Now that the Premier League season is over, it is always good to look back to August and see if the campaign has turned out the way it was initially expected to.
Here on Ladbrokes News, we have had a fair share of successful pre-season triumphs, including Manchester United at 2/1 to win the Premier League, Chelsea at 4/6 to be top London club and West Ham at 1/1 to finish the campaign above fellow newcomers Southampton and Reading.
However, it is our trio of 10/1 winning selections for which we are most proud, with these involving Kevin Nolan, Roberto Di Matteo and Hull.
Given that Nolan was West Ham’s top scorer in helping them reach the Premier League, it was somewhat a surprise to see him at this price to top the Hammers’ scoring charts this season.
Carlton Cole, the pre-season favourite, had never managed more than 10 in a Premier League season, while Nolan had scored at least 12 in three consecutive seasons.
Nolan’s hat-trick against Reading on the final day took him to 10 for the season in the top-flight, while Cole managed just two.
The next manager to go market is a market which can generate lots of pre-season interest and Di Matteo still looked under pressure despite having recently won the Champions League, with Roman Abramovich taking an eternity to give him a one-year deal.
Di Matteo eventually departed first, just two days ahead of one of the pre-season favourites Mark Hughes.
Our final winning 10/1 selection was on Hull being a surprise package and gaining promotion to the Premier League.
Losing too many home games was a problem that Steve Bruce rectified, while they also netted 14 more goals than in the previous campaign when narrowly missing out on a play-off place.
However, we are not totally in the position to blow our own trumpet, as three other tips could not have been any more wrong.
Highlighting Danny Graham at 100/1 to be a worthy outsider to be the Premier League top scorer now seems extremely foolish, as he managed just four league goals all season.
QPR were earmarked at 16/1 to win the divisional handicap market as it was believed they would finish in the top half and challenge for a European place.
Meanwhile, Sunderland were picked at 7/1 to top the table outside of the top six and emulate their best ever Premier League finish of seventh, given that big things were expected of Martin O’Neill in his first full season at the club.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication