Predictorship Week 16 – Well I’ll be Damned

Players: 43 out of 49. Points scored: 276. Highest score: 10 (John Collins, Brian Dunlop, Haresh Mirani, Nick Watson, Michael Whitty). Average score: 6.41. Prediction of the Week: Mark Young (Bolton 4-0 West Ham). Runners-up: John Collins, Haresh Mirani (Liverpool 4-0 Fulham).

Results: Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Newcastle United (0); Bolton Wanderers 4-0 West Ham United (1); Liverpool 4-0 Fulham (2); Manchester United 3-1 Manchester City (5); Middlesbrough 1-1 Wigan Athletic (13); Portsmouth 2-0 Everton (6); Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Charlton Athletic (0); Watford 0-0 Reading (2); Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal (5); Sheffield United 2-2 Aston Villa (2).

Despite a distinctly average week, Dave Taylor is still flying the flag for Chelsea (more of them later) at the top of the Predictorship. Dave has occupied the top spot for five consecutive weeks and eight of the 16 weeks of the 2006-2007 Predictorship season so far. That’s exactly half, or 50%, if you want to be clever about it.

Inspired by the copy of The Damned’s 1979 album Machine Gun Etiquette that now graces his record collection (and sits proudly among his top 10 albums of all time), punk picker Nick Watson is once again firing on all cylinders. A magnificent 10 points blasts him back into second place and to within a point of Dave, with Hope Arnold a further point adrift and Haresh Mirani (the second of this week’s five 10 men) a further point adrift of the people who are adrift of Dave.

John Collins (9th), Brian Dunlop (a season’s best 34th) and Michael Whitty (a season’s best 36th) are the other predictors on the ball this week. Ten points and a standing ovation to you all.

Rather than just warbling on about the bottom of the table, one simple question: Where are you Stuart Claxton?

And now for a table that lies …

My latest TPE (Totally Pointless Exercise) was to analyse your week 16 scores in more detail, and the results are right here before your very eyes. Based on the Premiership’s three points for a win and one point for a draw, the table below shows how each team fared based on your score predictions.

So, for example, of the 43 people who played this week, 42 predicted a Manchester United win and Norman No Mates went for his predictable 0-0 draw, giving a total of 127 points (42 x 3 + 1). You awarded Manchester United a total of 97 goals, giving them a goal difference over opponents Manchester City (16 goals) of +81. Easy. Just follow the key below and get analysing. I wasted several hours of my life compiling this table, so please find it remotely interesting.

Of course I won’t be expecting any Christmas cards from Arsenal fans, whose heavyweight clash at Chelsea meant that just two predictors had the nerve to go for an away win and only six other brave (but knowledgeable) souls plumped for a draw. Still, anyone who despises the men from the Emirates and their Arsene of a manager will be delighted to see them languishing in 16th.

I’ll be sure to do this experiment again when Chelsea have a tricky away fixture so we can enjoy Mourinho’s moaners struggling well down the league. I make no apology for my scathing attack. We don’t appreciate teams who buy success round these parts. Give me the socks down, muddy knees, bobbly pitch, jumpers for goalposts, cold shower approach any day of the week (except Saturdays, of course, when I’ll be enjoying the Premiership highlights).

Predictorship Position – (Current Premiership Position) – Team – Games Played – Won – Drawn – Lost – Goals Scored – Goal Difference – Total Points

1. (1) Manchester United: 43 – 42 – 1 – 0 – 97 – +81 – 127
2. (4) Liverpool: 43 – 39 – 3 – 1 – 93 – +74 – 120
3. (9) Tottenham Hotspur: 43 – 37 – 4 – 2 – 82 – +64 – 115
4. (5) Bolton Wanderers: 43 – 35 – 6 – 2 – 73 – +50 – 111
5. (2) Chelsea: 43 – 35 – 6 – 2 – 68 – +45 – 111
6. (3) Portsmouth: 43 – 25 – 13 – 5 – 58 – +27 – 88
7. (17) Blackburn Rovers: 43 – 22 – 16 – 5 – 55 – +21 – 82
8. (7) Reading: 43 – 22 – 14 – 7 – 55 – +21 – 80
9. (8) Aston Villa: 43 – 20 – 16 – 7 – 47 – +16 – 76
10. (15) Middlesbrough: 43 – 17 – 20 – 6 – 52 – +15 – 71
11. (11) Wigan Athletic: 43 – 6 – 20 – 17 – 37 – -15 – 38
12. (16) Sheffield United: 43 – 7 – 16 – 20 – 31 – -16 – 37
13. (20) Watford: 43 – 7 – 14 – 22 – 34 – -21 – 35
14. (14) Newcastle United: 43 – 5 – 16 – 22 – 34 – -21 – 31
15. (10) Everton: 43 – 5 – 13 – 25 – 31 – -27 – 28
16. (6) Arsenal: 43 – 2 – 6 – 35 – 23 – -45 – 12
17. (18) West Ham United: 43 – 2 – 6 – 35 – 23 – -50 – 12
18. (19) Charlton Athletic: 43 – 2 – 4 – 37 – 18 – -64 – 10
19. (13) Fulham: 43 – 1 – 3 – 39 – 19 – -74 – 6
20. (12) Manchester City: 43 – 0 – 1 – 42 – 16 – -81 – 1

Quote of the week …

“We are really quite lucky this year because Christmas falls on Christmas Day” – Bobby Gould, the former Wales coach who unsurprisingly “took no part in Arsenal’s 1970 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final win.” Poor old Bobby is now assistant coach with the mighty Hawke’s Bay United in New Zealand. Fact.

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