Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Blog Cup & Injury Update

Firstly, the injury news from football365.com
Amongst the terrible news emanating from Anfield this week is a scrap of the good stuff - according to the Liverpool Post, Alberto Aquilani 'is being tentatively slated for a return to action in tomorrow's reserve game against Sunderland'.

Boss Rafa Benitez told reporters on Monday that Aquilani was looking good on the the training ground, saying: "Today I was really happy watching Aquilani on the pitch, talking about how good he was with the ball and maybe in two or three weeks he will be ready and make the difference."

Lost in the Torres/Gerrard news on Monday was the revelation that winger Albert Riera will miss the games against Lyon and Manchester United with a hamstring injury he picked up in training over the weekend.

Also lost among the headline news of Theo Walcott's three-four week absence was the news from Arsenal that Tomas Rosicky has a knee problem that will keep him out of the game with AZ Alkmaar. But Gunners should worry that the last time the Czech midfielder was ruled out for "days not weeks", he spent the next 18 months on the sidelines.

Elsewhere, the big injury news is concerning Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole, who has been ruled out for three months with medial ligament damage.

Steve Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "We think it will be at least 12 weeks for Catts. He's done his medial ligament. It's not good news, but it's the best we could have hoped.

"We were all praying he had not done his cruciate and damaged cartilage, which thankfully he hasn't - but he's still out for the best part of three months."

The scrap of good news for Sunderland fans is that Kenwyne Jones - who was also stretchered out of the Liverpool game - has suffered no significant damage to his ankle and should be fit to face Birmingham this weekend.

Chelsea will have been pleased to see Alex come through 45 minutes of reserve-team football on Monday night (scoring the opener in a 4-1 win) while Michael Ballack and Jon Obi Mikel are both back in training after ankle injuries, though Jose Bosingwa is a doubt for Wednesday's game against Atletico Madrid after suffering a knee injury against Aston Villa.

Also in reserve action was Stoke striker Mamady Sidibe, who played for an hour against Aston Villa after seven months on the sidelines with cruciate ligament damage. He eventually left the pitch wit a dead leg.

Sidibe told the Stoke Sentinel: "My knee felt good here and I will carry on training, and then we will see with the manager.

"Just playing was the most important thing here. In the first half, I was a little bit tired, but in the second half, I felt better before I got the dead leg.

"When you have been out for so long, especially with a cruciate ligament injury, you never know how it is going to react. I was a little bit worried before playing, but when the game starts, you stop thinking about that."

Meanwhile, Wigan have injury worries over two key players ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland dislocated a finger during last weekend's 1-1 draw with Manchester City but played on for the full 90 minutes after attempting to put the digit back in place, while midfielder Paul Scharner has a hip problem.

"We'll be having all the scans and all the tests possible to find out the extent of the injury," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez about Kirkland.

"At the moment we feel it might only be a dislocated finger but we need to see exactly what the situation is and we'll find out more over the next 24 hours."

However, both Martinez and Scharner are more hopeful over the Austria international's problem.

"I picked up the injury the day before the game but it felt comfortable during the warm-up," said the 29-year-old Scharner.

"During the game it tightened up again and in the end I couldn't continue.

"We'll assess the injury, but hopefully I'll be okay for Saturday. I think I will be fine."
So lots to take in & I'm sure they'll be even more injuries after the Champions League games.

Now, a quick bit on the Blog Cup. A few people have been asking where the Round 2 results, and the answer is: Round 2 is not due to take place until Week 12. I spaced the Blog Cup out to every 4 weeks so it would last the whole season.

But I now face a tricky decision...

I want to start a 2nd Cup which will also include all the teams in Blog League 4. I was therefore thinking of moving all the Blog Cup Rounds closer together (to finish it quicker) so I can start a new competition in January.

However, Blog regular Ian Sanderson came up with an excellent idea - I run the 2 Cups side by side, on alternative weeks, a bit like the FA & League Cup. My only concern is running 2 Cups at the same time will become a bit of a nightmare on the admin front, but if I can think of a way of doing it without it taking over my life then I will consider it, as people won't have to wait 4 months to get involved.

I'd like you opinions - what do you think?

Option 1. Finish the current Blog Cup sooner by moving all the rounds closer together, then start the 2nd Cup on it's conclusion around January
Round 2 in Week 10
Round 3 in Week 12
Round 4 in Week 14
Round 5 in Week 16
Qtr Final in Week 18
Semi Final in Week 19
Final in Week 20
New Cup starts in Week 22

Option 2. Keep the current Blog Cup rounds as they are but run a 2nd Cup alongside it
Blog Cup Round 2 in Week 12
New Cup Round 1 in Week 14,
Blog Cup Round 3 in Week 16
New Cup Round 2 in Week 18
etc, etc...

Please comment below to let me know what you'd prefer & feel free to add any ideas of your own!



Bojan said...

maybe a second option, so that all can be included fast, and not have to wait for 3 months...


Can somebody write me something about WHU-Arsenal match, because I don't now what to expect from West Ham... Is it good to leave Fabs on discount in team? And do you expect a lot of goals?

Fidan said...

I say the first choice would be better. Considering the fact that from round 4 or 5 you'll have far less teams to admin...and then you can start with second cup CLEAR...!!! I mean, I'd LOVE the second cup running simultaneously, but it would REALLY consume your time...and you don't owe us none of it...!!!

I say, whatever you choose...just KEEP IT UP...!!!


Fidan said...

"none" ---> "any" ;)

greginho said...

unfortunately for you AM, i like the idea of two simultaneous leagues. so option 2 it is for me. this adds extra work for you.

this is just me sharing an idea, not trying to make life more difficult. it would be nice if the second one could be a head to head competition. the two ways to do it, would be to have every team randomly drawn to face the teams in other leagues or their own. the other way to do it would be my favorite. every team would be randomly drawn against the other teams in your group. it would be competition within the groups and then the top two or one in each group would meet for a quarterfinal or semifinal. i think this would be so cool, it is a lot more pressure to beat one team in one day. it is more like the original f.a. cup.

i know this would add a lot more work. maybe, there is someone who could be the administrator of the cup. if you do end up doing it AM. the victor could report the score to you, in order to ease up the amount of work. there are athletic club competitions that people have to report back the score, like tennis, basketball, handball, volleyball, ping pong, etc. so that would be an option.

Wolfy Dave said...

I agree with Fidan. It could monopolise your time to an unmanagable degree. Having another one later in the season sounds better. The time will fly past I'm sure.

On another note; what do folks think of Sunderland without Cattermole? It's a gutting blow for them. You think Bent is still worth a punt?


Doctor Teeth said...

I'm for Option 2...Blog Cup championship game should be at the end of the season just like the real FA Cup.

Assistant Manager said...

Thanks for the feedback so far, I'm leaning towards Option 2 at the moment as I've just discovered a clever Excel technique which will save me a huge amount of time...

...in fact it'll save me so much time that I'm going to think about opening some more blog leagues. I'd have to create a new yahoo ID (as I've reached maximum leagues on my own ID) but we now have 2000 hits per day so I'm sure more than the current 400 teams would be interested. A massive Cup with maybe 5 or 6 leagues? 600 teams, how awesome would that be!?

Greginho - Appreciate the comments mate, it's a great idea & I'd love to do it that way but it is a HUGE task. Even an extra administrator couldn't do it as they would be unable to be in all leagues (as they are all full) so we'd need 4 seperate admins, 1 for each league...plus I wouldn't want to do it unless I could confirm all the results myself, so at the moment it's a no go...but maybe in the future!


greginho said...

AM i know it would be impossible to do, but i do really like my idea. i never expected that it would happen, though.

Naning said...

It doesn't really matter to me which option...

@Aquilani returning - With him on the pitch, Liverpool will finally recover the playmaker Xabi Alonso was. Aquilani was in my opinion the best (EPL)transfer of this summer. If he stays clear from injuries that is...

max said...

i like option 2! (plus it will give me another chance after my dismal week in which the first blog cup started) :)

also, does anyone think k.jones would be a good bet next week? i would take bent but a buddy in one of my leagues has him and we're trying not to take the same players.

Bradley said...

I'd favor Option #2 on aesthetic grounds. I was going to suggest you go with #1 as the easier option, but it sounds like you've solved the problem. The only remaining downside to #2 is that you'd probably wind up fielding questions or complaints from people confused about which Blog Cup they're in.

-Itach1- said...

option #2 sounds gr8..... thanx for your awesome work am

Anonymous said...

I like option 1:

less confusing and like Fidan says, most likley less work for you.


Drake Ramoret

ToffeeDave said...

I like option 2 better. Recording Pod#2 as we speak.

Douchebag United said...

Looking forward to podcast number 2 the D.Dunn pick really put me forward this week with 119 points!

AM-I think you need to pick the option which will be the least time consuming for you. You've been doing such a great job on this blog I would hate it if you weren't able to keep up with all of the demands. Whatever you choose to do keep up the great work!

chris m said...

AM- I absolutely secon DU's comments. You should pick the option that demands the least time. Your blog as is already, is, imho, the most interesting and informative interactive soccer site on the net. It would be a shame to diminish what is a great thing by being distracted by the demands of the cup thing.

Besides I got bounced out in week 1 :)

chris m
velvet underground allstars

masterP said...

wooohoooo!!!i just watched liverpool losing their 4th consecutive match in a row!!!!i just can't stop laughing!!!

although i'm still kinda stunned arsenal made a draw against AZ


I Think the second option would be much better;

regular blog weeks will encourage better performance of the teams.... you will hence be much able to distinguish between the better and the worse teams!!!

Assistant Manager said...

Again, thanks for the further feedback guys!

I think it's going to be Option 2.

As I mentioned, I have now found quite an easy way of managing this, so I think i'll keep 'The Blog Cup' as it is with Round 2 in Week 12, Round 3 in Week 16 and the final in Week 34 etc...it'll be the main cup competition for the Blog & will have the Premiership shirt as the prize for the winner at the end of the season.

I'll run an additional competition called "The AM Challenge" (cheers for the name Ian), which won't have prizes (unless I get some donations!) but will be for the glory! It will run on alternative weeks, possibly starting in Week 10, and will include all 400 teams in the 4 blog leagues...I may also open up 2 additional leagues (using an additional yahoo ID) which could bring it up to 600 teams.

I'm toying with the format...I may make Round 1 the Top 60 scores in each of the 6 leagues rather than the top 360 scores overall...I'll decide over the next week or so.


GTR 34 said...

@ AM,

You really do have a dilemma.lol.

We are all full of thamks to you for this excellent Blog, and are enjoying any of the benefits it brings.

My suggestion is as follows:

- Choose idea number 2. Yes, I know it requires more admin, but

- Allow certain members of this Blog to help you in an administrative capacity.

This will reduce your personal admin, and will allow others to get more involved in the Blog, and more importantly, to lessen your burden.


Post a Comment