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Lucky Devils?


Dorset

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It?s disturbing, it?s happened twice, and on each occasion I?ve had to reach for the TV mute button. I?m talking, of course, about United?s Premiership games against Fulham and Liverpool and in particular the unedifying sight of Old Red Nose cavorting up and down the touchline. Viewed in silence, the endless playbacks are somewhat surreal - even more so after the ?Pool mugging. It?s also sad to relate that I now keep getting flashbacks with a musical accompaniment of ?I should be so lucky,?lucky, lucky, lucky? - and we all know that Fergie ain?t no Kylie.

However, perhaps most disturbing of all is the destabilising effect these two results have had on my hitherto unshakeable belief that luck should play little or no part in a competition spanning thirty eight games. With mind out of kilter and faith yet to be restored, here?s my original take on this season?s Premiership (two horse) race, plus the final run in on all fronts, and maybe you can all tell me when, where and why the pragmatism turned to quivering uncertainty ?

Once an opportunity has arisen, I?ve always thought that the ability of owners, coaches, teams or individual players, to be the best at what they do (and therefore win trophies or become ?greats? of the game) relies almost entirely on two individual attributes - knowledge and skill. Both are essential for success, but, no matter how much knowledge you have or acquire, skill is more important because it enables knowledge to be used to the full. In other words, loads of knowledge (training, tactics, scouting, etc) comes to nothing without the skill to use it properly.

In the beginning Roman had very little knowledge or skill in the footballing sense, but he has acquired a fair bit of the former (like us) through watching, and a great deal of the latter through purchasing power. His individual knowledge has the capacity to be as good as ours and ultimately it knows no bounds when combined with the skills he can call on in others (Jose, Kenyon, Buck, etc). Compared to any of the Glazers, he wins hands down on knowledge and recent debate on vicarious skills has been won in the form of back to back titles.

Jose prides himself on his massive knowledge of the game (methodology), but his skill factor is just as impressive and it has enabled him to apply ?knowledge? to great effect in a ridiculously short period of time. It has taken Fergie longer, but he has achieved more and his knowledge of the Premiership is second to none. However, the same cannot be said of him in Europe and maybe it is a lack of skill in that arena that has restricted him to one trophy over a similar length of time, whereas Jose has already matched the feat. Conclusion - Fergie?s knowledge transcends his skill, but Jose has both in equal measure and his skill appears to be effective both at home and abroad.

If you haven?t fallen asleep by now you would do if I went through all the players in both teams in a similar fashion, but suffice to say that the skill above knowledge brigade in our side would include JT, Lamps, Joe Cole, Petr Cech, Arjen Robben and Michael Essien with Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho joining them after this season?s performances. Maka, quite simply, has immense knowledge and unique skills, whereas the ?English? Sheva has limited knowledge and undoubted skills that, to some extent, are being comprised to improve his knowledge.

By comparison, the Reds have Giggs, Rooney, Ferdinand and Ronaldo as standout skill merchants, with Neville, Scholes and van der Saar skirting the edges, dependant on just how strict your interpretation of skill might be. Talking of strictness, it is a quality placed firmly in the ?knowledge? camp. For example, Bellamy has some skill, limited by a basic lack of knowledge, whilst Eto?o has oodles of skill that (he thinks) often entitles him to completely disregard basic knowledge. Rooney is also separated from the rest by this trait, but his manager?s abundance of knowledge strives to keep him on an even keel?just.

Belatedly I know, but my point is that from virtually every standpoint the possibility of a United treble should not be as realistic a prospect as our own - yet it is. In one arena the table doesn?t lie, in another they are almost guaranteed a quarterfinal spot and the FA Cup is up for grabs. Chelsea should come out of the mix with at least one of these three, but the scary thing is that I now find myself needing to qualify the prediction by saying?.with any luck.

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Wow Dorset, that really has given me a headache.

I really enjoy your articles, and that is why I persevered until then end. But I have to say that was one of your less enjoyable posts.

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Wow Dorset, that really has given me a headache.

I really enjoy your articles, and that is why I persevered until then end. But I have to say that was one of your less enjoyable posts.

spin.gif

I will give you evens Dorsets next post is a priceless piece of his own unique blend of wit and knowledge tinged with a little sarcasm icon_wink.gif

I still enjoyed it and will enjoy it more if uniteds luck runs out tomorrow night icon_lol.gif

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Wow Dorset, that really has given me a headache.

I really enjoy your articles, and that is why I persevered until then end. But I have to say that was one of your less enjoyable posts.

spin.gif

Sorry about that, TT, but felt I had to get it off my chest. Even though I don't bet, I like your posts too and would be interested to know what percentage of your bets you feel are lost due to luck as opposed to, say, error through emotion or, for want of a better phrase, just lack of skill in assessing the odds properly?

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Even though I don't bet, I like your posts too and would be interested to know what percentage of your bets you feel are lost due to luck as opposed to, say, error through emotion or, for want of a better phrase, just lack of skill in assessing the odds properly?

Dorset, I don't think it is error through emotion, or lack of skill in assessing. I just think that football is such an unpredictable game that anything can happen. If it was predictable then the bookies would all be bankrupt, and we would all be millionaires.

When looking for good bets it is a matter of trying to identify what you think is most predicable (or most likely). With Jose in charge he puts a strong emphasis on defence (and keeping a clean sheet). Therefore, by betting on the score to be 1-0, 2-0, or 3-0 is likely to win quite regularly.

Taking Porto as an example, even though they played well in the first half they scored from what was pretty much their only decent chance of the game. Therefore, I maintain that my bet prediction of 1-0 or 2-0 was a good one.

Betting on the score is harder than simply predicting a win/draw/loss but the odds return is much greater. Therefore, you have to look at the returns over the entire season to decide if the betting plan is working or not. I am currenty ?220 pounds in profit over the season match bets, but I did go 14 consecutive games without a win.

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