So the pigeon lady from Home Alone finally got the sack and became the first managerial casualty of the Premier League season. About bloody time if you ask me. Although her ability to stay calm under pressure and feed so many pigeons was commendable, her footballing nous wasn’t up to scratch. And she had a funny smell.
So Sunderland begin a new era, or rather signify the end of an old one, with a trip to Molineux. There is a 10-minute silence planned at the beginning of this match in protest against the rising cost of football. The cynics would say that they are wasting their time; Arsenal fans have been known to undertake similar 90-minute protests and it has had little to no effect on their ticket prices.
The Gunners are at the DW Stadium this weekend taking on a Wigan side buoyed by their injury-time winner against Sunderland last Saturday. Although it ended up being the result that forced Ellis Short into sacking his manager it was a win that the Latics did not deserve.
Roberto Martinez’s men were dominated from start to finish and when they did get the ball forward Connor Sammon was as wasteful as he looked clueless. With Robin van Persie and a number of others fresh having been rested in midweek, the Gunners can get back on the winning trail here. Back Arsenal to win at odds of 1.6 (8/13) with Betfair. It’s a Bruin Shoo-In.
In the Championship Southampton and West Ham are beginning to create a comfortable buffer between themselves and the play-offs. There is now a six-point gap between Cardiff in third and The Hammers in second, with the Saints a further two points to the good.
At the other end there’s a similar chasm developing between Doncaster and Coventry and the teams above them scrapping for relegation.
Donny manager Dean Saunders has gone down the route of picking up players deemed no longer good enough for the Premier League. But unfortunately they’re not proving good enough for The Championship either. El Hadji Diouf, Marc-Anotine Fortune, Herita Ilunga and Habib Beye are amongst the big names now plying their trade at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Maybe they should rename it the Keep-afloat Stadium! Get it? No? See, what I did was… oh forget it, back Southampton to beat Doncaster at odds of 1.8 (4/5) at Betfair.com. So says Bruin.
In the SPL Rangers’ lead at the top has been slashed in recent weeks with Ally McCoist’s side picking up just one point from a possible six. That included a home draw against high-flying St Johnstone.
Despite fears to the contrary The Saints have carried on in much the same vein since the departure of manager Derek McInnes. Steve Lomas has taken the reins and the Perthshire club continue to exceed even the most optimistic of pre-season expectations.
This weekend they visit Tynecastle to play a Hearts side below them in the table, yet they are rank outsiders in the betting. Home advantage means that the Jambos are deserved favourites, but they shouldn’t be as short as [2.04] (21/20). They’re a shoo-in of a lay at that price at Betfair.com.
Back Arsenal to beat Wigan @ 1.6
Back Southampton to beat Doncaster @ 1.8
Lay Hearts to beat St Johnstone @ 2.04
Treble pays @ 5.7 at Betfair.com