Players: 41 out of 49. Points scored: 216. Highest score: 11 (David Roberts). Average score: 5.26. Prediction of the Week: Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa (Neil Hayes, Stewart Newport, David Roberts).
Results: Bolton 2-0 Liverpool; Charlton 1-2 Arsenal; Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa; Everton 1-1 Manchester City; Sheffield United 2-1 Middlesbrough; Blackburn 2-1 Wigan; Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle; Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Portsmouth; West Ham 0-1 Reading; Watford 3-3 Fulham.
Blatant play-acting at Tottenham, bare-faced cheek at Everton, goalkeepers handling outside the penalty area at Bolton (for outside read well inside), ultra-friendly managers at Chelsea and the latest installment of Steven Taylor’s hilarious guide to being hit by a sniper’s bullet and falling to the ground clutching a part of the body that is definitely NOT his arm. Fortunately, the clean-cut Predictorship is not afflicted with such liars, cheats and scoundrels and stands for all that is good about the beautiful game.
Witness Predictorship founder David Roberts’ achievements this week: 11 points, seven correct results, four correct scores and not a bung or ill-timed dive in sight. The Watford man, who watched his side almost snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday night, becomes the first predictor to reach the magical 11-point mark this term and rises from 29th to 8th in the process.
Hope Arnold (Manchester United), meanwhile, extends her lead at the top to four points thanks to another four correct scores and a grand total of nine points. Only an off-colour Paul Dolan (Metrostars), in 34th, Nick Watson (Ipswich Town), who climbs to 4th, and Haresh Mirani (Bengal Mumbai F.C.), who rises 16 places to 6th, can match Hope’s haul.
In the ‘poor’ category, three players register a meagre two points, but not even they can prevent another week at the bottom for Stuart Claxton (Reading), whose late nights at the GWR office in London perfecting the company’s impressive, all-new website have taken their toll on his predicting skills (or lack of them). As Yazz and her Plastic Population once declared: ‘The Only Way is Up’.
And finally, the first in our series of memorable quotes from people within the game who should know much better …
“Playing with wingers is more effective against European sides like Brazil than English sides like Wales” – Ron Greenwood, England manager, 1977-1982
More next week …