This feels a little like the past … the clock is ticking … and we are waiting for one lone party to pick
[Edit: JE finally picked early Saturday!].
So about a week ago I got a lovely e-mail from the people at the Premier League.
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:
So I ranked 14, that sounds pretty good! I wonder out of how many that is ….
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.
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.
West Ham United V Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs will win. Bilic will be fired.
Next week I’ll post a puzzle update – ooooh, how exciting!
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”).
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.
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.
This week was a bad week for yours truly – started with an exact pick of Bournemouth at home to Brighton (as did many) and then it was truly downhill.
But the week was actually far worse for me.
Not only did I have to watch the Citeh put 6 (six) past the Hornets, I also got to hear how “My picks suck” , “I’m doing badly this week”, “I’ve only got one exact score so far” from KMFE as I got pick after pick wrong and slowly got to realize I was being pounded. Luckily for me, AM had another dire week !
What you should remember is that it doesn’t matter if you didn’t pick Burnley to draw with Liverpool because no one did! In fact, the only person who picked Burnley was Liverpool super-fan LJ. Seriously, what kind of a fan are you? You’re worse than Carragher!
But on to the results for the week. For those who don’t think there’s randomness to this it should be noted that ML is Mark Lawrenson the expert picker and former Liverpool player. He didn’t pick Burnley to win because he’s not blinded by his fan insecurity!
The My first picks were not bad but I ended up with some last minute changes that did me in. Time to do what this week’s winner BE and runner-up KMFE did and just go with my gut and guess! Let’s see how that goes this week.
But seriously… Congratulations on being this week’s winner and runner-up.
OIt’s only week five and already we’ve hit on what I will call the stupid schedule.. games played on a seemingly random schedule. Speaking of random, here are this weeks mix of numbers.
I don’t have a theme this week and I’m a but tired after the stressful couple of weeks so just a bog-standard summary this week.
Bournemouth vs Brighton & Hove Albion
This game is an easy pick. It’s a 2-1 pick all day long every day – especially every day after the game has been played. A number of us already got a jump on the leader board though with the popular pick.
Chelsea vs Arsenal Almost a unanimous decision provided here. It’s hard to know if that’s respect for Chelsea or disrespect for the flat track bully that is Arsenal. I’m tempted to pick an upset here as one of the key factors cited in Chelsea’s advantage is that Gary Cahill is fit. Well,he’s in the Top 5 overrated players in English football – slow, not poised, and looks uncomfortable on the ball.
Will be a strange atmosphere due to the increased police presence after the Parsons Green tube.
Crystal Palace vs Southampton Woy’s Boys are back. If he can accomplish with Palace what he did with England, we should expect Palace to finish in the top half of the table knowing they will fail to live up to their potential. I dub their new manager “Welegation Woy”.
Huddersfield Town vs Leicester City It’s hard to know what Leicester is this year – almost beat Arsenal (doesn’t prove much), beat Brighton (doesn’t prove they’re good) and lost to United and Chelsea (doesn’t prove they’re bad). I suppose an away win at Huddersfield who are seemingly tough to break down might go some way to convince us they deserve more their current position. The current news is whether Silva is a Leicester player or not having filed the final paperwork 14 seconds late – Sporting Lisbon want their cash either way. You could argue with FIFA over what 14 seconds could mean but quite a lot can happen in that amount of time:
Liverpool vs Burnley
It’s hard to know what Liverpool is this year – almost beat Watford (doesn’t prove much), beat Arsenal and Cwystal Palace (doesn’t prove they’re good) and lost to Citeh and Chelsea (doesn’t prove they’re bad). I read that Pre-Karius will be in goal because nothing is better behind a weak defense than a weak goalkeeper. Klopp going for the gung-ho style of football.
Manchester United vs Everton First time I’ve ever rooted for Rooney to score at the Old Toilet. Will be the first time I’m disappointed that he hasn’t.
Newcastle United vs Stoke City Newcastle fans always think they’re bigger than they are and a couple of wins later they actually believe they are. Wrong on both counts.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Swansea City
Spuds “will hope Hurri-Kane can blast in another couple of goals” [that joke from BE]. Swansea sounded like a Spuds midfielder last week (Dier) so Spurs should manage another win at “home”.
Watford vs Manchester City Unanimous this one. Watford lose. Citeh win. No arguments here.
West Bromwich Albion vs West Ham United The boing-boings disappointed last week and West Ham grabbed a win. Anything might happen but it will be so much more fun if Bilic gets fired.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Don’t see the Hammers losing this one even though I feel like they are a
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!
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.
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.
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.
Diego Costa is not in the plans but even with their most annoying player gone they are still the most annoying team.
Strategically exiting the Milk Cup to focus on the league was a good decision. Expect them to do the same with the FA Cup
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
Back then…everyone wore 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:
“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 🙂
No late picks this week. Everything on time just like the great British train service. So…just a quick run through.
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.