Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Wed 16 May 2007

Premiership Predicitons 2006/07 - Result

Way back on August 15th 2006, SPAOTP ran an article where Smart and I attempted to predict the final table for the 2006/07 Premiership season. Our regular contributor, Kedge, joined in the fun by doing the same, and by way of a fourth contributor we used the prediction of FourFourTwo magazine too.

So now the season's over, how well did we all do? Well I think it's fair to say that we proved that making predictions of this sort is a treacherous business, but we were incredibly far-sighted in some ways.

If you look at the graphic below (click for an enlarged version), you'll see that myself, Smart and FourFourTwo all succeeded in correctly guessing three positions in the table while Kedge got one right.



Strangely enough, it was Tottenham that proved to be the easier of the teams to guess the fate of, and only then, presumably, by suggesting they'd finish in fifth place like they'd done the previous season.

As ever, it was a fairly safe bet to pick the weakest of the newly-promoted sides to finish bottom, and this season it was poor old Watford. No surprises there, but one has to note that Kedge picked a fairly adventurous set of predictions which featured Sheffield United at the bottom and Watford directly above them. Not so far from the truth there, then.

The enlightening bit, however, comes when you analyse our comments from that previous post back in August. I, in my wisdom, stated that "Aston Villa will improve on last season under Martin O'Neill but it's going to take some time to achieve" and that "two of the new boys will go straight back down with only Reading capable of really causing any flicker of an upset."

Someone hand me a lottery ticket...

Having seen Smart's predictions, I also commented "Portsmouth in ninth is an interesting choice. Why did you plump for that?" Strange I should single out his Portsmouth prediction specifically when it turned out to be one of the three correct ones he made!

In other ways we weren't so accurate. Smart suggested that "the further the [English UEFA Cup entrants] go, the lower down the league I think they will finish". Given that Tottenham reached the quarter finals and still finished fifth in the league, it's fair to say he was slightly wide of the mark with that... mind you, most of the other English teams didn't go that far in the UEFA Cup to give us an alternative comparison.

I was also guilty of suggesting that "Gareth Southgate will struggle badly in his first season as manager of Middlesbrough" where, in reality, they finished 12th. Who'd be a pundit, eh?

Overall, taking into consideration where we positioned each team in our predictions compared to the eventual table, Martin was the most accurate. On average, each team in his prediction was only 2.5 places away from where they should have been, which was pretty impressive.

Both FourFourTwo and I trailed in next with an average of about three positions difference between my line-up and the final table, and Kedge wasn't far behind with an average of just under 3.5.

All in all then, not a bad effort on all our parts. Congratulations to Smart on winning the contest and let's hope we all manage to do even better next season. (Just thirteen weeks left to get your predictions ready, by the way...)

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