Another desperately disappointing week for the team, with some Premier League sides choosing New Year’s Day to buck recent form, reputation and even long odds to ruin our predictions. Fulham’s win away at West Brom, for instance, shocked both me and Uncle Bernstein (along with most Fulham fans I suspect). I did mention in the picks that having backed Fulham in their two previous games to no avail, sods law would dictate a turn-around this week. It’s something that I think we all need to look at going forward; are we placing too much emphasis on past results/form? The assumption that Arsenal would carry their 7 goal form to St. Mary’s was clearly a mistake – wrecking our attempt to kick start our 15-1 series again. We perhaps should have known it was going to be a very different game to the hammering dished out at the Emirates; this time (an unchanged) Arsenal looked jaded, arguably lucky to even emerge with a point vs. a spirited and energetic Saints side.
Aside from the West Brom and Arsenal games, West Ham let all three of us down. Going 2-0 up early in the piece put pay to almost all of our predictions, despite a late fight back from Norwich. The Hammers are proving a rather unpredictable team of late –and I think I’ll be steering clear for the next few. Talking of steering clear…I think Dr. Zoidberg can safely say that his ‘New Year Travel’ theory can be shelved for now, with Hull, Wolves and Bristol City all failing to take advantage of the extra sleep afforded them on New Year’s Eve.
On the plus side, both Uncle Bernstein and Dr. Zoidburg both called the Spurs/Reading game excellently, with Tottenham stuttering into half time at 1-1, before completely dominating a tiring Reading side in the 2nd half. The predictions were all the more impressive given the odds attached. Sadly for me, Jermain Defoe’s lapse in form continued, leaving AVB’s other 2 forwards to cash in. Outside of the beautiful game, I was delighted to see Phil ‘The Power’ claim his 16th PDC title – using every ounce of his experience of big finals to fight back twice from 2 sets down, with the imperious looking Van Gerwen wilting under the pressure in the end. It was a great final (both players finishing on averages over 100), and a great tournament. Sadly I’m not sure the BDO is going to provide the same quality!
So, 2013 hasn’t had the best of starts, but there is plenty to be optimistic about. The first 5 weeks were always going to be a bit of a learning curve for us, and I’m hopeful that things are going to improve. The fast and furious pace of fixtures probably meant our preparation wasn’t quite as good as it could have been – something we’ll look to redress from here.
We’re also going to work hard at improving certain aspects of the site. Remember we’d love any comments/feedback that you have, or even better we’d love you to get involved on the site itself. Feel free to post your own thoughts on the weekend action (there’s a ‘Reply’ box at the bottom of each article).