Season 9 - Week 1

Well the new season is upon us and if, like me, the reminder mail got blocked by your work filter, you will have hopefully had a succesful (albeit nothing to do with you!) start to the season.

A big welcome to the plethora of new players, may your journey with us be long and fruitful.  As this is week one and as everyone knows nothing is won in week one, I thought I would comment only lightly on the performances and instead introduce some of the big winners and losers from previous season.

Highlights from this week include a stirling pick from Grant Elder, I presume this is your name, as opposed to you putting the wrong names in the wrong boxes, and you actually being Elder Grant from some sort of sect, intent on beguiling us with your wonderous picks, in return for us giving you all our money in return for polygamous relationships and a lifetime of servitude.... I digress (I do that a lot).... anyway picking Hamilton to win away at Inverness was either astoundingly good or lucky, the coming weeks will tell us more.

Other stellar picks include Joel "long-shot" Wrigley picking Aberdeen away at Motherwell and Ross "I'm the best Jones" Jones picking Rotherham to beat Morecambe, obvious in hindsight, but genius in advance.

Paul Shakespeare begins his defence of the Pele league title with a great win, as he bids to become the only person to have ever retained the title (although Nick Lines has won it twice).

Overall a fairly poor week for pickers, with the obvious exception of Division 4 (Dickov league) which is for some reason always the most competitive league.  More analysis on the leagues next week, but for now a small introduction to the movers and shakers of Weekend Predictor (cue much bitching about me not mentioning someone)

Matthew Gibbons - Inventor of weekend predictor, author of this weekly analysis, season 1 champion, and despite some bouncing still in the top flight.  Tends to pick in the 1.8-2.2 range, due to some advanced statistical analysis, always comes unstuck by betting on Man City or Newcastle.

Tony Southworth - Creator of the site and majority owner of Weekend Predictor.  Won the top flight and overall league in Season 3, but like his favourite football team Blackburn, it was more because everyone else was rubbish.  Also like his team, his best days are behind him, residing in the third flight and well off the pace.

David Pilkington - One season wonder and season 2 champion, looked like he knew what he was doing, but his incompetence has shone through.  Only his big flappy ears are slowing his rapid descent into the lower echelons, currently resides in the Lineker League, will at some point pick West Brom away at Chelsea this season, muppet.

Ross Jones - The greatest of a seemingly innumerable Jones clan, he won the overall league in Season 4, has not progressed as his early form suggested, but has started this season well.

David Rosser - Before last season was a picking God, but had a poor year and barely escaped relegation, is still a semi-deity and should be widely respected.  The only double winner (back-to-back no less) of the overall league, he is still second in the all-time league and specialises in the 3+ shots, a remarkable ability to pick away winners and draws.

Simon Gurd - Fought his way up heroically from the lower leagues, winning the overall title in Season 7 on the way, suffered a terrible blip in Season 8, and was relegated back to the Maradona league.  A consistent picker, with flashed of genius, a return to the top flight is expected.

Nik Simms - Followed up four seasons of negative scores with a monster of a score, racking up +£13.55 in one ten week season.  Predominantly off the back of a monster pick in week 1, holds the all-time record score, but is expected to fall back into anonoymity this season, and has started this season off accordingly.

Nick Lines - Never the overall champion, but twice winner of the top flight, Nick has suffered recently, but now appears to be on the rise, and may threaten top flight predicting once more.  A master of the safe pick, he normally banks on getting 8 or 9 our of ten every season.... shame he started off with a loss this season then!

Nick Kelly - Leader of the all-time league, won the top flight in Season 5, perhaps deserves more trophies than he has received, has a good all round game and can go long or short dependant on the situation, always a threat and always there or thereabouts.

Others - Jimmy Smith, Chris Cornwall, Tim Lines, worthy mentions for staying in the top flight after all this time (albeit with some bouncing up and down for Jimmy and Chris).

Ben Gould - Has fought his way up to the top flight, a competent solid picker, hoping for more from him this season, to stand out from the crowd.

Darren Clare - Apparently knows nothing about football, seems to be doing well regardless, perhaps lack of knowledge helps....

Richard Ingham, Gary Lewis - Great pickers who were part of a talented triumverate relegated last season, div 2 should be competitive this year.

David Lloyd - Rat

Trevor Gibbons - Not as good as his son

James Holland - Atrocious picker, bottom of the all-time league, only one season in positive figures, keeps Jon Dunk off the bottom, who is nearly as bad.


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