Just before the EPL starts again in August billions of overpaid, over-watered journalists and “experts” pour out of the pubs for long enough to download their “predictions” for the coming season.
Being blessed with a brain that understands Entanglement (get yourself an A level in physics if you don’t know that reference – but no on second thoughts don’t bother, they’re closing down the physics industry in the UK so you won’t get a job and A level physics is out of date anyway) I can tell the future. So here’s what everyone will say
Top four: exactly the same as this year
Bottom three: the three that have just come up
Everyone else: much the same except Tottenham will be 5th. (There might even be some who will predict The Tiny Totts to be 4th, with Arsenal 9th – as they did last year. But I’ve reminded them of their utter stupidity every other day for the past 10 months so maybe they will think twice.)
So, no point waiting for that bunch of drongos (who should of course be first up against the wall when the revolution comes).
Instead, here’s my vision of the 08/09 season
Aston Villa. Martin O’Neil is the only current EPL manager to have come into my house. He was very quiet and calm – not at all like he is at a game. So I guess because of that I like him. But my God he had his team playing anti-football against us in the last two seasons. Dire, boring, dull, useless. Prediction – 6th and boring.
Bolton Wandering all over the place. No longer a bunch of thugs now that Thick Fat Sam has gone, and really not much left to get executed about. Prediction – could miss relegation, but if so, only by a pint or three.
Blackburn Rovers. With a manager who has failed to get his GCSE in training footballers (twice) they should be ok. Much as it goes against everything I believe in, I have to admit that Guvnor Ince done good at Milton Keynes, stopping the rot, winning the Paint Dry Trophy at Wimberlee and the league. It’s just that there is something horrible about him. They could quite possibly kick their way into the UEFA Diddly Widdly Cup.
CSKA Fulham The big news was the fact that the money from Mr Russia is not given to the club but loaned. It will also not go unnoticed that everyone who leaves the club does so in dispute – the latest being their last manager who was apparently a friend of Mr Russia, and now seems rather unhappy about being removed without lots of dosh. Slowly, very slowly, players and background staff will realise that this is not a nice place to work. QPR looks a better bet. They will however use the wealth that should be spent on the poor of Russia to buy a load of players who ought to know better than accept. Prediction – until UEFA take action they will continue to buy a top 3 spot and play awful football. The new manager is just a thug the players take drugs – that’s all you need to know.
Everton: It is hard to dislike a club we beat 7-0. I just wish their supporters could be more energetic in their disgust at the neighbours. 6th
Fulham. I love Fulham just because of their owner. Anyone who suggests that the royal family runs rings of prostitutes and bribes the police gets my vote. OK he’s a nasty burk, but it is just fun. Also I like Hodgson for no reason other than the fact that like Wenger he knows about the world. I remember a journalist colleague interviewing him as manager of the Swiss, and saying “how do you cope with the language” (snigger snigger – meaning you are English and they is foreign so do you shout.) Hodgson revealed exactly how he could communicate in each language in turn.
Hull city. Alas poor Hull. Its a horrible city, with the librarian of the university being the only redeeming feature. But it is good that teams get up for the first time. I don’t want them to sink back to the Beazer Sherlock Holmes League without trace. But they will go down.
Liverpool Weetabix. Totally bankrupt, after the owners went back on their word about not loading the club with their personal debt, trying to build a stadium they can’t afford, they are soon going to implode. Keep calling themselves a Big Four club, and one day even the journalists will realise that in EPL terms they have done nothing to deserve such wordage. 5th or 6th would be acceptable. 22nd better, but unlikely. Still we can laugh at Crouch, until he goes elsewhere. Actually I think Weetabix is in trouble too.
Man City. Sacking Sven was insane and as unacceptable as the owner. Now they have a manager called Use. How odd is that? They are playing the Toppled Bollard Pub Team in the first round of the Bibbly Bobbly Cuppy Wuppy. Could lose. 10th, and hopefully the owner is arrested along with the manager
Manchester Bankrupt. This is the first season when the financial worries begin to hit. It won’t fall apart until “Sir” Alex F-Word leaves, but you can see the wobbles. Scholes is 93 and that Welsh guy is not far behind. Ronaldodo has made a prat of himself, and UEFA is hovering at the door asking about how come they can’t even pay the interest on their debts. 2nd
Middlesbrough. They beat us last season – extraordinary. But still, the 7-0 over McLaren’s version of the club was a laugh. Might go down, you never know. It’s a bloody long way, and freezing cold when you get there. But I did once see us win 1-6 at the Shiverside, another wonderful memory.
Newcastle Untidy. Another northern backwater meandering around. Can you see King Kev doing it? I can’t – but I’ll say this – after we beat them in league and cup they still left the ground chanting and singing. Of course I couldn’t understand a word since it was all in some foreign tongue, but they made a noise despite being useless.
Portsmouth. Harry-Harry-Harry. Arrested, let go, lives in Poole, as did I at one time, Wenger likes him a lot so he must be ok. And our old boys toddle along there. And they’ve got Tony Adams too. A Diddly Cup place would be fun.
Stoke City. I have driven by the ground but not in it, so twill be good to venture inside, because I can’t see them staying up.
Sunderland. Horrible place, no proper segregation from the missile throwing natives, belief in being something they are not. Escape relegation by 1 point and manager vanishes into the distance.
The Tiny Totts. Ah the totts. New manager. New ground, or maybe not. Throw out the old rubbish and buy… Crouch???? The point about their manager fella is that he has never managed a club with money, and somehow that no one ever works out, the totts have money and money and more money. They need Berbatov who is, dare I say it, bloody brilliant. They also hold the record for the lowest ever crowd at the Ems. 9th.
West Bromwich Wobbleyou. Crummy ground, but you can park close, and its on the motorway. Probably escape relegation by 2 points having turned anti-football into an art form.
West Ham. Two stops from Barking and still looking like it. 10th? 12th? 14th? God what a dump.
Wigan. Great club, nice pies, always possible to get a ticket. Mud heap of a ground. Can they stay up any longer. Will anyone notice when they don’t. I think this is the end, they’ll go down and West Brom stay up. Have you been to the pier? Really good. Read your Orwell.
Next week: How to speak Trotsky.
- Arsenal v the team that will present a giant toothbrush to our captain
- Arsenal squad for Europa League game
- The abuse of female footballers is appalling, but there is a wider context
- Why Arsenal v Glimt might be tougher than the game against Tottenham
- Is the team that passes the most, the team that gets the best results?