Category Archives: Premier League

Golden Rules of Accumulator Gambling, 2015

Placing a bet this weekend? Here’s my Golden Rules of Gambling, live by these and you’ll do alright….

  1. You haven’t lost what isn’t yours. When you bet it, you lose it, no team has let you down – you have simply “given away £5”. You haven’t “Lost £5,000”.
  2. Don’t touch the early game, or the late game. Keep it on all 3pm kick-offs.
  3. A derby game is a bookies’ paradise, not yours.
  4. Avoid betting on your own team as emotions get involved.
  5. Ride the trends, not the history. 2012-2014, Brighton, Blackpool, Dundee United & MK Dons were dead-certainties to score and concede in every game. Don’t let nostalgia fool you into thinking under new management their traits will remain.
  6. Don’t talk about betting – You tweet your bet, you lose your bet
  7. Stay true to your gut. Late changes will cost you. Don’t be a penalty taker who changes his mind last minute, you’ll kick yourself when you miss.
  8. Peterborough will let you down, every single time. Give them a wide berth.
  9. Bet against a new manager with caution….
  10. Big clubs don’t win games – Good teams win games. I’m looking at you, Leeds United.
  11. The Turkish Süper Lig has the highest percentage of home wins in UEFA governed football. Food for thought.
  12. Away wins are where the money is.
  13. Adding value to your bets always adds in tears. Don’t keep adding ‘certainties’ to your slip thinking it will boost your winnings. You’re only giving the bookmakers more chance to take your earnings.
  14. Don’t listen to “That Mate” – You know who I mean, the one who convinces you that St Mirren are FLYING at the minute and you have to back them to win at Aberdeen.
  15. Hold a grudge. The only thing worse than a team letting you down, is you backing them again – and losing again. Trick me once, shame on you – Trick me twice, shame on me.
  16. Never chase your losses. You place a £10 bet on, it flops, there’s 3 late matches on… Re-dig into the pockets and find yourself redemption? No.
  17. Explore how you bet: Heinz, Goliath, Lucky 63, Canadian. If you don’t know what they are, find out. Finding the right betting format is just as important as spending 20mins staring at the League Two table.
  18. Whatever you think you know about football in a different country, you don’t. You really don’t.
  19. Head over heart, people. Once you’ve picked your selections, remove the ONE you think is most likely to let you down. This will serve you well.

Remember, on a Saturday at 1330pm – Bookmakers  are given a list of the top 12 most backed results from the weekend’s fixtures. You know how many times in the last 3 seasons all 12 have won on the same day? 13 times. The most recent being Saturday the 17th of January, 2015. It’s rare, so don’t go mass-hunting favourites like it’s a flawless plan.

Bet wisely…

Over and out.


Noise about Moyes. Has this window really been a disaster for The Red Devils?


Back again – told you I’d be a bit more frequent with these. I was going to write another one before the turn of the window, but the RT/favourite monsters are out in force at this time of year – and they really enjoy the feeling of smearing egg on someone’s face.

The transfer window had plenty of winners and losers, as it always does. The winners: Spurs, Everton, Cardiff, Southampton. The losers? A more subjective debate…; Newcastle, Sunderland and Manchester United are the names you’ll see mentioned a bit more.

It’s Manchester United I want to dissect, though.


Moyes got his man, in the end.

Tweets: Manchester United.

@Guardian_Sport: Manchester United inquest begins after David Moyes era opens in farce.

@waldron97: Unprofessional panic buy with Fellaini, shows they couldn’t acquire top targets otherwise they would have got him earlier for £23.5m

@ZcottAFC: Like an Italian mafia movie. The Godfather dies and the son takes over, but nobody respects him.

@TomKirk_:  The issue is how they conducted their business rather than who they ultimately signed. (i.e. declared interest in 7+ players).

The frustration continues throughout twitter. On deadline day ‘#MoyesOut’ was trending for around an hour between Arsenal’s unveiling of Mesut Ozil and the first signs of movement at Old Trafford.

So, the core of this blog post: Am I the only person who thinks Manchester United had a good transfer window?

Throughout July & August I maintained my stance on Moyes, and on Manchester United; it was something along the lines of:

For me, the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and the welcoming of David Moyes is all the disruption the club needed – the backroom staff were restructured, the players have been unsettled and the board room has had a shake up. Bringing in new faces would only bring another issue: footballing anxiety: Will I play? Am I still in contention? Does Moyes want me? 

Furthermore, on reflection, David Moyes is still trying to dissolve the legacy of Sir Alex, and try and put his stamp on a Championship winning dressing room. He’s toyed with 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, and a flat 4-5-1, all with mixed success. Moyes couldn’t complete his business early because he hadn’t spent sufficient time with the squad. So he did what anyone would do in his position, blank cheque book and a big club… He went for a player he’s always liked: Cesc Fabregas.

As the window continued and players still hadn’t signed – the media spotlight was shining on him, fan pressure mounted and there was a club-wide concern when the fixture list was announced.

Sunday. September 1st. 2013. Moyes’ third game in charge.

By this stage, we’re starting to catch a glimpse of the Moyes footprint. The initial set up of 4-2-3-1 lacks impetus, Liverpool take the lead and they’re looking comfortable. Moyes takes a jump to 4-4-2(4-4-1-1). The attacking threat intensifies – there’s clarity in the tactics. Full backs are overlapping,

Carrick is sitting deep and protecting the centre-backs, Welbeck is running off Van Persie and keeping mobile. Wingers are attacking Wisdom and Enrique.

It’s at this point, 3 games in, that you see a target area: Moyes has his wingers hugging the touchline – further spread than how Sir Alex had them – but Liverpool’s tight-knit midfield of Gerrard–Lucas–Henderson is proving too much for Carrick-Cleverley to handle, to adapt Man Utd will need a physicality to protect Carrick. This match was a turning point for Moyes because he came away from it with a priority; A ball winning midfielder.


Image from the game – An example of the midfield battle, look at Liverpool’s 3: All swamping Cleverley.

On deadline day, he had two targets for the CDM position. 1) Sami Khedira, 2) Marouane Fellaini. He had a deal on the table of Ander Herrera, and he was interested in the left-back position, though wasn’t prioritising it. When the Baines deal collapsed, I believe he was happy to continue with Evra for the remainder of the season, the Coentrao deal smells like an agent called him and highlighted his availability – it was a last-minute pounce, so no surprise it didn’t come off.

I then went back to twitter, re-spoke to a few of the fans mentioned above. There was another key area: Manchester United’s Academy has failed to deliver for a few years – there’s a longing for their very own Jack Wilshere/Raheem Sterling. – Moyes has done some under-the-radar signings of young players, and bolstered the resource of the academy. Long term strengthening.

Some of the criticism of Moyes has been beyond harsh. All things considered, you need to respect that he’s retained Rooney – that he’s working towards getting Kagawa back to fitness and that he’s discovered a tactical problem and spend £27,000,000 to solve it. I expect a much more active window from Manchester United in January, until then the fans need to fulfil Sir Alex’s final wishes in charge: Get behind the new manager.

All-in-all, it’s been a sensible transfer window for a club that has a little bit of rebuilding to do. Man Utd are still competitive in the Premier League and there is no real expectation in the Champions League. The club are set up for the elusive top four finish and an ‘under the radar’ season. The more Moyes is out the spot light, the better. Any manager coming in would have had rebuilding to do. Three seasons will be the barometer of Moyes as a manager at this size club, not one transfer window.


A mention to Jamie Keating – Jamie has helped me complete, edit, and provided fan-based ideas for this blog post. He’s a Manchester United fan. If you enjoy this blog, give him a follow. 

Over and out.

Rooney Rule. Opening the case…

With the Premier League being centre of various race-rows over the past years, solutions are becoming popular talking points in the football community – one in particular is the Rooney Rule, used in America’s NFL.

What is the Rooney Rule?

The Rooney Rule was established in 2003 and named after Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the NFL’s diversity committee.

It requires NFL teams to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation opportunities that become available, as part of a transparent and open recruitment process.

What’s this going to achieve?

Well, the logic is: More black managers = increased tolerance by the racist few towards a black influence on the sport = less incidents of racism.

Barack Obama (left) with Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney (right).

Barack Obama (left) with Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney (right).

So, is the Premier League ready to adopt such a radical strategy? What will the implications be? Moreover, is it even needed?

The PFA’s chief Gordon Taylor, who has incorporated it into their 6-point-plan to eradicate racism is hopeful that the Rooney Rule will play a part in avoiding a breakaway black players union that has been publicly suggested by Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

The F.A., like many of the black community, are disappointed at the lack of black managers in football. Of the 92 clubs in England, this number has rarely risen above three, varying season to season in the modern hire-fire culture.

In my opinion, the difference between the NFL and the Premier League is chronological, it’s all about the timeframes between a black sports-star’s big arrival, and the knock-on effect that had to role-model budding black stars into the respective sport, and then onwards into coaching.

Ernie Davis was drafted into the NFL in 1962, this was at a time of important civil rights movements and the country needed a marquee name in sport to set an example.

Ernie Davis - Running Back.

Ernie Davis – Running Back.

The Washington Redskins were the franchise to which he signed, before being traded to Cleveland Browns. 41 years before the Rooney Rule was put in place.

In football, in England, Viv Anderson was the first black man to play for England (full international) in ’93/94 season, since then we’ve only had 18-19 years, where 3 managers have made the switch permanently and many others Ince, Connor etc to less success. On top of this we’re slowly seeing the transitions being made into other areas, backroom ambassadorial roles like Vieira, or into the media eye like Chris Kamara, Earle, Wright, Barnes and many others.

There have been certain problems with the Rooney Rule that have been to the detriment of the NFL. One of these is that clubs have had readymade white replacements in mind for a vacancy, but had to waste time and money on interviewing a black candidate.

This is not just a waste of time and money for the organisation, but also the black candidate who held no realistic expectation of attaining the post. I can’t help but agree with this argument. If we put this argument in a footballing context, the events at Queens Park Rangers would be the perfect example of the rule being counterproductive. The club part with Mark Hughes and 3 days later replace him with Harry Redknapp. With risk of sounding cynical, Bhatia & Fernandes would have it in mind to have replaced Sparky with ‘Arry before they actually sacked the former.

The Rooney rule, if it were in existence currently, would mean that QPR would have had to delay their recruitment of a new manager in order to interview a black manager when they will inevitably appoint Redknapp anyway.

A final key point to note, is that the Premier League is in-fact a very open-minded league. Osvaldo Ardiles was the first ever foreign manager back in the 92/93 season, and 20 years on there’s now only 6 English Managers in the division – clubs are not afraid to make changes if it means success, regardless of ethnicity.

Tottenham's Osvaldo 'Ossie' Ardiles.

Tottenham’s Osvaldo ‘Ossie’ Ardiles.

To wrap up this piece, I feel we’re too early in pushing a race-solution – it’s not needed yet. In another 10 years and I’d expect to see 5+ black Premier League managers. The cynic in me is saying that various journalists are using the on-field racism issues of recent times to make themselves be seen as flag-bearers for equality.

What do YOU think?

Tweet me at @_The12thman

Over and out.