Knowledge & WisdomBy
Well what a cracking end to a top weekend. Unless you happen to be a Blackburn fan of course.
BOTW chalks up a further 3 point profit to take us to an all time high 154 point haul, I rake in filthy amounts of cash personally on the Strictly Come Dancing eliminations, and my boy PJS pops up with the winner to put the cherry on top.
And Man City’s £30 million star player has decided to go AWOL. Yet again another of SAF’s more mystifying decisions begins to look particularly wise.
I think Brian sums that situation up pretty neatly with this one:
On that note, here is my little round up of the weekend’s action…
A much needed win for Gérard Depardieu and his Brummie bunch resulted in a satisfying win for BOTW.
It is very rewarding when a rational, if slightly controversial, wager results in a win. The gambling monkey was on my side again this weekend.
He must realise it is nearly Christmas, as he really is behaving impeccably at the moment.
Before I move on, a quick note on the price movement on this one. Originally quoted and tipped at 2.20, I thought this game would come in prior to kick off.
What transpired was one of the most extraordinary reversals I can remember, with the price drifting and material amounts changing hands as high as 2.58 before kickoff.
I have to confess to having no explanation for this whatsoever. I am still a bit baffled and it is something I will be having a look at.
I would like to stress that just because this bet won, doesn’t make it any “better” or “more profitable” selection than it was at 2pm on Saturday. And it is crucial to remember that and not let the result of an individual game cloud the process. It was simply a game where Villa were a 48-52% chance of winning but we were getting paid based on them only having a 39-45% chance of winning, depending on when you “got on”.
It really is that simple.
Around the rest of the Premiership, you may have also noticed that Everton’s poor run of form continued as they failed to convert one of many chances against Wigan at Goodison.
It really is crunch time for them over the festive period. They need a couple of big results and sharpish.
They need to be targeting six points from their next three fixtures – City (a), Birmingham (h) and West Ham (a). That won’t be an easy feat.
So far this season they have chalked up a measly two points from home fixtures against West Brom, Newcastle, Wigan and Wolves.
That is nothing short of Ronny Rosenthal bad.
Check out a 22 year old David James, fresh off a 72 hour playstation marathon. He’s had his up’s and down’s, but when all is said and done he has had quite a career.
Elsewhere in the Premiership, the Bolton point train continued on at full steam. 26 and counting. Me thinks that our 41 points won’t be too tough a target. Cher-Ching!
Sadly Birmingham put in a flat and lethargic performance at Molineaux which was a little surprising. Like our other surly ginger Scottish managed friends, they need to pick it up over the coming weeks.
A quick side note on those damn tangerine away wins…
This is getting a bit old hat now, but congratulations AGAIN to Ian Holloway and Blackpool. Their 1-0 win at Stoke was their fourth away win in only nine away games.
To put that into perspective, Fulham have never won four away games in any of the last five seasons, and have won only nine league games away from Craven Cottage in total during that period… covering 104 games!
Are things looking any better under Mark Hughes? Nope. 0 from 9. So much for the change of regime!
After doing a little digging I found that the boys from SW6 aren’t the only ones to get travel sick. Shockingly, Sunderland have also never managed to win four away games in any of their Premier League campaigns since 2001.
Their last seven EPL seasons have yielded the following number of away wins – 3, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2.
Any this season they are 1 for 9, with trips to Old Trafford, The Emirates and The City of Manchester stadium to come. I wouldn’t be holding your breathe on that one…
For completion, the other teams to have graced the top flight but failed to match Blackpool’s feat are Derby (0), Burnley (1) Watford (2), West Brom (1,1) and Sheffield United (3).
If the Tangerines would like a stretch target for the remainder of the season, only two teams outside of the top eight have managed an eight away win season in the last five years. And Man City and Tottenham have never managed an eight away win season.
The answers to the trivia question are the 2005/06 Wigan side (8/3/8) and the (insolvent) 2007/08 Pompey side (8/1/9). And Pompey’s wins aren’t really applicable given the resulting cost to the club of building that team.
Fancy Holloway’s men to stretch it out to a 10 away win season?
Obviously, that is never going to happen, but for completion only five teams have managed that in the last five years – Liverpool (2), Arsenal (1) and Aston Villa (1)
Just how far ahead have Chelsea and Man United been in recent years? Well, both have won at least 10 away games each year for the last five years, actually averaging 12 away wins a season.
Down in the Championship…
It was an excellent weekend for the chasing pack, with both QPR and Cardiff picking up rare defeats. That said, I would still bet my Granny one of these two takes home the title come May though.
A quick shout out to everybody’s favourite Swedish lothario, Sven Goran Eriksson.
Since taking over a Leicester side entrenched in the relegation zone with a 2/2/6/-10 record, The Foxes have gone 6/2/3/+6 during his first 11 games in charge.
They are now only two points off 7th, although they do have a number of solid teams ahead of them in the chasing pack.
Also, I must give credit where it’s due to Simon Grayson’s Leeds for the performance on the weekend in coming back from 0-2 down to beat fellow playoff hopefuls Burnley 3-2 at Turf Moor.
They continue to defy gravity and BOTW’s predictions that we will see them regress and fall out of the playoff picture as the season progresses.
Le Primera Divisioni
BOTW tip Sheffield Wednesday, were the biggest winners of the weekend, coming from a goal down early doors to batter a hapless Bristol Rovers side 6-2 and move into 2nd place in League One.
Elsewhere, the league tightened up considerably, with Lee Clark’s Huddersfield seeing off leaders Brighton, in part thanks to a missed penalty from the normally reliable Glenn Murray.
Southampton and Charlton also got beat to really spice things up, with the former losing to Andy Scott’s rapidly improving Brentford side.
They are a side I tipped as a good outside bet for promotion preseason, and after a horrid start are really coming good. Scott is one of the best young mangers in the country, and some of the early season media grumblings and pontificating about his position was nothing short of scandalous.
Check out The Bees cumulative value chart from a level stakes 5% back strategy so far this season:
Brentford’s cumulative return based on 5% back stakes
A picture paints a thousand words and all. Keep an eye on them in the second half of the season as they often represent a bit of a bargain from a betting perspective.
Last but by no means least, down in League Two BOTW’s proclaimed “worst” team in the league, Barnet, won comfortably 2-0 at home to Accrington Stanley. So I guess that leaves Hereford and Stockport fighting it out for that particular honour for the moment.
And what better way to finish this wrap up other than by giving BOTW’s favourite team, Crewe Alexandra, a big up. The Railway men racked up another (Aussie) cricket score on Saturday afternoon with a barnstorming 3-3 draw at Edgeley Park.
The Railway men are now averaging 3.58 total goals per game, which is bettered only by Gary Johnson’s Peterborough United – at an obscene 4.11 total goals per game.
I’ll be keeping an eye on that one. My money is on Dario Gradi’s men to nick it by season’s end.
If they don’t make the League 2 playoffs, they will certainly make my top 6 based on entertainment value alone.