It seems like only yesterday when England’s Brave John Terry got up on that stage. In front of that crowd. And showed them who was who, and what was what.
Man. Look at those suckers.
Jay-Z (I refuse to recognize the no-hyphen switch) references aside – suckers, it should be noted, could be ascribed to a myriad of personalities (I see you, Rafa), including the WAGNH staff referenced below – a new season is upon us and that means pretty much two things:
- Trophies for Chelsea
- Hilariously bad predictions
League predictions have become sort of a tradition around these parts, this being the fourth successive year we’ve asked our experts to view into their respective crystal balls. To enhance this year’s fun (or shame depending on your perspective), we’ve added a prediction review of sorts to the fold, looking back at how our lads fared in 2014-15. Hint: it’s not exactly pretty.
There are a million and one questions I have in light of some of these predictions, mainly for myself, so let’s jump into it, shall we? If you'd like to view last season's absurdity yourself, here are Part I and Part II.
- Graham MacAree
- Dávid Pásztor
- Stephen Schmidt
- Jack Goodson
- Kevin Kostka
- Jake Cohen
- Tim Palmer
- Aidan Sweeney
All eight staff writers who participated in last season’s predictions panel correctly forecast Chelsea to be crowed league champions. Well done, lads.
Kudos to Graham, Aidan, Jake and Peezy for nailing the top four. Not exactly a significant achievement, but when compared to the likes of me, it is definitely worthy of praise. Though Stephen, Kevin, Tim and myself correctly selected the four teams that would occupy the Champions League places, each of us had Manchester United finishing above Le Arse. You can’t really be mad at that, though, can you?
Elsewhere, Aidan and Tim found the allure of a new wave Stoke City too strong to overlook, both accurately slotting in Mark Hughes’ latest league project at 9th. Jake needn't a gilet – nor even a hint of Tim Sherwood’s whereabouts – when he correctly foresaw a 17th-place finish for Aston Villa. Amortization be damned.
While no prognosticator managed to predict all three relegated clubs, improvement was made. Significant improvement, in fact. Only one panelist successfully predicted a relegated club last season; this term, Stephen (Hull, Burnley), Kevin (QPR, Burnley) and Peezy (QPR, Burnley) managed two of three. Progress.
The last bastion of prognostication (aka total correct picks)
- Aidan: 5
- Jake: 5
- Graham: 4
- Peezy: 4
- Stephen: 3
- Tim: 3
- Kevin: 2
- Jack: 2
Let’s all laugh at…
Me. In addition to projecting just two correct finishes, I absurdly had Newcastle and Sunderland finishing ninth and 11th, respectively. I also apparently found ‘Arry’s unique brand of swashbuckling football too striking to dismiss, placing QPR 14th. Not good.
Stephen. Sunderland? Eighth? And I thought I was crazy.
Tim. Hull City were a top-half side according to exactly two people last season – Steve Bruce and Tim.
Peezy. No one outside of the South Coast thought Southampton could recreate the magic seen in 2013-14, but relegation? Come on, son.
But what about those wacky questions?
Ah yes, the questions.
Both Kevin and Jake correctly predicted Sergio Agüero to finish as the league’s top scorer. No one pinpointed Neil Warnock for the sack (surprisingly), but credit must go to Aidan and myself for liking the cut of Paul Lambert’s bungling jig. Actually, anyone could have seen that coming.
Tim, Peezy, Graham and Kevin all pegged Eden Hazard as club player of the season, while everyone felt Costa would score more than 15 goals in his first season in England. Easy call.
From here, things become a bit subjective.
Nearly everyone finished with a shred of credibility for transfer of the season, selecting the likes of Diego Costa, Alexis Sánchez and Cesc Fàbregas. Jake liked Everton’s move for Romelu Lukaku and though it hasn’t panned out to the extent expected, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt; after all, he also highlighted Southampton’s move for Dušan Tadić, in addition to Costa, Fàbregas and Sánchez.
Flop of the season, meanwhile, was far more varied. Mentions for Adam Lallana and Romelu Lukaku, though warranted, seem a tad overstated. Brown Ideye appeared to have this wrapped up for Kevin by December, but emerged from the dead during the second half of the season to prove he in fact isn’t entirely useless. And then there’s Enner Valencia (another inspired Jake prediction), who struggled mightily but largely due to Big Sam's tactics (or lack thereof). Let’s be real, it’s Brownie, isn’t it?
That's it for our riveting look at the year that was. Be sure to join us for Part II, a gaze into the coming season's league table, which hits newsstands early next week.
2015-16 We Ain't Got No History Premier League Predictions Series