Tag Archives: chelsea

Betting: Fun for all the Family

By David S. Wills

Some people are against betting. I think that makes these people uptight fools, but that’s just my humble opinion. I’m not saying betting is a good thing. On the contrary, betting is foolish, but so is drinking and smoking, and they’re both pretty cool.

For some people it’s a religious thing, and for others it’s common sense. I can understand the common sense factor. After all, I rarely bet. It doesn’t make much sense. Betting is silly. But it’s fun. And as I mentioned above, silly things are often fun.

What pisses me off is when people apply their morality to others. Religion is the biggest perpetrator of this foul deed. Just because your book says don’t bet doesn’t meant that others have to follow suit. You can find out soon enough that betting is silly. Try losing all your money to a faceless casino.

That makes me think that the sensible thing to do is to encourage betting. Why not have mandatory field trips to the casino for school kids. Let them lose their lunch money and go hungry for a few days. See if they still think betting’s cool.

I used to bet on the World Cup, even from a young age. I did it with my family and my friends, and I’ll do it again this year. (Just don’t go telling the authorities. That sort of thing doesn’t fly in Kimchi Country.)

The best bets involve small amounts of cash, or freakishly good odds. They also involve short waits. I wouldn’t want to stick $100 on Man Utd to win the Premiership. I’d rather choose teams for the World Cup with the winner buying drinks, or put a few pennies on the newly promoted team from the Championship to make it into Europe.

My favourite bet of all time (not involving myself – something another person did) was an old guy who bet that Xabi Alonso would score a goal from within his own half. He did, and the old gent made off like a bandit.

My own betting triumph came a few years back whilst watching Liverpool. Javier Mascherano walked onto the field looking more like a rapist than normal and I shouted to my dad. “Dad! Phone the bookies! Tell them he’s getting sent off by halftime! What odds?!”

I put a measly pound on Mascherano’s red card and he was sent off in about half an hour. The money meant nothing. The pride came in simply being right.

Which is why I enjoy Fantasy Football. I’m keenly aware that that makes me a nerd and a loser, but it’s also a glowing light in my life. I can bark at the TV all I like, but when I pick the perfect eleven and shoot to the top of the league I feel invincible.

(It should be noted that I’m currently bottom of my Fantasy Football league. The lesson: Never bet against Frank Lampard, regardless of how much you hate him.)

Here are some bets I plan on making in the coming years, with the odds I anticipate being given. They may not make me rich, but I like to back the right fighter.

Top non-Old Firm SPL player to sign for Rangers or Celtic and spend the rest of career on the bench – 1/10

Shaun Wright-Phillips to sprint past the ball at least five times during a game – 1/5

Arsenal to lose a key player to injury, having based their entire team around him all season, consequently costing them their title bid – 1/4 (Quote from Legbrokes.com)

Arsene Wenger to blame the injury on a conspiracy – 1/4

Craig Bellamy to switch teams in a storm of animosity – 1/3

Real Madrid to attempt to unsettle key Premiership player by having his friends claim he’s already agreed to move to Spain – 1/2

Alex Ferguson to say something racially/culturally/socially unacceptable, then to apologise and walk away without punishment – Evens

Sex scandal involving top Man Utd and Chelsea players – Evens

Rafa Benitez fired – 5/1

Non-Old Firm SPL team to win the league without Rangers or Celtic being penalized for sectarian abuse – 1000/1

North Korea to win World Cup – 2000/1 (this is an actual quote from William Hill)

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PFA Player of the Year Awards

By David S. Wills & James D. Irwin

(David’s words will appear in this text, whereas James’ will appear bold, as that’s the only way of making them distinguishable)

Yesterday the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year was announced. The results were hardly surprising:

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award

Wayne Rooney, Man Utd

Carlos Tevez, Man City

Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal

Didier Drogba, Chelsea

PFA Young Player of the Year Award

Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal

James Milner, Aston Villa

Joe Hart, Birmingham

Wayne Rooney, Man Utd

My nominations go to Fabregas and Rooney, in no particular order. They’ve both been the sole players on their respective teams this year. Without Rooney Man Utd would have been battling relegation, and without Fabregas Arsenal will be running down the clock from the kick-off for the rest of the season.

These men are the very definition of one-man teams. Their managers have – for whatever reason – come to rely totally on their genius. Man Utd without Rooney is embarrassing to watch, and not just because of his 34 goals. They’re like a cat with a missing leg, always trying to put weight on it and falling on its face.

And I doubt Mr. Burns Arsene Wenger will be very happy without Smithers Cesc Fabregas, who is out with another injury. Fabregas’ goals from midfield have been crucial to Arsenal’s otherwise lame campaign this year.

I’m still struggling to understand how Rooney and Fabregas can appear in both categories. I mean, surely you’re only eligible for one category or the other. It also surely means that if Fabregas or Rooney win Player of the Year then they have to win Young Player of the Year as well.

Another important question, really, is just who cares about these awards?! They’re clearly flawed and, as David has pointed out, extremely predicatable.

However, if I had a vote in the matter (as I did when I won the Champions League with Leeds on Championship Manager 01/02) then my votes would go to:

Wayne Rooney, mostly because I hate him less than the others. Seriously though, the best way of demonstrating just how good Rooney is is by seeing how bad United are without him. He has gone from being a promising young player to being a potential great in the last few seasons. He could make this summer’s World Cup his tournament, although he probably won’t. Because England always find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I’m torn on the Young Player of the Year. I’m discounting Rooney and Fabregas, on the basis that it seems incredibly unfair to allow the awards to be dominated by two players that we already know are pretty good.

I’m tempted to go for Milner, but that is largely due to the fact he played for Swindon for a very brief period. Really it has to be Joe Hart. I mean, have you seen how unnaturally well Birmingham are doing?! The man is incredible, and should never have been replaced by Man City. I was immensely frustrated when they signed Given, because it obvious to anyone with eyes that Hart in the rightful heir to the England number one shirt. He’s already better than Robert Green. I’d probably take him to the World Cup now. We’re going into South Africa in the summer with two relegation battling goalkeepers; James is already a Championship goalkeeper, and Green could well be by the end of the season. It is, I would argue, where he belongs.

I digress: I vote Joe Hart.

We turn now to our fantastic although limited readers to pitch in…