I feel stupid even saying this, and many of you will look at this and say 'tell us something we don't know?!', but the fact is SOMEONE SOMEWHERE religiously thinks it is a good idea to back them and is therefore ensuring that Liverpool's price holds no value. Having won only two league home games since they last played Stoke at home they were bizarrely priced up at 1.5 to win yesterday, before proceeding to cost the blinkered backers a great deal of money...again. Some say it is the Asians who keep the price low, but I am yet to see any evidence or real reason for such an argument, especially since other clubs with large Asian support show no such irregularities in the markets. Others point to the blind faith of the Scousers, but I seriously doubt that club loyalty punts could have the liquidity to have a serious affect on the market, especially when pitted against another club with loyal fans, unless the Scousers are more prone to gambling... Unlikely. I reckon the only explanation is that it is a match fixing scam which has gone wrong. Either that or an increasing number of aliens now have a Betfair account.
Back to my trading now and Gundulf left me a message on my last post re my Arsenal top 4 trade:
'... I think you might be being a bit premature in coming out of the Arsenal lay just yet. There's plenty of time left for them to implode and / or for one of the other 'pretenders to the throne' to continue to improve. In fact if I were in your position I might be tempted to actually increase my exposure on that lay whilst they are as low as they are at present. Sometimes getting in deeper, especially this early in the season, buys a bit of leverage to be taken advantage of if / when the blip comes. Just a thought!'
This got me thinking, or at least confused me a little bit. Gundulf has a point, and when I got thinking about how the top 4 panned out last season, it made me consider whether I am being a tad premature in this case. No one in the league has the ability to go the season without a blip, that is what is so entertaining about it. Arsenal and the other high profile top 4 wannabes are particularly prone to multiple blips throughout the season, and the amount of times I thought that a team was 'nailed on' for a top 4 finish after a small purple patch before slumping dramatically last season, was one of the main reasons I chose to trade these markets this year. My only concerns are as follows; firstly, the poor quality of the opposition. Spurs are troubling me this year as I believe they are currently on a bit of a false high. Their squad is poor compared to last year and their striking options are still extremely bare, and at some point the goals will cease to come. Having said that, according to Opta, they have the most points after 7 matches than they have in any Premier League season bar one, which is impressive. They seem to be quietly slipping under the radar at present, despite winning at Old Trafford, which is probably due to their quiet and routine performances which are just enough to get the job done. At present, Everton are the only team looking capable of challenging for the top 4 and it will be interesting to see if they can keep their early form up. I think that it will probably take a while for the market to properly consider them serious contenders however. My other concern is that, like I said previously, my matched odds are very high and this is undoubtedly a mistake on my part, particularly considering I have a sizeable stake at risk. Gundulf suggested topping up at lower prices, which I actually did a few weeks ago at around 1.54, but not for too much. I might now consider topping up a bit more with the view to trading out around 1.75, therefore limiting my losses quite a lot. I'll come back to this issue another time.
The winners market has been interesting so far, as no real opportunities have arisen as yet. United and City have had 'poor' starts according to the boffins, while the market seems a little uneasy about Chelsea's influence in matters. From a Manchester point of view, I see nothing to be concerned about. Both teams are conceding way too many goals, but as long as they are performing up top then overall there isn't too much to worry about just yet. This is particularly true of United who have a stupid amount of injuries and unsettlement at the back, yet too much talent up top. Despite being four points behind the leaders, both United and City have only recorded one 'poor' result each in my opinion, the same amount as Chelsea. Chelsea's only dropped points came in a 0-0 draw away to QPR and, although it is a derby, they should really be beating a team with only 2 points to date. United's loss to Spurs at home is undoubtedly a poor result, yet losing away to Everton was not in my opinion. Everton have proved themselves very difficult to beat this year, as well as beating City at Goodison last year and drawing at Old Trafford. Winning away at Liverpool and Newcastle are two huge results for United, who lost at both of these grounds last year. City on the other hand should probably have done better at home to Arsenal, though even that cannot be considered a disaster.
This week I will be looking to oppose Chelsea in some way, as I feel their time has come for now and this form can't continue. They face Spurs, United (twice), Juventus and City in the next few weeks so it will be good to see what this young team is really made of.
I'll leave you with a stat, Liverpool are 54/1 to be relegated on Betfair, yet 99/1 to win the title. Make of that what you will.