Over the last few years Mark Lawrenson’s predictions table has been slightly off. He may have a better hit rate than the bookmakers (just) but his successful prediction rate of 52.77% is similar to what I managed when predicting results every week on the @EPLRoundTable podcast.
I only mention that to show that, for someone with Larwo’s experience, it must surely be disappointing to be matched by a self-taught, massively biased Swansea fan. I predicted Cardiff to lose every week, for Pete’s sake…
In mitigation, Lawro’s almost complete refusal to predict Swansea to win neatly cancels out my anti-Cardiff leanings but even so – the guy is supposed to be an expert, so why does he dislike the Swans so much? Firstly let’s look at the evidence. Here are the four years of our Premier League foray showing Lawrenson’s predictions alongside the Premier League proper.
As you can see last season bucked the trend, with Lawro saying we wouldn’t get relegated, ironically in the season where we came closest to the drop- even if we did eventually avoid it easily.
But why the refusal to accept our status as Premier League teams? Could there be an underlying reason? Well. Maybe.
Go back to the Swans’ cup run under John Hollins in 1998/99, and we had already secured a 1-1 draw at West Ham in the third round before the replay at the Vetch where we secured a famous 1-0 win in front of a packed Vetch Field.
Lawrenson, in his role as pundit, made a remark about how Cyril The Swan – then infamous for a series of incidents including ripping the head off Zampa the Lion (Millwall’s mascot) before booting it into the North Bank – was Swansea’s biggest celebrity. It was something akin to “If Cyril The Swan is their biggest celebrity it says something about the people of Swansea”.
This led to quite a bit of (perfectly justified, I’d say) negative feeling towards Lawrenson, with many fans having not forgotten those comments to this day.
Whether the Swansea faithful’s dislike of the BBC pundit has swayed his subsequent opinion of us you can’t say, but as long as we keep confounding his predictions – and those of many other pundits – we’ll continue to be laughing loudest and longest.
19 points? Pfft. Pull the other one, Lawro…