The Outcast Predicts (TOP) RESULTS… The 2019/20 English Football League

Aye, let’s get to it.
About a year ago, I predicted where every Football League club would end up. All 72 of them.

Here it is.

How did I do?
Dunno.
Let’s find out together.

CHAMPIONSHIP

Here’s what I said would go down.

1. Leeds United
2. West Bromwich Albion
3. Cardiff City
4. Brentford
5. Derby County
6. Hull City
7. Stoke City
8. Middlesbrough
9. Fulham
10. Sheffield Wednesday
11. Bristol City
12. Swansea City
13. Luton Town
14. Charlton Athletic
15. QPR
16. Nottingham Forest
17. Wigan Athletic
18. Huddersfield Town
19. Preston North End
20. Barnsley
21. Birmingham City
22. Reading
23. Blackburn Rovers
24. Millwall

And here’s what actually went down.

1. Leeds United
2. West Bromwich Albion
3. Brentford
4. Fulham
5. Cardiff City
6. Swansea City
7. Nottingham Forest
8. Millwall
9. Preston North End
10. Derby County
11. Blackburn Rovers
12. Bristol City
13. QPR
14. Reading
15. Stoke City
16. Sheffield Wednesday
17. Middlesbrough
18. Huddersfield Town
19. Luton Town
20. Birmingham City
21. Barnsley
22. Charlton Athletic
23. Wigan Athletic
24. Hull City

And a side-by-side view.

And now, a bit of analysis.

Not bad.
On first glance anyways.
A couple of real blockbuster mistakes (Hull in the Play-offs, YOWZA) but by and large, not bad.
Top two, bang on, baby. Never bet against Bielsa. Unless you were betting last season. Huddersfield joined us on the absolutely correct list as well, I just knew they’d struggle and that was evidenced by the smartest sacking of the season (Siewert) being followed by a the dumbest sacking of the season (Cowleys).

I was only one off with Brentford, Bristol City, Birmingham and Barnsley, proving my aptitude with all clubs beginning with B, besides Blackburn because who wants to go there.
Brentford showed their smart recruitment breeds domination, Birmingham continued to slide into their depressing black hole and Barnsley hung on with all the heart and passion in South Yorkshire, while Bristol City did a Bristol City and looked good, but went on slides that saw them finish mid-table.

Cardiff and QPR gave me a couple of -2's.
Then we get to a few -5’s with Fulham and Derby, followed by the -6’s with Swansea, Sheffield Wednesday, Luton Town and Wigan (unlucky).

With the -8’s I’m just wrong. I predicted safety or collapse and the club either capitulated or adjusted, respectively. Reading adjusted quite nicely, Stoke did the same, but remained inconsistent, and Charlton, realistically, could never be safe.

The -9’s just traded fortunes and it soon became obvious why. Forest put forward a secure squad that seemed near watertight, and Middlesbrough rocked up with a thin squad and an inexperienced manager. My bad.

Now it gets real bad.
Preston. -10. Played real well and outdid expectations.
Blackburn. -12. Just kept bangin’ ’em in. It still seems like they ain’t bothered though.
Millwall. -16. This was just me being mean. They’re a well-managed club and I rate Rowett, I’m gonna stop being mean to them now. I’m sorry.
Hull. -18. What the feck happened here? The worst run club in England? It’s up there. The owners might have deserved relegation, but the players and the staff did not. Grant McCann knew he was managing The Tigers, but I bet he didn’t know he was walking into an actual tiger enclosure when he took this job.

Scoring’s real easy. The aim is to get as close to 0 as possible, starting from 0, with any difference in positions coming off my score.
For example, my beginning score is 0, I had Swansea finishing 12th, they finished 6th, that’s minus 6 off my score.

I think the worst score you can get is like -288, so I wanna be away from there.

I’m left with a final score of…

-140

About halfway wrong.
And halfway right.

Best league in the world.

Up the Leeds.

I also had Kyle Edwards to be the Player of the Season.
He wasn’t.

LEAGUE ONE

Here’s what I said would go down.

1. Rotherham United
2. Sunderland
3. Oxford United
4. Ipswich Town
5. Fleetwood Town
6. Portsmouth
7. Peterborough United
8. Blackpool
9. Lincoln City
10. Bristol Rovers
11. Doncaster Rovers
12. Rochdale
13. Gillingham
14. Wycombe Wanderers
15. Coventry City
16. Burton Albion
17. Milton Keynes Dons
18. AFC Wimbledon
19. Accrington Stanley
20. Shrewsbury Town
21. Tranmere Rovers
22. Bolton Wanderers
23. Southend United
24. Bury

And here’s what actually went down.

1. Coventry City
2. Rotherham
3. Wycombe Wanderers
4. Oxford United
5. Portsmouth
6. Fleetwood Town
7. Peterborough United
8. Sunderland
9. Doncaster Rovers
10. Gillingham
11. Ipswich Town
12. Burton Albion
13. Blackpool
14. Bristol Rovers
15. Shrewsbury Town
16. Lincoln City
17. Accrington Stanley
18. Rochdale
19. MK Dons
20. Wimbledon
21. Tranmere Rovers
22. Southend United
23. Bolton Wanderers
24. Bury

And a side-by-side view.

And now, a bit of analysis.

Tell you what, relegation and play-offs were near-perfect.
That just leaves a mid-table no-man’s-land.

Let’s go top to bottom this time.

Robins runs a tight ship, should have called it. Coventry nets a -14.
I’ll give myself Rotherham, Paul Warne is playing a long game here, and he’s winning. -1
Having lived in Wycombe and seen how they run reasonably intimately, their achievement is even more fantastic. My achievement is -11.
Aye, Oxford, -1.
Aye, Portsmouth, -1.
Aye, Fleetwood, -1.
AYE, Peterborough, 0.
Sunderland keep muffing it, can’t seem to keep it together. -6.
Doncaster are a solid side, but not a spectacular one, -2.
Gillingham are capable of something special, but they’re just missing a cog or two to actually pull it off, -3.
Ipswich stacked it, simple as. Couldn’t stick it in. -7.
The most middlin’ side were Burton. Evens on dang near everything; hard to call. -4.
Blackpool were class when they were positive, but they have a seemingly fragile core. Hopefully that’ll be fixed by next season, -5.
Bristol Rovers went from class to trash within a month, and something needs to change rapidly, -4.
Shrewsbury were tight, if nothing else. But that can save your life, -5.
Like Bristol Rovers but not as severe, Lincoln fell far earlier and had more time to pull their ‘chute. -7.
Accrington Stanley, aye, -2.
Rochdale couldn’t build on past promise, and now it’s leaving them. -6.
MK Dons, aye, -2.
Wimbledon, aye, -2.
Tranmere, AYE, 0.
Southend fed themselves into a meat grinder. Slowly. -1.
Bolton, aye, -1.
Bury, may you rise again. 0.

You know how the scoring works, and the worst score is, once again, about -288.

I got…

-86

Two of the three promoted sides comprised more than a quarter of this score.
Best of luck to ‘em.

I had Rotherham’s Freddie Ladapo as player of the season.
He did alright.

LEAGUE TWO

Here’s what I said would go down.

1. Scunthorpe United
2. Plymouth Argyle
3. Salford City
4. Mansfield Town
5. Crewe Alexandra
6. Forest Green Rovers
7. Bradford City
8. Exeter City
9. Leyton Orient
10. Colchester United
11. Carlisle United
12. Port Vale
13. Grimsby Town
14. Northampton Town
15. Stevenage
16. Swindon Town
17. Newport County
18. Morecambe
19. Walsall
20. Crawley Town
21. Cheltenham Town
22. Oldham Athletic
23. Macclesfield Town
24. Cambridge United

And here’s what actually happened.

1. Swindon Town
2. Crewe Alexandra
3. Plymouth Argyle
4. Cheltenham Town
5. Exeter City
6. Colchester United
7. Northampton Town
8. Port Vale
9. Bradford City
10. Forest Green Rovers
11. Salford City
12. Walsall
13. Crawley Town
14. Newport County
15. Grimsby Town
16. Cambridge United
17. Leyton Orient
18. Carlisle United
19. Oldham Athletic
20. Scunthorpe United
21. Mansfield Town
22. Morecambe
23. Macclesfield Town
24. Stevenage

And a side-by-side view.

And now, a bit of analysis.

I reckon I’ve proper stacked it here. Like, we’re talking fallen down the stairs and broken my neck kinda numbers.

I didn’t see Swindon’s attacking prowess coming good. -15.
I saw, but underestimated, Crewe’s chemistry. -3.
I saw Plymouth’s power. -1.
I didn’t see Cheltenham’s solidity and promise. -17.
I saw, but underestimated, Exeter’s experience. -3.
I saw, but underestimated, Colchester’s strength. -4.
I didn’t see Northampton’s simple but effective approach. -7.
Port Vale and Bradford weren’t too bad, getting me a -4 and -2, respectively, and Forest Green’s shitey mid-season form netted me another -4.
I overestimated Salford, but so did they, -8.
Walsall were difficult to predict, even five minutes from full-time, -7.
Crawley flew in under the radar for a -7 and Newport plateaued for a -3, much like Grimsby, who got me a -2.
Cambridge are confusingly high, even having watched them play, I don’t know how they won, or when. -8.
Leyton Orient and Carlisle United almost equally did me in with -8 and -7, respectively, but Oldham tried to pull it back with a -3.
Scunthorpe scunted me. -19.
Mansfield scunted me. -17.
Morecambe didn’t scunt me. -4.
Macclesfield gave me some late false hope. 0.
Stevenage gave me a light scunting. -9.

And the score is…

-152

It’s bad. But I thought it would be a lot worse.

I had Perry Ng as best player.
And I’m gonna give myself that. Cheers, Perry.

I’ve got the excuse of a weird as balls season for my predictions. Making my League One score even more impressive.

Final scores on the doors:-

CHAMPIONSHIP: -142
LEAGUE ONE: -86
LEAGUE TWO: -152

Not bad. Not good.
When the worst possible score is like -864 and I end up with a -380, I’m on the right side, at least.

Why do I use the minus? I really don’t need to.

See you next season. Where I may or may not use the minus, and these lads will be feckin heroes, as always.

Keep it streets ahead,

CLR

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