Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Week 11 results: Grambling in 25 words!

I shall be keeping this short and sweet.  For you see, today is the second anniversary of Mrs Grambler and I (Happy Anniversary Mrs G!) and so I have been very busy over the weekend and therefore unable to conduct the usual flawless journalism required around these parts.  

A lack of available time means that I shall be limiting each game to 25 words this week.  This will be a challenge!  And I'm counting a scoreline as one word!

As an aside, I did stop in the town of Ambleside over the weekend and had to fight the urge to add GR to the start of every road sign I noticed...

Game 1: Wigan Athletic vs West Ham
Prediction: Away win 
( x )
Ivan Ramis volley goal 1-0!  James McArthur strike, 2-0.  Tomkins last minute consolation.  Martinez happy man, Allardyce sad man... West Ham sloppy!  Yuck, sloppy ham!

Game 2: Bury vs Walsall
Prediction: Draw 
( ✔ )
Wayhey!  Will Grigg early goal, Walsall lead... Minutes later, Dominic Poleon equalised.  Home team have many chances but don't score; Walsall goalkeeper David Grof plays goodly.


Game 3: Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs St Johnstone
Prediction: Home win ( x )
Inverness throw it away!  Graeme Shinnie won penalty, Andrew Shinnie missed penalty. Billy McKay scores low strike, 1-0 Thistle!  Saints equalise in last minute!  Booooooo!

Game 4: Chelsea vs Manchester United feat. Mark Clattenburg
Prediction: Home win ( x )
Lots happened!  United 2-0 up, Chelsea fightback 2-2!  Young fell over, Ivanovic red card!  Torres fouled, dive!  Red card!  Hernandez goal wins!  Clattenburg sweary/racist?

Game 5: Livingston vs Greenock Morton
Prediction: Away win
Iain Russell, 8 minutes, GOOOOOAAAAL! 1-0 Livi...  Second half, Archibald Campbell, two goals in five minutes.  Morton lead!  Ten minutes left, Russell scores penalty, 2-2!

Game 6: Accrington Stanley vs Bristol Rovers
Prediction: Away win ( x )
Stanley win 1-0.  Goal from Padraig Amond.  Mark McGhee? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Game 7: Stoke vs Sunderland
Prediction: Away win ( x )
Riveting as expected!  Nothing happened.  Only incident, Huth handball - penalty denied.  Tony Pulis wore a hat.  Sunderland draw too much.  So do Stoke.  How boring!

Bonus points if you read every game whilst counting the words.

Overall, a week which was as forgettable as this write-up.  Hopefully we will get things back on track on Wednesday with The Grambler Halloween special!  It will be the exact same as the usual Grambler, but I will have a sheet over my head!

I could use the following quote from Robert Frost to sum up this week:

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on."

But have decided to alter it slightly to fit today's theme:


"In twenty five words I can sum up everything I've learned about life.  It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on."

- Robert Frost, poet and Grambler

Friday, 26 October 2012

Week 11: No longer available on Ceefax

For two weeks running, The Grambler has given us five correct predictions out of the seven games.  And you know what they say; Good things come in threes... Three is the magic number... Three times a lady...

On that basis, we can expect another set of 71.42857142857143% accurate predictions this week!

Game 1: Wigan Athletic vs West Ham
Prediction: Away win

The town of Wigan (not to be confused with the town of Wogan in Togo, which I imagine would be like the scene in Being John Malkovich where he ends up in his own head.  Only with Terry Wogan.) is well known as being more interested in rugby than football.  But under the stewardship of Roberto Martinez, the Latics have become known as a feisty side with an 'against-all-odds' survival record.  With five points from eight games this season, it looks like their fans could be in for more of the same.  West Ham have perhaps been this season's surprise package.  Having spent last season in Championship, they gained promotion the hard way via the play-offs.  Many expected them to struggle back in the Premiership but four wins and two draws from their first eight games sees them sit 7th in the table, level on points with Spurs in 5th.   The sides have already met once this season when Wigan visited Upton Park and won 4-1 in the League Cup, prompting Sam Allardyce to declare "we couldn't defend a fish supper tonight."  No comment needed there, really.
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 23/10

Game 2: Bury vs Walsall
Prediction: Draw
Bury have spent most of the season sitting at the foot of the table, but on Tuesday night they finally won a game; a first victory of the campaign.  This allowed them to leapfrog their defeated opponents Hartlepool but could it be the start of a winning streak?
Walsall started the season brightly, winning five of their first nine, but have not won a league game since September, causing them to slip back down the table.  A win here could push them close to the play-off places but they will have to make-do without Dean Holden, suspended after his sending off at Sheffield United.  Bury took all six points against their opponents last season which will give them some confidence.  They are also the only football team, in my knowledge, to have a former Prime Minister as mascot.  I shudder at the thought of some poor guy having to dress up in a novelty foam David Cameron costume in years to come...
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 3: Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs St Johnstone
Prediction: Home win
Following a mediocre start to the campaign, Inverness have found their feet in recent weeks.  Three wins a row, and five games without defeat, have pushed the Highlands club to fifth in the table, ahead of title favourites Motherwell.  Boss Terry Butcher has expressed his delight at the number of goals his side have claimed, with Andrew Shinnie leading the way on seven so far.  That should give his career a leg-up.  Not to be outdone, St Johnstone also had a poor start to the season, but have gone on to win their last five matches.  They now sit second in the SPL, which is the equivalent of 14th in League One.  A win for the Saints on Saturday would see them set a new club record for the most consecutive wins.  The ghost of Roy Castle will be watching on anxiously.  This game could go either way.  Or it could end in a draw.  Some wonderful insight there for you.  Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 13/10

Game 4: Chelsea vs Manchester United
Prediction: Home win
A game that will no doubt be hailed as an early title decider by the red-tops.  Or worse still, a TITLE DECIDER!!!  Chelsea have only dropped two points in the league this season in a goalless draw with QPR but showed that they do have frailties on Tuesday night, with a 2-1 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.  But any fans deflated by one European defeat can show their support for the club and boost their belief in the team by purchasing the Official Chelsea Christmas Countdown Gnome!  I bought four.  United are currently four points adrift of their opponents at the top of the table and will be wary of ending the day seven points from the top spot.  Sir Alex of Ferguson rested a number of players on Tuesday night, as his side faltered to a 3-2 victory over Braga.  His leaky defence will be an urgent concern but the starting eleven should include anti-racism t-shirt hatin' Rio Ferdinand.  Should the referee invoke little known FA rule 8.2, subsection F, paragraph 3 line 2 (which reads "and should any game reach its 72nd minute, and the officials feel the urge, the result may be decided by the quality and/or novelty factor of gnomes available in the club shop") Chelsea already have this tie in the bag.  Man United's gnomes are crap.     
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 13/10

Game 5: Livingston vs Greenock Morton
Prediction: Away win
Livingston currently inhabit the sixth spot in the league and already look set for a season un-threatened by relegation whilst failing to trouble the promotion contenders.  In nine games this season, they have taken 12 points leaving them ten points adrift of the top spot already.  Morton could be an outsider bet for promotion to the SPL, currently sitting third in the division on 18 points, just four behind the leaders.  The Greenock side's run of five straight wins was halted last week by a 2-2 draw when visiting Dunfermline.  Livingston have only won one at home this season whilst their opponents have managed two wins on the road.  The last time these two sides met at Almondvale, the fans were treated to a spectacularly entertaining goalless draw and they will no doubt hope for more of the same today.  Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 9/5

Game 6: Accrington Stanley vs Bristol Rovers
Prediction: Away win
Stanley had made an optimistic start to the season and were inhabiting the upper-reaches of the table until  the end of September.  Failure to take a single point from any of their last four games has sent them back down the division to 16th so they will be looking to get things back on track.  Accrington may however have to make do without their manager Paul Cook (or their cook Paul Manager, I get mixed up) as Chesterfield made an approach to lure him away to the Proact Stadium on Wednesday morning.  Bristol Rovers have faired worse in the league this season.  Just three wins in thirteen has left them just three points outside of the relegation zone.  Shows what happens when you give up on a good thing to go chasing money, eh Mark McGhee?  As with a number of teams, I cannot claim to know too much about Rovers, so turning to the ever-reliable Wikipedia for information: "Should you cast your eyes over the Tote End of the the old Eastville Stadium during the 70s, it would often resemble the famous bar scene in Star Wars."  Right...
Reliability balls: 4/10
Odds on this result: 2/1

Game 7: Stoke vs Sunderland
Prediction: Away win
Known for their free-flowing total-football style which is often compared to that of Barcelona, Stoke have now graced the Premiership for a number of years and picked up many new fans along the way, including Arsene Wenger.  The Potters have only been defeated twice this season yet somehow have only won once.  Probably a result of other teams 'parking the bus' when they come up against Stoke.  Also, legend has it that Tony Pullis always wears that hat to hide an ill-advised tattoo declaring his love for Lesley Joseph which covers his scalp.  Sunderland have a fairly similar record this season under former-messiah turned regular-manager Martin O'Neill.  With one win, one loss and four draws to their name, one could easily predict that this game is destined to end in a draw.  Having pinched a point at home to rivals Newcastle last week, the Black Cats could move into the top half of the table with a win this weekend.
Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 3/1


The past few weeks have seen some pretty poor odds appearing around these parts, partially a result of semi-believable predictions and partially a bookmakers conspiracy to stop The Grambler.  However, this week's spectacular mix of away wins and downright ridiculous predictions gives us odds of 1,993/1.  

Place your bets now!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Week 10 results: Join my happy song!

How cruel Grambling can be!  One week after that famous victory, The Grambler produced it's best league predictions to date.  Yet the bet was destroyed before we had even reached 3 o'clock on Saturday.  If not for two results, I would proudly be adding a cool £349 to the Bobby Moore Fund fund (fund) this morning.  But alas, Millwall could not find that winning goal and Dumbarton are... well, shit.  Do you know who I blame?  George Osbourne.  It's always his fault.

By way of consolation, I did get a Tweet or Twit retweeted or retwitted by the BBC which was fun.  Clearly the sarcasm detector on their live text was broken though...

Game 1: York City vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
A double from Ashley Chambers sealed a comfortable-ish win for the home-side and gave them their first win in four matches.  A curling shot in the 19th minute opened the scoring but the visitors pulled level four minutes later when Luke Wilkinson levelled the score with his noggin.  A determined Chambers scored a second before half-time, with the Minstermen starting to take control of the game.  The lead was extended in the 65th minute when Matty Blair slotted home from close range.  
The midfielder clearly had a better game on Saturday than he did in midweek training when a dummy (an actual dummy) not only got the better of him, but injured him in the process.  Wilkinson scored a another for the Daggers with just seconds to go until full-time, but it was too late to be of any real significance.  His mum said that he would get extra pocket-money this week for scoring two goals which cheered him up a bit, and he has been promised a trip to the zoo next Saturday if he behaves himself.  City manager Gary Mills said of this result "Dagenham play how they play and you have to win as many second balls as you can."  Chortle, chortle, titter and perhaps guffaw!

Game 2: Swindon Town vs Scunthorpe United
Prediction: Draw 
( ✔ )
Sc***horpe took advantage of having an extra man on the field to grab a valuable point away from home.  Swindon's James Collins, who is not the same James Collins as James Collins, grabbed the first goal after 18 minutes of play with a shot from five yards.  And the Robins could have and perhaps should have (dear Facebook users everywhere, please note the correct use of 'have' in this sentence.  Not 'of' but 'have'!) doubled their lead minutes later when Matt Richie found himself through on goal with just the keeper to beat, but Sam Slocombe kept his side in the game with a save worthy of Sieb Dykstra.  In the 33rd minute, the home-side's Aden Flint picked up a second booking and was sent for a metaphorical early bath.  Swindon managed to hold on to their lead until the 56th minute when Karl Hawley headed in from Mark Duffy's cross.  Neither team could bring themselves to score a winner and everyone agreed that they had a lovely day.  Meanwhile, the Swindon Advertiser maintained the high-standard set by local newspapers everywhere by sending a reporter to the game who failed to notice what the score was.

Game 3: Crystal Palace vs Millwall
Prediction: Millwall 
( x )
A spirited fightback from Millwall against a ten-man Palace side was enough to secure a point but not enough to make me like them in the slightest.  In an eventful Saaaaaath Laaaaahndan derby, with ten yellow cards and one red, the home side drew first blood when Mile Jedinak used his Jedi knack to FORCE an opener.  Actually he didn't really, it was a 30 yard strike from the Aussie who may or may not be a real Jedi.  Just moments later, Palace found themselves two in front when Damien Delaney headed in a cross, presumably with his head.  But the game changed minutes before half-time when Darius Henderson's goal-bound shot was blocked the hand of Dean Moxey.  Moxey protested with the referee, claiming that he was convinced that his side were allowed the playground-staple 'any-man-save', but ultimately he was dismissed and the resultant penalty was tucked away by Liam Trotter, who refused to get pig-headed after scoring.  In the second-half, Millwall drew level when Mark Beevers deflected a shot in with his thigh.  It was not the prettiest goal, but Beevers couldn't give a damn.  Unfortunately, not even the introduction of Shaun Batt could complete an animal themed victory for Millwall, who were happy with a draw.

Game 4: Dumbarton vs Falkirk
Prediction: Draw 
( x )
Dumbarton continued their poor start to the season with another insipid performance.  The Bairns started brightly and early pressure on the Sons paid off as Lyle Taylor chipped the ball over the onrushing opposition keeper.  Falkirk had to deal with a bad injury moments later when youngster Stephen Kingsley came off slightly worse in a 50/50 tackle, breaking his nose in the process.  God nose how much that must have hurt!  Kingsley was replaced by defender Chris Smith (alright Chris!  You never told me you were getting a game for Falkirk...)  The visitors extended their lead on 32 minutes when the ball fell to David Weatherston who found himself unmarked in the box and blasted past Jamie Ewings.  The second-half started brightly for Dumbarton who had the ball in the net after a goal-mouth scramble, but the linesman flagged for offside.  Not to be outdone, the Bairns had a goal ruled out just sixty seconds later as Luke Leahy (winner of the Most Star Warsy Name of the Week award) was ruled to be offside at the other end of the pitch.  Dumbarton managed little else in the half as another listless performance ended in defeat.  If I were a betting-man, I would put my money on them being relegated.  Hang on a minute...
  

Game 5: Liverpool vs Reading
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
Brandan Rodgers finally got his first win at Anfield in unconvincing fashion as Liverpool meandered to a 1-0 win over Premiership strugglers Reading.  Seventeen-year-old Raheem Sterling was a sparkle of glitter in the festering turd that is Liverpool.  (Please note: the previously used metaphor has achieved three things; a) Made me feel abject disgust with myself, b)  Made me feel slightly nauseous and c) Prevented every over-sensitive Liverpool (i.e. every Liverpool fan) from ever becoming readers of The Grambler).  A neat flick from Luis Saurez put Stirling through on goal on the 29th minute.  The England under-21 cap took two touches to control the ball before smashing it past Alex McCarthy in the Reading goal.  Liverpool dominated most of the game but lacked a finishing touch; it is little wonder that Rodgers has stated that he will be bidding £19.5 million for Michael Higdon in the January transfer window.  Both Adam Le Fondre and Jason Roberts came close to equalising for the visitors but Brad Jones, deputising for the injured Pepe Reina, kept his side in front with some good saves.  It also worth mentioning Reading midfielder Jobi McAnuff because his name is jobby and this amuses me greatly.

Game 6: Partick Thistle vs Airdrie United
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
This was not only a win for Partick Thistle but an emphatic win, with the emphasis on PHAT!  A 7-0 thrashing of Airdrie pushed Partick back to the top of Division One and maintained their 100% home-record; during their five games at Firhill they have scored NINETEEN goals and conceded just TWO (I have been studying The Sun for journalistic tips and realised that capitalising ARBITRARY words emphasises the POINT for idiots).  Chris Erskine scored a brace, Aaron Muirhead bagged a penalty, former Motherwell duo Steven Lawless and Ross Forbes got one apiece,  as did Sean Walsh and Kris Doolan.  To add to Airdrie's embarrassment, substitute Scott Sally was dismissed in the 76th minute for having a really girly name.  
Also, seeing as Star Wars has been mentioned a few times already this week, here is an interesting fact: Partick Thistle are the only football team in the world whose name is an anagram of Sith pickle tart, which is Darth Vadar's favourite dish.

Game 7: Hull City vs Ipswich Town
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
Hull leapt into the Championship play-off places after coming back from a goal down to defeat a lacklustre Ipswich side.  Hull had started brightly, but the first goal came against the run of play.  Former Arsenal prospect turned Championship floater-abouter Jay Emmanuel-Thomas jinked into the box on 29 minutes and fired low past Hull keeper Tori Ben Amos to give the Tigers the lead.  And it looked like it would stay that way - both teams had squandered chances and with 70 minutes on the clock, Ipswich looked to be winning their second game of the season.  But it was at this point that Steve Bruce decided to introduce German summer-signing Nick Proschwitz.  Within four minutes, the striker had his first goal for the club, turning in a Ahmed Elmohamady cross.  With Ipswich looking likely to take a point at least, Poschwitz popped up again in the final minute of the game - Elmohamady once again doing all of the hard-work and the German turning the ball into the net to claim victory.  Ipswich manager Paul Jewell admitted that he may not have much longer at the helm after this defeat, which is a shame because he has set a shining example so far.

My belief in The Grambler has been restored after another fine performance!  After many weeks of under-performing, like Olivier Giroud, it has shown that there is still a lot of potential, like Olivier Giroud.

The next chapter in the Grambling saga will commence on Thursday afternoon.  Like Olivier Giroud.

"I am convinced this last goal will also do me a lot of good"

-Olivier Giroud   



Saturday, 20 October 2012

Week 10: I love to go a-Grambling, along the mountain track...

The taste of victory is still lingering in my mouth from last week, like when you brush your teeth and then drink some milk and end up with a weird taste stuck there for half a day.  Was it a fluke?  Or shall it be repeated today?  Only Gramblor, God of Grambling knows!

Here are some football game thingies:

Game 1: York City vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Prediction: Home win

York is a city known for many things... Yorkshire puddings, Yorkie bars, Dwight Yorke... None of those things, but many other things.  However, their football team is not as famous as these unrelated counterparts.  Last season was a good one for the Minstermen with victory in the FA Trophy followed by promotion back to the football league.  They have put in some impressive displays in their first season back in the league since 2004, with only three losses in the first twelve games.  Unfortunately, a few too many draws have left York in the bottom half of the table but a win today could see them closing in on the play-off places.  Dagenham & Redbridge are (is?) a youngster in the footballing world, having only been formed in 1992.  Whilst this makes them too old for Jimmy Saville, they are still a team in their infancy and hungry to prove that they can hold their own.  Currently sitting in 17th position, their main objective may well be to avoid the wilderness of the Conference League.  One win and three draws away from home suggests a team which is hard to beat on their travels.
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 11/10


Game 2: Swindon Town vs Scunthorpe United
Prediction: Draw

Swindon have had something of a resurgence under 'lovable rogue' Paulo di Canio, a man who openly claims to be a 'fascist and not a racist' (because, you know, the two are normally mutually exclusive.)  He has also described Benito Mussolini as being 'misunderstood'... And while we're on politics of the early 20th century, did you know that Mussolini's shift from socialism to fascism was funded by MI5?  Anyhoo, that all has little to do with football and Swindon sit 6th in League One, just two points away from second place.  Scunthorpe have not had such a great start to the season.  Nine points from the opening twelve games sees them languish third from the bottom of the division like a langoustine.  They have now gone four games without a win and have only taken one point away from home this season.  And to compound their misery, their team name frequently falls victim to the Scunthorpe Problem, whereby internet search engines add them to a blocked list due the appearance of a dirty word in their name.  Poor old Sc***horpe United! 
Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 11/4


Game 3: Crystal Palace vs Millwall
Prediction: Millwall
Crystal Palace have made a fine start to the season under the stewardship of Dougie Freedman and are currently fourth in the Championship, just three points from pace-setters Cardiff.  But Palaces have a tendency to crumble in time and if the team has been built on weak foundations, they might find themselves evicted from the play-off places.  In their last game, they emerged as victors in a seven-goal thriller against Burnley, with much-coveted youngster Wilfried Zaha scoring a double, so expect goals-a-plenty again today.  The lions have not had such a fine start to the season.  Currently sitting just outside of the relegation zone, manager Kenny Jackett will be hoping that his side's form improves lest he has to Jackett in.  Millwall appeared in The Grambler a fortnight ago and on that occasion, victory resulted in the sacking of their opponents manager.  But Freedman has a better standing at his club than Owen Coyle had at struggling Bolton, so there is little chance that he will be freed, man. 
Reliability balls: 4/10
Odds on this result: 12/5



Game 4: Dumbarton vs Falkirk
Prediction: Draw
Dumbarton are another team who have put in a Grambler appearance already and on that occasion, they allowed Livingston to defeat them in order to keep the coupon intact, nice chaps that they are. The Sons, who took their nickname from the rare occurrence whereby each player is someone's son, have had 'a couple of setbacks recently' according to the official website.  Well, that is one way to put it... Having picked up just two points this season from eight games, they are rooted to the bottom of the first division.  Falkirk have not fared much better.  Having started the season as one of the favourites to challenge for a spot in the SPL, Falkirk have taken seven points from their eight games and the Bairns fans have started to call for manager Steven Pressley's head.  Other fans meanwhile have suggested that this would be harsh and just want him sacked.  
Reliability balls: 3/10
Odds on this result: 14/5


Game 5: Liverpool vs Reading
Prediction: Home win
Liverpool have managed to be the most unwatchable and disagreeable team in the Premiership over the last few seasons.  Dull football and support of unpleasant racists under Kenny Dalglish has been replaced by dull football and support of unpleasant racists under Brendan Rodgers.  Rodgers decision to send Andy Carroll out on loan could come back to bite him with the news that Fabio Borini will be out injured leaving unpleasant racist Luis Saurez as their only recognised striker.  And worse still, Mark Lawrenson has predicted a Liverpool win.  Is that guy ever right!?  The Collins English dictionary defines Reading as 'the act of a person who reads'.  But I wouldn't read too much into that.  Reading were a regular choice in the pre-season predictions for relegation candidates and have lived up to expectations by spending the season thus far in the relegation zone. Striker Jason Roberts has made headlines this week by refusing to wear a 'Kick It Out' anti-racism t-shirt this week as he feels that the organisation do not do enough to help the game of football.  For the same reasons, he should refuse to wear a Reading shirt (ba-zing!)
Reliability balls: 7/10
Odds on this result: 1/3


Game 6: Partick Thistle vs Airdrie United
Prediction: Home win
Plastic Whistle currently ride high in the First Division and look set to challenge Dunfermline for the top-spot this season.  They have a fantastic home-record this season; all four games played at Firhill won and also no goals conceded at home.  But they have shown that they are still prone to slip-ups, as seen in a 3-1 defeat at Morton a couple of weeks ago.  Airdrie will be travelling down the A8, onto the M8 and finally off at the A82 with a pretty poor start under their belts.  Only seven points from eight games puts them equal with the previously mentioned Falkirk.  However, their record on the road has been better than that at home, with four points taken during away games.  The Jags could be in for a prickly encounter if the Diamonds can produce a gleaming performance, otherwise expect the home-side to continue their 100% record.  
Reliability balls: 8/10
Odds on this result: 1/3


Game 7: Hull City vs Ipswich Town
Prediction: Home win
Hull City (named for Rod Hull, it was purely a coincidence that they happened to be based in Hull) have the greatest claim to fame in British league football; their name is the only one without any letters which can be coloured in.  They have made a reasonable start to the season under the stewardship of Steve Bruce and currently sit 10th and just two points away from a play-off spot.  Ipswich (a team that perhaps take their Tractorboys nickname a little too seriously) have rarely threatened the top end of the Championship in recent years and are currently second bottom of the division.  A win today cannot remove them from the relegation zone but would be a boost.  The board's approval to sign Nigel Reo-Coker (who has a silly name) suggests that they intend to remain in the Championship.  He could make his début today.  Also, I have a button which switches my internet on or off.  It's an IP switch...
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 4/5

How do you like them apples?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Week 9 results: V is for victoriousness!

It has been said that if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, over an infinite period of time one of them will bash out some Shakespeare.  It has never explicitly been stated where one would acquire such a number of typewriters in this day and age and under which circumstances the health and safety folks would actually let this take place.  But anyway, the point is that in a similar vein, The Grambler was likely to eventually throw up a winner.  And that time is now!  Well actually, it was about 4 0'clock in the morning on Wednesday...

In previous weekends, we have had odds of around 1,500/1.  Unfortunately, this weekend was substantially lower but the £49 won is almost enough to travel back in time to April 1787 (please note: expenses for the invention and use of a time-travelling machine or device have not been included) and purchase the Lardin House Inn located in Masontown, Pennsylvania.  Alternatively, it will be more than welcome in the Bobby Moore Fund fund, which has now reached... (the audience hushes in anticipation, Dermot O'Leary feigns a somewhat anguished look and a persistent rhythm not dissimilar to that of a heartbeat can be heard faintly in the background...) 

£59.03!!!

This victory was not without controversy; two accumulator bets were placed as a result of complicated online betting procedures.  The first contained just two games taking place on Friday night and was incorrect thanks to Scotland's almost inevitable loss (thank you Mr Levein, it would be sweetly poetic if the door DID hit you on your way out).  The second coupon contained the five games taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday and this, my friends, was the bet which has made history!*

*May not actually have made history. 

Game 1: Venezuela vs Ecuador
Prediction: Draw ( ✔ )
Ecuador will be happy with a point away from home which has kept them in second place, biting at the heels of Argentina like an otter who knows you have fish in your socks.  But it was the home side who dominated at the Estadio General José Antonio Anzoátegui (named after a man with the finest sideburns of the early 19th century.)  Captain Juan Arango (as in footballing team captain, he's not in the military or anything) was in fine form, and had his side in front early in the game with a stunning long strike giving Venezuela the lead within six minutes of the start.  However, Ecuador pulled even on the 22nd minute when Segundo Castillo equalised.  Arango tested the keeper once more from long distance and also hit the crossbar with a similar effort, but Venezuela had to settle for a single point.  The draw managed to push Venezuela into the top four which would be enough to take them to their first World Cup.  But there is still a long road ahead and Chile and Uruguay will also be eyeing fourth place.  Speaking of Uruguay...

Game 2: Bolivia vs Uruguay
Prediction: Home win ( ✔ )
What a seamless transition!  The country of Bolivia is named for Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco.  Presumably Simónjoséantoniodelasantísimatrinidadbolívarypalaciosponteyblancoland was deemed to be less catchy.  Their national team have qualified just once for a World Cup back in 1994, and gave their hopes of making this one a major boost with a fine win over better-fancied Uruguay.  Carlos Saucedo opened the scoring early and Gualberto Mojica made it two minutes later with a cracking free-kick.  After the interval, Saucedo added a third before claiming his hat-trick before the game had reached the hour mark.  Luis Saurez scored a consolation goal for the visitors with only ten-minutes remaining, but the home-team were already celebrating the win.  Disappointed Uruguay manager  Oscar Tabarez went all Craig Levein on us at the end of the match, stating "we must keep focused, there are seven finals remaining.

Game 3: Chile vs Argentina
Prediction: Away win ( ✔ )
Chile went into this game knowing that a win would see them move within two points of the top-spot.  But Argentina were determined to maintain pole position and managed to take all three points, much to the disgust of Chilean ambassador Jon Benjamin.  Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 28th minute with his third of the international break for Argentina.  Three minutes later, the Argentines had doubled their lead thanks to Gonzalo Higuian.  Chile created a host of chances but failed to score until stoppage time when Felipe Guttierez grabbed a consolation.  The draw has left the Chileans sixth in their group, but joint on points with Venezuela and Uruguay. And a joke to round-off the South American action; What do you call a Thundercat who plays for Argentina and lives with his mother who is repeatedly begging him to tidy his room? Lion-O Messy!

Game 4: Oman vs Jordan
Prediction:Home win ( ✔ )
A win for Oman Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex took level with Australia in the race for qualification from the Asian groups.  Ahmed Mubarak opened the scoring after 62 minutes and Juma Al Maashari made it two with three minutes remaining in the tie.  But Oman were in for a nail-biting finish as Jordanian Tha'er Bawab pulled one back immediately after.  The Omanians, if there is such a word, held on to take all three points much to the delight of Paul le Guen.  Yep, that's where he ended up.

Game 5: Wales vs Scotland
Prediction: Draw ( x )
Where to start with this, our only incorrect prediction of the week?  We could blame the officials for incorrectly ruling out Steven Fletcher's goal which have put Scotland two in front.  We could blame Gareth Balee for taking yet-another 'unfortunate' tumble in the box to win his side a penalty (something that seems to happen week-in week-out but he gets away with because he's the poster-boy for the Best League in the World™ and not one of them 'dirty forrins').  But really, it is much more satisfying to blame the all-round cluelessness of the manager.  Some facts for you:  
  • Berti Vogts lost the Scotland job after taking just two points in the opening three qualifiers for Euro 2006
  • George Burley lost the support of the fans and the media when he won only three games in the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, his one full campaign
  • Burley was finally sacked after losing against Wales in Cardiff
Craig Levein has now managed to emulate all three of the above.  He is now officially the worst Scotland manager in history (and highest paid!), yet still claims that he is doing things right.  Please leave, Mr Levein... We all know you are reading this!  Oh and I'm meant to say what happened during the game...  Morrison put Scotland in front, Bale dived for a penalty and scored it, Bale scored a second.     

Game 6: Romania vs Netherlands
Prediction: Away win ( ✔ )
Romania's perfect start to the qualifying stages came to an end on Tuesday evening as Holland scored four to preserve their status as favourites in the group.  Jermain Lens was first on the scoresheet in the 11th minute when he headed in from 20 yards.  That's some header!  Bruno Martins added a second when he headed in from a Rafael van der Vaart free-kick but the home side were given some hope when Ciprian Marca pulled one back with five minutes to go until half-time.  But before the referee could signal the end of the half, Gabriel Tamas conceded a penalty which was calmly scored by van der Vaart.  The second half was not to be as eventful and Romania rarely looked like coming back into the match.  In the 86th minute, Robin van Persie sealed the win with a fourth for the Dutch, who now look certain to qualify for the World Cup.  Romania meanwhile have slipped to third in their group but will hope that they don't Romania there.  

Game 7: England vs San Marino
Prediction: Home win ( ✔ )
The mighty England took another step towards qualification thanks to a flawless win against their fierce rivals... er, San Marino.  Or I imagine that's how The Sun will have spun it on Saturday morning.  Although a comfortable win for England, it took them a while to get into their stride.  For the first third of the match, the minnows put up a good fight and it took a penalty call for England in the 35th minute to start the goals flowing.  Wayne Rooney diverted the penalty and minutes later, his Manchester United team-mate Danny Wellbeck had made it two.  In the 69th minute, Rooney got his second and not to be outdone, Wellbeck once again scored minutes later.  England added a fifth via a goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who described his goal as 'spiffing' before hopping onto his thoroughbred horse, yelling "pip-pip and tally-ho" and riding back to his manor where his butler Reginald awaited him with a bowl of caviare and a fine brandy.   

Back to league football tomorrow and it's probably best not to get carried away on the back of one win.  But I can say with 100% accuracy that we will definitely be winning again this weekend!

"Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half."

                                                                         - Bum Phillips (Really, his name is Bum!)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Week 9: International Rescue!

Did you hear about the pack of Polos who took on some Foxes Glaciers at a game of football for no specified reason?

It was a MINTERNATIONAL!

Another weekend of World Cup qualifying matches and whilst there are options to choose from the lower domestic leagues, that would just be boring.  So this week, we focus on the international matches meeting the following criteria:
  • Are full internationals (no friendlies, no under 21s, etc.)
  • Count towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup
  • Occur between the 12th and 16th of October
This long weekend technically has two rounds of qualifiers and so we could see the same team appearing twice in the predictions.  However, I am going to allow this as:
  • It gives us more choice of games
  • I'm going away for the weekend anyway so there is no chance of the results appearing until at least Wednesday
Thankfully our racism-enduring, bribe-welcoming, corruption-riddled, technophobic overlords at FIFA have provided us with a handy list of fixtures from which we can Gramble.  So without further need for unnecessary bullet-pointed lists, here are the predictions:
  • The predictions are below
Game 1: Venezuela vs Ecuador
Prediction: Draw
Venezuela has been in the news this week as President and fellow bowel cancer sufferer (we call each other bowellies, as in 'Whassup ma bowelly?') Hugo Chávez secured re-election and celebrated by making a bus driver his vice president.  This game gives Venezuela the chance to leapfrog their opponents in the qualifying group and depending on other results over the weekend, they could go joint second top.  The 'Zuela defeated Paraguay in their previous qualifying match thanks to a double from Rubin Kazan forward José Rondón.  Whilst the people of Venezuela have had much to celebrate this week, the people of Ecuador have been rather gloomy, thanks to the news that banana production is down by 25%Thankfully, their football team are flying high in the qualifying group and currently sit just one point below leaders Argentine.  Coach Reinaldo Rueda has confirmed that Manchester United's Antonio Valencia will miss out but is still confident of a win to keep pressure on the leaders.  Ecuador also play fellow top-spot challengers Chile this evening, whilst Venezuela get to sit this one out.  Could the additional match count against them?
Reliability balls: 6/10

Game 2: Bolivia vs Uruguay
Prediction: Home win
Staying in South America like a (insert ill-judged and erroneous kidnapping victim joke here) we are off to La Paz.  And as Micky Dolenz once sang, "then I saw her face, now I'm a Bolivia..."  The football team also seem to have been prone to monkeying around lately, as they currently sit joint bottom of the group with just four points from seven games.  A win against fellow strugglers Peru this evening could boost their confidence ahead of this tie.   And thanks to a confusing time-lapse in this weeks write-up which Marty McFly would be proud of, I can tell you that this game ended 1-1; Peru taking the lead through Juan Carlos Marino and Bolivia whilst Bolivia grabbed an equaliser via Alejandro Chumacero.  Urruguay are team that more of us will be familiar with thanks to stand-out players such as Diego Forlan, Edison Cavani and horrible, racist, diving cheat Luis Saurez.  Saurez has been in the news once again this week as FA vice-chairman Jim Boyce said that his diving was a 'cancer' of the game.  In response, Saurez fell over and clutched his leg, rolling around in faux-agony.  Uruguay visited Argentina last night and were the students of a Lionel Messi master-class, as a brace from the striker and another from Sergio Aguero resulted in a comfortable victory.
Reliability balls: 4/10

Game 3: Chile vs Argentina
Prediction: Away win
The Grambler sure does like a spot of South American football!  Chile sit fifth in the qualifying group just now, but their chances of making the finals were dealt a blow last night with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Ecuador.  Two goals from Felipe Caicedo and a late one from Segundo Castillo sealed the win for the hosts.  Chile only grabbed a consolation through an own goal from Juan Carlos Parades, who will not be eligible to play for them against Argentina.  In addition, the dismissal of both Pablo Contreras and Arturo Vidal means that they will be missing key players for this tie.  Chile had started their qualifiers in spicy form but unfortunately, that form has been peppered with inconsistencies.  The same cannot be said of group leaders Argentina.  Favourites to top the group from the start, they have lived up to this promise and have taken seventeen points from eight games.  However, with Colombia and Ecuador snapping at their heels, Argentina will be desperate to win this game and gibe themselves some breathing space at the helm of the group.  With players like Messi, Higuain, Mascherano and Aguero in their ranks, it should be easy to guarantee a win.  But if they fail to achieve victory, don't cry for them.
Reliability balls: 5/10

Game 4: Oman vs Jordan
Prediction:Home win
What can be said about this tie that we don't already know?  A hotly anticipated fixture, one that has hardly been out of the newspapers since the fixtures list was announced, between two of the footballing greats.  It is said that in the UK, Oman replica shirts outsell 'Frankie Says Relax' t-shirts at a ratio of 14:1 [citation needed].  Oman are currently rock-bottom of Group B in the Asian qualifying matches.  But they have taken two points from their three matches so it is not all bad.  The problem is that they have only scored one goal thus far.  Can they overcome their shyness in front of goal to take their first win?  Their opponents in this match are reality TV whore and former glamour model Jordan.  Currently 78th in the FIFA rankings, they sit second in the qualifying group, behind foregone conclusion Japan.  They have one win, one draw and one loss so far, but eight goals conceded in these matches suggests a leaky defence and/or crap keeper.  Captain Amer Deeb has said that Jordan will be hard to beat during this campaign.  Unfortunately for him, his surname is defined in the Urban Dictionary thusly:   "Shortened version of Duckbutter, or the accumulation of sweat, vaginal discharge, anal seepage, semen,  blood, saliva, urine, etc. around the taint/gooch area."
Reliability balls: ?/10

Game 5: Wales vs Scotland
Prediction: Draw
“We can play better than that and will do in our next match.”  I bookmarked that quote back in September following a dire draw with Macedonia.  The quotee (if there is such a word) is, of course, Mr Craig Levein.  And the reason for remembering this quote is so that, should Scotland get any less than a win this evening, I have proof that Levein is not only a terrible manager, but also a liar and should resign immediately.  Worryingly, in the lead up to this game Levein has said "we will treat this game as we have treated every other one."  So the game plan is 'have Kenny Miller run about up front whilt the rest of the team occasionally punt the ball towards them but generally aim for a point.'  Obviously Scotland's campaign could have gone worse.  Days after a goalless draw with Serbia last month, Scotland were embarrassed by a 1-1 draw with Macedonia.  Meanwhile, Wales were being mauled 6-1 by Serbia.  So, using science to calculate football results, Scotland should win this one 6-1, right?  Steven Fletcher and Levein have (thankfully) put aside their differences but expect the Lovable Tramp on the touchline to remain too stubborn to play.  I firmly believe that Kenny Miller has pictures or some other dirt on the gaffer...  For the Welshlings, 'greatest footballer in Britain and 100% non-diver' (copyrighted by Match of the Day) has been declared fit but Bernard's son Adam Matthews is likely to miss out.
Reliability balls: 6/10

Game 6: Romania vs Netherlands
Prediction: Away win
In what could be an exciting battle for the top-spot in Group D, both teams have a 100% record going into this game and the result could determine the eventual winners.  Romania gained their third successive win against Turkey last night thanks to a single goal from Gheorghe Grozav.  Current captain Răzvan Raț has impressed at both national level and club level with Shakhtar Donetsk and thinks that his team can top the group.  Which is pretty good considering he only took to football when the Romanian TV station Antena 1 dropped the defender from their version of this classic.  The Netherlands will also be keen to make the World Cup finals having finished as runners-up at the last tournament, thanks to their combination of football and mixed martial arts.  They have had convincing wins over Turkey, Hungary and Andorra in the group and  could face their toughest challenge to date in the in-form Romania.  Following tlast night's 3-0 over Andorra, Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal said that his team had "not done enough" and so will surely be expecting goals galore on Tuesday.  It has also be reported that he has been suffering from crystalline concretions formed within the bladder by accretion of bile components.  Yes, he has Gaalstones.
Reliability balls: 7/10

Game 7: England vs San Marino
Prediction: Home win
Engerland play host, a team who are renowned for losing.  In typical England fashion, the squad has warmed up for this qualifier by making front page news for all the wrong reasons.  We have John Terry, the massive racist, making the front pages for being a massive racist.  Then there's his Chelsea team-mate, Ashley Cole, who decided that the best way to enamour himself to the beaks at the FA on the week of his 100th cap was to call them a #bunchoftwats, which translates to 'bunch of twats' for those of you are not Twitter literate.  Or Twilliterate as it should be called.  And then there is Jermaine Defoe, who last night was caught with a hotel room full of midget hookers and a no less than FIFTEEN boxes of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.  Please note, only two of these controversies are real.  See if you can spot the fake story.  San Marino, meanwhile, are still looking for their first competitive football win and have only won one game in their history, a 1-0 victory over fellow minnows Liechtenstein.  Still, they get bonus points for having a name that rhymes with Dan Marino, the American football guy in Ace Venture.   
Reliability balls: 9/10

Not a bad bet this week, eh?  Or it would be the case if I could actually find an online betting firm which was actually willing to accept the bet!  It would appear that South American games in five days time are rather hard to place a bet on so I will be going old-school and strolling into a bookmakers in an attempt to place this one!

I shall update all missing information on Saturday morning and with any luck, the bet will still be on.  If either of tonight's bets go wrong, I shall be cheating and sticking a five-folds on for the others.  


STOP THE PRESSES!  As an update to this, I was not even able to place this bet at an old-school bookmakers last night.  And fortunately so as Scotland lived up to expectations by losing to a team with one good (diving) player on the night.  So the bet is still technically on, I shall place the five-folds on Monday morning and that should mean that the chances of winning have improved...

Happy Gramblin'!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Week 8 Results: Different recipe, same great taste!

It would appear that at some point over the weekend, I pressed a big red button which said 'do not press' quite clearly on it and somehow managed to destroy this here website.  Thankfully, the world is still intact and all of the text still existed (there is no way I was re-writing that jibberish) but I had deleted the entire template.  Having spent the past few days rebuilding, I would like to introduce you to the new, improved Grambler!*  There is also now a frequently asked questions page (click over there somewhere).  If you have a question which you would like to frequently ask, feel free to use the comments section, send a message via the Facebook page or alternatively write it on a blank postcard and send to: 

KFC Customer Services
PO Box 57984
London W4 9AX

Back to the business at hand...   It was an average week for The Grambler with three of the seven results correct.  But it was an exciting weekend nonetheless, with 26 goals shared between the 14 teams involved.  That may be a Grambler record, I would check but I can't be bothered.  

*May not actually be improved in any way.

Game 1: Airdrie United vs Hamilton Acidemical
Prediction: Home win 
( x )
Hamilton had yet to record a league win this season as they visited the Excelsior stadium, which is either named for one of the largest gems ever found or a ship in Star Trek.  Since Airdrie are nicknamed the DIAMONDS, I'm going to assume it's the latter.  But I digress.  Accies dominated the first half but Airdrie nearly took the lead following the restart; a Stephen Hendrie back-pass was intercepted but Kevin Cuthbert did well to save.  This was to be the home side's only shot on target though, and in the 66th minute, Hamilton finally took the lead with Ali Crawford scoring his 4th of the season.  Six minutes later and the lead was doubled via a Louis Longridge header.  Stevie May, who appears to be related to Brian going by the hair alone, scored in the 83rd minute to make the score 'realistic' according to the Accies' website; they fail to confirm whether they are referring to philosophical, scientific or socio-political realism.  St Johnstone loanee May then rounded off a good day with a second from the penalty spot, the first spot-kick Hamilton have been awarded for forty games apparently.


Game 2: West Bromwich Albion vs Queens Park Rangers
Prediction: Draw 
( x )
West Brom continued their fine start the season with a win at the Hawthorns.  And it didn't take long to get the ball rolling, with midfielder and unbearably mediocre singer James Morrison notching the first on 5 minutes.  After 22 minutes, the hosts were two-up thanks to a goal from Zoltan Gera, the evil-looking-fortune-granting-whilst-unplugged-machine from Big.  Adel Taarabt pulled one back for Rangers before half-time but any chance of a come-back was buried when Congolese midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu swept in five minutes from time.  QPR did manage a late consolation via Esteban Granero, but Albion managed to hang on for the remaining seconds to record the win.  Man-of-the-match nominee Morrison made it into BBC correspondent Garth Crook's 'team of the week', alongside the outstanding claim that Roy Hodgson should be keeping an eye on him.  That would be Roy Hodgson, England manager, keeping tabs on Scott Morrison, capped 23 times by Scotland... This is the cutting-edge journalism that your licence fee is paying for!

Game 3: Forfar Athletic vs Alloa Athletic
Prediction: Away win

A sunny Autumnal day was not enough to bring out the crowds in Forfar - somehow Station Park defied all physical possibilities to host a crowd of minus 487 -  as the home side were edged out in another five goal thriller.  An early penalty was dispatched by Ryan McCord to put the visitors in front but the lead lasted just one minute as budget jeans salesman Danny Denholm levelled the score with a header.  The Wasps found themselves in front once more when defender Jason Marr scored his first goal for the club in the 22nd minute, and this time they managed to hold onto their lead for slightly longer; the score remaining the same as the players munched on their half-time bridies.  Eleven minutes from time and Denholm had once again pulled the home side level, a left-footed strike beating Alloa's Scott Bain.  But again, the reprieve was only temporary as just five minutes later Mark Docherty nodded the winner to seal the points for Paul Hartley's side.    
Sponsored link; For all your fashion needs, visit Danny Denholm's Discount Denims... The savings are in his jeans!     

Game 4: Chelsea vs Norwich City
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
Off the field, it has not been a great week for Chelsea.  Captain and alleged massive racist John Terry was found guilty of being an alleged massive racist whilst defender and all-round unlikeable guy Ashley Cole has been fined for calling the alleged bunch of twats at the FA a bunch of twats.  However, on the pitch it was back to business as usual.   It was a comfortable win for the league frontrunners, but it was Norwich who took the lead when Grant Holt drove in a 15 yard shot.  Fast-forward 20 minutes and any hope that City had of holding on to their lead had been demolished.  Fernando Torres headed an equaliser on 14 minutes and a trademark long-range strike from Frank Lampard put the blues in front.  Just after the half-hour mark, Eden Hazard put the home side comfortably in front, all of this in spite of a Ruddy good attempt from Norwich's goalie to keep them in the game.  Norwich had some chances in the second half through counter-attacks but failed to find the net and force a way back into the game.  Branislav Ivanovic made sure of the three points when he drilled in the fourth with 15 minutes remaining.  And for all of you football trivia fans; Ivanovic once challenged Deep Blue to a game of Buckaroo and won.

Game 5: Millwall vs Bolton Wanderers 
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )

Defeat at Millwall proved to be the last straw for the Bolton board, with Owen Coyle losing his job in the aftermath.  And what a cruel way for the manager to go, with a 90th minute goal winning the tie for the Lions as well as a missed penalty that could have granted the visitors a win.  Millwall started well and early on Danny Shittu had a goal ruled out by the officials.  I Shittu not, a push on the goalkeeper was spotted by the referee and the home-side were denied the lead.  Shortly after, they made amends when Darius Henderson's shot deflected into the net past a sprawling Adam Bogdan, whom I swear was in Harry Potter.  Five minutes after half-time, Chris Eagles levelled the game; a soaring shot from the winger flew past the flapping keeper and nested in the net (because he has a name what is like a bird, see?)  Eagles was then given the chance to put his side in front from the spot after a foul from Jimmy Abdou, but he blazed the kick over the bar.  And in the last minute of the game, Henderson grabbed his second whilst moistening the seal on the envelope containing Coyle's P45 (not literally, that would just have been weird.)     

Game 6: Leyton P&O vs Sheffield United
Prediction: Home win ( x )
There is not a great deal to say about this game... A lucklustre first half by all accounts ended with neither team threatening to score, the only reportable incident was an injury to  Blades keeper Mark Howard which forced the introduction of  18 year old keeper George Long.  The second half saw slightly more action and just before the hour mark, Nick Blackman scored a stunning match-winner from 25 yards.  Kevin Lisbie could have equalised for Orient, but his shot was well-saved by Long.  Following the match, Orient's chairman Barry Hearn resumed his mental claims that the club should move to the Olympic Stadium instead of West Ham, stating that the club will not exist in five years time unless they move and rename themselves London Orient (catchy).  Apparently Mr Hearn made his fortune as an accountant.  Then went bankrupt.  Then somehow made another fortune  as an accountant.  So he should be able to complete this quick maths puzzle; Saturday's match was attended by 4,882 fans.  Of these, 1,253 were Sheffield United fans.  The Olympic Stadium has a capacity of 80,000.  Showing your working, please calculate WHY THE FECK ANYONE WOULD THINK THIS IS A POSSIBLY GOOD IDEA!? 

Game 7: Brentford vs Crawley Town
Prediction: Away win 
( x )

In the first of two ties taking place between these two sides this week, Brentford emerged as winners thanks to a Clayton Donaldson double.  Brentford started the game well with 'Harry Forrester playing like a conductor controlling an orchestra in the first quarter and the rest of the Brentford players playing his tune while Crawley stood and admired.'  Thank you to the wannabe poet who does the Brentford match reports for that line.  Donaldson opened the scoring after 23 minutes when he slotted past Crawley keeper and former Manfredd Mann singer Paul Jones.  Nicky Adams gave the visitors hope with his goal in the 59th minute, having intercepted a poor back-pass.  But this was to be Crawley's only on-target shot of the game.  Donaldson secured the win with a neat chip in the 76th minute to move the Bees closer to the play-off spots.  And an insipid fact to round things off:  In what could be the most z-list celebrity coupling ever, Donaldson's partner is former Fame Academy contestant Pippa Fulton.  I bet you really wanted to know that.

So another week without a win.  From next week, I am thinking it might be a good idea to select my three favourite predictions (based on the reliability balls) and stick a separate bet on them as three correct seems to represent a good week.  Thus, the chances of raising money for those lovely Bobby Moore chaps would be increased.  Makes sense, no?

It is an international break once again this weekend, with a host of games taking place on Friday night.  I shall have the predictions online early on Friday morning for your enjoyment and/or ridicule.


"A frog in a well does not know the great sea."

-Ancient Japanese Proverb

(Nota bene: In this week's Rather Pointless Quote of the Week, The Grambler is 'the frog', 'the well' is the world of football betting and 'the great sea' is Scunthorpe.)