Revisiting F365's Pre-Season Predictions

Some nailed it (mostly because Stanger copied off Winty) but Daniel Storey and Nick Miller struggled - stiffening pants at Spurs and Newcastle to go down? Ouch.

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It's May so it's time to laugh at our pre-season predictions. Well, mostly to laugh at Daniel Storey and Nick Miller's pre-season predictions...

Who's going to win the league?
Credit to Philip Cornwall and Sarah Winterburn for correctly predicting that Manchester City would win the title, while Matt Stanger receives a bonus point for adding that football will be the winner. He's writing this bit, so that's why he's giving himself a bonus point (Ed - A bonus point that has been swiftly taken away for writing about himself in the third person).

The rest all plumped for Chelsea, except Rob McNichol, who thought David Moyes would be a flying success at Manchester United. And that's why he no longer works for Football365.


And give us the rest of the top four. In order. Please.
No-one tipped Liverpool to break back into the top four, and no-one thought that Manchester United would drop out, although John Nicholson did note that Moyes would 'kill their season'. Philip backed Spurs to finish third, while Daniel Storey said they had 'recruited some pant-stiffening players'. We'd like to know how often the little perv's pants were stiffened by Etienne Capoue.


Who's going down?
No-one gave Hull or Palace a chance in the survival race, while Philip and Rob both thought Stoke would struggle. The big sillies. Not as silly as Nick Miller, however, who thought Newcastle would go down. Yes, the same Newcastle side who remained in the top half from October onwards. Just like the time he backed Fernando Torres to be a huge flop at Liverpool, we're expecting him to claim this as one of his 'slow-burning' predictions.


Who'll be the top scorer?
Robin van Persie's injury/rumoured-hatred-of-David-Moyes problems ruined most picks, but we're going to be generous and give Johnny and Matt some credit for saying that Wilfried Bony and Edin Dzeko would have good seasons. Daniel shied away from Luis Suarez because he's 'as unpredictable as a rabid dog with the s**ts', which now makes him look like the fool he is. It's half the reason we love him, though. We're not entirely sure if Andi Thomas was being sarcastic when he said Roberto Soldado.


How will the promoted trio do?
This was mostly covered under 'who's going down?', with no-one guessing that Palace would replace Ian Holloway with Tony 'The Magician' Pulis.


Best new signing?
'Roberto Soldado in the short term, though he is on the old side.' You should have played the long game, Philip.

Rob came up with a good shout by tipping Loic Remy's Newcastle loan to be a success, but then that shout became the piercing shriek of a madman when he added that Aroune Kone would be well worth the £6m Everton splashed out.

Nick's 'nods to more or less everyone Norwich have signed' soon turned to shakes, while he also gets a slap on the wrists for nominating Emanuele Giaccherini and a kick in the balls for saying Wilfried Zaha looks like the real thing. Not for Cardiff, he didn't.

Alan Tyers said: 'Obviously I'm hoping that Ricky van Wolfswinkel is going to score loads, just for the headline LOLs.' There were no headlines, but plenty of LOLs.

Matt and Sarah both backed Fernandinho to play a crucial role in City's success, so they're feeling pretty smug (what's new?), but we have to pull Dan up on his suggestion: 'I'm going to shun the obvious and go for Nathan Redmond. A fine effort for Norwich to pick up a talent for £2million who I believe will be playing in the top four in two to three years.' He's now trying to claim he meant the top four of the Championship.


And worst?
Dan redeemed himself somewhat by joining Matt in saying that Andreas Cornelius and Jozy Altidore looked like huge wastes of money. Philip predicted Loic Remy to be a flop at Newcastle, but he deserves some credit for saying that Nicolas Anelka's move to West Brom 'does not seem a winner', which it certainly was not.

However, the big points in this round go to Johnny, who tipped Iago Aspas to be a disaster at Liverpool. We'll never forget that corner.


Who'll be the first manager to go?
'Feels like a Paolo implosion is the best bet,' said Rob, and he was bang on the money. All the credit Johnny was given for nominating Aspas is quickly taken away again for saying: 'Roberto Martinez after a disastrous start with Everton. Anyone with a 28.8% win ratio has fairly conclusively proved they can't organise a defence.' Hmmmm. The Toffees rather p*ssed on his chips with the fourth-best defensive record in the league.


How will Luis Suarez mark his first game back after his ban?
Stanger was the only one who bothered to do some research for this question, writing: 'His first game back is likely to be a League Cup third round tie (if Liverpool beat Notts County. They really should beat Notts County), so I think it will be quite an uneventful occasion.' It certainly was uneventful, even though the opponents happened to be Manchester United at Old Trafford.


Who would you be most delighted to see fail?

'That's not my style,' said Rob, who comes over all queasy at the first smell of schadenfreude. Boo.

The rest of us loved this question, though, with Stanger relishing Norwich's relegation following his long-running feud with Russell Martin. Dan was also rewarded for his dislike of Paolo Di Canio while Winty was no doubt delighted to see Mr Wacky himself, Ian Holloway, given the boot at Palace.

Nick can look forward to watching his beloved Hull City Tigers in the FA Cup final on Saturday, but this section really goes to Johnny, who gave Moyes and Manchester United both barrels. He nailed it when he said Moyes 'already looks ridiculously gauche in the job', and it didn't get any better from there really.

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