Those pesky neighbours.
N&R Premier League – Week 17
After a week of double points we have a new N&R Premier League leader. Too Bigg to Fail, last years bridesmaid, hit top spot in week 17 and leads long time leader Woody’s Round Up by 2 points. Guinness & eggs is nicely placed in 3rd with Where’s Whalley in 4th.
The Sloan Rangers zoom into 5th with Hannoi Utd 6th and Sweats 11 7th. 2Infinity and beyond sit in the last prize place.
I’m liking the top of the N&R Premier League this year. It has all of the potential to be a really exciting close title race.
N&R Championship – Week 17
The No Hopers stay top after a strong week. There was a little musical chairs below them as Pun Three went 2nd, Show me the Mane 3rd and Your Mum’s Fit Sociedad 4th.
Jose, Jose, Jose went into 6th and MoW Iron Born 8th. Snap! Tackle! Pop! climb to 9th with Exeter Gently slipping down to 10th. Keep the Faith was a big faller as well.
Stiffsters and Dirty Sanchez make it out of the drop zone whilst 2 More Year, What a load of Ballacks and BOOM Xhakalaka all fall into it.
N&R Conference – Week 17
That’s embarrassing moved to over 50 points clear at the top of the table in week 17. Mann United are 2nd and Lollygagging Millionaires 3rd with Boys on Tour now 4th. After a century of points in week 17 Phuket Pineapples moved to 6th ahead of Brighter Brighton Blues.
A new and welcome face in the pink zone was Goonersmoan.
Manager of the Week – Week 17
As expected top season scores all round in week 17. 41 managers beat the previous best score of 83 by Paul Long.
It was Graham Ward who claimed week 17’s best score of 110. We have another week coming up of two sets of fixtures so we will have to see if Graham’s top score lasts.
Doyley was a surprise 2nd in week 17 with 105. Well done GR. His old mate Sweaty was next with 104, likewise Jason Syrett. James Stiff scored 103, Will Jackson 102, Alastair Bigg and Michael Stout still going strong with a 101 each and William Knowles, Steve Mitchell, Steve Black, Jack Mann and Alan Wiley all broke the 100 point barrier. Well done to all.
41 was the week 17 low, held by Stuart Wolstenholme.
No Carabao moments fortunately at The Kremlin on Friday as the Ruskies whittled through the draw quickly and without any fuss. International football doesn’t do it for me much these days but seeing those pots of countries from Peru to Iran, and Tunisia to South Korea stirred something of old fashioned football romance in me. (Nations, players)..
I realized again that I do love a World Cup, and as sad as it was not to see any other of the home nations in the draw, I have at least England to fawn over, and no doubt fume over for a few weeks next summer.
England’s draw in Group G is pretty good, although if Belgium can avoid any Dutch susceptibilities, then they should go deep into the competition. However by the time we meet the Belgians, we should (should) have made it comfortably past Tunisia and Panama, who just missed out on 2014 qualification but their young team made it through to Russia at the expense of USA.
Group A containing the hosts is also conveniently the easiest group of them all. The opening game will be Russia against Saudi Arabia, or to put it another way, the two worst teams in the tournament, according to the FIFA rankings. The group is quite nicely balanced, though, in a poor kind of way. Uruguay will expect to make the last 16, but both Russia and Egypt will have hopes of joining them.
Group B wasn’t quite as tough as it looked after Spain and Portugal were drawn out first. Both will expect to make it through, although Morocco is not to be underestimated. Group B also includes Iran.
In Group C if France had imagined an ideal group, it would have been this. Peru was among the weakest of the second seeds, Australia does not have a coach, and Denmark should not trouble them too much.
Group D is probably the most delicately balanced, most interesting, and most competitive of all the groups. Argentina only just qualified, Croatia has an abundance of individual talent, Iceland a tremendous collective strength and Nigeria was, possibly, the toughest fourth seed to draw. Argentina will not be happy at all. Oh well.
In Group E the Brazilians, who are probably the world’s best at present, will not be nearly as happy as France. Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica is a relatively kind section for Tite’s team and they should piss it but the battle to join them in the last 16 will be absolutely fascinating.
Like France and Brazil, Germany has nothing to complain about in Group F. Sweden is hard-working but limited, and neither South Korea nor Mexico have the quality to derail the reigning champions.
Along with Group A, Group H seems the most evenly spread. Poland was among the weakest top seeds, and Colombia will harbour ambitions of finishing top. Japan and Senegal, though, will both see the Round of 16 as a real possibility now.
More bad news in week 12. These are our selections for this weekend:
Stand to win: £76.10
Running total: -£24.00
Chelsea at West Ham
Wolves home Sunderland
Blackpool home Rotherham
Crawley draw with Mansfield
Stand to win: £
Running total: -£9.02