Friday 5 October 2012

Week 8: The most accurate predictions since Mr T predicted pain!

A Grambler walks into a bar and orders a pint.

The bartender says "hang on, aren't you a spreadsheet?  Or at very best a figment of some idiot's imagination with personality characteristics reflected upon it via a poorly written football blog?"

The Grambler replied "shut up and give me a pint, you beer-mongering scallywag!"

The bartender duly pulls the customer a pint of locally-brewed, weak lager and it retires to a booth by the window.  After a couple of minutes of enjoying the pint and the dulcet tones of The Carpenters emanating from the nearby jukebox, The Grambler was shocked to find that his table had started to rotate wildly causing the lager to spill.  Frustrated, the dataset approached the bar and ordered another pint.  Retiring to another seat so as not to tempt fate, The Grambler places his pint on the table only for it to start spinning rapidly, throwing it's pint glass accross the room.  Trying one more time, as these jokes always seem to have three attempts prior to the punchline, it found the same scenario played out.

Angered by this inability to enjoy a quiet drink, The Grambler approaches the barman once more and says "what the ruddy 'eck is going on here?" (having suddenly taken on the persona of a Yorkshireman),  "I'm just trying to enjoy a drink and your furniture keeps rotating!"

"Ah, well..." starts the barman.  "Seeing as you are a piece of data software..."

"I thought you'd enjoy a pivot table!"

Yes that's right, I've lowered myself to spreadsheet humour!  So about those predictions...

Game 1: Airdrie United vs Hamilton Acidemical
Prediction: Home win 
Oh yes, it's the crap Lanarkshire teams derby!  Clydebank Franchise #1 FC have taken only one point from their last five league games despite a good start to the season, whereby they won their first two matches.  Manager Jimmy Boyle has bemoaned his sides defensive frailties, commenting that they aren't comfortable on the ball, give it away cheaply and need to improve.  "We aren't confident enough on the ball and give it away cheaply. We need to improve" he told reporters.  Hamilton Acidemical, whose name suggests highly intelligent players with a home strip of robes and mortar boards, have fared even worse in the league this season.  Taking just three points from seven games, Billy Reid's side sit second bottom of the 
 First Division.  Do you know what would cheer him up?  Watching footage of himself falling on his backside whilst trying to grab the top of the dugout shelter.  On repeat.

Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 13/8

Game 2: West Bromwich Albion vs Queens Park Rangers
Prediction: Draw
The first of two Premiership games this week sees high flying West Brom take on bottom side QPR.  The Baggies, named so for their love of early-90s dance orientated music primarily coming out of Manchester, have impressed from the off this season, with three wins and only one loss in their first six games.  Steve Clarke has generally spent his career as an assistant but is proving that he is no Maurice Malpas with West Brom's current form.  He has certainly come a long way since his Eastenders days.  QPR meanwhile, are crap.  Ludicrously rich chairman Tony Fernandes has put a fair amount of money into the club and Mark Hughes has decided that, instead of investing it in youth or lesser known talent, he would like to buy fifty odd has-beens and watch them lose on a weekly basis.  Sitting bottom of the league and with an unpredictable rich owner who appears to know very little about football?  Get your bets in for the first managerial casualty of the season!  A draw is the best we can hope for, but even that seems unlikely.

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

Game 3: Forfar Athletic vs Alloa Athletic
Prediction: Away win
Yaaaaas, sitting here writing this 'ere blog and True by Spandau Ballet has just come on t'radio!  Anyway, where was I?  Ah, Forfar vs Alloa... The battle of the Athletics... Is that a derby?  I'm going to say yes.  Hah, hah, hah, haaahaaahaaaa (damn, this is going to be stuck in my head all day.)  Anyhoo, Forfar are another in-form team with an impressive five wins and a draw form their last six.  If they keep up this form, manager Dick Campbell will be back on the karaoke!  Alloa are six points behind their opponents with a reasonable three wins and a draw from their seven games.  They have good away form too, winning two thirds of their games on the road.  The last time the two sides met at Station Park, Forfar were comfortable winners with a 3-1 victory, could the Wasps be out for revenge?    
Saxophone solo!

Reliability balls: 4/10
Odds on this result: 13/5

Game 4: Chelsea vs Norwich City
Prediction: Home win
The current European Champions take on take on the current... em, Norwich.  Chelsea are unbeaten this season and have only dropped two points in a 0-0 draw with QPR.  Their impressive run has been aided by recent(ish) acquisitions of Eden Hazzard and Juan Mata.  They could have been joined by Athletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao but he went all Elvis Costello on them.  Norwich have not been having such a great time this season.  Last season, they exceeded expectations under Paul Lambert (let's see that again!), but since his departure for Aston Villa and the subsequent appointment Chris Hughton, they have failed to impress.  Currently sitting in the relegation zone with a poor three points from six games, the mustard-mongers could already be candidates for relegation already.  In case you can't tell, 'monger' is my affix of the week.

Reliability balls: 8/10
Odds on this result: 2/9

Game 5: Millwall vs Bolton Wanderers 
Prediction: Home win
"No one likes us, we don't care" so goes the old Millwall ditty.  Well they should care, because Craig Noone seems like a thoroughly decent bloke.  Millwall have been sulking around the bottom half of the Championship for the past two seasons and currently sit in the relegation zone with just eight points from nine games.  And thanks to manager Kenny Jackett, Millwall are the proud recipients of The Grambler's Childish Giggle of the Week award.  Bolton wandered out of the Premiership at the end of last season and don't look like they'll be making a quick return.  Former 'brilliant up-and-coming young manager' turned 'mediocre not-really-going-anywhere-fast middle-aged manager' Owen Coyle seems to have taken to blaming referees for his failures and his side are currently just three points ahead of Millwall.  And worse still for the boss, he is struggling to pay off his debt of raw materials to the spring factory.  That's right, he's owing coil (this joke is copyrighted and I will sue if you try to use it without prior written consent.)

Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 15/8

Game 6: Leyton Orient vs Sheffield United
Prediction: Home win
According to reliable sources (Wikipedia), Leyton Orient took their name from their founder who had worked for the Orient Shipping Company.  Initially called Clapton Orient, reflecting their home-town, the side moved to Leyton after the second World War therefore becoming Leyton Orient.  As the Orient Shipping Company was taken over by P&O, they should really be called Leyton P&O so that is how they shall be referred to by me for the rest of my life.  Please do join me in this campaign.  P&O currently sit right in the middle of League One (technically that would mean 12.5th) and have a home record of two wins and two losses.  Sheffield United have fared slightly better and are one of three teams to remain unbeaten in League One thus far.  The Blades (named so because of their fans love of Wesley Snipes) have won two and drawn three on their travels.  Could they put in a blunt performance this week?  Call it a stab in the dark, but I think this could be a winner.  Manager Danny Wilson could soon be for the chop.  Their strikers have been known to slice their shots.  I could go on....

Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 7: Brentford vs Crawley Town
Prediction: Away win
And finally we arrive in Brentford, a suburb of London which is famous for housing the headquarters of the Tie Rack.  And possibly some other stuff.  The football team have spent most of their existence dithering about the third tier of English football and currently sit tenth in the division with fourteen points.  The Bees' manager Uwe Rösler says "in the last few games we have had problems up front and haven't had too many chances."  They could learn a lot from their manager, who was the Premiership top scorer back in 1996... In a game of Championship Manager I once played...  Paired up front with Stefan Kuntz... Crawley have slowly been creeping up the table this season (the joke there was creepy-crawly in case you missed it).  They have perhaps been the surprise package in League One, with nineteen points in their ten games since promotion.  Top scorer and captain Gary Alexander will be hoping to make an impression against his former club.  I've heard he does a good Columbo. 

Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 13/5

The Grambler has spoken!  Go now and place your bets, lest ye be smited by the Great Grambling One!  Total odds for this week are 1,523/1!

Did you notice that this week's effort was on time?  Don't get too used to it... I shall be back between the hours of 9 a.m. Sunday and 11.30 p.m. Wednesday with the results.  I call it 'Royal Mail timing.' 

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