Premier League Predictions 2015-2016

Is it that time of year again already? But before embarking on my latest predictions I wanted to see how I did last time out.

My prediction How they finished
1.       Chelsea 1.       Chelsea
2.       Man City 2.       Man City
3.       Arsenal 3.       Arsenal
4.       Liverpool (-2) 4.       Man Utd
5.       Man Utd (+1) 5.       Spurs
6.       Spurs (+1) 6.       Liverpool
7.       Everton (-5) 7.       Southampton
8.       Newcastle (-7) 8.       Swansea
9.       Stoke 9.       Stoke
10.   Southampton (+3) 10.   Palace
11.   Swansea (+3) 11.   Everton
12.   Palace (+2) 12.   West Ham
13.   Hull (-5) 13.   WBA
14.   West Ham (+2) 14.   Leicester
15.   QPR (-5) 15.   Newcastle
16.   Villa (-1) 16.   Sunderland
17.   Sunderland (+1) 17.   Villa
18.   WBA (+5) 18.   Hull
19.   Leicester (+5) 19.   Burnley
20.   Burnley (-1) 20.   QPR

So only 4 correct out of 20 which doesn’t seem great. I will take partial credit for Burnley as they did still get relegated. The top 3 seemed pretty predictable to me and getting Stoke’s placing right was pleasing. I’m also very happy to see that my beloved Tottenham Hotspur exceeded my expectations (it’s a rare occurrence). Even if in reality it didn’t make much real difference it’s still nice to finish above Liverpool and I’m sure Pochettino was glad to finish two clear of his former club Southampton. I suppose all these predictions illustrate is beyond the top 6 clubs how tight and therefore unpredictable the rest of the division is and I’m sure this campaign will be no different.

Anywho let’s move on to 2015-2016…

  1. Chelsea
  2. Man City
  3. Man Utd
  4. Arsenal
  5. Liverpool
  6. Spurs
  7. Southampton
  8. Everton
  9. Stoke
  10. Palace
  11. Swansea
  12. West Ham
  13. Newcastle
  14. WBA
  15. Sunderland
  16. Villa
  17. Leicester
  18. Bournemouth
  19. Watford
  20. Norwich

 

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Why are we obsessed by who is the greatest of all time?

More of a philosophical post this time…

It is a question that is asked on an annual basis after the Wimbledon tennis finals. Where do they rank amongst the all time greats? Is Roger Federer the greatest male tennis player ever? Will Novak Djokovic eclipse him?  Is Serena the best female tennis player we’ve ever seen?

This phenomena is not merely confined to tennis, far from it. Any major sport you care to think of has the same ongoing debate. Is Messi the best footballer that ever lived? Is Tiger Woods better than Jack Nicklaus? LeBron James or Michael Jordan? Senna or Schumacher? O’Sullivan or Hendry? Bradman or Richards? Ali or Sugar Ray? Brady or Montana? The list is endless.

People/the media seem fixated by the issue – to use the most common example: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are constantly compared and contrasted with each other. Can’t we simply enjoy the fact that we are lucky enough to witness these two supremely talented players who have very different and individual strengths and weaknesses at the peak of their powers at the same time? They are two incredible footballers that usually come round once in a lifetime/generation. They have both set standards of consistent brilliance that may never be matched again. (For those wondering, having been fortunate enough to see both live in action on a few occasions, I’m very much in Team Messi).

I suppose part of the interest and debate stems from the intrinsically competitive nature of sport (human beings in general) and those that follow it with a passion want to know/put forward their case for who is best.  There also appears to be a desire for us to say we witnessed greatness. So we can talk to our children and our grandchildren about how good Usain Bolt was. Like our parents and grandparents would regale stories about the genius of Pele, Moore, Greaves, Maradona, Borg, McEnroe and so on.

One of the major problems is that comparing people from different eras is very difficult/nigh on impossible. As equipment, technology, nutrition, sports science and so on move on so quickly.

The truth about all such arguments is that it is all very subjective. Everyone gauges who is the best by very personal criteria. Some do it in black and white terms – he/she is the most successful in terms of records, victories etc therefore they are clearly the greatest, while others do it in terms of natural talent and ability or how hard they have worked to get to the top. Some do it purely based on personality or how he/she conducted themselves and what they have done to promote/raise the profile of their particular sport.

It is a debate that has raged for decades and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. It’s certainly an interesting topic of discussion that is for sure.