I have a confession for you all; i’m in the middle of a bad run. After narrowly losing out in the award for ‘Sports journalist of the year’, i was surprisingly pipped at the post for the ‘Gambling personality of the year’ gong. I’ve now discovered that i didn’t even make the top three in the wife’s ‘Best lover of the year’ category, although to be fair, I was runner up in 2003. It could be worse though, I could be José Mourinho.
Chelsea have had a week from hell; Arjen Pkv Robben has been banned for four games following a horrific attack on Jonathan Greening, where he flew through the air like a crazed ninja with legs well and truly akimbo. John Terry has been chastised by the press for consistently leading a lynch mob to surround referees, Barcelona strolled to Champions League qualification, and now FIFA have announced that two referees per match is a consideration; presumably, one to keep an eye on the always theatrical Didier Drogba. A bad run attracts an even worse run, Tottenham can snatch a draw at the Bridge, get on at 11/4.
There’s an old Chinese saying, ‘If the purple nosed jockey wants to win the big race, he shouldn’t swap a horse for a donkey.’ For some reason, this makes me think of the Van Nistelrooy / Louis Saha situation at Man Utd. If the rumour mill is correct and Ruud is on his way out of Old Trafford, the betting opportunities are almost endless. Back Newcastle today at 13/2; get on Thierry Henry to win the Golden Boot at 13/8 and pile on Liverpool to finish runners up at 2/1. Call me a mad conspiracy theorist, but I’ve put two and two together; i’ve got a tutu.
As a result of Mick McCarthy receiving his P45, Sunderland are now a viable bet to see off Wigan at the Stadium of Light. The scientifically proven phenomenon of ‘replaced manager syndrome’ will undoubtedly come to the fore. An improved Sunderland performance is an absolute Shay; get on at 7/4.
If / when Portsmouth are relegated, Harry Redknapp will receive the honour of being the first manager to relegate different teams from the Premiership in successive seasons. A quite remarkable achievement; who said that Harry had lost his magic? Madman Joey Barton returns for Man City, as will their form on the road; City are a confident call at 11/8.
At first glance, ‘Robbie Savage’s excellent record’ would appear to be a contradiction in terms, much like ‘Chelsea sportsmanship’ or ‘Soccer AM – The best bits’. But incredibly, the blonde bombshell has only been on the losing side once in 18 matches against Aston Villa. That stat’s impressive, but so are Villa away from home. O’Leary has an honest bunch of lads; they should be backed at 9/4 to take a point home from Blackburn.
Jasper Carrott and Frank Skinner will be glued to Soccer Saturday when Birmingham host West Brom in an old fashioned six pointer; although there’s nothing funny about relegation from the Premiership, or Frank Skinner. Birmingham are the better team, they have home advantage, even money is a little treat.