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Thread: Just how impartial is the fixtures generator?

  1. #1
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    Default Just how impartial is the fixtures generator?

    I'm sure it's a familiar scenario: it's the closing stages of the season, you're still in contention for the league, with a few games to go, and you've got a Cup semi followed a few days later by a league match that might well be the Championship decider. You've got a selection headache: do you rest some players in the Cup, to keep them fresh for the league game, or do you play your strongest side and hope they've still got something left to give for the league match as well?

    Of course, this is the real challenge of the game - a test of your ability to manage your resources and of your managerial skills, what you and yout squad have worked for all season. But whenever I've been in this situation, I'm nearly always faced with a slightly suspiciously tricky run of fixtures...

    Right now, my Arsenal team are top of the Prem, with 4 matches to play. I'm being pushed to the wire by Man City, a point behind and with virtually the same goal difference. I've just played the first leg of a Champions Cup Semi-Final agianst Barcelona (a home win, but it's finely balanced). Surprise, surprise, but who do I have to play 3 days later? City, of course. So I now have a run of 3 matches within 8 days which will make or break my season.

    So far, so Alec Ferguson. My question isn't about fixture congestion, though, because that's what you get when you have a successful team. It's more the growing suspicion that the game might have everything mapped out in advance and that your season is to a certain extent pre-determined.

    It isn't the first time I've experienced this kind of 'coincidence', and I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had the same thing happen? I'm all for a dramatic end to the season and a bit of drama, but it raises the question of whether the whole season might just be scripted. Surely, if fixtures were randomly generated, then you'd get the occasional easy run-in?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by babbster View Post
    I'm sure it's a familiar scenario: it's the closing stages of the season, you're still in contention for the league, with a few games to go, and you've got a Cup semi followed a few days later by a league match that might well be the Championship decider. You've got a selection headache: do you rest some players in the Cup, to keep them fresh for the league game, or do you play your strongest side and hope they've still got something left to give for the league match as well?

    Of course, this is the real challenge of the game - a test of your ability to manage your resources and of your managerial skills, what you and yout squad have worked for all season. But whenever I've been in this situation, I'm nearly always faced with a slightly suspiciously tricky run of fixtures...

    Right now, my Arsenal team are top of the Prem, with 4 matches to play. I'm being pushed to the wire by Man City, a point behind and with virtually the same goal difference. I've just played the first leg of a Champions Cup Semi-Final agianst Barcelona (a home win, but it's finely balanced). Surprise, surprise, but who do I have to play 3 days later? City, of course. So I now have a run of 3 matches within 8 days which will make or break my season.

    So far, so Alec Ferguson. My question isn't about fixture congestion, though, because that's what you get when you have a successful team. It's more the growing suspicion that the game might have everything mapped out in advance and that your season is to a certain extent pre-determined.

    It isn't the first time I've experienced this kind of 'coincidence', and I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had the same thing happen? I'm all for a dramatic end to the season and a bit of drama, but it raises the question of whether the whole season might just be scripted. Surely, if fixtures were randomly generated, then you'd get the occasional easy run-in?
    The only thing I've noticed is that the games against the stronger teams are usually back to back, like, I'll have 10 games and then arsenal, man city, Liverpool or something like that... it's quite weird..

    Edit:

    you gotta be f--- kidding me. I just checked my calendar to see if I was imagining things and between 11/10 and 7/12 I have arsenal, doncaster,liverpool,man city and chelsea AND between 15/3 and 3/5 I'll have Arsenal, Doncaster, liverpool, man city, sheff utd, chelsea.

    how weird is that??
    Last edited by Badass_; 21-08-2010 at 22:26.

  3. #3
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    babbster im not sure on the actual problem. Are you saying that the game decided youd be top with man city right behind you so it made man city at the end of the season?

    I have looked at my wolves save, im one of the best teams in europe now (2035) and i have only had a top four side in the last 4 games 15 seasons out of 25, i think its pretty random.

    Just looking at the real EPL, these fixtures come up in the last 4 rounds:
    Liverpool v Man City
    Arsenal v Liverpool
    Man City v Tottenham
    Man Utd v Arsenal
    Chelsea v Tottenham
    Man Utd v Chelsea
    Liverpool Tottenham

    Quite a few ties there that could ultimately decide the title, so I think the game does a good job of mirroring it.

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    Aussie, you're probably right. But I was talking about specific situations where you've got an important cup tie which more often than not seem to be followed by a crucial league match. I'm probably just being over-sensitive about it though!

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    no your not, i was just showing that its not unrealistic, i mean during that time some of those teams will most likely have a CL tie or something followed by a tough game, just one of the unfortunate sides of success!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass_ View Post
    The only thing I've noticed is that the games against the stronger teams are usually back to back, like, I'll have 10 games and then arsenal, man city, Liverpool or something like that... it's quite weird..

    Edit:

    you gotta be f--- kidding me. I just checked my calendar to see if I was imagining things and between 11/10 and 7/12 I have arsenal, doncaster,liverpool,man city and chelsea AND between 15/3 and 3/5 I'll have Arsenal, Doncaster, liverpool, man city, sheff utd, chelsea.

    how weird is that??
    The 2nd half of league fixtures are mirrored on the 1st half. That is what happens in real life. If you are playing those teams in that order you will be playing them in that order again in the 2nd half of the season. Obviously if matches are moved for TV or postponed that can change but the fixtures are originally scheduled to be like that.

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    Well... just the other day I played against a team two times in a row. It was the last game of the 1st half and the first of the second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass_ View Post
    Well... just the other day I played against a team two times in a row. It was the last game of the 1st half and the first of the second.
    I'd guess that was a match postponement that caused that issue. In one of my games I played Tottenham in two consecutive league matches in May as the first kept having to be postponed due to cup fixtures.

  9. #9
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    Same here. I had to play the same team twice in the league in the same week because the first one kept getting postponed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas (Psyatika) View Post
    Same here. I had to play the same team twice in the league in the same week because the first one kept getting postponed.
    Yeah and that can happen in reality too. I am pretty sure Bolton's first two league matches last season under Owen Coyle were both in the same week against Arsenal.

  11. #11
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    Like Badass_ I tend to find that you seem to play the stronger teams within a game or two as well. I've always wandered if the fixtures were made that way for ease of programming or something.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIR17 View Post
    Like Badass_ I tend to find that you seem to play the stronger teams within a game or two as well. I've always wandered if the fixtures were made that way for ease of programming or something.
    I wouldn't think so. I can't see how it would be easier. It is not that difficult to write some code to generate somewhat realistic but random Premier League fixtures.

    Anyway I'd guess it is all in your mind as most if not all people at some stage anyway remember the occurences like when you played the big 4 all in a row and not all the times when it did not happen.

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    I played arsenal 5 times in 2 weeks before

  14. #14
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    In Northern Ireland, I once played a team six times in eight matches - I was getting fairly sick of them to say the least. We lost a league game 3-2 away, then drew 2-2 in the Setanta Cup semi final first leg, then drew 1-1 in the league at home, then drew 1-1 in the Northern Irish Cup semi final, then lost the replay on penalties after drawing 6-6 after extra time (was hectic), then won the semi final second leg of the Setanta Cup 2-1... and that was it. Against one team, in less than a month, with only two other matches in between.

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