After a solid 6-5 win over Arthur Fane last week, Matt Bugler takes on slightly more unfamiliar football opposition in the shape of Exeposé Online Editor Olivia Luder (Moomin). It turns out that all this time she had been concealing some really fascinating and unique insights to the game…
I definitely think that Liverpool are going to win this because back in year five, all the boys in my class hated Arsenal and really liked Manchester United. So yeah, pretty sure that if a football team is hated by a bunch of ten year olds, it’s really not got a lot going for it. Really looking forward to the traditional half-time Macarena that Liverpool and Arsenal are well known for.
Arsenal’s project for the rest of the season is to hang onto their lead against two superior teams in the shape of Man City and Chelsea. They’ve found this season that every time they lose a good player, another one mysteriously emerges; Podolski in for Ramsey, The Ox in for Walcott etc. Thus the recruitment of already injured Kim Kallstrom was actually a pre-emptive strike to allow Yaya Sanogo to come blinking out into the light. Cunning.
Aston Villa- West Ham
I think Aston Villa are at a distinct disadvantage in this game since everyone knows England hasn’t got any nice terracotta tiled villas in it. They’re going to need to come back from some sunny location in Europe and rename themselves Aston Semi-detached if they want to beat West Ham.
Every time Kevin Nolan does his chicken dance, 100 real chickens are brought out of a lush green paradise and into cramped battery cages. What a cruel man. Villa’s suspect defence means that Chicken Run is looking increasingly unlikely to happen.
Obviously, the real deciding factor in this game is whether Roman Abramovich plays. I don’t know what position he is but I’ve heard that he’s really shaken things up for Chelsea in the past. Newcastle will have to beat the jetlag they’ll inevitably be dealing with having come from so far north. All in all, an exciting match.
Newcastle have been exposed as a Wizard of Oz style team, with Yohan Cabaye as the curtain that conceals a fragile bunch of gawky, technically-limited scoundrels. Chelsea could score as many as they want, but Mourinho is opposed to unnecessary attacking, and will be silently resenting the fact that his side score more than twice.
Crystal Palace- West Brom
Are these actually real football team names? I’m pretty sure Crystal Palace is the spin-off of Takeshi’s Castle. In which case, psyched for when all the players have to leap over the goal (just had to google to make sure it was called that, for those of you also not in the know, here’s a handy resource – http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/vocabulary/football.shtml) and storm the stadium to win the match. I guess West Brom will just sit and enjoy the entertainment.
This is the easiest prediction I’ll ever do. Pulis at home vs team in the second half of the table is a 1-0 win as reassuring and ever-present as hearing Mr Brightside in an Exeter night out. My need for a comforting football result has been enhanced further by the fact I don’t currently have a bedroom in Exeter, so please Tony, don’t let me down.
Norwich- Man City
This is getting progressively more and more dull. Hang on, hang on, hang on. There’s a team that’s called MAN City? Can’t tell if sexism or if abbreviation. To be serious right now, I think, based on my extensive knowledge of Norwich and all its inhabitants, that it’ll be quite an evenly fought match provided Man City’s well-known striker Tess Tosterone is still injured (ho, ho, ho!)
City have been bizarrely criticised in some quarters for not winning tight matches. Apparently winning 4-0 is not as important as playing badly and sneaking a 1-0. This match against Norwich represents a good chance to gain that much coveted “hallmark of champions”.
Studying at Exeter, I have a natural distrust of Southampton (or is it Loughborough we’re supposed to not like? I forget…) but I can’t deny their nautical ability. Everyone remembers their famous underwater football match of ‘08. Since it has been raining a lot in the South West lately, it could go swimmingly for Southampton but Stoke could draw surprising strength from its mascot, the water Stoat.
Saints have been quietly returning to their early-season form, and continue their development into a side entirely made up of teenagers. Much rests on whether Pochettino decides to play the industrious Jack Cork in midfield, or Victor Wanyama, who despite his £12 million transfer fee struggles to pass a ball 10 feet to a teammate.
Hull really hasn’t been on form lately, have they? Though they’ve just been through a gruelling training regime of toe curls, brow furrowing and studying semiotics, it’ll take more than that to get them up to standard. Tom Daley, of course, has been seen hanging around the stadium in anticipation of the match – speculation currently suggests that he hoping to dive into the sea of their post-match tears. Sorry Hull but Sunderland are going to put you s’under…
Adam Johnson’s decided to end his 18 month sabbatical from the game and fancies a bit of World Cup after-training table tennis with Phil Jagielka. Hull are no strangers to being very good in the first half of a Premiership season and God-awful in the second, so we’ll have to wait until May to see if Steve Bruce will be banging out the tunes at the KC.
Aaaand finally the Welsh contingent have arrived. You really have to take Cardiff on a game by game basis, depending on whether the city is being ravaged by Doctor Who monsters that week or not. The whisper in the wind suggests Slitheens are on their way in which case Cardiff’s boasting of a win is all just hot air (Doctor Who fans in the house, can I hear you say ‘heeyyyy’!)
As a football player, Gary Monk always had the air of being confused as to how he made it to the Premier League, and as a manger represents the hopes and dreams of every pub-goer who thinks they can do a better job in charge. Swansea have decided that having a suave, cultured European manager is not for them, and fancy a good ol’ relegation scrap instead. Good for them.
Olivia: CANCELLED- to be replayed when Everton is in a better state of mind
My Dad works in Tottenham. I know it’s often quite blocked up with traffic. Had a quick google to find out where Everton is and it turns out it’s in Liverpool… I’m really confused. Why is there a Liverpool football team AND Everton? Why can’t they work together? Did something happen? I’m calling this match off on the grounds that Everton really needs to stop taking out its angst over the break up with Liverpool on other people and instead just sit down and really talk through their issues.
Tim Sherwood is the model that Gary Monk aspires to be, a plucky underdog rising to the challenge, and suffering the odd setback before coming through in the end-of-season finale. If this were a sports film, Everton would be a chance to prove that they’ve learnt lessons from their thumping by City. Expect Michael Dawson to head home a glorious, slow-motion winner in the 95th minute as White Hart Lane erupts.
Man United- Fulham
Oh good lord, it’s the last one. Thank god for that. Let’s return to where we started – my primary school class in year 5. I was a Manchester United fan then and I’m a Man U fan now. David Beckham is definitely my favourite player for the team. Giggs, Cole, Keane, Sheringham, Scholes, the Nevilles – all players whose success with Manchester United continues and I’m sure will last long into the future. Fulham are exactly that – full of… ham. Ham being uselessness on a football pitch.
These two teams are in a competition to see who can be the most bad. United lost to Stoke, Fulham raised them with a home defeat to League Two-bound Sheffield United. This match will be a hilarious montage of air-kicks, scuffed efforts and teammates tackling each other.bookmark me