With the new Premier League season just hours away, Early Doors puts its staggering lack of knowledge to the test with predictions for the 2008/09 campaign.
Champions - Chelsea
Is ED missing something, or should Chelsea be huge favourites? They spent much of last season in a state of civil war. They were managed by a ghost with eyes so sunken they made the Titanic look positively buoyant. Their three most important players (Drogba, Lampard and Terry) all had long spells out of action. And they very nearly won a Premier League and Champions League double. Add Deco, Bosingwa and Big Phil Scolari, and the title is surely returning to Stamford Bridge.
Fourth place sweepstake - Liverpool
Anyone betting on Liverpool to win the Premier League at 8/1 needs shooting in the face with a big gun. Why on earth would they win the league? Is Robbie Keane alone worth the 11 points by which they trailed Manchester United last term? Early Doors is going with no. Even greater witlessness abounds among those claiming that this is finally Spurs' year. You know they were 30 points off a top-four finish last season? Thirty.
Relegation - Stoke City, West Bromwich, Blackburn Rovers
No explanation needed for the first two, other than to say ED has a funny feeling that Hull are less useless than everyone thinks. As for Blackburn, they have lost two of their most important players - David Bentley and Brad Friedel - and replaced them with Robbie Fowler and an England goalkeeper. And how will Paul Ince, the original Big Time Charlie, get on? He might be able to throw his weight around in Macclesfield or Milton Keynes, but ED foresees disaster when he takes charge of 30 Premier League-sized egos.
Sack race winner - Mark Hughes
May not even be in work by the time Early Doors gets published after Manchester City's home defeat to the unpronounceable Danes. Throw in the Thaksin mess and, whether he jumps or is pushed, Sparky's brief spell at Eastlands will surely be over soon. Also on the dole by Easter: Paul Ince, David Moyes, Rafa Benitez, Tony Pulis, Alan Curbishley
Top scorer - Robin van Persie
Early Doors isn't going to do any actual research, for fear that it will be proved massively, hopelessly wrong, but it will blindly state that Van Persie has a phenomenal strike rate. Fact. With Emmanuel Adebayor just hours from his next sulk and the rest of the Arsenal side comprised entirely of fourth-formers, Van Persie will shoulder the goalscoring burden and score hatfuls if he can just stay fit.
Enfant terrible - Roy Keane
After a measured start to life as a Premier League manager, some people have started to forget just how combustible the Sunderland manager is. Keano's reaction this week to the 'Respect' campaign was to complain that "one or two referees wouldn't give you the time of day." A massive touchline ruckus with some jobsworth fourth official seems a dead cert. And don't forget he now has El-Hadji Diouf for back-up.
Amount of respect shown to officials - None
For all the hullabaloo about Ashley Cole turning his back on Mike Riley and Javier Mascherano throwing a hissy fit, the Respect campaign, as the man Keano says, is destined to fail. The only way players will show refs any respect is if they get sent off for mucking about - and there is overwhelming evidence to suggest officials are much too gutless to stand up to them.
Crackpot scheme - On tour with Aerosmith
Having seen 39th game proposals widely ridiculed, the Premier League will unveil a new scheme to get their "product" overseas. Teams will join Aerosmith on their world tour, opening the bill for the veteran metallers in front of half-empty enormodomes across the globe. A typical evening will see Bolton take on West Brom in a Kentucky college stadium before handing over to fellow support act Maroon 5.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I sort of knew, when I came here, in Champions League, Liverpool or Arsenal, I thought maybe one of them we would draw. It is Arsenal, I think." If you haven't seen the video of Steve McClaren speaking with a Dutch accent, do so immediately. Three-and-a-half minutes of genius.
LUDICROUS FINE OF THE DAY: £13.68m. Anyone who thinks the price of hard drugs has fallen to a dangerously low level should talk to Adrian Mutu. By Early Doors's reckoning, the scale of the fine makes his crazy cocaine antics around 18,240 worse than racially abusing a black player in Spain (typical club fine: £750).
OLYMPIAN OF THE DAY: Big respect to Ara Abrahamian, who managed to make wrestling front page news by chucking away his bronze medal in protest.
Fresh from arranging that slit-eyed basketball team photo, Spanish administrators have leapt into another controversy.
This time it is hockey coach Maurits Hendricks, possibly not a Spanish native, complaining about his team's schedule.
"I would like to apologise to the Chinese public and spectators who had to come out at this terrible hour. China is a strong team with fantastic players. They deserve to play at prime time, not at this ghastly hour of 8.30," he whined with a McClaren-esque Dutch lilt.
TALKING POINT: kantong_wokster comes up with a novel use for Peter Kenyon, pictured with the very rich Frank Lampard in yesterday's ED: "The reason why they put fat Frank next to Kenyon is kind of like the 'black slims you down' rule... he makes Frank look like he's malnourished..."
And this is mrsims150's politically incorrect view on that Lampard contract: "Lampard's deal is worth almost as much as the national deficit of Liberia...and he eats as much as that whole nation as well. You're better off without him Jose!"
Leave your accusation that ED is OBVIOUSLY a Chelsea fan on the message board provided, along with your own predictions for the season ahead.
FANTASY FOOTBALL - FINAL PLUG: In a last, desperate attempt to get you to sign up, Early Doors has bowed to massive* public pressure and set up a third and final Fantasy Super League. To get involved, enter the league ID 15679 and the password earlydoors. Sign up here. Now.