Thursday 10 October 2013

Week 6 - Shober October (hic)...

‘Underground, overground, Grambling free,

The Grambles of Grambledon Common are we.

Making good use of spare cash that we find,

The cash that the everyday folk spend on wine…’


Thank you lads (and Uncle Grambleria).  Let me explain, before you accuse me of suggesting that you are all raging alcoholics.  Some of you maybe, but not all of you.  Do you remember ‘Movember’, or ‘Decembeard’ or even ‘Januhairy’ (Actually, I may have made that last one up.)?  Do you remember when everyone, even the men, were encouraged to grow facial hair for a month?  And also put razor blade manufacturers who charge way too much for their products out of business.  Yes, I’m talking to you Gillette Corporation.  Ten quid for four blades!  Incidentally, did you know that the founder of the Gillette business had the forenames King Camp?  And judging by pictures I have seen of him, he looked as if he was.

Any road up,  This month is ‘Sober October’ when everyone is encouraged to give up drinking alcohol and thus put hundreds of purveyors of same out of business.  Don’t worry pub owners – I am starting my own month-long campaign to get everyone back into drinking vast amounts of alcohol.  It’s called ‘Febrewery’ when everyone is encouraged to visit a brewery and partake freely (though not free as in cost) of the victuals on offer.  Although, I’m not sure if I have the organisational skills to pull that off.

Yes, Sober October.  Now this set me thinking – all you followers of The Grambler could give up drinking [steady on now – Ed] for a month and donate the money saved to The Grambler’s ‘Kick Cancer’s Arse’ Fund.  Hence, the opening lines from the Grambles.  A month?  Too much?  A week, then.  Still too much?  A couple of days then.  Surely you could take one or two fewer drinks.  No?  Hmm…Not sure this is going to get very far.  The thing is, I have even got Dougie, our local drunkard, on board to give us an advertising slogun – ‘Ur yeez geein up the bevvie fur Sober October?  Ah’m Ur!’  Maybe I should have asked when he wasn’t sloshed.  Anyway, if he hasn’t  got a hope that he  can do it – so can you!  Just tot up all the dosh you have saved and donate it to The Grambler’s ‘Kick Cancer’s Arse’ Fund at


Let us gramble.

This Friday has the World Cup qualifying games and I thought – should we ask The Grambler to come up some predictions?  Then I thought – Nah, let’s stick to Saturday’s games.  So, because of those qualifiers and the fact that a good few players from the English and Scottish leagues will be playing in them there are no Premiership, Championship or Scottish Premiership games this Saturday.

Most of the games for The Grambler to choose from are FA Cup 3rd round qualifiers in England and Scottish Cup qualifiers – probably of more interest to most than seeing whether Moldova can beat San Marino.  Probably better football played too!  There are also some games from English Division 1 and 2 (here we go – that’s Division 3 and 4 in reality) and some from Scottish Championship, Division 1 and Division 2 (that’s 2, 3 and 4) to choose from.  So this week The Grambler will be selecting five from a total of 71 games played this Saturday, 12th October.

And the five games chosen are….

Game – Result – Odds

Stockport County vs Gainsborough Trinity – Draw – 13/5

This is an FA Cup 3rd Round tie.  I am just hoping that they haven’t changed the rules for this competition and there are still replays if the game ends in stalemate.  So Stockport County against Gainsborough Trinity…hmm.  Maybe I should have gone with the World Cup qualifiers.  No.  No.  I will do a write up if it kills me [If it doesn’t, I might – Ed].  The Hatters play host to Trinity (or the Holy Blues – sounds like it’s a form of cool religious music) and The Grambler has predicted that this one will finish as a draw.  I can’t really argue with that.  Stockport have been pretty mince these past few seasons having been relegated from Division 2 (4!!!) of the Football League to the Conference Premier (or Skrill Premier if you want to be pedantic) in season 2010-11.  At the end of season 2012-13 they dropped again to the Conference North (or Skrill blah blah).  Sounds a bit like Portsmouth!  Currently they sit 15th in the league just two places below Trinity.  They have lost only one of their past five games, the first of which was a 3-1 win against – you guessed it – Trinity.  Trinity, who finished the league in 8th spot last season, are currently on an unbeaten run of four (having lost that game to Stockport).  Both teams however have found it difficult beating teams higher up the league and tend to perform better against teams currently sitting even lower down the league.  Has The Grambler called this one right?  We can only wait and see.

Colchester United vs Walsall – Draw – 5/2

The Grambler’s second prediction takes us to more familiar territory – the First (third!) Division (or Sky Bet League One – God help us!) – to the Colchester Community Stadium where the ‘U’s play host to the Saddlers.  The ‘U’s?  Is that the best you could come up with?  Colchester?  One of the oldest known settlements in Britain?  Colchester?  The capital of Roman Britain?  Colchester?  Possibly the real Camelot of Arthurian Legend?  And all you come up with is the ‘U’s?  You could have chosen from any number of historical references – the Romans, or the Gladiators, or the Knights of the Round Table…Okay, maybe not that last one.  But surely (Don’t call me Shirley) anything would be better than the ‘U’s.  How crap is that!  Ahem.  The Grambler has predicted that this will be a draw.  Given that Colchester have so far this season drawn five out of ten games, The Grambler could well be on to something.  However, it has been eight years since these two clubs have actually drawn a game.  The winning team has more often been the home side – in fact the last five games have gone this way with Colchester winning three and Walsall two.  Only four points (although six places) currently separate these two clubs so they are fairly evenly matched; although last season’s final placings would suggest otherwise with Walsall finishing 9th and Colchester a lowly 20th.  A draw?  Why not.

Preston North End vs Crewe Alexandra – Away – 5/1

The Grambler’s third prediction stays in the same division and takes us to Preston North End’s Deepdale where they play host to Crewe Alexandra.  The Grambler seems to do one of these every week – there’s Preston, sitting fifth in the league having won five, drawn four and only lost one, playing at home against a team who are sitting 21st having won – how many?  One.  One game.  So what does The Grambler do?  He/she/it predicts an away win!  Ah, you say – Who finished higher in the league last season?  Crewe.  Ah.  And who won both meetings between these clubs last season?  Crewe.  Ah.  And who has the best winger in the world and I know coz I’ve seen him he used to play for Motherwell?  Preston North End!  Ha!  Away win indeed.  Call yourself The Grambler!  Ha!

Motherwell Link – Winger Chris Humphrey used to play for Motherwell (I might have mentioned the fact) and he was pretty good.  Fastest guy I’ve seen on the right wing – pity he sometimes forgot to take the ball with him!  But he was getting better all the time!  And then he moves to Preston North End!!!

AFC Wimbledon vs Accrington Stanley – Draw – 14/5

For our fourth game The Grambler takes us to Grambledon…sorry, Wimbledon.  Well, not quite, as Wimbledon’s ground is a mile or two west at Kingston-Upon-Thames where the Dons play host to the team with the best name in the whole of the league – Accrington Stanley.  So why does it have such a brilliant name?  Was it named after a former player, perchance?  No. The Club was originally formed as Stanley Villa FC, because most of the team lived in Stanley Street. The Club was renamed Accrington Stanley in 1894.  Imagine that, a football league team made up of lads from the same street.  Wouldn’t happen now.  Lucky to get them from the same continent!  All these foreign players coming over here and teaching us plucky Brits how to dive in the box and roll around feigning injury or jumping into the air as if they had been pole-axed just to get someone booked.  Yes, I’m talking about you Neymar .  Yes I know he doesn’t play for a British club.  So what!  If I want an example of someone who dives, feigns injury etc., who better to pick?  Any road up, The Grambler has predicted that this one will end in a draw.  Hmm.  Accrington may have the best name in the league but they have made the worst start to this season (apart from Sunderland in the Premiership of course.  Poor old Sunderland.) with only two points from ten games.  Obviously Stanley’s player/manager James Beattie (yes that James Beattie) is not finding management so easy having only taken on the job at the end of last season. He is quoted as saying, ‘I don't mind doing any job at Accrington... I'll even clean the toilets!’  It’s good to know he’s got something to fall back on if he doesn’t make a success of management then.  However, in the past two seasons Stanley have met the Dons four times and cuffed them every time, home or away.  Maybe they save their best performances for the Dons.  This obviously helped Stanley finish last season two places higher than the Dons – 18th..  Big deal.  This season though, Wimbledon are so high up the league they may well be suffering from nose bleeds.  Eleventh!  Heady stuff.  Draw?  Possibly.

Arbroath vs Airdrieonians – Away – 23/10

And finally Esther The Grambler has predicted that Airdrieonians…Airdrie United…No, Airdrieonians right enough (I wish they would make their minds up!) will travel to Gayfield Park to play the Red Lichties and return home with three points.  It is possible.  Both sides have been pretty evenly matched this season – Arbroath are just one point ahead of the Diamonds having won three games and losing five.  Airdrie have only lost three games but sit lower because they have only won two and drawn two.  What can I tell you about these two?  Airdrie have this year gone in the record books for fielding the youngest ever player in a British senior league game when on the 27th of April 14 year old Jordan Allan donned the smallest jersey in the Airdrieonians shop.  Lucky it was a Saturday game and not a midweek game starting at 7.45 then.*  Arbroath are also in the record books and theirs is a world record. Woo!  They hold the record for the biggest winning score in world football!  36 nil!  Wow, do I hear you say?  Doubt it, since this famous victory took place in 1885 against a team called Bon Accord.  Pity poor old Dundee Harp (that is a football team, by the way, not Dougie’s favourite cheap lager – showing my age now) who beat Aberdeen Rovers on the very same day – 35 nil!  Bugger!  Anyway, that was then.  Arbroath are not quite such a force in Scottish football.  However, I would have thought, given the home advantage, they could beat Airdrie.  But – The Grambler says no.

Motherwell Link (well, sort of) – Lee Erwin, a forward for Arbroath is on loan from Motherwell.  Does that count?


What do you reckon?  Not a chance I’d say.  You only have to look at the odds of Crewe against Preston and you can understand my misgivings.  I don’t even hold out much hope for the doubles.  It’s up to you.  Do you place a bet and risk losing?  If all predictions are correct (there’s that flying pig again!) you have got odds on the accumulator of…Fanfare, please…948/1.  The odds on the cowardy doubles are…Again please…172/1.


All very tempting.  Of course, you could take the really cowardly option and don’t even place a bet.  Just put whatever you were planning to bet (plus whatever you were going spend on booze) straight into The Grambler’s ‘Kick Cancer’s Arse’ Fund.  See link above.


Happy grambling.  And don’t forget to tell all your mates to read this, and get them to tell all their mates, and get their mates to…etc. etc. ad infinitum.


*Past his bedtime, see.



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