Friday, May 12, 2006

Predictions Review

Back in August 2005, I got out my crystal ball, put my neck on the line, and made my predictions for Premier League finishing positions. It was with a sense of great trepidation that I returned to those predictions to see how accurate or otherwise I was.

For Charlton, I predicted the following and am busy patting myself on the back for having such foresight: "...our preseason signings have given us cause for optimism.......a fully-fit squad is arguably the strongest we have ever assembled, but this is clearly a big season for not only certain players (Jeffers, Rommedahl, Murphy etc.), but Curbs himself as we begin our sixth consecutive Premiership campaign. Relegation shouldn't be a concern, but I'm not convinced we will be good enough to mount a serious top six campaign."

I predicted an 11th placed finish for the Addicks which proved a little optimistic though just one more win would have secured us that spot ahead of Everton and Fulham. More interestingly perhaps a comparison of my predictions for the remaining 19 club with their actual finishing positions shows the following:

ARSENAL: Predicted: 3rd/Actual: 4th
ASTON VILLA: 12th/ 16th
BIRMINGHAM: 8th/18th
BLACKBURN: 13th/6th
BOLTON: 9th/8th
CHARLTON: 11th/13th
CHELSEA: 1st/1st
EVERTON: 10th/11th
FULHAM: 18th/12th
LIVERPOOL: 4th/3rd
MAN CITY: 14th/15th
MAN UTD: 2nd/2nd
NEWCASTLE: 6th/7th
PORTSMOUTH: 16th/17th
SUNDERLAND: 20th/20th
TOTTENHAM: 5th/5th
WEST BROM: 15th/19th
WEST HAM: 17th/9th
WIGAN: 19th/10th

So if I had to award myself a mark for soothsaying it would be a 'B' overall. I got four teams completely right (Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs, Sunderland) and six teams within one place of their actual finishing position. Of the latter, perhaps a disappointing season for Man City (after their strong finish to 04/05) was the only prediction that was a little contrarian and which was subsequently proved right.

In common with many other pundits, I was caught out by the excellent seasons for Wigan, Blackburn and West Ham, and notably over-estimated the finishing positions of the Midlands trio of Birmingham, WBA and Villa. Middlesbrough's disappointing season can in part be attributed to their strong showing in Europe I guess, whilst Fulham's fairly lofty final position was only a last-minute phenomenon thanks to four wins in their final five games.

As someone who enjoys taking a pre-season 'view' of a team's chances via a spread bet, I'm looking at my predictions to see if there are any lessons to be learned. Certainly the three 'surprise' teams have excellent young managers in Jewell, Hughes and Pardew, though this was probably only confirmed with hindsight. The disappointing Midlands teams conversely are all run by top-class players who in my view are trading on the back of their reputation, and not their managerial prowess or track record. In short, managers make a difference; a valuable lesson for Charlton perhaps too?

Perhaps however the most obvious and frankly frustrating lesson is simply that money ultimately talks and although the 'Big Four' can have their ups and downs, eventually class shines through (even if it requires a dodgy lasagne to confirm it).


Post a Comment

<< Home