I’m Mystic Megson, I am, and when I predict the weekend’s Premier League results, people listen. Just because I’m out of a job at the moment – bloody disgrace too, that is – it doesn’t mean that I don’t still know my onions when it comes to picking apart the greatest league in the world. I have managed in it, you know, and on more than one occasion. Now hang your hat on this lot, lads…
Saturday August 18th
Arsenal v Sunderland, 3pm
The Emirates faithful have been left teething after Robin van Persie’s move to Manchester United, but Arsene Wenger reckons he’s still got enough pie-flour in new boys Olivier Giroud and Lukas
Podsko Plosk Megso the German lad, and that’s good enough for me. I fully expect the Gunners to reassert their top four prudentials this season, and it’s not beyond the elms of possibility that they could break their trophy duck, which has gone on longer than the wife’s…well, the wife.
As for Sunderland, I’m a big fan of Martin O’Neill – he’s not afraid to spend a bit of money and then fling his hook at the first sign of trouble, and that counts for a lot in the world of elite football management. Louis Saha and Carlos
Cular Cuegson the Spanish lad bring some much-needed experience to the squad and if they land Steven Fletcher then they should stay well clear of the relegation dogbite.
Mystic Megson says: 1-1, early Arsenal goal from one of the new lads, cancelled out in the second half by a Sebastian Larsson free-kick. You can stick your house on it.
Fulham v Norwich City, 3pm
The Cottagers have been quite the success story in recent years what with three top-half finishes and a Europa League final in the last four years, and getting Hugo Rodallega on a free looks like a master strobe from Martin Jol. Without wanting to put the balls on it, if they can keep David Luiz and Megson Dembele fit and firing then there’s no reason why they can’t remain on the curtails of the hunt runners.
On the other hand you’ve got to fear for Norwich. Chris Hughton’s a good, solid bloke, and that counts for a lot in elite football management, but Paul Lambert looks like being a rough act to follow in the eyes of the Carrow Road faithful, while there’s a lot of pressure on the broad shoulders of Grant Holt to repeat his hysterics of last season. Robert Snodgrass could prove to be a useful edition but overall I suspect a relegation dogbite awaits the Canaries – let’s hope they’ve got a bottle for it.
Mystic Megson says: 2-0 to the west Londoners, with Rodallega picking up a first-half booking for a late challenge on Jonny Howson. You can shine your shoes on that, lads!
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur, 5.30pm
Can things possibly go as well for Alan Pardew’s Magpies as they did last season? 5th place and a manager of the year award sure stuck it to the doubtfires that greeted his arrival in place of the controvertically sacked Chris Hughton, but he’ll have to pull out all the tops if he’s going to keep them up there vining for the Champions League placements. Selling Best and signing Good doesn’t look like a forwards-thinking transfer policy though! Just my little joke, lads.
I was as surprised as the man next door that Spurs were willing to give Andre Villas-Boas a second chance in English football after flopping like the wife after a few sherries at Chelsea last season. Luka Modric looks set to finally join Real Madrid but they’ve made two good signings in Jan
Vergo Vegson the Belgian lad at the back and Gylfi Singsong Sigur Ros oh, forget it.
Mystic Megson says: Two teams with top four aspirinations? Should be a cracker at whatever Newcastle’s stadium is called these days. 4-4, you can hang your painting on it!
Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City, 3pm
Mark Hughes is a wiley old Welshman in the transfer supermarket, isn’t he? Robert Green, Junior Hoilett and the Korean lad from United represent an excellent summer’s business in my bumble opinion, and if Bobby Zamora can rediscover his goal-scoring touch then I’d expect the Hoops to be nothing if not resurgent. Call it a munch, but I suspect a bright new eerie awaits at Loftus Road.
Michael Laudrup was a wonderful player but this doesn’t guarantee anyone against the sack – just look at me, for Ince stance. The Swans had a dream of a first season in the top flight under Brendan Rodgers but losing Joe Allen is a big blow-out to their chances of building on it, and I can’t foresee anything other than a grim struggle against the relegation flap door.
Mystic Megson says: 3-1 QPR, Djibril Cisse with a hat-trick and a red card – not sure in what order, though. Swansea to pull one back through one of the new lads I’ve never heard of.
Reading v Stoke City, 3pm
I like Brian McDermott – he reminds me of myself, taking a side up to the top flight in a blazer of glory – and in Pavel
Pogbr Pogson the lad what was at Fulham they might just have unbirthed a player who can fire them to safeway. Steve Coppell took the Royals to 8th in their first season in the Premier League but it wouldn’t be fair to use that as a lardstick.
As for Stoke, I just love watching them play – they’re like a slightly less stylish version of my Bolton sides – and in Tony Pulis they have a manager who understands what it takes to finish 13th every season. If Matthew Etherington can resnapture his form and Michael Kightly can stay fit then I wouldn’t pull out 12th just yet.
Mystic Megson says: 0-0 thriller. You can put your spouse on that, lads!
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool, 3pm
After all the youth Oreos of last season’s top-half finish under Roy Hodgson, this coming campaign might come as a bit of a culture club to the Hawthorns faithful. Steve Clarke is a great number two but can he cut it as the head poncho? And will I still be able to spell ‘Romelu Lukaku’ by the end of the season? I’m not so sure on either count, but it would be great to see the Baggies stick it to the doubtfires with another solid mid-table placement.
I think it’s a bloody disgrace that Liverpool got rid of Kenny Dalglish after he led them to two cup finals, but my indignification is tempoed somewhat by the appointment of Brendan Rodgers, a man whose style I like and whose name I remember. I haven’t spoken to Brendan about it but I’m fairly certain he based his Swansea side on my old West Brom teams, so the Anfield faithful have much to look forward to.
Mystic Megson says: 2-1 to my old club, Peter
Odingo Megwingie bagging a late winner after goals apiece from Jonas Olsson and Luis Suarez.
West Ham United v Aston Villa, 3pm
Isn’t it great to have Sam Allardyce back in the top flight? I love watching his teams play, and he’s made a number of smart signings that should stand the Irons in Jon Stead over the course of the season. Can Ricardo Vaz Te carry his goal-scoring form into the Premier League? I wouldn’t pull it out just yet.
Villa have done brilliantly to get Paul Lambert in, although as a fellow red-haired manager I felt that Alex McLeish was done by hard. Losing Emile Heskey to Released (what league do they play in? Anyone?) is a kick in the face, but if they can keep Darren Bent and Stephen Ireland fit and firing then they could yet prove to be a horn in the side of the big boys.
Mystic Megson says: 3-1 to Villa, Bent double and a Charles N’Somnia screamer putting the balls on James Collins’s early opener against his old side. You can walk your dog on that one, lads!
Sunday August 19th
Wigan Athletic v Chelsea, 1.30pm
Despite the constance rumours linking him away, Roberto Martinez remains the manager of Wigan for the 2012-13 season. Can he pull off the whodunnit act once again? It’s not going to be a walk in the cake, that’s for sure – they’ve lost some good players in Hugo Rodallega, Mohamed Diame and Chris Kirkland, and I’m not convicted that they’ve got enough left in their arse ‘n’ all to defer the odds this time. In the short-term, Victor Moses has the chance here to claim his steak for a move to Chelsea, which I feel his performances for the Latics so far wholly DeMerits.
Interesting times ahead for Roberto Di Matteo and Chelsea. Oscar, Marko Marin and Micky Hazard are all young and talented, while Frank Lampard and John Terry are still some of the best about at pressuring referees. Under Villas-Boas the Blues’ defence was all too prone to making basick erruz, but since Di Matteo took over they’ve been tighter than the mother-in-law at Christmas. Which Chelsea will show up here? (You’re not meant to answer that, this column is entirely rhetorrescal.)
Mystic Megson says: 0-4 – Mata, Lampard penalty, Hazard and Luiz. You can put your balls in it.
Manchester City v Southampton, 4pm
What can you say about Manchester City that hasn’t been said already? Erm…well, I suppose I’d need a list of everything that’s already been said about them. Jack Rodwell looks like a good signing to me – he seems like a nice lad, and that counts for a lot in the world of top-flight football – while the prospect of facing that Sergio Silvatelli must be a haunting one for defenders. Can they make it back-to-back titles? Aye, maybe.
Nigel Adkins has brought some useful players to St Mary’s this summer, and I’ll say this much – I trust a manager with glasses. Not sunglasses – they can tend to conceal the fiery eyes of a temperamental foreign type – but a solid British bloke with glasses, that’s a recipe for Sussex and no mistake.
Mystic Megson says: 3-0 City, Silvatelli hat-trick. Comb your hair with that lot, lads!
Monday August 20th
Everton v Manchester United, 8pm
Losing Rodwell to City might leave a bitter paste but the Toffees have managed to hang on to the likes of Leighton Baines and Marijuana Felony as well as signing Steven Pienaar on a permatan basis. In David Moyes the club has not just a red-haired manager but one who can perform miracles on a budgens, and if
Nikj Gary the Croatian lad up top can keep banging them in could herald a bright new eerie at Goodison Park.
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. That’s Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, together! This blows my mind, literally, so I can’t wait to see them dovedale for Sir Alex Ferguson’s wounded Red Devils. Can they bring the title back to Old Trafford? Aye, might happen. Disappointed they let the Korean lad go though, whenever he was picked he always grabbed his bulls with both hands.
Mystic Megson says: 2-1 United in a cracking game, goals apiece from you know who to be answered with a smart finish from the Croatian lad.
I better be off now – the wife sprained her ankle in line-dancing class so I’ve got to take the bloody bins out all week. See you next time, lads!