Friday 16 November 2012

Week 14: Title changed for legal reasons.


Some would say that they are integral to the game of football; without goalposts, there are no goals.  Without goals, there is no football.  Without football, there is no Grambler.

So we are in agreement then, goalposts are important?  But here is the thing;  no one has ever said that it is illegal to simply move the goalposts.  It is a metaphor used the world over.  In Italy, they call it "mova da golaposts!"  In Germany, "MOVE ZEE GOALPOSTS!"  In Wales, "move the goalposts, boyo!"  You get the point.

According to The FIFA document Laws of the Game 2012/2013, goalposts must be 7.32 metres apart.  However, it also stated that subject to the agreement of the member association concerned, it is permissible to change the width between the goalposts.  I am evoking this rule and as the leading member association of the Grambler Soccerball Association, I am moving the goalposts!  

Regular readers may have noticed a very slight lull in quality of this site last week.  Until now, I have listed my occupation as Grambling Overlord of the Kingdom of Earth and Her Conquered Universal Empire.  However, I have returned to my other occupation with a more restrained title which I cannot really remember and as a result, I am unable to commit the same effort to proceedings.  However, I have figured that combining the two roles may be easier by simply moving the goalposts (see, I was getting there!) to allow for five games per week rather than seven.  This will result in a more manageable blog and a slightly more realistic chance of winning something.

Is that okay with you?

Game 1: Peterborough United vs Blackburn Rovers
Prediction: Away win
We begin this week with a trip to London Road where second-bottom of the Championship Peterborough take on promotion hopefuls and former Grambler favourites Blackburn.  The Posh are not having a very good season thus far and have taken just twelve points from sixteen games, leaving them just one point ahead of bottom-placed Bristol City.  Last weeks 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace was followed by controversy as four players had a big night out in Peterborough resulting in on two of them being cautioned by the police.  Manager Darren Ferguson proved that he is a chip off the old block by subsequently going mental, fining the players involved and then transfer-listing them.  His father is of course Sarah, Duchess of York.  Since their last appearance on these hallowed pages, Blackburn have had a change of manager.  Out went hilariously bad Steve Kean and, following Venky's promises of a 'big-name' replacement, in came Henning Berg, a man who had told a Norwegian television station that "there are no real managers with credibility who would accept a job like that."  Good job of sticking to your ethics there, Henning!  Since his appointment, Rovers have yet to win a game, taking two points from three matches and slipping out of the play-off places.  The two sides have not met in the league since 1974/75 and Peterborough were victors in both matches that season.  Not that actually has any bearing on this match, of course.      
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 6/5

Game 2: Burnley vs Charlton Athletic
Prediction: Home win
Sticking with the Championship, Burnley are another team currently coming to terms with a managerial change.  Sean Dyche is the man in charge of the Clarets following Eddie Howe's return to Bournemouth and he has overseen two wins in three games, although lost to strugglers Ipswich last weekend.  Following said defeat, Dyche said "it was nip and tuck throughout but, on reflection, I thought we deserved at least a share of the spoils" and probably followed this up by telling reporters that he was 'over the moon' and 'sick as a parrot'.  Charlton have hit their best run of form since promotion from League One last season, with back-to-back victories in there last two matches.  They are also unbeaten in their last five away games.  The Addicks signed Wolves Icelandic midfielder Eggert Jónsson on loan last week and he could be handed his début tomorrow.  Hopefully he doesn't end up with egg on his face... Eggert is known for being hard to beat...  Fingers crossed he doesn't crack under pressure...  He is supposed to be a good poacher...  (to play along at home, think of a terrible egg related pun and insert here.)
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 11/10

Game 3: Queens Park Rangers vs Southampton
Prediction: Draw
I am no soothsayer, but I can predict with a 100% accuracy rate that at least one of the tabloids will feature this game tomorrow under the headline 'SACK RACE.'  It is clever because both managers are potentially close to losing their job and source of income!  And a sack race is also a thing!  It works on so many levels!  It's bottom vs second-bottom in this early relegation battle and, in eleven games, QPR have failed to win a single one.  Mark Hughes has said that his job will be safe regardless of the result before cracking this fantastic joke: "The club has moved forward in a massive way since I came in the door through the work I and my staff have done."  Bwahahahahahaha!  Southampton have managed one solitary win since promotion from the Championship last season when they defeated Aston Villa back in September.  Boss Nigel Adkins is similarly optimistic to Hughes and says "we've already established that we're at the wrong end of the league table."  He is a smart one!  Let's see what else he has to say... "Every game that you look at has three points up for grabs."  Yep that's correct Nige, three points for a win.  Any more words of wisdom?  "It's a tough league that we're in but one we love being in and one we expect to be in for many, many years to come." Uh-huh...
Reliability balls: 7/10
Odds on this result: 13/5

Game 4: Forfar Athletic vs Stenhousemuir
Prediction: Draw
Another close game to call as third placed Forfar go head-to-head with fourth placed Stenhousemuir.  Although both teams have a long-way to go in catching league leaders Queen of the South, they will both be hopeful of remaining in the play-off spots.  Dick Campbell's side go into this match having scraped past non-league Nairn County in a five-goal cup thriller last weekend.  The Loons have lost their last three league matches and Campbell reckons that there is no time like the present to put their bad run to an end.  "There is no time like the present to put that run to an end" said Dick.  Stenhousemuir also came through a cup-replay last week but were comfortable winners as they took on Berwick on Tuesday.  Managed by the legend that is Martyn 'Kaiser' Corrigan, the Warrior's last league match ended in an horrific 7-2 defeat at the hands of Brechin.  They have also already met the Loons on home-turf this season, and on that occasion Stenny were pummelled 4-0.  Could this be a chance for revenge?  Interestingly, this game will be refereed by Barry Cook, who directed Disney's Mulan.
Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 13/5

Game 5: Northampton Town vs Wycombe Wanderers
Prediction: Home win
Northampton are currently 12th in League Two but not too far from the play-off places.  They are unbeaten in four league games and were unfortunate to be knocked out of the cup last weekend.  Unfortunately, the Cobblers are in the middle of an injury crisis and have been forced to call upon their youth team to help out.  Sixteen-year-old Ivan Toney became the youngest player ever to feature for the team in last week's defeat to Bradford City. Manager Aidy Boothroyd is wary of overexposing his young players, stating "I'm a big believer in youth but you don't want too many kids."  Try telling that to (insert name of any BBC DJ from the 1970s here.)  Wycombe are currently 'managerless', although caretaker-player/manager Gareth Ainsworth has expressed an interest in taking the job on permanently.  His case will not be helped by Wanderers current position however, above the relegation zone on goal difference alone, his side are on the same points as bottom placed Aldershot.  Ainsworth will be hopeful of a first win in over a month to help his job application.
Reliability balls: 7/10
Odds on this result: 10/11

There you go, the goalposts have been moved, the Grambler has Grambled and the bet has been placed!  This week's odds are a lower but more attainable 114/1.  I am quietly confident that this new format will see us raking in the cash, and remember it is all for a good cause!  You can join the fun by donating directly to the Bobby Moore Fund directly via the Mrs Doyle-esque link on the left of the page. 

And the last thing that I have to say on the subject of goalposts; According to the FIFA document Laws of the Game, Law 1 - the Field of Play, Subsection: Goals

"The goalposts and crossbars MUST be white"

Further proof of the unacceptable levels of racism within the governing body.

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