Friday 2 November 2012

Week 12: It's The (late) Grambler Halloween Spooktacular!

That's right, it's the 31st of October (or at least it was when I started writing this), meaning one thing: the chance to change every player's name in a ridiculously contrived manner so that they sound spooky!

This weekend we have the first round of the FA Cup meaning a lack of League One and Two games.  In Scotland, it's the third round of the Scottish Cup, meaning nothing happening outside of the top league.  So I have decided, what the hell, let's include both cup competitions.  There are always a few shocks and imagine the puns we could include if the draw brings out the Met Police team?  Before we get the pumpkin rolling, here is a topical joke:  

What do you call an annual celebration where children and adults alike disguise themselves as spooky characters or fictional persons, but only ones which are permissible by Islamic law?


(Please note: this is meant to be a play on words and I do not even have an embassy.)

Game 1: Morecambe vs Rochdale
Prediction: Away win

The ghost of Eric Morecambe can often be seen floating around the foot of the table in League Two.  They are a side surrounded by legendary tales of mythical creatures and even go as far as placing a ghostly-monster-beast in the very centre of the club crest.  They have thrice made it as far as the third round in the FA Cup, most recently in the 2002/03 season, but have yet to better this.  Rochdale, better known by their nickname 'the Dismembered Zombie Corpses', also find themselves haunting League Two after relegation last season.  The blazon on the club's arms reads 'argent a woolpack encircled by two branches of the cotton tree flowered and conjoint proper; a bordure sable charged with eight martlets of the field; and for a crest on a wreath of the colours a mill-rind sable and above a fleece argent banded or.'  Which is pretty damn creepy in itself.  The side were knocked out by Bradford at this stage last year and Captain Peter Cadaver will be keen to lead his side further this time around.
Reliability pumpkins: 5/10
Terrifying odds on this result: 9/5

Game 2: Bolton Wanderers vs Cardiff City
Prediction: Home win
Boo!lton started the season in frighteningly poor form which led to the beheading of Owen Coyle.  Dougie Freedman has come in from Crystal Palace insisting his new side can still manage promotion this season, but his chances of taking the Trotters back to the Premiership looked grim last weekend after a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.  In spite of sitting 18th in the table, Bolton have actually faired well at the Reebok Stadium, with only one loss and three wins at home.  Meanwhile, Cardiff have been terrifying all other teams in the Championship this season and some have even suggested an alliance with Lucifer himself, evident by their change to blood red strips and proud display of the dragon on their badge.  And by some, I mean 'no one.'  A 4-0 win over Burnley last weekend gave them a seventh straight home victory, but their away form has been scaring Bluebirds fans, with three losses on the road this season.  They will be relying upon top scorer Peter Witchingham to provide the tricks and treats.    
Reliability pumpkins: 6/10

Horrific odds on this result: 13/10

Game 3: Hibernian vs St Mirren
Prediction: Draw
Off to Beaster Road now as second-top meets second-bottom in the SPHelL.  Manager Bat Fenlon has turned his side's fortunes around this season after an 11th place league finish last season.  Hibs are just two points from the top of the table and comfortably won their last league match 4-0 against someone or another, I won't go into details... The Hibees are unbeaten at home this season but have lost three on their travels.  St Mirren, although finding themselves at the wrong end of the table, are only actually three points from 5th place Inverness.  Having lost their last three games, they will be keen to get their season back on track and may be filled with confidence by a penalty win over Aberdeen in their midweek cup fixture.  Their only away win this season was over relegation-fodder Dundee but captain Jim Goblin insists that his side have improved dramatically since last season  
Reliability pumpkins: 3/10

Blood-curdling odds on this result: 23/10

Game 4: West Ham vs Manchester City
Prediction: Away win
Or should that be Fred West Ham vs Scary Man-chester City?  The Hammers wos 'ere last week when they were told to beat Wigan but defied my orders.  That loss left them in 9th place in the Premiership but they needn't be too downhearted, as they are only a point away from fellow Londoners Arsenal in 6th place.  Manager Summer of Sam Allardyce (to keep the serial killer theme going) has predicted that Andy Christmas Carroll (hang on, I'm getting my festivities confuddled...) will start to bang in the goals soon, could he start this weekend?  Current Premiership champions City will be hopeful of a win to keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea.  Their city rivals defeated the top team last week to narrow the gap at the top, and both Manchester teams are eyeing up the top-spot like a vampire checking out the necks of some particularly long-necked victims.  Carlos Tevez scored the only goal against Swansea last weekend and boss Rubber toe Mankini will be expecting his forwards to devour goals (and possibly brains) this Saturday.
Reliability pumpkins: 7/10

Tortured odds on this result: 4/6

Game 5: Fulham vs Everton
Prediction: Home win
And a short trip across the capital brings us to Wes Craven Cottage, home of Fulham.  The Cottagers performed well last season, finishing 9th under the management of Martin Ghoul.  If they can maintain their current form, Fulham could well be challenging for a Europa League spot come the end of the season.  But as is always the case with an in-form side, vultures begin to circle... Captain Brede Hangman-land has been targeted by a mystery 'top six side' and the gaffer may be tempted to cash-in on the defender come January.  Everton are another side currently in fine form.  Traditionally, the Toffee-apples struggle at the start of the season and make a late push resulting in a European spot.  But this season, Moyes and co. have started early with four wins out of nine taking them to fifth place.  Last week saw them draw 2-2 with fierce rivals Liver(and some fava beans with a nice Chianti)pool.  The visitors will benefit from the return of midfielder Steven Pienaar
Reliability pumpkins: 5/10
Eerie odds on this result: 8/5

Game 6: Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford Park Avenue
Prediction: Home win
Doncaster were relegated from the Championship last season amidst financial difficulties, with their future looking rather bleak.  But things have brightened up, with the club gaining a 99 year lease on their Keepmoat Stadium and challenging for the top-spot in League One. Rovers boss Dean Saunders says "I'll be treating this game as though it was a league game because we're on a good run of form at the moment" before cackling wildly, pulling a cape across his face and vanishing in a puff of smoke.  Bradford PA (no relation to Magnum PI) currently ply their trade in the Conference North having gained promotion from the West Yorkshire under-12s Subbuteo League last season.  In last seasons first round FA Cup tie, they were thrashed 8-1 by the mighty AFC Totton.  But they do have a strong squad, including U2 bassist Adam Clayton, the Fast and the Furious actor Paul Walker and renowned Cretan lyra player Ross Daly.  None of this is very spooky... Em, wooooooooooo? 
Reliability pumpkins: 8/10

Gruesome odds on this result: 3/10

Game 7: York City vs AFC Wimbledon
Prediction: Away win
Another apparition in The Grambler for York City, who hail from a town known as being amongst England's most haunted.  Sounds like a job for Derek Pakora!  City sit eleven places ahead of their opponents in the league but have not been too convincing at home.  York manager Gary Mills has this week described the FA Cup as 'magical', whilst rubbing his hands together and salivating at the thought of it.  Expect him to all Gollum should he ever get his hands on the trophy.  
Dons manager Neil Ardley (I'm sure there must be a spooky pun in there... 'Ardley alive?  'Ardley breathing?  Something like that.) knows that Wimbledon are the underdogs, describing his team as a 'work in progress.'  Like a Frankenstein or summat.  The Wombles have just two wins away from home this season, but the FA Cup always throws up some minor upsets so who knows?  

Reliability pumpkins: 4/10
Hair-raising odds on this result: 10/3

So there you go.  Too late for Halloween but it didn't stop me forcing as many crap puns in as possible.  Total odds for this week are a ghastly 518/1.

And here is a bonus football related Halloween joke for your enjoyment.  Feel free to use it.

Q: Why did the werewolf fail to gain international recognition, despite finishing the season with a respectable 17 goals in 41 appearances for his club side and being nominated for both the PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year awards?

A: I'm not sure.

Happy (late) Grambleween! 

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