, but his Bari side got relegated anyway. Funnily enough, Protti’s goalscoring prowess earned him a move to Lazio at the end of the season. He flopped there badly, however, and was released from his contract two years later. Incidentally, along with Dario Hübner, Protti is also the only player who was top scorer in Serie A, Serie B and Serie C.”

Abandonments after refusing to kick off again

“Has a team ever forfeited a match by refusing to restart the game with a kick-off,” wonders Kári Tulinius.

“This past weekend, Dinamo Vranje did exactly that in the Serbian second tier in a game against Radnicki SM,” reports Richard Wilson. “Dinamo Vranje have long been an extremely controversial club in the nation and manager Dragan Antic was recently banned from football for 12 months after a long string of disciplinary issues that culminated with him being escorted from a ground by police after refusing to accept being sent off.

“When Radnicki SM equalised on the hour-mark, the club hierarchy – led by Antic, who attended the game in spite of his ban – simply pulled the side from the pitch with the game finishing after 64 minutes. Perhaps most amazingly, in doing so, it meant that Dinamo Vranje’s relegation from the second tier into Serbia’s regional leagues was confirmed. While Serbian football has a long and entertaining tradition of walk-offs, this is the first one I can remember in recent times where the game ended up abandoned as a result.”

More pathetic runs of bogey-team away results

Following on from last week’s column, there are more …

“I’m surprised nobody mentioned Spurs’ record at Liverpool,” writes Sean DeLoughry (among others). “They’ve had a couple of wins recently but between a 2-1 league win in March 1912 and a 1-0 league win in March 1985, Spurs’ record at Anfield was an impressive P48, W0 D15 L33.”

Stu Banks points out that much was made of Everton’s awful away form at Anfield but their league form away at Chelsea is even worse. “The last time Everton won a league game at Stamford Bridge (1994), I hadn’t even done my GCSE mock exams … I’m 43 this year. Their away form at Arsenal, until this season, was almost as bad – no win since 1996. Their league record away at Old Trafford is utterly miserable: a win in August 1992, and only one since then (2013). I’m sure I’m not the only Evertonian who manages to be busy when certain away games are on TV.”

Everton get that familiar sinking feeling at Stamford Bridge as they go down 2-0 against Chelsea in March.
Everton get that familiar sinking feeling at Stamford Bridge as they go down 2-0 against Chelsea in March. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Reuters

“I can beat the previous examples of bogey away-team results,” begins Jon Smith. “As a Coventry City fan we had a ridiculous run of away misery against our most-hated rivals Aston Villa. Coventry first played at Villa Park in 1936 and it took 62 years until we recorded our first win there at the 27th attempt in 1998. Sadly we haven’t played each other for 20 years so haven’t been able to keep up this excellent form! Details of the wretched run.”

“As an Arsenal fan, I was relieved when Eddie Nketiah scored a very late 97th-minute equaliser at home to Fulham,” cheers Simon Harding. “I remember the Guardian MBM including a comment that Fulham had never won at Arsenal. It turns out that Fulham’s record there is P30 W0 D6 L24 across league and FA Cup going back to 1903-04.” Ouch.

And Alex Metcalfe highlights a miserable away-day for Oldham. “The Latics have never won at Charlton (whether at the Valley or Selhurst Park). Twenty-six fixtures since the first in 1929: W0 D11 L15. Awful.”

Knowledge archive

“In light of Feyenoord’s 10-0 defeat to PSV, when was the last time a European Cup-winning side conceded double figures?” pondered Rich Symes in October 2010.

The Rotterdam side, winners in 1969-70, joined a rather exclusive group with that humiliation at the hands. The vast majority of European Cup- and Champions League-winning sides have never shipped 10 goals in one match – only three had done so before this – although, unlike the Dutch side, they had not been European champions at the time.

Barcelona were hammered 12-1 by Athletic Club (later Athletic Bilbao) in February 1931, Porto were pummelled 12-2 by Benfica in February 1943, and Dortmund were on the wrong end of an 11-1 against Bayern Munich in November 1971, when Gerd Müller scored four, Uli Hoeneß bagged a brace and even Franz Beckenbauer got his name on the scoresheet.

Can you help?

“Which top-flight team has had the best goal difference without qualifying for Europe?” asks Ira Seligman.

“A lot of the reporting on Alisson’s goal for Liverpool against West Brom commented on the ‘last-minuteness’ of it. Surely that’s the least astonishing thing for a goalie goal. What is the earliest time in a game that a keeper has scored from open play,” asks Steve Richards.

Good, but can you do it in the third minute?
Good, but can you do it in the third minute? Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/AFP/Getty Images

“Sutton United fan here, giddy with elation. Just wondering though, at 123 years old, are Sutton the oldest club ever to gain entrance to the Football League for the first time?” wonders Rob Yeoman.

“Atlético Madrid’s title win last weekend came seven years after Diego Simeone’s first title win with the club,” begins Matthew Armstrong.Has there been a bigger gap between league title wins for a manager at a single club in the modern era (I’m thinking just one spell so managers that left and came back to win again don’t count).”

“Josef Bursik signed as an emergency loan goalkeeper for Lincoln City’s play-off games,” notes Ben Milner. “He was promoted with Peterborough a few weeks ago through the automatic promotion places (also as an emergency loan) and is now in the play-off final. Has any player ever been promoted twice from the same division in the same season?”

Email your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.





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