ASK STATMAN 33

Beginning a new week at Chelsea is the club's statistician Paul Dutton, dealing with some of the number -related enquires sent in by supporters…

With our defence of the European Cup to begin in just over a week's time, I am going to begin this Ask Statman with a question regarding the first European silverware Chelsea lifted - the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup.

Sulaiman Taofeeq Ayodele from Nigeria asks why UEFA stopped the competition we had won in 1971 (pictured above) and 1998.

As the name suggests, the idea behind the Cup Winners' Cup was for it to be contested by the victors in each country's principal domestic knockout competition, the FA Cup in England's case, but it was dropped after the 1999 final between Lazio and Real Mallorca at Villa Park due to the expansion of Champions League that took place in stages in the 1990s.

As more teams from each country were given access to that priority competition, less of the genuine cup winners were in the Cup Winners' Cup and few big name clubs were involved. After 1999 the cup winners were entered into the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) unless their league position was high enough for Champions League entry.

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Yuval Nacson from Israel emailed in a question about one of the most famous Chelsea shirt numbers of them all - the 25 worn by Gianfranco Zola which while not formally 'retired', has not been given to another player since the revered Italian left in 2003.

Yuval wants to know if any player wore 25 prior to Zola and the answer is two did - David Lee, a homegrown centre-back/midfielder and Terry Phelan, a pacy Republic of Ireland left-back who spent a couple of years with us in the mid-1990s.

Phelan


Another quick question comes from Bamisile Femi from Nigeria who asks which Portuguese player has made the most appearances for Chelsea. There have been a fair few imports from Portugal over the past decade to consider but in fact there is a tie between one player who is still at the club and one who has moved on.

Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira who arrived the same summer have both played 210 Chelsea games.

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Regular readers of Ask Statman will know that penalty statistics have been a theme recently and I am grateful to regular contributor Ray Cater who has been keeping his own spot-kick records since, as he puts it, '1983/84 when Kerry Dixon kept missing them'.

Following on from a previous discussion about high totals of penalties and penalty-takers in one season, Ray's records show the most penalties in one season as occurring in 1988/89 when 16 were awarded with three of them then being missed.

He has the most penalty-takers in one season down as six in 1984/85 when Colin Lee missed two, Dixon scored three and missed two, Pat Nevin missed one, David Speedie scored one and missed one, Mickey Thomas scored two and missed one and Nigel Spackman scored one.

It is safe to say that the Chelsea fans in that period didn't take anything for granted when the referee pointed to the spot!

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One of our fans who watched the team live a few years later is Rosemarie Johansson. She recalls a match Chelsea played in Sweden against as she describes them, 'a little club called Rydöbruk'. She remembers Kerry Dixon playing up front in the game.

I can fill in some details as the match was part of a five-game Scandinavian tour in the pre-season of 1990 - three of the matches taking place in Sweden, one in Finland and one in Denmark.

Chelsea won the game Rosemarie attended 7-3 with Gordon Durie scoring four and Kevin Wilson, Alan Dickens and Graham Stuart also finding the net. Dixon didn't in fact play that game.

Another Scandinavian-related question comes from Garry Perryman who asks for the full name of a Swedish player for Chelsea with the first name of Jakob.

There is no one who fits that description exactly so I suspect Garry is thinking of Jakob Kjeldbjerg (pictured below) who was Danish, and played 66 games in central defence for Chelsea between 1993 and 1996 before injury took its toll. He went on to form a successful media career in Denmark.

Kjeldbjerg


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I have a rather curious answer to the next query which was sent in by Stewart Morland, the recent purchaser of a batch of match programmes. One was for a game between Ajax and Chelsea dated 20/10/68. It is printed entirely in Dutch so Stewart wants some more info on the match. This is where it becomes curious.

That is because on that date Ajax played Telstar in the Dutch League and won 9-2. Chelsea had played Leicester the day before (19/10/68) and then DW Amsterdam in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup the following Wednesday, so it is hard to believe the programme was for a game between Ajax and Chelsea. The only match between the sides anywhere near that date was in July 1970.

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I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to raise the subject of Chelsea taking on German sides given the events of 19th May this year. Faruk has asked how many games we have played against German opposition and what the balance of results has been.

Taking the question to mean competitive matches, I should begin by explaining that the result of a match that goes to a penalty shoot-out is normally entered into the record books as a draw, with the winner decided by the penalties.

However if you wish to count the Munich shoot-out in the Champions League final as a clear Chelsea victory, then we have beaten German clubs on nine occasions. In addition to those there have been three draws and German teams have defeated us four times.

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We will continue the theme of Chelsea games against the sides of one nation by turning to Alan Watson's email asking for our record against Scottish teams, including friendly matches. He has read about a match against Dundee United during a North American tour in the early '90s.

Almost all our encounters with teams from north of the border have been friendlies and I must warn that records are not totally accurate when dealing with non-competitive games from long ago.

We have only played one Scottish team in a competitive game - Greenock Morton in 1968/69 in the first round of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. Chelsea won 5-0 at home and 4-3 away.

I can be accurate on friendlies if we take it from the beginning of the 1980s.

During a pre-season tour in 1980 we beat Hearts 1-0, lost to Raith Rovers 3-2 and drew with Dundee United.

There was a famous friendly against Rangers at the Bridge to raise funds in the wake of the Bradford fire disaster. That game was in May 1985 and we beat the visitors from Glasgow 3-2.

We followed that up with a friendly against Rangers away in 1986, held mid-season after we had been knocked out the FA Cup. This time Chelsea lost 3-2.

Then there is the game Alan refers to, when we played Dundee United in Vancouver in 1992 and won 3-0.

We played Celtic on another trip across the Atlantic, again on the north-west coast but this time in Seattle. That was in 2004, the first pre-season under Jose Mourinho and we won 4-2. A pre-season home match versus Celtic at the Bridge in 2006 ended 1-1.

Since then we have played Rangers at Ibrox twice as part of our pre-season preparations, losing 2-0 in 2007 and winning 3-1 in 2011 (pictured below).

Rangers v Chelsea


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Karl-Heinz Piechazek is a Chelsea fan keeping the blue flag flying in Namibia and the motivation for his question is growing up as the youngest of three brothers with the two older ones being huge Arsenal fans.

Therefore Karl-Heinz asks about our biggest win over the north Londoners, presumably to use when family football debates next begin, but he is even-handed as he asks for our worst loss as well.

Chelsea's best league win over Arsenal has occurred on three occasions with a scoreline of 4-1 in our favour. Surprisingly they have all been away from Stamford Bridge with two coming in the same calendar year - the first in April 1960 and the second in the November that followed.

The other 4-1 win is still fresh in the memory when Alex, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda all hit the target at the Emirates and Kolo Toure scored an own goal. That was in May 2009.

Our heaviest defeat by the Gunners was 5-1 at the Bridge in November 1930, but we won't dwell too long on that.

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I'm going to finish this time by passing on a request for help. Peter Wollaston is working on an extensive Chelsea statistics book going far beyond first team matches. He has a lot of the info he requires but is missing some details of line-ups and scorers for the early seasons of the Chelsea reserve team, and for the team the club entered in the Eastern Counties League soon after the war.

He also requires details on scorers for such teams in the pre- and inter-war period. If anyone might be able to help then please contact Peter at p.wollaston@sky.com

Please contact statman@chelseafc.com for any follow-ups to this Ask Statman and any fresh questions. Once again I apologise if I haven't answered your question, I will be dealing with some more already sent in the next Ask Statman soon.