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BLIND, STUPID AND DESPERATE
 
04/05: Preview:
‹beranalysis

Predictions
The table below summarises the relative confidence (or lack of) of Division One supporters at the start of play. As ever, the results are sensitive to the timing of the survey before/after key transfers. Seventeen clubs predict a top-half finish with nine predicting a play-off place, both lower than last year. The mean prediction is down from 8th to 9th, in part due to the falling confidence of Watford's support which makes up almost a quarter of the survey.

Last year's confidence position in brackets...

                         VOTES      MEAN PRED
1  (11)   Sunderland       99         2.18 
2  (-)    Wolves           35         2.51 
----------------------------------------------
3  (1)    West Ham         28         3.57 
4  (3)    Sheff Utd        32         3.69 
5  (13)   Wigan            26         3.77 
6  (7)    Nottm Forest     38         4.18 
----------------------------------------------
7  (-)    Leicester        37         4.35 
8  (4)    Ipswich          32         5.31 
9  (6)    Reading         118         6.36 
10 (14)   Coventry         33         6.70 
11 (-)    Leeds            26         6.77 
12 (5)    Millwall         39         7.67 
13 (20)   Cardiff          61         8.00 
14 (22)   Stoke            33         8.64 
15 (17)   Derby            29         9.86 
16 (-)    Plymouth         29        10.66 
17 (-)    QPR              27        11.78 
18 (9)    Preston          44        13.27 
19 (10)   Watford         271        13.31 
20 (23)   Crewe            28        14.54 
21 (15)   Burnley          29        14.55 
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22 (19)   Rotherham        25        17.68 
23 (18)   Gillingham       25        18.16 
24 (-)    Brighton         34        18.47 

TOTAL                    1178         9.16

The Perfect Table
The table below summarises the pet hates and sympathies of Division One supporters by standardising each club's votes for promotion and relegation choices to a weight of 25 and then summing. Thus, a club with 25 correspondents has their votes added straight into the pile, whilst a club from which 50 responses were received will have its votes halved. From Watford, for example, the number of votes for relegation for each club according to the Hornet's support is multiplied by 25/271=0.0922... so the 37 votes for promotion that Brighton received from Watford fans are scaled down to 37 x 0.0922 = 3.41 votes in this table. Clear ? Good.

Ipswich return to the position of most popular team in the division after a year's absence, no doubt abetted by the absence of a Norfolk vote weighing their score down this year. Little sympathy for Leeds, who take bottom spot implausibly pushing Millwall to the edge of the relegation zone. "No-one likes us, but no-one's really that arsed either, we don't care" isn't so catchy, is it? Other moves of note are Reading, who seem to have lost the play-off losers' sympathy vote, and Wolves, who come back in surprisingly high in tenth. Short memories, some people.

West Ham divided the vote, the 259 votes received in our standardised table split almost evenly and bettered in total only by Leeds. Nobody received more votes for promotion than West Ham, but only Cardiff and Leeds more votes for relegation. Coventry usurp Watford's traditional position of side voters claim greatest indifference to with 42 votes in total, with Watford next in on 51. As ever, the anti-Watford vote may have been curtailed by those with ingrained anti-Watford sentiment not bothering to participate in the survey.

                            UP        DOWN     POINTS
1  (3)    Ipswich         111.35     22.81      88.53  
2  (8)    Sunderland      100.65     25.60      75.05  
---------------------------------------------------------
3  (-)    Plymouth         83.44     16.16      67.27  
4  (-)    QPR              78.91     18.16      60.75  
5  (4)    Crewe            83.73     28.04      55.68  
6  (1)    Nottm Forest    109.86     76.21      33.65  
---------------------------------------------------------
7  (9)    Watford          36.23     14.89      21.34  
8  (12)   Wigan            49.50     46.70       2.80  
9  (10)   Rotherham        36.49     37.27      -0.77  
10 (-)    Wolves           86.85     93.58      -6.72  
11 (14)   Coventry         17.00     25.87      -8.86  
12 (2)    West Ham        121.58    137.05     -15.47  
13 (13)   Preston          19.34     37.70     -18.36  
14 (5)    Reading          20.92     44.15     -23.23  
15 (-)    Brighton         52.59     79.45     -26.85  
16 (18)   Sheff Utd        38.64     93.87     -55.22  
17 (19)   Derby            17.75     75.25     -57.49  
18 (-)    Leicester        39.79    101.76     -61.97  
19 (21)   Stoke            13.33     84.12     -70.79  
20 (20)   Burnley           8.62     86.49     -77.86  
21 (15)   Gillingham       16.10     97.63     -81.52  
---------------------------------------------------------
22 (23)   Millwall         12.87    135.98    -123.10  
23 (24)   Cardiff          12.27    143.68    -131.40  
24 (-)    Leeds            32.06    277.48    -245.41  
    
TOTAL                    1200      1800      
Choice Signing
No repeat of Joe Cole's dominance this time... a tie for the player in the Division that others would most like to sign with Rob Earnshaw and Andy Reid both polling 84 votes. Michael Carrick came in third on 74 votes followed by some bloke called Cook on 58 (including a number from witty QPR fans after the event) and Marlon Harewood on 55. Notably, the top four names in the poll last season were all playing in the Premiership by May.

Do you remember Craig Ramage ?
Just over half of those polled claimed to remember Ramage (54%) with an alarming 4.8% of the vote apparently coming from the man himself. Perhaps unsurprisingly he had lingered longest in the memories of the fans of the two clubs in the division he was signed to... Watford (85%) and Derby (75%) although his loan spell at Wigan in 1989 was evidently unmemorable with the less than 40% of Latics claiming recollection. West Ham polled lowest here, which given that Ramage might have been accused of being a showboating fancy-dan is perhaps surprising.

Do you know the way to San Jose ?
Only 21% of those polled claim to know the way to San Jose, with Plymouth and Brighton topping the poll. Must be off the South Coast somewhere, then. Sheffield United polled lowest here with only 3% answering in the affirmative ("is it near Abbeydale?"). 34% of those polled responded "I've been away so long I may go wrong and lose my way", of whom Gillingham and Burnley were the greatest culprits.

Can you wire a plug ?
81% of those polled claimed to be able to wire a plug. Plymouth and Rotherham appear to be the most competent in this field, both polling over 90% in the affirmative, whilst you wouldn't want to have to change a fuse in Crewe (64%).

Pizza Toppings
Pepperoni was comfortably the most popular Pizza topping offered (62% of respondents) followed by Extra Cheese (54%), Olives (23%), Spinach (16%), Tuna (15%), Boiled Egg (8%) and Strawberry (4%). 6% of those polled claimed not to like pizza.

Clubs championing particular toppings were Nottingham Forest (Extra Cheese - 72%), West Ham (Pepperoni - 76% and Spinach - 32%), Rotherham (Olives - 46%), Burnley (Tuna - 29%), Plymouth (Boiled Egg - 18%)and Wigan (Strawberry - 12%) whilst Crewe don't like Pizza (18%), presumably because they're too busy learning about wiring plugs to worry about such things.

Extra Cheese and Pepperoni was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most frequently selected combo (32%) however the most disproportionately popular combos were Strawberry with Boiled Egg (1.6%) and Boiled Egg with Spinach (5%).

What should you have been doing instead of completing this survey?
Work comes in top here (51%) followed by Nothing - my conscience is clear (30%), Sleeping (12%) and Household Chores (7%). QPR and West Ham were the most culpable of neglecting work (69%), whilst Wolves appear to have the most free time (50%) and Plymouth are most guilty of avoiding household chores (13.8%). But at least they know the way to San Jose. Crewe were most guilty of avoiding sleep (26%) followed by Leeds, whose inability to sleep is perhaps to be expected.