The Predictorship Week 32 – Michael Keeps Whitts About Him

Players: 36 out of 49. Points scored: 208. Highest score: 9 (Rob Molloy, Sanjiv Sachdev, Michael Whitty). Average score: 5.77. Total correct scores: 46. Prediction of the Week: Norman No Mates (Manchester City 0-0 Liverpool). Seasonal High: Michael Whitty (21st).

Results: Manchester United 4-1 Watford (0); Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Chelsea (score at 90 minutes) (5); Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (11); Manchester City 0-0 Liverpool (1); Middlesbrough 1-3 Aston Villa (0); Portsmouth 2-1 Newcastle United (12); Reading 1-0 Fulham (7); Sheffield United 3-0 West Ham United (0); Everton 2-1 Charlton Athletic (10); Wigan Athletic 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur (0).

Current Top 10 …

Pos. – Team – (Predictor) – Week 32 Points – Correct Results – Correct Scores – Total Points

1. MANCHESTER CITY (Christine Butters) – 6 – 171 – 44 – 215
2. MANCHESTER UNITED (Hope Arnold) – 6 – 172 – 42 – 214
3. CHELSEA (Dave Taylor) – 7 – 172 – 42 – 214
4. LIVERPOOL RESERVES (Saleel Sathe) – 7 – 159 – 45 – 204
5. WEST BROMWICH ALBION (Mark Young) – 5 – 162 – 37 – 199
6. BENFICA (Steven Dunlop) – 7 – 160 – 38 – 198
7. ANKARAGÃœCÃœ (Matthew White) – 7 – 167 – 31 – 198
8. IPSWICH TOWN (Nick Watson) – 3 – 155 – 41 – 196
9. PETERBOROUGH UNITED (Steve McHugh) – 6 – 156 – 40 – 196
10. JERSEY UNITED (Mike Dufficy) – 4 – 158 – 36 – 194

Take Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock’s “great British football – all tackles, excitement, oohs and aahs” and multiply it tenfold. The race for the Predictorship title is even closer than last week.

Thirty-two weeks into the season and it’s edge of the seat stuff with just one point separating Christine Butters, Hope Arnold and Dave Taylor. The time has come to throw a Predictorship-branded blanket over the three of them with instructions to fight it out amongst themselves.

Hope and Dave are inseparable (note to Jill Taylor: in points only), sharing 172 correct results and 42 correct scores. Hope retains second place by virtue of the fact that her surname starts with the letter ‘A’, although her alphabetical superiority in the Predictorship may be short-lived: Mr Aarnoold from Swaziland is being readied for the 2007-2008 campaign.

The leading three predictors remain 10 points clear of Liverpool Reserves gaffer Saleel Sathe, who has now edged five points clear of a despondent chasing pack led by “Baggies Boy” Mark Young.

Lower down the pecking order, Michael Whitty (Bunch of Losers) claims this week’s only seasonal high, hitting a new peak of 21st with a joint top score of the week (nine points), an honour he shares with Reading fan Rob Molloy (Farnborough Town, 30th) and Doncaster Rovers boss Sanjiv Sachdev (43rd).

A resurgent Stuart Claxton (another Reading supporter) slithers out of the bottom three at the expense of Paul Dolan (MetroStars), who spends a record 20th week in the wilderness to wipe the name “Clackers” from the record books. Indeed, you’re bound to find Paul’s name in the 2008 edition of Guinness World Records, probably somewhere in that endless list of sports records at the back of the book. A certificate is on its way to you, Paul. No adjudication necessary.

The Predictorship Cup …

Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) and Sheffield Wednesday (Janet Jones) will contest the Predictorship Cup final on May 19.

Clapton F.C. scuppered all thoughts of a fairytale Jones-Roberts final by defeating Watford (David Roberts) 6-5, whilst Wednesday easily overcame the challenge of rank outsiders Living the Dream (Paul Bentley), dishing out a Manchester United-esque 8-2 beating.

Cathryn and Janet will have just one match to focus their attention on next month: Chelsea v Manchester United at the new Wembley. Both are just one prediction away from Cup glory.

More details to follow, ladies …

Where Are They Now? (Part 3) …

Roger Milla, zimmer frame-courting Cameroon striker who bagged four goals at the 1990 World Cup in Italy at the age of 38. Milla, the first footballer to make it fashionable to dance around the corner flag after scoring (the “World Cup Wiggle”), and officially the best African footballer of the last 50 years, became the oldest World Cup goalscorer in 1994 before becoming an ambassador for Cameroon and UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Described as “tireless in his global efforts”, you might find Roger enjoying his retirement on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Then again, you might not.

Carlos Alberto Torres, Brazilian defender and scorer of THAT goal in the World Cup final against Italy in 1970 (see link below). Carlos, now 62, spent six years entertaining the North American Soccer League with New York Cosmos and California Surf and was inducted into the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003. He coached the Azerbaijan national team until June 2005 and, after a spell at Brazilian Série C side Paysandu Sport Club, returned to coach Série A outfit Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas in Rio de Janeiro. As far as we know, he’s still there.