The Wisdom of the Wise or the Keenness of the Keane?

The inverse-correlation between mahjong results and football results continues apace.

Until last weekend we had confined our speculations to the English Premiership and Championship, however, when Jaime finished top last in last Friday’s game the feeling was that it boded ill for his team, MUFC, which was to play Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at the new Wembley stadium the following day.

Now, according to the inverse-correlation rule, a player’s form at the mahjong table yields the opposite result for his team on the pitch. David’s recent recovery of form at MJ coincided with Leeds United’s relegation to Division One (i.e. Division Three in the good old way of reckoning things), while Jaime’s poor form marched in step with MUFC’s successful Premiership campaign.

So with Jaime chalking up a couple of victories and getting himself back into the black the feeling was that Chelsea would be taking the cup home with them this season.

And so it proved: Chelsea 1, MUFC 0

As I sporadically followed the match on the BBC website from the comfort of home I felt relieved that I had not gone traipsing into town to watch the game with the lads:

1505: Incredibly slow start. Not much to get excited about.

“It’s a bit more Community Shield than FA Cup final at the moment.”BBC Sport’s Mark Lawrenson

1512: Didier Drogba has never scored against Manchester United. At this rate he won’t today either. (…!)

“This is a good advert for the cricket season.”BBC Sport’s Mark Lawrenson

1520: This is utter rubbish. These two are the best in the land. Never mind a good advert for cricket, it’s a terrible advert for English football with an estimated 500 million watching around the world.

1523: Anyone got any paint to go and watch dry?

1530: A shot on goal. Do not fall out of your seat, but it is worth repeating, we have had a first shot on target.

1533: John Arlott once fell asleep while commentating on a county cricket match.

Talking of Chelsea and MUFC, I have been pondering the management careers of two of their veteran players, Dennis Wise of Chelsea (1990-2001) and Roy Keane of MUFC (1993-2005).

Roy Keane became the manager of Sunderland at the end of August 2006. A month later Dennis Wise was installed at Leeds. Both teams were stuck at the bottom or near the bottom of the Championship when their respective managers took over.

One year later and Sunderland have won the Championship and promotion to the Premiership while Leeds head the other way.

Management stats:

Keano: 39 games; 24 wins; 8 losses; 7 draws = 61.53% winning margin.

Wise: 33 games; 10 wins; 17 losses; 6 draws = 30.30% winning margin. For more comparative info on Keano and Wise click here.

David Hurley