"I don't make predictions and I never will" were the wise words of Paul Gascoigne, and while you might question the mercurial midfielder's decision making, you can't question that.
He's a wise man, Gazza, even if he did end up as player manager of lowly Gansu Tianma for a bizarre two-month spell in 2003.
So why did we not heed his advice and stick our necks out back in March with our predictions for the Chinese Super League's 2019 season?
With the league campaign, over it is time to look back at what we got right and what we got wrong.
1. Guangzhou Evergrande
They finished on top in the end, but it did not look like that would be the case for the first half of the season. Fabio Cannavaro survived, while some of his players also fell foul of the club's peculiar policies. Wei Shihao finally lived up to his undoubted potential as Paulinho and Anderson Talisca starred in Evergrande's toughest title win of their octet. Yang Liyu was another positive, while China striker Elkeson added 10 goals since his return in the summer and surpassed Wu Lei as the CSL's all-time top scorer.
2. Beijing Guoan
Credit to the club that they went all the way and took it to the final day of the season. Sadly, their hopes of a first title in 10 years were not to be. They started off the season with a preposterous 10-game winning streak - the longest season-starting streak in CSL history - and finished runners up with a points total that would have won them the league in every season since 2014.
Zhang Yuning kicked on after stalling in Europe with a decent contribution of eight goals and six assists. Cedric Bakambu's numbers don't tell the whole story as the player lost some of the Workers' Stadium support, as well as his passport. Renato Augusto was the star man, while Jonathan Viera's injury coincided with their August blip. Coach Roger Schmidt was sacked and replaced with Bruno Genesio.
3. Shanghai SIPG
It was always going to be difficult for the champions, having lost their top scorer Wu Lei to Espanyol. They chose not to strengthen immediately, but started as they had left off in 2018. The loss of Elkeson to Guangzhou Evergrande amid the Brazilian striker's naturalisation to Chinese meant they had become even more reliant on the always reliable Oscar and Hulk. Marko Arnautovic became the club's first signing for several transfer windows and the champions made it to the last week of the season with the chance to defend their crown. In the end, Arnautovic scored more than Elkeson for SIPG, but four of his nine goals came on the closing day.
4. Jiangsu Suning
The Nanjing side did not bring anyone of note in during the winter window and impressed to finish the best of the rest. Improved on last season's fifth and made the case for stability in the topsy-turvy world of the CSL by sticking with coach Cosmin Olaroiu, who has since been linked with the vacant China job. Alex Teixeira shone brightest and was ably assisted by Eder, but it makes you wonder what they would have done had they signed Gareth Bale after seemingly sealing the deal for the Welsh wizard. Wang Song became the first player to score in 16 consecutive top-flight seasons.
5. Shandong Luneng
Li Xiaopeng did his growing managerial reputation no harm with a fifth-place league finish and by reaching the final of the Chinese FA Cup, where his side face Shanghai Shenhua in a game that is being built up as an audition for the national team manager job. The usual suspects got the goals: Italian striker Graziano Pelle, Jose Mourinho favourite Marouane Fellaini and the overwhelmingly talented Roger Guedes.
6. Wuhan Zall
The team of the season. Jean Evard Kouassi has stepped up to the starring role that he was never going to be offered at former club Shanghai SIPG and, after getting the side promoted as champions of China League One last season, he carried on in the top flight. Fellow foreigners Rafael Silva and Leo Baptistao also starred, while Stephane Mbia was a rock, but it was all down to the management skills of former Everton favourite Li Tie in the dugout. Li is in charge of the China team going to the EAFF tournament in South Korea this month and is rumoured to be lined up for the top job.
7. Tianjin Teda
Another prediction that was wildly off the mark. Goals galore from Frank Achemapong, Johnathan and former Bayern Munich forward Sandro Wagner kept the Tianjin side well away from the drop.
8. Henan Jianye
As wrong as the Teda prediction. Record signing Henrique Dourado returned to Brazil in the summer, but it did not matter. Fellow new signing Franck Ohandza arrived from Shenzhen and did the business up top, outscoring Cameroon international Christian Bassogog. The dictionary definition of solidly mid-table.
9. Dalian Yifang
Rafa Benitez swapping Newcastle United for Dalian was the biggest story of their season, although Zhong Ting becoming the oldest CSL player at 40 deserves a mention. Benitez's "project" in Dalian is a work in progress and how far he takes it will depend on if he stays. The manager and star player Yannick Carrasco have both been linked with a return to Europe. More was expected of Marek Hamsik and Salomon Rondon, players Benitez worked with at Napoli and Newcastle United respectively, but both disappointed.
10. Chongqing Lifan
Manager Jordi Cruyff said he wanted to stay up and they did so comfortably. They called on the experience of 36-year-old Sui Weijie in goal and the creativity of Adrian Mierzejewski behind top scorer Alan Kardec. Fernandinho, not the one who is reported to be naturalising, chipped in with a few solo stunners.
11. Hebei China Fortune
An ageing Javier Mascherano topping the club's assist charts hints at the kind of season experienced on Beijing's outskirts. New arrival Marcao showed the goalscoring touch that had him top of the K-League scoring charts last season, and he was backed up by Dong Xuesheng, but more was expected elsewhere from the likes of retiring Ezequiel Lavezzi and the now loaned-out Ayoub El Kaabi.
12. Guanghzou R&F
The CSL's longest serving manager, Dragan Stojkovic, got his team to do what they do best: give the ball to Eran Zahavi and then let him do the rest. The Israeli striker banged in a barely believable 29 goals to surpass Elkeson's longstanding single season scoring record. Countryman Dia Saba helped out too, while Mousa Dembele did not quite light up the CSL as many had hoped.
13. Shanghai Shenhua
The Shenhua-est season in recent memory from the Shanghai side. Quickly sacked Quique Sanchez Flores and lost free-scoring Odion Ighalo to the African Nations Cup and then injury. The signing of Kim Shin-wook was questioned and he answered emphatically in goals. The signing of Stephan El Shawaary was welcomed and he hardly played. Gio Moreno finished top scorer, which makes it seem like any other season in the last decade, and they made a cup final. From a genuine fear of relegation midway through to the chance to win a second FA Cup in three years. All very Shenhua.
14. Tianjin Tianhai
Alan was, as predicted, the key man for the youngsters who make up the de facto China B team to Guangzho Evergrande's A squad and he was. Pre-season saw them lose their star power of years past along with the Quanjian name and they survived on the rather hopeful tactic of there somehow being two worse teams in the league. They got lucky.
15. Shenzhen FC
The first newly promoted side to go straight back down since 2015, it started off so well with an opening-day win but that did not last. Nor did star signing Ola Kamara, who was in the wind back to the MLS and Wayne Rooney's DC United in the summer. John Mary stepped up and showed he deserves to be in the CSL, earning a Cameroon call-up in the process, but his goals were not enough.
16. Beijing Renhe
They were expected to be worse than last season's eighth place finish but no one quite knew just how bad they would be. They were dreadful and entered the record books for all the wrong reasons: losing a record eight on the spin and the lowest points tally. The 15 other teams will certainly miss them next season. Dreadful.
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