Reuters Soccer Blog
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Do you feel you’ve been sitting on the bench too long this season? Are you itching for a chance to get out there and show what you can do? Confident you can show all those pundits how little they know about the game?
Well, my friends. Now. Is. Your. Chance.
Scores have been so low in our modest little predictions slot that one good week — one! — could see you overtake the vast majority of the Reuters Soccer Blog panel.
With one point for a correct result but a whopping five for a correct score — and untold bonus points on offer for predicting the apparently unpredictable — you could find yourself top of the league in no time.
And considering that The Contest is run on the honour system, you could even award yourself points for style.
How did you get on? I expect it was better than most of us… As a look back to Friday lunchtime’s post will attest, our efforts at predicting the score on the opening weekend of the Premier League covered few of us in any glory.
UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did…
The new Premier League season is upon us and this year we at the Reuters Soccer Blog have decided to stick our necks out as never before.
When Pablo Zabaleta signed for Manchester City this time last year he admits he wasn’t really expecting to be playing on the same team as Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor.
How times change. City are now being referred to as part of the “Big Five” in the Premier League and a Champions League qualifying place must be their target for the season.
There’s been a fair bit of speculation, here and elsewhere, about whether Manchester City could actually win the Premier League title but a more realistic goal is a top four finish. That being the case, the summer spending spree seen by some as being brash and uncoordinated is actually very shrewd.
Look carefully, and what City have managed to do, with the recruitment of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa and Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure from Arsenal, is to weaken two of their rivals for fourth place.
Liverpool’s Rafa Benitez may feel he got a good price for Xabi Alonso but he is in no danger of dislodging Arsene Wenger as the Premier League manager with the Midas touch.
Wenger has received criticism of late for not ‘spending big’ on replacements for departing first-teamers. He should be receiving credit for earning a huge pile of cash for players no longer in his plans. Does anyone in football generate as much money from transfers as Wenger?
Fuelled by millions of petro-dollars from the apparently bottomless pockets of their Abu Dhabi owners Manchester City have spent the summer accumulating what is beginning to look, on paper anyway, a squad that will challenge for the title.
Significantly, the players bought by manager Mark Hughes are tried and tested in the Premier League which augurs wells for City’s chances of shaking up the established pecking order in English football.
Has John Terry got a bit big for his boots by questioning whether Chelsea’s ambition matches his own?
The defender and club captain said that was the reason for the delay in him nailing his colours to the Chelsea mast in the wake of Manchester City’s reported 200,000 pounds per week offer to take him away from Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City are finally shopping at the luxury end of the market, as befits their status as the richest of the rich, and as a result the fans can start to get excited about the new season.
Back in January I blogged about the depressingly familiar rollcall of mediocre players being linked with City: the likes of Scott Parker, Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy and Matthew Upson.