It was a refreshing, exciting game of football wasn't it, that Poland vs Russia game last night? End to end football, technically adept players, chances being created, goalkeepers stretched and making good saves. The home crowd, the passion in their support for their team fuelled by the historical significance of the fixture, were fervent and noisy and created an atmosphere that fair crackled and which, unusually, could be detected despite the consistently inane television commentary.
In the second half Poland equalised after an exhilerating counter attack, the captain cutting inside and unleashing a power bolt of a shot that hit the top corner of the net in the blink of an eye. The crowd went wild, the Polish President and other dignitaries were far from dignified, up on their feet, punching the air and generally going bonkers. THIS, is what football is all about - the sheer joy of it. And there, sitting next to the Polish VIPs, was the Head of European Football, arguably it's most powerful man, Michel Platini, sitting impassive, not even applauding, looking sober and controlled.
I understand the guy needs to appear impartial, but for Chrissakes, why not stand up and celebrate every team's goal if you want to look unbiased!?! Get into the spirit of football for a change. To me, Platini's (non)reaction spoke volumes and explains so much of what is wrong with modern football...it is too easy to forget that at the end of it all, when played well by two good teams in a match that matters, it is pure theatre. Pure excitement. Pure joy.
Let your hair down, man!
Now, whilst I'm on the subject of football (when am I ever that far away from it?), I've been reading The Football Analyst's recent blog posts, following the development of his European systems. I imagine most of you have been doing the same, but if you haven't I strongly recommend doing so. It is not often you get the opportunity to watch as systems come together, and I know from previous experience, if you do then it makes following them much easier mentally when they go live. Seeing what has gone into their development makes enduring the losing runs that are always going to occur that bit easier. Similarly, the profits are that much more enjoyable when they come too. I guess it's a bit like relishing your food that little bit more if you've gone out and caught it or cooked it yourself, if that makes sense.
I posed Graeme a question in his comments section the other evening, relating to following the Euro systems next season or not. Graeme's promised to provide his opinion after he's developed things a little further (which is fair enough - I knew when I asked the question I was being more premature than an overly enthusiastic 16 year old who is fumbling away with his girlfriend on the back row of the cinema). My own plans were to always just watch next season, and then plunge in the season after when the inevitable has been confirmed and profits are obviously there for the taking. Now, I'm not so sure. I could be tempted to follow financially this coming season.
Why so? Well, bottom line, Graeme's blog posts so far show figures demonstrating strong potential; indeed, the figures are very similar to those that Graeme found when his now proven UK systems were in a similarly developmental stage. But that's not the only reason. There are issues of liquidity to consider, and of increased amounts of money I would anticipate going on to TFA's picks next season from subscribers.
The following paragraphs from The Football Analyst blog really struck a nerve:
I’m sure the time will come when bookmakers realise I’m the one cherry picking them off when they quote standout prices for teams that are then followed by others later in the week, so I expect it won’t get easier for me to make money betting on my own selections. I’ll continue reinvesting my profits from each season and sooner or later, I’ll be playing all my betting with the big Asian bookmakers who won’t restrict me from winning but it will erode part of the edge my systems have. That’s a fact but it’s one I can live with though.
Having more leagues to play in means I can continue to spread the stakes around and of course, it is a great way for me to diversify the risk. If I can create another selection of systems that produce similar levels of returns to the UK systems, then over a season, it may be the case that the UK systems could struggle but the European systems could bail me out. The reverse may also be true!
Secondly, a large part of this game for me is to allow others to follow my work and make money along with me. I know some people struggle at the moment getting on in the UK leagues and as time goes on, if the UK systems continue winning, this will only get harder. People will be reinvesting their profits, average stakes will be going up, I’ll have more people following and all of a sudden, when system 7-22 has a bet, it is getting smashed in from the bookies as they don’t want the liabilities on these teams. This erodes the edge on the system, people start chasing prices, and before we know it, the edge is basically gone on the system or more likely, reduced to such an extent that people decide it’s not worth following.
These paragraphs prompted me to ask Graeme the question I did (allied to other factors such as the similarities with the UK systems I have already referred to). It is this ability to think ahead, to plot and plan viable contingency plans, that I'm realising that anybody who is serious about their betting and who wishes to bet long term, must be able to demonstrate.
It's a rough old time on the racing front at the moment, and winners are very few and far between. Northern Monkey are suffering at the moment and today's two selections provided no returns. The Market Examiner were unsuccessful today too (0/3). If June is to be amonth that produces a positive return, the racing needs to start producing some returns. The football is keeping losses under control at the moment, but we could do with the horses lightening the burden and doing so soon.
Just Form Lab Lite with bets on the footie today, and fortunately three winners. First there was a aplit stake in the Portugal/Denmark match - Portugal to win and over 2.5 goals. Then this evening was Over 2.5 goals in the Holland/Germany game.
Northern Monkey: Staked 1.7pts, -1.7pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 3pts, -3pts.
Form Lab Lite: Staked 2pts, +2.21pts.