Sod it, the choice is now yours

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 September, 1997, 12:00am

WELCOME to Murphy's (also known as Sod's) Law in the world of Wharf Sports scheduling.

That's the phenomenon of always picking the wrong queue, changing your lucky numbers as they come up in the lottery, your house burning down the day the insurance lapses, etc.

In the same vein, the people at Wharf who select which Sunday Premier League matches to drop have struck out so badly that they must be high-ranking members of the Murphy-Sod clan.

To recap, this season Wharf will take only selected live Sunday matches as opposed to last term's comprehensive Sunday programme. The trade-off - a persuasive one - is that Wharf will cover games on other days of the week such as big midweek fixtures and Bank Holiday games amounting to more live matches overall.

The problem is that some impish twist of fate has decreed that the first Sunday game they passed up on was Barnsley v Chelsea which just happened to include a Gianluca Vialli foursome and Chelsea's best-ever away win (6-0).

Then, last week, it was Blackburn v Leeds and the mere matter of a Premier League record-scoring burst of seven goals in the opening 33 minutes.

This week the cable schedule is choc-a-bloc with live Premier League action, Wharf showing Bolton v Manchester United (Saturday) and Chelsea v Arsenal (Sunday) while ESPN add Liverpool v Aston Villa (Monday).

Consider the omens: the last time Bolton hosted United, United won 6-0 with Ryan Giggs in great form; Chelsea and Arsenal are the second and third top Premier scorers with 17 and 13 respectively; Stan Collymore returns to Anfield with a lot to prove. All indicators point to a ten-gallon hatful of goals.

Let's just see what Messrs Murphy and Sod have to say about that.