Posts Tagged ‘pundit’

World Cup Roundup

14/07/2010

So suggesting a bet on Holland in the final meant the bet of the day running total ended 0.77 units down, which isn’t awful considering two-thirds of the group stage were missed. In better punditry many of the pre-tournament tips came off. Of the more impressive ideas, I suggested Germany to reach the semi-finals @ 12/5, Argentina to get nine points in their group @ 12/5, Uruguay and Mexico to go through in group A @ 13/1 and Uruguay as an each way bet @ 66/1.

I wrote that England could well suffer a second round knock-out, while tipping Holland @ 9/1 almost came off. The goalscorer tips were a touch unlucky too with each way suggestions Klose (33/1) and Suarez (100/1) just missing out on the top four.  Enough gloating (there were plenty of dud tips too after all) and time for a few highlights and lowlights.

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Best Game: England vs Germany had controversy, some great football, good goals and it dispelled the hype surrounding so many of England’s stars.

Worst Game: Most of the ones in the first week.

Best Goal: Tshabalala’s in the opening match was great for the moment and Van Bronckhorst in the semi-final was great for the pureness of the strike but I think Villa’s first against Honduras tops both.

Worst Miss: Yakubu vs South Korea. Dear oh dear.

Most Dramatic 5 Minutes: Spain vs Paraguay gave it a good try, with three penalties in the space of a few minutes, but you can’t beat the end of extra-time in the Uruguay vs Ghana match. Goalmouth scramble, handball on the line and red card, missed penalty with a semi-final place up for grabs, undignified celebrations by the man sent off and then a penalty shoot-out shortly after. Wow.

Best Pundit: Clarence Seedorf. There weren’t many to choose from but he was insightful and refreshing. Some good features too.

Hero: Paul the psychic octopus.

Villain: Take your pick from Suarez, the Jabulani ball or the French team going on strike. Oh and James Corden too.

Best XI Of The Tournament: Casillas; Lahm, Puyol, Lugano, Coentrao; Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder; Mueller, Forlan, Villa.

Worst XI Of The Tournament: Green; Otamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Melo, Kaka, Ribery; Anelka, Rooney, Torres.

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T.

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World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 6

16/06/2010

Running Total: -1.8 units

Robinho did everything but score yesterday so the running total moves further down.

Today Spain should hopefully put on a performance against Switzerland, if not necessarily score lots of goals. Torres and Iniesta may both be kept on the bench meaning players like Pedro may get a chance to put their name on the scoresheet.

That said, we have to go with the main man up front David Villa. When you have players like Xavi, Silva and Mata all trying to set something up for you, odds are you score regularly. Let’s go for him as first goalscorer.

Bet of the day:

David Villa to score first vs Switzerland @ 3/1

T.

Season Predictions 09/10 – How They Turned Out

31/05/2010

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I’m still in two minds about whether to do season reviews for each club – to be honest I’m in World Cup mode now. Perhaps I’ll still get round to it though.

Back in August I played a mug’s game and tried to predict how everyone would finish. Here’s what actually happened:

'Expert' predictions...

Looking at the results showed I got just three clubs spot on: Man City in 5th and basement dwellers Hull and Pompey taking the bottom two places. In my defence I was only one place out with six other clubs but really this table looks like what it is, rubbish punditry.

I think if Gareth Southgate and Garth Crooks had a bastard lovechild it would look something like this predictions table (enjoy those nightmare thoughts kids).

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In terms of the thinking, I had found it really tricky to split the top three when writing pre-season predictions. My loyalties to Arsenal may have played a part in placing them second while I couldn’t bear to predict Chelsea as Champions even though deep down I knew they had retained the most strength over the summer.

A similar scenario led to placing Spurs 7th – I was hardly going to predict them a Champions League spot was I?! I underestimated Liverpool’s decline and overestimated Sunderland’s improvement.

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The biggest mistake was Birmingham, a full nine places out, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who had them down to struggle. Fair play to Alex McLeish (who I had as first sacking!), he brilliantly led them to a top half finish.

The bottom half was slightly better predicted clubs wise, if not positions wise. The dearth of quality is such that it’s pot luck as to where the likes of Bolton and Wigan finish. I got three of the bottom four right and on another day would have predicted Burnley to come in 18th not 17th.

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In terms of the cups and other stuff it went like this:

And I thought the league prediction was bad...

Oh dear. Only Bayern Munich correct and I suppose West Brom for promotion. If the Premier League table was the Southgate/Crooks lovechild then this is the resulting mess when said lovechild had a threesome with Alan Shearer and Jamie Redknapp. I literally couldn’t do any worse at being a pundit. Like I said at the beginning, it’s time for the World Cup…

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T.

Challenge Lawro Update – Weeks 27-28

28/02/2010

Lawro good, Football Guy ok, Sportboys bad.

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challenge lawro week 27

Week 27.

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challenge lawro week 28

Week 28.

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A monster couple of weeks for Sportboy P in which he got no incorrect results.

Sportboy T:

Correct Results: 46 (460 points)

Perfect Scores: 13 (390 points)

Wrong results: 67 (-670 points)

Total: 180 points

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Sportboy P:

Correct Results: 58 (580 points)

Perfect Scores: 10 (300 points)

Wrong results: 59 (-590 points)

Total: 290 points

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T.

Challenge Lawro Update – Weeks 18-26

10/02/2010

The longer I didn’t update this the more hassle it became but I’ve finally got round to it. Needless to say we are doing terribly and for all our talk are unlikely to finish the season ahead of Lawro, or indeed the Football Guy. He may be a decent pundit after all; still chats a lot of crap though. As always, 30 for a perfect score, 10 for a correct result, -10 for a wrong result.

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challenge lawro-week-18

Week 18.

lawro-week-19

Week 19.

lawro-week-20

Week 20.

lawro-week-21

Week 21.

lawro-week-22

Week 22.

lawro-week-23

Week 23.

lawro-week-24

Week 24.

lawro-week-25

Week 25.

lawro-week-26

Week 26.

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As you can see, pretty poor all round. Let’s look at the breakdown between the two Sportboys.

Sportboy T:

Correct Results: 43 (430 points)

Perfect Scores: 12 (360 points)

Wrong results: 62 (-620 points)

Total: 170 points

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Sportboy P:

Correct Results: 50 (500 points)

Perfect Scores: 9 (270 points)

Wrong results: 59 (-590 points)

Total: 180 points

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Sportboy P has upped his game and it’s essentially level as he’s predicted one extra match. Personal pride is about all we have left to play for so it will be interesting to see who comes top.

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T.

Challenge Lawro Update – Gameweeks 15-18

19/12/2009

A quick update on our failing attempts to beat Mark Lawrenson at the predictions game.

Challenge Lawro Week 15 - Sportboy P brings the score down.

Week 16 - Sportboy P once again messes it up.

Our first perfect scores in ages that week. Sportboy P was unlucky in that the Sunderland, Spurs and Man Utd games had somewhat unexpected results.

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Lawro is too lazy to do midweek matches so week 17 was skipped. On to week 18.

Week 18 Predictions.

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An update on how we’re doing between us:

Sportboy T:

Correct Results: 29 (290 points)

Perfect Scores: 10 (300 points)

Wrong results: 39 (-390 points)

Total: 200 points

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Sportboy P:

Correct Results: 32 (320 points)

Perfect Scores: 4 (120 points)

Wrong results: 42 (-420 points)

Total: 20 points

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The scores say it all…

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T

Challenge Lawro Update – Weeks 10-15

05/12/2009

It’s been an absolute age since I updated Challenge Lawro. For those that can’t remember, we’re taking on ‘expert’ pundit Mark Lawrenson at the predictions game. Also playing is the Football Guy. 30 points for a perfect score, 10 for a correct result and -10 if you’re wrong. We made a good start but are now lagging behind. The shame…

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Challenge Lawro Week 10

Challenge Lawro Week 10 - Very bad.

Challenge Lawro Week 11

Challenge Lawro Week 11 - Not bad not good.

Challenge Lawro Week 12

Challenge Lawro Week 12 - Bad.

Challenge Lawro Week 12

Challenge Lawro Week 12 - Alright actually.

Challenge Lawro Week 14

Challenge Lawro Week 14 - Quite bad again.

Challenge Lawro Week 15

Challenge Lawro Week 15 - Here's hoping...

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For what it’s worth Sportboy P is slightly more responsible for our shitness as even though he gets less wrong and more right overall, I get more on the money.

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Sportboy T:

Correct Results: 24 (240 points)

Perfect Scores: 8 (240 points)

Wrong results: 36 (-360 points)

Total: 120 points

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Sportboy P:

Correct Results: 30 (300 points)

Perfect Scores: 4 (120 points)

Wrong results: 34 (-340 points)

Total: 80 points

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T.

Challenge Lawro – Weeks 7, 8 & 9

18/10/2009

It’s been a while since I updated Challenge Lawro. For those of you new to this, every week we try and see if we can do better than Mark Lawrenson at predicting the week’s Premier League games. We’re also taking on the Football Guy and at the end of the season we’ll see who’s best. It won’t be Lawro that’s for sure. Simple scoring system: +10 points for a correct result, -10 points for an incorrect result and +30 points for a perfect score.

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Week 6 scores

Week 6 scores.

A great week 6 with positive scores in eight of the ten games.

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Week 7

Week 7.

An average week 7 but the lead is still good.

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Week 8 (oh dear).

Week 8 (oh dear).

It all goes very wrong in week 8 with a 100 point swing to the Football Guy and a 120 point swing to Lawro. Just two correct results…

Week 9.

Week 9.

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This week’s scores pre the Monday night match. Here’s hoping Fulham can at least prevent a second consecutive negative score. We’ve had no perfect scores in three gameweeks! Only a quarter of the season gone though.

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In terms of who’s doing better out of The Sportboys it’s pretty even but my three perfect scores in week 6 have me slightly ahead. I think P might be bang on the money with his Fulham prediction so it may even up tomorrow night.

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Sportboy T

Correct Results: 15 (150 points)

Perfect Scores: 7 (210 points)

Wrong Results: 21 (-210 points)

Total Points: 150

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Sportboy P

Correct Results: 19 (190 points)

Perfect Scores: 4 (120 points)

Wrong Results: 19 (-190 points)

Total Points: 120

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T.

The Six Pointer – Intelligent footballers, Lampard’s drought & more…

28/09/2009

That was the weekend that was.

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1. Wigan beat Chelsea on Saturday in what was probably the second biggest shock of the season after Burnley 1 Man Utd 0. Chelsea were all over the place from front to back and it was strange to see such poor set piece marking from them. Bramble scored the opener with a free header from a short corner and minutes later Wigan almost scored with the exact same move.

Drogba scored an equaliser but Rodallega then won a penalty after Cech took him down. I don’t think the Chelsea keeper can have any complaints (even though he does). Even though there was a defender running back to cover the goal line, a keeper preventing a goalscoring opportunity in the box will always result in penalty and usually a red too. Rodallega dusted himself down to score the spot kick and Wigan added a third after more poor defending.

All credit to Wigan who fully deserved the victory but it was definitely unexpected after failing to win their previous 34 games against top four sides. It will be interesting to see if it was just a one-off off day for Chelsea or the start of a similar downward spiral to last season. Ancelotti not really having any answers for the defeat says a lot.

A side note too on Frank Lampard who was stifled by Hendry Thomas. I don’t know if he’s just having a slow start but he ‘s only got one goal so far and that’s been from the penalty spot. Even though he’s nominally playing further forward compared to last season, perhaps the switch to Drogba AND Anelka is limiting his goalscoring opportunities. One to keep an eye on, fantasy football wise at least.

Not up to speed yet.

Not up to speed yet.

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2. Fernando Torres destroyed Hull on Saturday but Phil Brown’s side did not help themselves with some comedy defending. I know El Nino is great off either foot but Zayatte and Sonko were happy to oblige and just move in the opposite direction of Torres. An easy hat-trick for him was followed by a fortunate Gerrard looping cross which looped all the way into the top corner and then two Babel goals from close range.

Hull had actually equalised through Geovanni but unlike against Arsenal away a year ago they couldn’t go on to win. They are quite lucky that Portsmouth have lost seven straight, for there have been no other teams as bad as Hull. Brown’s luck has run out and it will be interesting to see if he can find a response.

Personally, I think he’s lost the dressing room and it’s only a matter of time before he gets sacked. Whether it happens early enough for Hull to avoid relegation (obviously it’s early days at the mo, but of they leave it till March etc…) is the big question.

Easy peasy lemon orange squeezy

Easy peasy lemon orange squeezy.

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3. Unlucky Portsmouth have not deserved to lose seven games on the bounce. After selling all their good players and bringing in the likes of Tommy Smith and Kevin Prince Boateng it’s no wonder they haven’t gelled yet. I caught the highlights against Everton and it seemed they had several chances and were lacking that bit of luck which tends to desert you at the foot of the table.

They aren’t fully adrift yet and have a decent run of fixtures coming up in which they can finally get some points. If the promised investment from Al Fahim comes then there may still be a chance to turn things around in January. It just depends on how much ground they’ll have to make up.

This looks like they've just found a picture of a private jet and just pasted his image on top.

This looks like they've just found a picture of a private jet and just pasted his image on top.

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4. Ryan Giggs made the difference for Man Utd for the second week running and now has five assists in two games, which is more than anyone else has managed all season. Fergie was subtly scathing of Nani when in his post match interview he said that Giggs had the intelligence to get into good positions.

Nani had been woeful again and lasted just 55 minutes before being hauled off for the Welshman. You do have to wonder if Nani will ever make it at Man Utd. This is his third season at Old Trafford and though he’s only 22, there’s been no sign that he has what it takes.

I know it took Ronaldo until his fourth season before he consistently dominated games, but even in the three years prior he had scored four, five and nine league goals. Nani has just five in his United career and I think there are times when you just have to cut your losses and accept that a player is not suited to the Premier League. Nani is one of those players and it would surprise me to see him ever make a sustained impact at Old Trafford.

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5. All three main (i.e. not Pavlyuchenko) Spurs strikers have hat-tricks this season and Harry Redknapp is beginning to make noises about how difficult it is to keep all three happy. I do believe it was you Harry who decided to buy all three so you can’t start moaning about how hard it is.

I’m still not convinced that Keane and Defoe is the best choice up front and I think the fact Redknapp is handcuffed somewhat by Keane being captain will come back and bite him on the arse. Having said that, it seems to be working for now and four goals is not to be sniffed at, even if Burnley’s defending was crap.

The most impressive performance from a Burnley defender actually came on Sunday evening when Clarke Carlisle was on MOTD2. He was really eloquent for a footballer and made some good points and insightful analysis. It beats the same old clichés spouted by the likes of Hansen and Lawro on the main programme.

Quite good as a pundit.

Quite good as a pundit.

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6. Another weekend with no draws and we’ve had just four this season from sixty odd games. I love the fact that teams are going for it and that we’re seeing so many more goals compared to last season. It gets said every year, but perhaps this genuinely could be the most open league in many a year. Either that, or the gap between good and bad teams is getting bigger meaning draws between them are few and far between.

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T.

Challenge Lawro – Weeks 5 & 6

19/09/2009

An update on our predictions battle with the Football Guy and the master of all things banal Mark Lawrenson.

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Week 4 scores (all my predictions):

Challenge Lawro Week 4 results

Challenge Lawro Week 4 results.

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Week 5 scores (all P’s predictons):

Challeng Lawro Week 5 scores.

Challenge Lawro Week 5 scores.

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This week’s predictions:

Week 6 Predictions

Week 6 Predictions

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T.


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