Can I start this week’s column by apologising to the bet365 customer service rep I drunkenly spoke to on the phone on Sunday morning?
In my defence I’d been out on the sauce all day Saturday in Newcastle and was convinced as I lay in my pit in the recovery position on Sunday morning that said bookmaker was trying to have me over.
I’d placed a £50 treble consisting of West Ham and Leicester to win and Liverpool to win by more than one goal. That little lot was paying £300 and after my phone battery died on the Saturday tea-time and two mates confirmed that Liverpool had won 2-0 I thought my bet was up. Cue a bizarre and frankly embarrassing (for me anyway) early morning conversation with the customer service team insisting they pay me out before recoiling in horror when it was established the Baggies had scored a late consolation at Anfield.
It was another weekend I’d rather forget with the absolute high point witnessing a girl on the train shouting into her mobile “I’m 23 and if I want to suck c**k all day then I will.” Touché.
I awoke to news on Monday that I had failed to make the Ballon d’Or shortlist once again. This despite the fact I have been on fire in five-a-side up the Domes near where I live for several months now.
France Football announced a 30-man list including Paul Pogba, Riyad Mahrez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Incredibly, Jamie Vardy was included but there was no place on the list for yours truly, despite scoring a brace in a pulsating 7-7 draw with the Chemsex Strollers just four nights before the shortlist went out. One of those goals was an in-off-the-post toe poke a prime Romario would have been proud of. And the fact that I bagged two while wearing Levi jeans and a vest tells you everything you need to know about where my game is right now.
Alas it seems that sporting politics will dictate that I will join the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Ferenc Puskas and Andrea Pirlo as great players who never won a Ballon d’Or. And that rankles.
The League Cup, or the EFL Cup to give it its proper title these days, is a tough old competition to bet on given that it has more sub plots than your average episode of Eastenders. However, this didn’t stop me smashing into a Liverpool – Newcastle double paying around the 7/4 mark on Tuesday night.
They say in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king and team news is absolute crucial if you are thinking about getting conkers deep in these types of competitions. So the minute I knew Spurs were making wholesale changes on Merseyside and starting with players with names like Harry Winks and Cameron Carter-Vickers (who sound like characters from the Beano) my money was down.
Newcastle absolutely battered poor Preston 6-0 and Liverpool were good value for their 2-1 win over Tottenham in the end. It was one of those rare nights where the gamble never, ever looked in doubt. And as I withdrew my winnings from my online Paddy Power account while watching some truly hard-to-watch scenes on the BBC News at Ten I reasoned that if all 7/4 shots behaved like that, then the world would be a better place.
Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Chelsea to beat Southampton at 13/10 (General)