As the Premier League 2016-17 season begins and I start my annual parade1 of at least 20 predictions sure to go wrong, there is a big rail strike going on in England. Southern Railway, which provides vital commuter and rail services to south London and its suburbs is out on strike over work rules, job assignments, and other related management jackassery. The strike adds more grief and inconvenience to south London commuters who’ve been plagued by shitty service brought about through utter management incompetence. Southern Railway, which owned by Govia Thameslink Railway, is one many private firms that run2 rail service in (Soon To Be No Longer) Britain now. And from the off, they’ve pretty much been running Southern services into the ground.
So maybe a better alternative could be found. Short of re-nationalizing the rails that is.
And for discussion, review, and other purposes, I’m throwing Amtrak’s hat into the ring.
Amtrak saved passenger rail in America. Now it’s time for Amtrak become Rail Britannia as well!! Step your game up, Theresa May!! Hire Amtrak today!! And pretty soon, happy commuters from S. London and every Kent and Surrey & Sussex village and town will be served by these fine folks!!
Southern Railway in England has been given the REAL Southern Railway a bad name. Southern Railway was operated to a standard by which other railroads were measured. Southern served the South of the USA from 1894 to 1990 when it merged with Norfolk & Western to for Norfolk Southern. Through the 60’s & 70’s when other railroads were going bankrupt, were sold, or merged, Southern soldiered on under the guidance of D.W. Brosnan and W. Graham Claytor. They were also the only railroad that didn’t give up it’s passenger trains to Amtrak in 1971.
So the Southern Railway name is being dragged through steaming vales of shite. It’s time to put a stop to that. It;s time to make Amtrak England’s Railroad as well!
Normally, as the Premier League begins, I offer up the usual 20 predictions sure to go wrong. But this year, there will only be 19 of them that are sure to go wrong.
The only one that will be correct is:
Hull City will be relegated!
There is no doubt in mine, or anyone else’s mind that they will go right back down to the Championship once all is done and dusted. Their fans are already agitating and protesting the ownership and will out in force for their opener against defending champion Leicester City. They have no permanent manager. The owner is very ill and his focktard son is running (ruining) things while trying to sell the club. Their gaffer, Steve Bruce, who got them back up to the Prem saw the writing on the wall and bailed out. Interim manager Mike Phelan will try his best but it will be to no avail.
Hull City’s futility this season could very well be historic, surpassing Derby County in the 2007-08 season for the least amount of points in a Premier League season. 11 points from 38 matches.
So 19 predictions sure to wrong then (well, 20 if you actually think that Amtrak will take over for Southern Railway in England).
All aboard the Relegation Train!
Well, let’s get at it then.
I’ve got 20th Place nailed down, but the other 19 are a bit more dicey. If I get even one of these correct, it will be a modern miracle and will almost make me forget that I didn’t put a fiver on Leicester City to win the Premier League last season even though I’d predicted them to go down.
There’s the return of Jose Mourinho to consider. Fuck him, he’s a ManU(re) guy now. And his noisy neighbors have b(r)ought Pep Guardiola in to lead City to glory like he did at Barca and Bayern. Fuck him too.
My Blues hired Antonio Conte to clean up the mess of last season. Pity he can’t toss Michael Emanalo out with other deadwood he could pile on to the bonfire….let’s see….Ivan, Mikel, Costa, Matic, Oscar….the list goes on.
So there’s a lot to consider.
One thing I will NOT consider is Chelsea winning the Premier League. As much as I want them to, they simply won’t. This is a rebuilding year.
Another thing I will not consider is Leicester City repeating as Champions. That won’t happen either. They’ll do well, but not that well. Last season was magic beyond imagining. Let’s leave it at that.
So that leaves me with either the obvious choice that a lot of pundits are going with. Or, a surprise pick. Then again, I could apply logic and maths3. But who the fock other than Nate Silver ever does THAT?!
It leaves me with a hard and terrible choice. Chelsea is out. Leicester City is out. And since I not going with a surprise pick, West Ham is out. Like Chelsea, Liverpool is a year away from serious duking it out.
That leaves 4 cards on the table: ManU(re); Their Noisy Neighbors; Tootenham; and ArseAnal.
What a conundrum!!
I hate to even pick one of those cards. It’s almost like picking the focking Oakland Raiders to beat the Green Bay Packers in the Super B0wl this year. The only one who will be happy after that 4will be the corpse of Al Davis.
But of those four…the one that makes the most sense to me, as much as it galls me as a Chelsea fan is:
Tootenham will win the Premier League
I really focking hate that almost as much as going with the popular pick of ManU(re). I’ve been rolling and roiling around with this all day. But it makes a bit of sense. And yes, I sort of went the Nate Silver route on this….but using logic, instead of math. Plus, I used some intuition. Also, I used….wait for it…..wait…….I used knowledge and personal experience!!
From personal experience, I played defensive back….so I know the feeling when you’re nutmeged and nailed to the cross as the ball crushes the back of the net and your goalie yells at you for being a useless twat.
As for knowledge, well….anyone who knows sports knows that defense wins championships.
So….of the 4 teams remaining, I’m pinning my punditry hopes (but NONE of my mother-in-laws money) on Tootenham to cross the finish line and take the checkered flag 1st.
Tootenham is more settled on defense.. Their gaffer, Mauricio Pochettino is more calm, centered, settled and despite being a Chelsea fan that hates Tottenham like hell won’t have, I have to respect his approach to the game and the lads on his team.
Less mercurial than Jose; Less chained to old ways than Arsene. Less fashionable than Pep.
Tottenham has the understated hardworking squad to be there at the death.
So, in the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, “Lads….it’s Tottenham.”
As for the rest of the Elite 8, here’s my next 7 predictions sure to go wrong:
4. Man City
7. West Ham
8. Leicester City
Feel free to rearrange 4-6 as you see fit, but I’ll go with what I have predicted.
I have valid reasons. But I must remind you that most of them are the result of drinking beer.
Then again, West Ham might shake up everything and bring the trophy to their new sad European home at Olympic Park. And pretty bubbles will rise so high….almost reach the sky.
Mid-table Mediocrity and all that dross. But for some, it’s the pinnacle of success, and for others, the most that can be expected.
Then again, a few mid-table dwellers should, or feel they should, be in the elite 8. Everton and Southampton aspire to or have been Elite 8 teams. But it wont happen this year.
Here’s the mid-table dwellers:
9. Stoke City
You will note that I’m not as pessimistic about the chances of newly promoted Middlesbrough as some pundits are. I also think that Bournemouth will not be troubled by the relegation zone despite their form falling off towards the end of last season. I’m going with my gut on this one.
There is one team that is guaranteed to be relegated. Hull City, of course.
But there are 6 other teams that are facing that danger as well. 2 of those 6 are going down down down.
Plucky Burnley will give it a good go…but like the last time they were up, they will ultimately be sent packing back down to the Championship.
I’m figuring that West Brom will join them, but any of Watford, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, or Swansea could be on that relegation train in their stead.
Here’s how I see it:
15. Crystal Palace
19. West Bromwich Albion
20. Hull City
It’s 9;30 AM CDT and I’m just finishing and publishing this. The opening match of the Premier League 2016-17 season is in the books. In a shocker from KCOM Stadium, Hull City opened their account with a 2-1 upset of defending champions Leicester City. Then again, last season, Aston Villa won it’s opening match and ended up relegated by a wide margin. 37 games to go. Hull City has no bench…interim gaffer Mike Phelan made no substitutions…they will run out of steam rather quickly and are one Robert Snodgrass injury away from their more than ultimate oblivion. The only question is whether they will match or exceed Derby County’s futility from the 2007-08 season when Derby were relegated with 11 points and only 1 win is 38 matches. I throw that challenge to you, Hull!! No more than 10 points!! Y’all got 3, but from here on out, on 7 points. No more. Got it?
And so the season has begun and the relegation train is on the way.