Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
It’s that time of the week again, folks. The best brains at Reuters Soccer Blog are off, so it’s just the usual crew of no-hopers here to embarrass ourselves trying to predict the outcome of the weekend Premier League action, and with no help from that lottery bobbins bloke.
To recap: with one point available for getting a correct result — and make that a whopping five for the correct score — there are at least 50 points up for grabs each week. Given that most teams have played five matches the total number of points a perfect tipster would have got by now would be well over 200.
Nobody’s perfect, of course (The Beatles released Wild Honey Pie, remember) but you might expect someone to have done a bit better than the following rogue’s gallery:
Reuters Soccer Blog: Kevin Fylan 35, Paul Radford 34, Patrick Johnston 34, Simon Evans 32, Miles Evans 30, Mitch Phillips 24, Mike Collett 18, Neil Maidment 14, Julien Pretot 14, Asia Sports Desk 10, Mark Meadows 8
Our leader, Paul Radford, managed an unhappy three points this week … and look, who’s that chap who has sneaked through to replace him at the top? That was not the most impressive display of the week, however … for that look at one Julien Pretot, our new signing from the Paris bureau who leapt in with a 14 in his first week!
Many Arsenal supporters spent half of last season, and most of Saturday’s match, screaming abuse at Emmanuel Adebayor. On Saturday, he scored and dared to run the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them.
“Outrageous” and “shocking” screamed just about everyone. Obviously he should take the blame for the visiting fans’ subsequent eruption of hatred and vitriol. It was clearly his fault that some of them threw missiles on to the pitch and he is obviously culpable for the City steward being knocked unconscious in the melee.
Now we’ve got that pesky international interlude behind us (it’ll all end in tears, you know it will) we can get back to the serious business of predicting the scores in the Premier League.
Remember how it works: We, at Reuters Soccer Blog, publish our individual predictions for the weekend Premier League matches here on a Friday. You, laughing snidely at our pathetic efforts, send in yours in the comments section below the post.
Brazil-born Juventus striker Amauri failed to get an Italian passport in time for Italy’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Bulgaria but he hopes the documentation will come through soon.Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi has indicated he will then consider Amauri for international duty but said he did not want the situation to be repeated.This seems to have ended any chance of Inter Milan midfielder Thiago Motta following Amauri’s lead. The former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid player could qualify for Italy if FIFA decided his two Brazil appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup did not count as full caps because it was a under-23 team.After Diego’s classy brace in his second game for Juventus, many Italians became excited when they realised the playmaker has Italian lineage. However, they forgot the basic rule that Diego had played competitively for Brazil and therefore was not eligible for Italy.Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva plays for Croatia despite being born in Brazil while the London club’s uncapped Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has often been talked about as a potential England candidate.Is the situation out of hand? I’m just old enough to remember when domestic clubs had a majority of players from the local town. Now few top sides have players from the same country.Is international football going the same way? Why not have Premier League v Serie A rather than England v Italy?Liverpool’s Alberto Aquilani and Andrea Dossena may feel a bit torn.PHOTO: Juventus forward Amauri warms up during a training session at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin March 9, 2009.REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Very few of our panel should be enjoying their English Bank Holiday Monday. Most must hang their heads in shame.
Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal was an eventful game to say the least, with a penalty, bizarre own goal, a late strike disallowed for offside and Arsene Wenger harshly being sent to the stands where he didn’t have a seat.
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.
Are you a flip-flopper? A U-turner? A volte-facer? Are you the Brett Favre of football fans? If so, you’re in good company, though it’s not doing you much good in our predictions league.
Liverpool lost at Spurs and suddenly there were doubts about the strength of the squad, derision at the decision to sell Xabi Alonso and a general feeling the Reds were in decline. They then beat Stoke 4-0 and it was “madness to write them off“. Last night, they lost again, 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, and Sky Sports News have been asking if their title challenge is over… And it’s still only August 25! Phew!
It may well be, then, that the signing of the impressive, energetic Glen Johnson at full-back turns out to be a more significant bit of transfer business than the much criticised decision to sell Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.
UPDATE: Have added the panel predictions that were emailed to me on Friday night/Saturday before kick-offs. (Mike Collett loses 10 points for shamelessly trying to predict Saturday’s scores on Sunday morning … and getting them all spot on.)
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So come on, be honest, who was expecting Burnley to beat Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday?