Tales of the Unexpected


Liverpool @ 1/4
Spurs @ 2/5
Arsenal @ 1/2
Chelsea @ 4/6
Man Utd @ 3/1
view odds

Can you feel it?  Can you hear it?  There’s something a bit strange going on in the world of football right now.  Something a little disturbing.  Something that is making people feel slightly queasy inside.  And I’m not just talking about Ryan Giggs’ poetry…

Things are happening that are not part of the usual, accepted order.  Just last weekend, for example, Leeds humbled Chelsea.  Newcastle scored three against Manchester City.  Brighton continued to look formidable.  Heck, even Manchester United played quite well.

All these signs, these portents, are gathering together to suggest that this season may not be like the others: it will be a campaign of unpredictability, of tables upturned, of ‘sure-things’ being banished to the Land of Wind and Ghosts.

But is this alien environment one that we, as a nation, would be ready to welcome, accept, or understand?  Could it be too difficult and volatile for a simple human mind to process?

I mean, look at the situation with Liverpool.  What on earth is going on there?!  Is their sluggish start to the season simply the result of a bad run of luck in the injury markets?  Or is there a more profound, fundamental fault-line developing?  Is the Milner/van Dijk spat part of an expanding ‘beef’ industry that could fracture and envelop the entire squad?

With specific reference to Jürgen Klopp, there are also increasing murmurings on the subject of what I am hereby dubbing: The Seven Year Ditch.  The theory that his managerial reigns – possibly as a consequence of a deleterious, hyper-intensive work ethic – collapse in spectacular fashion when they reach their seventh year.

It happened at Mainz – which led to relegation – and it happened at Borussia Dortmund – when, in 2014, his star-filled team found themselves bottom of the Bundesliga at Christmas.

Could this also happen at Liverpool?  Or are we all just grasping desperately onto bizarre theories – Matt Le Tissier-style – to help us comprehend and explain the strange, chaotic events that appear to be taking place?

But there are odd things happening off the field for other Liverpool-based clubs too: such as the supposedly sought-after enigma that is Anthony Gordon.  Who is he?  Is he really worth £60 million?  Does he even exist?  Has anyone actually seen him play?  Or is he just some sort of virtual-reality, CGI, NFT-type crypto-scam?

If it is the latter, then I suggest Everton sell him very quickly before a Premier League rival simply hacks into their Metaverse, right-clicks on his image, and downloads him for free.

We have somehow found ourselves in a situation where arguably the most intriguing match of the weekend is Brighton v Leeds.  5th v 3rd.  Heaps of momentum at stake.  Two teams that have been shorn of their best players, but have quickly re-invested, and are being propelled forwards by fresh, exciting managers.

Saturday’s anthology of fixtures concludes with what is perhaps the strangest, most unexpected tale of all.  One that Roald Dahl himself might find a bit too unnerving and incomprehensible to include in one of his sinister short story collections.

I am talking, of course, about the iridescent brilliance of Arsenal.

I had grown accustomed to a world where Arsenal existed to be laughed at.  I was comfortable knowing, that no matter how many terrible things were going on in the world, Arsenal would graciously provide enough schadenfreude to see me through.  Am I left with no option but to meekly accept that this will no longer be the case?

In what will be Mikel Arteta’s 100th game in charge in the Premier League, Arsenal host Fulham.  A side, against whom, they have never lost at home, in any competition.  So that’s three more points on the board, right?  Another comfortable victory?  No possibility of an unexpected twist in the tale?

Hey, let’s not go crazy.  It’s Arsenal.  Of course there is.

For all your latest bets on the Premier League, visit our dedicated football betting page.

Please play responsibly