Guardian: The Knowledge

When I have a free afternoon, I enjoy answering the questions listed on The Guardian’s The Knowledge blog. This munging generally ends up as blogposts.

Here are the current examples I have published:

August 2018

Looked at successive runs of fixtures for English clubs against identical suffix/prefixes. Also scraped FIFA World Cup squads and looked at players who played in a lower shirt number than their age.

January 2019

Grouped football teams by their county and looked at which counties had won the most points over the past 140 years of league football

Febuary 2019

Answered 4 questions: - which football players have scored on the most unique days of the year (Cristiano Ronaldo) - which football teams had finished 2nd in a league the most times (Manchester United in the 1st Division - 14times) - what is the earliest a team has been relegated from a league the earliest (Rochdale, with 8 games to go in 19731974) - what is the longest run of games without a draw in the English leagues (Aston Villa with 50 games in 18911892)

June 2019

A pretty fun post trying to work out the players who had played in the Premier League while representing low ranked countries. It turns out it’s pretty difficult to answer conclusively, but it seems that Zesh Rehman (Fulham/Pakistan) in 2005 is the lowest ranked, whereas Christpher Wreh seems to be the player with the lowest ranked nationality to actually win the league

For these questions I tend to rely on the engsoccerdata package in R, to which I am a frequent contributor. I also tend to do a fair bit of web scraping using simple (and sometimes not so simple) methods.