Who will fall apart? How hard might ‘the curse’ bite?

13 May

Come on already Sunday. Our trip to Everton cannot come soon enough with Brentford racing towards the end of the season and desperate to see what our final position may be. Not to mention who will be staying with us in the Premier League in 2022-23. A challenge for which both Leeds United and the Toffees were handed a huge boost when Mike Jackson of Burnley was named manager of the month for April. As if their next game wasn’t a tough enough challenge (Tottenham away), the Turf Moor outfit now have the added albatross of the MOTM curse hanging around their neck. We all know how that one goes – win the award ; lose the next game. Something enshrined in footballing folklore as the only greater harbinger of doom than a pre-match visit from ever popular BBC roving reporter Mark Clemmit.

We’ve covered that ground on these pages many times. Albeit worth recalling the quasi-scientific study undertaken in 2014-15 to try and put some meat on the bones of the claim that any club hosting Clem for a Football League Show feature would subsequently fail to win. A season long analysis followed which saw only 7(seven) victories for teams he visited. Out of 30 reports.

He started with short term Leeds United manager David Hockaday (who saw his new team lose 2-0 at Millwall) and finished with the consummate example of the Clem effect as Bournemouth scooped the Championship title at the expense of promotion rivals rival Watford. The Hornets lead with all other results going their way, the title was in their grasp. With the BBC showing 90 minutes, Sheffield Wednesday proved themselves the ultimate party poopers as Atdhe Nuhiu levelled things up for the Owls in stoppage time. And there it finished at 1-1. The title lost, with the final goal. All under Clem’s watchful eye.

Clem finished his season at Watford – who lost the title in the 90th minute

I don’t have the figures for Manager Of the Month. Thomas Frank and Brentford can count themselves truly unlucky not to have scooped the prize this time around. 10 points out of 12 including that epic win at Chelsea a sequence that, one would have thought, made him a shoe in.

There you go. I’m happy to see Burnley on fire if that run has put the cat amongst the relegation pigeons. Now Everton and Leeds United are both in the mix. Now, Brentford have a genuine say in who will stay n the Premier League with us next season. Even if Burnley have the added pressure of a game at a Tottenham side whose thumping of Arsenal last night means the race for the Champions League spots is anything but over.

And that’s four…. an April that began at Chelsea not quite enough to see Thomas to the monthly prize

This Sunday is going to be intense. The Burnley game is on BT Sport at 12pm although you’ll need to follow on the wireless / ‘other sources’ if you want to keep pace with Leeds United – Brighton. 

Then, at 4.30pm, Brentford are up on Sky. The Everton game pushed back to this horrific time at the 11th hour, after most fans had already made their  transport chaos inflicted plans, in order to help West Ham prepare for the Europa League final. That worked well. They’ll just have to go on reminiscing about 1966 and the 1980 FA Cup final when it comes to talk of silverware. Trevor Broking with a header, apparently. If only somebody had menti…. etc etc etc 

Brentford, meanwhile, are left with an even trickier job. 5/2 the price on an away win. At least Thomas doesn’t have the extra jinx factor to contend with. That curse is a problem for Mick Jackson although I for one , hope he can beat it in what is sure to be a thriller at Tottenham. Let’s not go too far down that pun stern road though.

Instead, the priority has to be in hoping Everton and Burnley do the least badly out of the three teams slugging it out to join Watford and Norwich City in the Championship. Victory for Brighton, Burnley and Brentford probably the best combination of results. 

If only football was that simple to call. That said, let’s not forget we ran the numbers through a super computer in early April. Despite the mockery that came with that prediction – in both the article and online – the suggestion that Norwich, Everton and Leeds would be the sides sent down is still looking as though 2 out of 3 may be called correctly. Albeit, hands need to be held about Watford’s chances. Truly, I (sorry, the computer algorithms) hadn’t factored just how genuinely abject they were.

Whether it is Everton or Leeds joining the Hornets and Norwich remains to be seen, of course. The next part of that plays out at the weekend and I cannot wait. 

Now, if Clem – who, to be fair, has seen very much a reversal of his anti-form in more recent seasons – could ensure he was set to ‘jinx mode’ and then go visit the Elland Road training ground first, that would be just marvellous.

Beesotted shared this yesterday. Any incentive needed…??

Until then, there’s the post-fact debrief from our last game – the 3-0 defeat of Southampton – for anybody who would to read more. Stranger things and all that…

Nick Bruzon

9 Responses to “Who will fall apart? How hard might ‘the curse’ bite?”

  1. Rob Lee May 13, 2022 at 7:35 am #

    The delusion of grandeur by that Leeds fan is hilarious……

    • S Hopkinson May 13, 2022 at 9:38 am #

      Facts back up comments, look at the attendance rates for when we were in the Championship, I rest my case.

  2. AUSSIE BEE 53 May 13, 2022 at 8:21 am #

    I’m sure if the Leeds supporters refrain from throwing objects at the opposing players they will be allowed back in the Premier League in 16 years.

    • S Hopkinson May 13, 2022 at 9:36 am #

      At least it was paper not bottles and coins like other fans throw

      • Martin May 13, 2022 at 10:27 am #

        Do behave yourself, past history doesn’t look too kindly on Leeds, manager or players.

  3. Tim May 13, 2022 at 10:29 am #

    Burnley to beat Spurs
    Bees to beat or draw with Everton
    Maupay to score the winner for Brighton against Leeds!
    A perfect footballing week-end methinks!

    • Paul Smith May 13, 2022 at 12:34 pm #

      Please let this happen!! Congratulations on a fantastic season guys from a Claret. UTC

      • nickbruzon May 14, 2022 at 5:33 am #

        Thank you. Please, please stay up.

  4. Tim May 13, 2022 at 10:48 am #

    Leeds seem to be heading towards the Championship without the FA’s help (love to know how the FA could make this happen?)
    Forest, the Sheffields, Middlesborough, Stoke …. plenty of big draws already in the Championship.
    Just so we all know the rules regarding football leagues …
    Lots of points and goals scored conceding few goals = chance of winning things/promotion
    Lack of points, lack of goals scored and conceding goals = winning nothing, massively increases chances of relegation.
    It’s always been like that hasn’t it.
    Unless you try and form a super league with no relegation ( and that went well …. hats off to the “super six” clubs fans who protested against this debacle).
    Scotlands football dilemma is, by default, what you get from an unlevel playing field …. that is it becomes a foregone conclusion.
    Anyone wants that replicated?

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