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.

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