Monday, 24 June 2013


As I'm sure you're all aware now, Guy Poyet was sensationally sacked from his role as Brighton manager last night, while he was live on air, broadcasting in his role as pundit for the BBC during the Confederations Cup match between Nigeria and Spain.

The timing of the announcement on Brighton's website and via their Twitter feed was of course designed to cause maximum embarrassment to Poyet, but it does seem strange how quickly this has all got out of hand.

This dates back to May when Crystal Palace came to visit the Amex stadium for the Championship play-off semi-final second leg, and found excrement smeared over the visitor's dressing room. This in itself is a bit strange, as it's a bit like vandalising your own home, but we'll leave that to one side for one moment. The main question is who and why.

Now if you're guessing that Brighton have subsequently conducted some kind of DNA testing and discovered that the brown brick came from the anal lips of the former Chelsea star himself - then I don't think that's the case. No, this was not Poyet putting on a traditional Uruguayan welcome as far as I know; and I also don't believe Poyet sees himself as the new Bobby Sands of the football world.

Apparently Poyet was utterly outraged himself and fired-off an email (luckily that's all he fired-off) to all his staff, demanding to know who the culprit was and that they be sacked immediately. He also demanded a scratch-and-sniff test be performed on all employees.

But somehow this ranting carried-on further, and went on to question the ambition and direction of the club, although the precise nature of the criticism is not known. Maybe he thought the club was going down the pan. Maybe it was along the lines of: "You're shit and you know you are!"?

Either way, this verbal diarrhea was a bad move. Brighton Football Club took offence to the tone and/or content of this email and subsequently suspended Poyet and some of his coaching staff. Now that the dust (or perhaps the steam) has settled, they've now taken the decision to remove him entirely. Wiped from history, if you will.

So there you have it. Poyet is gone. Shafted by Brighton Football Club. Personally, I think the whole thing stinks and reckon it will leave a nasty stain on Brighton's reputation.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Better than the World Cup

I don't know about you, but I've been finding the Confederations Cup a terrific competition to both watch and to trade. End-to-end football. Open, attacking, free-flowing play from fully committed players. Great stuff.

As mentioned in a previous post, before the tournament started, I was hoping that the Confederations Cup, having less kudos than the other major international competitions, would mean more attractive, uninhibited, open play - and happily it has certainly turned-out that way so far. I hope it continues.

Ten matches have been played to date. Nine out of the ten have seen over 2.5 goals - and even if you completely ignore the two matches involving Tahiti, which does squew the data, that still equates to 3.75 goals per game. That is highly unusual in international competition.

I traded with rather small stakes last night, but still found it relatively easy to make a profit. It's not always like that of course, but I'm grateful for those occasions when it is.

Tonight sees Uruguay against Tahiti, so I suppose the most active markets in that match will be the "Correct Score 2 Home" or the "Correct Score 3 Home" ones. Personally, I don't feel very comfortable trading these "dead-cert" kinds of matches so I'll probably just leave that one alone.

In the other match, Nigeria are up against it. They know that Uruguay will secure three points, so they have to beat the World and European Champions if they want to stay in the competition. Spain will want to continue their winning run. I hope that means another lively and entertaining game.

I really recommend that you watch and get involved in some trading of this competition. It's well worth it.

Football: £124.12  Total P&L:  £124.12

Football Showing 1 - 4 of 4 markets
Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Italy v Brazil : Over/Under 6.5 Goals 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:55 4.44
Football / Japan v Mexico : Correct Score 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:52 34.64
Football / Italy v Brazil : Correct Score 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:50 57.35
Football / Italy v Brazil : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:16 27.69

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Breaking Premier League News!

Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea will all fail to win the title this year. Yup, you heard it here first. That's my shock prediction. Take a moment to let that earth-shattering news slowly sink in.

Of course, when I say they will fail to win the title, I should perhaps clarify that statement a little. I mean they will not win it in the first couple of months of the season.

Really sticking my neck out, huh?

With the Premier League fixtures out today, I realised that I hadn't yet taken a look at the EPL Winners market. Nothing like a little ante-post bet to whet the appetite, is there?

And it's a simple one for me. With all the changes going on with the top three teams, it's obvious the market doesn't have the first clue who's going to win the title this year. Look how close their prices are. Have you ever seen them like that before? The market has basically thrown its hands up in the air and shrugged, "I dunno!"

Anyway, as I said, it's simple for me. There are always a few changes of league position in the first couple of months of the season, so I've layed all three teams for a total potential profit of £500.

I will never realise that full £500 of course, but that hardly matters. As the positions change, to-ing and fro-ing during the first few months, I'll slowly hedge away my red and hopefully leave a nice little green book come the winter. Well, that's the theory anyway. My liability is only £75.

By the way, if you want to see how teams can change place through the course of a season, then remember to use my League Table Time Machine that I created for you all last year. This can show the rise and fall of each team after each match.


I made a little bit of pocket-money on the U21 final between Italy and Spain last night. I was out during the match so I set a couple of mug bets up before I went out - but I have to confess that I read the game completely wrong.

Like everyone else, I thought Spain would win, but I figured it would be a much more cagey affair than it was. Six goals and seven yellow cards doesn't sound cagey, does it?

Anyway, I placed a lazy Lay The Draw on the match, with a small saver on 1-1. My reading was that it might end 2-0 or 2-1 to Spain.

Shows just how little I know about this game of association football.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lags Eleven

Footballers are supposed to be icons of the modern era, and people who we can look up to and respect. They are supposed to be model citizens who we can all aspire to emulate, as they strive for increasing levels of greatness...

Erm, or not.

Let's face it, we love the game of football, but often those people who are attracted to playing "the beautiful game" can occasionally be somewhat flawed individuals. Some are a touch arrogant, narcissistic and just too wrapped up in themselves to care about anyone else - and some are just downright criminal.

Looking down the last few decades, I thought it highly worthy to build a football team out of those players who have crossed the line between hardworking law-abiding citizens and dirty, low-down scumbag criminals.

Here goes:

I thought I'd start with a manager who is held in high esteem within the football arena; a top quality dutch manager in the shape of Guus Hiddink. The fact that he was also found guilty of tax evasion (story here) is neither here nor there.

There are a couple of contenders for this position. First off we have Colombian Scorpion-kick specialist, Rene Higuita, who lit up Wembley all those years ago with that spectacular save, but who also managed to tarnish his image by being involved with drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and a cocaine problem that saw him fail a drugs test.

But in the end, I've decided to stick closer to home and go with David De Gea, Manchester United's famous shot-stopper, who was caught stealing a Krispy Kreme doughnut out of tescos (story here). Marvelous. A great save by De Gea (of  £1.19).

Unfortunately I'm going to have to bring in a couple of old stalwarts to help me fill my defensive positions - so I'm having Vinnie Jones: assault (story here), Tony Adams: drink-driving (story here) and Glen Johnson: stealing a toilet seat (story here). 

I need one more player, of course, but defence is the one position where I've struggled a bit (as you might have guessed from the toilet seat theft), so I've had to cheat slightly and bring in Arsenal's Peter Storey. He spent much of his time as a midfielder, but I believe he did start-out as a defender. More importantly, however, he has a long string of crimes to his name, including running a brothel, car theft, counterfeiting, smuggling pornography and threatening behaviour (buy his book here!). Top job Mr Storey. Thanks for stepping-in for me.

Another dependable player, if something of a cliche - but Joey Barton: common assault (story here) can always be relied on to get himself into trouble. Joey is helped-out in midfield by Gary Charles: threatening a bouncer with a knife (story here) and Jan Molby: reckless driving.

Okay, I'm doing well. I just have to sort out my strikers. Happily we have an array of talent up front from which to choose. Do bear in mind that I'm not just looking for football talent here. Weak-willed, inconsiderate and irresponsible are also important qualities in a team like this.

So, to make a formidable striking force, Maradona has to gain a slot: shooting journalists (story here). He can weave his magic and lay it on for either Duncan Ferguson: assault (story here) or Marlon King: multiple offences (story here). I do realise that Marlon King might be considered too mediocre a player to get into my side, but he is arguably our most criminally-minded individual off the pitch and so makes the grade.

So there we have it. I've managed to field an entire team with reprobates and criminals, albeit by having to go across different playing eras to do so. This is of course decidely harsh on my part, as I could pretty much select any profession in the land and manage to find a bunch of crooks amongst them. No problem.

But then again milk-men and plumbers are not held-up as icons are they? They're not looked upon as role-models and put on pedastals. They're not hero-worshipped and treated like demi-gods half the time.

And I suppose the whole point of this is, that neither should footballers. They are just a bunch of twats like the rest of us, and probably more so. Kicking a bag of air around a patch of grass is not a reason to elevate an individual's status, and the real shame is on us for allowing that to happen.

Oh no. Look what you've made me do there. I've only gone and ruined it all by being serious at the end.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Trading to recovery

The Mexico v Italy match last night went pretty much according to plan, and was easy enough to make money from. The Spain v Uruguay match, however, was not so easy.

Even though the match finished with one of my chosen scorelines, when trading that doesn't really matter. I say that because if you are trading seriously then you should always be looking ahead in the match and trying to predict what is going to happen next. Using that information, the idea is then to start covering-off other dangerous scorelines using the potential green that you already have. We're trading, not betting.

If any of you watched the match last night, you will have seen Spain start like a train. They were fabulous, and if anyone doubted that they are still right at the very top, then that was quickly dismissed yesterday. Fast, fluid movement and lovely to watch. Superb football.

So, sensing an early goal and that it was going to be a long night for Uruguay, I put some money on 3-0. When the first goal went in, I layed some of my red off. When the second goal was scored, I layed off a bit more. Then I scalped myself into a position where I had green on every score. The late goal by Horse of the Year winner, Luis Suarez, was an added bonus, but this does illustrate the benefit of trading, whereby it's possible to turn around a potentially losing situation into a winning one.

Football: £133.10 | Golf: £23.93 | Tennis: £33.85  Total P&L:  £190.88

Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets
Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Spain v Uruguay : Correct Score 16-Jun-13 23:00 17-Jun-13 00:53 58.28
Football / Mexico v Italy : Correct Score 16-Jun-13 20:00 16-Jun-13 21:53 74.82


With regards to tonight's match where Tahiti play Nigeria, it's difficult to find much in the way of value. Nigeria are listed at 1.07 to win the match, and I suppose at those super-skinny odds, I may feel like laying them during the first-half for a few pennies. If Nigeria take some time to find their feet, and before Tahiti tire, then the odds could possibly move a little.

Alternatively "Any Unquoted" in the "Correct Score 2 Away" market might be worth a look if there is no goal towards the end of the first half, at which point it could be worth laying with a view to trading after a couple of goals.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tonight's Matches

Brazil looked reasonably comfortable last night in the opening match. Great strike from Neymar in the first couple of minutes, and the last goal was very slick also.

By the way, don't worry about getting an early night tonight in preparation for work in the morning, and forget all about that boring golf competition that's going on somewhere in America. Instead, settle down to BBC2 and BBC1 at 8:00 and 11:00 this evening and watch Mexico v Italy and Spain v Uruguay.

Everyone's is predicting a low-scoring affair in the first match, and that may well be the case. Personally I'll be scalping this match only, which will allow me to dip in and out of the match as the action rises and falls (hopefully it does rise occasionally). The advantage of scalping the whole match, of course, is that I'm not taking a position throughout the entire course of the match. I'll just be making hay during the appropriate trends of the game.

With regards to the second match, I said yesterday that I'm interested in Uruguay, and indeed I am. Up front they have Diego Forlan and Luis (Red Rum) Suarez, and they are both prolific for their national side, even though as a team they are struggling to make it to next year's World Cup.

Spain are obviously favourites for this match but, all things being equal, you would expect both teams to get out of the group, with Nigeria and Tahiti failing to progress if the form book is right. A draw wouldn't be a particularly bad result for either team, but with this competition not having the same kudos as the major ones, I'm hoping that all the teams will play with a little more bravado and openness than normal.

So, with the array of attacking talent on both sides (Suarez especially will want to impress the likes of Real and Barcelona), alongside some signs of occasional defensive frailties, I'm guessing there might be one or two goals in tonight's match.

Dave from Betfair Football Trading - the highs and lows is a great advocate of, what he has termed, the Scatter Gun, whereby you back pre-match 1-1, 2-1 and 1-2, and then perhaps 20 minutes in when the odds are good enough, a little back of 2-2 also. This is his mainstay strategy and it's held him in good stead. If you're not familiar with it, then I suggest you pop over to his blog and devour everything on there. Do note, however, that this is a trading strategy and not a set-and-leave approach. You need to manage these scores in-play.

I'm not sure the starting odds are quite right as far as Dave might be concerned (perhaps Spain would be a little short for his liking), but personally I think this is a reasonable fit for this match and that's what I'll be going for. I'll obviously also do a bit of scalping on this one also, as it can help iron-out the kinks in pretty much any chosen strategy.

Good luck tonight if you trade.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Confederations Cup

It was only a couple of posts ago that I found myself whining about the lack of decent football activity during the summer, and that this was the perfect time to take a break and recharge the batteries.

Well don't you listen to a single word. Pah! All utter nonsense because today sees the start of the Confederations Cup and there is definitely some interest to be had here. Sixteen matches over 15 days, involving some of the world's top countries (with a few minnows thrown-in for good measure) and, listening to the players and managers being interviewed, it's easy to see how seriously everyone is taking this. This is the major practice competition before the World Cup next year, and all the teams involved want to win.

For Brazil, of course, it's also a double practice run for them. They can test out their grounds and their infrastructure ahead of the real thing. Interestingly, goal-line technology is also being used in this competition, so it will be intriguing to see how that fares.

So, what do we have? Well, these are the teams involved and, for good measure, I've also plonked their World Elo Ranking alongside too:

  • Spain (1)
  • Brazil (3)
  • Italy (8)
  • Mexico (11)
  • Uruguay (17)
  • Japan (25)
  • Nigeria (34)
  • Tahiti (141)

As you can see, there is really only one whipping-boy in the whole competition, with a decent spread of opposition amongst the rest. Brazil, as the hosts, and Spain (who have chosen a very strong squad) are the obvious candidates to win the whole thing - but Uruguay, the South American Champions look interesting to me.

Of course Uruguay have Mr I'm-very-hungry-so-do-you-mind-if-I-take-a-chunk-out-of-your-arm Suarez in the team, and they also have Edinson Cavani, who apparently every team in the world is going to sign this summer. Anyway, they look like dangerous opponents. They play their first match on Sunday against Spain, and I'm expecting that to be well worth watching. Spain beat them in February 3-1 but their recent form has been good.

Next, you could also consider Japan, who can boast some really decent attacking talent and Nigeria (the African Cup of Nations Champions) to upset the apple cart in a couple of matches. Japan play today against the hosts Brazil, whilst Nigeria will be hoping to get a decent start when the play Tahiti on Monday.

The winners odds are shown below for your interest. But my advice is to get involved. Don't be a wanker and take time off during the summer. Whoever came up with that stupid idea should be shot at dawn!

Incidentally, 188 have a small promotion on the Confederations Cup, which should help:

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Cry Baby

This is Jesus Navas, Manchester City’s £15 million signing from Seville. The picture was taken as he arrived at Manchester International Airport, in preparation for life in England. Doesn’t look very happy, does he?

This is an extract from the BBC website:

Navas has suffered from chronic home-sickness in the past, and spent his entire career at Sevilla, which is 20 miles north of his hometown of Log Palacios y Villafranca. He turned down a move to Chelsea after helping Sevilla beat Middlesbrough in the 2006 UEFA Cup final, citing a fear of living abroad. Navas has suffered from anxiety attacks when away from home for extended periods and has been forced to leave training camps on several occasions.

Well done Citeh. Top signing that. The first sign of trouble and he'll be on a plane faster than you can spunk another title chance against the wall. 

With Navas and Carlos AWOL Teves now both in the team, Citeh have also announced the signings of Banacek and Magnum PI, so they at least stand a chance of tracking down their players once they have fled the country.

According to reports from reliable sources, Navas arrived at the airport and immediately tried to purchase a ticket back to Spain. Well, after seeing Manchester, who can blame him?

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Betting Momentum

After my long break, I wandered into the trading chatroom the other day, absent-mindedly placed some bets on a couple of U21 Euro Championship matches, which both lost me a bit of money - but I actually found myself watching a rather nondescript movie called The Double, starring Richard Gere halfway through the matches, and I ended-up just switching my laptop off without even trying to manage my postions.

So what was that all about then?

After thinking about it for a couple of days, I realise now what's going on. In the first instance, I'm one of those people where it takes a while to get back into the swing of things. I need a while before I'm mentally back in gear, and I have built-up enough momentum to start betting/trading seriously. I find it also takes a little while to become attuned to the prices of things again after a long lay-off.

Unfortunately that's not all. I am a football fan and with one or two exceptions, I trade football and not much else - but I realise that I'm not the type of fan that can just sit and absorb any match that's on. I have to be "interested" in the match or I can happily just switch it off.

I am interested in all the major European leagues, especially and obviously the English leagues, but I have found that interest wane considerably come mid-may when they are all done and dusted. Many of you make good money during this "off" season, when some of the lesser leagues start, and all power to you for that, but for me making money from the match is not enough to sustain me. I also need to be entertained or at least interested in the teams involved. Now that might sound all very precious on my part but that's the reality.

For myself, also, this time of year is a natural break that I look forward to. Football trading is nothing more than a hobby for me, and I don't want to risk getting bored with that hobby or to feel that it's become a duty. Also, with the increasingly good weather, I also have no real inclination to be stuck inside staring at my computer screen when I could be out with friends or baking up a storm on my barbeque in the garden. Next month, the children will be on their summer break and I want to enjoy that time with them also.

It is, afterall, all about balance. When I'm not enjoying the sun or out with friends, then I want to take the opportunity to prepare for next season. That means updating my spreadsheets, gathering more data, working on my database, etc.

So, I may dip my trading toes back into the water over the summer on a few occasions, but I will recognise the facts and largely give it a rest. That's not to say that I will completely neglect this little blog of mine. I'll try and come up with one or two posts of interest to you all, and I'll try and post semi-regular over the summer.

Good luck to all you who will continue to trade during this time.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What a relief

I turn my back for a few moments, and all kinds of whacky happenings have been going on in my absence. Yes, I'm back home and, although I had an absolutely fabulous time abroad, I'm relieved and happy to be home.

However, all the footy shenanigans have been going on whilst I've been away. Very interesting indeed.

All change in Manchester I see, with Mancini out, Fergie and his purple nose safely wheeled off to the retirement home, only to be replaced by yet another jocular, bubbly and excitable Scot. The Special (Needs) One back at Stinkford Bridge. Mark Hughes, who's managerial skills seem almost inversely proportional to his skill as a player, miraculously finds himself back in gainful employment after Stoke advertised at JobSeekers Plus, so on and so forth. All very exciting.

I was more than a little gutted to see my lovely Spurs yet again fail to reach the last four. The usual blip that we always suffer at the same time of year did for us yet again. Consequently, we'll be lucky to keep hold of our little monkey-faced genius Gareth Bale, but if someone is foolish enough to offer £85 million for him, I'd be happy to see him go for that. We could replace him with Ronaldo I suppose :-)

In other areas, I've noticed that those decent people at have also been busy while I've been away, and seem to have been doing okay. They've added some interesting new strategies up which I will be analysing in due course.

Of course, I'm not about to detail what those strategies are here as that would be grossly unfair, but their strategies did make me knock-up yet another little spreadsheet that some of you may find useful. 

When looking to create a new strategy for yourselves, you obviously want to cover as many of the possible scorelines as possible, even if some of those scorelines will end-up as a scratch or smallish loss. You may decide to cover a selection of scorelines at the outset of a chosen match, and then work towards covering off any remaining danger scorelines as the game progresses. Or you may just be the type of person who likes maximum coverage right from the word go.

Either way, to help you all work-out what a possible strategy could be, I have created a little hedging spready.

This is a rather simple spreadsheet, and the only changes you need to make are in row 4, where you can choose to Back or Lay any selection (or selections) in the match odds, both teams to score, Under/Overs and Correct Scores market. Click on each item in row 4 and a dropdown will appear allowing you to choose either Back or Lay. 

Playing around with the spreadsheet will allow you to see which Backs and which Lays cover-off which scorelines, allowing you to develop a strategy. 

It's mildly lame, I suppose, but some of you may find it helpful.


On a different note, I have to report that I've been (correctly) taken to task regarding my last "testing your strategies post. I had a couple of basic mistakes in the spready and some anonymous chap was kind enough to spot them and point them out to me:

Anonymous1 June 2013 15:36
I am afraid the spreadsheet is not correct.

1. The column K : Result column needs to look at the Full Time Result (and not part Time result). Your need to look at column G instead of column J.
2. The calculation of the return in incorrect. For example your first return for the match Blackburn3 Everton2. You lay Everton , and Everton wins 1-0; you should therefore lose your stake and not win.
3. The result and return columns were incorrect.

Unfortunately once all corrections are done, the return is
- £ 61.

Happy to send the amended spreadsheet to anyone. Just send me an email to

Anon is of course spot-on about my silly mistakes, but largely I suppose it doesn't matter in this instance. The main point about the post was to get you all to start testing your own strategies. The spready that I knocked-up took about half-an-hour and was specifically for the post in question.

I will, however, endeavour to do better in future. Do bear in mind though, that the spreadsheet I've just posted above also only took 30 minutes and so there is a decent chance that has errors also!