Friday 31 August 2012

Week 3: Deadline day drama for The Grambler!

Yes that's right, we have an EXCLUSIVE! deadline day transfer to inform you about!  Maicon to Man City? Nah! Berbatov to Fulham? Pah! Moutinho to Spurs? Splah!

Nope... For you see, and you heard it here first remember, I can report a transfer which will surprise, excite and arouse in equal measure.  The Grambler has moved from Microsoft Office Home 2010 to Microsoft Office Student 2007!  Exciting stuff, eh?

Well I hope you are all enjoying Deadline Day as much as I am.  The closure of the window   may prove to be the right time to change your fantasy football team or reconsider your regular  normal-people bets, but it has no bearing on The Grambler.  The draw has been made and I shall stand by the results until Sunday evening when I shall once again be cursing all fourteen teams involved for not fixing the games for the sake of my bet.  1:Onto business then...

Game 1: Leeds United vs Blackburn Rovers

Prediction: Home win
What is going on here!?  Three weeks of Grambling, three appearances for Blackburn Rovers!  The good thing is that one of these predictions was correct and the other was very close to being correct, if it weren't for the part where it was wrong.  Both sides have won two of their three games this season, although Blackburn sit higher in the league.  But Rovers have not won an away game since the 10th of March, against fellow relegatees Wolves (more on them later.)  Leeds have not been too busy in the lead up to the transfer window closure.  They have managed to extend the contract of prize asset Ross McCormack and added an experienced goalkeeper in Paddy Kenny and a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible twat in El Hadji Diouf.  The Chickenmeisters have added a number of new faces through the summer and have today finalised a club-record deal for Huddersfield goal-machine Jordan Rhodes and the Scrabble-winningly named Grzegorz Sandomierski .  Hopefully they will have woeful débuts.

Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 13/10

Game 2: Cheltenham Town vs Acrington Stanley
Prediction: Draw
Another familiar name popping up here in Acrington Stanley .  It is a random selection, I swear! Once again, the two sides have won two of their opening three games, with Cheltenham higher in the league due to a draw in their other match.  The transfer window has a lesser effect on the lower leagues, with loan signings still a possibility, but Acrington have managed to re-sign former midfielder and Benin internationalist Romuald Boco today.  Interestingly, the last three times that these two sides have met at Whaddon Road, there has been a win apiece and one draw so one could argue that they are evenly matched.  Even more interestingly, Cheltenham's manager once played guitar for 90s pop-rockers Terrorvision.  Either that or two people may have the same name, which is a ludicrous suggestion!  

Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 11/4

Game 3: Airdrie United vs Cowdenbeath
Prediction: Home win
Scottish football returns to The Grambler!  The original Franchise FC and disturbingly-meaty-sounding Cowdenbeath have each amassed six points in their opening three games with both teams having lost to Dunfermline this season.  Airdrie have won four out of their last five home games whilst the 'beath remain unbeaten in their last five away games so this could be close.  Not a great deal of activity from either side on transfer deadline day... Airdrie have added nine new faces (along with other body parts) over the summer, including Jersey Premiership player of the year Jack Boyle.  Wow.  They also appear to have a player with the surname Sally.  Meanwhile, Cowdenbeath have gone for Championship Manager tactics and signed a bunch of foreign players because they have cool names.  Theses include Pablo Navas, Zephaniah Thomas and Ruben Garcia Rey.  In conclusion, I don't have a clue.

Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 6/4

Game 4: Celtic vs Hibernian
Result: Draw
Staying in Scotland, we have our least likely result of the day.  Celtic are fully expected to ease towards the SPL title this season following the demise of Rangers and have thus far won two and drawn one.  Hibs had a poor season last year; despite reaching the Scottish Cup Final, they finished in 11th place in the league.  They have had a good start to the season with two wins, one draw and one loss.  They have also been known to turn on the style in the past when playing either half of the Old Firm, so who knows?  Celtic have however just qualified for the Champions League and so their players and fans will be full of confidence.  No new signings for Hibs thus far on D-Day but Celtic have added Nigerian Efe Ambrose.  A bit of a risky signing as I hear he was previously in custardy (Ambrose... Ambrosia... Ach, never mind!)

Reliability balls: 4/10

Odds on this result: 5/1

Game 5: Rotherham United vs Bradford City
Prediction: Home win
A second appearance for Rotherham United, and Grambler fans may remember that the previous prediction involving them was correct!  The Millers have had a reasonable start to the season with four points from their opening three games.  However, Bradford sit ahead of them in the league with six points from their opening trio of matches.  Rotherham have won four of their last five home games whilst Bradford have lost four of their last five away games, which makes this prediction sound promising.  The corresponding game last season finished with a 3-0 victory for the home side, so let's hope for more of the same!  Neither team appears to have put in any effort on deadline day which limits what I can actually write here... Did you know that the Chuckle Brothers hail from Rotherham?  I didn't know this.

Reliability balls: 7/10
Odds on this result: 4/5

Game 6: West Ham vs Fulham
Prediction: Home win
Woohoo, a Premiership game featuring two teams who have been busy before the transfer window closes!  The Hammers started the season with a win but then followed it up with a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Swansea.  They have reacted to this by adding Liverpool outcast Andy Carroll to their ranks.  In case anyone thought it was a dream, Kenny Dalglish genuinely paid £35 million for him...  Fulham had a great start to the season with a 5-0 win over Norwich but lost at Old Trafford last week.  They have had a busy day, signing Dimitar Berbatov and Keiran Richardson.  West Ham fans will be hoping that Fulham's midweek sale of Mousa Dembelle to Spurs will have weakened the team.  The Hammers faithful will also expect to see a massive switch in tactics this weekend, as Sam Allardyce uses all of his management nous to change from lumping the ball up the park towards Carlton Cole to lumping the ball up the park towards Andy Carroll.

Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result 6/4

Game 7: Cardiff City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers 
Prediction: Away win   
Our only away win prediction this week comes from Wales, where perennial play-off-pushers Cardiff face perennial relegation-sufferers Wolves.  Neither team has had the start to the season that they would have hoped for, each winning one, drawing one and losing one.  Cardiff have not lost in their past five home games but have drawn in three of those.  Wolves meanwhile have lost three of five away games.  However, this stretches back to their Premiership campaign where they were quite frankly awful.  Cardiff have one deadline deal to tie up, with the BBC declaring that they aim to 'capture' West Ham's Nicky Maynard.  Malky Mackay has been spotted outside Upton Park with an oversized fishing net.  Wolves may choose to start their new French signing Bakary Sako... Employing my constantly developing linguistic skills once again, I can confirm that his name translates to 'bakery sack.' 

Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 5/2

Quickly tallying things up on the Grambulator (a modified calculator), I am told that the total odds for this week's bet shall be...


The Bobby Moore Fund will surely be chuffed with this donation which is certain to be heading their way!  

I shall be glued to Sky Sports News over the weekend, hopeful of my first sweet, sweet taste of victory.  I hereby invite you to join me for the results and analysis on Sunday evening. 

Saturday 25 August 2012

Week 2 Results: That didn't go too well....

That looked like a good bet.  It did, didn't it?  Admit it!  Now, we are only in week two so I am not fully expecting to be correct every week, but surely I could not do worse than last week?  Oh.  

And to top it all off, The Grambler has gone beyond predicting games incorrectly and managed to pick one that got called off!  I'm starting to lose faith in this erroneous spreadsheet!  But the show must go on, as good ol' Freddie once said.

Here is a run down of this weeks results.  If you like, you can make that noise that occurs every time a ball is drawn in the National Lottery in-between each scoreline.  You know the one...  Try it, it is guaranteed to enhance your reading experience. 

Game 1: Norwich City vs Queens Park Rangers
Prediction: Home Win (Nay)
Do you know how disheartening it is to check the first result only to find that the bet is already screwed?  Quite.  Well that's how I felt today.  Glancing over the classified results with high expectations, I made it to the fourth game on the list only to realise that I would not be a thousandairre this week.  Norwich started brightly with Simeon Jackson heading them in front in only the 11th minute.  But what's this?  Another referee who has it in for The Grambler, thank you very much Mark Clattenburg!  Or should that say, Mark ClattenCHEAT!  With mental-haired Djibril Cisse tripping over his own shadow, the ref pointed to the spot.  Heroic Norwich keeper John Ruddy saved the spotkick only for Bobby Zamora (who was encroaching on the area according to every single match report) to score on the rebound.  Factoid of the day: I have urinated whilst standing next to celebrity Canaries fan and Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas.  I Tweeted him.  He didn't reply.

Game 2: Watford vs Birmingham City
Prediction: Draw (Nay)
Due to the previous result, by the time this game kicked off, it didn't even matter.  Just as well then... An impressive showing from Watford saw on-loan Udinese duo Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra net a goal each in a 2-0 win.  The Pozzo family who own Watford used their links to bring in both players in the summer and it seems to have paid off.  Birmingham rarely threatened to take control of the game, although Nikola Zigic (who is 9 ft 3 in and has a girls name) came closest for the visitors.

Game 3: Notts County vs Walsall
Prediction: Home Win (Nay)
How did this one go wrong!?  I gave it 9 balls!  According to my thorough Wikipedia research, Walsall are crap!  Yet, the visitors took 3 points following a 1-0 victory over The Magpies.  In what County manager Keith Curle described as a 'frustrating afternoon', both teams had their chances but Walsall's Andy Butler ((possibly) nicknamed 'Berk' by his team-mates after the character from kid's TV favourite The Trap Door) scored the decisive goal.  Following this victory, local Walsall personality George O'Dowd said "karma karma karma chameleon, you come and go, you come and goooooooo."  I have no idea what he's talking about.

Game 4: Blackburn Rovers vs Leicester City
Prediction: Draw (Nay)
Well if it isn't The Grambler's favourites up next.  Over at the Ewood chicken processing factory, two teams hoping to be challenging for promotion were vying for a draw to keep me happy.  It was all going to plan as well!  Rovers took the lead via a goal from marquee summer signing Nuno Gomes and Leicester equalised through striker and car-dealer's son Jamie Vardy.  Unfortunately, the selfish referee decided to allow the two teams another 35 minutes of play, in which time Blackburn scored the winner.  Pensioner Morten Gamst Pederson scored from the edge of the penalty area with 10 minutes remaining.  If The Grambler selects a draw for Blackburn next week I shall break my laptop in a fit of rage!

Game 5: Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace
Prediction: Away Win  (Nay)  
Staying with the Championship, Crystal Palace wasted a brilliant chance to win favour with The Grambler by purposely losing away to Middlesbrough.  Seb Hines put the Boro in the lead with a goal on his first start of the season and former Hibernian midget and Prince lookalike Merouane Zemmama doubled the lead with a free kick.  Palace's Jermaine Easter pulled one back from the penalty spot following a foul from Boro's Josh McCeachren but they could not find an equaliser, let alone a winner.  It rounds off a good week for the town of Middlesbrough, as the local council announced plans to repair the bus station doors and THE Fireman Sam visited the town!

Game 6: Wycombe Wanderers vs Bristol Rovers
Prediction: Draw (Void)
Technically not an incorrect prediction as this one was called off in the 66th minute due to a flooded pitch.  In August.  Global warming I tell thee!  It is probably a good thing too, as Rovers were leading 3-1 at the time of postponement.  Lee Brown had opened the scoring for the visitors before Richard Logan headed in to keep the Wanderers in the game.  However, a double by a Bristol player with the surname Richard pretty much wrapped up the three points.  I can't be bothered checking so I'm just going to claim that it was Cliff Richard.  Hopefully the people of Wycombe will remember to make a suitable sacrifice to the rain God Chaac prior to next week's fixtures.

Game 7:  Acrington Stanley vs Exeter City
Prediction: Away Win (Yay!)
And so we reach the end of this weeks Grambling.  And what's this?  A correct prediction?  Hooray!  My faith in The Grambler has been fully restored thanks to this lone correct prediction!  And Exeter won it in emphatic style too.  A 3-0 victory saw them control the game from start to finish.  Nomadic footballer Alan Gow scored a brace and  a final minute goal from Guillem Bauzà sealed the victory.  Points of interest from this paragraph: Point 1 - I actually had to check to see if this was THE Alan Gow and upon checking realised that I have actually watched the guy playing for Motherwell.  Forgot all about that.  Point 2 - I am no linguistic expert but it appears to me that if you translate Guillem Bauzà's name from Spanish to English, he is called Willy Balls.

Well what a week that was!  Starting out with the highest of expectations is clearly not the way to go about this.  From now on I will assume the worst.  Well not quite the worst.  The worst would clearly be that I sit down to compile next week's fixtures and John Barnes will burst into the room dressed as a clown singing Chim Chim Cheree... 

Some interesting statistics for you:

  • Since the start of this project (including the trial run week) The Grambler has gone from predicting 3 games correctly, to 2 and on to 1 this week.  If I were you I would not take my advice next week.  (Also, if I were you I would go and donate £10 to the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research!)
  • Which equates to a total of 28.57% correct predictions.  Doesn't sound that bad, does it?
  • I have now wasted a total of £4 on bets and £5 to register a domain name.  
  • This is a total of £9.
Please do join me again next Friday for Round 3!  In the meantime, here is a quote to help us all through these hard times of Grambling craptitude:

"The only sure thing about luck is that it will change."
                                                        -Bret Harte (Author and poet, NOT wrestler.)

Friday 24 August 2012

Week 2: If this were strip billiards, I'd be as naked as Harry.

John Motson: "Well what a fine list of results The Grambler is bringing us this week. Outstanding! Mark?"

Mark Lawrenson: "Yes, outstanding,"

John Motson: "I think it's safe to say that we will all be rich at the end of the weekend if we take the advice of the almighty one.  What will you spending your winnings on?"

Mark Lawrenson: "Well first of all, I'll be getting some new stockings and suspenders."

John Motson: "Ah, good on you Mark.  Treating the wife?"

Mark Lawrenson: "No."

John Motson: "..."*

And now that that nonsense is out of the way, here is what The Grambler tells us will definitely happen this weekend!

Game 1: Norwich City vs Queens Park Rangers

Prediction: Home Win
Hooray, it's our first Premiership prediction of the season!  And adding last week's results to knee-jerk reactions, I'm going to call this a relegation dogfight!  Chris Hughton started his Norwich career with a humiliating 5-0 defeat away to Fulham.  The Canaries have maintained the majority of the squad that were a delight to watch under Paul Lambert last season and there is no reason why they can't play like that this season.  QPR kicked the season off with an equally, if not more, embarrassing 5-0  home defeat to Swansea.  And with QPR continuing their mental transfer strategy of building the largest, overpaid squad of ageing players in the league by adding Ricardo Carvalho on loan, they may well be in for a long season.  Both teams will be keen to bounce back from the opening weekend but with a home advantage and more settled squad, I think this is a reasonable bet.  Reliability balls: 7/10.

Odds on this result: 5/4

Game 2: Watford vs Birmingham City
Prediction: Draw
Neatly moving from Chris Hughton's new side to his old side... Lee Clark now holds the metaphoric reins at Birmingham City and looked to have made a reasonable start with a 1-1 draw at home to Charlton Athletic, however this was followed by a 3-2 midweek defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.  Also starting the season with a new manager in the lovable Gianfranco Zola, Watford have had similar fortunes with a 3-2 away win over Crystal Palace (more on them later) followed by a 1-0 home defeat to Ipswich Town.  So home advantage might mean nothing in Watford's case but I have a gut feeling that they may edge it, especially if they start with legendary sitter-misser Chris Iwelumo up front.  A draw is not such an outlandish prediction though.  Reliability balls: 6/10.

Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 3: Notts County vs Walsall
Prediction: Home Win
Dropping down to League 1 now, we have a rather good prediction.  Notts County have had a splendid start to the campaign and currently sit joint top of the league thanks to a 2-1 away win at Crewe Alexandria and a 2-0 midweek win over Jeff's favourite team.  The Saddlers however have not had the best of starts to the season.  A 3-0 home defeat to Doncaster was followed by a 1-1 draw midweek as awesomely named Hungarian goalkeeper Dávid Gróf has already had to pick the ball out of the net 4 times this season.  Surely The Grambler will be accurate with this prediction?  Reliability balls: A whopping 9/10.

Odds on this result: 3/4

Game 4: Blackburn Rovers vs Leicester City
Prediction: Draw
I do believe that The Grambler may have a soft spot for the Rovers, that's two appearances out of a possible two!  Last week against Ipswich, a draw was also predicted and on that occasion, it was correct.  Huzzah!  Let's hope for more of the same!  This draw was followed by a 1-0 win at Hull with Colin Kazim-Richards (who for some reason I have always thought sounded more like a magician than a footballer) scoring in both games.  Leicester have had mixed fortunes in their opening games with a 2-0 win over Peterborough on day one cancelled out by a 2-1 loss at Charlton.  The Foxes have a strong squad and will be hoping for a good performance against the chicken-mongers of Ewood Park.  A draw could be a real possibility in this game.  Relaibility balls: 7/10

Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 5: Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace
Prediction: Away Win
If not a Blackburn fan, The Grambler is definitely a Championship fan, with yet another prediction from the second tier of Engerlish footerball.  And this is the one that I'm least confident about this week.  Middlesbrough, along with having home advantage at the Riverside, have had a passable start the season.  A 1-0 loss at Barnsley was followed by a 3-2 victory over Burnley thanks to a late winner from Luke Williams, who was named after the dog from 1915 comedy-short 'Fatty's Faithful Fido'.  Palace on the other hand have started the season in craptacular fashion, with two losses in spite of scoring 3 times.  Maybe Dougie Freedman's side are due a good result?  Reliability balls: 4/10

Odds on this result: 7/2

Game 6: Wycombe Wanderers vs Bristol Rovers
Prediction: Draw
Down the leagues we go again with a trip to Adams Park.  Both teams in this tie have made an unremarkable start to the season.  Wycombe got the ball rolling with a 3-1 win over York but then got the ball, em, unrolling(?) against Gillingham with a 1-0 loss.  Rovers got off to an even worse start, losing to Chesterfield but picking up a point as they visited Barnet on Tuesday evening.  By my reckoning, Wycombe's home advantage will be cancelled out by Bristol having the presence of former Motherwell favourite, and nephew of Uncle Phil, David Clarkson up front.  So I reckon a draw and so does The Grambler.  Just one more to get right and we're onto a winner!  That is obviously assuming that the previous six are also going too be correct... Reliability balls: 6/10.

Odds on this result: 9/4

Game 7:  Acrington Stanley vs Exeter City
Prediction: Away Win
Sticking around in League 2 like (insert name of perennial League 2 player here for topical funnies), we have another potential spoiler.  Nominees for best football team name in England, Stanley have picked up a maximum of six points so far and more impressively not conceded a single goal.  Manager Paul Cook will hope to serve up more of the same (badum-tish!)  Meanwhile City, who have a mediocre name at best, were defeated by Eric Morecambe on day one but may have restored some confidence with a midweek 2-1 win at Aldershot.  Manager Paul Tisdale will be hoping that his side will be in paul position in this game (thankyouverymuchI'llbehereallweek!).  Much like (insert name of rumoured bi-sexual footballer here for funnies), this could go either way.  Reliability balls: 5/10.

Odds on this result: 2/1

So there you go!  Not a bad wee set of results at all.  A couple of potential spoilers amongst them but that only helps to bump up the odds and win more donations for the good ol' Bobby Moore Fund.  Also, noteworthy that there is not a single Scottish game this week, suggesting that The Grambler is potentially some kind of massive racist.

So what are our total odds for this week?  A grand total of....


Woohoo!  We're all going to be rich on Sunday!  The latest game selected will be played at 17.20 GMT tomorrow evening.  Hopefully, the results shall be appearing on this webernet page following the conclusion of this match (between Watford and Birmingham).  If the scenario leaves us with 6 out of 7 correct at kick off time for this game, I shall actually be jobbying my pants. 

And I shall finish with that thought.

*Parts of this conversation may be a work of fiction.

Thursday 23 August 2012

1,000 Visitors!

Good news!  One thousand peoples have now visited this here website, which is nae too bad considering it's only been here for ten days!  

To celebrate, here is the only song I can think of one thousand in the title...

Please continue to spread the word and as always, have a swatch at the Bobby Moore Fund website!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Good luck Mr Sheedy!

The Grambler would like to wish Everton academy coach and former player Kevin Sheedy the best of luck in his battle against bowel cancer.  The former midfielder, who played for city rivals Liverpool before making 369 appearances for the Toffees, is due to undergo surgery later this week.

To find out more about this bastarding disease and help the fight against it, visit the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.  If you donate to them, I will be your best friend.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Week 1 results: Nearly as bad as Brendan Rodgers' début...

Well that is week 1 out of the way.  As per usual, I got excitable and convinced myself that I'd be rich by Saturday evening.  As per usual, it didn't happen.  But it was certainly one of my more intense viewings of Soccer Saturday in recent memory, as I prayed for Jeff to announce that Staranraer had scored 4 goals in the final 10 minutes!  Here is how the individual games turned out:

Game 1: Rotherham United vs Burton Albion 
Prediction: Home Win (Aye!)

A sound start for The Grambler as Rotherham mark the opening of the New York Stadium with a comfortable win.  The scoring was opened by former next-big-thing and Championship Manager 2001 leg-end Daniel Nardielo from the penalty spot after he was felled by former Aberdeen donkey Zander Diamond.  A Kayode Odejayi header and a Ben Pringle cross deflected into the net made sure of the win.

Game 2: Ipswich Town vs Blackburn Rovers
Prediction: Home Win (Aye!)

Not a bad start at all, señor Grambler... With just ten minutes left in this game, Blackburn looked set to take all three points in their first competitive game since relegation from the Premiership.  A goal from on-loan Galatasaray striker Colin-Kazim Richards had put Blackburn in front early on but Rovers defender Jason Lowe had other ideas, as he turned a Jason Scotland shot into his own net. Thank you for being so considerate, Jason!

Game 3: Port Vale vs Barnet 
Prediction: Draw (Naw!)
Aaaaw, it was going so well!  Another 3-0 win for a home team as Port Vale comfortably see off Barnet.  Lous Dodds opened the scoring after only 7 minutes and a penalty from Jennison Myrie-Williams in the 19th minute all but assured that The Grambler would not be taking any winnings this week.  In the 75th minute Tom Pope, who may or may not be related to the Pope, killed off my hopes of a Barnet fightback.  Damn.

Game 4: Forfar Athletic vs Stranraer
Prediction: Draw 
Probably the less said about this one, the better.  Goals from Gavin Swankie, Danny Denholm and Martyn Fotheringham, with a bonus own-goal kindly chucked in by Stranraer's Mark Staunton, gave The Loons a 4-0 victory.  On a side note, according to Danny Denholm's Twitter account, his dad farts on him.

Game 5: Fleetwood Town vs Torquay United
Prediction: Away Win  (Naw!) 

The Grambler was oh-so-close with this one!  Fleetwood Town dominated for large periods of their début game in the football league but couldn't find the back of the net.  Visiting Torquay could!  However, Rene Howe's goal was ruled out following a push in the penalty area.  ARE YOU BLIND REF, THAT WAS NEVER A FOUL!!!? I'm sure that both teams will be happy to start the season with a point.  I, however, am not and have removed referee Christopher Sarginson from my Christmas cards list.  

Game 6: Portsmouth vs Bournemouth
Prediction: Home Win 
This really would have been remarkable had it happened!  Portsmouth fielded a team of débutants following the release of their entire professional squad due to financial difficulties (to put it lightly).  Not match-fit and having only trained together since Friday, the mix of free agents and loan signings got off to a good start as Izale McLeod's 30 yard shot found the net.  Pompey held on for most of the match but the lack-of-fitness issue was evident as the players began to tire.  Southampton loanee Lee Barnard headed in the equaliser for Bournemouth with just 12 minutes remaining.  What a twat.

Game 7: St Johnstone vs Aberdeen
Prediction: Home Win 
I genuinely believed that this was my best bet and awarded it the highest number of reliability balls yesterday.  But last night, I saw an interesting fact; prior to this game, St Johnstone had defeated Aberdeen just once in their last ten home games against them.  Make that 11 then...  Isaac Osbourne put the Dons in front in the first half and Johnny Hayes doubled their lead just after the break.  SPL wanderer and Jimmy Floyd's nephew Nigel Hasselbaink gave the Saints some hope late on but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.

So there we have it.  Obviously, had I won this bet the rest of the predictions for the season would not have mattered and the excitement would have fizzled out all too quickly.  I believe that The Grambler has taken this into consideration and done us all a favour by making crap predictions.  

Thank you to everyone who followed this week's action!  If you enjoyed it, spread the word and we will make this thing a success.  I for one will be spending the entire week shamelessly plugging this as much as is humanly possible.  Hopefully next week's predictions will contain better research that is not entirely Wikipedia based also.  Why did no one tell me that Martin Grehan had moved to Alloa!?

Join me next Friday for round 2 of the predictions.  And in the meantime, consider this Yugoslavian proverb; "Nine gamblers could not feed a single rooster."  Right...

(Oh, and remember to take a look at The Bobby Moore Fund website. THEY RAWK!)

Friday 17 August 2012

Week 1: Let's get ready to Gramble!

So here it is!  "This is it!" as Michael Jackson once said before (allegedly) touching a kid then keeling over after a few too many un-prescribed painkillers.

The data has been downloaded, the formulae have been entered and the bet has been placed.  There's no turning back as Kelis appears to have said at some point.  But enough pop culture references, let's get Grambling!

Game 1: Rotherham United vs Burton Albion 
Prediction: Home Win

I would absolutely love to put my thoughts about this game here but I have to admit my ignorance - I know nothing about either team!  A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that Rotherham finished 1oth in League 2 last season whilst Burton Albion finished a lowly 17th, so perhaps The Grambler is onto something?  Also, Rotherham have former next-big-thing and Championship Manager 2001 leg-end Daniel Nardielo in their ranks so this prediction gets 8 balls out of a possible 1o (a scale I have just introduced this minute to compare reliability of predictions.

Odds on this result: 8/13 

Game 2: Ipswich Town vs Blackburn Rovers
Prediction: Home Win
I'm not too sure about this one... Ipswich have been rather poor of late managing a 15th place finish in the Championship last season.  Blackburn were beyond poor last season but have kept a reasonable squad after relegation from the Premiership and have managed to add a couple of big name signings, by Championship standards anyway, in Colin Kazim-Richards and Nuno Gomes.  However, Paul Jewell's men have the home advantage and Blackburn will be seen as a 'big scalp' to claim early in the season.  Reliability balls: 6 out of 10.

Odds on this result: 6/4

Game 3: Port Vale vs Barnet
Prediction: Draw
And after something of a renaissance period, with my knowledge of football kicking in, the ignorance is back!  Because let's face it, the only thing the average football fan knows about Port Vale involves Robbie Williams.  So back to Wikipedia and we learn that Port Vale finished 12th in League 2 last season whilst Barnet finished waaaaay down in 22nd place.  Shit.  Well, it is the first game of the season and both teams will inevitably have had departures and arrivals so anything is possible, right?  Plus, Barnet have Steve Kabba and Jon Nurse in their ranks.  They have fun names, right?  Reliability balls: 4 out of 10.

Odds on this result:  13/5

Game 4: Forfar Athletic vs Stranraer
Prediction: Draw
Ah, good ol' Scottish football, something I'm more comfortable with!  Except it's second division so, not really... Forfar, under the stewardship of Dick Campbell, finished last season 7th in the second division whilst Stranraer were close to making the play-offs in 3rd position. Forfar have home advantage which makes this result seem plausible.  They also have a guy called Michael Bolochoweckyj, which is just wonderful!  However, Stranraer have former Motherwell player and 'future Dougie Arnott' extraordinaire Martin 'The Greek' Grehan, which makes me think that Stranraer are guaranteed a win.   Reliability balls: 5 out of 10.

Odds on this result: 11/4

Game 5: Fleetwood Town vs Torquay United
Prediction: Away Win
The only away result predicted this week.  And I'm not sure that I like this one... Torquay had a good season last year, finishing 5th in League 2.  That would suggest that they will do well this season and walk all over newcomers Fleetwood Town.  However, big-spending Fleetwood also had a great season, albeit in the Conference League, and there will be high expectations from their fans as they make their debut in the football league, especially when starting at home.  The proposed loan transfer of QPR's former captain and Twitter philosopher (i.e. shite-talker) Joey Barton never came to fruition but they still have a strong squad.  Reliability balls: 4 out of 10.

Odds on this result: 11/4

Game 6: Portsmouth vs Bournemouth
Prediction: Home Win
And I thought we were in with a shout of winning something for a minute!  Portsmouth's problems have been well documented so I won't go into them too much.  Financial troubles have taken them from FA Cup winners and Premiership regulars to potential bankruptcy and League 1 in just a few short years.  Bournemouth, meanwhile, steadily plod along as a mid-table League 1 side, with an 11th place finish last season.  Portsmouth have just managed to get rid of the last of their overpaid  players and yesterday brought in ten league-football journeymen on a 1-month contract to fill the void.  One day of training will surely not have allowed these players to gel, will it?  Still, home advantage...  Reliability balls: 4/10

Odds on this result: 5/2

Game 7: St Johnstone vs Aberdeen
Prediction: Home Win
Nearly there, cheers for staying awake...  First of all, as a Motherwell fan, I am obliged to call Craig Brown an 'auld tit.'  With that out of the way, I think this is a reasonable bet.  St Johnstone finished in the top 6 of the SPL last season and qualified for Europe, although fell at the first hurdle.  Steve Lomas has made some shrewd signings up-front by bringing in Scottish Cup winner Craig Beattie and a former QPR striker and another Championship Manager leg-end in Rowan Vine.  Aberdeen, on the other hand...Well let's just say that things haven't been going to plan for them in recent seasons.  Karma for constantly stealing our managers methinks... Reliability balls: 8/10

Odds on this result: 6/5

So there we have it!  The bet is now placed and I have been given combined odds of... drum roll please... 1,574/1!!!  I'm going to be loaded by Sunday with plenty of cash heading for The Bobby Moore Fund!  Although we have the small matter of actually getting the results right first.

Thank you for visiting The Grambler, please check back on Sunday evening to find out how I got on.  And do check back weekly throughout the season, it's going to be a hell of a ride!

Disclaimer: I would apologise to fans of any clubs who I have offended but I really can't be bothered and don't care.  

Thursday 16 August 2012

The registered domain for The Grambler.

It actually just redirects to here as it is far too much hassle and expense to set up a decent website and update that along with this here blog and Facebook and Twitter... Sweet zombie Jesus, what have I got myself into!?

Still, tis pretty cool to have a proper domain, right?

Wednesday 15 August 2012

An opening ceremony of sorts...

I am hoping to get this show on the road tomorrow so long as the data is available.

Inspired by the success of The Olympics, it would be good to have an official opening ceremony. So here it is in the form of the ultimate betting anthem!

The Gambler by Kenny Roge
rs? Nope.
Ace of Spades by Motorhead? Nah.
Poker Face by Lady Gaga? I think not.

Clearly the greatest song ever written about gambling, I present to you....


Tuesday 14 August 2012

Monday 13 August 2012

The Grambler is now on Facebook!

As the title says really... 

The Grambler now has a Facebook page! 

Click on the link over there or go to and like the page to receive updates and summaries straight to your Faceybook account!

Sunday 12 August 2012

Week 0: A trial run...

Seeing as I have provided an example spreadsheet above (or below, I can never work out where posts appear in these blog doohickies), I may as well go ahead and take The Grambler ® for a spin...

Firstly, some blog news; a good budski (Scotty, take a bow) has given me the idea of being a good guy and giving some of my imminent winnings to charity.  So I have decided to up the stakes already.  Two bets of £1 shall now be placed each week (on the same results, The Grambler doesn't lie!)  One of the bets will be for the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research and 100% of the winnings shall be donated to them.  This is a wonderful cause that it is very close to my heart (and bowels) so check them out and consider donating please.  On the off chance that I fail to win anything at all this season, I shall donate the sum of all bets placed to the fund to avoid accusations that the money could have been better spent.  So now you have even more reason to spread the word about this blog, if you don't you clearly support cancer!

Okay then, back to business!  I have realised that the best way to do this thing is to add a first column to the fixtures list and number it accordingly (so 2 through to 21 going by the sample).  Then in the new sheet, the two Grambler formulas can be entered and pasted down the columns to produce the random numbers.  Following on from this, I have used a couple of reference and logical functions to fill in the details of each game allowing me to then place the bet.  Which I obviously haven't done this week.  Just as well really...

So here are the results from said trial run:

Success!  Well, not quite.  Whilst The Grambler may have been successful in making some predictions of sorts, only 3 out of the 7 were correct.  However, I am not ruling out my chances of becoming mega-rich just yet. 

The fixtures used here only took place in the Scottish leagues, meaning a total of just 20 games.  Had the spreadsheet managed to predict 7 results correctly, it would have done so by getting a massive 35% of the weekends fixtures right.  With 62 games taking place over next weekend, The Grambler will only need to pick the correct result for 11% of games.

I am fully aware that this means absolutely nothing but by throwing some percentages in, it makes it seem like I know what I'm talking about (see any Daily Mail article for evidence of this).

And so onwards and upwards!  The real stuff begins next weekend and I am rather excited about it.  Grambling glory surely awaits!

Saturday 11 August 2012

Welcome... The Grambler!

Take your shoes off, pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable, etc.

I suppose I should explain what this is and why we are here.  Well, this blog has come to exist on the basis of four facts:

  1. I enjoy football
  2. I like to place the occasional bet on football
  3. I am woeful at betting
  4. There is much fun to be had with spreadsheets
The 2011/12 season ended in spectacular fashion, but the one thing that was evident to me was that another season had passed whereby I had won practically none of my bets.  

Now,  I am by no means a huge gambler... I tend to place just a quid or two on a relatively large number of fixtures each week in the belief that someday it will pay off and provide a decent return.  It has occurred to me that this is, in fact, a mistaken belief.

Well, next week heralds the beginning of a new soccerballing season... Kind of.  Here in Scotland, we will be three weeks into the season and my team (Motherwell, thanks for asking) have an outstanding record of, erm... two draws out of two.  But I digress.  The point is that by the weekend, there will be a full list of fixtures in the UK which means two things... It's time to get a move on with your fantasy team and this would be an ideal time to put a coupon on at the ol' bookmakers.

However, this year will be different!  No longer will I rely on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of players, form, tactics and all things football to make me rich.  I now realise that there is more chance of me gaining monies by random chance.  And I actually mean random by it's true definition, not that "OMG he's like sooooooo random LOL" nonsense that the kids are all spouting these days.  This season, I shall be entrusting my weekly bets to....


Okay, now we're finally getting somewhere.  Here is the plan:  Each week where there shall be a full fixtures list in England (Premiership down to League 2 inclusive) and Scotland (SPL down to Division 3 inclusive), I shall create an Excel file containing all relevant games.  Obviously by create, I mean turn to the good people at who provide a weekly spreadsheet of all footballer fixtures known to mankind (perhaps).  Filtering on the leagues and dates in question will show the games of interest and allow me to delete the under 14s league in Papua New Guinea (no offence intended but they are of no interest to me).  So we now have something that looks like this:

Please note:  This spreadsheet shows the fixtures for Week 2 of the Scottish leagues and contains a load of betting odds, none of which I have any interest in.  I will use Bet365 simply because I have an account there and I am too lazy to open any others.  

The next step will be to delete all of the unwanted data to leave simply the league title, date and competing teams.  The games listings appear in alphabetical order by the home team, much like the majority of official football listings, bookmakers lists and media sources so they are staying that way.

Still with me?  Good.

Now I have an Excel sheet that is ripe for exciting formulae! Actually, not that exciting, basic is probably the word I was looking for.  One will give me a random number by which I can identify a game and t'other will tell me the result.  Thus, using the example, column A will give me a number between 2 and 21 (fx=RANDBETWEEN(2,21) if you're interested) and column B will give me a number between 1 and 3 (fx=RANDBETWEEN(1,3) if you're still interested).  In accordance with the betting site of choice, 1 is a home win, 2 is a draw and 3 is an away win.

So the next question is, how many games to place a bet on weekly?  And the answer is....7!  How did I work that one out?  Easy.  I used a random number generator (see, a theme is starting to emerge here!)

I shall use this process each week to determine which games to place my money on.  On each weekly coupon, I shall place a princely sum of ONE GREAT BRITISH POUND (depending on success and how many people are paying attention, I may up the stakes).  The spreadsheet shall do the rest. 

I shall update this 'ere blog twice weekly; once with the predictions for that week and any thoughts on the predictions, and again with the results and thoughts on the results.  It can't fail, by the end of the season I will undoubtedly be a millionaire!  

So join me for a whole season of fun as I entrust my hard-earned cash (well, about £40 worth of it) to an Excel sheet.  Tell your family, friends, enemies, etc.  Oh and while your at it, have a look at my other blog Rubbertoe Mankini: The Greatest Football Jokes Never Told.  It's self-explanatory really...

Any questions?  Ask away!

If you have found your way onto this page via the About The Grambler Link, please read the second blog post to find out how this has evolved into a charitable project hoping to raise funds and awareness for the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.

Oh, and the name?  Gambler + Random = Grambler!'