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Rock the Crossbar

Sunday, July 23

FIFA rankings

I know we shouldn't waste our time with FIFA rankings but could somone please explain why 1) Brazil is still number one - can kind of see that 2) Argentina is #3 3) England is ranked 5th ahead of Germany and Portugal and 4) The US is ranked 16th while Ghana is 25th 5) the Czech Republic is still #10 http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/index/0,2548,All-Jul-2006,00.html

57 Comments:

  • "I know we shouldn't waste our time with FIFA rankings"

    Then why did you?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 6:20 PM  

  • "I know we shouldn't waste our time with FIFA rankings"

    Then why did you?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 6:20 PM  

  • Ditto.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 7:22 PM  

  • I'm trying to contribute / start a discussion during this silly season. This board is in danger of becoming irrelevant between the picture postings of 19yr old players and inane websites.

    Why do you bother reading John?

    By Blogger Chris P, at 10:15 AM  

  • Go easy on him. He's just numbers adverse!

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 11:12 AM  

  • I just feel like we have had the "aren't FIFA world rankings crap" discussion many times before.

    To answer your question, No, I cannot explain the rankings this time, have never been able to in the past and will never be able to.

    Maybe Rich can.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 11:44 AM  

  • I wouldnt worry Chris - its the lull - World Cup and Premiership behind us so not a lot going on... where is Esch these days? I miss mocking him

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 12:05 PM  

  • What about talking about all of United's activity in the transfer market? @#&#$&$#%&#$%&*$#&

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:08 PM  

  • It’s all here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Rankings#Ranking_formula

    My critique would be that:

    1) The formula itself is arbitrary. Whilst pertinent variables are included it is unlikely they manifest themselves in reality as a simple multiplicative chain. There may be non linearity, log linearity or returns to scale issues. It would be better to use a co-opted predictive model such as regression or perhaps logit or probit modeling.

    2) The coefficients from the independent variables are definitely arbitrary. In any partly randomized naturalistic process, we would not see:

    Date of match Multiplier
    Within the last:
    12 months x 1.0
    12-24 months ago x 0.5
    24-36 months ago x 0.3
    36-48 months ago x 0.2

    Moreover, it creates a stratification of epochs, most sophisticated models would use a decay parameter instead.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 12:10 PM  

  • randomized? Yank.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:13 PM  

  • When in Rome....win the European cup.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 12:14 PM  

  • I thought you won it in Turkey?

    How long did you spend writing that post with the arbitrary formulae?!! Where is the footy fan inside Richard Hughes? Who is this new person that kidnapped Richard Hughes!

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 12:17 PM  

  • We've won it a few times. Ask Johno.The post was about 10 minutes including reading the wiki article. Johno asked, I delivered, he moaned! There's no pleasing some people.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 12:19 PM  

  • I didn't moan. I made fun of you for abandoning the spelling you were reared with.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:21 PM  

  • I can't spell for toffee. You get the spelling of whatever dictionary file my version of word is currently using.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 12:22 PM  

  • Next you will be providing arbitrary formulae to 'prove' Arsenal were secretly running Beveren and could 'even be thrown out of the Champions League'. Will Hughes credibility ever recover?

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 12:22 PM  

  • Thats uncalled for Simon. That really was a huge story that everybody else just failed to pick up on.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:27 PM  

  • is there a formula for measuring the absolutes of a missed story? x<>f,v(missed)>"they are g14 so got off"<><>>)>

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 12:31 PM  

  • Sorry Guys, I stand corrected.

    It’s not like there was a TV expose and it was on the back page of every rag. A story well and truly missed.

    Me: “My critique would be that:

    1) The formula itself is arbitrary.”

    Burkie: “Next you will be providing arbitrary formulae”

    The formula is not mine, I was critiquing it.

    I’ll explain “fomula”,”critique”,”mine”,etc later, if you’re still having problems.

    I can see why you’d give an undisclosed loan with no specified repayment terms to an individual involved in another club for no apparent reason. You certainly wouldn’t want any say for your money. I hope Arsenal’s charity continues this year as they give out 20 million pound donations to worthy clubs worldwide, with no strings attached.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 12:41 PM  

  • Don't you mean "A story well and truly mizzed."?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:43 PM  

  • Thanks for posting the formula Rich. It basically appears that they are devised a system to inflate the rankings of crap countries. The status of match weightings are the primary reason for the bizarre rankings (4pts WC, 3pts Confederation Cup, 2Pts WC prematch, 1pt Friendly)

    This allows the US to amass points against crap countries to more than offset their results against European countries (Latvia included in crap country bucket).

    By Blogger Chris P, at 12:45 PM  

  • Sorry, the Sun had it and the BBC had it (they're NEVER wrong) - so it must be true. I know we are getting demoted and losing 30 points any minute....

    Absolute of missed story > (x=bollox, y=wrong, z=rich)

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 12:47 PM  

  • Simon: Why don't you list the mainstream UK press that DIDN'T carry it for us? That should be fun.

    Again, the formula isn’t mine. Or do you blame me for the whole of mathematics? (I suspect Johno might.)

    Johno: You might want to address your punctuation before you have a pop at my spelling. No Irish content in your posts, I note...

    Chris: You’re welcome and your observation is correct.

    I’ll flag posts that involve abstract concepts, such as, erm, 'thinking' in the future so the usual suspects don’t have to partake.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 12:55 PM  

  • Sorry, is thinking the same as reading more pompous formuae to mask when you re wrong?
    If you could flag those too please.

    I think you'll find Johnno was being sardonic when he said to explain the Fifa rankings!

    Pls point to the FA and FIFA's punishment of Arsenal. Pls exaplin to me how being G14 protected us but not the Italians? Pls be accountable for your charges of Arsenal are cheats - pls dont hold back on your knowledge of the FA's investigation and slandering those who didnt punish Arsenal as cheats as well.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 1:09 PM  

  • No, answer my question and then I'll answer yours.

    "Simon: Why don't you list the mainstream UK press that DIDN'T carry it for us? That should be fun."

    I am so sorry, gents. I should no better than to post on FIFA's rankings in a thread called "FIFA rankings". What was I thinking?


    You’re a pair of bad, bad teds.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 1:16 PM  

  • Oh sorry Rich - you are right more papers may have had it - your point being that all the papers referenced the same Associated press blurb that Arsenal must have cheated. Then an actual investigation occurs and shock horror , no-one is found guilty of breaching any actual rules. Who should go down for this? Surely the FA should all go for fostering this widespread cheating!
    There you go - your question answered.

    Didnt you call John numerically adverse at the top of this thread - and then not see the sarcasm when he asked you to explain the rankings... if you need pointers on humour and sarcasm I am happy to provide.

    Anyway werent you now going to answer my question.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 1:26 PM  

  • I wasn't criticising your spelling(as in "you don't know how to spell words and I do haha"). I was making fun of it being "Americanized". I think that was pretty obvious. Touched on a nerve I see.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:41 PM  

  • There's no Irish in that at all, Johno – you sell out. In all honesty, my spelling is bad, so I paste from 'word'. It’s the American version, with me living and working in America and all. You would like me to go back through and make regional adjustments?

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 1:46 PM  

  • Heres some irish for you Rich:

    Dhough gerd Rich ina theos ghuigh

    PS I don't blame you for the whole of mathematics. Nor am I "numbers adverse". You show me a statisic which I consider to be interesting and relevant and I will applaud you. I think a few months ago you posted some stats which I personally thought to be irrelevant and told you as much but you chose to spin that as "John doesn't understand numbers or considers maths/stats a black art".

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:52 PM  

  • "I think a few months ago you posted some stats which I personally thought to be irrelevant:” - fair enough, but that's not the empirical approach. You test for significance, R squared, T stats, Annovas, all of that. I don’t think your helping your cause. Innumeracy is just a tongue in cheek jibe. Stats is one of many tools – to be used or miss used..

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:26 PM  

  • Like a spellchecker perhaps?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:29 PM  

  • Indeed! Trust me, it's easier to read WITH...

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:33 PM  

  • My point is that it's not "a huge story that everybody else just failed to pick up on.", not that "your point being that all the papers referenced the same Associated press blurb that Arsenal must have cheated"

    I think perhaps your telepathy is off, so perhaps your interpretation of Johno's posts might be off too.

    With regard to your questions:

    “Sorry, is thinking the same as reading more pompous formuae to mask when you re wrong?”

    I’m answering ‘no’ based on a good faith interpretation of that vacuous train wreck.

    “Pls point to the FA and FIFA's punishment of Arsenal. Pls exaplin to me how being G14 protected us but not the Italians?”

    You are fallaciously suggesting that cheats always get punished. This is patently untrue. I would suggest that the Italians crime of match fixing was perhaps more heinous. Was David Dein’s removal punishment or coincidence?

    “Pls be accountable for your charges of Arsenal are cheats..”

    You misrepresent. I questioned ‘are arsenal cheats?’ – I didn’t charge them with cheating. Don’t shoot the messenger.

    They are dirty cheats though!

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:35 PM  

  • Nope. Simon's interpretation of my post was bang on.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:37 PM  

  • Based on your intreptation of his interpretation?

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:39 PM  

  • "Didnt you call John numerically adverse at the top of this thread - and then not see the sarcasm when he asked you to explain the rankings... if you need pointers on humour and sarcasm I am happy to provide."

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:42 PM  

  • " am so sorry, gents. I should know better than to post on FIFA's rankings in a thread called "FIFA rankings". What was I thinking?


    You’re a pair of bad, bad teds."

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:45 PM  

  • Thanks for pointing out where you missed the sarcasm. Considering my first comment on this thread was "Then why did you? (waste our time bringing up the rankings that is)" then of course it would follow that I would really want to know the inner-workings of the formula.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:50 PM  

  • The problem with the stats you have there Rich is what you consider significant. You posted something that was deemed irrelevant - you cant then claim because John hasnt tested it for relevancy that its irrelevant. I can tell you that Liverpool have won no Premierships so therefore are rubbish - of course that stat is irrelevant as you are obviously a good side. I am not going to prove why its irrelevant as I dont tend to try and prove common sense. (though feel free to tell me you are a rubbish side and I will back down). I agree with John though on this one. Being able to say a stat is pointless/irrelevant is perfectly fair especially when it is. Like anyone, I love a relevant stat but if I hear something like "He is the second oldest keeper to ever record a World Cup shut-out" (Shaka Hislop V Sweden) then sorry, its crap and shouldnt need to be elaborated upon as to why.

    And yes, I interpreted John's post exactly, as seen above. You didnt though hence your post to 'enlighten' us all.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 2:56 PM  

  • I'm critiquing the methodology not the example, with regard to his numeracy. Significance is a mathematically concept. ‘causation or correlation’ may be outside of the scope of maths (or perhaps not) but he can define his level of interest, but not significance. I have little sympathy for the Disraelian position – It is of course an argument from personal incredulity.

    side note:

    "Being able to say a stat is pointless/irrelevant is perfectly fair especially when it is" is a tautology.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 3:07 PM  

  • Yes its repetitive - (See, I too can use long words like tautological but I choose not to overuse them in an effort to look more intelligent. I guess I am just a dullard footy fan who cant count).

    John's methodology is shared by anyone who cares nothing for Shaka's shutout, or your Premiership win's statistic - and it is no worse than your methodology as you didnt prove to John why the stats were relevant; you threw them out there ; he disagreed and you've said because he didnt agree then he isnt helping his cause.
    You didnt prove why they are enlightening to those in question probably cos (short for because) you were too busy trying to sound intellectual.
    You missed the most obvious nuance of the thread when you posted your critique in the first place because while you were finding paragraphs to put clever words into, you were too busy missing the subtlety of the question.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 3:18 PM  

  • That's more like it. Been a bit slow here and managed to stretch a thread that had no initial interest to 42 replies and counting.

    For the record it was helpful to see the formula. We can all agree that it's rubbish which we did beforehad but now we see the weightings they use. It's not a mystery anymore.

    Would be like: Match against: Kendall Cafe or comparable - 4pts, 2nd Division BSSC coed team - 3pts, pick up game against ultimate frisbee team in park - 2pts, friendly against youth team - 1pt.

    Not sticking my tongue up anyone's Khyber here, just trying to illustrate the how vast the talent differential is versus the point differential. I could easily craft an example with the Kendall at 1 pt as well

    By Blogger Chris P, at 3:36 PM  

  • To say that john has a methodology is a misrepresentation. Whilst he is making judgments, I don’t think they are in a formalized and replicable structure. I’m not saying he doesn’t consider data, but be does so at a whimsical level. To say it is shared seems contrived, to speak for a large group fallacious. I don’t care for “Shaka's shutout”s so that falsifies your statement.

    Here’s mathematical significance:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance


    “he disagreed and you've said because he didnt agree then he isnt helping his cause.”

    I said no such thing. The significance of a mathematical model exists outside of our agreement or disagreement.


    ‘"I think a few months ago you posted some stats which I personally thought to be irrelevant:” - fair enough, but that's not the empirical approach’ Johno proffers opinion, not significance.

    ‘Personally / empirically’ being they key delineator.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 4:04 PM  

  • Sorry mate, I am not enlightened enough to follow - pls flag such posts for me in future.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 4:45 PM  

  • All this because Rich can't spot sarcasm. I'll have to be more careful with what I say.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:13 PM  

  • Maybe put smiley faces around the sarcasm? Or bolden it.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 5:30 PM  

  • Welcome to the internet:

    http://www.use-net.ch/netiquette_engl.html#humor

    You bad, bad Teds.

    er...
    =oP

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:32 PM  

  • Would this work? :)))) Rich pls lecture us on the positive absolutes of the laws of numeracy and how it relates to rankings? :)))))
    Touche Mr Hughes and with that I am out for the day :)

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 5:38 PM  

  • You obviously skipped this one then Rich:

    http://www.use-net.ch/netiquette_engl.html#brief

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:41 PM  

  • I was brief. If 'Peter, Jane and the blue ball' is your 'war and peace' then it may seem long. Apologies!


    Er….. =0/

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:46 PM  

  • It would seem the only blue balls around here might be yours.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:46 PM  

  • See Johno.
    See Johno type.
    Does johno use a smiley?
    There are no smileys.
    See Rich infer the sentence is devoid of antiphrasis.
    =0(


    Sorry for the length [insert genitalia 'joke' here].

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:52 PM  

  • Sorry, I only got as far as the word "type" and then the abacus I was using for some of your previous posts fell apart. Will have to pick up the rest tomorrow as I have some repair work to do. Its a full time job for us simple folk to keep up with intellectual heavyweights like yourself.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 6:11 PM  

  • Your lack of smiley suggests a self image of "simple". =o(

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 6:41 PM  

  • Refuse to use smileys. Figure it out.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 6:50 PM  

  • Anyway, its been enjoyable gents

    Maybe tomorrow we can talk about football.

    Somebody less lazy than me (Chris?) stick a post up about something. e.g. Duff to Newcastle, Niall Quinn appointing him manager, the Italian appeal results, United's inability to sign even a backup keeper from WBA.

    I promise I will try to contribute constructively ;-^)

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 7:07 PM  

  • How about these 3:
    Liverpools attacking needs [strike(s) & winger]
    Arsenals Defensive needs [Cole & camplbell leaving, senderos out till Nov]
    United's midfield needs [can't see giggs + Smith cutting it]

    We could divvy them up..?

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 7:28 PM  

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