CRYS­TAL BALL TIME

CHRIS LIN­COLN takes a WITH the new sea­son in full flow, hap­pen over the next 12 months… tongue-in-cheek look at what will

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Pre­dic­tions for the year ahead

Septem­ber

As is so of­ten the case in re­cent years, Arsene Wenger’s Ar­se­nal take the top flight by storm in the open­ing weeks, with Me­sut Ozil set­ting up more goals than the rest of the Premier League com­bined. Alexis Sanchez agrees to a new fiveyear deal after the promis­ing start.

Mean­while, for­mer neigh­bours but still bit­ter ri­vals Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur sit bot­tom of the league as their Wem­b­ley curse con­tin­ues.

Burn­ley spring a sur­prise start to the sea­son with their sim­ple press­ing, win the ball and counter-at­tack tac­tic. Le­ices­ter City any­one?

Oc­to­ber

Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp is famed for his en­er­getic cel­e­bra­tions and makes the head­lines when cel­e­brat­ing a late Jor­dan Hen­der­son win­ner against ri­vals Manch­ester United.

Whilst Hen­der­son goes off to kiss the crest on his shirt in front of the United fans, Klopp is mobbed by the rest of the team as goal­keeper Si­mon Mig­no­let fails to hold onto his glasses.Yet Klopp’s eye­wear sur­vives and he be­comes the face of Spec­savers with a lu­cra­tive deal.

Burn­ley con­tinue their good run of form as Jonathan Walters tops the goalscor­ing charts and Jack Cork is com­pared to N’Golo Kante.

How­ever, the real Kante’s Chelsea are strug­gling as the play­ers be­gan to turn on An­to­nio Conte. Ru­mours cir­cu­late that John Terry is con­duct­ing pro­ceed­ings from Birm­ing­ham.

Novem­ber

Not since Paul the Oc­to­pus has an an­i­mal so ac­cu­rately pre­dicted a set of foot­ball re­sults.Yet Felix the Cat, based at Hud­der­s­field train sta­tion, is build­ing a grow­ing fol­low­ing. The fe­line had cor­rectly pre­dicted all of Hud­der­s­field’s re­sults un­til that point.Yet spec­u­la­tion is build­ing in the me­dia that an ex­tra treat had been placed in the “lose” bowl as he al­ways chose that re­sult and the Ter­ri­ers duly fol­lowed suit.

Ar­se­nal suf­fer their first de­feat of the sea­son as Wenger ac­cuses Sean Dy­che’s Burn­ley of “bully- ing” them out of the game. The Clarets leapfrog the Gun­ners to top the ta­ble.

De­cem­ber

The Burn­ley de­feat causes an alarm­ing run of re­sults for Ar­se­nal as they be­gin to fall out of ti­tle con­tention. A fan on hon­ey­moon causes “Wenger Out” to trend on so­cial me­dia when he films him­self on the beach with a ban­ner in Mau­ri­tius. Mean­while, Jose Mour­inho blames de­feat to City in the Manch­ester derby on the cold weather in a new low of ex­cuses for the Por­tuguese boss.

Jan­uary

After a quiet cou­ple of years in the trans­fer mar­ket, Chelsea owner Ro­man Abramovich de­cides to get his Mo­nop­oly set off the shelf. Not to be out­done by Paris Saint-Ger­main, Chelsea make for­mer player Diego Costa the first £500 mil­lion man as he re­turns to Stam­ford Bridge. An­to­nio Conte is loaned to Vitesse along with 20 play­ers, whilst Frank Lam­pard comes in as care­taker man­ager after an anony­mous tip-off by an un­known Chelsea fan who left a note signed ‘JT x’. “Wenger Out” t-shirts be­come the high­est gross­ing prod­uct on the mar­ket, whilst Alexis Sanchez is dis­ci­plined for laugh­ing at his man­ager when he re­alises his bank card had ex­pired.

Fe­bru­ary

Out of Europe and off the ti­tle race pace, Man United were left with just the Carabao Cup to fight for.

A week be­fore the fi­nal, Mour­inho ar­rives at Old Traf­ford for a Premier League fix­ture, tells his side who is in the start­ing eleven and then leaves the sta­dium, claim­ing he had to “pre­pare for United’s most im­por­tant fix­ture of the sea­son – and his­tory”.

United de­feat Chelsea on penal­ties as Thibaut Cour­tois blazes a cru­cial spot-kick over the cross­bar. He is duly loaned to Le­ices­ter Tigers.

Louis van Gaal made head­lines as he dis­cusses what he thought was the “Haribo Cup” with the Dutch me­dia.

March

With “Wenger Out” a reg­u­lar fea­ture on in­ter­na­tional news chan­nels, Arsene Wenger quashes any spec­u­la­tion that he could be leav­ing the Emi­rates. A 5-0 de­feat to Brighton is re­warded with a new two-year con­tract ex­ten­sion.

Burn­ley top the ta­ble but Sean Dy­che in­sists the goal is still to avoid rel­e­ga­tion, whilst ref­er­ees hit the head­lines through­out the month. After it was agreed video re­plays and sin bins would be in­tro­duced along­side a trial of the ABBA penalty shoot-out sys­tem for draws, a host of mis­takes are made after pic­tures are un­cov­ered of five ref­er­ees on a stag week­end in Ma­galuf.

April

After a re­mark­able turn­around in for­tunes, Spurs find them­selves bat­tling it out for the Premier League ti­tle along­side Burn­ley.

The com­bi­na­tion of Harry Kane’s 50 goals and Felix the Cat’s pre­dic­tion that Eng­land will win the World Cup send English fans into over­drive.“It’s our year” re­places “Wenger Out” as the num­ber one so­cial me­dia trend.

Mean­while, Sam Al­lardyce comes out of re­tire­ment in an at­tempt to guide Brighton & Hove Al­bion to safety.Yet ru­mours cir­cu­late in the me­dia that Big Sam had been lead­ing an un­der­ground gam­bling black mar­ket, with Joey Barton fea­tur­ing on Forbes’ an­nual rich list as a re­sult.

May

Burn­ley hold on to win the Premier League ti­tle in the great­est sport­ing shock since… Le­ices­ter City won the league. Dis­ney an­nounce they will be cre­at­ing a film based on Jon Walters with the Ir­ish­man set to be played by Ge­orge Clooney. Tot­ten­ham fin­ish the sea­son sec­ond, Man City third with­out a tro­phy, Ar­se­nal fourth, again, and Brighton sur­vive on the fi­nal day of the sea­son. Chelsea en­joy suc­cess at Wem­b­ley in the FA Cup, whilst Aston Villa win the Cham­pi­onship. John Terry is pic­tured cel­e­brat­ing with his full kit on at both venues.

June

After fail­ing to es­tab­lish him­self back at Ever­ton, Wayne Rooney re­turns to Old Traf­ford in a coach­ing ca­pac­ity. His Ever­ton py­ja­mas sell on­line for over £100,000, al­low­ing him to shell out for his lat­est hair trans­plant. Rooney an­nounces in his first press con­fer­ence that he had been wear­ing Fred the Red (United’s mas­cot) py­ja­mas for the last year.

Mean­while, Felix the Cat is shipped over to Rus­sia for the World Cup.

July

With a na­tion ex­pect­ing, partly thanks to Felix, Eng­land edge through to the quar­ter-fi­nals of the World Cup where they face New Zealand.

Yet a Joe Hart er­ror from a Chris Wood header gives New Zealand vic­tory as Eng­land are em­bar­rassed again. The Ki­wis be­come World Cup cult fig­ures after a sur­prise run to the knock­out stages and the Haka is per­formed by spec­ta­tors at ev­ery match of the tour­na­ment.

Ger­many win the com­pe­ti­tion whilst, do­mes­ti­cally, Alexis Sanchez hands in a trans­fer re­quest at Ar­se­nal and John Terry is ap­pointed joint-man­ager along­side Frank Lam­pard at Chelsea.

Au­gust

Paris Saint-Ger­main tell the me­dia they had bought a bar­gain in Ney­mar when it was worked out they had paid £20 mil­lion for each of his goals. On the back of that news, the French club make Cris­tiano Ron­aldo the first £1 bil­lion player on re­ported wages of £1 mil­lion per week. Sky Sports an­nounce Felix the Cat as the new face of Soc­cer Satur­day.

The cat’s whiskers: Felix the Cat makes a name for him­self with his pre­dic­tions

As­sists: Me­sut Ozil

Should have gone to spec­savers!

New colours: Chelsea boss An­to­nio Conte is loaned to Dutch club Vitesse Arn­hem

Give us a Cloo: Ge­orge Clooney plays the role of Burn­ley ace Jon Walters

Switch­ing sports: Thibaut Cour­tois

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