Over the summer BT Sport compiled all of their boffins in a room, I hope in a dark windowless room reminiscent of a spy film with everyone wearing lab coats. We can but dream. These boffins used stats and numbers to tell the football public what these showed would happen in 2019/20. Now, I’m no Graeme Souness but, many of these stats are insanely pointless and anybody who judges football by them is a moron. I love football, but I couldn’t care less how many touches per ninety Dele Alli had last season, as it rarely tells me anything that I can’t already see. So, I shall now undertake to make a set of predictions for things that will happen before the end of the season that take into account a grand total of zero stats obtained from Opta or Cognizant or any other pretentious sounding companies.
West Ham fans talk about a non-existent “West Ham Way”- If there is one thing that you can count on is that a group of Cockneys will moan following a dismal home defeat in February, that their club is no longer playing the “West Ham Way”. This being a mythical brand of football that has never been defined and is based on absolutely no footballing identity that they have ever had. But, hey ho a couple of players they had won the World Cup.
Sam Allardyce returns- I don’t know where, and I don’t know when, but Sam Allardyce and his signature war of attrition style will return to the Premier League somewhere this season. The biggest surprise of them all last season was that the chip shop Guardiola was not brought in as the saviour to any panicking clubs towards the wrong end of the top-flight of English football. Lightning doesn’t strike twice
Old men on TalkSport will criticise VAR for making a correct decision- This one has happened already, but you can pretty much bank on it cropping up in the vast majority of editions of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on a Monday morning. A fair few permanently red-faced men will complain that a goal was chalked off because of a player standing five yards beyond the last defender when they are played through.
Pochettino is called a second rate manager for having not won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy- Another one that will more than likely appear on TalkSport or on the Twitter feeds of people with an avatar of Mo Salah that because Mauricio Pochettino has never won any form of trophy that he is in some way a flop and so should never be considered for any good managerial jobs. And then the next day calling the Carabao Cup a pointless trophy that nobody should ever try in after Manchester City win it for a third successive time.
A player who is correctly rated is called underrated for so long that they become overrated- Every year without fail this happens, and it generally happens about once a month. Players to have recently been a part of this phenomenon are Roberto Firmino and Heung Min Son. This generally comes as a result of various football-based Twitter profiles posting a video of them doing something rather mundane with a succession of fire emojis accompanying it. They will then be called the most underrated player of all time and thus the dice is cast.
A Championship striker comes to the Premier League and flops- This will usually happen in January, but a few came in the summer and so the wheels may already be set in motion for this one. This will usually come in the form of a striker who plays towards the top of the Championship in a team that put the ball in the box forty times per game and has netted 14 off the back of this style. They then join a Premier League club that never have the ball in January and score on debut before not touching the ball again for the rest of the season as their club get relegated. This player will then mercilessly be called a donkey until they drop into League One.
So, there are your six things to look out for this season. Stats or no stats, I think we can all agree that these are more likely to happen than Alex Iwobi, who has registered 16 assists in his whole life and none so far this season, will suddenly get 11 this season based off a stat that I’m pretty sure nobody understands, not even the people that are compiling it.
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