IT’S ONLY EARLY DAYS BUT...
Take a peek at my July column and see my tips for the forthcoming Football League season, and they are all doing rather well despite it being early days. I hope you are on.
Meanwhile on a less successful note we bombed out in August, especially as my headline nap (Sir Bradley Wiggins) actually refused the honour of carrying the British flag at the opening ceremony. He cited he needed to concentrate on the cycling; didn’t he know we were all on him at 6/4 for his Friday gig and it’s not quite cricket to let us all down!
Anyway, on to this month.
After having witnessed the first two rounds of the current Premier League season, I have no doubt in tipping CHELSEA to regain their title. Current odds are around the 5/1 mark but after having seen the resurgence of Hazard, the quick nature of their pressing style, the purposefulness of the new manager Antonio Conte, it will take all Manchester has to offer to deny them come May. Because of last year’s fall from grace they, like Liverpool, have no European commitments and therefore are at an advantage over Pep and José and Arsene. The 5/1 has to be snapped up.
It’s always slightly awkward suggesting a candidate for the sack race but hey ho, money is money, and I’m sure ALAN PARDEW has a larger bank balance than all of us as I feel both CRYSTAL PALACE are a great price (if that’s not a misnomer) for relegation at 4/1 and Alan Pardew himself, by virtue of the fact he is managing this year’s relegation candidates, is prime for the first chop. He is still universally available at 6/1 and this must be snapped up. By a strange quirk I had tipped up Sam Allardyce in July to be the first manager to lose his post and in some ways this happened as he took the England job but it doesn’t count in betting terms – sadly.
Away from football the Rugby League Grand FInal is looming and although this will be at the start of October it is now that the prices are larger. To that end I think this year’s Premiership Shield winners HULL FC can win the Grand Final at a thumping Burlington Bertie – 100/30.
The end of September also sees the Ryder Cup making its bi-annual appearance. From an American perspective last time’s debacle in Scotland with the legend that is Tom Watson being roundly put upon by his moody team (I hasten to add totally unfairly) won’t be repeated and this year they have a captain of Davis Love III. He was the American captain when the European team came back from the brink of defeat (the miracle of Medinah) and his captaincy was actually superb. How they lost still puzzles me much in the same way as how Harchibald lost the Champion Hurdle, but in any event the same fate won’t be repeated. I think 4/6 for AMERICA is a tremendous price; obviously one we won’t get rich at and not a working man’s price but nevertheless a great price. Perhaps we should double up with Hull (above) which returns a shade over 9/2.
And finally, September sees the start of the American football season which culminates on the first Monday in February. We will look at it in greater detail in the October issue after three or so rounds of the regular season (out of 16) but whilst in its embryonic form my two against the field, one from the NFC and one from the AFC, are provisionally the GREEN BAY PACKERS at around 12/1 and the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at 25/1. It is a well known adage that great defences make Superbowl champions but it is equally true, and maybe more so these days, that great quarterbacks lead teams; and as the NFL has become a passing based league then the Colts with Andrew Luck and especially the Packers under Aaron Rodgers are certainly amongst the very best around.
Until next month.