English clubs · English cups · Esoteric · Football history · Records & statistics

Years Ending With …


So Germany have won the World Cup. Which means that, since the resumption of the World Cup after World War II, they have won every World Cup held in a year ending with the number “4”, except for 1994 (winning it in 1990 instead). Germany (or West Germany before re-unification) have won the World Cup in 1954 (in Switzerland), 1974 (in West Germany), 1990 (in Italy) and now 2014 (in Brazil).

Which brings me back back to an old superstition – Spurs winning the FA Cup in years ending with the number “1”:

However, Spurs did not win the FA Cup in 1911, 1931, 1951, 1971 and 2001 (no competition in 1941 due to World War II)

Back in 2001, I worked out a counter-pattern for the years ending in “1” that Spurs didn’t win the FA Cup.

Finding patterns that “fit” non-conscious phenomena is, if nothing else, fun, at least for me.

….

The pattern won’t be tested again until 2011. It might have to be refined or modified then.

Spurs didn’t win the FA Cup in 2011, and it didn’t fit the counter-pattern.  So I’ve found a better counter-pattern.  Since the start of the 20th century, Spurs have won the FA Cup in every year ending with “1” except where Arsenal or Chelsea won the Cup in the preceding year ending with “0”, or Manchester United or Manchester City won it in the preceding year ending in “9”.   So we have:

Year FA Cup Winners FA Cup runners Score Factors
1899 Sheffield United Derby County 4-1 Counter-pattern did not arise, so Spurs won in the year ending with “1”.
1900 Bury Southampton 4-0
1901 Tottenham Hotspur Sheffield United 2-2, 3-1
1909 Manchester United Bristol City 1-0 Manchester United won in the preceding year ending with “9”, so Spurs didn’t win in the year ending with “1”.
1910 Newcastle United Barnsley 1-1, 2-0
1911 Bradford City Newcastle United 0-0, 1-0
1919 No competition due to World War I Counter-pattern did not arise, so Spurs won in the year ending with “1”.
1920 Aston Villa Huddersfield Town 1-0*
1921 Tottenham Hotspur Wolverhampton Wand 1-0
1929 Bolton Wanderers Portsmouth 2-0 Arsenal won in the preceding year ending with “0”, so Spurs didn’t win in the year ending with “1”.
1930 Arsenal Huddersfield Town 2-0
1931 West Bromwich Albion Birmingham 2-1
1941 No competition due to World War I Not applicable
1949 Wolverhampton W Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal won in the preceding year ending with “0”, so Spurs didn’t win in the year ending with “1”.
1950 Arsenal Liverpool 2-0
1951 Newcastle United Blackpool 2-0
1959 Nottingham Forest Luton Town 2-1 Counter-pattern did not arise, so Spurs won in the year ending with “1”.
1960 Wolverhampton Wand Blackburn Rovers 3-0
1961 Tottenham Hotspur Leicester City 2-0
1969 Manchester City Leicester City 1-0 Manchester City won in the preceding year ending with “9” and Chelsea won in the preceding year ending with “0”, so Spurs didn’t win in the year ending with “1”.
1970 Chelsea Leeds United 2-2, 2-1*
1971 Arsenal Liverpool 2-1
1979 Arsenal Manchester United 3-2 Counter-pattern did not arise, so Spurs won in the year ending with “1”.
1980 West Ham United Arsenal 1-0
1981 Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City 1-1, 3-2
1989 Liverpool Everton 3-2* Counter-pattern did not arise, so Spurs won in the year ending with “1”.
1990 Manchester United Crystal Palace 3-3, 1-0
1991 Tottenham Hotspur Nottingham Forest 2-1*
1999 Manchester United Newcastle United 2-0 Manchester United won in the preceding year ending with “9” and Chelsea won in the preceding year ending with “0”, so Spurs didn’t win in the year ending with “1”.
2000 Chelsea Aston Villa 1-0
2001 Liverpool Arsenal 2-1
2009 Chelsea Everton 2-1 Chelsea won in the preceding year ending with “0”, so Spurs didn’t win in the year ending with “1”.
2010 Chelsea Portsmouth 1-0*
2011 Manchester City Stoke City 1-0

Strictly, the reference to Manchester City is not necessary, since it only relates to 1971, for which one the other counter-patterns also applies. However, there is a certain symmetry in the counter-pattern relating to Spurs two largest London rivals in connection with the preceding year ending with “0”, and two largest Greater Manchester clubs in connection with the preceding year ending with “9”. Especially with Greater London and Greater Manchester now the two most populous urban areas in England.

And best to state the counter-pattern as broadly as possible, at least until it is next tested in 2021!

Years ending with “1” cover five of Spurs eight FA Cup wins.  Two of the remaining three were in years ending with “2” – 1962 and 1982, which pair up neatly.  The remaining FA Cup win was in 1967.  And Spurs only FA Cup defeat?  In 1987.  Again, a neat pair – 1967 and 1987.

A nice contrast between the 1960s and 1980s – for the years ending with “1”, “2” and “7”, we have three wins for the former and two wins and a loss for the latter.  And all Spurs FA Cup Final appearances are covered.

And both Spurs English titles have been in years ending with the “1” – 1951 and 1961.   But no pattern to be found there. 

Returning to Germany and the World Cup. So other than the substitution of 1990 for 1994, Germany have won every post-war World Cup in a year ending with “4”. Not so remarkable you might think, but then the 1990 World Cup was held in Italy … and the previous occasion the World Cup was held in Italy was in 1934, the only pre-war World Cup held in a year ending with the number “4”, which Germany didn’t win. So was the 1990 win to “fill in” for 1934? And Germany “couldn’t” have won in 1994, as until 2010 (when Spain won in South Africa), no European country had won a World Cup outside of Europe.

Also for a long time, hosting the World Cup was seen as the domain of Europe and Latin America (which would include Mexico, host in 1970).   The USA in 1994 was a major step outside of this.  Contributing to the break in continuity for Germany?

For a long time, Brazil was the only country to have won the World Cup outside of its continent – in Sweden, in 1958. They did so again, in 1994, in the USA.  And again in 2002, in a tournament co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, the first time the World Cup had been co-hosted.  And the next time it was hosted outside of Europe and Latin America.

In keeping with the theme of two countries taking on the role of hosting traditionally performed by a single country, I’ve taken a loook at the the world as latitudinal zones (Asia/Pacific, Europe/Africa, North and South America), until 2014, only Brazil had won a World Cup outside its zone (1958 in Sweden and 2002 in South Korea/Japan, and excluding Brazil in the USA in 1994 and Spain in South Africa in 2010, being in the same “zone”).   By winning in 2014, Germany have become the only other country to win outside of their zone, ironically (or perhaps not so ironically), in Brazil.

Germany have also lost every World Cup Final held in a year ending with the number “6” – 1966 in England and 1986 in Mexico – other than 2006, when they hosted the World Cup.  They’ve also lost every World Cup Final held in a year ending with the number “2” – 1982 in Spain and 2002 in South Korea/Japan – other than 1962 (held in Chile), for which there is no accounting. 

At least all 4 of Germany’s World Cup Final wins and all 4 of their World Cup Final defeats are accounted for. 

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