Monday, 4 January 2010

FA Cup Bits & Bobs

Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates in the past few days, I've been away from my PC since New Year's Eve so I only really got the chance to properly check all the FA Cup news yesterday - I've also just been watching extended highlights of the games on - I love that site.

The most interesting thing to strike me was Daniel Sturridge's performance for Chelsea vs Watford; electric pace, 2 goals (the 2nd a quite fantastic finish) and a general menace for 70 minutes. I'd be very surprised if he hasn't earnt the chance to start the game vs Hull in Week 18, especially given Ancelotti's praise of him after the match & at under £6.7m he's tempting.

Eduardo seems to be finding some real form, as does Aaron Ramsey - both are still affordable if you missed them on the barndoor last week, so if Fabregas remains sidelined then I may be looking to get them both in for Everton...I'll probably wait till the barndoor after the Bolton game on Wednesday.

Spurs ran out comfortable winners vs Peterborough, with Kranjcar scoring a couple. I genuinely believe him to be the bargain of the past 12 months - £1.5million from Portsmouth & he's really settled in superbly. Other good news for bargain hunters was a great display from Gareth Bale at left back, overlapping constantly, 2 assist...£2.65m people!

I have to mention Man Utd's defeat vs Leeds - a terrible performance. Leeds were very good but United just didn't turn up & they seem really up & down at the moment. Also, I wonder how much longer Jermaine Beckford will remain in League 2? I've heard rumours of a move to Newcastle, but after seeing him play 8 or 9 times in the pas 18 months, for me he could do it in the Premier League at a Hull or Blackburn. If he does move I hope it's before the 4th Round, as Spurs face Leeds in the stand-out tie.

Other quick notes - Diamanti on the scoresheet again, another penalty for Alexander, a match winning super-sub performance from N'Zogbia & Etherington becomes Stoke's top scorer with his 4th of the season.

Finally, the one game I did get to watch this weekend was Reading vs Liverpool, a 1-1 draw in which Reading were unlucky not to progress. I'd like to ask Liverpool fans on here about something I've noticed in recent weeks...body language. The Liverpool players look fed up in my opinion, they don't seem to encourage each other & you see them having a go at each other when things go wrong. The only player on the pitch who looks like he really cares at the moment is Carragher. Has this been something you've noticed? Is it a lack of belief in the players around them, or the manager? You probably see far more of their games than I do so I'd like your opinions.

Let me know how your Week 18 teams are starting to shape up.



Doctor Teeth said...

Happy New Year AM...looking forward to renewed excitement in the second half of the season (and hoping to put the disaster of the double/triple week behind me!). Sitting on this Week 18 line-up for the time being:

Verms Alexander Bale
Modric Lampard O'Hara Collison
Bent Sturridge Tevez

Fleeing the snow covered streets of Boston on Wednesday morning for the rum punch beaches of Barbados...give a shout if anyone knows of a good pub where I can watch footie down in the that part of the world!

Merv said...

I regret selling Ramsey at 6 plus. I sold him after the 4-1 win over Pompey. I didn't think he would get many minutes. Now that he played 90 minutes against West Ham, he might not start against Bolton (which is not good for my week 17) and he will most probably start against Everton.

Why the heck did I sell him? He has been amazing in the past few games and it might just earn him a place alongside Cesc in weeks to come! An honest opinion from a lifelong Man Utd supporter.

Assistant Manager said...

Happy New Year Teeth - enjoy Barbados! Nice looking team, we have 8 players the same...

Merv - I really regret not picking up Ramsey on the barndoor, but he's still only 7.55 so if he's gonna start he's worth that money.

Doctor Teeth said...

Gents - bear in mind that Ramsey could be sent to the bench for the Everton game if Fabs returns (even with the injuries and Song gone for ACON) least it's enough of a risk that I would think twice before picking him up on the BD. Great player, though.

Fidan said...

My GW 18 team, so far:

I stil have 7.79m left. So, I'm looking at:

1. Sturridge/AJohnson/FCampbell/Franco in FW;
2. Ramsey/Stanislas/Henderson/Jarvis in MF and
3. MRichards/Upson/Baird(on dc)/Garrido in DF...

Any suggestion would help!!!

@AM - Btw, did you hear the news on Arshavin being injured for FAcup match and that he is a doubt for Bolton match...that would really be the "failure of the season" for those who got Arseshaven...!!!

Good Luck

rwlwhite said...

currently have:

alexander / baird / bale
fabregas (@17)/ duff / eagles / ramsay / mok
zamora / tevez

i'm pretty sure fabregas won't start v everton, hence the choice of ramsay, but i'm not sure whether to keep fab at discount and take a hit or give him up and upgrade somewhere else

i fancy tevez for next week cos he is on fire at the moment (7 goals in his last 6 league games), and i wanted either zamora who i've had for a couple of weeks now or eduardo.
i don't think rooney is a good pick @birmingham as they have a great defence and he isnt guaranteed to score. torres is out of the question against spurs (who i think could beat pool), arshavin just doesnt justify his pricetag at the moment, so i'm stuck on who to choose. only people i cant afford are rooney, and lampard


Fidan said...

Now, looking at my options, I came to a shortlist and now it is between: Sturridge/FCampbell/Henderson/MRichards/Baird

I'm leanning towards Baird due to the certainity he WILL start, with Sturridge and MRichards being close to pick-up...!!!

What do you suggest???

Anonymous said...

I had a good week with 189.5 pts and 6 more players (not including Cesc - definitely out) to play, climbing up in the rankings. My current barndoor team:
Bale - Baird - Traore
Eagles - Collison - Ramsey - Petrov
Diamanti - Tevez - Bent
I don't like not having a Fulham attacker, so might swap Bent (who almost never performs for me) for Zamora or get Dempsey in. Other than that, I will have to check on the starting status of Ramsey and Traore for Arsenal. Selling Cesc at 16m might prove to be a silly mistake if he returns for Everton. Same goes for Eduardo who I had at 7M, and can get back even now, but there are just too many good picks in attack. Happy New Year AM and all fantasy managers ;)

gman26 said...

Great news O'Hara owners. He stays at Pompey

Doctor Teeth said...

gman26 - unless you've read something that I haven't, the report that was released is that the Premier League has allowed Pompey to keep O'Hara on loan despite the team's financial woes...what is unsettled and an entirely separate issue is whether Spurs want to extend the loan for the second half of the season.

brianonymous said...

A few other performances from the FA Cup ties:

Frazier Campbell - two outstanding header goals and an assist

Carlos Vela - Only played well in the final 20 minutes or so when he was pushed to the left, he responded with two assists, has to get Wenger thinking

Gary Cahill - A CS!, shocking for Bolton even against Lincoln City, plus another header goal, his sixth in all comps this season

James McCarthy - Wigan wonderboy was outstanding contributing a goal and assist

rwlwhite said...

O'Hara not confirmed as staying.

Sky Sports News reporting that the Premier League have said it is going to a Premier League panel as to whether he is allowed to stay. something to do with the transfer embargo, and them having to get special dispensation in order to (effectively) sign him again on loan

Art Vandelay said...

Regarding Liverpool players body language. As a Liverpool fan who's seen all our matches this season, I can safely say that Carra is not the only one cares. The likes of Torres, Lucas and Reina have played their hearts out all season. The problem is that Torres can't seem to get fully fit and Gerrard is clearly playing with an injury. This and other factors have contributed to a lack of confidence, especially if we concede.

Bradley said...

Owen Coyle's on the verge of moving from Burnley to Bolton. At least it's a short drive:,19528,11661_5831868,00.html

bean said...

lots of good value options for this week:

sturridge, ramsey, bale,, modric, a.j., junior, j.evans, rosicky(if fit,ha,ha), vela(if he was to play), joecole(but he's dead to me), franco, traore, zhirkov, alou?, palacios, malbranque?(home to bolton), j.vaughan(after arsenal?)

bean said...



bp9000 said...

Just toooo many choices for Week team selection is proving to be a conundrum right now, "an enigma wrapped in a riddle" - I anticipate many Friday changes.....Baird kelly bale milner duff murph arsh henderson mpet collison stanislas joecole sturridge tevez eduardo bent diamanti etc etc.....

4-3-3 formation would allow me to keep both Baird(Kelly?) and Bale along with the entrenched Verm & G.Alexander - with extra cash to spend on the remaining 6 mid/fwd positions. Pretty much set on Duff & Tevez, barring injuries of course, but the rest are yet TBD.

Anonymous said...

What about Ballack and Malouda, 9.08 and 9.62 respectively. I'd opt for Ballack as I know for sure he'll be a likely starter...Malouda, I don't know. I like A. Johnson against a really weakened Portsmouth team. What do you think? Got rid of Arshavin as he is on my S***list.
My team as of now and to change in the next few days...
RSC/Tevez/A. Johnson

Players to be replaced from above are...
Gallas, RSC, and probably MTay. Possible players to replace them are Sturridge or Franco, Lampard, and Ramsey. Tough to choose from, a possible good upcoming week for all I think.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal will HURT Bolton tomorrow !!
Big won !!

greginho said...

honduran saul i would go for dempsey over ballack

greginho said...

i haven't seen one person with zamora. i want him on my team, but i have tevez 14.61, eduardo 7.40 and klasnic 9.93, so i am loathe to get rid of my strikers.

Anonymous said...

Vermaelen Upson Bale
Bilyaletdinov Duff Petrov Fabregas Modric
Tevez SantaCruz

Players uncertain now are Upson, Modric, SantaCruz and Fabregas(if unfit). I still have 8.2 left so I might be able to do some upgrade.

Kellz said...

@greginho: out of your three strikers I would drop Klasnic who is away to Sunderland, sure he could score, but the chance that Zamora home to Pompey will put one in is even more likely in my opinion. I myself dropepd EdS to fit in Duff who I think is a better bet as Everton might (big might) upset Arsenal. Certainly not guarenteed Duff will outscore EdS but I think its a bigger possibility (knock on wood). If you like Zamora that much drop Klasnic, home sides are good to bet on :D

rwlwhite said...

greginho: i have zamora and have done for a few weeks now. i also have fabregas and they are both doubts to stay in my team. yeas zamora is scoring at the moment, but for the 3 weeks prior to the current one he has only scored 16, 14 and 15.5 respectively. this week he has 13 points from 2 games (that includes 9, yes 9 fouls!). i'm losing faith in him putting up big numbers because he just doesnt get phantom points. i have tevez also who works his butt off and is scoring for fun right now so he stays, but i may swap fabregas and zamora for someone like o'hara and anelka perhaps, but only if O'hara is guaranteed to still be at pompey

rwlwhite said...

Two options for my line-up for next week:


Alexander / Bale / Baird
Fabregas / Duff / Ramsay / Mok / Eagles
Zamora / Tevez


Alexander / Bale / Baird
Duff / Eagles / O'Hara / Ballack / Ramsay
Anelka / Tevez

what do you think?

Anonymous said...

@rwlwhite: I think your second team looks more balanced. I don't really like the idea of a filler like Mok this week, especially when there are so many value options.

rwlwhite said...

Thanks for the feedback Anon (1:10pm). The only concerns I have in that team is do Ramsay and Ballack start? Is O'Hara still at Portsmouth? and is it worth putting a cheap kirkland in or is he likely to get minus points?

How about this for something else to think about...the Man City v Man Utd Carling Cup game on Wednesday has been postponed due to the weather! How do you tihnk that might affect the chances of the Man City v Blackburn game going ahead this weekend?!
Potentially have to drop Man City players for fear of missing out on points because they dont play!

rwlwhite said...

Fabregas OUT for next gameweek (until game after Everton)
Clichy OUT for next gameweek (until game after Everton)
Arshavin IN
Denilson IN

This is how I think Arsenal will line up against Everton (as long as there are no further injuries between now and then):

Sagna - Gallas - Verm - Traore
Ramsay - Denilson - Nasri

Anonymous said...

malouda is suspended

Anonymous said...

i think the weather could the the biggest factor in team selection this wk/end. for such a big game like city v united to go a full day+ early it's amazing. S.P.

Hinrik said...

My team for now:

Scharner Bale Silvinho
Arshavin Petrov J.Cole J.Collison
Anelka Tevez Sturridge

Bradley said...

The weather situation doesn't bode well for more than just the ManCity v. Blackburn match on Monday. There are 6 clubs in Lancashire (Burnley, Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan, Manchester, Liverpool), who presumably all received the same heavy snow. At a minimum, 4 matches could be affected, and that's without considering the snowfalls in London, Birmingham, Hull, and Sunderland. Hopefully they'll all be able to get the roads sufficiently cleared by the weekend.

I hate winter.

Macgill said...

thinking of swapping bent and arshavin for lampard and sturridge. any thoughts?

Bradley said...

Before anyone has a fit, while within historical Lancashire, Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, and Wigan haven't actually been part of the county since 1974. :)

Anonymous said...

My current team is...

Team I'm seriously considering is...

By the way greginho thanks for the Dempsey suggestion, I wasn't even thinking about him. I'll wait till todays match to make a decision and BD him. What do you guys think? I like my new team, looks solid but the only doubt I have is will S.Kelly play for sure and will he be a better bet than Baird...definitely cheaper I know that. On the other hand If I get any news that RSC will play I'll keep RSC/Baird instead of S.Kelly/Fletcher. Is there anyone on my second team I need to worry about, or maybe better options? Thanks all and I wanna hear the crazy stories that went on during New Year's countdown...drunkenness, fights, girls going wild, etc. I know I had fun, it was all out party baby!

Anonymous said...

good point Bradley. i lives in Lancs. but it always makes me laugh when bolton v blackburn (or a similar combo) is called a "lancashire derby" by the media ( when only 1 is in the new lancs ), but they wouldn't dream of calling manchester utd v liv one, but they got re-classified at exactly the same time. S.P.

Afrikan said...

From BBC Sports.....

"And in another blow, the club have been told they will not be able to extend Jamie O'Hara's loan deal from Spurs."

"The midfielder is due to return to White Hart Lane on 15 January, and with an embargo in place, Pompey cannot re-register him with the Premier League."

Does this mean that O'Hara wont play for Pompey this weeknd?

Anonymous said...


what date is this saturday? the 9th

when does O'hara return? 15th

work it out

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:00 PM - You don't have to use sarcasm to get your point accross. Please keep it professional so that people don't get offended. I'd like this blog to keep it's peacefull and friendly environment. Thanks,

Anonymous said...

hate to break saul's heart but Anon@8 pm is right.

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: Saul has an absolutely correct point, if its an obvious question to you it may not be for everyone else. Just keep it to your self and respond respectively.

Anonymous said...

it is amazing that some people here are so cuthroat when it comes their team's ups and downs, but turn into patsies when their own intelligence is questioned. grow some backbone, people will always talk shit.

the problem is that AM sets the tone with his oversensitivity, and some others latch on pitying him.

what i'm trying to say is if you don't like what someone has posted, ignore it. each of us is always in control of how we react to things

cheers and good luck to all

bean said...

it's funny how those with the strongest of words are always anonymous.

people aren't sensitive here, they just don't like dickheads.

Assistant Manager said...

exactly bean!

Anonymous said...

funny how AM is anonymous as well.

Ruki said...

anonymous here obviously is about people who dont even dare to use nickname ( or hide it for certain posts?)

read bean's post again? noone likes dickhead

read kellz's and Saul's posts again? noone likes dickhead like you

work it out

Since you are having problems of understand what they are trying to say, let's just say we dont like the asshole attitude here, since this community is always trying to be civilized and friendly.

What kind of growing backbone about "talking shit under noname" over a public website? the kiddy style?

To quote you "if you dont like what someone has posted, ignore it", I'd say you should follow your own advice.

And if the nickname is also anonymous to you, like how you say about AM, how about posting your asshat comments under a nickname, which you usually use here or somewhere else? or even a new one? since its the same as anonymous anyway. Or better, stop posting if you dont want to help people.

Anonymous said...

Sidibe 18.5 !

Anonymous said...

current : r.johnson/ohara/arsh/eagles/klasnic

can change to:
1- baird/

2- baird/

which one is better?


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