Reflecting On The F365 Pre-Season Predictions

Roll up, roll up to have a good laugh at your Football365 scribes, as we look back on our pre-season predictions to see who was wrong, who was right and who was stupid...

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And so, the season is dribbling to a close. There's not much football left now. This will either be a source of much despair to you, or - if you're slightly more balanced as a human being - represent a chance for you to do other things. Go out in the sunshine and talk to a girl/boy. Read a book. Go out for some drinks. Stay in and enjoy some special private alone time. The world is yours.

However, as it's the end of the season, it's time for us to revisit our pre-season predictions, and have a look at exactly how comically awful they are, or how prescient and magnificent we are.

We'll start with the first and simplest - the league champions. While it wasn't the most outrageous prediction in the world, but congratulations to young shavers Matthew Stanger and Daniel Storey, who both correctly foretold that Manchester United would win the thing. Of course, because it wasn't a difficult call, that makes the rest of us look even more stupid, with Nick Miller, Sarah Winterburn, Rob McNichol, Philip Cornwall and Alan Tyers going for Manchester City, while John Nicholson strayed from the pack and thought Chelsea would do the biz.

As for the rest of the top four, most were spot on, if completely unimaginative, by predicting the same old suspects would claim Champions League qualification. Nicholson said Spurs would make it rather than Manchester United, but even that doesn't look as silly as Stanger's assertion that Liverpool would finish amongst the elite.

'I have a sneaking suspicion things could click at Liverpool this season and if they start well FSG might loosen the purse strings to aid a Champions League push in January,' he wrote. Oh Matthew...

At the other end of the table, perhaps surprisingly nobody picked QPR to go down, despite them having Mark Hughes as their manager at the time. Miller, Tyers and Storey all pegged Reading and Wigan, while Storey also made the silliest prediction by going for West Brom to struggle, as did McNichol.

The honours for correctly predicting the first manager to go are awarded to Stanger, who nailed Roberto Di Matteo (if you will), as did a hedging McNichol. By far the furthest from the mark on that score was Miller, who reckoned Michael Laudrup would flounce out of Swansea. A solid league season, a League Cup and an immaculate haircut later, and the Dane is the only one laughing.

In terms of the promoted three, we all got things more or less bob on by saying West Ham would be fine, a mid/late season wobble aside. McNichol was a little optimistic about Reading's prospects mind, claiming they would manage an oddly specific 14th place.

Now to the new signings, and pats on the head to Miller, Cornwall and Winterburn for nodding towards Michu, but a smack on the head for McNichol, who thought 'QPR have done terrific business for me in getting in Park and Hoilett'. Ahem.

McNichol didn't exactly cover himself in glory with his prediction of which new boy would be rubbish either, dismissing Oscar more or less out of hand, while Winterburn, Storey and Stanger all said Eden Hazard would be underwhelming. While his inclusion in the PFA team of the year might have been a bit generous, a great big massive flop he was not.

Finally, our lot were asked to predict something insane that would happen in the season. Nicholson reckoned Fergie would go at about Christmas (only a few months off, to be fair), Cornwall was full of youthful naivety by hoping the BBC would 'do something about Match Of The Day', Storey predicted bad times for Mario Balotelli, but the finest prediction came from the ever-maverick Stanger, who said:

'The world will end on December 21. I'm having a barbecue with Carlos Roa, feel free to join us.'

Did you go? The rest of us were...erm...busy that day...


See the full predictions from the start of the season here.

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Readers' Comments

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
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