As retiring trio Jamie Carragher, Paul Scholes and Sir Alex Ferugson will no doubt be saying on Sunday after their final games for Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, it has certainly been emotional.
In fact, I am welling up just thinking about it: the tears, the cheers, the ups, the downs, the beauty, the heartbreak – it really did have everything.
But enough about Stringfellows last night. It is the final weekend of the season and while I would like to extend my best wishes, hoping that your team has had a good campaign, to be honest I don’t really care.
All the Long Shot cares about is money, and ever since August I have been looking to make as much of it as possible by picking three bets every week on any market on the domestic football coupon, with the only stipulation that the price be 4/1 or over.
Over the course of the season, winning tips have continued to land, turning £30 (based on a tenner bet on each selection) into £177 – a profit margin of nearly 600%, all done on bets that are far from certainties.
And while the Long Shot is a modest type (ahem), allow the blowing of one’s trumpet for just a moment – that is great tipping.
Now, seeing as we have so much profit and there are only Premier League matches to be choosing from, this week’s Long Shot has a last day of the school term feel about it (no, I’m not bunking off to go copping off with girls and get hammered on Lambrini).
A bit like when you pay a quid to go into school in your own clothes on the last day of term and spend all day throwing water bombs at the geeky kids (you did that too, right?), we are having a semi-lark going for some REALLY big Long Shots which could provide enough cash to send us into the summer with a smile on our face and a bulge in our pockets. I’m on about the cash.
So whatever you have planned over the boring non-football months, I hope you have a good one.
Personally, as soon as I’ve written this I’m leaving for a cruise with Peter and the girls as a thank you for my loyalty over the years. He’s good like that, Pete, he looks after his own. If not his hair.
A few more quid won’t go amiss, though, so get on these three (very) big-priced choices and thanks for reading this season. See you in August.
Jamie Carragher to score last in Liverpool v QPR @ 16/1
You can tell that we are really going to town in this week’s selections in backing a player to score that has netted just five goals in 736 appearances, but the Long Shot is an old romantic at heart (just ask the girls in Stringfellows) so let’s have a go on the 16/1 that Jamie Carragher scores the last goal on his final appearance for Liverpool.
He may have been a limited footballer with an accent that could strip paint off the wall, but in his pomp he was a great defender and when he bows out of Anfield for the final time it will be to deafening applause.
Even though he probably won’t score, the visitors to Anfield are Queens Park Rangers and there is every chance that if Liverpool play like they have for much of the season at home they could give ‘Arry’s dreadful side a good thumping.
And if that is the case, the players, not to mention the crowd, will be willing Carragher to score and if there is a late penalty with the game already won, who do you think is going to take it?
He’ll tell you otherwise but it’d be Carra – so let’s take the chance on that 16/1.
Michael Owen to score last in Stoke City v Southampton @ 9/1
You can tell that we are really, REALLY going to town in this week’s selections by backing a player who has been more horse trainer than footballer for the past four years, but the Long Shot is an old romantic at heart (just ask the girls etc) so let’s have a go on the 9/1 that Michael Owen scores the last goal in his final professional appearance.
He may have been an injury-prone mercenary with an accent that makes Gary Barlow sound like an animated Brian Blessed, but in his pomp he was a great goalscorer, making it a shame that when he bows out at the Britannia Stadium, it will be with the meekest of whimpers.
But despite the injuries and the lack of focus, Owen has always known where the goal is – 222 goals in 481 career games shows that – and the truth is he still does.
The former England star has scored one goal in eight substitute appearances this season, a late consolation against Swansea City, and with not even Tony Pulis miserly enough to leave him on the bench for the entire 90 minutes in a meaningless game, Owen can notch the last goal to give his swansong a fitting end.
Chelsea and Arsenal to need a third-place play-off @ 33/1
I told you we were going big. This is the biggest-priced bet we’ve ever tipped up for the Long Shot, and it is a Long Shot, but is a third-place play-off between Arsenal and Chelsea actually as farfetched as it seems?
Okay, a quick synopsis of the situation: Chelsea are in third, leading Arsenal by two points having scored two goals more and boasting a superior goal difference of one.
A Blues draw at home to Everton, coupled with an away win by a one-goal margin for the Gunners at Newcastle, would leave both clubs on 73 points.
But if Arsene Wenger’s side score two more goals than Rafael Benitez’s team manage in that scenario, then the play-off will be needed.
In other words, if it is 0-0 at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal win 2-1, there is a play-off, while the same is true if Chelsea draw 1-1 and the Gunners win 3-2, if it is 2-2 and 4-3, and so on.
So while it probably won’t happen, it could happen, couldn’t it?! And seeing as we have pure profit in the bank, let’s go for it.