Predictorship Week 8 – Butters Wouldn’t Melt …

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Players: 41 out of 49. Points scored: 261. Highest score: 12 (Christine Butters). Average score: 6.36. Prediction of the Week: Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn (Basil Bradley, James Bradley, Brian Dunlop, Steve McHugh, Rob Molloy, Wendy Nathan).

Results: Arsenal 3-0 Watford (3); Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (8); Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn (6); Manchester City 0-0 Sheffield United (3); Middlesbrough 2-1 Everton (2); Portsmouth 2-0 West Ham (9); Reading 0-1 Chelsea (6); Wigan 1-3 Manchester United (2); Newcastle 1-2 Bolton (7); Fulham 2-1 Charlton (8).

Christine Butters (Manchester City) is this week’s Predictorship hot shot and claims the season’s top score so far (12). Christine, who rockets from 19th to fourth position in the latest table, is aided by a remarkable five correct scores (the games at Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Wigan, Newcastle and Fulham), a feat not witnessed since Janet Jones and Stewart Newport recorded five and six correct scores respectively in Stewart’s record-breaking, 15-point week during the 2005-2006 season.

Hope Arnold (Manchester United) has her lead cut to four points by Nick Watson (Ipswich Town). Hope, who earlier in the week confirmed she was “feeling the pressure”, took a major gamble on Reading beating Premiership champions Chelsea 2-1 but was saved by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury-time strike for Manchester United and Fulham’s 2-1 win against Charlton.

Pete Yoder (Wolverhampton Wanderers) has the most correct scores to his name (13) and moves into third place, ahead of Christine in fourth and David Roberts (Watford) in fifth, who, in his own words, was either “brave or stupid” to predict a 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Watford. Rob Dimery (Cheltenham Town) sneaks into the top 30 with four correct scores and 11 points, which would have been good enough to take top score honours in all but two weeks this season.

Decent scores for Brian Dunlop (Purple Haze), Alex Iskandar Liew (Tricky Trees) and Michael Whitty (Bunch of Losers), condemn Stuart Claxton (Reading) to a third week at the foot of the table.

If you’re still wondering about the footballer who shares his surname with the team he plays for and scored during the recent set of international fixtures: Steven Ireland.

“To be really happy, we must throw our hearts over the bar and hope that our bodies will follow” – Graham Taylor, England manager (yes, another one), 1990-1993

DEBUT WRITER IN FOOTBALL CLICHE HUNT

We in Britain are blessed not only with the most exciting football league but the most hilarious punditry. Commentators speak a language that wouldn’t be understood or tolerated anywhere but inside the confines of the football stadium or pub. “A spotters badge” to you if you can understand how “a boy whose on fire arriving at the back stick, latching on to a hollywood ball, can slot one in off the woodwork.” If you are excited by a world full of such Shakespearean soccer wordsmithery and can deliver up some proper football cliches and name and honour (or shame) the men who uttered them I’d be glad to keep a log of them. I’ll take every cliche as it comes, so set your stall out, why don’t you.

Is It Football Season In Engerland Already?

Footy is back!So it’s been what, six freakin’ weeks since the end of the World Cup?

The first two weeks were the “what are the Italians going to do about the recent unpleasantness” weeks. Then there was a little quiet (call it a week and a half). But pretty soon the big clubs were off on their international tours (two weeks ago), last weekend was the Charity Shield, and voila — time for the start of the EPL Season! The footy people don’t know how good they have it! Here I am, desperately reading every freakin’ page of Eagles-related content from January to September, sitting on my hands and trying not to act like a loser until the NFL starts up again, and the footy people can barely catch their breath before it’s time to kick off a whole new season.

Oh wait. I’m a footy person too.

With a new season looming, it’s time for predictions. While the NYC contigent is hard at work coordinating their Saturday TV-watching and beer-swilling agenda, I hope we all have some time for preseason predictions…just copy/ paste into the comments and give it a go.

EPL Champion?
2nd Place?
3rd Place?

Which three teams will be relegated?

Which team will go furthest in Europe (Champions League or UEFA Cup)?

Who will be top scorer in the Prem?

Total points for Reading?

Total number of EPL appearances by Claudio Reyna?

Total EPL goals for Bobby Convey?

Will Brian McBride finish the season with Fulham?

And, because it wouldn’t be Camena if we didn’t ask, which team has the coolest shirt this year (home or away)?

I’ll put my answers in the comments on Friday.