“We are top of the Premier League and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. We beat the holders at home, so why can’t we win them both?” The words of an understandably excited Cesc Fabrigas after Arsenal’s wonderful victory in the San Siro.
Arsenal are far from the only team looking to do a League and European double this season. Is it likely, or even possible, to win both? If it is, which teams are in pole position?
The simple answer is that it is of course possible but that past history suggests it is less than a 50-50 chance. On the fifty-one occasions that European Champions have been crowned, on only twenty of those occasions did the successful side manage to win their own Domestic League as well.
The first European Cup tournament was held in the 1955-56 season as a two-legged knockout competition. The Champions League began in 1992-93 and the present format, with teams other than the individual Champions of the Countries taking part, started in 1997-98.
As my predictions based on my knowledge (or lack of) are going from bad to worse, I decided to use scientific statistical fact to see who, if anyone, would do the double this season.
As the European cup, 14 teams managed the double in 36 seasons. As the original Champions League, 2 out of 5 achieved the feat, and in it’s present format only 4 of the ten Champions have achieved the double.
Even the great Real Madrid side who won the competition in it’s first five seasons, only won La Liga on two of those occasions. The dominating force that was Liverpool in 70s and early 80s only won the league as well on 50% of their four European triumphs.
The stats for the top contenders make interesting reading. Manchester United have a 50% record from two wins as do Inter. Barcelona have a 100% record having won La Liga on both occasions they won in Europe. Arsenal and Chelsea are both looking for their first European triumphs and the record of one time winners is 50% league champions out of the ten European wins.
As for nationality it is the Dutch who lead the way. Between them, Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven have won the European Cup on six occasions. On 67% of those occasions the side has won the Eridivisie as well. This is of course not entirely relevant as there are no Dutch teams left in the tournament. Germany are second with 50% and Spain, England and Italy come lagging behind with 36%, 30% and 18% respectively.
So what does this all mean? Well, nothing really but it’s a bit of fun!
From my careful mathematical and statistical analysis of the history of the European Cup I deduce the following:
I have discounted Liverpool and Schalke as they are not in a position to win their domestic league. Doesn’t mean they won’t win the Champions League though!
The teams left in with a chance of a Champions League and Domestic League double are as follows:
Inter, Barcelona, Manchester United, Fenerbahce, Arsenal, Roma, Chelsea.
If you award 3 points for the teams record, 3 points for the countries record and 3 points for their chances of winning their league. You then deduct 2 points for being in a difficult position in their current tie (Inter) you get the following table:
- Arsenal 7
- Barcelona 7
- Manchester United 6
- Roma 5
- Chelsea 5
- Fenerbahce 5
- Inter 4
The top two of Barcelona and Arsenal can’t be separated. For the tie break we have to look at their league situations. Barcelona are second but still in with a chance. Arsenal are top, but by only one point. It’s difficult to pick one, but Arsenal just get it.
It is clear that if the draw keeps them apart the final will be a repeat of the 2006 final between Barcelona and Arsenal. Both teams are likely to go on to win their own domestic title if they lift the Champions League trophy.
Manchester United have a possibility of doing the double, but if Chelsea, Fenerbahce, Roma, Inter, Schalke or Liverpool lift the trophy, their domestic league will be won elsewhere.
It is therefore scientifically proven that Cesc Fabrigas might be right. Why shouldn’t Arsenal win both?
I have used science to work it out. What could go wrong?
“Professor” Graham writes at Views of a fan.