Gerry McDonnell returns with his weekly betting column on the English Premier League.
There’s life in the old dog…unfortunately
Like Wayne Rooney, I’m a lover of the old. I’m never happier than when some wrinkled old seaside-bungalow hogger is regaling me with tales of a bygone age.
If my old man is to be believed, and he’s not, football was completely different in the old days. Goals were celebrated by a handshake, an assault on a goalkeeper was practically encouraged and heading the ball led to a short stay in hospital, which was basically a shed with a sponge.
I’m unsure of the best way of handling the elderly when they reach such a constant state of dull reflection, but only a fool should rule out euthanasia. It looks like Avram Grant will soon be put out of his misery; Sunderland can lend a helping hand at 7/1.
Mohammed Al Fayed is another pensioner who appears to have lost the plot. He’s gone from Coleman to Sanchez to Hodgson; he’s only one step away from a Souness. Everton will make Fulham pay the ultimate price at 6/5.
Time has also caught up with the once sharp Harry Redknapp. The technophobic manager’s memory is in such a poor state, he’s now being cordial to the BBC. The old people alliance will not be amused by this shock development. I’ll be splitting my sides when the Villa leave Fratton Park with the win at 21/10.
If Derby are dead and Fulham are dying, then Newcastle have just found a rather large mole. I can certainly empathise; I wake up next to a large lump every morning. A bet on Birmingham to beat Newcastle at 13/10 will lead to a substantial growth in the betting bank.
Now that Rafa Benitez has finally came to his senses, Liverpool’s results have improved dramatically. I can’t think of anyone who was a fan of the rotation policy, other than Alex Gerrard. Liverpool and Torres are on fire, Reading will feel the heat at 2/7.
I was not a happy bunny when Arsenal let me down for an accer last week. I haven’t felt such intense disappointment since Maggie Thatcher was released from hospital. The Gunners will almost certainly make amends at 2/7 against a goal-shy Middlesbrough.
I hold no grudge against Arsenal for their slip-up at Wigan: I know what it’s like to be tucked up by an ugly pitch. Bolton will also struggle at the JJB, I’m siding with the draw at 23/10.
If David Bentley was made of chocolate, he’d probably eat himself. That’s something I would never do – I refuse to queue-jump. People will be lining up to back Blackburn at 2/1 against a struggling West Ham.
I know pensioners enjoy a little whinge, but Sir Alex Ferguson took the art of complaining to a new level in last week’s extraordinary post-match interview. For me, Fergie has been on a slippery slope since that Pikey punched him in the nuts; shame on you Mr Savage. Fergie will get revenge when United ease past Derby at 1/5.
With old people, you have to be thankful for small mercies. I remember walking in on my old man as he watched Baywatch, and I was shocked to see his hand moving up and down on his lap. Fortunately, it was just Parkinson’s. Tottenham are one win away from their 4th straight double over Manchester City; I’ll be shaking if they fail to oblige at 9/5.
I speak in jest at the plight of the elderly, but it’s criminal that they have to live on such a pittance. I was left dumbstruck when I cashed in the old man’s pension – I could only afford six cases of lager. Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham and Birmingham form a pleasing 16/1 accer that will allow me the opportunity to pay him back in full. Maybe.
Liverpool v Reading
West Ham v Blackburn
Sunderland v Chelsea
Portsmouth v Aston Villa
Derby County v Manchester United
Arsenal v Middlesbrough
Fulham v Everton
Wigan v Bolton
Manchester City v Tottenham
Birmingham v Newcastle United
Your picks for the weekend?