Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sophomore Blues

I know I shouldn't complain, but another sizeable sum will be taken from my account in the next few hours. After a good week, my total charges are down to 19.66%, and the Premium Charge continues. While I am OK with playing with up to £100 on the more speculative punts made more to reduce the PC than with any expectation that they are anything much above borderline value, I am just not comfortable throwing much more out there, but I probably need to, or at least find more markets to do this in. The credit I receive for winning / losing in these markets is a drop in the ocean when I have a decent four figure win. The other annoying thing is that in a losing week, a PC reduction strategy is quite likely to simply increase the loss, and you don't know if your week is a winning one until Sunday night. Make a big profit on the NFL that is settled at 11:59pm, and that doesn't leave a lot of time to minimise the damage. Make it on a Monday morning on the 12:30 at Newton Abbott, OK, so that'll never happen for me, but you get the point - it gives you a full six days to work your magic.

But complaining never did any good so I'll shut up. The Blackpool v Manchester United game went pretty much as expected, with plenty of goals and Blackpool losing. It seems like a lot of teams that are expected to go straight back down after a promotion do far better than expected in their first year, but then suffer from what the Americans call, a sophomore slump -

A sophomore slump or sophomore jinx refers to an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the standards of the first effort. It is commonly used to refer to the apathy of students (second year of college or university) the performance of athletes (second season of play), singers/bands (sophomore album), television shows (second seasons) and movies (sequels/prequels).
I think it's five teams who have been relegated from the Premier League in their second season - Middlesbrough, Bradford City, Ipswich Town, Reading and Hull City. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. With Blackpool looking to survive this season, next season could be a lot tougher. This is from the University of Surrey newspaper at the start of 2007-08:
Second Season Syndrome…

Since the Premiership began, teams that have won promotion and then achieved unexpected success in their first season in the Premiership have generally failed set the right goals and achieve the right balance the next season. There is a very difficult balance to find, and excluding Blackburn Rovers, a club seemingly big enough, or just managed well enough to cope with all the pressures of returning to top flight football, clubs generally are hit with the familiar sounding football term; ‘Second Season Syndrome’. Wigan and West Ham showed last season the difficulties of recapturing unexpected success, both dropped into a relegation fight after top half finishes the year before. In previous years, Nottingham Forest 1993/4, Charlton 1999/00, Ipswich 1999/00, Middlesbrough 1994/5 and Manchester City 2001/02 have all suffered at the hands of ‘second season syndrome’. Others have too, but those are the worst cases. Ipswich were relegated in the 1999/00 season having finished 5th the season before, they fell thirteen league places. Blackburn seem to be the masters of avoiding this, twice overhauling admirable first efforts. In fourteen seasons only four times has a promoted side improved on their first season in the Premiership. Twice this has been Blackburn, in 1991/92 4th - 2nd and 2000/01 10th - 6th (Derby and Birmingham have also achieved this feat). Combining those team’s that have lost ground, 72 league places have been dropped at an average of 4 places by every team in their second season. Hence if Reading were to drop this season - according to stats - it would only be to mid-low table obscurity, with the possibility of being dragged into a potentially open relegation battle. Will Steve Coppell and Reading be able to avoid the dangers of a hangover after last season and improve on things?
Not a bad write up. I looked for his piece the next season, but couldn't find it. Upon enquiring, it turned out that the writer had spent too much time betting and not enough on his studies, and was sent down during his second year. Oh the irony.

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