Premier League Prediction

It’s been a strange Saturday for football, no Premier League or Championship and loads of postponements.  So I thought I’d have a little prediction at how the Premier League is going to finish.  Being an unfortunate Villa fan the season is a bit more ‘interesting’ than recent years.  I think from 10th to 18th is going to be really tight.  Here are my predictions….any other thoughts?

  1. Manchester United   92pts
  2. Manchester City   79pts
  3. Chelsea   76pts
  4. Arsenal   73pts
  5. Tottenham Hotspurs   69pts
  6. Everton   62pts
  7. Liverpool   59pts
  8. West Bromwich Albion   53pts
  9. Swansea   48pts
  10. Southampton   43pts
  11. Norwich   43pts
  12. West Ham United   41pts
  13. Fulham   40pts
  14. Sunderland   39pts
  15. Newcastle United   39pts
  16. Stoke City   38pts
  17. Aston Villa   38pts
  18. Wigan Athletic   37pts
  19. Queens Park Rangers   34pts
  20. Reading   25pts
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Precious Times

Yesterday me and Anya started on a bit of an adventure together.  The only shame is that Rada is not with us to enjoy it.  But it is great to get some precious time with Anya.

We left Montenegro in the morning.  We got over the Montenegrin border with no problem having a laugh and a friendly greeting with the border guard as he was from the same village as Rada’s family.  Half a mile later and the Croatian border were not so friendly.  The border police didn’t take kindly to my not understanding the Croatian for ‘car registration documents’ and sent me off to empty the boot and one of the suitcases for Customs – first time that has happened to me – I was a bit nervous because I forgot to declare our bottle of Amaro Montenegro liquor but he didn’t find it.  Phew.

100km later and we were stood in a traffic jam for 45 minutes while a land mine up the road was disposed of.  Never fear, we had The Last Battle on audio book to keep us company.  Alas, environmentally conscious I had turned the engine off but kept the lights on and the CD player going.  Not an ounce of power came from the battery once the explosive ahead had been cleared.

I was just getting my trusty reflective triangle out to warn traffic behind that some egit was stuck in the middle of the road, and was about to don my high visibility vest, when a vehicle recovery van stopped by.  He didn’t have any jump leads but he pushed me to a layby with the help of a passing policeman and woman and then called his mate from the last town to come with the jump leads.  While we were waiting he was telling me how he hated Montenegrins because they burnt his house down during the war for no reason.  I obviously sympathised but felt a bit uncomfortable – so I quickly changed the subject to the successes and failures of Croatia footballers who’d played for Aston Villa.

Once the car was up and running again I tried to give them some money then tried to give them the Amaro Montenegro but they refused both and wished me well.  Anya and I arrived at the hotel just south of Split while it was still light, had a great walk up the beach and then stopped for a pizza and beer (Anya had cola).  A great day….looking forward to the rest of the trip home but wouldn’t complain if it was a little smoother.

Settling In

Just a quick update and some fantastic news at the end.

We’re settling in well.  Last night I went to the first church meeting since we arrived where there was discussion on Sunday’s preaches and a great time of prayer.  I am so happy to be here it feels so right!

After the meeting I went with the two Norwegian students who have started at the church – Sondre & Jonas – back to their place where they made a worthy attempt at Montenegrin stuffed peppers!  Not quite up to local standards but not bad for a first go!  They have only been here a few weeks but are throwing themselves into things with energy and enthusiasm.  They are working hard at learning Montenegrian and I am really chuffed that we’ll be sharing our time with them here.

We were joined for dinner by a young man who had fled with his mother to Germany during the conflict of the early 1990s.  He is back reunited with his father now but has built a life for himself in Germany and was really missing that.  There are no jobs for him here and very little prospects so he is looking to return to Germany,  It is tragic to see what long lasting impact the consequences of war has on families.  Nevertheless, it was great to meet him and spend time with him.

You must be wondering what the fantastic news is – well it is certainly an answer to prayer.  Jonas, the Norwegian student, is a massive Aston Villa fan!  I feel so fortunate to have found a kindred spirit 🙂

Premier League Predictions

It’s the turn of the Premier League today.  Just a few more days till kick off after a great weekend of Football League action.

Anything could happen but here are my predictions:

  1. Chelsea (Champions)
  2. Manchester United
  3. Liverpool
  4. Everton
  5. Manchester City
  6. Arsenal
  7. Tottenham Hotspur
  8. Aston Villa
  9. Fulhum
  10. West Ham United
  11. Sunderland
  12. Blackburn Rovers
  13. Wigan Athletic
  14. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  15. Stoke City
  16. Birmingham City
  17. Bolton Wanderers
  18. Hull City (Relegated)
  19. Burnley (Relegated)
  20. Portsmouth (Relegated)

What do you reckon?  I do love a good bit of debate and disagreement.  On the other hand, I love flattery and encouragement so feel free to say that I have got it spot on and am a genius pundit.

Out with a whimper

I spent much of this Premier League season haughtily publishing the top few places of the league table.  You may have noticed I haven’t done this for a while, for obvious reasons.  Out of our last 14 league matches we managed to win only twice!  Absolutely pitiful.  Just how poor we had become was totally evident yesterday as we only managed to limp past a disgracefully bad Newcastle through a flukey own goal.

The extent of the damage was masked by our terrific first half of the season.  Martin O’Neill must build the side over the summer if we are to have a chance of maintaining our top 6  ranking again.  I can see Man City, Tottenham, Fulham and West Ham being very strong next season.

It’s gonna be great to have three West Midlands sides in the top flight and I desperately hope Sheffield United will join us after today’s play off final.  I was genuinely gutted to see West Brom go down.  They are a great side and I’ve become quite fond of them since I started working in West Brom in September.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is the final Premier League table to the 2008-9 season:

  1. Manchester United   90pts
  2. Liverpool   86pts 
  3. Chelsea   83 pts
  4. Arsenal   72pts
  5. Everton   63pts
  6. Aston Villa  62pts
  7. Fulham   53pts
  8. Tottenham Hotspurs   51pts
  9. West Ham United   51pts
  10. Manchester City   50pts
  11. Wigan Athletic   45pts
  12. Stoke City   45pts
  13. Bolton Wanderers   41pts
  14. Portsmouth   41pts
  15. Blackburn Rovers   41pts
  16. Sunderland   36pts
  17. Hull City   35pts
  18. Newcastle United   34pts    R
  19. Middlesborough   32pts    R
  20. West Bromwich Albion   32pts    R

Frustrating Villa

Aston Villa  2   Stoke City  2

I cannot believe we let slip two goals at home to Stoke with less than two minutes to go.  No disrespect to Stoke but considering the standard I have got used to this season, that is so embarrassing!  Mr O’Neill must be tearing his hair out after throwing away the UEFA Cup midweek.  There are no excuses for today we should have been fresh and strong at the end because of the players rested against CSKA but we were the team that fell away.  I just hope 6 points are enough to hold off Arsenal.

Stiliyan Petrov

Glorious Villa should lead England

I always used to think that national teams were way better than club sides but in reality the best club sides in the world are probably better than the best national teams.  For example – Manchester United versus Brazil would surely end in a comfortable win for United as they have a great combination of world class players who work superbly together as a team.

These days the big four Premier League sides don’t have a huge amount of England players.  Aston Villa had more players in Spain than the big four put together!  Here is my cunning plan to secure world domination for the Engish national team:

Simply play Emile Heskey, Gabi Agbonlahor, James Milner and Ashley Young upfront and on the wings and then have Gareth Barry slot in behind them.  You really can’t say better than that!  Can you!?  Ha ha I’m a genius, who needs to pay Fabio Capello all that money!  And why not bung Curtis Davies and Luke Young in defence while we’re at it.  And just for fun, here’s the top of the Premier League table again:

  1. Manchester United    56pts
  2. Liverpool   54pts
  3. Aston Villa   51pts
  4. Chelsea   49pts
  5. Arsenal   44pts
  6. Everton   40pts