By Tony Attwood
Now we all make mistakes, and there’s not much point in pointing out the errors of those who have used a pen and paper, with maybe a calculator, to work out what will happen at the end of the season. (That’s what we did, and we predicted Arsenal in third place).
But there is plenty of good reason to have a bit of fun at the expense of those who claim they have used a supercomputer to work out the results, because they haven’t As we have often noted, supercomputers are far too expensive, their time is far too highly in demand. The Titan machine for example cost $97 million.
So I thought it might be interesting to see just what an alleged “supercomputer” predicted at the start of the season, and quote Opta’s exact words on Twitter, which are that the supercomputer “can’t see past another close battle between Liverpool and Manchester City in 2022-23, with Jürgen Klopp’s Reds edging out Pep Guardiola’s side for the title.”
Well, looking at the table at the moment it does seem to me one can see past Liverpool and Manchester City what with Arsenal being 19 points above Liverpool having scored 13 goals more and conceded 18 goals less.
Arsenal’s chances of the title were given as 0.13% (ie just over one tenth of one percent) of those of Liverpool.
Now this is worrying since supercomputers are used to defend the nation from attacks by enemies known and unknown. If they can get this so wrong, we may ask, are we safe?
The four clubs most likely to secure Champions League football according to the mythical “supercomputer” (or “my mate Dave with a pencil and a calculator whose batteries are runnng flat” to give it a more accurate description) gave the top four of Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.
And they went on “The three outside bets for a top four finish based on the supercomputer’s analysis are Newcastle United, West Ham United and Leicester City.”
So to put that in perspective, Arsenal would not only fail to get into the top four, but would finish lower than West Ham and Leicester City. Again let’s have a quick look
|18||West Ham United||23||5||5||13||19||29||-10||20|
As for the foot of the table, Opta’s mythical supercomputer analysed who was going down. At the end of the season. They went for Bournemouth having “the highest chance of relegation (45.0%), just ahead of Nottingham Forest (44.5%) and last season’s Championship title-winners Fulham (43.8%).”
And then they added, “History suggests it might be possible for one of those sides to stay up, however.”
So let’s look down the table
|18||West Ham United||23||5||5||13||19||29||-10||20|
Not one of the Opta supercomputer relegation predictions looks like being certain, although Bournemouth are only just above relegation at the moment. But as for the notion that fans of Brentford “should be nervous of the campaign ahead” the only reply can be, Opta’s alleged supercomputer needs some new medication.
Indeed, if you are given some sort of prediction for a football outcome and it mentions Opta it might be best not to take any notice. If you want to look at our original preview of this season in which we suggested third was well within the club’s reach – as opposed to sixth suggested by Opta – it is here.
Here’s Opta’s prediction for the top, with a note as to how far off they are at the moment. Some of the bigger cock-ups on the prediction front are in bold.
- Liverpool – currently 8th, 19 points behind Arsenal
- Manchester City – currently 2nd, two points behind Arsenal
- Tottenham Hotspur – currently 4th, 12 points behind Arsenal
- Chelsea – currently 10th – 23 points behind Arsenal
- Manchester United – currently 3rd, five points behind Arsenal
- Arsenal – currently top
- West Ham United – currently 18th, 15 points behind their predicted position
- Newcastle United – currently 5th, 13 points behind Arsenal
- Leicester City – currently 14th, 11 points behind their predicted position
- Aston Villa – currently 11th – Opta almost getting this right
- Brighton & Hove Albion – currently 7th, seven points above Opta’s predicted place
- Crystal Palace – currently 12th. OPTA PREDICTION CURRENTLY CORRECT
- Wolverhampton Wanderers – currently 15th
- Everton – currently 16th
- Leeds United – currently 19th
- Brentford – currently 9th – 14 points above their predicted position
- Southampton – currently 20th
- Fulham – currently 6th, 20 points above their predicted position
- Nottingham Forest – currently 13th
- Bournemouth – currently 17th
So just one prediction right at the moment – and in on place they are 23 points out.
And remember all this is supposedly using Opta’s supercomputer. I think the best thing to do with Opta statistics is look at them with a certain amount of caution (if not derision).
Meanwhile, here is a video…
Arsenal look to have won it in injury time! 🔴
A crucial three points are heading back to North London… pic.twitter.com/hDgZIdOHa7
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 18, 2023
And the funny thing is, there was more to come!
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t
- Arsenal v Tottenham: different clubs, different managers, different successes
- Arsenal v Tottenham with clubs now getting more cards than they put in tackles!