Betting Spy: Big guns are looking wobbly

Grant Prior 10 years ago

Life doesn’t get much sweeter than walking away from Upton Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon after beating the champions.

I swear I saw my dad belie his 76 years and do a proper cockney heel click on the way out.

It was weird to come away from a West Ham v Man City fixture with everyone talking about the Citizens as the club in crisis.

But something strange is happening in the Premier League as the big clubs are being reeled-in by the chasing pack.

Chelsea- apart, the big beasts of British football all look very beatable.

Perhaps it’s something to do with the amount of cash lavished on fairly ordinary footballers.

Players like Ronaldo, Messi, Aguero and Costa guarantee you greatness for your money.

But a whole raft of players have been promoted to the rank of superstars simply by their price tag rather than ability.

A quick look at some of the big teams reveals players like Jesus Navas (£23m) Eliaquim Mangala (£32m) Luke Shaw (£27m) Marcos Rojo (£16m) Juan Mata (£37m) Dejan Lovren (£20m) Mario Balotelli (£16m) Mesut Ozil (£42m).

I could go on, but you get the picture.

They are all good players – but cost superstar transfer fees and are struggling to deliver.

Meanwhile managers are unearthing gems like Diafra Sakho, Graziano Pelle and Leonardo Ulloa who are having more of an impact at a fraction of the price.

Whatever the reason it’s making the league more competitive and that can only be a good thing.

For this week’s bet I’m going to the well one more time and backing West Ham to win away at Stoke.

The Hammers are flying while Stoke have already been beaten at the Britannia by Leicester and Villa.

The bookies are offering 9/4 which seems well worth a punt.

Talking about West Ham, it seems Alan Shearer has used our resurgence to have a pop at West Ham fans for previous criticism of Sam Allardyce.

I’ve been one of Big Sam’s harshest critics and stand by every word – the football served up last season was horrendous.

The fans voiced their disapproval, the owners listened and had a showdown with the manager who in turn has adapted his playing style.

Pretty simple really.

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Running Total for all bets this season to a £10 stake: £+17.50

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