As promised (or should that be threatened) in my two previous posts, it's time to examine my ability as a football pundit, by comparing the predictions I made in August as to where each of the clubs in the English Premier League would find themselves at the end of the season with where they actually found themselves.
Reproduced below are the final league placings and alongside them in red, what I had predicted:
1. Manchester United (Man United)
2. Liverpool (Chelsea)
3. Chelsea (Arsenal)
4. Arsenal (Liverpool)
5. Everton (Everton)
6. Aston Villa (Aston Villa)
7. Fulham (Portsmouth)
8. Spurs (Spurs)
9. West Ham (Sunderland)
10. Manchester City (Newcastle)
11. Wigan (Man City)
12. Stoke (West Ham)
13. Bolton (Blackburn)
14. Portsmouth (Wigan)
15. Blackburn (Bolton)
16. Sunderland (Fulham)
17. Hull (Boro)
18. Newcastle (West Brom)
19. Middlesborough (Stoke)
20. West Brom (Hull)
Well, starting with the good points, I got four out of the top eight in exactly the right position, and - allowing myself a little latitude - correctly identified seven of the clubs occupying the top eight places, with only a now rather eccentric choice of Portsmouth to finish seventh spoiling my set.
But before get too carried away, let's go to the opposite end of the table. Of the three clubs I tipped for the drop, only one, West Brom, was actually relegated and even then, I got their position wrong. And whilst I'm pointing out inaccuracies, I also predicted that the Baggies would be joined in the Championship next season by Stoke City, who finished a very creditable twelfth, eleven points above the relegation zone and Hull City, who survived by the skin of their teeth and one incredibly precious point.
I also have to concede that as late as the day before yesterday, I predicted that Newcastle would stay up (oh dear) at Hull's expense.
Other than that, I significantly overestimated how Sunderland would fare, suggesting that they would finish ninth, whereas, of course, they were still sweating profusely on the last day of the season.
Those glaring errors aside, I think I can accurately categorise the remainder of my predictions as being 'right desert, wrong tent', missing a number of bulls' eyes by one or two places.
In fact, I actually got more of my predictions spot on than the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton, who's article prompted me to consult the Throne's murky crystal ball in the first place. He only hit the spot with two suggestions, one of which was Manchester United, which, forgive the observation, but a blind man on a galloping horse could have foreseen.
Still, I'd better not give up the day job...
Those of you not as keen on football as I am will doubtless be pleased to read - if indeed you are still reading - that there will be no more posts on the subjct until next August, when I repeat this exercise for the season 2009-2010.
Oh goody! I hear you all cry...