It’s been an quite an interesting couple of weeks with some springers in the market.
Jonny Wilkinson retired. He’s had a fantastic career and is a very honourable and admirable individual. An old-fashioned sportsman in many respects. I’d imagine the market is thinking along the lines of Ryan Giggs winning the award back in 2009. I think, though, it’s safe to rule him out of the reckoning – by December I can’t imagine many remembering him bowing out.
Carl Froch won the rematch against George Groves at Wembley Stadium.
Gareth Bale won the European Cup, or Champions League as the kids like to call it these days. He also had an instrumental part to play, scoring the crucial goal in extra time of the final to put Real Madrid 2-1 up. He’s a genuinely wonderful and captivating footballer.
As it stands, Bale, Froch and Lizzy Yarnold, are essentially (bar Rory McIlroy winning the BMW) the only contenders in the list below to have won anything of real note so far. Bale is widely available at 20/1.
I am struggling to ignore this price I have to say. There are many reasons why I think it is a decent each way bet. First and foremost he has been at the forefront of Real Madrid winning one of the biggest prizes in football.
It is entirely feasible that during the next few months no British sportsperson wins much. Andy Murray could easily, indeed is likely to, come away empty handed this season. Lewis Hamilton may not win the F1 title (although is quite likely too, however, as I will mention in another post at some point, I am not convinced one can be too confident about him having a SPOTY winning profile). And it would be surprising if England did anything at the World Cup. Chris Froome must have a very good chance of winning the Tour for a second successive year (is odds-on now) and Mo Farah should win gold at the Commonwealth Games at the end of July. There is of course room for a left field contender. I can’t see cricket capturing the imagination too much this summer though but possibly it could come from the Ryder Cup or Commonwealth Games.
By December there could easily be no stand out performer, at which point Bale’s credentials will seem attractive. Even at this stage it seems he will be shortlisted (usually 10 are on the shortlist). The Welsh will not be afraid to vote for him either as they have proved time and again with their sons. Steven Gerrard in 2005 had a fairly similar profile and came third. That was the year Liverpool won the European Cup. Gerrard also got bronze in that year’s Ballon d’Or in the weeks before SPOTY.
Please, as always, feel free to comment and discuss anything I have posted and the latest in the SPOTY markets.
Lewis Hamilton 7/4 F1 Champion
Chris Froome 7/1 Tour de France winner
Andy Murray 14/1 Wimbledon / US Open Champion
Rory McIlroy 20/1 Win a major and be a key part of a Ryder Cup win
Gareth Bale 20/1 Won European Cup scoring the winning goal
Steven Gerrard 16/1 Captain England to World Cup final
Jonny Wilkinson 20/1 Retired after a stellar career
Mo Farah 50/1 Winning gold(s) at the Commonwealth Games
Carl Froch 20/1 Super middleweight champion
Lizzy Yarnold 25/1 Won Winter Olympic gold medal