Players: 39 out of 49. Points scored: 277. Highest score: 12 (Christine Butters). Average score: 7.10. Prediction of the Week: Rob Dimery (West Ham United 0-1 Watford).
Results: Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough (6); Everton 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (8); Manchester United 2-0 Charlton Athletic (4); Newcastle United 2-1 Liverpool (3); Portsmouth 2-1 Manchester City (8); Reading 2-0 Aston Villa (4); Sheffield United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (4); West Ham United 0-1 Watford (1); Arsenal 2-1 Wigan Athletic (2); Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Fulham (10).
“Can Butters be beaten?,” asked Predictorship chairman David Roberts last week. “Looks like she’s in for the long haul at the top of the Predictorship,” noted the Watford man with a tinge of resignation. “No-one has ever won the league in February,” continued the fact-filled mid-tabler.
Just like your thankful granny after her cataract operation, the haze has lifted and everything is crystal clear: Manchester City’s Christine Butters is unstoppable. Her stupendous 12-point haul, beautifully adorned with four correct scores, makes the rest of us predictors look nothing short of average by comparison. Not even Michael Whitty’s 11 points or double-figure action from the inappropriately-named Hope Arnold (who may soon have to abandon her quest for silverware), can disguise the cold hard truth: Christine is now five points clear and odds-on favourite for the title.
For the record, 12 points is the joint top score in this season’s Predictorship: Haresh Mirani did it in week 11 and Christine makes it a dozen at the double after racking up 12 points in week 8.
It also shouldn’t escape your notice that there’s a Manchester 1-2 at the top of the table. Sport, music, trams, crime, Las Vegas-style super casinos. Is there anything Manchester isn’t good at?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, answer “no”, “yes” and “no, but let’s rewrite history” to David’s aforementioned missive and be done with it. It looks like we’re all fighting for the runner-up spot.
Five 2-1 home wins, a solitary away win and not a single draw made predicting a much more rewarding experience last weekend, so much so that the average score rose to a shade more than seven for the first time since records began (which wasn’t that long ago, actually).
The Predictorship Cup Round 2 … The Predictorship Cup Round 2 … The Predictorship Cup Round 2 …
Nick Watson’s universally-admired Drawomatic Randomizer 16 whirred and fizzed back into action this week, giving us the draw for Round 2 of the Predictorship Cup – a draw shorn of last season’s winners, Millwall, and two of its semi-finalists, Crystal Palace and Liverpool. Here’s how DR16 plucked the “balls” out of the “hat”:
1. Peterborough United (Steve McHugh) (9) v Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) (13)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (Gabe Bevilacqua) (14) v West Bergholt Wanderers (Jodie Kemp) (26)
3. Manchester United (Hope Arnold) (2) v Bunch of Losers (Michael Whitty) (24)
4. Sheffield Wednesday (Janet Jones) (29) v Hornets Forever (Mark Davies) (42)
5. Manchester City (Christine Butters) (1) v Living the Dream (Paul Bentley) (37)
6. Newcastle United (Basil Bradley) (28) v Bengal Mumbai F.C. (Haresh Mirani) (6)
7. Tottenham Hotspur (Simon Gold) (34) v Watford (David Roberts) (20)
8. West Bromwich Albion (Mark Young) (5) v DC Adunited (Patrick Bevilacqua) (23)
* Current league positions in brackets
The ties take place this weekend – February 17-18.
Quote of the Week …
“Most football teams are temperamental. That’s 90% temper and 10% mental” – Doug Plank, Chicago Bears, 1975-1982. For “football teams” read “American football teams”, but he might as well have been talking about the beautiful round-balled game, so we’ll allow it just this once.