Some observations from the weekend pastBy
1. Referees never fail to amaze me
“Oh shit, I can’t send someone off this early in the game, can I?!” Phil Dowd
So professional fouls don’t really count for the first five minutes of a game do they Phil?! What is this, primary school?
2. Analysts never fail to amaze me
“The ball looks like an Uncle Joe’s mint ball”
“That yellow card came out so fast it was like a piece of toast out of a toaster” Mark Lawrenson
Insightful stuff as ever Lawro. Please, if anyone at the BBC is listening, we deserve better than this. Put him out to graze for crying out loud.
3. Commentators never fail to amaze me
“Villa have picked a team that wants to win the cup at all costs, Sir Alex Ferguson has picked his Carling Cup team” Alan Green
Here is Man United’s team against Barnsley from earlier in the competition this season:
Foster, Neville, Brown, Fabio, Rafael, Evans, Anderson, Owen, Welbeck, Obertan, Macheda
And here is the team from Sunday’s cup final:
Kuszczak, Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Valencia, Berbatov, Owen
Carling Cup team eh Alan? I count eight of United’s strongest possible XI there. And then the strongest available replacements for EVDS and Rio, in messers Kuszczak and Evans.
So actually, Alan, it was a full strength team selection except for the one obvious change. That does not constitute a “Carling Cup team” under any circumstances.
You are a disgrace to the commentators’ guild.
For those of you still trying to figure out the eight from above…
4. Park Ji-Sung is one of the most under-rated footballers in England
Why does everyone treat Park like some 9 year old SAF has thrown in for a laugh? Why whenever he plays well do people appear surprised? Why when a 22 year old from Teeside runs himself into the ground is he a legend in the making, but when Park does so he is simply “effective” and “workmanlike”?
I am happy every single time I see that PJS is in the team. And when I have some time at the end of the season I may have a look at what United’s record is with him in the team. His contribution, although not as obvious to the naked/untrained eye, is often invaluable.
But I guess with the quality of commentary/analysis/punditry we get treated to in the country, I am not surprised some people aren’t able to recognize this.
We all know that Rooney is one of the best players in the world and is on fire at the moment. We aren’t brain dead. How about you earn your money, and as ex professionals paid to do nothing more than assess and comment on the game of football you tell/show us something insightful once a season? Is that too much to ask?
Hansen, you can have a free pass. The rest of you, I mean you.
5. Antonio Valencia is even better than Park Ji-Sung
Interesting to see that AV was awarded the MOM award on Sunday. How long did that take you to think up boys? Did you break out in a cold sweat as soon as you realised you couldn’t give it to Rooney as he only played an hour or so?
I am not saying that AV wasn’t MOM. Maybe he was. But I find it interesting that it requires Rooney to score 742 goals from Valencia crosses in the last three months before anyone takes any notice.
Sunday’s performance probably wouldn’t make AV’s top ten of the season in my book. But again, anyone that isn’t a United fan probably wouldn’t believe that with the quality of our media coverage.
6. On this weekend’s evidence, your average orangutan knows more about sports gambling than me
I have a simple model that filters the football fixtures each week. Mainly as a time saving device. As, contrary to popular believe I don’t have all week to assess 150+ football matches properly.
My model identified 32 games worth looking at this weekend. Of these, 23 ended up being winners. That is a very respectable 71.9%.
A simple 1pt wager on all 32 games, the approach of said untrained orangutan, would have resulted in a 17% ROI. Very nice.
However, my many years of experience and many hours of hard graft resulted in me identifying 3 of the 9 losing bets as those representing the greatest +EV.
I am not quite sure how, but I managed to achieve a whopping 40% hit rate… good for a 100% loss.