The Sports Editor did ask if I might think about making my ‘season’s predictions’ as this column belatedly resumes — my fault — but I though it a little cheeky to ‘predict’ anything when significant matches had already been played.
However, I thought again. I’ve never been one to pay overdue attention to early season results. I remember, more than a few years ago, being dispatched by the office to Sheffield Wednesday to interview the then manager Howard Wilkinson. The Owls were ‘top’ of an almost virgin league table. What did it matter? They ended up relegated.
So I’ll tell you what I would have told you had I been writing this in August; honestly.
I think that, no matter the difficulties ahead that Roberto Mancini has forecast, Manchester City will retain the title with United as their closest pursuers. Chelsea and Arsenal will take the other places in the top four. QPR, Reading and Southampton will be relegated.