We haven't had a good rant for a few weeks but with the flat season now all but over and the National Hunt season now underway plus the football World Cup just around the corner, which will also see a mid-season break for the Premier, I take a look at what's been pissing me off with it all!
And let's start with the World Cup. I don't think I've seen in a very long time people less excited about the World Cup starting! Yes it's a joke that it's in Winter and it's an even bigger joke that it's in that footballing powerhouse that is Qatar!
England look to have a decent chance of making the standard of the quarter final, possibly a semi with a bit of luck, but the 8 defensive players per game that Southgate seems to love isn't really needed in the opener against the might of Iran. Who would bet against a scrappy 1-0 (Kane from the spot!) to really get the fans excited after such a lacklustre build-up!
We'll have our view over the next few weeks before the tournament kicks off and don't forget we still have our World Cup Sweepstake which you can find here. We'll be watching but I'm more looking forward to the beer on the Friday night than watching England struggle against the USA! I'd love to be wrong but I'm guessing we may be glad to see the Premier League return just in time for the busy Christmas period
The other big news of the week has been the potential sale of Liverpool with the owners FSG sort of announcing the club is up for sale without actually saying it (from what I can tell). It looks like they could make a very healthy profit with a price tag of £3-£4bn being touted and that surely is the only way any owner really makes any sort of return on owning a Premier League club. They do say the quickest way to go from being a billionaire to a millionaire is to buy a football club so it would look good business sense from them to offload at that price
Whoever does come in will be expected to invest, and invest pretty heavily, as despite the ramblings of Jurgen Klopp, if Liverpool want to continue to sit at the top table they'll need to spend top table money. Some of the names, and even price tags, being banded around on social media show the delusions of some of the fans but it will prove an interesting dilemma for the more sensible fans if it does come from 'dirty' oil money. Let's be honest, if someone dangles enough money on the table the fans will lap it up and all the talk and criticism of Man City Newcastle and the likes of PSG will no doubt go very quiet on Merseyside. I know if some rich Arab state wanted to come and buy my club (Preston) then we'd happily take the money and not ask too many questions about where it comes from. Football fans are fickle and most would take winning over anything else!
The Liverpool squad itself is looking to be lacking this season as those around have strengthened and progressed whereas Liverpool look a shadow of the team that has pushed City so hard the last few years. The league looks gone for another season but I'd not bet against Liverpool going very far in the Champions League. I will be amazed if there isn't at least one Premier League team in the showpiece final next May and an all England affair (again) looks realistically quite possible. And on their day, Liverpool can still beat any of those top European teams
Over on the racing front we saw an absolute superstar in the Breeders Cup in Flightline but it is a shame he's been retired to stud so we wont see him back out next year. Focus now though has really shifted to the National Hunt and we've seen a few of the big guns out for early runs but I'm sure plenty are still looking up those Cheltenham antepost bets already.
We have the November meeting from the famous Gloucestershire course this weekend although we also have a few of the big-uns likely to be out over in Ireland over the next few weeks too. One horse I'm hoping to see back out is Ferny Hollow who is due to run at Naas this weekend. Injuries have robbed us of seeing him go for the big ones in March but I'm hoping he makes it this time. If he comes back fit, he is one to watch
We'll have more Cheltenham talk in the new year and as ever we'll have lots going on for the Festival itself. Talk of who goes where and in what race in November generally pisses me off as so much can happen between now and the roar on the first day and finding that antepost value these days is generally a lot more difficult, plus you aren't really getting the premium you should for risking it on the antepost market anymore
And last up we had safer gambling week recently but unfortunately a lot of so called tipsters have no concept of safe or responsible gambling. The number of tipsters I see 'recruiting' online and actively encouraging non gamblers to join their group and start is scary, things like 'get your family and friends involved and invite them to my group' is massively irresponsible but these guys have no awareness of safer gambling as they are addicts themselves. Pumping out pick after pick, every day, claiming info and following up losers with comments like 'we'll win it back' This is classic addict behaviour
It is a cliche now but remember you should never gamble more than you can afford to lose and every tipster online will have losses. Those clowns calling themselves the biggest and/or best around and posting with their childish little rockets should be avoided as, generally, these guys aren't the experts they claim to be. They are simply like most punters out there picking their own selections with varying degrees of success
We recently published our recent 'approved' list which has both free and paid for tipsters listed that we believe are knowledgeable, honest and transparent with what they do. You can find our full list here and if you ever find yourself struggling with your betting or need help and advice then these guys are who we'd recommend and of course there is plenty of support out there if you do feel your betting getting out of control. With a cost of living crisis and the cost of everything going up, gambling is not the way to get through it.
The Cheeky Punts Team
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You can find all our blogs here or check out our previous rants with
AJ losing the plot, a sportwashing derby and Kloppout?
Utd, Souness and Shit Racing