Round 09 2017/18 – Picks and Results in One

The Friday game caused some consternation this week but everyone got picks in.  I think they were all  made in time or with a degree of honesty but I don’t know what time this server runs on to know whether anyone cheated and picked a 3-0 result for the West Ham vs Brighton game after kick-off.

The Inspired Choices

As usual there are the standard across the board picks – everyone picked Manchester City and everyone picked Manchester United – and everyone was successful half the time.
As usual there were a few swing games that created separation in the leaderboard including Spuds playing against the 0-4-3 formation Liverpool and the Swans being eaten by the Foxes.

Winners and LJ

AB was this weeks winner with an exact (including the 3-0 Brighton score-line) a jump from last-to-first.  It tightened up after that and ended with LS and LJ being last.  I don’t want to say that LJ is not doing well but the aggregate scores show he is not doing well so I don’t have to! I haven’t really paid attention to the top of the table but I’m sure it’s no accident.

Overall Aggregate Leaders

The table below shows the table as it would be if our picks were all averaged into actual results.  I think this provides and interesting summary of where we hit and where we miss.  Use it as input into your picking strategy.

Mediocre aka Average Table

Here is another view that shows how your picks match to the actual table.  The number is how many places you are off the actual position.  So, for example, JCE (yours truly) has Watford 5 places lower in 11th and Southampton 3 places higher in 7th.  Not sure if I should change the signs and colors to make it more obvious or not.

How Bad Are We

Chelsea vs Watford
Watford will take the game to Chelsea and give them a run for their money.  They will hold it close and maybe have the lead as late as the last third of the game but they will likely end up just short.

Everton vs Arsenal
Everton have started the season poorly and need a good start to kick-start their season.  They will probably take a lead but the superiority of the London team will come through and they will win by 3 or 4 goals.

Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United
Trafford have not been dominant and Huddersfield are a solid defensive unit.  It will probably be tough for Man U to break through and score and I expect Huddersfield may sneak a win.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a make-shift defense gifts a goal to the home team.

Manchester City vs Burnley
Regular lack of suspense win for the Citeh

Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace
The eagles are struggling and Zaha being back won’t fix that.  Expect a NE win.

Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion
Tight game but the advantage goes to the home team.

Stoke City vs Bournemouth
I think this is the point where we start questioning whether Mr Hughes should be managing after Bournemouth pickup an important win.

Swansea City vs Leicester City
Swansea will struggle against Leicester in a low scoring affair.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
A lot of people think this could be close.  Those people haven’t seen Lovren play.  Easy win for spuds-u-like.

West Ham United Brighton & Hove Albion
We all know this was 0-3

Note:
It is easier to predict games on Tuesday!

This week’s Entry

Round 08 2017/18 – Results

Looked like I was going to win handily this week after correctly predicting a Liverpool versus Jose Mourinho in boring mode draw and an exact in a Burnley versus Hammers early on but it was not to be as my picks went slightly south and I lost out to AM again.  I’ve included Mark Lawrenson this week by mistake and he would have won had he been invited to play.

Homeless Looking Man

It’s scary to me that I remember that guy as a player.  It’s a reminder that I’m pretty old.

What is AB doing?

So, congratulations to AM who has edged ahead in the ME head-to-head!

Collective Genius

Above is the average table for all of us.  I’m tempted to remove AB because “two points”?  Do you even follow the Premier League? 🙂

Enter this week 

Round 07 2017/18 – Picks “Crystal Palace as Arturo Gatti”

Three late picks this week but hopefully they will get them in before the games start.
I need to buy JE a new alarm clock to remind him to get his picks in.

Time I got my Picks In

 

Guesses

Arsenal V Brighton & Hove Albion
Santi Cazorla is apparently scheduled to come back after Christmas which seems remarkable after the nightmare he’s been through trying to get in shape.  He is a living example of what 8 surgeries does to your muscle definition.  It’s a shame because he was such a skillful and creative player… a bit like Ozil (who looks a lot like Enzo Ferrari) if he bothered to actually show up and try.

Mesut Ferrari

The announcement ties in nicely to an comment received with the picks this week:

“German satirical film “Er ist wieder da” (Look Who’s Back) draws some similarities with current leader of USA — yet offers a far more articulate main character”

I’m not going to get all political here but the movie seems quite strange!

Back to the Arsene’n’all… even with Ozil’s running around a lot while not doing much the other 10 should have enough to keep Brighton quiet.

Bournemouth V Leicester City

Leicester have been seemingly decent and have suffered from a horrendous opening schedule but they only have four (4) points so it could well be that I’m once again overrating them as I did most of last year.  The Cherries have been equally dire and have slipped up frequently at the back.  A draw seems to be a fair result with Vardy running his tail off.  Leicester will take an early lead and Bournemouth will score late and everything in between will be a turgid affair… a bit like a dirt sandwich*

This Game, a.k.a. Dirt Sandwich [Book available at Amazon]
*Dirt sandwich is a euphemism for sh*t sandwich but my BE prefers euphemisms and nicer language.

Chelsea V Manchester City

Chelski and Manchester Pretty (see comment above) both won in Europe against Champions League foes in Europe.  Unfortunately, Aguero lost against a lamp-post in Europe.  Everyone seems to be expecting a high-scoring game so I just followed like a sheep.  I don’t think Chelsea are all that solid in the back.  Well they are decent at the back except for the England International.

Everton V Burnley

Soon Everton will have to play better.  Being bottom of a Europe League group says nothing positive about your team but they’re playing Burnley at home.  Koeman will force the defence to play better.

Huddersfield Town V Tottenham Hotspur

The Terriers will dig and try an get a result.  A result would be 0-0.  I don’t think they will keep Harry Kane from scoring.. and if they do… they’ll not stop Dele Alli from scoring… and if they do they’ll not stop Ericson….and if they do then maybe Lloris comes up for a corner to score or something.  Anyway, Huddersfield 0 Spuds More.

Manchester United V Crystal Palace

ME noted: “I have Crystal Palace to score their first goal this week…but they will still get thumped.”
That made me think of the poor Arturo Gatti facing Mayweather when Mayweather was Mayweather and Mayweather wasn’t Money.  Gatti would wander forward getting the odd jab in but would get thumped in return.  Watching the video you realize how good Floyd used to be – I don’t think you’d find a video of Palace showing how good they used to be.  I think the boys from near Manchester will end up winning.  I do think they’re not as good as people want them to be.

Newcastle United V Liverpool

As expected, after three consecutive wins the Tyneside fans thought they had a chance at Europe and started living in dreamland.  They’ll soon be shaken back to reality when they realize that they have to work hard just to stay up. Comfortable away win.

Stoke City V Southampton

Stoke are a sometimes spoiler team.  Southampton are sometimes a spoiler team. Two spoilers spoil the game.

West Bromwich Albion V Watford

The Hornets played WBA well both games last year and should have picked up six points.  This year Watford are three away wins in a row so clearly destined for Europe rather than fighting at the bottom of the table. Let’s make it four (4).

West Ham United V Swansea City

Time for West Ham to win.

 

Round 06 2017/18 – “”Hopefully no fairy story for Gareth Barry …..”

This feels a little like the past … the clock is ticking … and we are waiting for one lone party to pick

JE Time

[Edit: JE finally picked early Saturday!].

Everyone’s Picks Are In

So about a week ago I got a lovely e-mail from the people at the Premier League.

The Results Brilliant Football Mind

I didn’t even realize that there were prizes and as such I thought this might be spam so I logged in to my account and checked. This is what I saw:

Six Points short of the highest score of the week! If only I had played my triple points card!

So I ranked 14, that sounds pretty good!  I wonder out of how many that is ….

100 points short! If only I had a Completely Different Team

Turns out that the week before I was ranked about 4, 336,219 places lower!  Not random at all.

Well on to the picks for the week.  It was a terrible week last week predicting and that was with the advantage of knowing the result from Friday!

Arsenal V West Bromwich Albion

Today’s guest comment “Hopefully no fairy story for Gareth Barry …..”.  Chased by Arsenal a few years back Gazza is about to set a Premier League record for appearances overtaking another guy that you may have heard of.  I predict Danny Welbeck  is hurt and Ozil will be lazy.. but Arsenal will still win this one.

Barry – 632 Games and Counting
Ryan – Could Only Manage 632 Games

Brighton & Hove Albion V Newcastle United

Hughton will have set his stall out to gain points against the bottom tier teams (I know Newcastle fans *think* they’re a big team but they’re not).  Newcastle have won a few on the bonk but all runs come to an end and a tie seems inevitable.

Burnley V Huddersfield Town

Last year Burnley won everything at home and lost everything away.  This year it’s going to take a few games to figure out who they are.  Huddersfield are a low scoring and will sit for a draw.  I expect this to be 0-0 but might predict 1-1 because I want to see a couple of goals (and choices affect outcomes).

Everton V Bournemouth

Everton are a bit all over the place.  Bournemouth have been rubbish.  All over the place trumps rubbish.

Leicester City V Liverpool

Vardy is back and always scores 2 against Liverpool.  Liverpool don’t defend so add another to that 2.  Probably enough to hold off a scouse team that tries to outscore the opposition.

Manchester City V Crystal Palace

Everyone is expecting a lot of goals which is hardly surprising when the teams have combined for 11 in their last 2 games.  The route is on!

Southampton V Manchester United

I’m still not sold on Manchester United.  Expect it to be tight again with team from near Manchester getting a late goal to seal a wholly undeserved victory.

Stoke City V Chelsea

I always seem to think Stoke are worse than they are.  I also got into a habit of thinking Chelsea were worse than they are. I’m left with no choice but to pick the least worst team.

Swansea City V Watford

Hard game to pick and when that happens you go with the Bingo call.

Watford to get a Point Away? Quackers!

West Ham United V Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs will win.  Bilic will be fired.

 

Next week I’ll post a puzzle update – ooooh, how exciting!

September 21st 2017 – 1 Year

Last year I was going to do a post and I just never got to it.  I’ve lost what I had written but it’s the one year anniversary of the passing of Jack Rawlings, or as he was known to JE and me, Grandad. To others he was Dad (or sometimes just “silly bugger”).

GBR Player

He was, by all accounts, a very good footballer when he was young and this was proven by him playing for Great Britain at the ’48 Olympics.  He also had hair, apparently.   I obviously inherited all that great footballing talent but due to a lack of ambition and lack of practice I just didn’t play anywhere near as well as I probably could have if I had tried (or something like that).

I often think of him whenever I watch Arsenal play – I imagine he would think Ozil is soft, that Danny Welbeck is no Charlie George… and Arsene Wenger, while a great manager, is certainly no Matt Busby. I’m pretty sure he would have had a lot to say about the crazy money being sprayed around the Premier League now and comment on how much DiStefano would have fetched on the current day market (he was better than Neymar!).

His footballing career was curtailed by the war but I also read it was cut short by something else:  “At Hayes he had little to show for his greatness – one further cap, before he spoke his mind and was ignored ever more”.  That trait?  That I may have inherited as well.  In fact, I’m pretty sure due to a lack of ambition and  a lot of practice I’m about as good as I could be at that. 

I always hate it when people show pictures of someone that died as they were in their younger days.  I didn’t know my Grandad when he was 25, I only knew him when he was older and married and with adult children (obviously).  So that man that played for GBR? I obviously didn’t know who he was only who he would become.  The picture shown above is almost 70 years old, so here’s a more recent one which was taken as part of the “memories of 1948” site that was put together for the London games in 2012.

Wondering What all the Fuss is About

My grandmother used to say that when you died you would fly around the stars – I would like to think that he’s be up there having a kick-around.

Football in Space

Round 04 2017/2018 – Premier League Results

How quickly things can change.  In less time than it takes a hurricane to move from East Florida to West Florida a winner can turn to a loser and a loser can turn to a winner.

Winners and Losers

Our double winner, Mr AM, dropped faster than the air pressure in a hurricane and LS went higher than flood waters in a bad storm.

This week the most controversial incident was one that resulted in Liverpool getting thrashed and rekindling of that age-old debate at whether accidental decapitation should be a red card or not.

Mane Not Fouling Anyone

I will post an aggregate table next week.  And finally, congrats to BE for not coming last!

Round 04 2017/2018 – Premier League Picks

As a curiousity, I thought I would share the table of our average picks.  This provides some insight into who we collectively under and overrate.  I’m just glad to see that I’m not the only one who thought Crystal Palace would be better.

I don’t know how often I will post this but it’s available on request if you want it.  I also have it per user and it’s a little useful guide to see mistakes you are making if for example you have Manchester United P18 W18 D0 L0 GF44 GA8… which isn’t too far off what JE had after 18 games last year.

 

Average Table

 

But on to the picks which are a bit all over the place this week.  Could be interesting to see who makes a move…. will ME finally outscore AM?  Let’s see.  Game on.

Wild Ass Guesses

Arsenal v Bournemouth

Bad start for both teams and it will get worse for one… and not enough better to meaningful for the other team’s fans.  Arsenal fans need to start getting used to cheering home games against crummy opposition.  Flat track bullies.

Brighton & Hove Albion v West Bromwich Albion

Three goals between them so far but that stat is flattering to Brighton.  Can’t see a team going four games without a goal and I can’t see a team losing to someone who can’t score.

Burnley v Crystal Palace

Burnley were decent at home all last year so it’s not unrealistic to see them win.  It’s not unrealistic to see Palace lose either.

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur

A win will make a change for Spurs and maybe kick-start their season (which to date has been fairly meh).  A new logo needed perhaps?

 

New Home Logo

Leicester City v Chelsea

Not the team they were last year.  Either of them.  I have on idea who valued Drinkwater at the price he went for but he might start and be totally average against his former team.

Manchester City v Liverpool

My head says that I shouldn’t pick the Tactical One over the Normal One but at the Etihad a loss would be a minor disaster and that shouldn’t happen.

Southampton v Watford

So JE picked 0-0.  This week the moose will keep 11 on the field so the game will be a little more interesting.

Stoke City v Manchester United

Will be another game that’s dull and boring for 80 mins before United score two quick goals.

Swansea City v Newcastle United

After the highs of their large win two weeks ago come the lows of not beating a Welsh team.

West Ham United v Huddersfield Town

The Hammers have an international goalkeeper but they shouldn’t rely on him as he’s about as mobile as Bert.

Less Stiff Than Joe Hart

Don’t see the Hammers losing this one even though I feel like they are a

 

Watford Mish-Mash

Those that know me know that I recently have become obsessed with puzzles.  I recently bought the history of football.

 

Soccer Puzzle

Well, I did some more research and found out that the Artist is a big Watford fan!

So, I e-mailed the guy and said hello and purchased my very own Watford mish-mash poster for my office from his site (if I can find room).

Watford Mish Mash

Round 03 2017/2018 – Premier League Results

Keeping the results posts short and sweet this week and with some early analysis on the season.

Looks like AM is on an early roll and following the exploits of his team (GGMU) with a second consecutive week at the top of the table with three exact scores (thanks to my solid advice on picking 0-0 for the Watford game against Brighton).  I made another solid outing getting the fewest wrong again.  I do not know what to say about poor LS who managed to get EIGHT games wrong.  Ouch!

Some of us Guess Better than Others

I am producing an average pick table which I think provides some interesting early analysis.  This table shows the table as it would be if our average predictions were the actual results.  I produce the same for every person and can post them any time you are interested in seeing that level of detail.

Average Table (you can click on it to see it)

Analysis

Manchester United (A)
Listening to the commentators the title is all but over. Jose wins everything in his second year before leaving the team behind in a mess.
Good Times

Liverpool (A)
Quality opening day draw against the Hornets followed by two mediocre wins including one against Arsenal puts them as a potential league favorite.
Deadline day signings and lack of signings (Coutinho) bode well.

Huddersfield Town (A+)
Champions league beckons because Wagner is trained by Klopp and that means awesome things.

Manchester City (B)
Pep’s total approach to football is so advanced we expect it will take another year or two for the players to understand what he wants.

West Bromwich Albion (B+)
Tony Pulis’ team has started well as they always do. No one knows how other than his approach to football is so simple that it takes only a day or two for the players to understand what he wants.

Chelsea (B)
Diego Costa is not in the plans but even with their most annoying player gone they are still the most annoying team.

Watford (B)
Strategically exiting the Milk Cup to focus on the league was a good decision. Expect them to do the same with the FA Cup

Southampton (B-)
A decent start to the season means that it’s definitely reasonable to consider selling the top talent so expect Virgil to go to the scousers.

Tottenham Hotspur (D-)
Wembley is not a good place for Spuds,unfortunately they have 17 more games to play there.

Stoke City (C)
Mark Hughes is one of those managers that you wonder how he still has a job. I’ll let you ponder that too.

Burnley (B)
They sell their best player and have 4 points from Spuds, and Chelsea and everything looks great… but a home loss to West Brom means what? Have fun predicting this team.

Everton (C)
Looks like Rooney has found himself a new home. He also retired from International football which is fortunate as it coincides with him no longer being picked. Phew.

Swansea City (C)
The team managed by the most French person from Reading ever are lucky to be in the English Premier League (because they’re Welsh!) but they should be able to move on after Gylfi Sigurdsson finally left and they have structure to their team. What’s that? Hazard says that Llorente is going to Chelsea? Where will Batshit Batshuayi play?

Newcastle United (C)
Rafa has allegedly achieved “god-like” status on Tyneside. I don’t know if that means he’s Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, or Paul Gascoigne. I do know it’s hyperbole, which isn’t unusual for fans who are convinced they are one of the biggest teams in the country.

Leicester City (B)
This Leicester is better than last year’s Leicester and this year’s Vardy is better than last year’s Vardy. My biggest hope is that they are so average even Gary Lineker is lost for words.

Arsenal (D-)
Arsenal are at the arse end of the table and the arse end of the Arsene career.

Brighton & Hove Albion (D)
I remember Norman Whiteside ruining their dreams so many years ago. Wonder where he is? Wherever it is I’m sure he’s surprised where Brighton are. I don’t think anyone is surprised that they haven’t scored yet – Chris Hughton is no doubt proud of the effort.

Bournemouth (D-)
Not the best start to the year. Could be a long and hard season if they don’t sort it out quick smart. Not sure what to make of the team – they have talent moving forward but clearly losing to Watford makes them bad.

Crystal Palace (D-)
I thought Palace would be better this year. Call me an idiot.

West Ham United (F-)
Remember Aston Villa a couple of years back? Decent team that wouldn’t go down and just started badly turned team that continued badly and might go down and ended up team that was bad and went down? Now re-read that and replace one claret and blue team for another.

Remember – this week is an International Break so we get to see Malta take a thumping (you’d assume).

 

 

Round 03 2017/2018 – Premier League Picks

The Entry Form – The Error

A couple of you caught the slight error on the form in that caused your score predictions guesses to be emailed against last weeks games.  So the first game this week  is Bournemouth taking on Citeh… and the email showed your scores against for last week’s first game: Bournemouth against Watford.

I noticed when people had Watford scoring 3 or 5 goals.  Silva may be more attack minded that Mazzari but they aren’t scoring 5 any time soon.

The Entry Form – What I Miss

While the form is more efficient, easier, and keeps people’s peeping eyes of other’s predictions guesses I do miss the good old days of trying to enter hand written photos and  remembering the 80s when bands were bands and everyone was wearing short shorts.

George and Andrew take on United.
They wear short shorts

Back then…everyone wore short shorts….

He wears really short shorts

The Entry Form – What I Miss Part II

JE likes to make up team names.  I miss that.  I’ll have to think about how he can continue to incorporate his personality into the entries – I’ve tried to play along.

The Entry Form – Comments and Some Responses

Some people actually write comments.   Please do.  I really do like this and I will respond to the comments.

This weeks pick of the comments:

“Miss writing man shitty.”
I know you do.   But you got to write it in the comment so you didn’t really miss it at all did you.

“Mum likes romelu. Lol.”
I used to like him more.

“How was mark lanegan?”
I think we’re getting off topic but his voice appears to be working a lot better than his body.  Drugs, unlike milk, do not do a body good.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if the Hornets lose”
An image response for this one:

Going out on a Limb There.

“This weeks results will be [his picks]”
Last week’s winner getting a little cocky writing this with his picks !  Slightly taken out of context 🙂

The Picks

No late picks this week.  Everything on time just like the great British train service.  So…just a quick run through.

Wild Ass Guesses


Bournemouth V Manchester City
Lost at home to the Mighty Moose of St Albans and everyone writes you off… 0-3,0-5 at home?  Shitty (that’s for your JE) will win but it won’t be comfortable at all.  Did everyone miss the game where they salvaged a draw against Everton?

Chelsea V Everton
Everton are decent but I don’t see Rooney scoring three weeks in a row and Chelsea aren’t as bad as their opening game nightmare.

Crystal Palace V Swansea City
Two lower half teams.  It hasn’t been a factor in recent years but Selhurst park is loud and will give the Eagles and edge and let them defeat the Swans.  It’s not a must win but the Palace manager Frank de Boer has called it a must win.
If it’s a must win they must win.

Huddersfield Town V Southampton
Huddersfield averaged under a goal a game and play a possession heavy game.  This worked against Newcastle (barely) but this week they will fail to score and the Saints will slip in a late winner.

Liverpool V Arsenal
Everyone wants to believe Liverpool are better than they are and that Arsenal are better than they are….so everyone is hedging a draw.  Arsenal will give it a good run but will end up losers in a back and forth affair.

Giroud comes on the field and for once is not the worst haircut playing…until Firmino goes to the bench at least.   Jason Lee, we miss you.

Manchester United V Leicester City
The key moment in recent memory for Leicester was a 5-3 win over the Red Devils.  It would be really nice if they could repeat that feat but it won’t happen.  The foxes are a better team this year than last and aren’t distracted by the Champions League…  Lukaku will probably score a hattrick and take his shirt off for BE.

Newcastle United V West Ham United
West Ham.Are.Rubbish.

Tottenham Hotspur V Burnley
“Hopefully Spurs second away home game will be a better result!”   Where there’s hope there’s a way.

Watford V Brighton & Hove Albion
Easy win for the Moosemen now that we extricated ourselves from the Milk, Coca Cola Rumbelows Littlewoods League Cup.  Should be a thriller with Brighton holding out for a 0-0 draw against a  team no

West Bromwich Albion V Stoke City

If any game screams a draw this one is it. Reminds me of when I picked the Baggies as 1-0 every game.