Pre Season Promo!

Pre Season Promo!

The new domestic football season is almost upon us, and we're celebrating by offering the remainder of 2014 for just £30! Thats equates to a huge saving of over 50% compared with the regular monthly price. Simply click HERE to take advantage of this pre season promotional offer. 

Usually £15/month, sign up today and you can get over FIVE FULL MONTHS (monthly cost of £75) of premium access to all analysis and picks, it works out at LESS THAN £6/MONTH!

The offer will expire on 16th August at 12:45 BST - the officla start of the Premier League as Manchster United host Swansea City, with both sides looking to improve on their 2013-14 Premier League Campaign. Van Gaal is now in charge at United, and many of us are expecting great things.



Hopes and Expectations

Hopes and Expectations

England flopped at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This was the worst World Cup campaign since they failed to qualify for USA ’94, and the poorest World Cup Finals showing since their 1958 campaign where they drew all three group games and lost out to the Soviet Union in a play-off. On paper, it was clear that the Group D wasn’t the easiest to get out of, with both Italy and Uruguay looking like tough games. Costa Rica were underestimated too (in hindsight), by all three teams, and arguably overachieved. Was really as big a flop as it was made out to be though? Honeslty, what did we actually expect to happen?

Next, take a look at the USA side knocked out in the last 16. Placed in 13th, just three places behind England in the FIFA World Rankings, but their World Cup campaign has been deemed one of the greatest triumphs of the World Cup so far. Sure, their group was tough with Germany (2nd in FIFA rankings) and Portugal (4th), but how well did they really do? They scraped a (arguably undeserved) 2-1 win against a mediocre Ghana side in their opening game; drew 2-2 with Portugal; and lost against Germany. In the last 16 they gave it a good go, but came unstuck against Belgium in extra time after spending pretty much the entire 90 minutes as the side most likely to concede due to their expansive style.

I know many people will suggest that the US team showed real spirit in their performances, and I agree – they never gave up. I also know that many people will say that England lacked such spirit, but that is where I’m not so sure. The pressure heaped on to the England squad was immense, and in short they were always destined for failure. Italy and Uruguay are both very strong sides and in both games, England could have won just as easily as they lost. Even if they had qualified instead of Uruguay, would they have progressed passed a dangerous Columbia side? Probably not.

If we take a look at just how easily the tables could have turned... Starting with the Uruguay game where Suarez ruined England’s chances almost single-handedly. At 0-0, Rooney whipped a dangerous free kick inches wide of the left hand post, and then hit the crossbar from a header that looked destined to ripple the net. Had England been 1-0 up (or maybe even two), then they may have been able to get three points from the game. Obviously we’ll never know, but in principle we were a few inches away from qualifying for the last 16. Sure, people can say that there was no passion or whatever, but that is directly a result of the pressure and almost propaganda style journalism that we have become accustomed to. The game against Italy was another one where people were actually feeling pretty positive. The general consensus was that England had done pretty well, and were unlucky to lose. This ‘optimism’ was soon forgotten though when a similar scenario saw them knocked out after the defeat to Uruguay. The whole campaign was bundled together as a shambles and an embarrassment. Put simple, I think it’d have been a failure no matter what, unless we managed to reach the unrealistic heights of a semi-final finish or better – which was never likely to happen.

Today I read that Barack Obama himself has called Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard to congratulate them on inspiring the entire nation, despite them not really doing that well (winning one game out of four). This is the difference between England and many other countries when it comes to football. We expect unrealistic levels of success, whereas other countries hope for any form of success, expecting nothing. I think it’s time for us as a nation to stop demanding we win, and supporting the team we have.

Here are a few “England are Out” comments:

"England's worst-ever World Cup performance"

"Boring, Disappointing, Uninspired waste of an hour and a half"

And here are a few from the other side of the pond:

"Obama congratulates US heroes"

"Tens of millions of international viewers tuned in to watch Team USA's heroic defeat to Belgium"


Home of the Cash-Out??

I've already spoken about the topic of 'Cash Outs' offered by the bookmakers, and how the option is there in an attempt to increase their profits, despite marketing the feature as one that would benefit the customer. 

There has now been another debacle with this temperamental feature on Betfair that occured last night and had around 400 people on their live chat support to try and find out what was going on! I have since spoken to several people since, on top of searching twitter to find a large number of disgruntled Betfair customers.

The game in question was the Premier League tie at the Emirates between Arsenal and Swansea. Understandably, many people had Arsenal to win in their bets, so after two second half goals in 60 seconds from Podolski and Giroud turned the game on its head after Bony's early header, many opted to cash out and take any profit they had earned so far. With Everton and Man City winning the other games 2-0 at the time (both favourites), a lot of people were set to profit with the Gunners 2-1 up for the final 15 minutes. This caused a lot of people to take to twitter in search of answers, and thus far to no avail. 

Betfair seem to be trying to sort something out, but at the minute are staying pretty tight lipped. The one thing is for sure is that they won't be paying out the values that people had tried to cash out whilst being unable to. It seems as though they are likely to try to refund the stakes - with some rumouring them to be refunded as a FREE BET... Not sure yet if these are rumours, but I hope not. 

I have spoken with a couple of people who had tried to cash out after Arsenal went 2-1 up but were unable to. So many were in the same situation that I'm sure that the punters were collectively down £1,000s as a result. Mick Swift tried to let Betfair know when he was trying to cashout, and asks if this request will be honoured - I doubt it will, unfortunately. 

Nath Moss summed up how everyone was feeling about the service provided by Betfair. Perhaps if Betfair spent more money on a reliable product instead of advertising it, they would have a successful service, fewer complaints, and thousands of happy customers that would effectively advertise if for FREE by suggesting to their friends and colleagues. Instead, they get batch of bad publicity followed by batch of bad publicity and wonder why their company appears to be going down the proverbial swanny.

If you want to cash out - look at using somewhere else or the Betfair exchange to limit liability (even if it is a little more effort), why:

  1.  It is much more profitable as Betfair take a cut when using the cashout option - no value, lower profits
  2. Protect yourself from the sporadic availability of the cashout feature.

Let me know what you think on Twitter, do you agree?


Bundesliga - Tips and Predictions...

The Bundesliga has already taken shape this season, with the title race seemingly all but over already thanks to the tremendous form of Bayern Munich. If you remember my post from earlier this year, I gave my prediction as to where each team would finish, how many points they would accrue, including W/D/L and goals for and against. My prediction was a bit of fun, as season long bets can be tricky at the best of times. However, I am quietly pleased with how it appears to be panning out. I have correctly got the top 6 in the top 6, with 4 in the right place (Dortmund are 3rd, with Leverkusen 2nd). I also went with Braunschweig to be bottom...

To analyse it a little more, I decided to look at the current points per game (PPG) each team has achieved, and compare it with my season-long predictions to see who I got close and who I am out on. There are 8 of the 18 teams that have a PPG differential of 0.21 or less:

Bayern +0.21
Augsburg +0.20
Braunschweig +0.13
Schalke +0.11
Werder Bremen +0.09
Gladbach +0.06
Hannover -0.09

I never expected to get it spot on at all, and there are ultimately  a few teams that I have got massively wrong...

Hertha Berlin (+0.76 PPG Differential)

Hertha have been the biggest overachievers from my prediction, by quite a long way too. The main reason for this is the value I put on points in the second tier, and the fact that it is always tough to know how a promoted team will cope in a higher division. They’ve performed very well and competed with the top sides – often making light work of the weaker sides in the league.

They have a real chance of European qualification now, and it would be great to see them continue their form to get there too.

Mainz (+0.65 PPG Differential)

I expected Mainz to struggle this season, but they have managed to grind out 9 wins from 20 already (I predicted 7 wins and 8 draws). They’ve only drawn three, which is low, so this partly explains their over achieving points per game total. I expected them to be scrapping for survival at the bottom of the Bundesliga table, but my prediction was wrong and they seem more likely to finish in the top half.

Recent form of 9 points from their last 4 games has skewed this slightly (after 16 games, they had a -0.19 PPG differential!). The form of their Asian players has contributed to this, especially Shinji Okazaki who has popped up with 9 goals so far this season.

Hamburg (-0.58 PPG Differential)

Hamburg, well... There is not much to say about them. They have been pretty woeful throughout the season and are by far the biggest under achievers. They’re on their second manager, and he (Bert van Marwijk) is under pressure having not been able to improve results. They’ve lost their last 6 at the time of writing this post, and don’t really look like pulling themselves out of this slump.

If they manage to avoid relegation, they will have done well from this position, at this stage of the season when confidence must be at a real rock bottom.

(To view the full league prediction image just CLICK HERE)