Morning all. Back in May I made a series of predictions on this page for the sporting summer ahead.
What with today being the second day of the final Test match, and also the start of the Premier League season, it seems as good a time as any to confess that they turned out to be a load of baloney.
On the cricket, allegedly a specialist subject of mine, I predicted that it would be 1-1 against Sri Lanka. In fact, Sri Lanka won 1-0 on a thrilling final day in Leeds. As for the India series, I predicted it would end 2-2. At the moment England are 2-1 up, so it’s possible. But given the home side have the momentum, and it’s quite likely to rain (again favouring England’s swing bowlers), an Indian victory is unlikely – so this prediction is likely to be remiss as well. And it’s pretty much downhill from here.
On the World Cup, I said: “Belgium to make the semis, and an ageing Spain to beat Germany in the final.” In fact, Belgium made the quarters, Germany won in the final – and that Spain team were so ageing they got dumped out at the group stages. “Luckily, by the time England are knocked out on penalties,” I went on, “Andy Murray should be on course to defend his Wimbledon crown… but my tip is Czech World No 6 Tomas Berdych.” Oops. Murray was beaten in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Berdych didn’t even make the fourth round, dumped out by Marin Cilic, also in straight sets.
Not satisfied with this litany of errors, I added that Chris Froome would retain his Tour de France title (he crashed out with nasty injuries) and that Nico Rosberg would win the British Grand Prix (he failed to finish).
I make that nine predictions, of which eight have been wrong, and the last will in all likelihood suffer the same fate this weekend.
I say all this partly out of guilt, and partly to reassure those of you who remember those predictions that, when it comes to sport at least, I’m making way for the experts in our midst. Experts like Paul Scholes, our excellent new columnist. In yesterday’s paper, the former Manchester United and England superstar made the following five predictions. Chelsea to win the Premiership; Real Madrid to win the Champions League; Stefan Jovetic to be the player to watch; Sergio Aguero to be top scorer; and Burnley, West Brom and Swansea to get relegated.
After the summer my crystal ball has had, I couldn’t agree more. Have a great weekend.