The Predictorship Week 33 – Christine Draws Clear

Players: 37 out of 49. Points scored: 169. Highest score: 9 (“The Lucky 13”: Basil Bradley, Mark Davies, Paul Dolan, Mike Dufficy, Brian Dunlop, Jodie Kemp, Ronan L’Heveder, Trevor Morris, Norman No Mates, Sanjiv Sachdev, Maziar Sattari, Della Torra, Pete Yoder). Average score: 4.56. Total correct scores: 51. Prediction of the Week: Haresh Mirani (Manchester United 1-1 Middlesbrough). Seasonal Highs: Alex Iskandar Liew (32nd), Trevor Morris (38th).

Results: Bolton Wanderers 1-3 Reading (0); Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sheffield United (8); Fulham 1-1 Blackburn Rovers (6); Liverpool 2-0 Wigan Athletic (10); Manchester United 1-1 Middlesbrough (1); Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Arsenal (3); Watford 1-1 Manchester City (13); West Ham United 1-0 Everton (4); Aston Villa 0-0 Portsmouth (5); Newcastle United 0-0 Chelsea (1).

Current Top 10 …

Pos. – Team – (Predictor) – Week 33 Points – Correct Results – Correct Scores – Total Points

1. MANCHESTER CITY (Christine Butters) – 6 – 174 – 47 – 221
2. CHELSEA (Dave Taylor) – 3 – 174 – 43 – 217
3. MANCHESTER UNITED (Hope Arnold) – 2 – 174 – 42 – 216
4. LIVERPOOL RESERVES (Saleel Sathe) – 3 – 161 – 46 – 207
5. IPSWICH TOWN (Nick Watson) – 7 – 159 – 44 – 203
6. BENFICA (Steven Dunlop) – 5 – 163 – 40 – 203
7. JERSEY UNITED (Mike Dufficy) – 9 – 165 – 38 – 203
8. WEST BROMWICH ALBION (Mark Young) – 4 – 165 – 38 – 203
9. PETERBOROUGH UNITED (Steve McHugh) – 6 – 161 – 41 – 202
10. BENGAL MUMBAI F.C. (Haresh Mirani) – 7 – 152 – 48 – 200

It’s been a week bigger than Liverpool legend Phil Thompson’s nose in the Predictorship. (“Oh the shadow outside is frightening, stops the sun from shining light in, you can see it wherever he goes, Thompson’s nose, Thompson’s nose, Thompson’s nose” – sung to the tune of ‘Let It Snow’.)

Christine Butters has her little finger on the Predictorship trophy after securing six points, three jackpots and a four-point lead at the top of the table, but the chasing pack are left feeling as flat as the balloon burst by Bolton’s cheeky Greek midfielder Stelios Giannakopoulos on Saturday, or as statuesque as Getafe players when Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (the “new Maradona”) decided to run rings around them in the Copa del Rey (http://youtube.com/watch?v=cuazOPnp_64).

Seven draws, including two goalless encounters on Sunday that rendered ‘Match of the Day 2’ unessential viewing, spell disaster for Dave Taylor (three points), Hope Arnold (two), Saleel Sathe (three) and anyone else who believes predicting draws is unfashionable in this day and age.

On the other hand, if you were on holiday last week/forgot to submit your scores/have given up the ghost/intentionally didn’t play because you knew there’d be lots of draws (delete as applicable) you now belong to a select group – dubbed “The Lucky 13” – who miraculously notch up nine points. Among their number you’ll find last season’s champion Mike Dufficy, one of four players handily placed on 203 points. The race for Europe (a Predictorship myth?) has never been so tasty.

If you prefer to dismiss the lofty achievements of the no-shows, you should instead raise a glass of bubbly to Rob Dimery, constantly plagued by the relegation fears of his beloved Cheltenham Town but showing the strength of character to rise above it all with eight points of his own doing. A 100% success rate for the games at Liverpool (Rob’s second team), Tottenham, Watford and Aston Villa make it all possible.

Quote of the Week …

“It’s the end of democracy, we go back to old times” – Jose Mourinho, bemoaning Chelsea’s inability to close the gap on Manchester United with a 0-0 stalemate at Newcastle on Sunday.

Where Are They Now? (Part 4) …

Johan Cruijff, Dutch striker and the most famous exponent of “Total Football”, which, as Wikipedia helpfully explains, is a system “where a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining their intended organisational structure. In this fluid system, no footballer is fixed in his intended outfield role; anyone can be successively an attacker, a midfielder and a defender.” Anyway, Johan, who bagged 190 goals in 229 appearances for Ajax (who last week retired his No.14 shirt), is “an influential advisor” to both Ajax and Barcelona (where he netted another 48 goals in 143 appearances). It’s anyone’s guess what an “advisor” does, let alone an influential one, but it’s rumoured to involve clocking up thousands of air miles annually between Holland and Spain, sitting in on meetings that have been called just to announce the next meeting and pointing out a few irrelevant tactical things. Every team needs one.