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What’s going to happen in the coming season? The answer before we start (it’s hardly worth going is it?)

By Billy The Dog McGraw, landlord of the Toppled Bollard and Rampager of the Northern Hordes.

Continuing the unique and specialised services offered to you by Untold, and having indulged in a bottle of apple and mango juice to celebrate the new season,  I present my first column of the 2010/11: to wit and viz, next season’s results.

Let’s start down the bottom, (as they say these days in West Ham) with the three plucky little clubs from the outer territories that have made their way against all the odds into the EPL to have a natter with the bigger boys and play the game with those in the know.

You can always tell their supporters for when you address them with a jaunty “I say!”  they will retrieve a piece of chewing gum from the under-side of their hat, where they had parked it for safe keeping several days earlier, and then say something incomprehensible before contemplating the infinite.

Here’s the league table for the Championship at the end of last season…

1 Newcastle United 46 30 12 4 102 90 35
2 West Bromwich Albion 46 26 13 7 91 89 48
3 Nottingham Forest 46 22 13 11 79 65 40
4 Cardiff City 46 22 10 14 76 73 54
5 Leicester City 46 21 13 12 76 61 45
6 Blackpool 46 19 13 14 70 74 58

So, I ponder as I sit in my little wooden shack in my allotment next to Mr Bergkamp, and with my computer powered by the steam from my Thermos flask, how will these gallant lads from the lower plains of the provincial backwaters beyond the deeper levels of grass cuttings and civilised behaviour get on in this unfamiliar territory of their new found home?  Will they kick down the front door, or will they saunter in and hide behind the sofa while watching Doctor Who?

We might notice at first that all the six clubs in the list above played 46 games – which is jolly fair and balanced, and shows a public school spirit of the Championship missing in much of our daily life.  Untold commends the Championship for its fair play.

But there the openness and honesty ends as Newcastle won 30 of the games but Blackpool only won 19.

As we know from the previous owner of Newcastle the girls up there are often seen with a sort of paternal muscular spasm about the mouth, which is the nearest thing they ever gets to smiling, while eating shepherd’s pie with its reduced level of shepherds, so we must make allowances.

The only jolly thing Newcastle have done in the last two years ago was have the owner sit with the fans at the Ems drinking a pint – a wholly illegal activity and one that should have had the club thrown out of the league and placed in the local reservoir.  But of course the EPL management board ignored my complaints and had me arrested instead.

Key prediction for the Nukes: You can always tell people from Newcastle since they walk along like vegetarians fishing a caterpillar out of a salad.  Don’t engage them in conversation, it only embarrasses them.

WBA are a bouncy team, coming up and down like yo-yos – just as the dreadful Bolton did years before.  Will they make this year their chance to stay up?   Question is, having they bought the DVD, “The violence of Stoke and Birmingham” what now?  If they have a go at that style they will be another killer band of career wreckers.   It is possible.

In the upper echelons of middle class Britain WBA is regarded as fairly fruity and is interesting because I can’t recall a single visit where I have not been worried by the number of dead fish in the street.

One thing to watch out for: the police always push visitors into the M5 as they proceed to the ground.  The best advice is to nod at yon copper and shout “What-ho!” and then double back over the fence.

Key prediction: To balance their entry procedures the police will tell us that there is only one way out of the away end, and that will lead us down tiny alleyways at the end of which are waiting… a bunch of WBA fans, with their cheery banter and pointed sticks.

Blackpool ended 32 points behind Newcastle last season.  Chances of staying up are zero.  But we can all ride a donkey on Blackpool sands before they disappear forever, going bankrupt half way through the season.

What we must debate with seriousness and concern is whether the sins of the father are beset upon the head of the mother and son.  On 3 April 1999 Karl Oyston took over as chairman of Blackpool F.C, following his mother, who took over from her husband who was serving a prison sentence for rape.

Cursed with too much money and a life of ease your average estate agent in the region is known to buy football clubs and fritter away his/her life in selfish idleness – and this may have been the case here.  Such people waste time on frivolous pleasures such as sandcastle building and picking up young women while discussing the finer points of sandcastle making.  It does not help the football.

Key prediction: a loss of 7 points for turning up at the wrong ground on the wrong day wearing the wrong kit and carrying an offensive weapon (ie a seaside bucket and spade) will only take them down earlier than they would have gone otherwise.

West Ham looked for a while like they were going back to their spiritual home of the 2nd division last season, but then turned it around, and then sacked their manager and brought in a load of pornographers to run the club.  Since their approach to West Olympic as they like to call it, seems to be similar to that of running a porn magazine we might expect their club programme to be more entertaining than it was last season.   The racism and violence is still there (just watch the video of their 3 pitch invasions in the Millwall game) but we can expect more jolly banter.

My late Aunt Skabbeldale was by way of being the blot on the Billy the Dog empire, a fan of the club.  She kept 102 pet rabbits in the bedroom and apparently was a close friend of Owen Oyston.  She ate onions while watching Maths of the Day and failing to spot that the square root of Frank Zappa was a teapot. She was eventually taken away and set loose in Luton – which was the last we ever saw of her.

Key prediction: Miss Hammer for September (featured in the programme) will like the long ball game and be studying energetic particles, while the WHU fans at the match against Blackpool will wear the t-shirts that they had for playing in Sicily altered to read Hammers against the Rapists.

Wolverine Powder were a bunch of negativists whose one bit of fun was to stand up against rules about not playing the best team and play their under 7s against Man U.  The relief we had with the goal in the 123rd minute against them last season (or so it seemed) will have reduced my life by a good 123 minutes.  This time I doubt they will pull off the trick again.

But I appreciate my analysis is short at this point, for I have not mentioned the catering at their quaint and devout homeland!

Here you can buy a cup of cocoa, cold veal and ham pie, slice of fruit cake, and a macaroon for one shilling and threepence.    Of course it may not be your spill, so if you prefer you can go to the north stand with the toffs and venture into a bit of hot steak-pudding, with a sparkling limado to wash it down.

Key prediction: they will play a ladies team against Man U but kick the hell out of Arsenal.  I will again attempt to buy a “Teach yourself Wolverine” but no one will understand a word I say (so no change there.)  I will also  spend the away game praying that my car (parked a good nine miles from the ground) is in one piece when I return.

Wigan I admire, simply because they have managed to come from the Northern Bakery Reserve Combination (South) to the EPL within about six weeks, and then stay there, despite only getting 13 people attend most league matches.  Each year they stay up it is a miracle and I suspect sadly the miracle will end this year.  (On the other hand they play football on a ploughed field which isn’t good).

But we must be fair.  In the little wooden hut behind the toilet you can get a roll and butter and a small coffee for 1d (old money) and it won’t make you ill.  At least it won’t make you ill much beyond Luton on the way back.   Apparently Wigan have a catering team called “Borgia” – I don’t know the restaurant personally but apparently it is quality.

Key prediction: Arshavin will fall down a rut in the ground and a crane will be sent in to lift him out.

So at the bottom of the league I’d go for Blackpool, Wolverhampton and Wigan with WBA and Newc staying up.   If that isn’t right then WBA go down again and either Wigan or Wolverine Powder stay up.

Or not.

The road of excess

Leads to the palace

Of wisdom

Not funny?  Why not write something yourself?

11 comments to What’s going to happen in the coming season? The answer before we start (it’s hardly worth going is it?)

  • jason

    Isn’t it crazy how AGAIN the team finishing 6th in the Championship, is now part of the premier league!! I know the playoffs are a big money spinner but surely finishing 3rd SHOULD secure your place in the top flight.

    Always wonder why Championship sides don’t sack managers when they come up to the next level, for me Newcastle will struggle if they keep Houghton in charge, he’s a good manager but not a top manager yet, and his signings for next season prove that. Like when Warnock is promoted with any team 1st piece of business should be sacking him likewise with Mick Mccarty, tho he survived last season! And I find it a surprise that Tony Mowbray is STILL without a job, he’d be a good option for Fulham who at times played good football last seasonm so with a manager that likes a team to play RIGHT he’d do a good job there.

    I made a prediction a few years ago that arsenal would never win a trophy with Gallas in the team, to which i later add Silvestre, so with both likely to be gone, i now believe the gunners time is now..roll on next season!!

  • Adam

    Ah this is why i read this site.

  • ak47

    indeed adam, the rest are awfully clone-ish. thats the bottom half, for the top im going with…
    1st-arsenal obviously, 2nd-chelski, 3rd-man arab, 4th-manure, 5th-gunnawannabes, 6th-pool if ste an nandos stay, 7th- villa. cant w8.

  • ak47

    oh yh and jason ur spot on mate. imagine finishing third 3 seasons in a row and never winning the playoffs! its overwrong.

  • walter

    What a great way to start the day. 🙂 Keep them coming Billy.

  • I saw that one this morning Fedda – there will be a piece on it shortly.

  • AaronGSi

    I say good on Blackpool, and the best of luck to them. It shows the others that you don’t have to be a big club to get into the EPL, and that with the right players, right style, and right men in charge, then anything is possible. Blackpool may have finished 6th and a lot of points behind Newcastle, but they played better football than them most games, and they also hit form at the right time for the last 10 games of the season, so their victories were no flukes.
    What is happening though, is that there is a slow trend developing that is gradually seeing all the traditional bigger clubs get to the EPL, and those EPL clubs that have been punching above their weight are beginning to drop back again. It will be no surprise again over the next few seasons to see Forest (already on the comeback trail after years out) and Leeds do well and possibly get promoted, whilst the Wigans, and the Boltons, and the Blackburns will struggle more and more. It seems to be that long term, a natural order is coming back to the game that sees those clubs with the biggest fan bases doing the best. So whilst the playoffs may deliver unfashionable results still, I think that Blackpool size clubs winning promotion will be a rarer site in years to come, which is a shame really.

  • AaronGSi

    On the subject of the Guardians piece today about Barcalona – I would suggest to people to go and read the Swiss Ramblers take on Barca instead (if they haven’t done already). The Guardian article tells us nothing that we don’t already know, and the Swiss Rambler is just so much better anyway.
    He’s also got an excellent piece up regarding West Porno and their finances which is well worth a look.

  • IndianGooner

    @AaronGSi,

    Swiss Ramble’s analysis is for 2008-09 season. The article in the telegraph is for 2009-10.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    As one of those unsound folks who was stupid enough to migrate north, both to the appalling breeding ground of SAF (a place I enjoyed getting out of to climb the glorious hills nearby) as well as to where he disappeared when the Scots had had enough of him, from both of which places a car journey back to the folks’ place required passing WBA’s ground on the M5, can I say that your article is most unfair on the clubs concerned.

    1. There are wonderful golf courses on the coast not far from Blackpool, so if you can’t get a ticket for the away match (assuming it’s not at the DW stadium if their ground isn’t complete by 2011), you can simply tell the WAG that you do and go and play Royal Lytham, Birkdale or the like……..
    2. There is a good reason for doing this as I found out on the train one weekday that Blackpool is a preferred destination for Chingford girls when Prague and Talinn seem too full of pissheads. I guess they left their WHL WAGs at home whilst seeking out real northern men on their spree of iniquity……..
    3. WBA fans keep one of my local publicans happy each time they come to London. The jolly lot come down to Harefield in time for an early start, head off to the game and book out the whole pub and garden for a rumbustuous night before stopping 30 times on the M40 to be sick. I know this as I went down one afternoon during Wimbledon/World Cup when the place was almost empty and he told me. So as far more clubs worth going to as away fans are found in London in the EPL, it’s good for the London economy for WBA to yo-yo. Because as this happens, they all want to go this year as next year they won’t be coming. The only danger this time is that the manager is Italian so the new Italian mafia in the EPL, the FA etc etc may tell a few teams that they can only buy their cast-offs if they are nice to Roberto……..
    4. It is not just in Newcastle where there are strange habits. I spent one summer in West Cumbria where equally strange things were seen on a Saturday night, which appeared to include wearing extremely tight, short dresses with extremely high heels, no coat and no cardigan when a 40mph gale was blowing in off the sea. I guess after 10 pints who knows the difference?

    Finally, it would be wise to remember that fixing Blackpool’s promotion was the last gasping act of the duplicitous New Labour apparatchiks, who dissed the town by saying they could get rich imitating Reno, then pulling the plug on all the super casinos when it became clear that the only beneficiaries of them all would be the Americans…….

    One final thing should be mentioned about Blackpool and that is that all this green nonsense about no short-haul flights will see its return as the holiday hole of choice for half of Glasgow. Luckily, Scottish holidays end as the football season begins in England, but after seeing the mess in the streets in Manchester after Rangers’ fans came to town, you might want to think what 200,000 Glesca folks would turn Blackpool into if they couldn’t go and turn lobster coloured in Torremolines, Ibiza, Benidorm etc etc.