Win, lose or draw - it's anyone's guess
The A-League is a pundit and tipsters minefield. How anyone tips it correctly is beyond me.
With 18 rounds of the 2011-2012 Hyundai A-League season completed - a total of some 99 matches, one thing still remains a complete mystery to me.
How does anyone tip this league correctly?
Papers in each state run their own tipping competitions and while I can-t speak for the interstate versions, Sydney-s Daily Telegraph has yours truly at the top of the table. While I-d like to claim Nostradamus-like foresight, my actual points tally reads a miserable 40 correct tips from a possible 99.
I-ve actually submitted 100 tips but the rain delayed match featuring Gold Coast v Central Coast from Round 17 is yet to be played.
So what-s the key?
Consistency is not something we can easily associate with the A-League. At the start of the season, Brisbane Roar was a banker for at least the draw - until round 9 when Sydney FC, of all teams, ended the fairy-tale run at Kogarah.
Cue Central Coast to take on that mantle when, hey presto, in Round 18 the out-of-sorts defending champion stick two past them at Bluetongue to end a fifteen-match unbeaten streak for the Mariners.
Dependable stats took another turn for the worse when one considered Perth-s away form.
Dating back to season one, the Glory had only won 8 of 62 matches on the road before this current season kicked off. They-ve now have won three of the last four.
Even the Glory-s grim run of one win in eleven matches between rounds 4 and 13 proved an unreliable indicator - they-ve now won five of their last six and the victory over the Gold Coast gave them a new club record of eight games without loss.
Come to think of it, I-m sure I suggested early on that Ian Ferguson might be the first coach out the door this season, another prediction down the toilet.
The theory that Wellington couldn-t win outside the ‘Ring of Fire- went belly-up when their 2-1 win over the Reds at Hindmarsh last week made it three in a row for Ricki Herbert-s men across the ditch.
Speaking of travelling, Newcastle hadn-t had a victory away from home in at least a calendar year -and the Jets have now collected at least a point in their last four trips out of the Hunter.
John Kosmina-s second coming had messiah-like qualities after five unbeaten matches, but the halo is now somewhat dented after six games without a win.
Across the border, Melbourne Heart won seven out of eight starts between rounds 6 and 13 - but since then, they haven-t won in seven, and John Van-t Schip has booked his ticket home.
As for the Victory, well let-s just say Melbourne Draw is a more accurate moniker after sharing the points in 7 of their 10 matches at home this season - of course I had misguidedly decided they would take all three in the recent derby.
Sydney FC, you ask? Everyone knows they have only won 3 games at home all season (if you include the match at Kogarah), yet I-m fairly confident no-one foresaw the walloping they received at the hands of the Jets at the weekend. I tipped with my heart on that one, predicting a rallying of the troops for the nicest ‘former- coach in the league. Wrong.
In fact, the only team the Sky Blues have actually beaten at the SFS this season is the Gold Coast (twice), and speaking of our friends from the Glitter Strip…. Stone motherless last at the bottom of the table - yet get this, they remain the only team in the entire competition this season who haven-t lost to the table topping Mariners.
Remember that ‘yet to be played- Round 17 match I mentioned earlier, where inclement weather prevented Gold Coast entertaining the Mariners at Skilled Park?
Guess who I-ve tipped?
Might be time to quit while I-m ahead!