At the back at the end of July last year, I was looking forward to a great new season of football and thus I was inspired to invite the good people of the ObscureInternet forum to join me in a few predictions of how the new season. Unfortunately I was only answered by Dave before the season started, Crag joined in, but not until April of this year, so he is a big cheater.
Premier League Champions: Manchester Utd
Many where surprised many when Manchester Utd comfortably won the Premiership title this year with Ronaldo in excellent form (in both skill and cheating). Both Dave and I incorrectly backed Chelsea to win three consecutive titles, Crag (Cheat) got this one spot on
Champions League Qualifiers (2nd, 3rd and 4th)? Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal
We all got the top four teams right, which given the state of Premiership is not very difficult. but we all got them in the wrong order except for Crag (Cheat).
FA Cup Winners: Chelsea
Chelsea won this year’s disappointing FA Cup final beating Crag and My selection Manchester Utd. Dave selection of Liverpool was beaten by Arsenal.
UEFA Qualifiers: Tottenham, Everton, Bolton
At the end of the season my choice of Boro seems to be woefully optimistic as did Dave’s choice of Newcastle. However we both got our other guess correct by using it to choose Tottenham. Crag again showed cheaters do prosper by choosing correctly Bolton and Everton.
Inter-Toto Turkeys: Blackburn
Possibly the least interesting and most difficult selection to guess correctly We all drew and blank on this one. Dave and my choice was Bolton, and Crag’s guess was Spurs.
League Cup Winners: Chelsea
Again Dave and myself were well of target by choosing Villa and Blackburn. Crag was 100% correct with Chelsea, which isn’t surprising since he choose two month after the final was played.
Promoted from the Championship: Sunderland, Birmingham and Derby
Strangely Dave only picked one team, Birmingham which considering they went up was probably better than my three choices put together, Leeds (Bottom, Relegated, went into administration and deducted points for good measure), Norwich (16th), and Crystal Palace (12th). Crag again used his amazing powers of foresight to select Sunderland, Derby and Birmingham. I suppose even if this was made in April it’s pretty good since Derby were promoted via the play offs.
First to Be Sacked: Ian Dowie
Despite the Ian Dowie had already being sacked Crag didn’t enter an answer to this question. I could have been said to be closest to the correct answer with Paul Jewell as he found himself out of job at the end of the season. Dave’s choice of the twitching, brown envelopes hiding Harry Redknapp was admirable but completely misplaced.
Relegated Teams: Watford, Charlton, Sheff Utd
The secret to guessing Relegated Teams seems to be to select two of the promoted teams and one team from the wrong half of premiership table. Crag almost got this right by selected Watford, West Ham and Sheffield United unfortunately for him it was Charlton and not West Ham that was the one non promoted team to go down. My selection of Portsmouth, Watford, Reading found me correct selecting only one team as did Dave with his selection of ‘Wigan, Fulham and (sadly) Sheff Utd‘. How anyone can find the relegation of a Neil Warnock team sad is beyond me.
Most Annoying Pundit: Andy Gray and Jamie Redknapp
This is probably the most competitive category this season as there were so many Annoying pundits. Crag and I went for Mark Lawrenson due to his annoying jokes and general smugness, Dave got it half right when he went for both Andy Gray and Chris Kamara. Andy Gray.
Best Signing: Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham Hotspur)
At £10.9 million, Berbatov didn’t come cheap, but his performances for Spurs have demonstrated that he is a rare talent, and his touch and composure bring out the best in the young players around him. Another honourable mention goes to Carlos Tevez (West Ham United) who for all the controversy surrounding his signing, he has been an absolute revelation for West Ham, and his passion and endeavour and unrestrained lust for the battle have set him apart from similarly illustrious foreign imports who, in previous seasons, have shied away from the dirty work when the going got tough. Crag choice of ‘Gonzalez or Bellamy at Liverpool’ was cheating even more than usual by selecting two players, and my choice of Tomas Rosicky almost looked wise until the season started.
Worst Signing: Andriy Shevchenko
For years Andriy Shevchenko was the striker in European football. 127 goals in 208 appearances for AC Milan, countless honours and a reputation as one of the most lethal marksmen in history. After Shevchenko’s arrival Chelsea never looked comfortable with the 4-4-2 which was used at the start of the season to fit Shevchenko’s into the team. All this and the rumours in newspapers reporting that the transfer was imposed upon Mourinho from above, which caused disagreements between the manager and the chairman makes Andriy Shevchenko the worst signing of the season. This was correctly guessed by Crag and Myself. Dave ironically did say ‘Shevchenko!! Lol, no my vote is for Big Emile at Wigan’
UEFA Cup Champions: UEFA Cup
As predicted by Crag Last year’s UEFA Cup and Supercup Winners Seville retained the UEFA Cup. My gamble on Sporting Lisbon was a complete disaster as they missed out on the UEFA Cup by finishing fourth in group stages of the Champions League. ‘Who cares?’ was Dave’s only suggestion.
Champions League Champions – AC Milan
I was the only one to correctly guess that AC Milan would be victorious in this year’s snooze fest of Final. Manchester United who where Milan’s victims in Semi-finals was Crags choice and Dave went for Real Madrid who were knocked out by Bayern Munich earlier in the competition.
Most Injured Player – Michael Owen
Michael Owen’s return to fitness just in time for the Summer Internationals and the transfer windows reopening gains him the Most Injured Player award and gains Crag and Myself a correct guess. Dave’s pick of Harry Kewell misses out, because no one really cares if he is fit or not although he always seems fit for the Champions league final.
Surprise Package: Reading
Finishing just below the European qualification places made Reading this year’s surprise package, which was correct choosen by the Cheat Crag. Dave and me choices of Watford and Sheffield United both were more Unsurprising Packages as they both where relegated. Dave’s suggestion that Watford had a Great manager in Boothroyd was untested as Watford refused to gamble on new players even after Marlon King was injured, leaving them with a very weak squad completely unprepared to compete in the top league.
Worst Chairman: Dave Whelan – Wigan
With a severe lack of poor chairman, Dave Whelan’s constant (even if justified) whinging about West Ham and the Premier league lands him then honour of being Worst Chairman. Dave and my choice Doug Ellis was out of the running when he sold Villa, making my suggestion that he wouldn’t sell completely wrong.
Scottish Champions – Celtic
This year’s two horse race with was won by runaway leaders Celtic, this was correct predicted by Crag and Myself. Dave choose the wrong horse in Rangers
Darlington or Hartlepool – Hartlepool
Darlington got off to an excellent start this season and then went on amazing run of bad results, which ruined their late season push for the play offs. Hartlepool conversely started poorly and then went on a record breaking run which saw them just miss out of the top spot.
Dave of course picked Hartlepool and was somewhat disappointed in my choice of Darlington, which was a sentiment I echoed come the end of the season. Crag confusing selected ‘Who?’
Ok, that it’s for this year. I expect you to take part in the next one you never know we might have a prize for the winner.