Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

The Punter: Eriksson to get Grip on County, but he won’t last

What was it about the £2m a year contract that attracted Sven-Goran Eriksson to Notts County?

No matter where he goes, the Swede has the great knack of coming up with nice little earners and who can blame him for taking so much for what is expected to be so little in terms of actual in-put into the fortunes of County?

What must manager Ian McParland think of the idea of Sven being the director of football at Meadow Lane?

After County’s 2-1 pre-season friendly win over rivals Nottingham Forest, Eriksson chose not to say anything afterwards, leaving McParland to put his own gloss on matters.

“I suppose it is a new era, because we have new investors,” said McParland.

“Sven has been an absolute gentleman, but I've only had a week to get my head round having a director of football, let alone such a famous one.

“It's been a bit of a circus, but not in a bad way. He can give me advice any time he likes and I suppose he will be doing so, but once the season starts it could be me advising him.”

It promises to be fun and games and one can only wonder how long before the former England and Man City boss brings his old mate Tord Grip on board with the hope of attracting ageing stars to boost the new owners’ bid for a step up the ladder towards Premier League dreamland?

Don’t be surprised if there is an outrageous bid for David Beckham, now that the latter seemingly, is doing his utmost to get out of America.

Sven has a five-year deal but layers are adamant he won’t last it out — he never does — and is 1-150 to depart with another rich pay-off.

William Hill have cut County from 7-1 to 6-1 to win League Two and quote 13-8 that they will be in the Championship within five years.

County are 2-1 to be promoted next season and 33-1 to be relegated.

Other odds: Notts County to be playing Championship football by season 2014-15: 4-9 no, 13-8 yes.

Sven to see out five-year-contract: 1-150 no, 20-1 yes.

Notts County finishing position: 1-10 top half, 11-2 bottom half, 33-1 relegation.

Promotion to first Division 09/10: 2-1 yes, 4-11 no

Johnstones Paint Trophy: 16-1.

Hill’s also offer 10-1 that Sven is a Premier League boss before the end of the season, but that surely can’t be on the horizon.

Brown won’t Labour his point much longer

Gordon Brown’s government is dying on its feet and the offer of 1-5 from Paddy Power that David Cameron will be the next PM, is as almost certain as the sun will rise tomorrow.

And punters only have to wait less than a year to collect on a 20% return on any investment.

The only way that can be prevented is if Brown is ditched, but then who wants to lead a party into a losing election?

Better still, take the 1-2 that the Tories will have a majority of at least 50.

The latest hammering by Labour in the Norwich North by-election last week, is merely another nail in the Brown coffin.

All governments run out of ideas and public confidence and Labour are now about to experience what the Tories went through in 1992.

More than 70% of Labour supporters deserted the party handing a bigger-than-expected Norwich by-election triumph to the Conservatives as 27-year-old Chloe Smith became the youngest MP, overturning a Labour majority of 5,459.

The by-election, the 15th in this parliament and the second seat the Tories have taken from Labour, cuts Labour’s working majority in the Commons to 62.

The result brought a swing from Labour to the Conservatives of 16.5% — the worst result for Labour since the Crewe & Nantwich by-election in May last year, which the Tories won with a swing of 17.6%.

Paddy Power: next PM: 1-5 D Cameron; 4-1 A Johnson; 10-1 H Harman; 12-1 D Milian; 20-1 P Mandelson; 50-1 N Clegg. Conservative majority: 1-2 50 or higher; 6-4 49 or lower.

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Beanpole Peter Crouch is back with the club where his football career began — Spurs.

He was a trainee at White Hart Lane around a dozen years ago and turned out for Spurs in the Milk Cup at Coleraine.

Following his £9m transfer from Portsmouth, Crouch is third favourite to be the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League next season, but he only managed 10 for Pompey in 2008-09 and has never bettered 12 league goals at any time in his long career.

That makes the Boylesports market of 5-6 under 12.5 goals, a golden bet.

Interestingly, he is 2-1 to score on his debut which is likely to be the first game against his former club Liverpool on August 16.

That’s worth a shout but better to take Boylesports’ 7-4 that he finds the net against the Reds in the league as you get two chances.

Boylesports: P Crouch Premier League goals: 5-6 under 12.5; 5-6 over over 9.5.

To score most league goals: 5-4 Crouch; 4-5 Defore; 7-1 tie.

Hill’s: Spurs top league goalscorer: 13-8 J Defoe; |5-2 R Keane; 3-1 P Crouch; |4-1 D Bent; 10-1 R Pavlyuchenko.

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