Article by Gerry McDonnell
My old man has forgotten more about betting than I’ll ever know; he has Alzheimer’s. It’s bad news for the old fellow, but it’s a result for me at Christmas.
He always used to say, “Never overestimate the importance of recent form.” He hasn’t said this since his condition deteriorated though; the poor sod thinks he’s still fighting in the war. The last coherent statement he made was, “We must invade Poland.”
Liverpool’s recent form on the road may be abysmal, but the cream will rise to the top like a Scouse salmon. Even the old man is backing the Reds at 11/10 to see off Wigan; if he remembers the location of the betting shop.
Jamie Carragher had said that he wouldn’t swap Stevie Gerrard for Ronaldinho, which coincidentally, is a view shared by Barcelona. The in form Gerrard can inspire the Pool to a 2-0 win at 6/1.
Gareth Southgate is a rich man’s Steve McClaren, which places him one rung off the bottom of the English managerial ladder. A Manchester United romp at 8/13 will be about as surprising as the Sunday newspaper headline: ‘Rooney KO’s reporter, sleeps with an old dear’.
If Wayne Rooney were so inclined, he could visit ‘the canny granny’ twice a week (at Â£65 a pop) for the next 44 years, and it would cost him less than 1% of the Â£30m deal he’s just agreed. Unlike the old lady in question, that’s not too shabby. The 4/1 on offer for Rooney to open the scoring is a genuine looker.
West Ham’s new owner made his fortune in biscuits, so it could be argued that Frank Lampard part-financed the deal. A draw between Everton and West Ham looks a great investment at 9/4.
Alan Pardew is worried about a gambling culture at the club. Apparently, the players enjoy the card game ‘roaster’; it’s a variation of poker, played with more hands. Get your hands on the 8/1 about ‘no goalscorer’ in the match.
As a result of recent defeats to Fulham and Bolton, Arsenal are available at a huge 8/13 to see off Tottenham. Henry missed the Reebok shoeing due to a pain in the neck; Robbie Savage let his tyres down. Spurs will not be so fortunate.Robbie Savage is like a box of tissues; girly, but useful. Blackburn have only lost one of the last twelve games in which the blonde bombshell has been involved; Fulham will succumb to girl-power at 10/11.
In a climate where footballers and managers ‘see no evil’, ‘hear no evil’ and ‘roast no evil’, it was refreshing to hear El Hadji Diouf admit to taking the occasional dive. He’s also an expert in domestic conflict resolution; the lad’s really growing on me. Diouf’s honesty will be rewarded with a win at the Madejski at 15/8.
Les Reed has also embraced the concept of truth. His quote of “Andy Reid’s body shape makes him look worse than he is,” is a polite way of saying “the fat lad done well.” Charlton can leave Bramall Lane with a point at a pleasantly plump 9/4.
I keep hearing how Watford have been unlucky this season; but what about me? The house caught fire last year and the wife wasn’t even in. I’ll say what I said to her mother when we moved in for a few weeks shortly after; I’ve got a huge tip for you. Get on Man City at 8/11.
Andy Cole and Kanu should both be involved when Pompey face the Villa, and surprisingly, they’re not being wheeled out for a pre-match presentation. The Villa are in play at 9/4.
I’m feeling genuine remorse for criticising David James. Judging by his new haircut, it’s quite clear that the poor sod is living with his mother, and she’s still living in the 1940’s. I’ll have to introduce her to my old man.
This week’s accer is so inevitable, Doctor Who, Austin Powers, ‘Bill and Ted’ and Shakin’ Michael J Fox have all declared themselves powerless in the fight to prevent it from obliging. Arsenal, Blackburn, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are the selections, the payout is a Billie Piper pleasing 15/1.
About the Author
Gerry McDonnell is a professional odds compiler, journalist and rescuer of small orphans.