Grubby Gauntlets

There have been many notable duels in both legend and fiction: Achilles vs Hector; Menelaus vs Paris; Doc Holliday vs Johnny Ringo; Capt Jack Sparrow vs Cap. Barbosa… It is even recorded that four months before the US invasion of Iraq, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan suggested U.S. President George W. Bush vs Saddam Hussein settle their difference in a duel. However, there are few rivalries to match those in the 2008–9 Predictorship and several scores left to settle.

Fortunately our keen-eyed Cheltenham Bard ‘The Robster’ (aka Rob Dimery) managed to avert an internal punch up at West Ham (who were in fact entertaining ‘The Donkeys’* at home). “Aren’t there rules about West Ham playing West Ham?” remarked our poet philosophically. Indeed there are Rob and thank you for your insight. Luckily the Chairman’s further email enabled order to be restored.

… but not in every quarter. It would seem that the gallant Patrick Bevilacqua has picked up to gauntlet repeatedly tossed in the direction of the Moonerazzi by Mark Young, no doubt for making “.. certain expressions unworthy of a gentleman” in the manner of HRH Prince Frederick to Lt Col. Lennox 1789. Patrick appears to be biting his thumb at Mr Young with a provocative prediction of 8–1 for the West Ham vs West Brom match. It remains to be seen whether the challenge is accepted.

Meanwhile, the epic David vs Goliath duel of the season continues at the top. The gargantuan leader Chris Butters stumbles briefly as Saleel Sathe sling-shots up towards her, closing the gap to four points.

No matter where you sit in the Predictorship table however, it can be a cruel and battlefield: Predictorship Cup Chairman, Matt White’s foray into the top ten was short-lived; unable to fight of ‘the Young Pretender’ Stephen Dunlop who has finally realised his ambition of reaching the top 10 (now in 8th position after pulling in a respectable 7 points) Matt slides down once again into the also-rans.

But this is nothing compared with the mud slinging going on at the very bottom. James Bradley has finally decided that the 40th position isn’t where he wants to be and flings a well aimed cowpat at Norma No Mates – the only contender beneath him. James was equal-highest scorer this week (along with Maziar Sattari – by virtue of the fact that he forgot to make a prediction for West Ham v West Brom) and waves a cheery farewell to a steaming Norma.

However, success seems to have gone to James Bradleys’ head as he unkindly picks a fight with Wendy Nathan for Predictor of the Week. My vote is for Wendy (Everton 3-1 Stoke), over James’ (Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham), but it’s your call.

Our esteemed panel would also like to give credit this week to Joe Zalewski and Gareth Jones for flinging custard pies in the face of reason to predict a Liverpool win over Manchester United: Joe (1-2) and Gareth (0-1). There’s no such thing as a fair fight at times like this.

So blow the powder out of those pistols and prepare for another week of skirmishing in the Predictorship bushes. And may the best Predictor win!