We suspect one or two older readers of this blog might have a tattered board game in their attic called Totopoly. In an era when technology rarely extended beyond BBC’s Tomorrow’s World, people played this horse racing game on their dining room tables for family entertainment.
Fortunately the world has turned a few circles since, liberating the dining room table for all sorts of other games. Yet the horse race fascination remains, as the current quartet of contenders for the Premier League title are starting to demonstrate. With a little pony leading a pack containing a heavily armoured war horse (City), a nervous French filly (Arsenal) and a circus horse escapee (Liverpool), the Premiership finishing line is already starting to resemble Aintree on Grand National day.
Whoever lifts the Premier League trophy in May one thing is already certain, there will be plenty of statisticians blood on the carpet, and maybe some on that dining room table. That’s because Mourinho has never lost a title when his team is in front by late February, the top scorers (currently Liverpool) have won 8 out of 10 recent Premiership campaigns, while the team with the biggest goal difference (City) usually comes top. Clearly something has to give and we can only hope that those abacuses have their safety clips on.
Fittingly last week’s AMNT table was won by our own resident statistician, O Statto, who devised a cunning plan involving a sequence of 1-0 predictions. Sadly for the rest of us (but fortunately for Statto) the shooting boots in most of last weekend’s games were worn by players who’d obviously only rented them for half an hour. Apart from the seven goal thriller at Anfield and the five goals at the Emirates, goal line technology was largely given the afternoon off.
Let’s hope that next weekend disproves Statto’s formula. Even though there are less games to predict (the Capital One Cup has stolen the services of Man City and Sunderland) we have a sneaky feeling that the nets will be trawling goals.