Players: 41 out of 49. Points scored: 267. Highest score: 9 (Patrick Bevilacqua, Neil Hayes, Wendy Nathan, Stewart Newport, Saleel Sathe). Average score: 6.51. Prediction of the Week: Paul Bentley, Patrick Bevilacqua, Scott “why ask me to jinx the dandy Dons?” Christie (Portsmouth 2-2 Aston Villa).
Results: Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur (0); Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Fulham (6); Middlesbrough 1-2 Manchester United (10); Portsmouth 2-2 Aston Villa (3); Reading 1-0 Bolton Wanderers (3); Sheffield United 2-1 Charlton Athletic (9); Wigan Athletic 0-4 Liverpool (0); Everton 2-0 West Ham United (5); Manchester City 0-0 Watford (1); Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen (2).
Question: What does Dave Taylor have in common with cricketers Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke? Answer: They all recorded swashbuckling centuries at the weekend.
While Ponting and the other Pom-bashing Aussies were strolling to a 2-0 lead in the Ashes, Dave was happily bringing up his ton to maintain a three-point cushion at the top of the Predictorship.
Dave’s 102 points are made up of 79 correct results (second only to Hope Arnold – thankfully recovered from her “food-induced haze” – on 82) and 23 correct scores, the same number as Saleel Sathe, on the rampage and up to third, and, bizarrely, the not so rampaging Mazair Sattari in 29th.
Listen up, here’s the science bit: After 15 weeks and 150 games, Dave is one of only eight predictors to have at least a 50% success rate when it comes to correct results. Almost one in six of his predictions have been spot on.
Looking at the wider picture, just seven players have made it to 11 points in any given week, with a top score of 12 for Christine Butters in week 8 and Haresh Mirani in week 11. It’s a tough old season.
Personally, I blame teams like Fulham, Manchester City, Blackburn, Everton, Bolton, Middlesbrough, Reading, West Ham, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Wigan who are consistently inconsistent and nigh on impossible to predict with any degree of certainty every week. It gets even more mind-boggling when they play each other.
In other news, our best wishes go out to British Hit Singles & Albums predictors David Roberts and James Bradley, who are moving on to pastures new after 31 and six years respectively at the Bible of Pop. Fear not, predictors, your favourite football game is unaffected save for David’s snazzy new e-mail address.
For anyone who couldn’t make the leaving party, you’ll be delighted to hear that DJ Bradley – proudly sporting a replica Northern Ireland shirt from 1982, the year they reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup (no, I couldn’t believe it either) – spun some wicked sounds. Highlights included Britney’s ‘Toxic’, Bon Jovi’s rock-tastic ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ and the Osmonds’ most un-Osmond-like ‘Crazy Horses’, which induced some manic dancefloor action from fellow predictor Rob Dimery. The Cheltenham man’s a legend in his own lifetime.
On the other side of the Atlantic (or not, depending on where you’re reading this), there’s some great news from Predictorship rookie Brian Dunlop, who recently announced his engagement to Polly Emery, and Pete Yoder, possibly the fittest predictor in the league, who recently completed the New York City marathon in under four hours. Congratulations to you both and thanks to my undercover source. We’re watching you, so be good …
If you have any news – football related or otherwise – I’m only an e-mail away: email@example.com.
Coming soon: The Predictorship Cup. Are you ready for the excitement? See week 12’s round-up for the all-important details.
Quote of the week …
“Our first goal was pure textile” – John Lambie, who fashioned three spells as manager of Scottish First Division club Partick Thistle.