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GHF Contests

We have a winner

By North Bank Ned and TTG

And so we reach Match Week 38 and the finish line. Pangloss strolls across well ahead of the pack to win the inaugural GHF Predictathon and claim bragging rights to being the bar’s Biggest Know-It-All. 

Poosker takes silver, and BtM, with a late surge, takes bronze, delivering a Dundonian double. 

GSD and Sancho Panza round out the elite top five who proved to be wiser than the wisdom of the Crowd.

Having led from Match Week 18 and finished with an impressive score of just 136 points, Pangloss deserves warm congratulations for a remarkable performance.

We’ll reveal the secrets of his success in a review of the season to come. In the meantime, many thanks to everyone who participated and helped raise more than £500 for Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation, which was one of the main reasons for running the game. 

We hope you had a bit of fun along the way, too — and will be back next season. 

The final standings, which reflect the tiebreaker rules where points are equal:

The pace quickens as they head for the finishing straight
By North Bank Ned & TTG

The penultimate match week—a double—was good for nearly all players. Thank Bournemouth and Wolves. 

Only two players saw their scores worsen. They should blame Fulham.

When the dust had settled, Pangloss’s lead remained intact. With a 40-point cushion, next week looks like a victory lap. 

Yet, there is all to play for with the other two podium positions: just six points separate Poosker, who reclaims second place, and GSD.

BtM, with the most-improved score of the week, advances two places into fourth, ten points shy of Dino so still in with a shout for a medal. He is followed at an 18-point distance by Sancho Panza, pushing a static Ollie down to sixth.

21st Century Gooner’s late run continues, as does Potsticker’s slide. He is now down to eighth, weighed down by Brentford and the neighbours, with Fulham worsening his woe this week.

bt8 rounds out the top ten behind the Crowd. Dr F. Jnr slides for a third successive week and is now only six points clear of Dr F. Tense times in Boston.

Below them, TTG and OM flip places, and your correspondent puts Uply and Scruz back in their places.

In the relegation zone, bath relinquishes the wooden spoon for the first time since Match Week 15, thanks to Palace’s whipping of the Red Mancs.

The bad boys? It’s all the Bs: Bournemouth (although not as bad as last week), Burnley and Brentford.

Dino Soars
By North Bank Ned and TTG

GSD’s impressive late surge continues as he moves into second place behind Pangloss after Match Week 36. Wolves, Brighton and Chelsea boosted his cause, but he still has a daunting 56 points to make up on the long-time leader, with only two match weeks remaining.

Poosker slipstreams Dino to move into third, as does Ollie, also up one to fourth. This pushes Potsticker down to fifth, which he can blame on dismal Man U, although EtH’s pitiful charges piled points on every player’s score this week.   

BtM and Sancho Panza held in sixth and seventh. Twenty-first Century Gooner is up two places to eighth, pushing Dr F. Jnr down into tenth behind the Crowd.

There is a bit of boxing and coxing below that: Dr F. and OM flip places; Scruz draws level on points with Uply and would be ahead on the tiebreaker; C100 slips back into the bottom three as the Red Mancs decline costs him more points than it does Trev.

B is for bad boys — Bournemouth, Burnley and Brentford in that order.

C100’s dreams come true
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Only Sancho Panza, C100 and  Bath’s scores fell in Match Week 35, but this double round of games brought a dramatic change at the bottom of the table. West Ham’s slide lifted C100 out of the relegation zone and pushed Trev into the bottom three.

C100 is now six points shy of your correspondent, who dropped four points behind Scruz. TTG was also on the slide, down one place to 14th, as is Dr F. in 13th as OM regained the 12th place he yielded two weeks ago.

Right at the top, Pangloss held his lead, followed by Potsticker, while GSD maintained his recent run of good form to move into third ahead of Poosker. Ollie and BtM held in fifth and sixth, respectively. Sancho Panza moved up two places to reclaim seventh.

The complete form guide follows the leaderboard.

Bournemouth are the bad boys for a second week.

Pidgeon feathers aplenty
By North Bank Ned and TTG

The double round of games in Match Week 34 put a cat among the pigeons. 

All but two players slipped back. The exceptions were GSD and 21st Century Gooner. Dino jumps five places to go level on points with Poosker, as Potsticker reclaimed the second place behind Pangloss that he lost to Poosker in Match Week 31. 

Ollie and BtM both drop a place to accommodate GSD’s rise, but bt8 advances one to slip in behind them ahead of the trio of 21st Century Gooner, who rises a week-leading six places, Dr F. Jnr and Sancho Panza, who are all level on points. 

Dr F reverses his slide of recent weeks, advancing one place to go ahead of TTG, who moves back two places, as does Osaka Matt behind him.

Scruz and Uply flip places, leaving your correspondent sandwiched between the two of them.  

There is no change from there on down. However, C100 is only six points from escaping the relegation zone. With four games to go, can he dare to dream?

Bournemouth are the new bad boys.

Scores tumble
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Big improvement all round in Match Week 33. West Ham’s defeat and Geordie Arabia’s win benefitted all players, especially those propping up the table.

Bath and CER broke under 400, but a rising tide raises all ships. Or should it be that a falling tide lowers all ships in our case? Regardless, Trev and Upply broke under 300, both uncomfortably close to your correspondent, who let Scruz squeeze ahead of him.

Sancho Panza and Bt8 rose one place this week to seventh and eighth, respectively, as GSD dropped two. The old silver fox, TTG, was up one to eleventh, with Osaka Matt up two to twelfth, enjoying the Cherries’ blossom.

Thanks to Newcastle’s win and West Ham’s loss, Pangloss extended his lead over Poosker to more than 50 points. The chasing pack remained unchanged: Ollie, Potsticker, BtM and Dr F Jnr.

This week’s leaderboard accounts for the latest Everton points deduction. The updated form guide follows it.

West Ham and Burnley remain the bad boys, but there is little between them.

The pointy end of the Predictathon brings its pressures
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Another lightning-quick match week brought mixed performance up and down the pack.

Pangloss slowed, allowing Poosker to cut the Oxford Oracle’s lead to 44 points. Could a late upset be in the making?

Ollie slipped into third as Potsticker struggled to hold the pace for a second week.

BtM is now hard on his heels, having pulled away from Dr F. Jnr, who narrowly holds sixth from the surging GSD. Sancho Panza was back on form to reclaim eighth, pushing bt8, Dr F. and TTG all down one.

It is the same old same old from there on down. Uply now has such a firm grip on Trev’s shirt he might as well be wearing it.

West Ham and Burnley remain the miserable merchants of mischief.

The latest from guide is below the leaderboard.

Jostling for position
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Players were on the move after a couple of match weeks of little movement. Chelsea rising a place in the table helped many players, and even more had their scores improved by Wolves moving down.

Poosker slipped into second and narrowed Pangloss’s lead to 56 points.

Posticker eased back to third but trails Poosker by twelve points.

Ollie and BtM follow. Then come Dr. F. Jr and GSD, who moves up smartly to seventh from ninth. Bt8 slips to eighth, but Dr. F. advances from twelfth to ninth.

With the Crowd in tenth, Sancho Panza was level on points with TTG, who noses it on the tiebreaker. OM and 21st Century Gooner flipped places, and Trev must have been having his shirt pulled again as Uply moved ahead of him.

The claret and blue crew, West Ham and Burnley, are this week’s bad boys.

Same Old Pangloss, Always Leading
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Match Week 30 has come and gone. There are eight match weeks left, although oddly, most teams still have nine games to play.

Pangloss remains at the head of the pack (boring! boring!), but the battle for the other podium places has tightened. Just four points separate Potsticker, Poosker and Ollie.

Behind them, BtM and Dr F. Jnr are level on points, with BtM edging it on the tiebreakers.

bt8 leads a chasing pack comprising Sancho Panza, GSD, TTG and Dr F.

As mid-table solidity turns to mid-table mediocrity, it is all much of a muchness with the previous two match weeks, although your correspondent and Scruz trade places once more.

West Ham and Wolves remain the leading prediction wreckers.

The 10-week form guide follows the leaderboard. Fewer wiggly lines than previously, but the same pretty colours.

As you were
By North Bank Ned & TTG

The FA Cup quarter-finals meant Match Week 29 had the fewest games of any match week, just four. None of them altered the Premier League standings. Thus, the score and ranking of every player in the Predictathon remain unchanged from Match Week 28. 

Consequently, the Leaderboard is a collector’s item. Everyone’s grey dot for the previous match week is exactly underneath their red dot for the current match week.
And there is nothing more to be said.

This week, there is another bonus chart, the Bad Boys. We customarily highlight the two or three teams costing the most points in the aggregate. Here’s the complete set. The smaller the blue wedge, the closer a team’s actual position to where most players predict it to be. Wolves and West Ham are comfortably exceeding some low expectations, but Burnley are falling short of what it was thought they could do.

Ten weeks to go
By North Bank Ned & TTG

Every player slipped back in Match Week 28. Yet Pangloss’s lead remained unassailable with ten match weeks to go. 

Potsticker’s recent ascent continued as he displaced Poosker from second, with Ollie joining Poosker level on points. Wolves’ win did BtM no favours, allowing Dr F Jnr to nip into fifth.

bt8 and Sancho Panza held steady at seventh and eighth, respectively, but GSD moved up two and Dr F up one, as TTG slipped three.

Osaka Matt and 21st Century Gooner remained as they were, but Scruz and your correspondent flipped places again, as did Trev and Uply. 
Serenity reigned below.

Wolves and West Ham are this week’s woe-weavers.

There is a bonus chart: a form guide for the past ten match weeks. Your Match Week 19 position is your leftmost dot, and your Match Week 28 position is the rightmost one.

Match Week 27 shakes up the chasing pack
By North Bank Ned & TTG

Pangloss ploughs on, lowering his score by 2 points, but Match Week 27 brought turbulence in his wake. 
Poosker and Potsticker broke under 200, pushing Ollie down to fourth and Dr F Jnr from second to sixth, a place behind an unchanged BtM. 
Dr F Jnr’s score slipped by only 8 points, but this is a competition of fine margins.
bt8 crept up on Sancho Panza, leaving both level on points in seventh, with TTG level on points with the Crowd in ninth.
The pecking order below does not change until 17th, when Uply sneaks up on Trev to be level on points. The natural order then reasserts itself in the relegation zone.
Everyone’s favourite whipping boy, West Ham, is back on the naughty step big time.

Everton toffees-up the leaderboard
By North Bank Ned & TTG

Reducing Everton’s penalty points to six from 10 has shaken up the leaderboard. The Premier League is deducting the points from Match Week 13. The chart below shows this match week’s scores against what the previous match week’s scores would have been with the reduced penalty, not what the published Match Week 25 leaderboard showed.

Every player saw a worsening of their score. Yet Pangloss still leads the pack. However, it is now Dr F Jnr who is in closest pursuit. Poosker and Ollie are level on points in third, followed by BtM and Potsticker.

Sancho Panza had a less poor week than everyone else, catapulting him into seventh, ahead of bt8. The crowd and TTG round out the top ten.

GSD slips to eleventh, ahead of Dr F, OM and 21st Century Gooner. Your correspondent and Scruz flip places, as do Trev and Upply. There is no change beneath that.

Reworking the scores to account for Everton’s reduced points deduction means that Ollie dethroned Pangloss in Match Week 17.

Congratulations to him on that, and again, to TTG and Uply for being the only two players to predict the winner of the League Cup correctly.

Wolves are still the bad boys, with West Ham once more getting irritating.

Perpetual Pangloss

By North Bank Ned & TTG

For the 17th successive week, Pangloss reigns supreme after Matchweek 25, with Poosker in second place for the seventh successive week.

Ollie advances two places to move into third with BtM, Potsticker and Dr F. Jnr tied on points immediately behind.

bt8 follows them. GSD and TTG swap places. The Crowd rounds out the top ten.

Dr F is up one, and Osaka Matt is up two at the expense of 21st Century Gooner and Sancho Panza. 

And it is the same old same old from there on down.

Burnley dethrones West Ham as the week’s bad boys.

The wonder of West Ham
By North Bank Ned & TTG

West Ham slipping down the table worked wonders for scores this week. Everyone saw a marked improvement.

Yet it has left most players’ positions relatively unchanged after Match Week 24. 

The top five remain Pangloss, Poosker, BtM, Potsticker and Ollie in that order for a second week. bt8 and Dr F Jnr flip places in sixth and seventh, and TTG and GSD do the same in eighth and ninth.

21CG advances two, pushing Dr F and Sancho Panza, who are tied on points, down one. From there on down, there is no change, as it has been for the past three match weeks. However, Trev and Uply put more daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.

Moyes’s miserable mob is now barely the worst of the bad boys and only just keeping Burnley off the naughty step.

Three-fifths of the season done
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Pangloss doubles his lead over Poosker to 64 points after Match Week 23, with Poosker adding a smidgen more daylight between himself and BtM, who now finds Potsticker immediately behind him, followed by Ollie and Dr F Jnr level on points.

There is no change in the order of the pursuing pack of bt8, GSD and TTG. The Crowd is up two places, moving ahead of Dr F.

Sancho Panza advances one to twelfth.

21st Century Gooner slides three to be level on points with OM one ahead of an unchanged quartet of your correspondent, Scruz, Uply and Trev.

C100’s little spurt leaves him breathing down Trev’s neck (Matron!). CER and Bath keep a discrete distance.

Yet again, the London Stadium losers are the week’s bad boys, with Wolves, Burnley and Bournemouth in the frame.

P is for Pangloss, Poosker and Predictability
By North Bank Ned and TTG

This is getting repetitive. For the fourth consecutive match week, Pangloss is in first place, and Poosker is in second.

Yet BtM bounces back into the podium places for the first time since Match Week 12, advancing three places in the process. Ollie and Potsticker slip to fourth and fifth, respectively, one ahead of Dr F Jnr.

bt8 and GSB swap places in seventh and eighth. At ninth, TTG completes the above-average crowd ahead of 21st Century Gooner, Sancho Panza, Dr F and The Crowd itself, all level on points in joint 10th.

OM and your correspondent are in joint 14th, followed by a tightly clustered pack of grandees, Scruz, Uply and Trev, with the usual suspects in the relegation zone.

Surprise, surprise, it is still Moyes’s mob that are the prime mischief makers, followed at a distance by the equally bad Kompany of Burnley and Wolves.

Winter Breaking Bad
By North Bank Ned and TTG

After the flurry of short matchweeks over the holiday, we had a two-weekender staggered Winter break for Match Week 21, but Pangloss sails on in the lead unperturbed.

Poosker, in second, narrows the gap slightly to 40 points from 64. Posticker joins Ollie in joint third, and Dr F Jnr advances to fifth, pushing BtM back to sixth.

Behind him, GSD joins bt8 in joint seventh, and Dr F and TTG flip places to round out the top ten.

Meanwhile, Uply and Trev move up a gear to leave C100 treading water in the relegation zone.

Moyes’s mob continues to be the manure mavens most messing up predictions. Burnley and Wolves are the next biggest poops on the pavement, but it is not even close.

Twenty Up, but All Down
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Match Week 20 set back everyone’s scores, but more for some than others.

The top two remain the same, and Pangloss stretches his lead to 64 points over Poosker. Ollie moves back into third. With BtM also advancing a place to fourth, Potsticker slips to fifth.

Dr F. Jnr holds fast at sixth, with bt8 and GSD switching places in seventh and eighth ahead of TTG, unchanged in ninth.

Sancho Panza is the mover of the week, up three places to 12th.

The relegation zone is starting to pull Uply and Trev into its orbit. They are level on points but just two clear of the fast-advancing C100. 

Moyes’s menagerie continues to bore away most destructively on players’ predictions, with the other two of the claret and blue cohort next in the pecking order. 

The second half of the season begins

By North Bank Ned and TTG

Modestly improved scores for most in Match Week 19. Pangloss maintained his 50-point lead. Poosker returned to second place, a position he last held in Match Week 15. In third, Potsticker also moved up one. Bournemouth dragged back Ollie into fourth.

BtM leads the chasing pack, holding fifth ahead of Dr F. Jnr. in sixth and GSD in seventh. Bt8 moves up one to eighth and TTG up two to ninth, with Dr F. dropping down two to tenth.

The order in the lower reaches is the same except for your correspondent and Sancho Panza flipping places in the mid-table mediocrity zone. C100 continues to encroach on Trev and Uply.

West Ham dealt a double dose of annoyance as the damp sand in the spluttering engine of players’ predictions. Burnley, Wolves and Bournemouth are also proving troublesome.

Pangloss is our first Christmas number one

By North Bank Ned and TTG

Happy Christmas, all Predictathon players, as we hit the halfway point in the season. 

Matchweek 18 was brutal on all scores. Pangloss maintains his lead, but Ollie moves into second ahead of Poosker, with Potsticker dropping to fourth. 

West Ham was the primary reason all players’ scores became less festive, with Villa and Burnley still doing their part.

Picking up the pace
By North Bank Ned and TTG

The pace quickens at the top, but Pangloss holds his 16-point lead over Potsticker after Match Week 17. 

Ollie, in third, closes in on both of them and puts some distance between himself and Poosker in fourth. 

BtM and Dr F. Jnr each advance to occupy fifth and sixth, respectively, at the expense of TTG, who is level on points with bt8 and GSD. Dr F. moves into tenth.

The lower half of the table is mostly the same. Sancho Panza and Trev flip places but remain clear of the bottom three.

Claret and blue are the colours of the awkward squad this week, with West Ham, Burnley, and Villa causing the most trouble to players’ predictions.

Potsticker puts Pangloss under pressure
By North Bank Ned and TTG

The match weeks are coming thick and fast, and the pressure is beginning to tell. Every score worsened in this round of games.

When the dust had settled, Pangloss’s lead had been cut to 16 points — but by Potsticker, who moved into second, not Poosker, who fell out of the top three for the first time since Match Week 6.

Ollie also moved into the top three for the first time, two points ahead of the faltering Poosker and six in front of TTG in fifth, who was two points ahead of the trio of bt8, BtM and Dr F. Jnr in joint sixth. Tight. Tight. Tight.

In mid-table, Scruz moved up two places, swapping with Dr F. and tucked in behind GSD. From there on down, there were no changes to position.

The mob at the Bus Stop joined Burnley on the naughty step, with West Ham and Villa close by.

Three Ps in a Pod
By North Bank Ned and TTG

Our first midweek match week has shaken up the top of the leaderboard. With an impressive rise of six places, Potsticker bursts into the medal positions for the first time, pushing BtM down to joint fourth with Ollie, ahead of TTG and bt8 in joint sixth.

Although both front runners, Pangloss and Poosker, eased off the pace, Pangloss still managed to extend his lead to 34 points.

GSD was up two places, and 21st Century Gooner was down two, but pretty much everyone else stood pat except for Bath and C100, who swapped places for a third consecutive week.

Burnley and West Ham continue to be the bad boys most upsetting players’ predictions, although Villa is gaining irritant status.

Congratulations again to Dr F. Jnr for winning the Tin Tack Award. Display your splendid certificate with pride.

To Faustus the Younger Goes the Tin Tack Win
By Scruzgooner and TTG

With the correct call of Paul Heckingbottom being sacked first, by Sheffield United on 5 December, Dr. F. Jnr. wins our First-to-Tin Tack contest. C100 had the fine idea of celebrating our young contestent’s win, TTG had the fine idea of what to provide to celebrate his winning guess, and Scruzgooner put together the certificate below.

Dr. Faustus will be printing it for Jnr., and it will hang in pride of place for the young man. His talent to foretell was unmatched by any of his elders in the competition. Congratulations to you, Dr. F. Jnr.!

Burnley pays Bath’s benefits, Everton pays Ollie’s
By North Bank Ned and TTG

There was no change at the top after Match Week 14, but the chasing pack of Poosker, BtM, bt8 and TTG clawed back some of Pangloss’s lead, and BtM and bt8 flipped places. Yet the leader — for a sixth consecutive week — remains a comfortable 26 points clear of the field.

Scores mostly fell all round. Ollie took sole possession of sixth, helped by Everton getting off the bottom of the PL. Dr F. Jnr slipped to eighth with 21st Century Gooner, Potsticker and Dr F level on points behind him, and Scruz and GSD level on points behind them in a crowded middle of the field.

Burnley is still the team weighing most heavily on players’ predictions, but its win made it a bit less bad for many. Bath was a notable beneficiary, moving off the foot of the table as a result. West Ham is not doing many players any favours, either.

Uply and Trev eased away from the relegation zone, each moving up one, to 16th and 17th, respectively.

Pangloss the Peerless
By North Bank Ned and TTG

A good week for almost every player, with scores falling like red Mancs in a penalty area.

No change at the very top after Match Week 13 as Pangloss extends his lead yet further over Poosker, but bt8 slips into third, elbowing BtM out of the top three for the first time since Match Week 5.

TTG holds at fifth for a third successive match week. Dr F. Jnr and Ollie flip places behind him, level on points, but Dr F. Jnr is ahead by way of the second tie-breaker.

Potsticker, at eighth, is the mover of the week, up three places. GSD and Osaka Matt were also upward bound, but your correspondent continues his downward slide, weighed down more than most by Burnley, the bugbear of everyone except the percipient Pangloss.

In the relegation zone, CER and C100 do the soft-shoe shuffle while edging nearer those above.

Sticky Toffee
By North Bank Ned and TTG

The Premier League’s decision to dock Everton 10 points, dropping the Toffees to 19th in the table, has put a cat among the pigeons. 
Most Predictathon players see their revised Match Week 12 scores rise. But not all. The sanction has been good for bt8, 21CG, Osaka Matt and all three in the relegation zone, C100, CER and Bath. 

At the top, Pangloss’s lead remains solid. Although his revised score is precisely 100, that also remains highly impressive. Poosker and BtM maintain their potential podium positions, but bt8 surges to fourth from sixth and flips places with Ollie. 21CG moves up four places to 10th. 
The new chart below shows the difference between the original Match Week 12 scores and positions and the newly revised ones.

Burnley is bad company

By North Bank Ned and TTG

Pangloss stretches his lead after Match Week 12 and becomes the first player to break under a weekly score of 100. He also extended the longest streak at No. 1 to four match weeks. Not one of his predictions is more than four places awry. Impressive. But will it last?

Poosker and BtM flip places behind him. Another good week for Ollie after last week’s reverse sees him join the chasing pack, jumping five places to fourth.

TTG leads a chasing pack of Americans — bt8, Dr F., Dr F. Jnr and Scruz — the last level on points with Potsticker, the week’s star performer, soaring seven places up the table.

Sancho Panza leaves the relegation zone, but Bath sinks back in.

Burnley was the Predictathon player’s bête noire this week. The Clarets, to mix a palette, cost Bath, Trev and your correspondent more points than Pangloss’s total score.

The Hot Breath of BtM

by North Bank Ned & TTG

Pangloss holds his lead after Match Week 11 but must feel BtM breathing down his neck as the gap narrows to four points. Poosker slips back to third. bt8 and TTG move up one and three places, respectively, to round out the top five and the leading pack.

Scruz and 21CG emulated TTG in rising three places, but Ollie’s recent form deserted him this week. He drops to ninth. Your correspondent moves up to tenth, ahead of Dr F and Dr F Jnr, who are level on points.

At the other end of the table, Bath enjoyed a stellar week and moves out of the relegation zone for the first time since Match Week 2.

For a change, here is a list of each player’s bad boys, the team(s) whose scores are most weighing on their total score, i.e., the team’s current position is farthest from the predicted position (but still 27 games to go!).

21CG — Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Burnley, Middlesex Mephitis
Bath — Burnley
bt8 — Middlesex Mephitis
BtM — Red Mancs
C100 — Brentford, Burnley, Sheffield Utd
CER — Middlesex Mephitis
Dr F — Middlesex Mephitis
Dr F Jnr — Middlesex Mephitis
GSD — Bournemouth, Middlesex Mephitis
NBN — Burnley
Ollie — Middlesex Mephitis
Osaka Matt — Burnley
Pangloss — Middlesex Mephitis
Poosker — Burnley
Potsticker — Middlesex Mephitis
Scruz — Middlesex Mephitis
Sancho Panza — Brentford, The Bus Stop
Trev — Burnley
TTG — Middlesex Mephitis
Uply — Burnley

Pangloss stretches out his lead
By North Bank Ned & TTG

Match week 10’s results shook up the scores this week, but when the dust settled, it became clear that Pangloss had extended his lead over Poosker and BtM.
Ollie and bt8 held firm in fourth and fifth but closed on the pair ahead. Behind them, Dr F. Jnr and TTG were level pegging, with Dr F. Snr and Scruz advancing two places in pursuit.
The biggest risers of the week were GSD, up five places to pull clear of a flirtation with the relegation zone; Potsticker was up four, and 21st Century Gooner, up three.
In the relegation zone, the third grappa clearly worked its magic.
Yet again, the neighbours were the mephitis most polluting Predictathon players’ predictions.

Pangloss back to the fore

By North Bank Ned and TTG

Poosker’s lead lasted the interlull — but no longer as Pangloss reclaimed the top spot after Match Week 9. Only BtM is keeping pace with the pacesetters, holding third.

Ollie moved up yet again. He is now in fourth, leading a chasing pack comprising bt8 and Dr F. Jnr. Chasing them are TTG, Osaka Matt and Sancho Panza, who moved up three places.

Dr F. was the biggest gainer of the week, advancing four places.

In the relegation zone, the wooden spoon changed hands once again.

Overall, there was an impressive improvement in scores by every player.

This week’s bad smell emits overwhelmingly from the other end of the Seven Sisters Road. The sooner the neighbours are knocked off their perch, the better.

The ups and downs in the early going

By North Bank Ned and TTG

To brighten the waning days of the interlull, here are a couple of charts. 

The first is a ‘bump’ chart showing how everyone’s rankings have changed over the first eight match weeks. (H/t to Pangloss for inspiring the idea.) Match week 1 is to the left and the lines and dots track to match week 8 on the right.

As TTG said in his review of the season to date, it reflects the uncertainty of early season results. Make of it what you will.

Even though in a ranking, there has to be a player in first place and others in the relegation zone, the overall standard of predictions is remarkably high, to my mind. 

The second chart shows a count of all 400 predictions (20 players, 20 predictions each) by score, which, as a reminder, is the square of the difference between the actual and the predicted position. 

Thus, the 0 column represents all the perfectly accurate predictions, the 1 column those one place off, the 4 column those two places off, the 9 column those three places off, and so on.

Just shy of half of the predictions are currently accurate to within two positions, and two-thirds are within three. 

The two columns of outliers, 100 and 121, ie. 10 and 11 places off, respectively, account for just 1% of all the predictions, but they weigh heavily on the rankings.

Another damned ‘Lull 

We head into another intelull (already?) with Poosker retaining his lead and sure to hold it for two long weeks.

Hard on his heels but now having to cool his heels is Pangloss, who moves up one, switching places by a gnat’s whisker with BtM. Dr F Jnr and bt8 also flip positions, as do Ollie, who continues his inexorable rise up the table, and TTG, broadsided into seventh.

Osaka Matt is another advancing relentlessly through the chasing pack, gaining three more places to move into ninth, at the expense of your correspondent and Scruz, respectively.

Sancho Panza is up two, going level on points with 21st Century Gooner in twelfth.

There’s no change in the relegation zone, although Bath continues to ease away from the two below him.

The Spammers, the neighbours and red Mancs are this week’s party poopers.

All change at the top — again.

By North Bank Ned and TTG

Most players’ scores improved again this week. Poosker resumes the lead he gave up in Match Week 5. BtM advances one place to second, just 8 points behind, with Pangloss slipping to third and bt8 to fourth. Dr F. Jnr drops a place to fifth, but Ollie advances by one to go joint sixth with TTG.

The field is now more strung out than bunched in chasing packs, but within that, Osaka Matt and Sancho Panza both moved up three places.

At the back, CER and C100 juggled the wooden spoon between them for the third consecutive week. Bath is now closer in points to Uply in 16th than C100, one place behind him.

West Ham, the neighbours and the red Mancs were this week’s cowpats.

Pangloss goes to the front

by North Bank Ned and TTG

A week of dramatic improvement in the scores of all, but none more impactfully than that of Pangloss, who has relentlessly driven his way to the head of the pack.

Yet, it is tight at the top. Four points separate Pangloss and bt8, who drops to second, and 10 points cover the top five. BtM moves up to joint third from sixth, level pegging with Dr F Jnr. They push Poosker back to fifth.

That drops TTG into sixth at the head of a chasing pack comprising Scruz, steadily recovering from his MatchWeek 3 stumble, and Ollie, who is just steadily improving.

At the other end of the table, CER returns the wooden spoon to C100, but Bath has put some daylight between himself and both of them.

The Chavs and the Spammers are the flies in the ointment for most players this week.

After the ‘Lull

By North Bank Ned and TTG

The GHF Predictathon returns from its first interlull break, with all but three players improving their scores.

bt8 returns to the head of the field, opening up his lead over the chasing pack to 32 points. Pangloss continues his inexorable rise, moving into second and edging Poosker into third. Dr F Jnr rises two places to fourth, with TTG holding steady in fifth while BtM eases back into sixth.

In the middle of the pack, Scruz, Ollie, Trev and OM advance a place or two. C100 was the star improver of the week to move out of last place. It must be the M&S sandwiches.

The Red Mancs and Forest are the teams most messing up predictions.

Tight at the top as the pack settles down

By North Bank Ned and TTG

We reach the first interlull, the Predicathon’s first water station, if you will, with the pace slacking off in Match Week 4.

Every player’s score fell from last week, largely thanks to the universe of teams significantly screwing up predictions expanding from the Spammesr and the Barcodes to take in the red Mancs, Forest, the neighbours and I don’t never want to go to (Burnley for those unfamiliar with the poetry of John Cooper Clarke).

So Leaderboard positions for Match Week 4 turned on whose scores worsened the least.

Poosker kept his lead but bt8 narrowed it from 32 points to four, with BtM tracking both just 12 points behind. Pangloss easied into fourth ahead of TTG, who remains fifth, with Dr F. Jnr dropping to sixth.

There is no change at the bottom. Bath, CER and C100 continue to play the long game with 34 match weeks still to go.

We have a new leader

By North Bank Ned & TTG

We have our first change of lead. A dramatic surge takes Poosker to the front after Match Week 3. bt8 is left the meat in a familial sandwich as BtM slides effortlessly into third, just two points behind.

Everyone improved their score this week, except for Scruz, who plunged into the bottom half of the table, no doubt only temporarily.

At the bottom, C100’s cunning plan suffered a setback. Despite a significant improvement in his score, he was four points light of overhauling Bath and meanwhile Sancho Panza, who recorded the biggest points improvement of the week, had soared off the bottom to joint 15th with Osaka Matt.

West Ham being in second place was the fly in the ointment for many this week; no player is predicting a finish higher than 10th for the Moyes’s mob. Newcastle at 13th isn’t helping many causes, either.

Bt8 and 21CG Sustain Their Early Lead

By North Bank Ned & TTG

As to be expected, the Leaderboard for the GHF PL Predictathon has changed quite a bit after Match Week 2. All but three players’ points score improved,

A quick reminder: the red dot is the current week’s score; the grey dot is the previous week’s.

Bath appears to have only one dot because his score changed by only two points, so his grey dot is masked by his bigger red one.

At the top, bt8 extended his lead over 21CG, but the Man To Beat, TTG, has crept into third, pushing Scruz down into fourth by a whisker, with Poosker easing into fifth.

C100’s cunning plan took effect as he moved off the bottom and started what will, no doubt, be a relentless climb up the rankings.

Others apart from C100 and TTG who improved their points score by at least 100 points this week were Poosker, Dr F, Ollie, Pangloss and your humble game administrator.

The Red Mancs and the mob at the Bus Stop are the two sides weighing most heavily on most players’ predictions.

Annnnnnnnnd…they’re off!

By North Bank Ned & TTG

We have our first Leaderboard of the GHF 2023-24 PL Predicathon—although I would wager that it will bear as little resemblance to the final, winning Leaderboard as the final Premier League table does to that after the first round of games.

The red dots show each player’s score; the grey dots are their previous week’s performance (in this case, zero, as the game hadn’t started)—the lower your score, the better.

bt8, 21CG and Scruz are the early pacemakers, but remember, this is a Predicathon, not a Predictasprint. Plenty of canny old hands are biding their time in the middle of the pack.

Villa’s heavy defeat, leaving it bottom on goal difference, weighs heavily on this week’s scores. Liverpool, Palace and Bournemouth are also confounding the seers.

How wise is this crowd?

By North Bank Ned & TTG

First, thank you to so many for signing up for the inaugural GHF PL Predication. We have 20 players, which should make for a robust competition. The lists are now closed.

Second, we have collectively raised, subject to audit, nearly £600 for Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation. Well done, you.

Victorian polymath Sir Francis Galton was the first to publicly note the phenomenon we now call the wisdom of crowds after he calculated that the mean of 800 guesses about the dressed weight of an ox at a country fair was spot on. Following (distantly) in those footprints, the monks have been flicking away at their abacuses to derive the Predictathon crowd’s view on the final table.

Sadly, the wisdom of our crowd is that the oily blue Mancs will retain their title, but it will be a damn close run thing. Not one player expects City to end up outside the top two, but a quartet predicts we will fall short of last season’s second place.

The Red Mancs are favoured to finish third by a distance but well ahead of the Scousers and the Saudis-on-the-Tyne. They will be duking it out for the fourth Champions League place (although both may be winners as there are prospectively five CL places for English clubs under the CL’s new, expanded format). Poch is expected to return mid-week evening football to the Bus Stop, while Villa and Brighton will contend for the pleasure of Thursday night trips to hard-to-pronounce places with too many vowels.

The neighbours will be in splendid isolation in ninth, not just for sanitary reasons. On the other side of London, Brentford and Fulham will be wrestling for the final spot in the top half.

Palace, Burnley and the Hammers (Moyes-less if the tin-tack crowd is correct) will fill the lower half of mid-table without being overly troubled by relegation scares. 

That dog fight will be fiercest between Everton, Wolves, Forest and Bournemouth as they scrap to avoid joining Sheffield United and Luton in the drop. The Blades and the Hatters are , both seen as nailed on to return whence they came. 

The Bar Crowd’s predictions:

  1. Manchester City
  2. Arsenal
  3. Manchester United
  4. Liverpool
  5. Newcastle United
  6. Chelsea
  7. Aston Villa
  8. Brighton & Hove Albion
  9. Tottenham Hotspur
  10. Brentford
  11. Fulham
  12. Crystal Palace
  13. Burnley
  14. West Ham United
  15. Everton 
  16. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  17. Nottingham Forest 
  18. AFC Bournemouth
  19. Sheffield United
  20. Luton Town

Will you beat the crowd?

Enjoy the new season playing the Goonerholicsforever Prediction Contest, in aid of the Willow Foundation!

Can you harness your inner Mystic Meg and see the final Premier League table for the 23-24 season? Who is going to win the FA Cup? Or the League Cup? And what’s your bet on the first manager to get the tin tack this season? You can do all of this by entering the GHF Prediction Contest for 23-24.

The purpose of the contest is twofold. Firstly, it is to increase your enjoyment of the upcoming season by providing a degree of light-hearted competitive rivalry as the season progresses. Secondly, it will enable us to support the Willow Foundation with a further source of charitable funding.

To make the administration of the contest as simple as possible (and to avoid any connection with VAR!) the following rules have been established:

1. The object of the contest is to predict the final 2023-24 Premier League table.

2. The winner will be the player whose predictions are closest to the table after the final match of the season has been played.

3. This will be determined by a points score using the Difference Squared system. The lowest total score wins (see below for how the scoring works). The reward for winning is a full year’s bragging rights as the bar’s top know-it-all.

4. We shall post updates and a leaderboard in the drinks throughout the season so players can follow their progress. However, the final table at the end of the season determines the contest’s winner, just like the PL itself.

5. If more than one player gets the same score, the tiebreaker will be the most correct predictions. The second tiebreaker will be the most predictions out by one place, then two, and so on.


6. Download the entry blank above. Email your completed entry form to ghfpredict@yahoo.com. North Bank Ned, who is administering the contest, must receive your completed entry no later than one hour before the new season kicks off, i.e., by 1900 UK time on Friday, August 11.  No changes to entries or new players are permitted after that deadline.

7. To participate in the contest, players are honour-bound to donate to the Willow Foundation (link here) at least £10 for the League Position Contest, and £5 in total for the three predictions on the entry blank (first manager to get the tin tack, and the winners of the two domestic cups). Every entrant must join both parts of the contest to participate. So the total entry fee is £15.  If you want to send an extra donation to Willow this will be most welcome, but will not guarantee you a higher placing!

8. TTG will confirm with Willow that players are in good standing by the end of Match Week 1. Players who have not donated by then will have 100 points added to Match Week 2, with a further 100 points added for every week of delinquency. If players have not donated their entry fee to Willow by the end of Match Week 4, they will be removed from the competition.

9. In the event of any disputes, TTG’s decision will be final (right or wrong!).

Scoring System

This game will use Difference Squared scoring. This is how it works:

Players’ predictions for each club are awarded points equal to the square of the difference between the club’s predicted and actual place. For example, if a team were predicted to be in sixth place and ended up fourth, the points scored would be 4, i.e., the difference between sixth and fourth is two places, and two times two is four; if a team was predicted to be in fifth place and ended up 15th, the points scored would be 100, i.e., the difference between fifth and 15th is ten places, and ten squared is 100. The worse a prediction, the more the system, by design, penalises it.

Each week, each player’s 20 club scores are then summed. The “winner” of the week is the player with the lowest total that week, but the player with the lowest total relative to the final league table is the winner of the whole contest.

Enjoy what we hope will be a very happy season for all Gooners and your involvement in what we hope will be a fun contest. Good luck!

TTG & North Bank Ned

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