Monday, 30 May 2011

Bet on Liverpool to win the premier League next year

When we bet we look for value.

Machester United are best price 15/8, but the team still needs a refresh and does he have the money to do it? Berbatov looks like he has gone. Owen and Hargreaves are out. Maybe Rooney will go and he will have 75m to spend and can get 3 or 4 fantastic players. But, anyway 15/8 looks clim to me.

Manchester City? Still too green for me. And Tevez is a problem.

Chelsea. Yes, but 11/4? Probably an ok bet. But is Torres still going to make it? If not they will waste alot of games trying to give hima chance.

I think Liverpool will have some money, but the two strikers look great and Gerrard should come back stornger next year. So at 12/1, I would put some big money on now.

An Amazing Cricket Day

What happened? Just when everyone except the England team, and presumably including the whole Sri Lanka team had decided the game had fizzled out to an boring draw, England go on a wicket fest and win the match.

How could it have happened? 900 runs already and the pitch looked tame enough to guarantee that this type of collapse could not happen.

So, what happened? Well, with only a few overs to bowl, the bowlers could really go for it, so that helped. And I have no doubt that the Sri Lankans were already mentally on the team bus and down the M4 to a swanky London hotel. And when it started, it was impossible to get the right mental attitude back.

It would be fascinating to hear from an insider about what went on inside the dressing room. Who was the catalyst? What exactly was said?

It was one of the most amazing days of cricket I've seen.

About the author: Connected is a massive sports fan, and is trying to turn the company he works for selling Rectangular Trampolines , amongst other toys and games in to a proper sports company, encouraging a move in to Sports Bras amongst other things.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Premier League Relegation battle

Who will go down?

The League position is:

15 Blackburn 37 7 7 5 22 16 3 3 12 21 41 -14 40
16 Wolverhampton 37 8 4 6 28 27 3 3 13 16 36 -19 40
17 Birmingham 37 6 8 5 19 22 2 7 9 17 34 -20 39

18 Blackpool 37 5 5 9 30 37 5 4 9 23 37 -21 39
19 Wigan 37 5 8 6 22 34 3 7 8 17 27 -22 39
20 West Ham 37 5 5 8 24 28 2 7 10 19 39 -24 33

So, in theory Blackpool need a point and hope Birmingham lose, and wigan dont win. But in actual fact, if they lose by one less than Binrmingham then Birnmingham go down.

It is so complicated. Its not just the points. But teams go move position based on goal difference by being beaten heavily with none of the teams winning.

The games are:

Man Utd v Blackpool, 16:00
Stoke v Wigan, 16:00
So in the best positon are wolves and blackburn. Where at least two point must be won. A draw leaves them both on 41 points, but if two of the other win that wont be enough. a win for either guarantees safety.
For the other 3, it will be a nervy day, but brilliant entertainment for the rest of us.
So what do we predict? Last day games where there is something at stake are ALWAYS unreliable. Form is no predictor. So expect the unexpected, and that gives good value on the odds.
I expect Wolves and Balackburn to draw.

I expect Blackpool to lose. I expect Birmingham to draw. And I expect Wigan to win, saving themselves at the last minute.

that collection results leaves West Ham bottom, Blackpool down on  39 points. And the remaining place to be Wolves down on 41 points.

I do expect the relegated team to be on more than the suppsed safety line of 40 points this year.

You can get 8/1 on Wolves to be relegated, so I think thats a great bet. Pile on. And I would also put some on wigan to stay up at 11/10.
What do you think?
About the author: He is a Businessman, not a professional gambler. this is fun, not advice. Please, join in and debate the subject and give your views, but remember the author works for a living selling Playhouses. If he was so good at gambling, then would he really be selling Playhouses and Rugby Balls?

Monday, 25 April 2011

Olympic Tickets Deadline

Its deadline day. Have you bought your tickets? Got your Visa card ready and placed your order?

What did you go for? Did you try and get the Usain Bolt 100m final? If so, how many people did the same thing? We reckon it will be millions, so the chance of getting that ticket is tiny.

But, if you tried to get tickets for early rounds of the Handball or Water Polo, we are pretty sure you will be lucky.

In fact most ball sports will have a good chance since the stadiums are large and there are plenty of rounds, so in the end there are plenty of tickets to be sold for those sports.

We cant wait to find out what the demand is for real, but today, sources at the Olympic organisers say that they have received millions of applications. Those insiders reckon that of course the high profile finals are over subscribed by millions.

So far not ant surprise, but what is interesting is that they also say that the cycling, and the diving are oversubscribed. Cycling is popular now since the last Olympics and the stadium only takes 3000, but Diving? That must be the Tom Daley effect.

We are sure that they will reach the 80% of tickets sold. What will be left are ball sports, and especially the football. Once the teams are known for those early rounds too, expect the rest to sell out too. We expect that there will be very few empty seats at any venues come 2012.

About the author: Connected is a sports fan, and a retailer of 12ft trampolines and wooden playhouses, and on Saturday applied for £3200 worth of tickets. He needs to keep the credit card empty come mid May.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Olympic Ticket Deadline

Applications for Olympic Tickets close at 23.59 on 26th April 2011. So, get planning and get in your bids on time. We advise you not to leave it until the last minute since its likely that the site will crash in the last few hours as a massive rush takes place.

And remember that you will potentially need ALL the money for all the tickets you apply for to be in your account in mid may, that's a full 5 weeks before you find out which tickets you have got. Be warned.

And whilst on the subject of the Olympics, we are already thinking about what to do when they are on. Do we shut the office and stop selling our 10ft Trampolines? Do we assume that no-one will be buying Giant Jenga games anyway? Or will they be buying more Giant Jengas as they plan Barbecue parties?

We have a projector now, so we can project the TV on to the wall, big screen style.

What is your office plan for the big event?

Champions League Betting

We said that we thought Barcelona would win the Champions League, and still do, but the odds are poor, so look for value elsewhere.

So, before the quarter finals, we advised: Bet on Manchester Utd at 8/1. Looks good now, we hope you took plenty. Current odds are 5/2.

We also advised a punt on a Spanish team to win at 1/2. Given that the final will certainly have one, and they will be favourites, looks a good bet too.

By the way, Barcelona were 6/5 before the quarter finals, and you can still get that now. So, the lesson is, if the odds are too poor, walk away.

For the final now, we hope you are on Manchester Utd at 8/1. We are and that makes balancing or covering bets good value. So, we now fancy Real Madrid at 7/2. Get on that at 7/2 and Manchester at 8/1 and you could be  a guaranteed winner. If you are not on Manchester , then Real look the value bet to us anyway.

But, one word of warning, we are not professional betting advisers, In fact our little consortium of experts spend our days advising on sales of Above Ground Pools and Trampolines, so be warned and don't bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Bet on Champions League

On Tuesday we said:

1. Barcelona will most likley win the Champions League, but at 6/5 its poor odds
2. Look for value in the other half of the draw. That was Manchester Utd at 8/1
3. Real and Barcelona both look good, and 1/2 a Spanish team is good
4. Take 10/11 for only one team to score at Real Madrid


and the results?

1. Barcelona Look good still, but will have to beat Real. Still fancy them to win but at Even Money now, still poor odds.
2. Manchester Utd look the bet, now at 4/1. Hope you got on Tuesday at 8/1. We did
3. Still like the SPanish bet, but now 2/5
4. 4-0. That was a winner.

So, we fancy a Barcelona vs Manchester United final at Wembly, with us having £100 at 8/1 running.

But, remember that we still have full time jobs. We sell TP Trampolines and other outdoor toys like wooden sandpits to make a living. We are not advisors or full time gamblers. Be warned.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Champions League Betting

We love the Champions League. After the first league rounds which are there to provide a healthy income and let the little teams have a decent go at taking on the big boys, you get to the knockout big banana games.

Now, with 8 teams to go, its time to see the really big games.

So, who will win? Its hard to look beyond Barcelona, and at 6/5 best odds, seems fair to us, that in half of the time, the clear best team will win. But around half of the time, it doesn't work out that way and someone will surprise them.

So, for us, we expect Barcelona to win, but its not good odds. Lets go with the assumption that they will get knock3ed out at some point. Who else then?

Well, in the other half of the draw is Chelsea and Manchester United. With Man U at 8/1 and Chelsea at 13/2 best odds, Manchester seems the best bet. Why are Chelsea favoured over a Manchester team that is leading the premiership. Seems no logical reason to us, so we fancy Man Utd as a good value bet at 8/1. With 8 teams left in, one of them will win it. Manchester are a good team, and we reckon its good odds.

So, bet on Manchester Utd to win the competition at 8/1. Good odds.

Other good bets? A Spanish team to win is 1/2 with Victor Chandler. Its a bet on Barcelona, with a cover in case Real Madrid knock them out (or Tottenham I suppose) in the semis.

We also fancy 4/1 on a draw tonight between Spurs and Real Madrid. And, take 10/11 for only one team to score tonight. Tottenham are having scoring issues, and if they do score are likely to shut up shop. So, 0-1 to Spurs but more likely Spurs don't score looks a good bet.

And lastly, Ronaldo is brilliant against weaker opposition, but is he a choker on the biggest occasion? We think so. So, with Ronaldo at 5/2 favourite to be the Man of the Match, there is value to be had. We say, if you fancy Tottenham then bet both Lennon at 14/1 and Van der Vaart at 7/1 and you should be covered. If you fancy Real Madrid then look no further than  Ozil at 7/1.

But remember, Connected, the Author is a retailer, selling Trampoline Spares and Sandpits, so its just for fun, not business advice.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

England Friendly Games

England vs Ghana was a good game, and Ghana deserved to draw at least, perhaps even win. But I did not go. In fact I stopped going to England friendlies about two years ago. And the reason is why should I if even the England team do not take them seriously.

Of course, for Andy Carrol, Cahill and Jarvis, then last night was massive. But I want to see how Cahill will play with Terry. Can Jarvis play with Rooney?

By letting the star key players go home early, Capello made last night's game a joke.

The suggested reason was so that they could rest before a hard run in, and only players still in the Champions League were released.

Firstly, is that not disrespectful to the other teams in the League? Is Rooney more important to Manchester united than Parker is to West Ham? I think not. And, Manchester United have more resources available to rest players if they need it.

It seems that some teams are given preferential treatment over others. Is that fair? At the start of the season teams know if they are in the Champions League or not, it really is down to them to manage their resources.

Secondly, is this an admission form the FA that Champions League is bigger, better and more important than International football? I hope not, because it is not. there is nothing bigger than the World Cup. For all fans, nationwide, we can support England. The Champions League is fun football, and I want an English (are Arsenal English?) team to win of course, but I can not really support any team in the way I support England. Internationals MUST remain the pinnacle of the game.

thirdly it is disrespectful to fans, who pay handsomely to go and see England, and whilst I should expect some trials for new young players, they should be melded in to the full team,so we learn how they interact with the stars.

Capello let the country down on Tuesday, weakly giving in to the Champions League teams and should be ashamed.

About the Author: Connected is a Football fan, England fan, and a member of FA EnglandFans. In real life he sells products that make familes happy, top selling products this spring are 12ft Trampolines and Air Hockey Tables

Friday, 25 March 2011

Best Football Players of 2011

Who are the players of the season so far?

Most Surprising
Gareth Bale. He has been superb this season. Two years ago they were leaving him out of the team as they had never won a game he started, this year he is superb and possible worth £30m+. Gives pace and width and excitment.

Most Influential
Carlos Tevez. With a team of superstars, someone has to set the pace and set the tone. YOu notice when Tevez is not playing. Its not just his goals, bu the energy. Manchester City are not the same without him.

Best Relaunch
Scott Parker. Was superb at Charlton, becoming the linchpin of a good team, and moved to Chelseafor £10m where it really did not work out for him. He was not hollywood enough but proably good enough. A move to Newcastle where they had huge problmes did not help him, and for a while it seemed he was seeing out the contract at West Ham. This season though despite being in a poor performing team, he is superb,and deservedly got back in to the England team, where he looked at home.

Best Defender
Nemanja Vidic. Quiet simple, without him Machester United look weak and frail defensively. With him, the defence is transformed.

Best Manager
Ian Holloway. No doubt the most entertaining, having the most fun and has a team of unknowns playing well. Lets hope they stay up. We like him.

Most Unlikely Star
Charlie Adam. The heartbeat of Blackpool. Seems likely he will move in the summer, and will be a massive loss, perhaps even bad enough to get Blackpool relegated next year if they stay up this year.

Best Signing
Rafael van der Vaart. At £8m bargain of the year. He is superb, and we love watching him play. Taken the shine of the game of Defoe and crouch though and thats not good for England.

Most Dissapointing
Fernando Torres. Started the season with a new World Cup winners medal, but has been a miserable git all season. Engineeered a move, where Liverpool are laughing. COuld be the worst signing of all time if he does not get his form back. Undoubtably a brillitant player, but something is wrong either physically or mentally. And remember you have scored as many goals for Chelea as he has.

Add to the list, or give us your ideas.

About the Author: He is firstly a football fan, secondly a retailer of Pink Trampolines and Air Hockey Tables. But sport is the first love.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Olympic Tickets Strategy

Its decision time. What Olympic tickets do you actually buy. for years its been a fantasy that when the Olympics come to town we will get loads of tickets and watch loads of the games there in the flesh, being a part of the biggest sporting occasion on earth. But now the reality is here, what tickets do we apply for?

So, now, with credit card in hand, (Visa of course) and a glass of coke, not Pepsi ready we sit down and plan. But wait. If I go to the handball first round games, I will miss the cycling.

If I am at the Archery then I will miss  the rowing heats on the TV.

So, now we are faced with the very real dilemma. Do we really want to actually go to the Olympics, or is it better to watch it on TV?

the second problem is how many tickets do we apply for? Do we apply for loads thinking that we will only get a few if any in the Olympic ballot, or do we be more confident. Seems the danger is that if we want to see the Water Polo and we apply for all the first round games just hoping to get one, we may get them all and have two weeks of tickets for games we do not want to see.

So, it seems that we have to temper the fantasy of watching  all the Olympics live, and think about actually what would we really like to see and only apply for those.

Or do you have a better strategy for buying Olympic Tickets?

About the Author: He is an avid sports fan, who remembers the day we got awarded the Olympics like it was the day JFK got shot. He is a retailer of 10ft Trampolines, and this weeks top selling products are Willostix Cricket Balls and Talbot Torro Shuttlecocks.

Bet on Arsenal to win the League

Regular readers will know that we have a theory that exploits the over emotional nature of football excitement. That over emotion projects forward unreasonable expectations on teams that statistics do not bear out.

So, we advised on the 1st of March that you bet on Arsenal to win. See:

Arsenal Can Still Win
At that point United were 4 points ahead and Arsenal were 2/1 to win the league.

We then advised you to hedge the bet with a bet on United at 4/5 that covered all losses but made a profit if Arsenal won. See:

That would have guaranteed no losses and £750 if Arsenal win.

Now after the weekend the odds have moved again and Arsenal are 3/1. It seems a bad weekend for the bet, but we did advise you to hedge last week. Trouble is I bet you didn't. You are a gambler and decided to let it run. But that's not the point of this bet. It is not trying to find the winner it is trying to get an edge using unrealistic emotion in football betting odds.

So, lets analyse the odds. Arsenal are now 3/1. they are 5 points behind with a game in hand. Win the game in hand and they are 2 points behind and they still play United at home. Still a fair bet. Manchester United still have to play Arsenal away and Chelsea at home. Arsenal look to have an easy run in comparatively.

But the main point is that United have 8 games left. Statistically speaking they should get 17 point from those games on average. That means two defeats. Or 4 draws. Of course Arsenal will get only 20 from their 9 games, so we still expect Manchester to win the league. But, the question is WHEN will Manchester defeats come. If the come early in the 8 games then the odds will shift again. Look how much they shifts this weekend.

So, if you did not do it last time, then NOW, put £1000 on Arsenal. We almost guarantee that the odds will shift and you will be able to cover the bet and ensure no losses.

But, please remember that the author sells Trampolines and it takes a lot of sales of 8ft Trampolines at only £99 to make enough profit to generate £1000 for a bet. If he could make a living from gambling he would, so be warned he still sells trampolines. Let that be your own warning. This is for fun, not financial advice.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Fulham Michael Jackson Statue

Is it April 1st?

Fulham FC have announced that they will be unveiling a statue of Michael Jackson before their next home game.

Of all the great Fulham players to commemorate, they chose an American Pedo! I bet he could not tell the difference between an American Football, a Rugby Ball or a Soccer Ball.

Apparently it all comes about because the club's chairman and owner Mohamed Al-Fayed was a friend of the of Jackson. He commissioned the statue after the singer's death in 2009, originally planning to erect it outside his shop, Harrods. But he has now sold the Harrods store and is now planning to humiliate the Fulham fans with it.

"Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity," Al-Fayed told the Fulham website.

"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death.

"He left behind a legacy of music so vast it takes one's breath away; from a precocious talent to an ingenuity and groundbreaking modernity that shall never be repeated.

So at the game against Blackpool, Al-Fayed will unveil the ridiculous statue of Jackson in an 'iconic pose'. Prizes for the worst 'iconic pose' you can think of?

Still Blackpool at home is better than their first idea of a special friendly with Young Boys of Bern.

And do they have any plans for a Gary Glitter statue?

Look on the bright side Arsenal

Its not appropriate to be making jokes after this terrible tragedy. Its hard to feel sorry or sympathetic for them though since they are all foreigners. But we must remember that they have lost everything in almost an instant and they have been left with nothing. Still there is always next season Arsenal.

Heard this great joke today, that for the purpose of explaining to anyone reading this blog in years to come, I must explain that this is one week from the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, and in the same week Arsenal lost the Carling Cup final, got knocked out of the FA cup and lost in the Champions League, just a few days after proclaiming that they were going for an historic quadruple.

For anyone interested, the author is not an Arsenal fan but does have £1000 invested in a bet on Arsenal to win the League. If it fails, he better remember there is a day job selling Trampolines.

Bryan Robson Cancer Battle

Tonight's news is that Bryan Robson has cancer and has an operation for cancer of the throat.

This blog is about things in British sports that interest us, excite us and make us proud to be fans of British sports. Bryan Robson was all of that.

He was an exciting, passionate player, who excited all who watched him. Perhaps at times a difficult man, but many achievers are difficult and he was an achiever.

At his best for England he won 90 caps, scoring 25 times and was always a thrill to watch.

I remember arriving from work to watch the England vs France game at the 1982 World Cup. We arrived just as the game kicked off, and were a little slow in getting out of the car. When we arrived in the living room we were watching the replay of his great goal. What a start. Terry Butcher flick on, Robson unmarked, left foot, 28seconds gone. 1-0.

What a goal, but just one of many great memories provided by a lion of a player. But he is not dead, and this ricks becoming an obituary, so we simply salute a tremendous player, a great Englishman, and wish him luck for the future.

Attack the disease with power, passion and energy and we are sure you will be fine.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Terry for England Captain?

Rio Ferdinand is out for the Wales game in two weeks time, so we need a new Captain. Frank Lampard may not be selected as Jack Wilshire looks like the new kid with promise and deserves a run.

So who does Capello choose?

Looks like he has been testing the water with news leaked that he is 'thinking of' John Terry. I think he thought that if it gets leaked and there is an outcry then he can claim that it was never really in the plans.

Well, there is an outcry. Mostly for reasons of not liking Capello I think, but there are some strong reasons why its a bad idea and some why its a good idea.

Firstly, we are tyring to think forward, and John Terry as Captain is looking backwards. Are there no younger players with 10 years left who could do the job?

Second reason against is can he really be forgiven? Sure it was a personal matter, but put simply, you don't sleep with your mates girlfriends. It breaks a code, and not being able to resist shows a lack of judgement and a lack of respect for the position.

Reasons for though are firstly, that we do need a good captain. It is important. Arsenal would probably have won the Carling cup, still be in the Champions League and would have at least two more points (Newcastle) if they had a real Captain.

Secondly, he should be a shoe-in pick. Not in and out. And just now Terry would be in since he is playing well.

Thirdly, he is quite good at it.

So, in our judgement should he get the job? No. Lets look forward.

So, who should get it. Well, who is guaranteed a place in the team? Rooney, Hart, Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Terry. That's it in my book. so, from that list, who is the captain. Not Terry. Cant be Ashley - too much baggage. Gerrard is injured for this one. Hart is the Goalie.

So, Rooney, step forward after much deliberation, we have decided that you are the only man (left) for the job.

About the Author: Connected is a Sports Fan, EnglandFans member, with a ticket to Wales vs England, who spends his day time wishing it was the weekend and selling Climbing Frame Slides amongst other things.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Bet on Arsenal to win the League..update

Two weeks ago we pointed out a peculiarity in the English Premier League betting. Namely that the emotion takes over the odds and it is possible to see out the ups and downs of a premiership season and once the league comes down to a two horse race to cover your bet.


We told you to put on £1000 at 2/1. That's £3000 back if they win.

Today just two weeks later Manchester United are now 4/5 to win the league with Victor Chandler.

So, put £1250 on Manchester united and you get back £2250. That covers your combined stakes for the two bets and you now have a free bet on Arsenal to win, that will pay out £3000 and a profit of £750.

Did we not tell you it would happen?

About the Author: this is fun, not free financial advice, since that does not exist. We make a living selling Above Ground Pools and Wooden Playhouses, not gambling. Its only for fun.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Worst Premier League Signings of 2010/11 Season

So much money is spent on transfers each year, that some of it is bound to be wasted. So what in our opinion are the worst signings of this season.

We don't mean the unlucky ones, where a great player is signed then gets a serious injury. We mean the stinkers. The ones where the players will go down in history as some of the worst to play for the club.

1. Joe Cole
Who, perhaps outside the Chelsea management saw that coming. Even in the World Cup, fans and pundits were saying, play him. And Arsenal were interested yet no-one wrote him off as useless. So when Liverpool signed him, it seemed universally as a good move both for player and club. But, what is wrong with him? He has been useless, and is obviously unhappy. He was a free transfer, but the wages must be huge. Maybe there is still time. Can he get back in the team and perform? I hope so.

2. Benni McCarthy
Slightly different here, as most people thought he was already washed up before his move from Blackburn to West Ham, but his battle with weight is funny. Apparently they have set him weight loss targets that he keeps missing and losing his weeks wages, but he lacks the will power to lose the weight. They have tried buying him out of the contract, but seems a better idea is to keep the weight loss targets and they may never pay him again.

3. Paul Konchesky
Why? Was he that great at Fulham? We don't think so, but Roy Hodgson took him to Anfield, where he was an embarrassing flop. Now Roy has gone so has Paul. Now on loan at Forest.

That's our top 3. Your club must have one. Give us your worst signing of the year.

Bet on Arsenal to win the Premier League

Only yesterday we told you to bet on Arsenal to win the League at 2/1.

Put £1000 on we said. See:

So with Man Utd losing last night, you could already be in profit.

Man Utd are now 8/13 with Stan James, so now you can back Manchester united and guarantee a profit.

Put £1900 on Utd now at 8/13 and you get £3069 back if they win the league for a combined stake of £2900. That's a profit of £169.

If Arsenal win you get £3000 back for the outlay of £2900 that's a £100 profit.


Our advice: Wait and see what happens. There is a good chance United will only draw against Liverpool, and the odds will move again. But, we still expect United to win the League.

About the Author: He is NOT an expert gambler. This is for fun not financial advice. Don't sue for the bad advice, just have fun with it, and remember he makes a living selling Pink Trampolines!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Arsenal vs Manchester United

Every year the Premiership comes down to two teams at some point.

When it does, it is possible to make some money in most seasons by betting on the outsider of the two in a two horse race.

So, today, Arsenal are 2/1 to win the league. Given that Manchester United are 4 points ahead, that does not seem unreasonable. But there are some factors common to every season that mean that results can get flaky towards the end.

Around 2 points per game is enough to win the league in most years. So, on average they will win one then draw one. This will average out across the season, so it is possible to win 6 then draw 3. So, often a lead will be transformed by normal averages across the season.

Also, the weaker teams traditionally win more points in the second half than the first as they fight for their survival. This means the last quarter of the season brings more shock results.

Lastly the leading team often has a panic or confidence crisis just before driving on. Around 7 games to go there is often a wobble.

what this all means is that the odds of the second team in the two horse race are exaggerated. So back them now at 2/1.

Put on £1000 at 2/1 and wait. If they win you will get £3000 back.

Wait and see what happens. In most years the leader will wobble, and the the emotional effect of two draws will be to exaggerate the impact of the loss of 4 points. Its almost as if there is a momentum,which means that the odds will shift dramatically.

So, if Manchester Utd lose tonight then draw against Liverpool, then they will have lost 5 points and Arsenal will in the driving seat and will be odds on.

At this point then bet on Manchester United to win, and you will guarantee yourself a profit.

It will work in most seasons, but not all. So, for this season, lets try.

Today, 1st March, put £1000 on at Ladbrokes at 2/1.

I will update you on the odds and tell you when to bet.

About the Author: Gardengamer is a football fan and coach, but he is not a professional gambler, so advice is for fun only. His real live is retailing Above Ground Pools and when in season, Trampolines, not full time betting on football. You have been warned!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Get Kids involved in Sport

I was listening to Geoff Boycott yesterday, giving advice on how Holland can improve Cricket standards, and he was suggesting that they need to get it played at School level.

Well, for sure it would help, but Schools have their own pressures. I think involving Kids in Sport is down to the parents.

Sport is good for Kids. It teaches so much:

- How to work hard for achievement
- How nothing comes without effort
- That effort IS rewarded
- That sometimes you need to lose
- How to handle defeat
- How to play in teams
- How to accept advice and help from the coach

And that's just a short list. In short, I think every parent has a duty to help their child develop by involving them in playing sport. Not just by joining a club, but by making sport a part of home life too. Play ball in the Garden. Get a cheap Cricket set for holidays. Play Catch. Take them swimming on Sundays, or even get an Above Ground Pool for the garden and swim on hot days.

Whatever it is, children gain so much from sport, and some of them will fall in love with the sport, and go on to achieve at an elite level and inspire the next generation.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cricket World Cup is too long

The Football World Cup is amazing. The whole world gets excited and starts imagining that their country will win, no matter how unrealistic. In the end, The Germans or the Brazilians are in the final, and you can watch the closing stages without the need to worry about your own team. Its a true World Cup.

The Cricket World cup, just started is different. Mostly because not enough countries play at a high enough level.

There are only 10 Test playing countries, but two at least are not good enough. SO, the ICC really wants to encourage more countries to play at a high level.

Consequently there are many small nations in the World Cup, who do not have a chance, but are there to help grow the sport in their countries. Admirable and necessary, but it produces too many one sided unattractive games. There is much less chance of an upset than in Soccer.

So, for the next World Cup, the ICC have decided that the number of smaller countries allowed will reduce to only 2. That will make the World Cup much better entertainment, but still leaves an absolute necessity to bring on more countries to the top table.

So, I suggest an associated tournament, before the World Cup, as a qualifier to the main event. the small countries play a B World Cup for the right to play in the Main event. It provides excitement, interesting games, and a really big prize.

Any more suggestions on how to boost Cricket?

Friday, 18 February 2011

Olympic Tickets Tips

As details of the Olympic London 2012 Tickets are published, what are the tips and tactics for making sure you get the tickets you want.

Simply forget the high profile events like the 100m Athletics finals and most swimming finals is the simple answer. They will be massively oversubscribed and your chance of getting one is very slim. Sure pitch in and apply, but don't apply expecting to get one.

Rather, first work out what you want.
Is it an event with a chance of seeing a British Gold? Or an atmosphere to never be matched, or true world class expertise in a sport you don't get the chance to see at a high level very often.

Bear that in mind, and here are our tips:

1. Don't forget the Marathons. They are free, a great atmosphere, with incredible athletes, and a fund day on London's streets assured.

2. Archery. Lords will be transformed from its normal Cricket mode to a superb outside stadium. It will look amazing and there will never be a chance like this again. Plus Archery is a minor sport and 5500 tickets means you should be able to get one. Plus, there could be a British medal, Simon Terry got a Bronze in 1992, and is a prospect again. Or five times Olympian Alison Williamson.
3. Water Polo. Its a minor sport and you should get a ticket. No British medal, though, and its not even sure we will compete. GO for the Hungarians, Serbians and Croatians. If Serbia play Croatia, expect fireworks, and it could be the highlight of the games. Seriously, get a ticket if you can.
4. Canoe Slalom. Again a good chance of British medal, or perhaps more. Plus a purpose built Lee Valley White Water Centre will be spectacular. Should get a ticket if you apply.
5. Triathlon. In London's Hyde Park, a great outdoor venue. Lots of action over a long period, and a good chance of British success. Alistair Brownlee is current World Champion.
6. Canoe Sprint. The British team are targeting 11 medals from 12 events! Power, excitement and British Medals and a great venue. Get a ticket!
Shame there is no Rugby, Netball or Rounders. Still, don't forget to enter the ballot when it opens in March.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Arsenal need a Leader

Was Saturday a normal Premiership day? Well it seems unusual results are normal these days, but there will not be a stranger result than Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4.

Realistically it was all over after 26 minutes at 3-0 up. At 4-0 it should be take the stars off, put on 3 reserves and relax. Until a moment of madness.

The atmosphere was incredible. When Arsenal went to pieces, the crowd and the players picked up on it. They knew it was possible.

I saw an incredible game some years ago when Oxford came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3. The crowd knew it would be happen and willed it. It was the same Saturday.

But, the question is why did the players let it happen?

Arsenal can pass for fun. They move, pass, move all day and make fools of the opposition most weeks. With one player down, and not even the most influential, the normal response is to take off a striker, and play with a normal midfield and defense. So what happened?

Well they panicked. What they needed at 4-2 with only 9 minutes left was a captain. Someone who could call a mental time out, and generate some calm. Now we play keep ball for 3 minutes, enough for the crowd to realise we are Arsenal. Enough for them to think we can do this all day. Enough to get Newcastle breathing hard and doubting.

Hoe many games do you see peeter out to nothing for 15 minutes because no one believes it can be differnet? 3 minutes of hold the ball would have been enough. Tony Adams would have done it. Rio Ferdinand would have done it. I would have done it. But Arsenal do not have a calm leader who can control the team.

They desperately need one, and will not win the league without one.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Liverpool - Sports Performance of the Week

So, sold Torres for £50m. But traded him in for two players, not one. And Suarez looks a great buy.

Made Torres and Chelsea look bad, greedy and out of touch, and got themselves two in-form good players, who want to play for the club. Got rid of an out of form, sulky, irritant who has not performed for over a year.

Good luck Chelsea, I think Liverpool got the best deal.

Second in the whole episode is Newcastle, who got an enormous amount of money for a prospect rather than the finished article, and the they have some good players waiting to come through. I think they can buy well in the Summer too.

Well done Liverpool.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Murray needs a Tennis Major too much.

I think that Andy Murray needs to work on his aura. Nadal projects calm, power and can be intimidating. Federer projects total control, feeling of expertise and 'I've done it all'. I think they both have an intimidating effect on the opponent.
Murray gives of a tense , 'stropy teenager' aura. His opponent always feels that he could get under his skin and set off his internal demons.

More work to be done yet.

But, having lost in the fianl in Australia, I was disapointed by all the talk of 'I am sure you will win a major one day'. His opponent said it. The tournament Director said it, and Murray talked about it.

Has it become too important? Like Colin Montgomery in Golf, is it too much of a mental hurdle, so he will always trip himself up at the last minute?

I fear he will never be able to strike the Tennis Balls true in a final if it weighs so heavily on his mind. Monty always was close, but not close enough, have we another nearly great Scotsman?

Monday, 31 January 2011

Football should be a business

You often hear the complaint that Football is all about Money these days, and its just business. Shame its not really. Because if it were, then your team would be more successful.

Often Football is about emotion, and no better day to discuss it than deadline day, when emotion, panic and generally craziness takes over.

There is a way. follow simple business rules, and don't let your heart take over. If any business has an asset that receives an offer worth more than its value then every business will take the money and reinvest.

Imagine that you have a business that has 25 products. You can easily analyse the sales, profit and total contribution from each product, You can factor in growth rates for each product and its easy to create a 'next 3 years' value attributed to each product. Some of the products you created from scratch and some you bought in as small products and grew them.

Imagine that total sales are £100m, and profits are £20m.

Now product Torres contributed £10m in profits last year, but after a serious product problem towards the end of the year sales have been very slow and profits actually zero. Prospects for the next two years are not good, because no one can work out what is wrong with the product. So, our company analysis values this product at its next 3 years earnings. Which our best guess is zero, or close to it.

Then a competitor comes in a offers £50m. what does the company do?

1. Wonder if they have missed something on the valuation, and is it earning more than they think? No they did not.

2. Ask, can we get the £10m a year back? Maybe but no guarantees.

3. Ask what would we do with the £50m? Can we invest in some products that will have a better future?

You bet its option 3.

So, Liverpool, SELL TORRES!

And every club should invest a talented, unemotional and cold hearted analyst, who should be the decider on transfers. Not the manager who starts every new job with 'give me 3 years' , and for whom every new signing ' needs time', which roughly translated means , keep me in my well paid Job a bit longer please.

Manage you players like cold assets and you know when to sell.

One team that does it well is Arsenal. Honestly who has left Arsenal and done well? Ashly Cole is the only one I can think of in British Football, and you could add Van Bronckhurst who never seemed to get a fair crack at Arsenal but made it at Barcelona.

But, Wenger has let many players go at the height of their ability it seemed, only for time to show that they were past it, or not actually that good. Henry (£16m) , Petit (£25m) , Overmars (£25m), Anelka (£23m), Vieira (£13.7m), all superb and critical players that he let go, seemingly at the height of their powers, but offered at beyond their value, so sold. And, when he says he is not buying because players are over valued, he is applying the valuation sensibly and making sure he does not buy a dud.

About the author: A lover of Football, and an expert on Cricket Balls, especially Readers Cricket Balls and Kookaburra Cricket Balls, this article is written by Connected.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Why do Tennis Balls have the wiggly line?

As an 'expert' on tennis balls, I was recently asked the question, 'Why do Tennis Balls have the wiggly line on?'

Truth is I did not know, and asking around the other 'experts' in the industry has not really shown me that after all this time the experts fully know.

As far as I can make out, when originally manufactured, they need a seam, and the ying and yang design was visually appealing. And ever since it has stuck.

Apparently the laws of the game do not require a seam, and these days a ball could be made without a seam, but the wiggly line is nice isn't it?

And if you tried to introduce a new ball, I am sure the players would reject it. The wiggly line does help you pick up spin which otherwise would much harder to pick, so the wiggly line will be here forever I think.

Are Liverpool selling Torres?

Would you?

He is worth £50m, but can not score at the rate required for a £50m player. Perhaps Suarez is better? And if £18m would get him, they would have £32m left over. Thats £8m on Adam, and another £24m to spend in the summer.

For me, its business I would do. Torres is undoubtably brilliant, but something is holding him back. Spain won the world cup carrying him, and he has something wrong. Is it an injury, or an attitude? Either way he seems not really to be coming back form it, and if Surez is that great, then sign him and bank the money.

Then rebuild the team with the extra cash. If i were Dalglish, then I would wait until Monday then go for the £50m.

About the Author: Connected is a retailer of sports equipment, sports fan, and an armchair expert of everything sporting. See:

Murray needs a new Aura

Whilst I write this Andy Murray is mid-competition in the semi-final of the Australian open. He is one set down and on serve in the second. He may yet go on to win, and indeed win the tournament, so good luck. He may also lose. Its obvious at this stage that he has the chance to do either.

But, My concern is his demeanour. He seems able to beat up the early round opponents quite easily, with good placement, and talented play, but at the very highest level, in most sports, talent is not enough, its what happens in the brain. And I don't think his demeanour helps Andy Murray.

Rafa Nadal, looks powerful. He looks totally in control of himself, and at all times, he looks like a tiger about to pounce. Power, Aggression, Belief. On the other side of the net, it must be intimidating.

Roger Federer is cool. totally in control. I have been there and done it all. I know how to win. Supreme confidence, on the back of genuinely having done it all. Confident, classy and Cool. Again, intimidation form the other side of the net.

Andy Murray is a troubled teenager. He has an aura not of confidence, but stroppiness. He projects the arrogance, yet insecurity of a 17 year old. On the other side of the net, there is not the total intimidation from Nadal or Federer, but a feeling that if get to him, just a little, his mind will go to pieces. That must be encouragement for the opposition. In the early rounds, he is too good, and they can get to him. In the later rounds, they can stay with him for a while, and it does bother him, he allows the teenage angst to come out, and then he is lost. Not based on talent but attitude.

To really go on to the next level, to be as good as Nadal or Federer he needs a new Aura, one based on his talent, and confidence.

About the Author: Connected is a Tennis Coach, and a tennis player, and is involved in the retailing of Slazenger Tennis Balls and Table Tennis Balls.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Is promotion of sports goods good for sport?

Its well known that many of the big sports brands sponsor the sporting superstars. But is this good for sport?

When Woodworm Cricket Bats got in to trouble in 2008, it was reported that KP and Flintoff got £1m each for using the bats. They sold around 15,000 bats in 2005 their best year at an average of around £110. Easy to see why the company got in to trouble.

If the number of high profile events and sportsmen that can actually drive sales is limited, then naturally the price of sponsoring them will rise, to a level where only the sportsmen will benefit. The company will end up giving away all the money it can raise. And where does the money come from? From the average player. From the club cricketer, or the schoolboy.

Prices have to take in to account the sponsorship and marketing spends. So, for Rugby Balls, perhaps 30% of the price is sponsorship. For Cricket Balls it is much less, but for the bats it can be 20-30%.

Perhaps the sports companies would be better off spending on supporting the brand with more grass roots level activity and taking a stance that syas : We don't pay inflated sponsorships. No one is paid to use our equipment.'

Monday, 17 January 2011

Spurs must not be allowed to knock down the Olympic Stadium

I have a soft spot for Spurs. When I was a kid and thought I needed to support a big team to make sure I had an interest in the big trophies, I went for Spurs. Hoddle, Perryman, Jennings was the era, and I love how Spurs have regained the big time under Redknapp.

But, with the plan to knock down the Olympic stadium, they have got too big for themselves.

They don't own the Stadium, it is part of a national event, one that will make us proud to be British and proud of our achievements. It must stay as a lasting and forever memorial to the 2012 achievement. the Barcelona Olympic Stadium, the Moscow Olympic stadium are fantastic iconic buildings that the cities are proud of. The London Stadium must stay.

Of course there is the issue of usage. And football is of course the most sensible tenant of such a large stadium. But if a way can not be found to use the stadium for football and also athletics, then don't let Football in. come up with another plan. It will have unrivaled transport links. Use this in the business plan, to make sure that it takes over from Wembley as the Stadium for summer concerts.

Don't give up the 2012 dream to accommodate football. If football wont compromise then work without them.

And whilst I agree that a running track is not ideal because it takes fans away from the pitch, have you been at the top of Wembley? There can not be many places in the world further from the pitch.

About the Author: Post writen by Connected. Connected is an employee of Sports Ball Shop, a UK based retailer of Readers Cricket Balls and Mitre Footballs

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Rooney for Real Madrid?

Is Rooney finished at Manchester United? Is his less than brilliant season the beginging of the end. For sure Sir Alex keeps talking him up, but wouldn't you if you thought you could get £50m for him?

We love him here, our favourite player in the premiership, but his mind does not seem on the job this season.

Our money is on him staying, getting his head clear, and a storming season next year.

Olympic Tickets

It has been announced that the date for application for the Olympic Tickets will be 15th March. Pre Register with the 2012 organization now, and then you have 6 weeks from March 15th to apply and then you will win or not in the ballot for tickets for events that are over subscribed.

Of course many evens like the major athletics finals will be massively oversubscribed, but if you want to see Water Polo or Hand Ball then you should be just fine.

Our advice is don't be too greedy. Be practical. If you apply for hundreds of events then you may just get more than you bargain for. Go for what you really want to see. After the first wave, then you will see which events are not sold out and you will still be able to get tickets for those events.

Sports Performance of The Week

As the first winner of Sports Performance of the Week, it has to be the English Cricket Team. Winning the Ashes in Australia was a tremendous performance, and has made British, well English anyway, Sports fans extremely proud.

What made the team play so well? According to Andrew Strauss, it was all about preparation and organisation. Careful thought about what would make a difference, and total focus on the detail. Thinking about the things that make a tiny improvement in performance, gives a confidence that you have thought of everything, and that you can not fail.

I remember a training course some years ago, where sales people where asked to negotiate a deal. A half of the room were told that their company was amazingly successful, and the other half were told that their company was desperate and needed this deal to survive. All the salesmen in the first group got a better a deal than than all of the people in second group.

Similarly, when the cricket team feel that they are in control, and everything has been done right, then the good performances follow.

Well done England. Superb.