Just how bad were The Spoiler’s pre-season predictions?

Sunderland in the top six, Wolves in the top half and other errors


The Spoiler made ten pre-season predictions last summer. Now comes that awkward moment to look back and cringe…

Arsenal will, as always, finish in the top four
Our faith in the profit-first, football-second Gunners was vindicated, kindly assisted by a typically Spursian slump, Andre Villas-Boas’ over-eagerness to overhaul and Liverpool being Liverpool. 1pt.

Sunderland will challenge for sixth, maybe even fifth
Oh dear. Steve Bruce being sacked from just above the relegation zone in November definitely wasn’t part of this plan, as the Black Cats instead launched an assault on the bottom six. 0pts.

Demba Ba is a good each-way bet for Premier League top goalscorer
This looked like the rarest of Spoiler spectacles, a genuine insight, only for January to arrive, Demba to step aside for compatriot Papiss Cisse, and eventually accept seventh in the scorer standings. ½pt.

Sergio Aguero will outscore Carlos Tevez regardless of whether they are team-mates or not
Tevez kindly went on a golfing holiday to allow our lad a 26-strike margin of victory in this head-to-head. 1pt.

Bolton will battle relegation, albeit more than likely surviving
How unfortunate to tack a comma-plus-caveat on the end to try to guard against potential embarrassment, as this would have looked one of our wiser prophecies. ½pt

Wigan won’t hit their top-ten goal despite a decent effort, but Wolves will wind up in the top half
Oh dear. Let’s swiftly skim past this, given the bottom-six finishes and complete non-challenges of both. 0pts

Hearts will only change manager once more at most this season
This was written after Jim Jefferies’ firing, and remarkably they stuck with Paulo Sergio ever since, being rewarded with a cup. He could leave this summer though and, if so, we’ll cheekily chalk this up as on par. 1pt

Barcelona won’t win the Champions League
Saying that one of 32 teams in a competition won’t lift the trophy doesn’t sound too brave, but in fairness they were monster favourites last summer. 1pt

Napoli will spearhead an unexpected Serie A revival in Europe this season after a pitiful 2010-11, reaching the quarters
AVB’s P45 and replacement with RDM denied us what briefly appeared a banker. They did see off Manchester City though. 0pts

Pep Guardiola-lite Luis Enrique’s intriguing Roma revolution won’t go to plan and will feature a loss at Catania
Another case of cursing an additional clause. Roma did suck and Luis Enrique is off (the 42-year-old likely being replaced by 65-year-old Zdenek Zeman, what a project!) but both Catania clashes were draws. ½pt

Final tally: A respectable – by Spoiler standards – 5½/10

Our Championship count by contrast was a pathetic 1/5

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