The Greatest Football Team Of All Time… For 2015

Chart of the 10 Greatest Football Teams in England, for 2015
For 2015…

As you can see from the table, above, while a great many fans claim theirs is the greatest football team, most of them do so more out of hope than expectation. As someone who is waiting for mighty, mighty Bristol City to assume their rightful position at the top of the pile, I have no particular axe to grind about which team keeps the place warm for them. As such, you won’t find the data or scoring system, below, twisted to suit a particular team’s needs.

Since last year’s post, there has been no change at the top and, at the end of the 2015 season, the team that can claim the ‘Greatest Football Team’ accolade is Liverpool, who remain top with 273.5 points, a position they have held since 1977. In second place is Man U, with 272 points. In third place is Arsenal, who have slightly closed the gap on the top two, moving up to 184.5 points.

Also on the move is Chelsea, who have jumped sharply to 116 points and are closing in on Aston Villa, who are in 4th place with 121.5 points. And given that Villa haven’t won a trophy since 1996, the catch seems inevitable.

[the reason for half points is that in times gone past, what is now called the Community Shield accepted draws as a result. When this happened, I allocated each team a half share of the one point on offer]

Perhaps surprisingly, only three teams have been able to individually claim the title of the Greatest Football Team, although Wolves jointly claim the position with  Blackburn for the six seasons to 1896. Arsenal was only a point away from sharing the title with Villa for four seasons in the early ’70s but never quite got there… something for the current Man U team to consider. Since 1872 the Greatest Football Teams have been:

  • Wolves, from 1872 until 1890 – 19 Seasons
  • Villa, from 1897 to 1976 – 70 Seasons
  • Liverpool from, 1977 to 2014 – 38 Seasons (so far)

This means that while Liverpool is undoubtedly the current ‘Greatest’, Villa has spent more years being ‘Greatest’ than anyone. Does this mean that Villa is the greatest ‘Greatest? Will Liverpool fans change their position on this if Man U gets the extra unanswered trophy they need to go top? I’m open to suggestion on this one: would an extra table of the greatest ‘Greatest’ have any meaning? I imagine Villa fans might think so!

Okay, so the contentious bit; the scoring. There are eight possible competitions in which English Teams can participate. I have ordered these in priority and scored them from eight down to one. No points are awarded for being in certain leagues. No additional points are awarded for doubles and trebles. These extras are open for manipulation to get a favoured team to the top. My system is simple and, I think, the better for being so:

In terms of trophies won, Man U tops the list with 59. Followed by Liverpool with 56.5 and Arsenal with 40.5.

Some might argue that this makes Man U the Greatest Football Team of all time but I disagree. The amount of money you have in your wallet isn’t based on who has the most notes. No one would accept that you have more money with your five £5 notes, compared with his two £20 notes.

So, Man U missed their opportunity to go top, and  Liverpool remain the Greatest Football Team Of All Time. And, despite upward movement from a couple of clubs, Man U remain the only club in a position to topple Liverpool. Or maybe Liverpool will simply power ahead again…

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