Saturday, 30 October 2010

Week 10 - My Team


Bosingwa   Coleman   Bale

Van Der Vaart   Adam   Fabregas   Nani

Dembele   Chamakh   Hernandez

Hmm, not sure on my team this week. I'm aware that I have a couple of players who my not play...Bosingwa could be dropped to accomodate Alex & Ivanovic, Adam may not make it due to his ankle injury, but I decided to hang on to them both at discount in the hope they play. I will add that I'd appreciate if people didn't post things in the comments section such as "Adam confirmed out for 2-3 weeks" because it simply isn't true and confuses everyone. He's 50-50, as stated on he Blackpool official site.

Anyway, having dropped Drogba I had money spare so I brought in a full price Fabianski in goal, kept Bale (I had a dream last night he scored at Old Trafford in a 2-2 draw so had too!) and added Coleman as my third defender seeing as he's playing right midfield for Everton. My midfield pretty much picked itself - I decide having two doubts already meant I couldn't risk Malouda getting a rest too at a cost of £14m, so he had to go.

Upfront I have the two most popular picks in Chamakh & Hernandez and with my remaining £7.2m I had a choice between adding an extra defender in Salcido/Boateng or risk Dembele and I decided having the attacking option was more exciting after some advice from facebook people. We shall see how that one works out!

So that's my team. On the barndoor I'll be looking at Man United players as they face Wolves, Arsenal at home Newcastle & Man City at West Brom. At the moment it appears it WILL NOT be a double-week because if you look at the Week 11 deadline it states...

Week 11 (deadline: Sat 6 Nov 12:00 GMT, for games Nov 6 to Nov 8)

I'll leave it there - please let me know what you settled on for Week 10. Who's coming in on the barndoor?


Friday, 29 October 2010

Week 10 - Update

Another week and another 100 comments in the Player Picks post - fantastic stuff guys, thanks for your continued support!

There's lots to get through today so lets get straight in to the team and injury news that we have confirmed at this early stage. A reminder this post will be updated throughout the day as we get information from manager's press conference.

The big news is on Carlos Tevez - he is 100% out of the Wolves game and has flown back to Argentina for further treatment on the thigh injury picked up vs Arsenal. We don't know how long he'll be missing for, but there are suggestions he'll be struggling to make the Manchester derby in 2 weeks time. Adebayor is being tipped to lead the line at Wolves, but Balotelli may have a chance.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Week 10 - Player Picks

As I mentioned in my Sunday post I'm a year older today (thanks for the birthday wishes!) so I'm going to run through things very quickly this week as I have much to do/people to see!

Week 9 was a bad one for me so I'm looking to bounce back in Week 10, spreading my money about a bit more and perhaps going for some less recognised picks. I'll be honest, I've been forced in to this approach after missing the majority of barndoor bargains on Saturday/ Sunday, but maybe it'll work in my favour.

The fixtures throw us a few stand-outs, but the main one is a confident Arsenal facing rock-bottom West Ham. Chelsea will fancy their chances vs a limited Blackburn side, Man City travel to Wolves and an improving Everton host Stoke. Unfortunately I have to throw Man Utd in too as Spurs have not won at Old Trafford since 1989!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Week 9 - Sunday

Sunday completed a truly rotten week for me, as points rained in for players I didn't have and I missed my second barndoor of the weekend, stuck in traffic on the M25 on a Sunday afternoon.

The first game of the day was at Stoke where Manchester United grabbed a vital 3 points with a hard fought 2-1 victory. They have a new star in the making in Javier Hernandez, and his brace was enough to see off Pulis' men despite Tuncay's outstanding equaliser.

I was hoping for more than 10 points from Nani, but Chicharito delighted those who invested in him with a cracking 24 points. Pennant scored a decent 7.5 for Stoke, but that was about it. Oh yeah, Gary Neville should've been sent off.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Week 9 - Saturday

Unfortunately Week 9 is turning in to one of my poorest of the season, mainly due to the usually excellent Bale & Drogba. They returned a measly 9.5 points for a cost of £37m, which I don't need to tell you is really really bad.

Luckily the other £49m playing for me yesterday picked up a further 63.5 points to push me to a total of 73 so far, leaving me with £14m Nani to go today. If he can pick up his value of 14 points I'll get close to 90 for the week which I'd take after yesterday, but it still won't be great in comparison to other managers who had the man in the photo above (more on him later).

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Week 9 - My Team


Bosingwa  Zhirkov   Bale

Nani  Adam  Reo-Coker  Van Der Vaart  Malouda

Obinna   Drogba

I think this is the probably the first time I've ever used my filler as the subject of the blog post photo, but I was sick of posting up pictures of Drogba every week so though it would make a nice change!

I don't often use a filler, but in order to get the big-guns in I had no choice but to go with Nigel Reo Coker in midfield. There are far worst fillers - he'll start, he's playing in a decent Villa side buoyed by a new manager, he could've (should've?) scored the MWG vs Chelsea last week, plus after picking 10 players I had 2.75 left over which meant bringing him in left me exactly £0.00m in the bank...that doesn't often happen.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Week 9 - Update

All eyes on Carlo Ancelotti as we await his press conference at around noon today - praying he names his team as he has done on multiple occasions during his Chelsea career. This post will be updated as soon as I hear more.

UPDATE: Bosingwa to start at right-back, Drogba also starts, while Alex, Lampard & Ramires are out...waiting on more news but this could mean a start for Zhirkov alongside Essien & Mikel in midfield.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Week 9 - Player Picks

It's been a crazy busy week with work, plus we've had the Rooney news, calculation of the Blog Cup results and Champions League games to watch (Spurs still making me laugh and cry in equal measure), so due to a time shortage I'm going to have to jump straight in with a look at the Week 9 fixtures.

The stand-out fixture by a million miles is Chelsea at home to Wolves. I could see a bit of a kicking here and it isn't going to get any easier for Mick McCarthy's men going forward. My good buddy Luke (Wolves fan) revealed that Wolves' next 3 league fixtures (after Chelsea) are Man City, @Man Utd, Arsenal....ouch!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Blog Cup - 2nd Round Results

It's taken me a while, but I can finally reveal The Blog Cup 2nd Round Results.

The cut-off to qualify for Round 3 was...

"Rooney Wants To Leave" - Ferguson

I must admit I've been taken by surprise. Despite all the rumours over the past few days I really didn't believe what I was reading/hearing.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed in his press conference this afternoon that Wayne Rooney requested to leave Manchester United back on the 14th August after refusing to enter in to negotiations regarding a new contact.

The full story from BBC Sport

Monday, 18 October 2010

Week 8 - Sunday

Just the two games on Sunday, but they were packed full of incidents. The day started at Goodison Park and it was another terrible day for Liverpool Football Club as they put in a thoroughly disappointing displays, deservedly losing 2-0 to their hosts Everton. The excellent Seamus Coleman set-up Tim Cahill's opener (although he doesn't get an assist as his cross was deflected by Paul Konchesky) and Arteta wrapped it up.

My Dad is a lifelong Liverpool fan, I spoke to him last night and he believes that was the worst derby performance he's ever seen - no fight, no passion, no creativity. The fact Hodgson has suggested in interviews that he thought his team played well makes things worse. When Spurs had their disastrous start under Ramos in 2008 the board decided they had to do something drastic and brought Redknapp in after 8 games - it saved our season and I think Liverpool have to do something similar...Martin O'Neil anyone?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Week 8 - Saturday

Just a quick post on yesterday's action, which saw Man Utd (and Van Der Sar) throw away a 2 goal lead to draw with an increasingly impressive West Brom side, Arsenal scrape past Birmingham thanks to a dodgy penalty, Chelsea held by Villa, a great win for Spurs, a late one for Bolton, a predictable 1-1 draw between the league's bottom two teams and an entertaining 2-2 draw between unpredictable Newcastle & Wigan.

I'm sitting on 72.5 points and up in to the Top 700 after a decent showing from Bale, Nasri, Nani & Chamakh. The keeper curse continued with -3 for Krul (I'm relieved it wasn't worse!), while Van Der Vaart, Berbatov & Malouda disappointed. Adam & Boateng are left today and I'm hoping to get above 85 if possible - that should be enough for The Blog Cup 3rd Round as it's been a relatively low scoring week so far.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Week 8 - My Team


Boateng   Salcido   Bale

  Nani   Adam   Nasri   Van Der Vaart   Malouda

Chamkah   Berbatov

I'm not particularly happy with my team this week. The injury news yesterday afternoon meant I had to make changes I didn't really want to make (I was quite happy with my previous team), and when I saved things a 30 minutes ago I didn't feel satisfied with it. We'll have to see whether my instinct is right or wrong...obviously I hope it's wrong!

I decided Drogba had to go, despite the fact I had him at a £4m discount. I'd never consider taking a zero for 1.00 Kirkland so I'm not going to take a certain zero on a player taking up over a 5th of my budget. I usually have a couple of million left over each week and spend it for the sake of it, so I'll just need to find a couple extra to bring him in for the Wolves game next week.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Week 8 - Update

First thing which I forgot to mention in my player picks post - Week 8 is Round 2 of The Blog Cup...602 teams remain, check here to see who made it through the first round!

The big news from the past 24 hours is Wenger's comments that Fabregas "is very, very short and unlikely to be involved on Saturday. He has a little chance for Tuesday.". That's enough for me, he's gone from my team. I'm likely to bring in Nasri instead as we know he gets to be on Cesc duty while the captain's away - corners, free kicks, penalties etc. Wenger also revealed that Theo Walcott could feature, but I'll probably leave it a week before jumping back on that bandwagon.

The extra £8m from Fabs gives me two options - keep Bale & go with Carroll, or switch things up to Coleman & Berbatov. I haven't decided which direction to in yet but I think both pairings will do well so I'll sleep on the decision and choose in the morning.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Week 8 - Player Picks

It does seem an age since I last wrote a player picks post. It's actually only been two weeks but the lack of football combined with the mind numbing coverage of the Liverpool ownership saga has made it seem longer. I really can't wait for the return of the Premier League this weekend so we can start watching and reading about actual football rather than a unscrupulous businessmen attempting to rip the heart and soul out of the game.

Thankfully I had a 90 minute distraction last night as England faced Montenegro at Wembley, although the result and performance were disappointing. Wayne Rooney had another shocker, Crouch isn't actually any good in the air, Gareth Barry is a waste of space and Glen Johnson chases the ball around in similar way to 6 year old boys when they first start playing football - nothing new learnt then.

Unsurprisingly the papers were out in force again this morning, calling for Capello's head despite the fact England dominated the game after 2 good wins in their first 2 qualifiers. We get it...they want him out of the job and they won't rest until they get it done.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Chelsea Defensive Worries

England injury news from The Guardian:

John Terry has withdrawn from the squad for England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday because of a back injury. The former captain left the team hotel tonight after it had been confirmed that he would not recover in time to play but the concern for England goes beyond the loss of another centre-half, following the withdrawal of Phil Jagielka.

While Gary Cahill is now in the squad, the prospect seems to be of Joleon Lescott being in tandem with Rio Ferdinand on Tuesday. Capello also lost Aaron Lennon on Saturday to injury, replacing him with Aston Villa's Stewart Downing but the Football Association said last night that no replacement for Terry "will be made at this time".

Chelsea too, may be concerned at their captain's condition. Alex is out for three weeks and they face five games in 19 days including a visit to Aston Villa on Saturday and home and away Champions League matches against Sparta Prague.

I'd imagine Terry would be ready for Villa, but this is an injury that has been troubling him for some time and the prospect of 5 games in under 3 weeks is only going  put further strain on  it. With Alex out, Ivanovic will switch to the centre but Chelsea are certainly running short of cover in that area. We're still waiting to hear whether Bosingwa will be ready to start ahead of Ferreira but I guess both would be risks of being substituted before 70 minutes, so I may avoid and snap Bosingwa up on the barndoor.

Current on my team page: Krul, Elokobi, Salcido, Boateng, Adam, VDV, Nani, AJ, Fabregas, Chamakh, Drogba

As you can see I'm investing very little in my GK/defence although if Elokobi isn't set to start (very likely) then I'll upgrade him to Koscielny or Squillaci and move AJ to Carroll who's set to return after recovering from the virus which caused him to be benched vs City. If we don't get confirmation that Fabregas will start then I'll need to rethink my approach completely, and because of this the above team is unsaved - Bale, Barton & Malouda are still held at discount at the moment just incase I have a change of heart later in the week.

Week 8 Player Picks will be up on Wednesday night but until's your team shaping up?


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Midweek News

As I'm sure you're all aware, it appears Liverpool are on the verge of being sold to the Boston Red Sox owners, with the prospective buyers planning to clear the Premier League club's debts when they take over.

Neal has already written an excellent article on the subject over on FantasyEPL so I won't go over the subject again, but I'd be interested to hear opinions from Liverpool fans and neutrals alike, especially those with a knowledge of New England Sports Venture / John W Henry.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Week 7 - Saturday & Sunday

Apologies for the lack of updates over the weekend - I had an extremely busy weekend which involved my best mate's birthday on Saturday before being dragged to Wembley Arena by my girlfriend to see Michael Bublé in concert yesterday. This meant I didn't get to see much live football, but I've since caught up with all the match reports and watched Match Of The Day/Goals On Sunday to bring me back from the wilderness.

The opening game of the weekend saw a contender for worst tackle of the season, as Wigan secured a vital 3 points over 10 man Wolves. Karl Henry's reckless lunge on Jordi Gomez was pure stupidity and his tenth minute sending off left his team with a mountain they couldn't climb.

Gomez was very lucky to escape serious injury, and it seemed fitting that he went on to produce a match-winning performance (something he rarely did at the start of last season when we were all picking him!). 4 defeats in a row for Wolves and the slump will be a real concern for McCarthy. Good clean sheet points if you had Wigan defenders/Al Habsi.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Week 7 - My Team


Bale  Jacobson  Salcido

Van Der Vaart  Adam  Barton  Malouda

Obinna  Drogba  Odemwingie

Not a long post this week as I've got very little explain briefly I decided to give all my big discounts another chance, with a plan to make major changes before Week 8 (two weeks away because of internationals) if it all goes wrong.

As a result my team is the same as last week with the exception of Jacobson for Koscielny, Odemwingie for Jerome & Obinna for Chamakh. I resisted the temptation to bring in Silva, Meireles or Cole and stuck with Barton as he averages 9 points per game while the other three mentioned average between 0 and 2. Not having a 'Pool or City player could backfire, but it's a risk I've decided to take.

On the barndoor for Week 8 (which I won't actually be able to take advantage of unless it stays open till Monday) I'd be looking at Man Utd home to West Brom, City @ Blackpool, Arsenal home to Birmingham and Newcastle home to Wigan.

That's it - I'll leave it to Mike & Hans to comment below with the full Blog Team line-up as I left it in their very capable hands this week :)

What did you settle on for Week 7? Any early barndoor ideas?


Friday, 1 October 2010

Week 7 - Update

Only 24 hours till deadline and we haven't really had much useful team news as yet, but this is likely to change as the day progresses so I'll keep this post updated.

Two of the big concerns are Man City and Liverpool...they played last night in the Europa Cup and don't play until Sunday so we're unlikely to get great information today. This is a problem for many of us - I'm currently trying to decide whether to bring David Silva in for Joey Barton and I know a lot of people are considering Jerome Boateng for their defence.