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Robbo's Premier League predictions

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Robbo Robson | 11:11 UK time, Thursday, 13 August 2009

Now I'm not one of them that would scrap international friendlies but having half-watched England against Holland, I was left asking the same question I ask myself if I ever have the misfortune to stop channel-hopping at Big Brother: 'What the heck is the point of this?'

Rio and Barry drop clangers, Capello sticks to rigid 4-4-2, Defoe scores a brace - in other words, the same old individuals behaving out of character 'cos the game is about as important as celebrity cellulite.

John Terry's getting dead good at talking up the prospects of the team measuring itself up against your Spains, your Frances, your Hollands (none of these teams come in the plural by the way) but as long as you don't get battered it's a pointless exercise.

John Terry, Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole

Pundits will still try and draw their conclusions about Capello. The main message from him on Wednesday was that just 'cos Michael Owen has pulled on a Man U shirt doesn't make his inability to scuff one in from a couple of yards any more convincing.

The only difference the red top's going to make is Owen will have more opportunities to miss than he did at Newcastle.

It's ridiculous to have to play a real game when no-one but Michael Ballack in the Community Shield has barged a player in anger. Unfair on Scotland, I reckon. But it was a sadly familiar demise for them against Norway after an utterly ridiculous yellow card from a ref who clearly forgot who he was booking for the second time.

Still, anyone who's watched a George Burley press conference in recent times can tell all's not well in the camp. Is it me or has the pitch of his voice gone up two octaves in the past year. Half the time I think Scotland are being coached by Miss Jean Brodie. I can't see 'em making any play-offs now after watching the Dutch.

In the meantime, the Premier League is about to get into full swing. And despite the absence of two of the greatest draws in the game - Cristiano Ronaldo and David Wheater - the top league should be in for another interesting season. Everyone else has done their run-down so here's mine.

ARSENAL Can't see them getting top four this year using a team of identikit pass and movers with hardly a decent tackle between them. Until the secret Fabregas cloning comes to fruition they'll struggle against the big lunking alehouse teams. 5th.

ASTON VILLA Bigger squad but no Barry? 6th.

BIRMINGHAM No chance of staying up. The purchase of Barry Ferguson just points to a bit of desperation. Barry should stop sniping at the SFA - he was an utter chump and he's not up to all that any road. 19th.

BLACKBURN ROVERS There'll be more pragmatic footie from Big Sam this year. More midfielders with neck-ache, more whingeing from gentler souls opposing him about the tactics. Yawn. 12th.

BOLTON WANDERERS See Blackburn. Yawn. 13th.

BURNLEY No idea. Might do a Hull. I'm assuming they won't. 17th.

CHELSEA Ancelottery has spent his dough, so he says. Carlo will make 'em pretty hard-nosed. A lot depends on his highness, the now undisputed king of diving, Didi Drogba. If he likes Carlo then I think they'll be tough to beat. 1st.

EVERTON They can't do much better so I'm expecting worse. The FA Cup final was just a fitting reward for Moyes' endeavours, although they looked several light years off the pace at Wembley. 7th.

FULHAM A bit of faffing about in Europe won't help. If they lose Hangeland then Hodgson might be pushed to keep them spirited away bore-draws going. 10th.

HULL CITY Save for the arrival of some mystic divinity, and despite his mysterious skin-tone and beguiling voice, that ain't Phil Brown, Hull have no chance. Doomed (but it's been fun) 20th.

LIVERPOOL This is their year. 2009 I mean. Some scrappy draws in early 2010 - and some Torres niggles - will see them underachieve again. Alonso will be a huge loss. 3rd.

MAN CITY I know as much as you know - indeed as much as Mark Hughes knows. Can't see the fancy dans pulling it off though. Come the winter, with a bit of snow in the air and a semi-frozen quagmire - I can see Sparky sending out a search party for about £100 million's worth of talent. Actually Sparky won't still be there by then. 8th.

MAN UTD Not this time. About three match-winners in one have just walked out in the form of the Gelled Tumbler. Nani is Ronaldo less the ability. 2nd.

MIDDLESBROUGH Aw, dammit! Why did I type that? I'm off for a sob.

PORTSMOUTH The Pompey cupboard is bare. Standing on thin air off the edge of the canyon like Wile E Coyote. Ta-ta. 18th.

STOKE CITY The Delapidator is still there. The pitch is still narrow. And they might occasionally outfox the opposition by stringing a few passes together. No probs. 14th.

SUNDERLAND Brucey's in charge, Bent and Cattermole can do a job for them. Unless the boss starts growing some monstrous beard and muttering darkly about his abilities, the only way is up. The Stadium of Light At The End of the Tunnel, my Mackem friends. 11th.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR It's now or never for 'Arry. He's a character but can he put the chutzpah in Hotspur? Enough of the easy on the eye, on our day we can beat anyone rigmarole. A bit of grit and they can squeeze into that final Champions League slot. 4th. (And more pressure on Arsene).

WEST HAM Plenty of quality, the nicest man in football in charge, a fit Ashton up front? 9th.

WIGAN ATHLETIC Whenever Wigan show up it's like a visitation from a bunch of complete strangers. Somehow they do okay. 16th.

WOLVES Good to have Mick back. They'll score enough to stay up, I reckon. 15th.

That's it. Chelsea to win in mean Mourinho fashion. Pompey, Hull and Brum down. This blog is currently building an impregnable force-field around itself in anticipation of the flak from the North West.

Comments

  • 1. At 11:53am on 13 Aug 2009, oncearedalways54 wrote:

    Robbo - think you have had one too many at the Blue Bell - Ancellottery? winning permiership in Mourinho fashion??? Am I in a 'parallel universe'?

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  • 2. At 11:55am on 13 Aug 2009, shinyDom wrote:

    With Zola now making Carlton Cole look like a world beater who needs 3 games a season Ashton!

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  • 3. At 11:57am on 13 Aug 2009, RosemountArab wrote:

    Good to see you tip Wolves to stay up but can't see Harry's mob knicking fourth - to be fair I can see Liverpool there though - what's Benitiez doing?

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  • 4. At 11:59am on 13 Aug 2009, ormrodblue76 wrote:

    Agree with Chelsea, but tottenham's defense is woeful, The Blue side of Manchester will be smiling this season. 4th for us and probably the Worthless Cup if we don't get beaten up by Warnock boys at the palace

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  • 5. At 12:00pm on 13 Aug 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Can someone sort the bold tag out please (then do me a favour and edit this!).

    Sunderland will surprise a few in my opinion. Bruce is working away quietly and the SOL is never an easy place for any team to go if the crowd are behind the team - and they will be this year.

    I disagree on your top two though Robbo.

    I expect the Crocked One to score a few more than people expect and for Macheda to play a much bigger role than could be anticipated - and I still think SAF has business to do in the transfer market yet, no matter what he claims..

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  • 6. At 12:07pm on 13 Aug 2009, vijitguns wrote:

    Why is everyone placing Arsenal below 4...

    Team's worst phase is over

    5 years is too much, this year is door die for them...
    they will either be 1 or 2
    or
    below 7

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  • 7. At 12:17pm on 13 Aug 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    "Whenever Wigan show up it's like a visitation from a bunch of complete strangers. Somehow they do okay."

    I'm sure a few European teams will say the same when they're drawn against Fulham. ( I joke) Stranger things have happened though.

    Love to see Spurs crack 4th place. Might actually happen too if we can find some fit defenders and we stay away from dodgy pasta ;)

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  • 8. At 12:33pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    No flak from here, although I'm not from the North West, obviosuly.

    I actually think you have it pretty spot on, Champions between United and Chelsea and Arsenal dropping out of the top 4.

    Only other things I'll disagree with you on is that Wolves are going back down. Yes there are plenty of other rubbish teams and they seem like a safe bet to stay up but they do have the worst manager in the world.

    As long as I live (seeing as I have the swine flu that is debatable) I will never forgive McCarthy. Not only has he the managerial skills of a blind goat who was sent home from management school, but he is an ignorant ******** into the bargain.

    The other surprise I could see happening (granted it's s bit of a dream) but I think there is a chance of Liverpool dropping out of the top 4. Yes, yes, absolute rubbish I hear you say, but hear me out. They have gone backwards, they will not have the luck they had last year, and Benitez will at some stage during the season be reduced to a blubbering mass of incomprehensible paella when Fergie tells him his shoelace is undone.

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  • 9. At 12:34pm on 13 Aug 2009, LallanaWonderland wrote:

    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    Man Utd
    Liverpool
    Tottenham
    Aston Villa
    West Ham
    Man City
    Everton
    Fulham
    Sunderland
    Blackburn
    Wolves
    Wigan
    Bolton
    Stoke
    Birmingham
    Portsmouth - whooppeeee!!
    Hull
    Burnley

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  • 10. At 12:34pm on 13 Aug 2009, Rovers Return - HKR AWAY DAYS wrote:

    Everyone is expecting Hull to go down, even Robbo! I'm going to put my head on the block and disagree. Hul lto stay up... Just.

    The Tigers will live to fight another season - and maybe a decent cup run thrown in too.

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  • 11. At 12:42pm on 13 Aug 2009, Feel The Magic wrote:

    Not too many shocks in your predictions Robbo, but I think you must have been outside breathing too much of that peculiar Teesside air when your thoughts turned to the Spuds. Fourth? Can't see them bettering the Hammers this season to be honest.


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  • 12. At 12:44pm on 13 Aug 2009, RetiredNo6 wrote:

    Robbo:

    If Spurs finish above Arsenal this season I'll walk to 'Boro (i live in London) and perform a rendition of Right Said Fred hit "Deeply Dippy" at the Blue Bell Karaoke Night.

    You can hold me to that. Never. Ever. Going. To. Happen. (well not this season anyway).

    And Chelsea won't win the league, but other than that......

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  • 13. At 12:51pm on 13 Aug 2009, Ginger wrote:

    Chelsea of Man U to win, not a lot between them. LFC has their fun last season. Did the double over the champions and were still 4pts off the pace.

    Cidy to finish 4th, higher if they have a good start and spend £50m in Jan.

    Ginger.

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  • 14. At 12:55pm on 13 Aug 2009, RyanAFCT wrote:

    I never tire of reading your blogs Robbo. I think Man City will break top 4 monopoly this season, hopefully anyway. Mine would be:

    Chelsea
    Liverpool
    Man Utd
    Man City
    Arsenal
    Everton
    Villa
    Spurs
    Sunderland
    West Ham
    Fulham
    Wolves
    Stoke
    Blackburn
    Bolton
    Wigan
    Burnley
    Hull
    P*mpey
    Brum

    Up: The Albion, Boro, Forest.

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  • 15. At 12:56pm on 13 Aug 2009, Swedishdan_manutd wrote:

    Robbo, you don't have a clue.
    The title is too close to call so I'll let you off on that one, we will all know more once the transfer window closes.
    But as for Spurs finishing 4th?!
    Have you lost your mind...
    THey don't ever buy anyone better than the players they have, how are they going to improve. That and having 0 fit central defenders I see them struggling to get a Europe place. West Ham, Sunderland, Villa and Everton are all better teams I would say.
    Can see Wolves going down with 2 from Hull, Pompey, Stoke and Burnley.
    Arsenal are a mystery, maybe Wenger will buy someone maybe not...
    They could finish anywhere from 1st to 8th to be honest.

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  • 16. At 12:57pm on 13 Aug 2009, Bhoycie06 wrote:

    "and Benitez will at some stage during the season be reduced to a blubbering mass of incomprehensible paella when Fergie tells him his shoelace is undone."

    GazUtd - Brilliant patter mate.

    Can't see Spurs getting 4th, as much as I'd love it, i just think to keep all those forwards happy then Harry is going to have to do a fair bit of rotating and too much rotating is never a good thing. Plus Woodgate and King are always injured, pity too cos when fit i would say that is Englands 3rd and 4th best centre halfs. Think Modric could really shine this year.

    PS. Owen to finish with over 20 goals this season and finish Englands top scorer at next years World Cup. Hope his move works out for him.

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  • 17. At 1:01pm on 13 Aug 2009, jazzlall wrote:

    "Whenever Wigan show up it's like a visitation from a bunch of complete strangers. Somehow they do okay. 16th."...Priceless.


    Not sure about the Owen comment, and I'm not a Man U fan before you all start.

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  • 18. At 1:03pm on 13 Aug 2009, Malt Loaf wrote:

    Good to have Mick McCarthy back? The man is a prat! Nothing more than a professional Yorkshireman, call a spade a spade etc etc. Terrible man.

    I do agree about Liverpool though. It's been their year every year since the last won the title in - when was it - it was so long ago I can't even remember. I think it was when we still weighed things in pounds and ounces.

    http://www.loserscomesecond.com/

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  • 19. At 1:05pm on 13 Aug 2009, pidgeGULL wrote:

    "They have gone backwards."

    They haven't gone anywhere yet... season hasn't started.

    I fancy Chelsea for the sole reason that they haven't had the same upheaval that the other contenders have. Liverpool will beat Utd twice again though :P

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  • 20. At 1:09pm on 13 Aug 2009, Ryushinku wrote:

    Pretty good predictions, except for Tottenham to beat Arsenal to 4th...I've heard that one and seen it fail a few too many times in recent years to put a lot of stock in it ;)

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  • 21. At 1:12pm on 13 Aug 2009, jaydrawmer wrote:

    Man Utd
    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    Man City
    Liverpool
    Tottenham
    Villa
    Everton
    Sunderland
    West Ham
    Blackburn
    Fulham
    Stoke
    Wigan
    Bolton
    Wolves
    Portsmouth
    Burnley
    Hull
    Birmingham

    Mid table is always a tough one to get right. I think Man U will benefit just as much as they lose from the loss of Ronaldo (more togetherness, more strength defensively, better morale, stronger mentally when losing). Still think they need a world class central midfielder to convince me it'll be easier.

    Liverpool to drop out of the top 4. Selling Alonso for an unknown was a massive mistake. More (and in my opinion too much) pressure now on Torres and Gerrard. They will win a lot of games, but they're weak at the back in my opinion.

    Burnley, Hull and Birmingham to go down.

    Burnley haven't done enough. They might have beaten a few prem teams last season but so did Barnsley a few seasons back in the FA cup. Means nothing being as they just avoided the drop in the Championship.

    Hull won't have the start they did last time and WILL carry forward their horrendous end-of-season form from last season. Saw them in a friendly against Sheff Wed and they looked very un-inspiring.

    Birmingham - They've signed Championship quality. Enough said.

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  • 22. At 1:14pm on 13 Aug 2009, ewmcfc wrote:

    Robbo, your blogs funny as always, i do enjoy stopping work and reading your blogs, makes the day go quicker, but as a city fan i cant let your comments about the mighty blues slide, 8th and you have spurs at 4th, come on robbo, next you will predict that boro will win the championship and Alves will score a 100 goals, it wont happen, i dont think city will finish 4th, more like 6th with a good cup run. but it will be a cracking season

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  • 23. At 1:16pm on 13 Aug 2009, eric the mighty wrote:

    As a man united supporter I too think that chelsea will nick it. Literally.

    As for spurs getting fourth, well that would be a great break from tradition but I can't see it happening to be honest.

    Liverpool for second spot with rafa blaming it on something ridiculous and irrelevant.

    Man United will use this season to adjust and will definitely come back the following year with something extraordinary.

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  • 24. At 1:17pm on 13 Aug 2009, newthink wrote:

    I can see why you're tipping Spurs for 4th, after the second half of last season then they are as good a bet as anyone to break the monotony especially when you look at where the other teams are that want to get in there.
    Everton - The Lescott disruption will hurt them, he's gonna go but could be a Berbatov situation for the toffees before he leaves.
    Villa - Fell apart after losing Laurson and haven't replaced his quality yet.
    West Ham - Too much financial doubt with Upson, Cole and Green all available at the right price.
    Man City - Who knows? Could run away with the title or be relegated if they don't gel, or anything in between.
    Fulham - Beware the demands of europe, it's hurt much bigger squads than theirs.

    Anyway, still think Arsenal have too much firepower to drop enough points to be outside the top 4 unless Man City come good.

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  • 25. At 1:23pm on 13 Aug 2009, Sakaria2 wrote:

    I think you are mad my friend, Wolves to finish 15th? You're surely havin' a laugh. I'm a Spurs fan, and even I dont think we will finish 4th. And Villa 6th? The way they finished the season? I don't think so Sonny Jim. You might be spot on with Manchester City, Mark Hughes still has a few years to make City real contenders, and I agree that Chelsea will win the title, not as emphatically as Mr Mourinho did, but they should pip Man Utd and Liverpool. I would've said Liverpool for the title, but Alonso is a massive loss for them.

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  • 26. At 1:30pm on 13 Aug 2009, Sakaria2 wrote:

    Here's the final table:

    1Chelsea
    2Man Utd
    3Liverpool
    4Arsenal
    5Tottenham
    6Everton
    7Man City
    8A. Villa
    9Fulham
    10West Ham
    11Sunderland
    12Stoke
    13Bolton
    14Wigan
    15Blackburn
    16Burnley
    17Pompey (call me crazy)
    18Wolves
    19Birmingham
    20Hull

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  • 27. At 1:37pm on 13 Aug 2009, Chris wrote:

    Nice Blog but a few wee things...

    Chelsea to win.. yep...
    Portsmouth and Hull relegated. yep.

    Owen a flop... Nope. I can see him scoring into decent double figures for the 1st time in a long time.

    As far, As scotland goes.

    Why are they agreeing to games before the season starts. We are in the smallest group so there must have been other slots available. If the other home nations can fit in a friendly this week to the schedule then surely we could have had too.

    The Ref was spot on with the 2 yellow cards for Caldwell and hopefully it will teach him a lesson. A late tackle on the players standing leg on the halfway line, then caught on the wrong side of a player like Carew and pull him back 30 seconds later... A complete muppet.

    And Fergusen should never play for Scotland again but next year after Burley is sacked he will be welcomed back as a hero by the press and the Disrespect he showed the nation will be forgotten by all Rangers fans including Gordon Smith.

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  • 28. At 1:37pm on 13 Aug 2009, fredghostmaster wrote:

    City will get 4th, just ahead of Arsenal, Everton & Spurs. At the bottom, Hull will definitely go down, Burnley & Birmingham will probably join them although I wouldn't rule out either Wigan, Stoke or Wolves filling the other 2 spots.

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  • 29. At 1:42pm on 13 Aug 2009, gay fish wrote:

    I love the fact that everyone has already written off Hull. If you needed motivation for the first game of the season then this is it. The fact they are going to play Chelsea and its Ancelotti's first Premiership game in charge I expect him to not know whats hit em when they lose 2-1 to the Tigers. Also Lamps and Terry now have 2 1/2 days to recover from jogging round the pitch for 90mins last night. Shouldn't be a problem.

    Apart from that I fully expect one of the teams that nobody expects to be in there to be in the relegation zone next season and just hope its not Aston Villa. Villa were after all on the wrong side of some of the heaviest defeats of any team in the EPL last season and the starting line up this season will be the same without Gareth Barry their best player. If losing Alonso is going to affect us how is Barry leaving going to affect Villa? At least we bought a (albeit crock) replacement who has captained his country.

    Table:
    1. Liverpool
    2. Utd
    3. City
    4. Who cares-but probably a London club

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  • 30. At 1:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, 'If they play football in heaven, this is how it would be done' wrote:

    Your articles are generally quite bad but this is a real stinker. No humour and no clue.

    There wasnt once in this whole article that even made me smile let alone laugh.

    FAO BBC sport bosses - Please can we have someone new in. This old Boro chap is getting boring. Thanks.

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  • 31. At 1:59pm on 13 Aug 2009, redforever wrote:

    So many people backing Chelsea? Dont really see why. They havent added anything to last season, but their new manager will propel this aging bunch to the top of the league?
    This is a default selection. Heres why. Manchester United have lost Ronaldo and Tevez, and added nothing but trouble, so almost nobody outside of the red part of Manchester (which is just south of Watford) is tipping them to win it.
    Liverpool have just had their best season for a decade, and repeating and improving on this hasnt happened in years, so when they sell one of their most infuential players, its easy for most punters to make their "Alonso" is irreplaceable argument, and place them into 3rd spot. Interestingly, until Alonso was connected with a move to Real, Liverpool were a two man team, but suddenly they were a three man team, and the best of those men has left? Mmmm.
    That leaves Chelsea as the default winners.
    Its really a but lazy, and doesnt involve sticking ones neck out. I am surprised at Robbo for that, although it has to be remembered that as a fan of Middlesborough, his connection to football is tenuous at best.
    My prediction is
    Liverpool
    Chelsea
    United
    City
    Arsenal
    Everton
    Spurs
    Villa
    Fulham
    West Ham
    Sunderland
    Blackburn
    Portsmouth
    Stoke
    Hull
    Wigan
    Bolton
    Birmingham
    Wolves
    Burnley

    City might start of a little slow, but there are a lot of points at stake in the second half of the season, and they will make their climb then.
    Liverpool will build on a winning mentality, and Lucas will prove himself this year. Gerrard and Torres will start more than 15 games together, and Torres will score 30 goals in the premiership.
    United will struggle to find match winners, with Ronaldo gone, they will draw a lot more matches, and score far fewer goals in the last ten minutes of games.
    Chelsea are about as good as last year, but will be focussed in the CL, which they will win.

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  • 32. At 1:59pm on 13 Aug 2009, newthink wrote:

    #30
    Go else where then. Plenty of blogs you can choose from.

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  • 33. At 2:00pm on 13 Aug 2009, Pasinho wrote:

    Christian Benitez will keep Brum up.

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  • 34. At 2:01pm on 13 Aug 2009, Dave wrote:

    I just can't see Spurs challenging Arsenal, Everton for 4th, 5th possibly way lower. Everton are a solid team improving a little bit each year. Crouch, Defoe, Keane, and Pavylochenko do not carry the threat of Van Persie, Arshavin, Eduardo, Walcott, possibly even Bendtner. I'm still unsure if King will last the season let alone 90mins and there's nothing special in the middle. Modric good but still too lightweight. I'm not an Arsenal fan but they will secure 3rd or 4th this season competing with Liverpool. Manu and Chelsea to take it to the wire. Hull, Burnley and Wolves to go down.

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  • 35. At 2:03pm on 13 Aug 2009, LondonMafiaso wrote:

    Well, in as much as i enjoy your funny way of analysing your points and getting them accross, i think u have got two things very wrong. At the sametime, they are just your opinions and u have a right to that as an human being. Buthaving said that, some facts are very glaring for everyone to see.

    Firstly: The title is very wide open for any of the top teams to win. So for u to just pick chelsea like its an already won battle before it even began at all is just a bit naive on your side robbo!! I expect a better opinion from u in that area.

    Secondly:Lets put aside that im an Arsenal Fan. I eat and sleep football and enjoy this game as much as everyone. But why do we go through the same caption every year " Arsenal to finish outside the top Four" And every year they always prove doubters like you wrong. Yes i agree the team needs strength in depth just like every other team normally does but what you lot seem to forget in football is that once a team breaks into the top elite of the country's best clubs and europe as well and can manage the club, run its finances well, has an intelligent well proven manager that has a know how about players and understands football to the core. Then that Club will always remain a top team. I can give examples of clubs that as remain a top team despite whatever changes that might be happening in the club, be it from change of managers to buy and selling of players.

    This analysis of mine is meant for intelligent football minded people that knows what im talking about. And i think the lack of respect u lot show towards Mr Wenger with all this funny captions should stop cause there is no better Manager in the premiership apart from Alex Ferguson that i rate very high as well. This two are the best and among the top three best managers in world football today.

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  • 36. At 2:08pm on 13 Aug 2009, CHRIS wrote:

    I think you'll be spot on about Man City, despite all the money they've spent I think on most of the deals they've paid over the odds, particularly on Adebayor and Toure and will not be challenging for honours this season.

    On the other hand I think you're wrong about Arsenal, most people have written off their chances but I reckon they'll surprise a few people. Despite only one signing so far and the loss of Adebayor and Toure they still have a very good, young squad that can only improve on last season.

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  • 37. At 2:11pm on 13 Aug 2009, TorbenPiechnick wrote:

    Good article robbo.

    Loving all of these random predicitions, but some people really don't have a clue!

    Would be wicked if this site let you record you predictions now and then award points based on acuracy at the end of the season, with the points displayed against each posters name from then on!! Could work for weekly result predicitons, etc too. Come on BBC, sort it out!

    For the record, my top 10...

    LFC
    CFC
    MUFC
    AFC
    EFC
    MCFC
    THFC
    FFC
    AVFC
    WHFC

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  • 38. At 2:12pm on 13 Aug 2009, Henwelder wrote:

    No. 30

    "There wasnt once in this whole article that even made me smile let alone laugh."

    Doesn't really make sense does it?

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  • 39. At 2:13pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Now I know I'm sticking me neck out for Spurs but if they're going to do owt of note this has to be the season. Harry gets to choose his own players pretty much now. A lot will depend on the centre-halves being fit and admittedly theat physio's couch at Spurs never gets the chance to cool down, but someone's got to break the monopoly and Spurs have talent.

    And to #35 - this is the first time I've thought Arsenal will drop out of the top four. I hope not to be honest cos - and this is getting boringly repetitive n all - they play lovely stuff. But RVP, Cesc and Arshavin need to be in tiptop form all season long for it to happen.

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  • 40. At 2:15pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #38
    Come now! #30 is his opinions that he's got entitled to have them.

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  • 41. At 2:21pm on 13 Aug 2009, TorbenPiechnick wrote:

    #40 Robbo - was that terrible English on purpose to make a point? If so, you're cleverer than I thought, if not you're a muppet!

    #35 - you're an idiot!

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  • 42. At 2:22pm on 13 Aug 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Hang on a minute, where the hell is all this optimism for Spurs coming from?

    They're the same as Liverpool, 'next year'.

    Three seasons ago I recall reading across many a broadsheet how they'd broken the back of the problems and were ready to threaten the top four. Then, anyone care to think back to the start of last season? They were being touted as a very serious threat to the big four.

    When will people learn? Spurs are average. They always have been, for the last 30 years anyway, and always will be (for the next 30 anyway). Their manager gets the sympathy vote from many because he's good for a laugh, has an ugly yet character filled face and he says it as it is. So what? It won't win him games with the squad he has.

    Harry's spending in the closed season has been poor to say the least. How anyone sees them challenging a dwindling Arsenal is beyond me. They'll finish 8th, absolute tops.

    Put the nice guy approach aside and face a few facts, Harry hasn't actually had much success outside of a Portsmouth FA Cup win and has left various clubs in turmoil. He worked miracles at Bournemouth and had a few decent seasons at Upton Park, but what else?

    There are better managers in the game, much better, and there are a lot better teams in the Premiership.

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  • 43. At 2:29pm on 13 Aug 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    Time for an amazing piece of clairvoyance here:

    - Man U will somehow retain the league just to p*ss me off

    - Liverpool will start strongly then draw 0-0 in every single game of 2010

    - Chelsea and Man City to be distracted by their billionaire owners switching Hughes and Ancelotti for a $1 bet a la Trading Places

    - Arsenal to attract lots of praise for their style, while once again having all the substance of a Jordan interview. Then they'll end up finishing 4th where the gods have determined they shall finish every season until 2020.

    - Spurs to spend vastly inflated sums for English talent, just for a change of pace.

    - Everton to overachieve on a squad hit with so many injuries the treatment room looks like the end of Reservoir Dogs

    - Villa to burn out all young English talent in time for the World Cup by making them play a full 635 games in a row, and achieve nothing.

    - Birmingham and Wolves to go straight back down while Burnley achieve the usual delayed reaction relegation, going down in 2011.

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  • 44. At 2:29pm on 13 Aug 2009, howdyneeber wrote:

    great blog robbo, agree with you last comment about arsenal keeping main players fit, if they do i cant see city or spurs moving the from the top 4

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  • 45. At 2:35pm on 13 Aug 2009, Zell182 wrote:

    So 3 separate articles on the BBC have each predicted Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea to win...Lawro went for Manure, Mcnulty for Liverpool and now Robbo for Chelski.

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  • 46. At 2:37pm on 13 Aug 2009, ahmedjeffersontyke wrote:

    #40 Surely that will tickle #30 or perhaps get the joke not will he then no?

    Spurs are a risky 4th, but I can see where you are coming from. Also I agree with your Arsenal prediction. They have had too much 'potential' for too long so when their players potentially leave for not fulfilling this potential it will potentially be bye bye to the big four. (Apologies for potentially sounding like Simon Cowell).

    http://www.loserscomesecond.com/

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  • 47. At 2:40pm on 13 Aug 2009, capebrummie wrote:

    Hi Robbo look forward to your column every week but this time I am a bit miffed with you putting Birmingham to go down. I live in Cape Town and watch Brum as often as possible. I have a 3 year plan for them of which we are into the 2nd year. 1st year promotion (Done). 2nd year Premier Div Champions. 3rd year Chamions league winners. How about that.

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  • 48. At 2:41pm on 13 Aug 2009, poppyAstonvanilla wrote:

    Why have so many people got Spurs as finishing above Aston Villa? WitleyBayWonTheVase had it spot on about Spurs. The Villa have finished above Spurs for the last two seasons and more often than not, they get a good spanking from us. Martin O'Neill may not have bought many players in so far but the signings we have made have much more potential than anyone 'Appy 'Arry has purchased.
    I would like to think that we could make an impact this season but I feel that we need more strength in depth and some of the squad need to start realising their potential a bit more.
    As long as we finish above Spurs and Everton, and Birmingham get relegated I'll be happy.

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  • 49. At 2:44pm on 13 Aug 2009, gay fish wrote:

    43. At 2:29pm on 13 Aug 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote
    Arsenal to attract lots of praise for their style, while once again having all the substance of a Jordan interview.


    I think she is on record as preferring the Chelsea players...imo probably something to do with the difference in wages but don't quote me on that.

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  • 50. At 2:45pm on 13 Aug 2009, dodiesmith wrote:

    Robbo: you have to have a little more faith in Owen..... he is SO happy to be with ManUnited....it must be heaven playing with Rooney and those goals ARE going to come. Owen has been through the mill... but he has come through. I never cared much for Ferguson but bless his heart, he gave the man a lifeline.
    It's a brand new season and only the gods know the outcome in 2010....
    but Gerrard and Torres are going to do it for me and Liverpool, enough said!!!!! Welcome back, Robbo!

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  • 51. At 2:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, ARSHENAL wrote:

    As the season has yet to begin, and the transfer window is yet to close I think it is impossible to predict where the teams will finish.
    However this is my (very) rough estimate for the forthcoming season:

    1st - Arsenal/Chelsea/Manchester United
    2nd - Arsenal/Chelsea/Manchester United
    3rd - Arsenal/Chelsea/Manchester United
    4th - Liverpool
    5th - Aston Villa/Everton/Fulham/Manchester City/Tottenham/West Ham
    6th - Aston Villa/Everton/Fulham/Manchester City/Tottenham/West Ham
    7th - Aston Villa/Everton/Fulham/Manchester City/Tottenham/West Ham
    8th - Aston Villa/Everton/Fulham/Manchester City/Tottenham/West Ham
    9th - Aston Villa/Everton/Fulham/Manchester City/Tottenham/West Ham
    10th - Aston Villa/Everton/Fulham/Manchester City/Tottenham/West Ham
    11th - Blackburn/Sunderland/Wigan
    12th - Blackburn/Sunderland/Wigan
    13th - Blackburn/Sunderland/Wigan
    14th - Bolton/Stoke/Hull
    15th - Bolton/Stoke/Hull
    16th - Bolton/Stoke Hull
    17th - Birmingham/Burnley/Wolves
    18th - Birmingham/Burnley/Wolves
    19th - Birmingham/Burnley/Wolves
    20th - Portsmouth

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  • 52. At 2:49pm on 13 Aug 2009, cloughtheking wrote:

    BURNLEY No idea. Might do a Hull. I'm assuming they won't. 17th.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    As far as I am aware, last season Hull did finish 17th.
    Don't write off Arsenal, with Arshavin available for the whole season, anything is possible.
    As for Spurs, well - didn't we hear all this last year with the signing of Bentley.......

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  • 53. At 3:02pm on 13 Aug 2009, Return of the NANI wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 54. At 3:02pm on 13 Aug 2009, Goal! wrote:

    I agree with pretty much most of your predictions except for this:

    1. ManUtd - Owen will surprise many people, fit for the whole season. 20 goals. Fergie to shave Berbatov's hair so that he doesn't get distracted by playing with it during games. Anderson to bag a shock hattrick somewhere.
    2. Chelsea - 5 points adrift (3 of them from their loss at OT)
    3. Liverpool - Rafa will somehow score an own goal in January to start the descent.
    4. Spurs - after a 6 6 draw at the emirates and a Silvestre own goal to seal the 3 points for spurs at WHL which make the difference between 4th and 5th.
    5. Wenger boys
    6. Citeh
    7 - 20. Etc...
    Here's to a great season, hope the refs are in good form.

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  • 55. At 3:05pm on 13 Aug 2009, 4ever-reddy wrote:

    21. LFC didn't sell Alonso out of choice - he wanted out since May! No one at the club let alone Benítez wanted him to leave!

    If a player wants out there's not much you can do about it, other than force him to stay and have a sulking bad apple in the squad for the next 9 months.

    Best stop reading the papers cos we all know they are full of true FACTS! :P

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  • 56. At 3:09pm on 13 Aug 2009, Goal! wrote:

    #51. The only thing you've predicted is Liverpool 4th and Pompey 20th. I could pretty much say:
    1. Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/ManUnited
    2. Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/ManUnited
    3. Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/ManUnited
    4. Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/ManUnited/Spurs/ City
    5. The rest of the league/Arsenal/city/spurs
    6. The rest of the league/city/spurs
    7-20: The rest of the league

    Not much of a useful prediction is it?

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  • 57. At 3:13pm on 13 Aug 2009, secondLiverpool-FC wrote:

    1. Liverpool - on basis that neither Torres nor Gerrard have a long term injury.
    2. Chelsea - to finish 1st if the above does actually happen
    3. Man Utd - unless they sign someone else that's a proven performer, then they'll miss out I reckon this time.
    4. Arsenal
    5. Man City
    6. Spurs
    7. AV
    8. West Ham
    9. Everton
    10. Sunderland
    11. Fulham
    12. Blackburn
    13. Stoke
    14. Bolton
    15. Wigan
    16. Wolves
    17. Birmingham
    18. Portsmouth
    19. Hull
    20. Burnley

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  • 58. At 3:23pm on 13 Aug 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    54 JC_FREAK

    1. ManUtd - Owen will surprise many people, fit for the whole season. 20 goals. Fergie to shave Berbatov's hair so that he doesn't get distracted by playing with it during games. Anderson to bag a shock hattrick somewhere.
    2. Chelsea - 5 points adrift (3 of them from their loss at OT)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All other things being equal then, if Chelsea win at Old Trafford rather than lose, they'll be champions.

    p.s. Berbatov was meant to set the world alight with the additional chances that would be created at Man U. Result - he scored less than at Spurs.

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  • 59. At 3:25pm on 13 Aug 2009, Ireland Brew wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 60. At 3:29pm on 13 Aug 2009, Champions2010 wrote:

    Blah Blah Blah, I hate Liverpool Blah blah blah. Get over it.

    Liverpool realistically have got the same chance of winning the Prem this season as our "friends" up the M62. Yes we lost Alonso which is obviously a massive lose, but for £30mill who could turn that down, the thing about Alonso was he isnt irreplaceable and is only getting older, congratulations to Benitez for some good business, £20mill profit from a player we had 5 years good service from. We have gained a solid more attacking right back in Johnson, and bought a relatively young unproven midfielder in Aquilani, but from I have seen/read he is very promising. Ideally another proven big name like Silva or Villa would have capped the summer nicely. United on the other hand, have lost one of the best players in the world, who is irreplaceable, Ronaldo, Yes they did get £80mill for him but they decided to spend it Valencia (not a goal scorer) and sign Owen (my FORMER boyhood idol - whose is certainly only bothered about playing for England again not the good of MUFC) who is now so far over the hill you would need binoculars to see him. So who is going to make up for all of Ronaldo's goals? Scholes and Giggs with their walking sticks? Berba...who?

    Chelsea seem like the only team who look worthy to beat, but as last season proved Liverpool had the quality to do this. I am no being biased but Liverpool do have a very good chance of taking the title this season aslong as we can keep our players fit and put the smaller teams to the sword home and away.

    1st. Liverpool - win it on the last day of the season aftera close title battle with Chelsea. Utd fall off the wagon in January.
    2nd. Chelsea
    3rd. Man Utd
    4th. Arsenal
    5th. City (But i very much doubt it. Mark Hughes can spend all of the money in the world but he still cant get the players to play well together)

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  • 61. At 3:30pm on 13 Aug 2009, Davey Bones wrote:

    Chelsea for me this season, Utd second and then Liverpool, After that maybe Everton or Spurs or maybe Arsenal will scrape fourth again but no higher because they are so far behind the top three and with a manager that has lost the plot just like Brian Clough did in the end.

    I don't think Man City will get fourth because they won't sack the hapless Hughes until that chance has gone. Villa had their chance last year but ended up embarassing themselves at the end of the season with their lack of guts. Not even the excelent MON can get the mediocre Villa squad up around the top four.

    Hull finished the season awfully and look primed to go down, along with Burnley and one other from about five teams.

    Chelsea
    Man Utd
    Liverpool
    Arsenal/Everton/Spurs
    "
    "
    Man City
    Villa

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  • 62. At 3:31pm on 13 Aug 2009, ARSHENAL wrote:

    #56.

    I didn't say it was a prediction. It was meant to be a guide. There are so many factors which could influence where a team actually finishes that it is impossible to predict. For example: injury, luck, form, transfer activity, ref bias, scheduling, etc. So based on all of that, do you really think you can predict the end-of-season table, team for team.

    No, didn't think so.

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  • 63. At 3:39pm on 13 Aug 2009, Goal! wrote:

    #62
    That's the fun thing about predicting, obviously nobody knows what factors may affect each team and therefore nobody could make a perfect prediction based on solid facts. But we can have an opinion and can trust our gut feeling can't we?

    P.S. Have you watched the US tv series The Big Bang Theory? If yes, you remind me of Sheldon with your reply.

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  • 64. At 3:43pm on 13 Aug 2009, ahmedjeffersontyke wrote:

    #60 "....I am not being biased, but...."

    I do think you are.
    Blah blah blah I hate Man Utd, get over it.

    Well done on trying to write something though.

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  • 65. At 3:43pm on 13 Aug 2009, goldstone79 wrote:

    My prediction is that every game will be drawn 7-7. Arsenal to be crowned champions since they are listed first alphabetically. West Ham, Wigan and Wolves to be relegated. Liverpool to merge with Accrington Stanley for the 2010/11 season.

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  • 66. At 3:46pm on 13 Aug 2009, nike wrote:

    @ At 1:59pm on 13 Aug 2009, torontored wrote

    It works the same for Chelsea as it does for you! No one is able to understand why you think Liverpool will win. In all fairness there is not a logic to you post and the league is gonna be as close as anyone could predict.
    So would suggest stop smoking and get back to school.

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  • 67. At 3:46pm on 13 Aug 2009, Goal! wrote:

    #58
    Well, according to my previous post, Chelsea winning at OT would mean they are still 2nd but 2 points behind no?

    But in seriousness, I believe bar important injuries, it's a 2 horse race between Chelsea and United to the wire...With United to win (biased prediction as I'm a Man United fan - but that's the beauty of being a fan right?)

    Here's to a good season, I hope Ancelotti is a huge hit and Fergie's new system works like a charm with everybody contributing...
    Joe Cole and Hargreaves getting back to full fitness too.

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  • 68. At 3:48pm on 13 Aug 2009, TheDeluded wrote:

    Spurs (bless 'em) do have an improved team on last year. People are forgetting that Defoe hasn't just found his shooting boots. He was scoring for fun in Pompey colours at the beginning of last season, and then got injured on his return to Tottenham. Once he was fit again, it was business as usual, and I think that this year is his year.

    Not only does he have his old Spurs buddies around him, but Crouchy and 'Arry too. And a guaranteed place at the world cup finals as his prize at the end.

    So watch out for the Spurs. But 4th? Every season, someone even more deluded than I am says that Spurs will "crack the top 4". I can see them above West Ham. Everton haven't improved their squad. Villa have lost a big player in Barry, and will struggle to improve on last season.

    But I still can't see Spurs getting those decisions that deny them those vital points - usually at Manu. If they'd done that in previous years, then yes, Spurs would have been in the top 4 already. (If you're up to arguing that fact - go look it up).

    But defensive frailties remain, even if Gomes' improvement continues. Bassong is a good aquisition, but another central defender and a quality left winger are needed before genuine, sustainable success is viable.

    Never the less, Liverpool will be bottom-half on Sunday nite! hahaha

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  • 69. At 3:48pm on 13 Aug 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    Not your best Robbo, not one belly laugh.

    1 Liverpool The cripple replacement for Alonzo will turn out to be the bargain of the off season
    2 Chelski Ancellottery has great experience with geriatric footballers, but don't forget the start they had last season before the wheels fell off
    3 Arsèneal The young team has grown enough to get rid of the nappies and everyone is voting Wilshere into the England team for SA
    4 ManU They've lost too much, but I expect Owen to show great improvment on previous years
    5 Everton, especially if they can hang onto Lescott, which looks increasingly doubtful
    6 Villa With one of the best managers in the game, even though they lost their best player, I don't expect much difference to last year.
    7 ManC For the 1st few games they'll need to wear name tags to identify each other, and last year with more spending Mark Hughes didn't do as well as Sven
    8 Spurs Harry hasn't bought much quality, but he'll get the best out of what he's got
    9 West Ham Zola seems to be a good man manager
    10 Blackburn I expect big Sam to do O.K. If NU hadn't sacked him, they'd still be in the premier
    11 Sunderland Bruce back in his NE, seems to have made some good signings
    12 Fulham The Europa cup will take it's toll on a smallish squad
    13 Bolton they'll scrap for every point, a lott of footballing sides don't like a scrap
    14 Wigan won't have Bruce this year
    15 Stoke the Likes of Liverpool will have worked them out for this season, but the Delapidator will still do his dangerous throws
    16 Wolves Should score enough goals, and we need them to stay up for the local derby next year with the yo-yoing Baggies
    17 Birmingham see Wolves
    18 Burnley what a shock when they got promoted, I thought they were playing no-league football, since I hadn't heard of them for ages
    19 Portsmouth The bubble will finally burst, or is that the parachute
    20 Hull How did they get in the top 4 last year? They won't have the points in the bag to save them this year

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  • 70. At 3:49pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    #59

    "I would guess from this that Mr. GazUtd is both Irish and more specifically from Cork (being a Man Utd supporter he would therefore be sufficiently removed from Manchester to qualify as a fan)."

    No, wrong, I'm not from Cork. Whatever that has to do with it, as there are plenty of people in Cork who don't like Keane and plenty of people outside it who do. Your point being about not coming from Manchester?






    "Mick McCarthy (unlike Roy Keane) has a proven record as a manager. He has brought two clubs into the Premier League without spending any money."

    Roy Keane brought the only previous club he managed into the Premiership and didn't fail miserably with the worst performance ever from a team in that league, unlike a Mr. McCarthy, who did.



    "In addition he guided Ireland both to a World Cup finals and, when there, to group qualification where they were unfortunate to lose to Spain in a penalty shootout."

    He was guided to World Cup final by the best player in the world at the time continually and almost single-handedly bringing his team to victory. McCarthy in his utmost wisdom then decided to send that player home because he had the cheek to actually want to win the World Cup. He then lead the team like a bunch of headless chickens through a group stage and out in the knock-outs where if his best player had have been there who knows what would have happened.


    "In addition, in all his dealings both with media and players Mick has deported himself with dignity and respect. His manner may be gruff at times but, from what I've seen and heard, Mick could quite properly be described as a gentleman."

    This makes about as much sense as a drunken Australian with an IQ of 20 who has hit his head on the pavement and is trying to describe the theory of realativity to you. Have you ever listened to a McCarthy interview?


    "For information purposes I am Irish and neither have any axe to grind with or support any English premiership club."

    That would be why you have "abu" in your name then. Never an axe to grind there.

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  • 71. At 3:56pm on 13 Aug 2009, ARSHENAL wrote:

    #63

    Yes, I have watched The Big Bang Theory, and after reading my previous post I can see the resemblance between Sheldon and what I wrote.

    I have no issue with people who wish to predict the table, I just feel that this year it will be too close to call so went for an alternative approach. As you can see I believe there are mainly four sections in the league: 1st to 4th, 5th to 10th, 11th to 16th, and 17th to 20th.

    If I was to post a conventional table, I would get people saying I am biased if I put my team in first or their team lower than they imagine they will finish.

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  • 72. At 3:57pm on 13 Aug 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    67 JC_FREAK wrote:
    #58
    Well, according to my previous post, Chelsea winning at OT would mean they are still 2nd but 2 points behind no?

    But in seriousness, I believe bar important injuries, it's a 2 horse race between Chelsea and United to the wire...With United to win (biased prediction as I'm a Man United fan - but that's the beauty of being a fan right?)

    Here's to a good season, I hope Ancelotti is a huge hit and Fergie's new system works like a charm with everybody contributing...
    Joe Cole and Hargreaves getting back to full fitness too.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your original post had Man U five points ahead of Chelsea, three of which is Chelsea's loss at Old Trafford.

    If, alternatively, Chelsea win at Old Trafford, they would have three points MORE and Man U would have three points LESS. Thus, a six point swing when the gap was only five points. Ok?

    Anyway, I really want Chelsea to win (for obvious reasons) and I think the continuity of their playing staff could seal the deal.

    Man U must be weaker surely, even though this will be mitigated by a change in formation/approach.

    Liverpool? I may be wrong but I can't see them being as consistent again. I know all about the number of appearances from Gerrard and Torres last season but were they responsible for though goalless draws at home? I doubt it. Although I think Benitez gets an unnecessarily bad press, my inclination is that he will see a good start as a vindication to do something clever that will mess things up. Just my instinct.

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  • 73. At 3:57pm on 13 Aug 2009, Goal! wrote:

    #58
    P.S. Berbatov played much deeper at Man United than at Spurs, hence Fergie's comments that he may have used him incorrectly and will use him further up pitch in the traditional CF position this season.

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  • 74. At 4:06pm on 13 Aug 2009, poppyAstonvanilla wrote:

    DWALDO,

    I wouldn't say that the Villa embarrassed themselves with how last season ended. We had been in fairly meaningful competition since the July before last season started, lost a key player to a serious injury that kept him out all season. The squad looked tired and jaded at the end but the early half of the campaign we were in or around the top four. With a stronger and bigger squad we perhaps could have really put the pressure on Arsenal and may have finished fourth. We were a lot of peoples second team last year and I feel that we'll be competitive again this term.

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  • 75. At 4:09pm on 13 Aug 2009, saintalfonzo wrote:

    People keep banging on about Everton "overachieving". This is disrispectful to a committed manager, chairman and squad (largely..musn't forget Lescott). If they are to overachieve this season they'll have to win the league.

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  • 76. At 4:13pm on 13 Aug 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    @75: If anything it's a huge compliment to Everton, not disrespectful. It's saying that despite the meagre squad they have, Moyes and his playing staff will finish higher than they really should be expected to.

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  • 77. At 4:17pm on 13 Aug 2009, jordanuk90MUFC wrote:

    i'll be in my cold dead grave before spuds finish 4th same top 4 as last season

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  • 78. At 4:19pm on 13 Aug 2009, Goal! wrote:

    #72
    Touché. Honest mistake on my part. Forgot to subtract points from United, must be my bias ;)

    While I agree that we're obviously weaker than without Ron, I believe the traditional 4 4 2 will benefit the team as a whole and we'll see a few people stepping up. Ofcourse I can only speak hypothetically for now, but if say Owen gets 15 and Rooney gets the 25 he's aiming for, and Berba say 5 more than last season, that has effectively covered both Ronaldo and Tevez's league contributions - based on last season alone albeit.
    I believe the new system will allow more goals from midfield, the potential is definately there with our mids to get a few goals, just a matter of converting potential into reality. Players like Nani who were hardly used last season can state their case, judging by sunday, he's got quite a good case to state. Macheda looking to be a great prospect, although on a sub basis. All in all, I see a bright future for us, not just long term but immediate future - but then again, I'm a fan aren't I, if I don't find a bright side, who will.

    As for Liverpool, even with Alonso I thought they wouldn't match last season's performance, especially the 12 points from Chelsea and United - and now that he's gone, it will be that much harder. I too think Benitez will be their undoing - who knows, maybe he already undid them last season when he tried to flog Alonso and the consequences will kick in now.

    All in all, it's great to be able to look forward to weekend footie again. :)

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  • 79. At 4:22pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Can't say I like these predictors who hedge their bets. Premiership will be won by Arsenal/Chelsea/Man U???? Stick your neck out so some partisan numpty can chop it off. That's what I did.

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  • 80. At 4:22pm on 13 Aug 2009, yajustdonsavethose wrote:

    spurs fan here. 4th??? you must be insane! fancy us to improve on last year and maybe nick 6th. as much as i hate the red lot, how anyone sees them finishing below a team like spurs, man city, everton etc is beyond me.

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  • 81. At 4:25pm on 13 Aug 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #78 JC_FREAK

    I think Owen rarely got that many more than 15 league goals a season when he was in his pomp, playing every minute of every game so I would say you are being a little optimistic there.

    I agree though, can't wait for some proper footy this weekend. And Chelsea on first to get the ball rolling as well. Can we get a good win and lead from the first minute of the season to the last I fantasise!

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  • 82. At 4:26pm on 13 Aug 2009, Toadflax wrote:

    Robbo, you must have had a duff Parmo,son. Tottering Flopspurs 4th? If ever a Club had an overinflated opinion of its own worth its them, still trading on League and Cup double from the early 60s. They will be cannon fodder as usual, with the usual ration of comedy defending and goalkeeping, especially away from home.

    Also can't see City hiting the top 4 or 5. More a collection of allegedly talented individuals than a team. Mark Hughes couldn't put together a team to challenge for the title even if Gareth Southgate showed him how, so expect him to be an early managerial casualty.

    I have come to the conclusion that whatever order the top 4 finish in is completely irrelevant to the rest of us as they almost inevitably cancel each other out and the title will turn on one or two boring one-nils or someone succeeding in conning the ref into sending off a key player at just the right moment. What a yawn, but dressed up by the media as high drama. The bottom half of the table will be much more interesting, even without Boro and the Pies. Football is alive and well and living in .... (fill in the name of your chosen Club, Manyoo, Chelski, etc do not qualify).

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  • 83. At 4:30pm on 13 Aug 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Cheer up Robbo - at least Boro are going to come straight back up (at least thats what people on the 606 message boards keep saying).

    Mind you, if Boro do win the Championship, I'll walk to the Riverside (I live in Cambridge) and sing Britney Spears' Baby One More Time in the centre circle, as part of the promotion celebrations.

    Like a few others, I'm surprised at your prediction for Spurs to break into the Champions League places. I can see them getting into the Europa League/Cup/whatever spots but no further.

    Personally, I think if Hughes can put an effective team together, from all the talent he's assembled, I wouldn't be that surprised to see City in the top 4.

    On another personal note, I really would love to see either Liverpool or Arsenal win the league. The Scousers, just because I like 'em and Arsenal, so Wenger can look down his nose at all the people saying "You'll win nowt with a bunch of kids".

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  • 84. At 4:31pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Look, I'm yearning for some sort of surprise to happen this year, over and above a Hull City act of escapology and Spurs seem the most likely to surprise given the quality of their players and the fact that they should score plenty of goals. It's not going to take too many points to get to 4th. Why not Spuds?

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  • 85. At 4:31pm on 13 Aug 2009, redforever wrote:

    @66. NIKE
    It doesnt work the same at all. Robbo has given no reason why he thinks Chelsea will be better this year than last, but he drops Liverpool and United below them because of the transfers that have impacted their squads. Now anyone in their right mind that thinks United havent faired worse in losing Ronaldo and Tevez, compared to Liverpool who have lost Alonso, has to be crazy?
    In addition everyone had plenty to say last year about the aging Scholes and Giggs, both now a year older, and still no evidence of impactful replacements.
    On the other hand several players that were written off by many as makeweights, Kuyt, Riera, Benayoun stepped up big time at the end of last season and all became match winners in their own right. In the 4-1 win over Man United, Xabi Alonso did not play and his replacement was the much maligned Lucas!
    My point is that Robbo and many others who have picked Chelsea do so by default, or because they are fans (which is just fine by me, I am a Liverpool fan and I pick them every year because thats what a fan does).
    At the end of the day, a prediction is just a guess, however if I was being paid to comment on football by the BBC I would put a little more thought into the single most important guess, that of winners!

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  • 86. At 4:32pm on 13 Aug 2009, Aaron wrote:

    I think we all know how city's season will turn out, theyll beat united at OT to go top by halloween, cue the blue of half of manchester getting champions 09/10 on their shirts, drop to third by christmas, mainly due to Robinho et al's incapability to play in the rain or away from home, Sparky sacked, massive bust up on christmas trainig camp, by easter they are mid table, new manager gets sacked, finish the season grappling with mid table mediocrity :D but the fans will be chuffed cuz they beat united

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  • 87. At 4:35pm on 13 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Robbo

    Are you basing your title prediction on Chris Foy refereeing most of Chelsea's games when Michael Ballack is playing checkers and elbows.

    As most of the above think you're wrong looks like Utd for title number 4.

    As for the bottom 3 have you forgotten Mr McCarthy's last foray into the premier league - Will be Wolves, Bolton & Portsmouth for the drop this year.

    Top 4 - Spurs could make the jump but so could Villa & City - would love to see the scousers and arsenal fall out of top 4 just for a bit of variety although LFC will somehow get in the Champs League regardless of falling outside the qualification places and Arsenal should they finish 5th and Tottenham 4th will invoke the spirit of 1919 to take care of that.

    Arsenal only finished in fifth place in 1919, but nevertheless were elected to rejoin the First Division at the expense of local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, by reportedly dubious means.[Wikipedia}

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenal_fc

    Seriously though well thought out and better than some of the proper journalists predictions of Liverpool to win everything.

    One comment though after you'd typed Middlesbrough shouldn't you have put Newcastle and then lots of laughs - bananas/ bartcodes will be in League 1 next year

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  • 88. At 4:35pm on 13 Aug 2009, saintalfonzo wrote:

    Now that 'Arry's employed David Moyes as chief scout on an involuntary (watch who Moysey goes for and bid more 'cos we're richer) basis they're covered at right back alright.

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  • 89. At 4:37pm on 13 Aug 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #85 torontored

    I think you may be taking Robbo just a little bit too seriously if you think a comedy character (no offence Robbo, I still believe you are real, honest) has to justify his prediction.

    I think most people are picking Chelsea cause, despite all that is said, there is some amazing quality there and a real sense of unity in their ranks.

    Those same 'most people' (which exclude ex-Liverpool players who are now employed as BBC pundits, oh and work for The Mirro) perhaps think Liverpool were a touch fortunate to get that close last season, in part due to the consistently good form of Alonso. They beleive that it won't happen again.

    Man U are clearly weaker without the gelled tumbler, though as I have said, there is the school of thought that a change in formation will mitigate his ascension into heaven, I mean £80m transfer.

    Aresenal? Just don't have the back bone as far as I'm concerned.

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  • 90. At 4:40pm on 13 Aug 2009, Chris the Roll wrote:

    I see David Bentley crashed into a lamp-post. A metaphor for Spurs' season?
    United, as ever, will be hard to beat. It's a TEAM game (Rooney).
    But, so will Chelsea.
    recent history rather than emotion and wishful thinking shows that?

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  • 91. At 4:41pm on 13 Aug 2009, kevinboatang wrote:

    @Omrodblue76 "but tottenham's defense is woeful," eh? Best home record for 90 years last season mate, and we've strengthened.

    Spurs will do well this year, City will get nowhere near how people think they will do and scrape top 7.

    Liverpool will do better than people think however. Alonso is gone and it's a loss, but they still have a good side. It's all about how rafa sets them out. Atrtacking and they can win the league, defensive and they wont.

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  • 92. At 4:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, redforever wrote:

    One of the fun things to watch over the past few weeks is the constant digs at Man City coming from Man United fans. Now I am not saying that the quips are funny, I am saying that the fear and jealousy that can be read between the lines, is the source of my amusement.

    A few years ago Roman Abramhovic bought Chelsea and quickly, with the aid of his seemingly bottomless pockets, assembled a team that challenged Manchester United, beating them comprehensively to the Premiership twice.

    Of course there is no embarassment in being overtaken by Chelsea, and aside from playing them two or three times a year, you dont have to hear them crowing. But if this were to happen with Manchester City, the world of Manchester United will be turned on hits head. The security of being the only team of note in Manchester, the ambassadors of the city, the only gig in town, would be gone! And boy does this strike fear in to Utd fans hearts.

    In the 80's during the peak of Liverpools domination of both England and Europe, Howard Kendall assembled a championship winning team, and the city was enlivened by the competition. We met in two FA Cup Finals, and one of my abiding memories of being at those games, was the banners saying MERSEYPRIDE, with split Liverpool and Everton allegiances.
    I wonder if similar shows of friendly rivalry will occur in Manchester?
    Of course the answer is, no.

    I wish Mark Hughes and his team the best of luck this year. he has bought some very good players, very competitive players. He himself was one of the most competitive players of his generation. Dont underestimate them, and dont underestimate Sparky.

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  • 93. At 4:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    All right torontored, here's why Chelsea. Cos when Hiddink got them by the scruff of their overpaid necks they buckled down and won a hell of a lot fixtures. Team's been strengthened (Essien and Joe Cole available too), no nonsense coach in place. United don't look quite so non-stick without the TevRon coating upfront. I simply don't believe Benitez has the nous to forge a title-winning team. 12 pts against the other top 4ers last season and still fell short. It'll be worse this season. Chelsea obvious favourites. (Spurs 4th is a whim, I admit, but a good one.)

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  • 94. At 4:59pm on 13 Aug 2009, SlayerSud wrote:

    People seem to forget that Ancellotti had a terrible record in Seria A. 1 domestic title in 8 years is not a good sign. Plus the African Cup is this year which means no Drogba, Essien or Kalou. Chelsea were so one paced in the middle of the park without Essien...I think Chelsea's wheels come off during January.

    1. Liverpool
    2. Man Unt.
    3. Chelsea
    4. Arsenal (I don't think they can win the prem, but they can pick apart any team with the players they got)

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  • 95. At 4:59pm on 13 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Torontored..

    Hughes was a great player but then so was Bryan Robson who funnily enough used to play for Utd spent a lot of money with a small club and won nothing. Who else do we know used to play for Utd is spending a lot of money with a small club (no not Steve Bruce try again), wears blue (not Roy Keane, Darren Ferguson or Paul Ince)- Will Mr Hughes see history repeating itself? Liverpool certainly will i.e 2003 finish

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  • 96. At 4:59pm on 13 Aug 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Too right Robbo. Under Hiddink, Chelsea played 22, won 16 drew 5 (four of those in the Champions League) and lost only 1. I would doubt that many/any teams had a record as good as that during his tenure, thus showing Chelsea's capability as a team.

    And for that reason, I'm in.

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  • 97. At 5:03pm on 13 Aug 2009, redforever wrote:

    Okay Robbo, now we have your reasons for choosing Chelsea, we can have an actual debate!
    You are bang on about Hiddink. He did an amazing job, really turned them around, and they were as good as anybody in the run-up. But Hiddink isnt the manager, Ancelotti is. This "no nonsense" guy hasnt set Serie A on fire for a while, indeed winning the scudetta last in 2004. He is in his first season in England, so you have no doubts that he can win it at the first try?
    Benitez, according to you "does not have the nous to forge a title winning team"? Breaking the duopoly of Barca and Madrid, Benitez did just that in 2002 and 2004. You would need, therefore, to amend that to a "premiership winning team".
    Thanks for taking the time to respond, I enjoy your blogs, they add a certain gallows humour, to an altogether too serious topic! In addition to this, one of my favourite players ever, played for Middlesborough- Graeme Souness!

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  • 98. At 5:07pm on 13 Aug 2009, carbondated61 wrote:

    Torontored, relax dude. It's just his opinion, as yours is just yours, it doesn't matter. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and the first course is served this weekend. We'll know how it all tastes when the last course comes in spring and that will be all that does matter.

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  • 99. At 5:09pm on 13 Aug 2009, shwwestcountrywolf *89* wrote:

    #70

    Roy Keane had how much money to spend, and yet still walked out when it went slightly wrong?

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  • 100. At 5:12pm on 13 Aug 2009, redforever wrote:

    CarbonDated- I am very relaxed thanks "dude".
    This is a blog page though isnt it? The purpose of which is to debate opinions, have a bit of a prod and poke at the views of others, stimulate some banter....is it not?
    If you are true to your word, you will speak not of the premiership, nor any of its teams chances, until May.
    Good luck with living up to your chilled out persona, dude.

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  • 101. At 5:14pm on 13 Aug 2009, TommyO wrote:

    Fair summary that, Robbo. I have to say i think the smarter money is on Chelsea this year too. Liverpool/Man Utd/Arsenal are all weaker than last year and that just gives Chelsea the edge. I would expect the title race to be close again and it wouldn't be a shock if Liverpool ended their title drought or Man Utd won again. Of the Big 4 Arsenal are the outsiders having lost Adebayor & Toure but they should have enough quality to see off City et al for the Champions League places this season.

    I think it's too soon for City to challenge for the title but they should deffo be in the UEFA Cup spots this year and Villa, Spurs & Everton should make up the Top 8 (no way on God's earth Spurs will finish 4th btw, Robbo).

    Still, the Spurs for 4th stuff aside, on the whole you're speaking a lot more sense than your colleague, McNulty who spent the summer telling us all what a genius Alex Ferguson was for selling Ronaldo at the right time (ignoring the fact it was the player who wanted out), getting rid of Tevez (ignoring the fact that the player rejected United's contract offer and getting Michael Owen in (ignoring the past 5 years of his career) before bizarrely predicting United to finish 3rd !!!!

    [I would point that out on his own blog, btw - however that's the sort of truth that gets censored over there, so i'll say it here, cheers !!!]

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  • 102. At 5:15pm on 13 Aug 2009, TommyO wrote:

    93. At 4:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:
    "I simply don't believe Benitez has the nous to forge a title-winning team"

    you do know he has 2 La Liga titles on his CV, don't you?

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  • 103. At 5:17pm on 13 Aug 2009, Shaun wrote:

    Wigan, 16th??
    Spurs, 4th??

    I seriously hope you're not serious, Robbo. Wigan will be 12th or above and Spurs will be around the same. I can't see how you think it'll be any different.

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  • 104. At 5:19pm on 13 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    #99

    Roy Keane didn't walk out because things were going wrong he walked out because Ellis Short started questioning hi srecord as a player and manager and considering that he won a lot of trophies as a player, got Sunderland into the Premier League at the first attempt and kept them there I can understand Roy not standing for Ellis' attitude.

    Add that to Sbragia going behind his back to Quinn and Short and saying Roy's being nasty to the players, shouting and telling them to work hard and only smiuling if he's winning when it's the taking part that counts and my poor millionaire babies are crying then no wonder he left.

    He's left behind a nice nucleus for Steve Bruce to build upon and I wouldn't be surprised to see Ipswich promoted with Peterborough and Preston this year (they have to win teh play-offs sooner or later) while Newcastle do a Leeds and Boro do a Wolves (consolidation then promotion)

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  • 105. At 5:21pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    Robbo if you are looking for a surprise I am telling you it will be that Liverpool will not finish in the top 4 and as an added but of fun I am willing to predict that Benitez will not finish as their manager come May as well.

    You heard it here first. Unless it doesn't happen. Then you never heard it from me at all.

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  • 106. At 5:23pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    I see the Liverpool pedant brigade has had the bat-signal sent up.

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  • 107. At 5:34pm on 13 Aug 2009, 4thecaptain wrote:

    #104
    Keane walked because that's what he does if he can't get his own way.

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  • 108. At 5:35pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #102
    Yep. And he's been here five years and not really cut the mustard so far, league-wise. So, I dunno, I was just basing that assumption on the evidence of my own irreligious eyes.

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  • 109. At 5:37pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Gaz - Liverpool outside the top 5 is the sort of WUM-mery even I wouldn't stoop to.

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  • 110. At 5:37pm on 13 Aug 2009, 4thecaptain wrote:

    #108
    Completely agree with you, but to the Liverpool fans "in Raffa we trust"

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  • 111. At 5:40pm on 13 Aug 2009, carbondated61 wrote:

    Torontored - I don't talk about football, I just go to the ground and watch it unfold. I read others musings on the subject with amusement.
    I save debate for the important things in life. Like whether Goat Patrol are the thinking man's Kasabian or not ;)

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  • 112. At 5:40pm on 13 Aug 2009, randalthor1812 wrote:

    A good whim only if it comes right surely lol.Anyway on a whim I bet on Boro for the championship ,I know bang goes any credibility I might of had...
    1 Chelsea
    2 Man U
    3 Liverpool (without Alonso and a crocked Gerrard/Torres)
    4 Arsenal (will be closer to Pool with Arshavin now aware of EPL speed)
    5 Man City (my team)
    6 Everton (solid team)
    7 Aston Villa (need another striker)
    8 Spurs (defensively suspect)
    9 Fulham (Europe takes toll around Xmas)
    10 West Ham
    11 Wigan
    12 Sunderland
    13 Bolton
    14 Blackburn
    15 Hull
    16 Stoke
    17 Birmingham
    18 Wolves
    19 Portsmouth
    20 Burnley

    Bottom six are all substandard premiership sides , City I may hope for 3rd or 4th but not this year ,Mark Hughes will take a while to work out his best team balance and the players will need some time to gel.He himself has said top 6 this year and top 4 following year who am I to argue.Someone here said Liverpool weren't considered a one man team because of Alonso true but only when Gerrard and Torres were both (rarely) fit hey may struggle to break sides down.

    Anyway Cmon the Boro.

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  • 113. At 5:41pm on 13 Aug 2009, TommyO wrote:

    he's gone from 5th place in his 1st year on 58 points to 2nd place and 86 points last season = not really cutting the mustard?



    my, you Boro fans have surprisingly high standards !!!!

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  • 114. At 5:42pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    Robbo - Honestly I am being serious, I think there is a slight chance of it. Stranger things have happened. I also happen to think you are correct in your Chelsea as champions prediction.

    Come May if Liverpool finish outside the top 4 (can't figure out if you said 5 as a typo or a wind up) you can send me a Parmo. If they don't I'm willing to admit I was wrong and promise never to say anything about them again.

    I definitely think Benitez won't be there for the start of the following season though.

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  • 115. At 5:44pm on 13 Aug 2009, redforever wrote:

    "Irreligious"- meaning not of a religious nature, showing indifference or hostile to religion. Perhaps you mean unbiased.

    Joining the Roy Keane debate. Who knows what happened at Sunderland, but Keane had done a pretty good job up unitl he bailed. Nobody should question the mans loyalty though! He stuck by United through the glory years, signing (at the last minute) contract after contract, provided he got a massive pay increase, and Ferguson signed players he liked and got rid of the ones he didnt.And for sure he would have helped Ireland out at every possible opportunity, unless it interfered with his club career, or he had to play for someone he didnt like.
    I do hope Ipswich fans dont think he is around for the long haul.

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  • 116. At 6:15pm on 13 Aug 2009, corbface wrote:

    gazutd

    leave Super Mick out of this

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  • 117. At 6:25pm on 13 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Who SuperMick (I only got 15 points last time)McCarthy. Can't he is the basis of my Wolves to go down and Hull/ Burnley stay up prediction

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  • 118. At 6:38pm on 13 Aug 2009, conchelsea70 wrote:

    Chelsea I hope to win it,

    1 Chelsea
    2 Man utd
    3 Arsenal
    4 Liverpool
    5 Man city or Tottenham
    Forget its Aston villa & Everton this year

    To go down

    Blackburn
    Portmouth
    Hull city




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  • 119. At 6:45pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Well, I'm more than happy for everyone to tip Chelsea (with their latest comedy manager - how many Serie A titles? One?) and Man Utd (the side which, according to their ardent lovers - the BBC, for one - can cover for the 50 goals (including assists) lost with the leaving of Ronaldo and Tevez by Defoe's Ghost) and chuckle at the Mystic Meg-esque foresight from all that Gerrard, Torres and now Aquilani will be spending the season with their feet up, smoking pipes in the physio room while Alonso quadruples his goals/assists rate in Spain.

    After all, what sort of idiot would suggest that a side which missed out on the Premier League title by a whisker could win it the following season? It's not like it's happened before, has it.

    You never know, the Best Defender In The Cosmos may feel as charitable toward Kuyt as he did last night and gift him another goal or two - after all, it's obviously the only way Liverpool can score without Gerrard or Torres, isn't it.

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  • 120. At 6:48pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robokopthe3rd wrote:

    Number 31...totally agree with your top 5. Chelsea will be our only serious challengers with Man u a distant 3rd place. man c will just pip Arsenal to 4th. Lots of lazy and arrogant man u fans out there predicting a win for them. As a Liverpool fan, it is not every season that I think they will win the title. but this is the first year since we won it in 90 that I am very confident that we will win it, and go on to hold onto it the following season too. Of course I could be wrong :) but that is the difference between scousers and some mancs...we are realistic and open to discussion.

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  • 121. At 6:49pm on 13 Aug 2009, ShotsPaauul wrote:

    Caldwell's second yellow was completely deserved. Carew was well in on goal if he hadn't been pulled back.

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  • 122. At 6:58pm on 13 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    we are realistic and open to discussion.

    So 3rd place for you lot then

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  • 123. At 7:02pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #121. Not true. he grabbed for a moment and then let go. Saw arch diver Morten Gamst Pedersen shaking his head at the second yellow - and he knows when a foul's a foul, doens't he?... hold on, I think I;ve just ruined me argument.

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  • 124. At 7:02pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    "we are realistic and open to discussion"

    Expect a letter from my solicitor regarding payment to fix the hole in my floor. I fell off the chair after reading that.

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  • 125. At 7:05pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Ah the sound of a thousand Manc and Scouse laptops in meltdown. It's like you've never been away, lads.

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  • 126. At 7:15pm on 13 Aug 2009, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    1. Liverpool
    2. Man United
    3. Chelsea
    4. Everton
    5. Arsenal

    it'll be tight between liverpool and united once again, i reckon.

    http://wedontknowfootball.com/

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  • 127. At 7:22pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Ah the sound of a thousand Manc and Scouse laptops in meltdown"

    Laptops?

    Those'll be the McFans down south - us Liverpool scum have to make do with banging a half-eaten chicken bone against PC World shop window.

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  • 128. At 7:24pm on 13 Aug 2009, TB wrote:

    Liverpool should win this season cause it was next season last year, or is it next season this year. Anyway next season is definatley theres!

    Anyone realised that its not Ronaldo who was / is our irreplaceable icon that keeps us constantly at the very top of the english game, its Sir Alex.

    When he leaves we may well fall down to 4th or further but untill then bring on the chelski aznd lets have a quality season down to the wire!

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  • 129. At 7:26pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "bring on the chelski aznd lets have a quality season down to the wire!"

    Couldn't agree more - I'm certainly looking forward to both yours and their ridiculously overblown CBs looking gormless as Kuyt sticks one past them.

    Not to mention the apparently awful Johnson running at your left-back - what's his name, Wayne something.

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  • 130. At 7:42pm on 13 Aug 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    As it stays, I am afraid Arsenal look like they will finish the league in 5th.

    All the more joy I'll have when they do better.

    By the way, anyone else shocked at the reactions Robbo got on his predictions? I mean, if you go by his predictions last year, Boro would still be boring the pants off us this season. Thank god he is wrong.

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  • 131. At 7:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    Spitfire, I am afraid it is you who is wrong.

    Boro did still bore the pants off us this season in the first televised match last week.

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  • 132. At 7:58pm on 13 Aug 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Did they?

    The weather was fine so I wasn't bothered. Hallelujah.

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  • 133. At 7:58pm on 13 Aug 2009, dutch_rudder wrote:

    Cant understand why so people beleive arsenal wont finish top 4, far enough theve lost adebayor and toure but lets be honest both had poor seasons last season and wont be missed, especially with players such as eduardo and rosicky returning to full fitness. if any team are likely to drop out the top 4 then surely it will be liverpool, carragher asisde they havent got a decent defence without alonso there left with an half fit italian or lucas as replacements and no cover up front for torres.
    my top 4 predictions
    1.man utd
    2.arsenal
    3.chelsea
    4.liverpool/spurs

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  • 134. At 8:04pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    This is frightening.

    Idiotic, kneejerk postings from the alcopop&Twitter generation.

    It's no coincidence that 606/reactively moderated blogs on the football website go silent when mams are making tea.

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  • 135. At 8:28pm on 13 Aug 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Why do we have to put up with this unfunny tripe from this "Robbo Robinson" who is really Niall Armstrong who never landed on the moon in 1969 because he was still hiding behind the bush where he shot Kennedy in 1962, shaggin Marilyn Monroe and letting Lee Harvey take the rap? That film of the moon was shot on Nick Park's grandad's ashtray, using plasticine astronauts. Who's he kidding?

    I'm fed up seeing my BBC incense money going up in smoke. All you "Robbo" fans should grow up and stop taking this stuff seriously.

    Uhm... That's about it, really. I'll go and lie down now.

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  • 136. At 8:45pm on 13 Aug 2009, Make-mine-a-Pint wrote:

    I am from Middlesbrough, currently working in Canada.

    The premiership is currently disgraced, waiting for the "Boro's" many
    happy returns, when they once again grace the league with their presence.
    They will also increase the number of home grown players at the top level
    many of which enjoy representing England at under 21, 20, 19 and 17 levels.

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  • 137. At 8:47pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Robbo,

    Do you think that this column can survive another year with the pathetic to-and-fro of the top 4's juvenile so-called fans, most of whom have never been to a game in their lives?

    It's like a text version of John Thompson's 'Football Fan' from The Fast Show.

    Just come clean - you're not from the Boro, I know you're not, you know you're not and why the BBC is going out of its way to cater for people who don't even pay the money to contribute is just infuriating for people who actually love football and are heartily sick of the schoolyard rubbish which is passed off as 'banter'.

    God, I hate that word - it's the word that racists usually rely on to get away with it.

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  • 138. At 8:48pm on 13 Aug 2009, Chip it like Vela wrote:

    I'm printing this sheet to have a record of your predictions so that I can come back this time next year to have a big laugh... Spurs finishing 4th - you've got to be bonkers. Not even the most optimistic Spurs fan would have made that prediction. Harry is the most over-rated manager I've seen. His tactical nous is laughable and his team selections are comical to say the least.

    As things stand, I can't think of a proper back 4 to start their first few games and if things dont work out with the current strike force, I'm dead sure Spurs will buy back Bent from Sunderland for 21 million before transfer deadline day...A club more deluded about their ambitions than even Newcastle...Their best hope is to finish 6th and anything higher is a miracle.

    My predos
    Winners: Chelsea
    Relagated: Burnley, Portsmouth, Hull
    Surprise package: West Ham

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  • 139. At 8:53pm on 13 Aug 2009, RushFowlerTorres wrote:

    1 Liverpool (because they've only lost Alonso and did OK without him eg at OT)
    2 Chelsea (because they have a new manager who will need to adapt)
    3 Man U (because Valencia and Owen don't equal Tevez and Ronaldo)
    4 Arsenal (because they was a big gap in points last year)

    That is what my crystal ball says. So the only change I predict in the top 4 is Man U dropping 2 places because they will draw more of those one goal wins without Ronnie's goals.

    And Michael Owen will start promising and then either go on a trademerk goal drought or get injured.

    I can only hope!

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  • 140. At 8:55pm on 13 Aug 2009, rjginblueoz wrote:

    There will be a changing of the guard in the pretenders. Villa and Everton have not done enough to break the top 4 and it is the turn of West Ham and Spurs. The only team of the top 4 to improve their squad is Chelsea and I think they will dominate.
    Chelsea
    Liverpool
    Man U
    Arsenal
    West Ham
    Spurs
    Everton
    Aston Villa
    Man City
    Fulham
    Blackburn
    Bolton
    Sunderland
    Wolves
    Stoke
    Wigan
    Birmingham
    Portsmouth
    Burnley
    Hull
    Birmingham will stay up because they will be boosted by the fact there are 3 teams from brum for the first time in many years and large crowd support will give them momentum.

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  • 141. At 9:01pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Look. Spurs might finish 4th. Hull survived last year. Pompey won the Cup a couple of years back. Middlesbrough got to an Uefa Cup Final not long ago.I was once adopted by an alien family who taught me Serbo-Croat and left me to fend for myself in a ditch in Seaton Carew. All these things are true. And Spurs might come fourth.

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  • 142. At 9:03pm on 13 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:



    140. At 8:55pm on 13 Aug 2009, rjginblueoz wrote:
    There will be a changing of the guard in the pretenders.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Don't be daft - who could replace Chrissie Hynde?

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  • 143. At 9:04pm on 13 Aug 2009, Red Yuli wrote:

    Nice of you to mention the departures of David Wheater and Ronaldo but, he aint the first to leave and each time there has been talk of the bursting bubble at the Theatre of Dreams. When Ince Hughes and Kanchelskis left a very popular quote was 'Ye canne win anything wi keds'

    So its United to Win with the Arsenites to come 2nd

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  • 144. At 9:04pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    "I was once adopted by an alien family"

    That's what you get for believing your parents when they told you they were only bringing you to Newcastle for the day to see what a town looked like without smog.

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  • 145. At 9:06pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "left me to fend for myself in a ditch in Seaton Carew."

    I used to love Seaton Carew - unfortunately they never updated the arcades and it just got full of Pooly scum.

    Crimdon's the same - a fantastic little place for kids on a holiday, but ultimately ruined by the local filth.

    And they knocked down the (admittedly rubbish) arcade in Crimdon years ago - all that's left is horrid neanderthal children drinking White Star.

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  • 146. At 9:43pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Nearly an hour and the poor bugger who pretends to be Robbo is flailing on his locale.

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  • 147. At 10:03pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 148. At 10:11pm on 13 Aug 2009, Diala Anthony wrote:

    "[...] arch diver Morten Gamst Pedersen shaking his head at the second yellow ..."

    Legend, Sir Robbo!

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  • 149. At 11:26pm on 13 Aug 2009, Faustino wrote:

    Thirteen years ago, I flew in to Teesside from Brisbane on the day Newcastle beat Man U 5-0, though not in time to get to the match. The match was shown on tv here last night in the EPL Classics series. We (NUFC) finished second in the EPL that season, I can categorically state that we will not do so this year. But I think Chelsea will win with Man U second. And I'm worried about Arsenal.

    (On another occasion I flew into London from Brisbane and NU beat MU 4-3, with Keane sent off. Maybe Newcastle should have been paying me to fly back more often? Was that their real mistake?)

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  • 150. At 11:34pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Gotcha

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  • 151. At 11:39pm on 13 Aug 2009, Arctic wrote:

    Flak from the Scousers and Old Trafford eh? Yeah probably but not from this one. I'm a firm Liverpool supporter, have been for over 30 years, and this season will see them win.

    Definitely lost a good player, no doubt about that and an injured ponce isn't going to make up for it. But United have lost more and Chelsea have bought no one of consequence - so they won't do any better.

    Quality blog though, I'm swapping Arsenal for Utd, who will drop out of the CL places. I think Wenger's team will surprise everyone and come 2nd if they get their act together quickly. Van Persie and Ashvarin with Wiltshire and Walcott in support will be an interesting forward line for them and good enough to do better than last year. Eduardo is a quality backup for either forward and they'll keep Fabregas for at least one more year.

    Chelsea 3rd and Tottenham 4th. Or Villa or Everton or Burnley.

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  • 152. At 11:42pm on 13 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Ponce lol

    I'm going to watch Withnail and I now - the best use of the word ever.

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  • 153. At 11:57pm on 13 Aug 2009, ElBuho wrote:

    Is thy mental? Tottenham 4th?

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  • 154. At 00:37am on 14 Aug 2009, ToastedBlueAndWhiteWelshy wrote:

    Chelsea - All depends on Drogba. If he fails to be on form, 3rd or 4th.
    Man Utd - Shrewd signing in Owen. Will challenge with a good squad but fall short.
    Liverpool - Alonso is a loss, but Aquilani could possibly be massive for them.
    Arsenal - Will continue to just edge 4th, maybe 3rd. Vermaelen will be a rock for them.
    Everton - Will continue to be harder to beath than diamonds with a sponge.
    Tottenham -Harry will work his magic and get Europe as a reward.
    Aston Villa - Won't do as well as last season, but will see off the challenge of Man City.
    Blackburn - Our new signing Kalinic looks class. Solid defence and an improved midfield.
    Man City - Mark Hughes will improve city, but defence is still too weak.
    West Ham - Zola will continue to work wonders. Carlton Cole and Ashton(if fit) are key.
    Fulham - Even if they keep Hangeland, will struggle to repeat last season's success.
    Sunderland - Bruce will improve Sunderland, but they won't make Europe.
    Bolton - About the same as last season; tough and physical.
    Stoke - Same old, tough to beat at Britannia will do it for Stoke's consolidation.
    Portsmouth - Vanden Borre's loan is key. Good player. Paul Hart will keep them up.
    Wigan - Martinez will struggle, but Wigan will survive, just.
    Wolves - Kevin Doyle is a key man for Wolves, could go down to the wire.
    Burnley - Could go to last season with Wolves. Coyle's tactics will be instrumental.
    Hull - No real improvement on their squad, so I fear Hull will be facing relegation.
    Birmingham - Simply not good enough, even if Benitez shines up front.

    Well there it is. Robbo, if it's any consolation to your mid-blog sob, I think 'Boro will be up next season with at least 2nd spot. Good luck in next season.

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  • 155. At 00:38am on 14 Aug 2009, develion wrote:

    UTD look stronger this year. Ronaldo was irreplaceable as an individual player but we set ourselves up based on his strengths too much and tbh, we suffered for it. The loss of Ronaldo will change our approach and could work out for the best. Rooney, Berbatov and Owen could plausibly all break 20 goals and then some, plus we've got a decent midfield. Tevez isn't a major loss. He didn't provide an amazing amount last season, partly due to lack of opportunities, but Welbeck and Macheda could well provide his goals.

    I reckon people are underestimating Arsenal, they could give Liverpool a real run for their money. Man City will be a funny one because if Hughes *somehow* gets the players all happy and performing well then they will maybe break the top-4, but it's unlikely. By Jan I expect at least one or two big name players to be whining and wanting away, morale will suffer etc. I think Villa could cope without Barry tbh. They've made some decent signings.

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  • 156. At 01:18am on 14 Aug 2009, praky69 wrote:

    i don't believe that Ronaldo was the only reason for man u's recent success..even with out him i still believe that man united will be the champions again..as for other teams..
    2nd chelsea
    3rd liverpool (if rafa keeps his mouth shut)
    4rth arsenal
    5th... and so on...

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  • 157. At 06:47am on 14 Aug 2009, Sumatran_Tiger wrote:

    "That's it. Chelsea to win in mean Mourinho fashion. Pompey, Hull and Brum down. This blog is currently building an impregnable force-field around itself in anticipation of the flak from the North West."

    Last time I looked none of Hull, Portsmouth or Birmingham were in the North West!
    Why is it that all Newcastle/Middlesbrough fans blame Hull City and Phil Brown for their own team's relegation? Are you keeping up to date with Hull City's buys on the transfer market Robbo? Jealous? :-)

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  • 158. At 09:25am on 14 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #157
    Durrrrr! What I mean is, cos I have tipped neither Man U or Liverpool I will get it in the neck.
    Hull City are getting the blame for Boro's relegation cos they were a significant help. All right, the main reason we went down was cos we were a bit tripe. And yes they have bought Stephen Hunt from Reading. Whoop-di-doo. Peter Cech'll be reinforcing his helmet as we speak.

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  • 159. At 09:42am on 14 Aug 2009, jpr600 wrote:

    Come on Robbo - I know you like a joke but to suggest that 'Arry's Tottenham will finish above Arsene's Arsenal is just ridiculous. I may be biased but I could accept an opinion that Everton or Villa might push for Top 4, but Tottenham? Never in a million years old son!

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  • 160. At 10:05am on 14 Aug 2009, Ireland Brew wrote:

    70. At 3:49pm on 13 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    #59

    "I would guess from this that Mr. GazUtd is both Irish and more specifically from Cork (being a Man Utd supporter he would therefore be sufficiently removed from Manchester to qualify as a fan)."
    No, wrong, I'm not from Cork. Whatever that has to do with it, as there are plenty of people in Cork who don't like Keane and plenty of people outside it who do. Your point being about not coming from Manchester?
    "Mick McCarthy (unlike Roy Keane) has a proven record as a manager. He has brought two clubs into the Premier League without spending any money."
    Roy Keane brought the only previous club he managed into the Premiership and didn't fail miserably with the worst performance ever from a team in that league, unlike a Mr. McCarthy, who did.
    "In addition he guided Ireland both to a World Cup finals and, when there, to group qualification where they were unfortunate to lose to Spain in a penalty shootout."
    He was guided to World Cup final by the best player in the world at the time continually and almost single-handedly bringing his team to victory. McCarthy in his utmost wisdom then decided to send that player home because he had the cheek to actually want to win the World Cup. He then lead the team like a bunch of headless chickens through a group stage and out in the knock-outs where if his best player had have been there who knows what would have happened.

    "In addition, in all his dealings both with media and players Mick has deported himself with dignity and respect. His manner may be gruff at times but, from what I've seen and heard, Mick could quite properly be described as a gentleman."
    This makes about as much sense as a drunken Australian with an IQ of 20 who has hit his head on the pavement and is trying to describe the theory of realativity to you. Have you ever listened to a McCarthy interview?
    "For information purposes I am Irish and neither have any axe to grind with or support any English premiership club."
    That would be why you have "abu" in your name then. Never an axe to grind there.

    Mr GazUtd, for your information "abu" is an old Irish (language) term and has nothing to do with a distaste for a certain English premiership team. Perhaps if you had more interest in your own culture rather than obsessing about another country's you would have realised that.

    As for Roy Keane single handedly guiding Ireland to the World Cup finals I am afraid your red tinted spectacles may have blinded you to some obvious facts. If you can remember Ireland qualified by beating Iran in a play off. Roy Keane was given the choice (by an understanding Mick McCarthy) to play in the home or away leg of the play off as Roy claimed he had some injury concerns. He chose to play the home leg which Ireland rather luckily won as Iran had several very good chances to score. The Irish team then went to Iran (without their supposedly best player) and rather easily contained the Iranians who did manage to score in injury time. The second leg took place on the Wednesday and Roy Keane (in spite of his supposed injuries) played a full part in Man Utds. next game on the following Saturday. This would lead me to believe that maybe Roy wasnt as fully committed to winning the World Cup as is claimed on his behalf.
    As for Roy Keane being the best player in the world I am sure Mr. Zidane and Mr. Baggio and even Mr. Makelele may have had something to say about that. What I will say is that the worlds best players are usually coveted by the worlds biggest clubs (cf Mr. Ronaldo). I never heard any mention (or even rumour) of any major European club make enquiries about signing Roy Keane. When he did leave Man Utd, it was to Celtic, who with the best will in the world and mostly due to financial considerations were never going to challenge seriously for the Champions League. Being the best player at Man Utd. does not make you the best player in the world.
    When it comes to managerial skills Mr. Keane is still a novice. Roy Keane spent aprrox. £100m on players in his time at Sunderland. By common consent his expenditure on players was the single biggest factor in their promotion. Mick McCarthy, who has achieved promotion with two different clubs, had nowhere near this amount of money to spend. His promotion with Sunderland and Wolves was achieved almost exclusively with players who had never played top flight football. His relegation with Sunderland occurred against a background of having only £5m extra to spend on his team for the Premier League. I think even SAF might struggle with that budget. In addition, he has never walked out on any team he has been involved in when things go a little awry. Roy Keane has a history of walk outs (World Cup & Sunderland) and even his exit from OT was with a backdrop of acrimony with his constant criticism of his teammates finally becoming too much even for SAF to endure. It is interesting that Man Utd. have won 3 titles in a row and the Champions League with those very same players that Roy was so critical of.

    I have seen many interviews by Mick McCarthy. He is unfailingly honest in his opinions (if his team have been lucky to win or draw he will say this), and I have rarely heard him criticise the referee or the opposition. This usually sets him apart from his fellow managers who can be fairly Cyclopian in their outlook.

    Mick McCarthy, while he played for Ireland and was always proud to whether it was a friendly or a competitive international, was raised in England and always struck me as having the essence of what is good about the English, namely having a sense of fair play and respect for other individuals. He played hard, tried his best but always with a sense that football wasnt the be all and end all on how you should be judged as a human being.

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  • 161. At 10:17am on 14 Aug 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Spurs to finish 4th was Robbo's devilishly cunning ploy to get debate on the go. I could see where he was heading in his blog. It was going to be Scotland with a sustained late run to win the World Cup in 2010, Boro's three year strategy to win the Champions League, or Tottenham to finish fourth. He chose the most unlikely of the three to encourage maximum controversy.

    He's a clever rascal.

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  • 162. At 10:29am on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Ira_abu,

    Didn't you know?

    Gaz_Utd is always right.

    Even when he's so very, very wrong.

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  • 163. At 10:31am on 14 Aug 2009, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    Spurs making the top 4? Not in my life time they won't (fancy to live another 50 odd years).

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  • 164. At 10:46am on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 165. At 10:54am on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    One other thing Ira_abu - Roy Keane DID NOT WALK OUT on Ireland at the World Cup. This myth has been kept up by people like you for 7 years now.

    Roy Keane was SENT HOME by Mick McCarthy.

    Ask Robbo, his blog had to be changed once before when he wrote the same thing and I just happened to point out the facts to the BBC who promptly changed it and apologised.

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  • 166. At 10:59am on 14 Aug 2009, Wolves4CL wrote:

    #140 - Birmingham will stay up because they will be boosted by the fact there are 3 teams from brum for the first time in many years and large crowd support will give them momentum.
    -----------
    3 teams from brum? That would be City, Villa and ... ?
    And I suppose Wigan are the 3rd team from Liverpool.

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  • 167. At 11:05am on 14 Aug 2009, Rovers Return - HKR AWAY DAYS wrote:

    "Hull City are getting the blame for Boro's relegation cos they were a significant help. All right, the main reason we went down was cos we were a bit tripe. And yes they have bought Stephen Hunt from Reading. Whoop-di-doo. Peter Cech'll be reinforcing his helmet as we speak."

    Personally, I think Stephen Hunt is a good signing. He has top flight experience and will certainly put his foot in. The only slight issue I have is that nobody else in the Premier League seemed to be interested in him, which, I suppose could then be deemed a 'panic buy'. The other side of this could be that nobody else was willing to meet Reading's Valuation.

    I'm telling you though, Hull to stay up - I bet you'll get good odds. Get your money on it Robbo, then your mate Thompson might actually see you getting your round in!

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  • 168. At 11:08am on 14 Aug 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Gaz - I'd have thought IRA Abu would have been a Villa man: they're led by O'Neill and they don't win anything.

    Great paella line, by the way.

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  • 169. At 11:16am on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Zoot you don't know what you are getting yourself into ;)

    The paella will start flying, you have been warned!

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  • 170. At 11:23am on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Robbo, I almost forgot to ask...

    Seeing as Ronnie has tumbled off to the great Galatico graveyard what is your prediction as to who will win this seasons Golden Springboard.

    Surely a toss up between Messrs Drogba and Gerrard?

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  • 171. At 11:31am on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    So Keane essentially orchestrated his removal from the squad, yes?

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  • 172. At 11:46am on 14 Aug 2009, spurs_happy wrote:

    I somehow doubt spurs will come 4th but definitely top 6(5)

    as for the championship, don't expect Newcastle and Middlesbrough to come up this season. They will both make the play offs and one of them will get to the final, but they'll lose to reading. The top two will be taken up by complete newcomers, perhaps cardiff (god if you know what's right for you don't let those welsh nasties in our premier league)

    I'd much rather chelsea won then liverpooooooooooooo

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  • 173. At 11:56am on 14 Aug 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Robbo mate.... well done sir! Top marks for "Wummery" (am i typing that right?)
    As for the premier league... Its between United or Chelsea. Liverpool had their luck last year, and i'm sorry they really aren't very good. Its true, last year they took 12 points off Ars,Chels&Manu, United had a poor start to the season, and Chelsea were in free fall for two months (before Hiddink, worked his miracles)! Plus with earlier exits in the league and FA cups (and CL) they played less games than United and Chelsea... And they still could not do it. All of that in their favour and still no trophies? I admire your optimism 'pool fans... (well that’s a lie, its actually quite annoying).

    As for the Roy Keane debate raging in the background... I am very keen to see how this all plays out! Getting nice and political... I am preying for some good Friday afternoon banter! Zoots i think Gaz is right... a can of worms could well have been opened!

    Aldershot for the cup! (anyone will do*)

    *though clearly not the league cup now...:(

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  • 174. At 12:17pm on 14 Aug 2009, spurs_on_my_shoes wrote:

    Great Blog as ever...always entertaining to read a blog from Robbo.
    OmrodBlue-Spurs defense is woeful?! Did you see their defensive record last season? Clearly not. To fill you in, outside of the Top 4 only Fulham and Everton conceded less goals. THat makes Spurs the seventh best defensive team last season.... Spurs' home defensive record was THE BEST in the league conceding only ten goals at the Lane all season...Chelsea followed with 12 goals conceded. I would advise you to research your assertions prior to voicing them.

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  • 175. At 12:47pm on 14 Aug 2009, JMcK wrote:

    I wish people would stop confusing facts and opinions! The season hasn't started but already people are claiming that they know for a FACT (it must be a true fact if you say so in CAPITAL LETTERS) that they know that a particular team will be champions/relegated/break the top 4 etc., or that certain players will be a success or missed by their former teams.

    Drives me mad, it does. FACT.

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  • 176. At 1:39pm on 14 Aug 2009, TommyO wrote:

    It's interesting in management how Roy Keane has so far conducted himself more in the manner of his first manager with regard to respect for opponents and referees rather than the angry, foul-mouthed, petulant yobbish nature of his second boss (and indeed his own manner as a player under him).

    One wonders if this will continue into the future...

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  • 177. At 2:08pm on 14 Aug 2009, Ireland Brew wrote:

    165. At 10:54am on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    One other thing Ira_abu - Roy Keane DID NOT WALK OUT on Ireland at the World Cup. This myth has been kept up by people like you for 7 years now.

    Roy Keane was SENT HOME by Mick McCarthy.

    Ask Robbo, his blog had to be changed once before when he wrote the same thing and I just happened to point out the facts to the BBC who promptly changed it and apologised.

    If I go in to my boss and give an expletive laden diatribe against his management skills, his qualities as a person and question his lineage I would consider that to be akin to handing in my letter of resignation. Perhaps I am old fashioned in that way.

    As regards your apology from the BBC you must be very proud.

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  • 178. At 2:08pm on 14 Aug 2009, JustASpur wrote:

    Personally I thought your observations were spot-on Robbo. And although you possibly flatter my beloved Lilywhites I don't think 4th, although a very tall order, is out of the question. And for all those muppets on here who are having a laugh at the prospect you might want to bear in mind what happened last season. When 'Arry arrived we had taken 2 points out of a possible 24, yet he still managed to steer us to within 2 points of a European place. With a full season in front of him and an improved (acclimatised) Luka Modric pulling the strings anything is possible.

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  • 179. At 2:30pm on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "As regards your apology from the BBC you must be very proud."

    I heard he's been priapic ever since.

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  • 180. At 2:43pm on 14 Aug 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    GazUtd

    Who will win this season's designated diver*?

    There's Stevie G with his kid-going-mental-in-the-sandpit-at-the-end-of the-long-jump-pit plummet.

    There's Dididrog with his Platoon poster fling to the floor (although every time he hits the deck for no good reason at the mo everyone keeps playing as if nowt has happened)

    But there's some outsiders too, not least your new boy. Michael Owen can home in on a hurriedly withdrawn shin like a Jack Russell on heat. A dark horse but very much in the running.

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  • 181. At 2:47pm on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Michael Owen can home in on a hurriedly withdrawn shin like a Jack Russell on heat. A dark horse but very much in the running."

    Ooooh, that's got to hurt.

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  • 182. At 3:13pm on 14 Aug 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    Shouldn't boro sign Seaton Carew? Isn't he John's dad?

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  • 183. At 3:30pm on 14 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    #157

    Why is it that all Newcastle/Middlesbrough fans blame Hull City and Phil Brown for their own team's relegation?

    Probably because Hull were really nasty and got more points than them - therefore their fault.. if only they hadn't had the nerve to win at the Emirates

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  • 184. At 3:31pm on 14 Aug 2009, Sweet_Silver_Song wrote:

    108: Robbo, so I guess after Fergie's 5th year, you'd have said the same about him? Rafa has won more in his first five years. If you would've written it back then, fair play to you. If not, why can't you give Rafa the same benefit of time? I think he showed signs of getting it right last year, and is a building point, not a one off.

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  • 185. At 3:31pm on 14 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Ira_abu,

    Didn't you know?

    Gaz_Utd is always right.

    Even when he's so very, very wrong.

    Yes but as he's very very wrong don't those 2 wrongs make him right?

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  • 186. At 3:37pm on 14 Aug 2009, adampsb wrote:

    So Keane essentially orchestrated his removal from the squad, yes?

    No he said that some of the facilities were substandard compared to club level the FAI didn't like it - got McCarthy to lean on him and then when Keane refused to back down was sent home. Mccarthy should have told Roy that he would consider his opinions and speak to him later. Instead he kicked him out of the squad

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  • 187. At 3:42pm on 14 Aug 2009, TommyO wrote:

    LOL ! When is Keane's beatification by the way - anyone know?

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  • 188. At 3:42pm on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Mccarthy should have told Roy that he would consider his opinions and speak to him later. Instead he kicked him out of the squad"

    As most organisations would if they were openly lambasted in the full glare of the world's media by an underling representing them.

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  • 189. At 3:43pm on 14 Aug 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    Painful read as usual. Probably find more humour in a cemetery or even a bin - where this blog usually belongs.

    Having said that, "Robbo"s predictions arent actually all that bad. Reasonable predictions, terrible blog.

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  • 190. At 3:50pm on 14 Aug 2009, U14029869 wrote:

    Awe-inspiring stuff Niall. How anyone can manage to turn out such consistent mediocrity is truly astounding. One would have imagined that eventually a deviatation from the Neanderthal-like sub-standard drivel would occur but nothing to date. Such consistency must be applauded in its own right. Perhaps if you could just limit yourself to writing these low quality blog entries for your own perusal instead of inflicting them on the rest of us at license payer´s expense I could almost appreciate these contributions.

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  • 191. At 3:56pm on 14 Aug 2009, TommyO wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/hi/team_pages/rep_of_ireland/newsid_2012000/2012137.stm

    In finest BBC traditions it looks like a letter of apology is due to adampsb too then


    either that or he's talking out of his hat. It's a tricky one...

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  • 192. At 5:08pm on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    I'm looking forward to my letter of apology from Hansen and McNulty if Liverpool don't win the league this season.

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  • 193. At 5:35pm on 14 Aug 2009, Unbiased soccer fan wrote:

    Robbo:

    I'm not an Arsenal fan but for most of you guys to think that the team is bad enough to finish 5th, makes me laugh. A team that can go 22 games unbeaten (2008/09)is capable of winning the League. A team that can reach the Semis of the CL is a good team capable of winning it all.

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  • 194. At 5:37pm on 14 Aug 2009, Unbiased soccer fan wrote:

    Robbo I forgot to mention:

    Tottenham are miles behind Arsenal in Quality. Aston Villa, Everton and Spurs are teams that are guaranteed 10 losses a season. And with such a record they can never break the top 4. Top 4 teams lose on average 4-5 games a season.. Do you see Tottenham achieving that when they are guaranteed at least 3 loses against the top 4. THE TOP 4 IS UNBREAKABLE.... YES I SAID IT. haha

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  • 195. At 7:06pm on 14 Aug 2009, dmc4manu wrote:

    The top 4 will remain, probably a top 3 shuffle with Arsenal remaining in 4th.

    Can't really see Spurs or City getting in there this season. City should use this year to try and get their side to play well together. If they can do that, then they should be able to aim for the top 4.

    Fergie will use this year to groom his side for the next, after all, we probably won't win 4 in a row.

    Chelsea
    Manu
    LP
    Arsenal


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  • 196. At 7:22pm on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    For Spaghetti Monsters sake! I go off for a game of golf and miss all the fun.

    People dragging up 7 year old websites which actually say, and I quote "so I sent him home" from McCarthy, yet they still say Roy left. Nice to see one of you got my previous comment removed though, you must be even prouder than me.

    Then the Robbo naysayers make another appearance, was there the obligatory licence fee mention in there, I didn't read.

    And finally Robbo tries to get me with the Owen diver bait! I ain't biting Robbo old son :)

    Was that * beside your designated diver your means of copyright? Can I keep the Golden Springboard then?

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  • 197. At 7:24pm on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Ok, so I read one of the naysayers..

    "How anyone can manage to turn out such consistent mediocrity is truly astounding"

    If this is the case you should have seen me on the golf course, beyond astounding.

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  • 198. At 7:28pm on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Ira_Abu

    "If I go in to my boss and give an expletive laden diatribe against his management skills, his qualities as a person and question his lineage I would consider that to be akin to handing in my letter of resignation. Perhaps I am old fashioned in that way."

    If that happened yes, but that is not what happened no matter how many times people like you say it is.

    If you work for a company and try to do your best and said company completely fail, time after time, to be professional or even try to improve and then appoint a complete fool as your manager, then you go to your boss and say this is simply not good enough, what can happen is your boss can either say "You know what, you are the best worker here and I tend to agree and I will try to get things changed" (which is good management) or your boss can say "***** off you ungrateful ******" (which is bad management).

    No reply on your username I see, apart from complaining about my comment though.

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  • 199. At 7:41pm on 14 Aug 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 196

    Neither Tweedledum or Tweedledee mentioned "licence", but one of them came close with "license".

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  • 200. At 7:45pm on 14 Aug 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Like I said.

    Always right.

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  • 201. At 8:07pm on 14 Aug 2009, sgu06sab wrote:

    love how you've said burnley might do a hull, but you cant see it happening...then predict them to finish in the same place...wha?

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  • 202. At 8:10pm on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    So they're Americans then Zoot? Enough said.

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  • 203. At 9:25pm on 14 Aug 2009, Macca wrote:

    Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool scrapping it out thinking it's a three horse race only to find Arsenal have snuck through on the outside.

    Arsenal to win it this year.

    Man City won't get it together in time to win the title next season, let alone this one and can't see anyone else really challenging so...

    Arsenal
    Man Utd
    Chelsea
    Liverpool
    Everton
    Villa
    Spurs
    City

    The rest is a mixed bag but my tips for the drop would be

    Hull
    Wolves
    Stoke

    I can hear the men in white coats heading this way as I type.

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  • 204. At 10:19pm on 14 Aug 2009, oldstafford wrote:

    #189 & #190
    I see the chuckle brothers are on again.

    As for the premiership - usual top three with Chelsea possibly just nicking it (hope not though), United second and Liverpool third. Saying that I reckon it'll be a lot closer this year which can only be a good thing for everyone.
    Unfortunately, for Raffa and Man Utd, failure this season will mean adios!

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  • 205. At 12:26pm on 15 Aug 2009, Parish87 wrote:

    I love how last season we were a 2 man team, and now once we sold Alonso we're doomed.

    So were we a 3 man team then?

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  • 206. At 1:34pm on 15 Aug 2009, ak1101 wrote:

    Arsenal 5th and spurs 4th? No chance. As good as Harry is i dont think he will manage to get them to the champions league ahead of the gunners. Arsenals attacking play is going to be the highlight of the premiership this year, with Arshavin fully settled (going to be top scorer this year). And people complain about the lack of signings but come on, however much people try to get one up on Wenger, the fact of the matter remains Rosicky is to be like a new signing and same with Eduardo. The amount of chances the strikers are going to have this year with all the creative players (Rosicky, Nasri, Ramsey, Fabregas, Van persie etc.) back is going to be better than Man Utds without a doubt. Oh yeah and trust me Eduardo will finish them off (unlike Adebayor). Defence isnt too bad the wing backs are best in premiership (Sagna is better than Glen Johnson, no matter what the press say) and Gallas and Djourou had a good partnership last year. Silvestre (experienced), Alexandre Song, Vermaelen and Gibbs. Not the worst defence in the world with a decent keeper behind them. Also I believe Arsenal will dip into the transfer market and get a good solid midfielder/defender. Wenger has got rid of the disruptive influences in the dressing room (toure and adebayor) Arsenal will function amazingly as a team, so dont be surprised if Wenger wins the prem.

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  • 207. At 9:24pm on 15 Aug 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Could someone tell Arsenal that they are supposed to end the season on 5th?

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  • 208. At 01:14am on 16 Aug 2009, aec1902 wrote:

    Last year the liverpool fans were saying that all ronaldo did last year was fall over and go wanting in the big games. This year he ain't in the big games so surely united are going to do better.
    If you need Ronaldo to win the league then no one will win it. None of the teams have Ronaldo.

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  • 209. At 03:56am on 17 Aug 2009, Freddie I wrote:

    1. Man Utd
    2. Chelsea
    3. Arsenal
    4. Man City
    5. Liverpool
    6. Tottenham
    7. Villa
    8. Everton
    9. West Ham
    10. Sunderland
    11. Fulham
    12. Wigan
    13. Blackburn
    14. Stoke
    15. Bolton
    16. Portsmouth
    17. Wolves
    18. Birmingham
    19. Hull
    20. Burnley

    FA Cup: Chelsea
    League Cup: Chelsea
    Champions League: Arsenal

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  • 210. At 1:13pm on 17 Aug 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Liverpool, they said.

    Ooops, they said.

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  • 211. At 10:57pm on 17 Aug 2009, Ireland Brew wrote:

    198. At 7:28pm on 14 Aug 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    Ira_Abu

    "If I go in to my boss and give an expletive laden diatribe against his management skills, his qualities as a person and question his lineage I would consider that to be akin to handing in my letter of resignation. Perhaps I am old fashioned in that way."

    If that happened yes, but that is not what happened no matter how many times people like you say it is.

    If you work for a company and try to do your best and said company completely fail, time after time, to be professional or even try to improve and then appoint a complete fool as your manager, then you go to your boss and say this is simply not good enough, what can happen is your boss can either say "You know what, you are the best worker here and I tend to agree and I will try to get things changed" (which is good management) or your boss can say "***** off you ungrateful ******" (which is bad management).

    No reply on your username I see, apart from complaining about my comment though.

    No comment from me because I have a life outside of this blog. Also for your information I did not complain about any of your postings. If you review previous comments of mine you will see that some of my comments have been removed presumably because they included some of your comments. I assumed it was because you had complained.

    If you work for a company and try to do your best and said company completely fail, time after time, to be professional or even try to improve and then appoint a complete fool as your manager, then you go to your boss and say this is simply not good enough, what can happen is your boss can either say "You know what, you are the best worker here and I tend to agree and I will try to get things changed" (which is good management) or your boss can say "***** off you ungrateful ******" (which is bad management).
    I thought this was about Mick McCarthy not about Roy Keanes time at Sunderland. Even I wouldn't call Mr. Keane a "complete fool" but, then again, I am a perfectionist so, in my opinion, he still has a little bit to go before I would grace him with this epithet.

    In Roy Keanes own words, if you had fully read the timeline of events, Mick McCarthy "had no choice" but to send him home. Even then, in spite of all that had happened Mick left the door open. But the Irish players
    themselves, as you can read, scuppered this idea. When it comes to a comparison of the two men there are some salient facts which can be attributed to attest to the character of Roy Keane all of which are contained in his autobiography written by his one time "friend" and, equally retiring, gentleman Eamon Dunphy. These include the following but (unlike reading said tome) are not exhaustive as it is some time since I read it myself:
    1. Roy Keane went on to a pitch to deliberately injure a fellow professional.
    2. He was involved in many (too many to mention individually) brawls including one with Irish supporters
    3. Before he became Roy Keane the model professional his behaviour at times was less than what should be expected of elite sportsmen, which behaviour was considerably worse than what he was critical of with his fellow Manchester United players. I suppose you could compare it to the zeal of the born again christian.
    4. With Ireland on the brink of qualification for the 1994 World Cup he clearly stated that he was more concerned with the next stage of his club career rather than his international obligations. This was understandable but for him then to claim, when it suited him, that striving to win the World Cup was important to him it is straining credibility a little too much
    5. He shook hands with Kenny Dalglish when he agreed a deal to join Blackburn. Where I come from a man's word is his bond.
    There are many other examples in the book which can be used to ascertain the true character of Roy Keane and I would recommend anybody who has an interest in this debate to take it out of their local library and read it. Like all autobiographies, it is self-serving but gives a good insight into the essentially selfish nature of the man.

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  • 212. At 00:24am on 19 Aug 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Zoot, forget the incense fee, aromatherapy candles is the way to go!

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  • 213. At 05:55am on 23 Aug 2009, flyingfireballxl5 wrote:

    1st chelsea
    2nd liverpool
    3rd man utd
    4th spurs
    5th arsenal
    6th man city
    7th aston villa
    8th sunderland
    9th everton
    10th fulham
    11th westham
    12th wigan
    13th blackburn
    14th birmingham
    15th stoke
    16th bolton
    17th wolves
    18th portsmouth
    19th hull
    20th burnley

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