50 “Guaranteed” Predictions for the 08-09 season

The predictions are divided into 5 categories – the press, the players, the game, the teams and everyone else (fans, agents, management). You’re welcome to add your own predictions in the comments, discuss the predictions I’ve made or come back later on in the season and check how many I got right (I’m going for 50 out of 50).

Here we go:

The Press:

1. Someone will complain about the predictability of the Premier League and compare it with the refreshing unpredictability of the Championship. They’ll keep watching the Premier League though.

50 2. Some ‘pundit’ will predict that this is Liverpool’s year to win the league.

3. Barney Ronay People will talk about teams he they know(s) little about, hoping that the fact that they write for Guardian a big newspaper will somehow atone for their factual errors. It doesn’t. It won’t. Sorry mate, love your work, but this season’s previews were bordering on unacceptable. You’re better than that (of course, the same can be said of me, please keep the constructive criticism coming).

4. Another ‘pundit’ will do the same for Tottenham and Champions League qualification.

5. The Pele v Maradona debate will continue [1, 2, 3, 4].

6. Yet another ‘pundit’ will predict that the three promoted teams will go straight back down – what, too left-field for you?

50 7. The Sun/News Of The World will join forces (metaphorically speaking) to keep us informed of who footballers are shagging and how big ‘natural’ assets can get on a weekly basis.

8. Every news website will brag about ‘how cool their fantasy football game is,’ when we all know silentmanager.co.uk and fantasyleague.com did the games for them.

9. Managers will be ‘predicted’ as favorites to be sacked – and for some strange reason new boys Scolari and Ramos will be always on this list.

10. Can be trusted to incite fans to further heap criticism on their team when things are tough.

The Players:

11. C. Ronaldo/Ronaldo/Ronaldinho will have sex. With a prostitute. Oh my god!

12. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard will prove, again, that they can’t play together in England’s midfield. And this will surprise some people….

50 13. Cristiano Ronaldo will win the Player of the Year award.

14. Wayne Rooney will again ‘fail to fulfill his potential’ despite scoring 20-odd goals in the season.

15. Thierry Henry will be linked with a move to the MLS.

16. David Beckham’s place in the England setup will be hotly contested.

17. Michael Owen will ask himself why no Champions League playing club has come to rescue him from Newcastle.

18. Emmanuel Adebayor will ask for a raise.

19. Andriy Shevchenko will be linked to a move back to the Serie A.

20. Kaka will ask God to help Milan win the league title. God will be too busy talking to the Special One to care.

The Game:

21. Poor refereeing decisions will increase calls for technological-assistance for referees. Fifa will refuse as Blatter is mad at his ‘short skirts’ proposal not being accepted.

50 22. Respect the Referee campaign will succeed in its primary objective – as in it will show the world that the FA are ‘trying’ to do something about the core problem.

23. Every day, anywhere football is played in the world, a player will ‘dive’ in order to gain an ‘unfair’ advantage. Don’t worry though, Ronaldo will still win the ‘most likely to wink, do a stepover, dive, miss a penalty, score a crucial goal to win the game, shag a pros afterwards’ award.

24. Off-the-ball clashes and persistent diving will result in more and more people asking for post-match video reviews. Fifa will refuse this as Blatter is still mad at his ‘short skirts’ proposal not being accepted.

25. United/Juventus/Bayern/Madrid will get a contentious decision go their way, evoking complaints of ‘bribery’ and ‘big-team favouritism.’ And when any of these teams get penalised unfairly, ‘justice’ will have been done.

26. ‘Super Duper’ Sundays will provide high-quality football which no one watching at home will appreciate because they were led to believe that bloodshed, 10 goals per half and thousands and thousands of female streakers were supposed to descend on match day. Talk about selling football.

50 27. Every single player will swear at the referee at one point during the season. So will any fan who watches 90 minutes of football. Even the referees.

28. The standing argument against female officials in football will be: “Women don’t understand the offside law.” Looking at these people you wouldn’t be able to tell their head from their ass, but that’s life (and football) for you.

29. A striker will score more goals in their domestic league in Europe than a team did in the Premier League in the 07/08 season (Derby County, 26).

30. Some player will get booked for dissent and post-match will act ‘surprised’ at the rule.

The Teams:

31. Another football club will be sold to owners who know little about running a football club and even less about the club itself.

32. Bayern Munich will win the Bundesliga.

33. Juventus, Inter and Roma will contest the Serie A title.

34. Real Madrid and Barcelona will finish in the top two in Spain.

50 35. England, led by Fabio Capello, will qualify for the 2010 World Cup (might take them till the end of 2009 though).

36. Lyon will fail to win the Champions League.

37. Chelsea will continue to run at a loss (thanks to the increased wage bill).

38. Manchester United will NOT win the septuple.

39. Arsenal will be linked with a takeover by Alisher Usmanov.

40. An English club will NOT win the Uefa Cup.

The People:

50 41. Some US-based football fans will argue that cheerleader squads should be introduced to ‘lighten things up.’

42. Calderon will tell the press: “Ronaldo is a Manchester United player and as long as he’s a Manchester United player we must respect that and honour the club’s wishes.”

43. Ticket prices, wages, transfer fees and agent fees will continue to rise faster than the average fan’s ability to pay for it with season tickets and personalised shirts (home, away, third and special edition, every season).

44. A misguided fan group will try to raise money to buy a club.

50 45. Sepp Blatter will say something stupid.

46. A misguided fan group will try to raise money to buy a player.

47. UK football fans will vociferously defend their ‘god given rights’ to abuse players, and God help the player who dishes some back.

48. At least 3 managers will get sacked in the Premier League by May 2009.

49. Liverpool’s owners will find new ways to embarrass the club.

50. Manchester United fans will love Ronaldo again.

You’re welcome to add your own predictions in the comments, discuss the predictions I’ve made or come back later on in the season and check how many we got right.

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