OUR man Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) can’t get enough of New Year specials. Here he picks a couple that caught his eye this year.
Ladbrokes are going Evens on Nick Clegg being replaced as Liberal Democrat leader in 2015. That looks like buying money. I wouldn’t claim to be a politics expert, but I certainly keep an eye on it.
May’s General Election looks like being a meltdown for the Liberal Democrats. Since going into coalition with the Conservatives in 2010 they’ve plummeted in the polls, alienated their core followers and become a laughing stock. Leader Nick Clegg is at the centre of that ire and I’ll be shocked if he’s still in that position after May’s election.
The Lib Dems took only 57 seats in 2010 after what looked a very positive campaign, after five years of taking a hammering, goodness knows what they’ll accrue this time. They’re polling at just 6% at the moment. That’s the same level as the Greens. It’s bleak times for Clegg.
Coral are 16/1 on Sam Allardyce picking up the LMA Manager Of The Year award at the end of the season and that looks too big.
Clearly this has a lot to do with how West Ham perform in the second half of the season, but if they maintain their Top 6 position and have a good Cup run like last campaign then you never know.
The LMA award sometimes goes to an alternative choice. Brendan Rodgers won it last year ahead of Manuel Pellegrini. Alan Pardew was the recipient in 2012, Roy Hodgson in 2010, David Moyes the year before and incredibly Steve Coppell won it two years running in 2005 and 2006 after his exploits at Reading. Bar Rodgers, none of these managers got close to the winning the league or won a trophy.
Allardyce seems well respected by the managerial community and you get the impression this would be a popular victory if he strode to the award in May. At 16/1, I’ll have a small interest.