That’s one of the great English soccer cliches, the table being what American sports fans call the standings. But this table shows my beloved Everton (picked by most to finish in the bottom three, which brings about demotion to a lower league) sitting in third place. We’re only one point (what you get for draw) behind Arsenal, one of the top ten teams in Europe, and three points (what you get for a win) ahead of mghty Manchester United. Might not this table be fibbing just a little?
It may depend on the meaning of “table.” Most tables don’t just list wins, losses, draws, and (hence) points, but also goal difference — the difference between goals scored and goals conceded. Arsenal and Man U leave us in the dust on goal difference and two other teams below us in the table have better a slightly better goal difference than we do.
On Saturday, we play one of those teams, Liverpool, our hated rival and perennial powerhouse from across the park (about a ten or fifteen minute walk, as I recall). This match is known as the Derby, a tradition I discussed here. If we win defeat the Red Sh**e, we will be twelve points clear of them, and I may begin to believe the table.
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