Unlike Claude Makelele, who, due to his advancing years, now only plays in Chelseaâ€™s â€œimportant gamesâ€ (â€œI can have a rest, and itâ€™s perfect for meâ€), thereâ€™s no respite for fit-as-a-fiddle predictors as the season hurtles headlong towards Christmas.
Despite a shock 1-0 win for Bolton against Manchester United and a rare opportunity to put the words â€˜Evertonâ€™, â€˜sevenâ€™, â€˜routâ€™, â€˜Royâ€™, â€˜Keaneâ€™ and â€˜rubbishâ€™ in the same (very long) sentence, there are points aplenty this week. What character as some of us nurse our Euro 2008 wounds!
Happy Hornet (have you seen the Championship table recently?) David Roberts is the cream of this weekâ€™s thriving crop with 11 points, a haul that heralds a return to the top 10 and a new seasonal high (7th). Three correct scores (the games at Arsenal, Derby and Manchester City â€“ games that produce an incredible 38 correct score predictions between them this week) aid Davidâ€™s quest for a second Predictorship title.
Fellow champion predictors Christine Butters (10th) and Steven Dunlop (18th), together with Mark Lawrenson (20th), Wendy Nathan (5th â€“ a seasonâ€™s best) and Tom Palmer (31st), record 10s, and thereâ€™s one of the finest predictions in the history of the competition as Gary Waller flies in the face of reason and lashes home a screamer with Bolton 1 Manchester United 0. Oh yes, Garyâ€™s got balls â€“ and a soft spot for Nicolas Anelka.
Speaking of balls, singer Tony Henry was lucky to escape with his fully intact after mis-quoting the Croatian national anthem at Wembley. Instead of singing â€˜Mila kuda si planinaâ€™ (â€˜My dear, how we love your mountainsâ€™ â€“ a line already open to rampant mis-interpretation), Tony belted out â€˜Mila kura si planinaâ€™, which, as the Croatian speakers among us will be quick to point out, actually means â€˜My dear, my p***s is a mountainâ€™. Hooray for Henry!
Stay tuned, because next week thereâ€™ll be some exciting news about the return of The Predictorship Cup, which kicks off with a preliminary round in January. Find out how to avoid this banana skin of a round right here on FC Camena â€¦
Premier League Results (Week 16): Arsenal 2-0 Wigan (12); Birmingham 0-2 Portsmouth (2); Bolton 1-0 Manchester United (1); Derby 0-2 Chelsea (16); Everton 7-1 Sunderland (0); Manchester City 2-1 Reading (10); Middlesbrough 0-3 Aston Villa (0); Newcastle 0-3 Liverpool (0); Fulham 2-2 Blackburn (2); West Ham 1-1 Tottenham (2).
* Figures in brackets show the number of correct predictions for each game.
Highest Score (Week 16): 11 â€“ David Roberts.
Average Score (Week 16): 7.44.
Prediction of the Week (Week 16): Gary Waller (Bolton 1-0 Manchester United).
Top of the Table (Week 16):
1. Jersey United (Mike Dufficy) â€“ 120 pts
2. Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) â€“ 116 pts
3. Chelsea (Dave Taylor) â€“ 116 pts
4. Charlton Athletic (Nigel Birrell) â€“ 114 pts
5. West Ham United (Wendy Nathan) â€“ 112 pts
6. Nottingham Forest (Matthew White) â€“ 112 pts
7. Watford (David Roberts) â€“ 108 pts
8. Philadelphia Eagles (Gabe Bevilacqua) â€“ 107 pts
9. Blackburn Rovers (Sally Moon) â€“ 107 pts
10. Manchester City (Christine Butters) â€“ 107 pts
â€œWeâ€™re waiting for a contribution, even a miracle, from somebody who plays for LA Galaxyâ€ â€“ John Motson sizes up David Beckham at Wembley.
â€œWeâ€™ve taken a turn to Negative Town, manâ€ â€“ BBC pundit (and former Arsenal legend) Ian Wright loses his bearings after Englandâ€™s defeat against Croatia.