Weblog: The football punter

Not easy to follow instructions to the letter

AMAZINGLY, Blackpool didn't suddenly start playing better after their fans wrote a letter to the players asking them to.

Who'd have thought it? We all grew up writing letters to Father Christmas that sometimes came true so why shouldn't a letter asking a team to win more matches work?

Maybe because it's complete nonsense.

Sam Allardyce probably gets letters from West Ham fans asking him to get them to play more like Barcelona. I've got doubts that he takes them especially seriously.

I once got a letter from someone asking me to tip more winners and if you followed me in backing against both teams scoring in Arsenal's match with West Ham then you're probably already aware that I didn't magically start hitting the bullseye every time.

Burnley face Blackpool in one of Friday's live Championship games and as a man who has always preferred booze to fruit, I'll be choosing the Clarets not the Tangerines.

I've written a letter to a couple of bookmakers asking them if I can have 5-1 about promotion-chasing Burnley but have had no reply yet, so might have to settle for a shade of odds-against.

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Match in Focus

15:00 TODAY BT1

Alfreton v Grimsby

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Alfreton have not kept a clean sheet in their last six matches
Expert verdict
Alfreton have won just one of their six games since being ­deducted three points for ­fielding an ineligible player and their slim play-off hopes could be ended by a home defeat to fourth-placed Grimsby. Staying in promotion contention for so long has been a good effort for part-time Alfreton but the wheels have come off in recent weeks and they may struggle against the Mariners, who have won four of their last five away fixtures.