Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Stupid English Money...

Stupid English money..?

Well it finally happened - the one billion pound barrier was shattered by the end of Premier League transfer window. The good thing is that the slice of the pie is getting bigger for lower Premier League clubs, so in essence greater parity in the league should follow. Watford spending £50m says something, Palace shelling out over £25m for Benteke says something too (but I'm not sure if it's good!) The bottom placed club will still get around £80m. The bad news is that other football clubs on the continent and in the lower leagues are sure to suffer, with transfer fees going through the roof how will they be able to afford players? The German's call it 'stupid English money' and they have a point.

Perversely, the astronomical fee paid by Man Utd for Paul Pogba could yet turn out to be the best value deal of the transfer market - it's just the £20m paid to his agent, Mino Raiola, that irks - even if it did cost him a few hours of his time.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Premier League...

The Right Man?

So it's up and running again - as well as the hype, the ridiculous post match questions posed to managers, revolting Sky Sports running the show...I could go on. I suppose we just have to take it. On the positive side at least Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are reunited. I think Neville actually knows his stuff - just a pity he couldn't get the message across at Valencia.

They were at it again last night before the Chelsea game - something like:
David Jones:"Your not a big fan of defenders doing Cruyff turns in the six yard box are you Jamie?"
Jamie Carragher: "I've had five or six foreign managers and not one of them would want me - or any defender - to be doing Cruyff turns in the six-yard box."
Gary Neville: "You couldn't do them anyway (chuckles)."

Must be in the contract that they need to have a go at each other at least once a session.

So this season:

I took Chelsea at 13/2 to win the title. It's the first time I have bet on them to win the league (I am a fan so tend not to bet on my team and in previous seasons the price has been prohibitively short). I don't think you can look at last season. The players simply decided not to play for Mourinho. In a 'company' the whole lot would have been fired and replaced - but you can't do that in football, certainly not mid-season. I think that price will get a lot shorter at some point in the season for a decent trade - the price just looked ridiculous to me for a squad of their calibre with no European football.

I think Conte is a superb manager. When he took over at Juve they had finished 7th or 8th in the previous season - he then took them to three consecutive titles. He has done well with an Italian National team devoid of any real talent. He is hugely passionate but can be petulant too sometimes. Let's hope he can take the pressure of the Premier League without cracking or offending too many people.

Liverpool could be a threat, no Europe. They obviously won at Arsenal but they also let in three goals and Arsenal don't have a particularly potent attack, so that would worry me. Liverpool will be good to watch but will probably just fall short.

I had a bit on Spurs at around 11/1 - for a trade really. Based on their performance last season and barring Kane having a confidence crisis after the Euros, they could put a run together and go much shorter.

I have laid Man City because I felt the Guardiola factor pulled them in to a price that was layable. They have bought a lot of players but something still bothers me about them when I watch them play. Pep might or might not sort them out. 3.25 is not a price I would be taking for them to win the league. I might trade out of the lay if they drop a few places.

So to Jose and Man Utd (sob). You almost think 'he will win it because he has to'. Not for Man Utd but for himself after what happened last season. He has a monstrous ego that needs to feed now and that can only be good for United. I wonder if Mourinho will still be at United in five, six, seven years time. I hope not because it would mean that Chelsea didn't do enough to keep him. I have profit on them if they win because of the Man City lay - but I will just leave it there and perhaps watch them all the way to a top two finish.

Leicester: I just think the Champions League and the loss of Kante will kill off any chance of a repeat title

Best of the rest, West Ham. Stoke to do better than expected maybe.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Worthy Winners?

Portugal ended up winning Euro 2016 even though if we ran the tournament again they would be unlikely to end up on top. Were they dull? Yes. Will they care? No.

Results sequence. Draw (1-1) Draw (0-0) Draw (3-3) Win (1-0 a.e.t) Draw (1-1) Win (2-0) Win (1-0 a.e.t).

Just the one win in normal time then against Wales. Wouldn't it be great if England could manage the same kind of form!

It goes without saying that Portugal are far from the best team in Europe but they have a plan that they execute well in every game.

Renato Sanchez had to to be the highlight though for Portugal.

At least my bets didn't do too badly.

My main bet to lay Spain to win their Group at 1.67 won.

Top Scorer saver on Griezmann at 11/1 won.

Player of the Tournament - Griezmann 14/1 also won.

So good profits.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

No Pain, No Gain...

It's always been fun having a poke at Cristiano. I mean there is no doubt that he's an above average footballer but he does set himself up for a few...

He posted this photo of himself on Instagram ahead of the Poland game, showing off his 'muscles' after a training session - with the title 'no pain, no gain' (original or what?).

Clench...relax...insert rubber hose..

Don't be a sad, needy, little man. Take one of those rubber tubes that are hanging around your neck and give yourself a colonoscopy - it might relieve you of some of your own bullshit.

Poland must be quaking in their boots..

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

England Out...

The effects of England leaving the European Union might be talked about for a year or two...the effects of England leaving the European Championships will be talked about for the next fifty years..

Next best thing if you can't stick your head in the sand..

It was of course inevitable not just because we are England and it's a big tournament but because anyone who watched Iceland play through the competition could see that they were a well a organised team, very hard to break down, with a cutting edge on the break. England by contrast showed little composure and little self belief.

I was cringing that afternoon as our pundits were already talking about England v France, which was a great contest on paper, but no doubt would have been even worse, as France would have fully exposed us.

I have to say I got the game wrong, I thought it would be a comfortable draw for Iceland after 90 minutes - that would have been a great result for them. In the end they went one better - fantastic really. They will all be heroes in Iceland.

Some Icelandic football facts:

1. Iceland don't have a professional football league as such.
2. Their manager, Heimir Hallgrímsson, is a practicing dentist.
3. Population of Iceland around 330,000.
4. Goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, is a film director who directed the video for Iceland's entry in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

It's a beautiful story.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Euro 2016

Really looking forward to the next month or so. I have only had a few pre-tournament bets.

I have laid Spain quite heavily in Group D. Lay at 1.67.
I have also laid Spain in the 'Top 2 Finish' market in the group. Lay at 1.18.

Small liabilities so happy. I think Group D will be a lot tougher for Spain than the odds suggest.

I have also taken a few of the French in the 'Player of the Tournament' market - Matuidi (40/1) Griezmann (14/1) and Pogba (11/1). Not very original.

For 'Top Scorer' I took a big price on Romelu Lukaku (22/1) and have had a saver on Griezmann (11/1). Lukaku might do absolutely nothing but if the most expensive squad, in terms of transfer values, can finally put it together, Belgium might go far and you fancy him for a few goals along the way.

I'd like to fit Eden Hazard in somewhere - back to some kind of form at the end of the season but that would be betting with the heart! I think Belgium are really the value at 11/1 and Croatia would be the outside pick at 25/1.

Enjoy it!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Can They Do It?

Can England win Euro 2016? Or get anywhere close?

I think 'no' has to be the resounding answer to that. I thought the Turkey game was an absolute disaster and although I couldn't face watching the Australia game the scoreline doesn't suggest that we did much better.

England have some young talent - but we've had that before. We used to have the best midfield in the world on paper with Lampard, Gerrard, Cole, Scholes and so on - and we never got anywhere in the big tournaments.

Is Hodgson going to manage to pull it all together in the time remaining? I doubt it. In the end it will probably be nerves and pressure on young shoulders that will see us exit the competition prematurely.

Let's hope I'm wrong. I would hate to see, what might turn out to be, another 'golden generation' go to waste due to poor management or preparation.

Well look on the bright side, we certainly haven't peaked too soon!