Saturday 28 September 2013

Results for Week 4

First of all I want to make a heartfelt apology to The Grambler.  I am so sorry I questioned his/her/its sanity when he/she/it predicted that Aston Villa would beat the blue mob from Manchester.  I did ask if he/she/it knew something I didn’t; well obviously he/she/it did.

 What The Grambler obviously took into account was that Manchester City, while taking all the points from their home games so far this season, have a poor record away from home and today’s loss means that they have won only three of their last eleven away games.

 It must have seemed that today was the day when they would get their first away win of the season (and compound Villa’s woes) because City dominated from the off.  Their goalkeeper, Joe Hart, had little to do other than apply hair gel.  However, it took until nearly half time before City actually scored.

 Okay, let’s not turn this into a match report; suffice to say Villa equalised, City scored a second, Villa equalised and then got a third.  Villa 3, blue mob from Manchester 2.  Yay!

 Match two as chosen by The Grambler was Bolton vs Yeovil and this turned out, as predicted, to be a draw.  Yeovil took the lead on 79 minutes and as 90 minutes approached Yeovil must have thought a second win was theirs.  But no.  The Trotters hit back on 90 minutes to salvage a draw.

 Last week I reported that this was Bolton’s worst start to a season for 50 years.  You might also be interested to know that they have not actually won a league game since the 20th of April.  One bit of good news for fans is that their team is no longer in last place in the table; the point takes them racing up the table to…second bottom.  And only on goal difference at that. 

 So, two correct predictions for The Grambler.  This is looking good.

 The Grambler’s next match prediction was a draw between Millwall and Leeds United.  Well, this is where the bet starts to go a bit awry.  Millwall gubbed Leeds 2-0.  Nuff said.

 Just a little point – Leeds United could have taken the lead on 48 minutes when ex-Motherwell man Ross MacCormack took Mowatt’s left wing cross – but basically cocked it up.  Twally!

 Right, so two correct predictions and one wrong – not looking quite so good now.

 The Grambler gave us a prediction of a home win for Wolves vs Sheffield United.  Wolves dutifully obliged and won this 2-0. Wolves are definitely on a roll at the moment but are still at number three in the table behind Peterborough on the same points with both only three points behind Leyton Orient who could only draw today.

 The Blades, on the other hand have slipped two places pop pickers to number 24 Oright? Right! (Come on, you must remember ‘Fluff’ Freeman).  What that means is they have dropped to the very bottom of the table.

 Three correct predictions out of four; looking better.  One game to go; okay the accumulator is kaput, but three doubles are up already, what about the last one?

 Chesterfield vs Mansfield Town was The Grambler’s last game and for this one a draw was predicted. Sadly, he/she/it got this one wrong.  A draw seemed a reasonable prediction with Chesterfield unbeaten at the top and Mansfield in third and unbeaten since the first game of the season.  However, a 37th minute goal was enough to give Mansfield all three points.  The Spireites (I can’t get over that for a nickname) are still in number one spot on 22 points but Mansfield, Oxford United and Fleetwood are all sitting not so far behind on 18 points.

 So, to summarise, three out of five correct predictions, and given that one of those games had odds of 6/1, The ‘cowardy’ bet actually paid quite handsomely this week.  See for actual winning amount.  What do you mean is that all you won?  If we all had a wee win like that, think how much could be donated to the fund.

 I have had a few questions asking how the ‘complicated’ betting system works.  Okay, Stewart always went for broke and would stick a quid on a five game (or occasionally seven) game accumulator – which did occasionally come off.  I, however, am far more cautious and have a five game accumulator plus ten ‘doubles’ - count them – 1 & 2, 1 & 3, 1 & 4, 1 & 5, 2 & 3, 2 & 4, 2 & 5, 3 & 4, 3 & 5 and 4 & 5.  Ten.  That means that I have eleven bets in all.  Now, there is no way I am going to ‘chance’ £11 by putting a quid on each (I am a cowardly gambler at heart) so I limit the bet to a measly 20p per bet – hence my total of £2.20.

 Clear?  It is quite simple really.  Isn’t it?

 Any road up, remember to go to and make a wee donation.  Doesn’t have to be much.  As my grannie used to say ‘mony a mickle maks a muckle’.  (but to be fair, she was crackers). Wise words.

 Look out for week five’s predictions some time soon.





Thursday 26 September 2013

Week 4 This has got to be better than last week. Hasn't it?

Before I begin; what about Morton, eh?  Woo hoo!


Right, back to The Grambler…


What can I Say?  The Grambler made a right old bollocks of it last week.  You are probably asking yourself ‘What went wrong?’, or ‘What is the point of all this?’, or even ‘Did you manage to sort out your tea-making facilities?’  Well, the answers are ‘Everything’, ‘To raise funds for the Bobby Moore Fund to improve awareness and hopefully one day find a cure for the horrible disease that is bowel cancer’ and ‘Yes thanks; it’s a kettle’.


Anyhow, let’s have another shot at this.  Surely The Grambler can’t get it so wrong again.  Surely.  Surely?


So by way of introduction here is that well known crooner, jazz pianist and rhyming slang, Nat ‘King Cole to start us off – Take it away, Gnat…


‘Grambling rose, grambling rose, why you gramble, no one knows….etc. etc.’


Saturday, 28th September 2013


Here are the five games which make up our bet –


Five game accumulator from all leagues

 Game – Result – Odds

Aston Villa vs Manchester City – Home – 6/1


So game number one is…. Oh no! Not them again.  Aston Villa fouled up our Grambler prediction last week by actually winning a game, away from home as well; then, blow me, three days later lose by four goals at home!  How can The Grambler possibly predict that Aston Villa (sitting at number 13 in the league) will beat the blue Manchester mob (number 3).  That’s the same Manchester mob that last week beat the other Manchester mob 4-1!  And followed that on Tuesday with a 5-0 drubbing of Wigan in the League…sorry…Capital One/Diddy Cup.  In the meetings between Villa and Man City last season Man C won both – 1 nil at Villa Park and 5 nil at home.  Although Villa did knock City out of the League, now Capital One/Diddy, Cup after extra time.  No doubt Man City fielded their reserves under 19 third squad for that one.  What on Earth is The Grambler doing by predicting that Villa will beat Man City!  He/she/it must be bonkers in the nut!


Oh well.  It is about random gambling after all.  Can’t say I am very happy about The Grambler’s prediction here – maybe he/she/it knows something I don’t (wouldn’t be hard – ed.).


Bolton Wanderers vs Yeovil Town – Draw – 11/4


Let’s try again.  Ahem.  Game number two is Bolton v Yeovil.  Oh no!  Not them again.  Bolton fouled up our Grambler prediction last wee… Ever had a feeling of déjà vu?


Okay, we all knew The Grambler was way out long before the match against Brighton even started, but this week?  Who knows?  Bolton and Yeovil are bottom of the table and third bottom respectively.  Yeovil were promoted to the Championship as Division 1 final play-off winners and must have felt pretty good when they travelled to Millwall on the opening day of the season and got a win.  Sadly, that game on the 3rd of August was their only win of the season so far.  Nearly two months on and Yeovil have only one other point on the board from a mid-September draw against Sheffield Wednesday.  What can I say about Bolton?  Poor old Bolton.  Only three points from three draws this season.  Still, it could be argued that Bolton are the better side as they have lost five out of eight games and Yeovil have lost six.  It could be argued; but it won’t be. Any road up, The Grambler has predicted a draw.  Yep.  Why not?  I’ll go with that.


Millwall vs Leeds United – 9/4


So on to game number three – Millwall v Leeds.  Leeds go down to London (sarf uh de woo-ah) to play Millwall at The Den.  Both sides are much of a muchness this season; Leeds sit number 13 in the Championship having won three and drawing one of the eight games so far this season.  Millwall have a couple of points fewer in 18th position having won two and drawn two.  In last season’s meetings between these two, victory was by a single goal to the home side.  So, with both teams having lost four games this season The Grambler’s prediction of a draw would seem to be a reasonable one.  Again, I have to say, a fair shout.


Motherwell link: Both teams have ex-Motherwell players in their squads.  Leeds have goal-machine Ross MacCormack and Millwall have goal-machine Scott MacDonald.  Australian MacDonald famously prevented Celtic from winning the league title back in 2005 by scoring twice in a thrilling last game of the season; the day is still fondly remembered as ‘Skippy Sunday’.


Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Sheffield United – Home – 4/5


Onwards and downwards to division 1 (or 3 as it really is.  Premiership; Championship indeed!) for our fourth game in which the Blades take on Wolves at Molyneux.  And talking of onwards and downwards that seems to be exactly the direction taken by Wolves in the last couple of seasons having been relegated from the Premiership to the Championship and from there to Division one in quick succession (without Harry Rednapp’s help either!).  Luckily, things seem to have stabilised a bit this season and they are currently sitting third in the table.  And being the fourth manager in as many years Head Coach Kenny Jackett will be hoping his isn’t on a shaky nail (ho bloody ho. Ed.).  Sheffield United, on the other hand are way down at number 22 pop-pickers.  Not Arf.  So, on paper (it’s being composed on a laptop you twally! Ed.) The Grambler’s prediction of a home win would seem spot on.


Chesterfield vs Mansfield Town – Draw – 13/5


And finally Esther, we come to game number five of The Grambler’s predictions.  Down to the depths of the 2nd division (it’s the 4th! It’s the bloody 4th!!) we travel to Chesterfield where the Spireites (I’m not making this up) play host to the Stags at the Proact stadium. What a daft name!  It used to have the even dafter name of the b2net stadium until Swedish firm Proact acquired the b2net business.  Just a bit of background information for you there.

Anyway, should be a good game this one with Chesterfield sitting pretty at the top of the table and yet to be beaten and Mansfield Town – returnees to this league having won the Conference League title last season - in number five spot with only one match lost and that was on the opening day of the season.  Both teams are obviously capable of winning this one - obviously no equivalent fixtures from last season to give us a guide - so The Grambler might be right to suggest that this encounter will end in a draw.

One final point – last week I mentioned Norwich having a player with a cracking name; this week put your hands together please for Mansfield Town’s Godfrey Poku!  Actually, not even sure he is still with the Stags; he spent all of last season on loan to Southport and the last I heard Telford AFC were looking to get him on the books.  Any of you gramblers know his whereabouts?


Betting Odds

So there you have it fellow gramblers – The Grambler has decided.  I would be tempted to go for broke this week were it not for that Aston Villa prediction.  So, like last week I shall go with a five game accumulator and ten doubles.


So the odds on the five game accumulator paying out (Aston Villa to beat Manchester City - Ha Ha Ha!) the total odds are….drum roll….550/1.  Wow, what fantastic odds (he said in a deadpan way.  Aston Villa indeed!)


But like last week we have our cowardy bet which is worth up to (if Aston Villa were to actually beat Man C. – Ha Ha!) 143/1.


It isn’t going to happen.  Sorry for being so pessimistic but Aston Villa – I ask you.


Happy grambling.





Saturday 21 September 2013

Clean sweep for The Grambler…

Yep.  Every result completely and utterly wrong.  It started badly with the early kick off Norwich v Aston Villa game.  Who would have thought Aston Villa could actually get a win?  Well, obviously Paul Lambert did as for the third time since leaving Norwich for Aston Villa he has managed to give his old team a doing.

That win takes Villa up to twelfth place.  Woo hoo.  Norwich, on the other hand go down down down to eighteenth.  Early days though.  Positions will alter over the next few weeks and Liverpool will soon get a nose bleed from being so high up the table.

It could have gone better had Snodgrass scored when he took a penalty for Norwich.  Actually, it wasn’t so much a miss as a save from Guzan.  Well done Guzan.  I hope you realise that your actions could have denied vital funding to the Bobby Moore Fund.  Actually, it didn’t make any difference at all because every prediction went pear-shaped!


Brighton were not meant to win against Bolton according to The Grambler who predicted a win for Bolton.  Pillock!  Bolton are still propping up the table with their only points coming from those three draws.  Apparently, today’s defeat makes this the Trotters worst start to a season in 50 years.  But they are top of one league (or statistic) – their three yellow cards today take their total to 17 – making them officially the dirtiest team in the Championship.


So on to our third Grambler prediction - Portsmouth to draw with Fleetwood.  Once again The Grambler got it soooo wrong with Fleetwood scoring the only goal of the game.  Although, to be fair, it wasn’t exactly a convincing win and could well have gone the Grambler’s way.  Jamille Matt’s shot on goal rebounded off Portsmouth defender Sonny Bradley into the net.  Anyway, another loss for Portsmouth sends them even further down the table to 15th place (I tell you, it’s Conference League next year if they don’t start winning soon) and the win moves Fleetwood up to second.


Our fourth game Aberdeen v Inverness Caledonian Thistle was predicted by The Grambler to end as a draw.  Given that both teams are doing well at the top end of the Scottish Premiership, with Caley unbeaten, it looked a reasonable bet.  Of course, someone had to burst their bubble and it was Aberdeen with a narrow one nil victory.  Boo.  Once again, The Grambler nearly got it right – Caley’s Graeme Shinney had a shot ‘cleared off the line’ by Smith, but Inverness were convinced that the ball had crossed the line.  The match officials called it Aberdeen’s way and there was no goal.

The win takes Aberdeen up to third in the league one point ahead of Motherwell who play Dundee United tomorrow (Sunday).  Inverness are still top ahead of Celtic, but now it is only on goal difference.  And Celtic have a game in hand.  Expect normal service to be resumed soon.


Game number 5 took us to Hampden where The Grambler predicted a win for Elgin against pointless Queen’s Park.  By that I don’t mean that Queen’s Park are a team with no purpose, I meant…  Anyway, it seemed a fair prediction as the Spiders were yet to take a point from any games this season.  Well, guess what – they got a point today in a 3-3 draw.  That was probably a really exciting game.  Wow six goals!  Thanks all you so-called football websites for totally ignoring this game and not even providing a match report.  Yes you know who I talking about BBC. Ahem… Anyway, by getting a draw Queen’s Park managed to give The Grambler an embarrassing no correct predictions out of five!  Hopeless!


Ah well, so ends my first week in charge of The Grambler blog.  Not very successful I have to admit.  But hey ho, in the words of D.ream (featuring the talents of grinning Professor Brian Cox) Things can only get better.


One thing before I go.  Stewart’s Just Giving page is now on line so whenever you feel like it, no rush, please take the time to make a wee donation.



I’ll probably get sued by Tesco for saying it but … Every little helps.


Thank you and goodnight.





Friday 20 September 2013

Week 3 (or should that be 7?): I’m new to this – be gentle

You may have been wondering why there has been nothing from The Grambler over the past few weeks.  The reason for this is that the originator of The Grambler, and lifelong Motherwell supporter, Stewart Smith, died on 29th August.  Two years after being diagnosed as having bowel cancer and having come back from the brink on numerous occasions he could fight no more.  He was 28 years old.  No age at all really.  And still 27 years younger than the point the government see as being the age at which screening for bowel cancer is considered important.  Stewart always wanted to raise awareness about bowel cancer in younger people.  Even teenagers can develop bowel cancer (see for further information).

He wanted The Grambler to continue after his death and I am happy to keep it going.  Okay, we Gramblers may not win a fortune, but we can continue to tell the world about this horrible, horrible disease called bowel cancer.  We can still contribute, and tell all our friends to contribute, to the Bobby Moore Fund( which is working hard to promote awareness of bowel cancer in younger people and helps fund research.

If you read Stewart’s last but one post you would have had some difficulty believing that is was written by someone with only a little over a week to live.  His last post was a different matter; he was determined to make a post but could barely summon enough strength to put those few words together.  And it shows.  Just be proud that Stewart, right to the end, wanted to contribute to his pet project The Grambler.

So now, let’s get ready to Gramble!


Saturday, 21st September 2013

Right all you Gramblers as I have pointed out I am new to this game so don’t expect the brilliant inciteful comments of old, or the puntastic gags.  I have only just put my feet under the desk and am still trying to figure out the tea making facilities around here.  Just giving the bald facts relating to this week’s Gramble is all I can manage thank you.

First of all the five games which make up our bet –


Five game accumulator from all leagues

Game – Result – Odds


Norwich vs Aston Villa – Draw – 9/4

What can I say about this fixture?  Erm… both these teams are lucky to still be in the Premiership.  At the end of last season both were struggling away in the lower reaches of the table.  They met three times last season – twice in the league and once in the League Cup quarter final.  Surprisingly, Aston Villa were the better team overall with two wins and a draw.  Since Aston Villa had such a crap season against just about every other team, these performances against Norwich might just have been Aston Villa's manager (and ex Norwich manager) Paul Lambert trying to show the Norwich faithful that he had moved to a better side (yeah, right). Given that they are both struggling again this year (Norwich sitting in 15th place and Aston Villa in 17th) a draw here might be a reasonable bet.

Incidentally, it seems that Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor obviously doesn’t think much of One Direction (swoon swoon), having put in a seriously nasty challenge on Louis Tomlinson (apparently a member of One Direction who isn’t Harry Stiles) in a recent charity match.  He obviously doesn’t think much of people who make pots of money for doing so little and Agbonlahor thinks the same.

Oh, another thing… Norwich have signed a Dutch striker called Ricky van Wolfswinkel.  Yeah.  I know.  Cracking name.  Fnarr fnarr.

Motherwell link – Norwich keeper John Ruddy and Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert are both ex Motherwell players.


Brighton and Hove Albion vs Bolton Wanderers – Away – 3/1

Our second fixture takes us to the Seagulls’ Falmer Stadium – named after a small village between Lewes and Brighton and definitely not named after the maker of unfashionable men’s trousers – where they meet the Trotters.  Four out of six points from last season’s meetings between these two clubs went to Bolton.  So that would suggest that the Grambler had the prediction spot on.  But wait, Bolton can’t buy a win so far this season managing only three points from three draws and after seven games are propping up the table.  Brighton have at least got a couple wins to boast of.  So, for the Grambler’s sake – Come on the Seagulls!  Not very convincing is it?


Portsmouth vs Fleetwood – Draw – 12/5

Our third fixture takes us to Fratton Park, home of the Pompey faithful – and if there are any fans left they must be incredibly faithful.  Since 2010 Portsmouth have plummeted from the Premiership down to Division 2 (or Division 4 in reality).  Currently they sit in the bottom half at number 13; surely the Conference League beckons.  Visitors today are Fleetwood Town no doubt with the Cod Army in tow.  Fleetwood have started the season off well and currently sit at number 3.  All of which suggests that the Grambler has cocked it up again – but hey, this is all about random gambling so, who knows?


Aberdeen vs Inverness Caledonian Thistle – Draw – 5/2

Our number four game takes us over the border – way, way over the border to the Dons’ Pittodrie in the north east of Scotland.  Until Ross County joined Caley in the top flight last season this was as close to a local derby match that the Invernusians managed, even though the two places are 83 miles apart.  Ex Motherwell management team of Terry Butcher and Maurice Malpas have got Caley riding high at the top of the league – ahead of even Motherwell and some other outfit.  Oh yes, Celtic.  They remain unbeaten, only dropping two points with a draw at Celtic Park.  Aberdeen are doing okay as well, sitting at number 4.  The last two meetings between the teams went the way of the home team on both occasions; perhaps the Grambler is not so far wrong with the prediction of a draw.

Motherwell link – As well as Tel and Mo, ex Motherwell players are in both squads.  Inverness have playmaker and goal-machine Richie Foran and Aberdeen have defender Mark Reynolds.


Queen’s Park vs Elgin – Away – 6/4

The final game of our quintet takes us to the home of Scottish football – Hampden.  Well, Lesser Hampden which is where the Spiders play out of.  Visitors today are Elgin City who have the rather dull nickname of the Black and Whites.  I wonder what gave them the idea for that one.  Both teams have got off to a shaky (crap) start.  Elgin sit in second bottom place with 5 points and the poor old Spiders are in bottom spot with (whisper it) no points. The Grambler reckons they will still be on ‘null points’ after this encounter.  I don’t think I disagree.


Betting odds

If the Grambler has got everything spot on and the 5 game accumulator pays out the odds are – fanfare – 386/1.  Woo hoo!


Okay, I don’t think it will happen so I have done a cowardly thing and also put 10 doubles on the same games.  Yeah, what a copout.  Still it might bring some pennies for the Bobby Moore Fund.  And isn’t that what it’s all about.


Happy Grambling.