Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Goalkeepers: My Story So Far

We all know it's been a tough season to pick keepers thus far, so as I was bored this evening I had a quick look through my own record after the first 15 weeks.

As expected, it does not make pretty reading...

Monday, 29 November 2010

Week 15 - Quick Review

What an unbelievable weekend of action! 41 goals, all 20 teams scoring = zero clean sheets, thrashings, comebacks, upsets, controversy...it could only be the English Premier League, surely the most exciting and competitive league in the world as this moment in time?

The star of the weekend has to be Dimitar Berbatov, becoming only the 4th players to score 5 goals in a Premier League game (the others being Alan Shearer, Andy Cole & Jermain Defoe). An amazing haul of 53 points made 10.45% of fantasy managers very happy indeed.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Week 15 - My Team


Kolarov   Bale   Coleman

Nasri   Nani   Adam   VDV   Cahill

Elmander   Obinna

I made a last minute change after I saw the Arsenal line-up 5 minutes before the deadline...no Van Persie & no Fabregas meant Nasri came in for Malouda. Nasri should be on all corners, free-kicks and penalties and it also put my mind at rest about the Newcastle v Chelsea weather - I certainly didn't want to spend 15 on Malouda and then get a zero if the game is postponed tomorrow, even though I do think the game will go ahead. 

The spare money let me upgrade Green to Howard & the rest is pretty standard, Coleman is maybe a slight risk but I'll give him this chance...if he's benched or subbed early I'll drop him next week. VDV might not play but at £6m he was always staying, Cahill, Nani, Bale, Kolarov, Adam, Elmander & Obinna will hopefully all do well. I quite like it as it covers Spurs, Man Utd, Everton, Man City, West Ham, Bolton, Blackpool & Arsenal, a decent spread of players and teams.

Next week Arsenal have the stand-out fixture at home to Fulham, Sunderland are home to West Ham, Man Utd are at Blackpool, Chelsea are at home to Everton & Man City at home to Bolton, so all those teams are worth looking at on the barndoor.

That's it! Please let me know what you ended up with. Who's coming in on the banrdoor?


Friday, 26 November 2010

Week 15 - Update

First things first - the UK is to be hit by the coldest of cold snaps over the weekend (and beyond) which will include heavy snow fall in the north in particular. When it snows in England there is always risk of postponements, if not for the pitch condition then for the roads/pathways around the ground being unsafe for supporters. Look at Week 18 from last year as an example!

Now those of you who have played YFF before know that if a fixture is postponed, the players you have in that game score ZERO and they also DO NOT get the points when the game is replayed in a later week. At this point I have to stress that there have been NO suggestions from any source that any fixtures are in danger of postponement, but I thought it would be worth adding a weather update to this post just so you're all aware that it's something that you may need to take in to consideration if things deteriorate overnight.

Looking at the fixtures from a geographical point of view, the game most likely to be affected by the weather would be Newcastle v Chelsea and a horse-racing meeting in the area has already been cancelled due to snow fall. I'll be keeping an eye out for any weather/fixture news tonight/tomorrow, so please ensure you check back tomorrow morning just in case there are any last minute announcements!

On to the injury news, and this is what we have at the moment....

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Week 15 - Player Picks

I don't have much time at all at the moment so I'm going to jump straight in to the Week 15 fixtures!

There isn't really a proper stand-out match this weekend: if I had to pick one it would probably be Manchester United at home to Blackburn, but United aren't really playing that well. Fergie's men will almost certainly win, but Blackburn can be tough to break down so it won't be a walkover...and they should watch out for Morten Gamst Pederson in particular!

Everton should beat a West Brom side who are starting to struggle after a bright start and I tip Chelsea to bounce back against Newcastle with the hosts missing Barton, Coloccini & Williamson through suspension (Sol Campbell vs Drogba?). Liverpool's away form has been rotten so you have to favour Spurs, if Man City play anything like they did at Fulham then they should win at Stoke & in-form Bolton will have too much for Blackpool at the Reebok.

For the remaining four games I can see Fulham v Birmingham, West Ham v Wigan & Wolves v Sunderland being low scoring draws or tight win's either way and predict Aston Villa v Arsenal to be an open, high scoring draw.

Now on to the players...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Week 14 - Review

90 points...it's not great but it's usually far from a disaster. Unfortunately for me Week 14 saw some pretty huge scores, helped by 34 goals in the 10 Premier League games, 32 of these by players I didn't have. I also decided that Scott Carson would be a good keeper pick.

I was of course on a high for most of the weekend after the Saturday lunchtime kick-off saw Spurs fightback from two down to beat Arsenal away for the first time since I was 11 years old, and my joy was amplified as Van Der Vaart & Bale contributed 37 points between them. However, in fantasy terms that was as good as it got, as my remaining 9 players scored precisely zero goals.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Week 14 - My Team


Coleman   Kolarov   Bale

Van Der Vaart   Adam   Milijas   Nani

Odemwingie   Torres   Gyan 

I had Fabregas in my team all week, but as I started getting excited about the game this morning I realised there was no way I could pick an Arsenal player against Tottenham. I expect Spurs to lose today & I also expect Cesc to score big points, but I feel happy with my decision to drop him - real football comes ahead of fantasy!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Week 14 - Update

We've had a whole bunch of new injuries since Wednesday's player picks and plenty of news regarding some unlikely recoveries. I'm expecting the news to come thick and fast and I'm going to be constantly updating this post as the day goes on so you'll need to keep checking back to to ensure you're working with the latest information!

What we know at the moment...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Week 14 - Player Picks

You only need to look at the Premier League table to see what a crazy season we have on our hands. The leaders Chelsea have lost almost a quarter of their matches, 3 in 13, Arsenal have also lost 3, yet they're ahead of an undefeated Man Utd side & Mancini is under pressure despite City finding themselves in the top 4.

After 13 games just 9 points separate the 15 teams between the Champions League places & the relegation zone. At the same stage last season the gap was 14 and nine teams had passed the 20 point mark already. The times they are a'changin...it seems everyone is beating everyone else at the moment,  the so-called "smaller" teams appear less scared of losing this season and it's producing more upsets.

The congestion this is causing means two wins and you're chasing Europe, two defeats and you're in a relegation fight...it's exciting, unpredictable & I'm loving it!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Week 13 - Weekend Review

Week 13 turned out to be a great one, as Spurs won, my team scored 110 points sending me up to 373rd overall and we passed 1000 Facebook members. To top it all off, the top 2 teams on the leaderboard are [AM.Blog]'ers - congratulation to Arsenal_Bergkamp, South City and Boss FC in 6th...keep it up lads!

We saw more twists & turns - Chelsea suffered a shock home defeat to an excellent Sunderland side, Arsenal closed the gap with a vital win at Everton, Man United left it late to draw (again) at Aston Villa, Liverpool sucked (again) at Stoke, Bolton kept their great start up at Wolves and Wigan scraped past West Brom.

There were a few 0-0 draws, so plenty of keepers & defenders picked up decent points, Man City were held scoreless by Birmingham, Newcastle by Fulham & West Ham by Blackpool. The league is taking an extraordinary shape - just 9 points separate the Champions League spots & the relegation zone, which is unheard with over a third of the season gone already.

The Blog Cup - 3rd Round Results UPDATED

After some re-calculations of Week 12 totals, I can now reveal the cut off to qualify for Round 4 was...

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Week 13 - My Team


Coleman   Kolarov   Zhirkov   Bale

Van Der Vaart   Adam   A.Johnson

Gyan   Tevez   Drogba

I'm under no illusions - this is the riskiest team I've picked so far this season.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Week 13 - Update

First things first, I just listened to Ancelotti's press conference live on the Chelsea website & he has stated that Lampard is again 2-3 weeks away with a new injury, Alex is out again, Anelka should be back and as we know, Essien is suspended.

This is the team he suggested, with two decisions still to be made tomorrow: Cech, Bosingwa OR Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Ramieres, Zhirkov, Kalou OR Anelka, Malouda, Drogba

I'm thinking Bosingwa is the more likely to continue ahead of Ferreira, but I'm probably going with Zhirkov to be safe. I've noticed Ancelotti has been less forthcoming with his line-up in recent weeks, and was prompted by a journalist to reveal the above info, so don't take it as gospel. It's just the best info we're going to get before the deadline.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Week 13 - Player Picks

Week 12 started so well but I faltered badly last night as three players were benched & my keeper provided negative points AGAIN to add to the list of goalkeeping disasters for the 2010/11 season.

I walked away with 83.5 points but know it could've been so, so much better had I not switched Fabianski & Chamakh to Krul & Obinna. Oh well, at least I made it through to the next round of the The Blog Cup! Results are HERE but are now VOID after an adjustment, they'll need to be recalculated tomorrow or next week. Utter waste of my time!

Moving on, there's no time to rest - Week 13 is just 2 days away so we need to start picking another team right-away. 

The Blog Cup - 3rd Round Results VOID

UPDATE - Yahoo have once again adjusted the points. Current Blog Cup results are now VOID until I get the chance to recalculate them tomorrow or next week. What a waste of time.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Week 12 - My Team


Coleman   Bosingwa   Bale

Barton   Adam   Van Der Vaart   Albrighton

Gyan   Obinna   Drogba

Reasonably pleased with my team this week so hoping for an improvement over Week 11!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Week 12 - Player Picks

Week 12 is the first of the new "midweeks" run by Yahoo for this season, and gives us all a chance to quickly forget about the nightmare of Week 11. It's also the 3rd Round of The Blog Cup for the remaining 450 teams.

I'm afraid I don't have the time to write an extensive set of player picks for these midweeks, so I'll quickly evaluate the fixtures, list the players, detail some injury news to keep an eye on, and leave you to fill in the gaps yourselves...I know you're all perfectly capable :)


Week 11 - Saturday & Sunday

I'm not going in to detail on Week 11 - all I will say is it was pretty much a disaster for everyone concerned. I don't want to moan too much at my paltry 60.5 points as it actually moved me up into the Top 750, with some people scoring in the 40s, 30s, even 20s. I will, however, forever regret my decision not to go with Park & Gyan (both in my team at various points over the week) as this could've been the opportunity to really make up some ground in the overall standings.

The weekend started badly with Spurs' pathetic capitulation at Bolton, but we weren't alone as the Champions League teams all struggled - Manchester United were very lucky to beat Wolves, Arsenal were awful at home to Newcastle & Chelsea lost to a resurgent Liverpool (and a resurgent Fernando Torres). These unexpected results were the main cause of the very low scoring week, with many people loading up on the big teams and getting poor returns. There were also some "MIAs" as Berbatov, Bent & Drogba all failed to start, or appear at all - ouch.

The good news is we don't have to wait long to put Week 11 out of our thoughts. Week 12 is just around the corner so we'll all have the chance to bounce back - the deadline is tomorrow: Tuesday, 7pm UK Time, so I'll put together a quick player picks post later today (no poll this time). Please keep checking back and remember, it is the 3rd Round of The Blog Cup!

How did you do, who came in on the barndoor and what are you looking at for Week 12?


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Week 11 - My Team


Bale   Coleman   Evra

Larsson   Adam   Fabregas   Van Der Vaart   Silva

Hernandez   Chamakh

I'm sure you'll agree this was the most difficult week of the season so far to pick a team, with a huge number of high profiles names (held at discount) out injured or listed as major doubts.

Having looked at the 100's of comments on the blog over the past few days, fantasy managers have dealt with the uncertainty in different ways, and therefore we have real variety in team selections. Get it right and you'll be shooting up the overall standings, but get it wrong and it could be a disaster.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Week 11 - Update

New is starting to flow in as we move within 24 hours of the Week 11 deadline. The big questions are obviously surrounding Nani, Fabregas & Van Der Vaart, and we have the answers below...

We all thought Nani was out with a groin injury after Ferguson told us so on Tuesday night, then Nani himself revealed yesterday that he might have chance for the Wolves game. However, news today from the Manchester United Press Conference has confirmed Nani is definitely out and could even be a doubt for the Manchester derby. I'm leaning towards dropping him because...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Week 11 - Player Picks

As I start this post I'm still on a high after last night's incredible result over Inter Milan. It is without doubt one of the proudest nights of my life as a Spurs fan as we played with flair, pace, power and without fear, Modric outshone Sneijder, Bale ripped Maicon & Lucio to shreds and the whole team worked their socks off for 93 minute to seal a famous win. My only regret is not getting a ticket!

If Tottenham could play like that on a regular basis then the club would be challenging for the Premier League title, but of course the consistency just isn't there and it's extremely possible that after beating the reigning European Champions we will go and lose to Bolton Wanderers this Saturday lunchtime...the life and times of a Spurs fan!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

No More Double Weeks!

From the Yahoo Fantasy Football Homepage:

Fantasy Football will no longer be including midweek games in the same game week as weekend games. Midweek games on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th November will now be counted separately. Therefore you have the option to make separate transfer choices for these midweek games. The transfer window for midweek games is open from midday Saturday 6th November until Tuesday 9th November at 7pm. After 7pm on Tuesday 9th November you will then be able to make changes for the following weekend's games on the 13th/14th November.


So single weeks from here on in - I think it's probably a good decision as it stops you needing to rip your team apart for the double, although I did enjoy the odd double week!



Tuesday November 2 Injury Gossip

Football365.com - The Tuesday November 2 Injury Gossip

According to the Daily Mirror, the news is worsening for the beleaguered Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

'Carlos Tevez is almost certainly out of next week's Manchester derby after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh injury,' the newspaper reports. 'Tevez was due back in Manchester yesterday after City boss Roberto Mancini had given him permission to return home to Argentina to undergo treatment and see his family.

'But the doctor treating Tevez back in Buenos Aires for the blood clot on the striker's thigh said it was too dangerous for Tevez to board the 12-hour flight back to Manchester. The situation is a huge embarrassment to Mancini, who let Tevez return home on the proviso he returned by Monday to be treated by City's medical staff at the club's Carrington training complex.'

And just to compound the impression that the Manchester tide has turned in United's favour, nor would it be a great surprise if Wayne Rooney is passed fit for the game.

Yes, yes, Ferguson said on Friday that his well-paid forward would be out for longer than first feared, but, as The Guardian notes, 'is a confusing picture, not least because of the frequency with which Ferguson changes the prognosis. After initially saying last Friday that Rooney would be out for three weeks, Ferguson then changed that to five weeks when speaking to Sunday newspaper journalists, and the latest update has altered again.'

And that latest update? Here:

"He did a bit of running for the first time yesterday and I was quite surprised by that. He is keen to get back. I still think it will be three weeks and a bit."

Ferguson also had a positive update on Ryan Giggs' recovery from his hamstring problem:

"Ryan started training last Thursday, general stuff with the physios, so he should be ready in 10-15 days. The derby is possible."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he expects Frank Lampard to return against Liverpool on Sunday and that the midfielder will go straight back into the team:

"Lampard started training with the team last week. I don't think he will be ready for Wednesday but for the next game in the Premier League against Liverpool.

"Now the team without Lampard is doing very well. But when he comes back I think we will have him straight into the team. We have a lot of games, we have a game every three days and all the players will be involved."

Lampard last played for Chelsea at the end of August, but it's unlikely he will face a reunion with Joe Cole at Anfield because there seems little or no chance that the Liverpool player will be passed fit for Sunday's game after limping off at Bolton with a hamstring injury.

The Times suggests that 'Cole had a scan at Liverpool's Melwood training ground and although the results have not been made known, the initial prognosis was that Cole would be out of action for up to two weeks. Should Liverpool's worst fears be realised Cole would miss Sunday's match at home to Chelsea as well as Thursday's Europa League game against Napoli at Anfield and the trip to Wigan Athletic in the Barclays Premier League on November 10.'

Arsenal's team news for the trip to Shakhtar Donetsk will be released later but the general expectation is that the Gunners will field a team similar to the one which faced Newcastle in the Carling Cup last week.

Cesc Fabregas is very unlikely to travel after aggravating his longstanding hamstring injury on Saturday and Alex Song is also doubtful. 'Arsenal's match winner against West Ham suffered a kick to his calf towards the end of that victory and departed the stadium with heavy strapping on his leg. The Cameroonian will be assessed again before the squad depart for Donetsk, with greater emphasis inevitably to be placed on Jack Wilshere in their anticipated absence,' says The Guardian. There's a possibility that Abou Diaby will return but, frankly, we doubt it.


Monday, 1 November 2010

Week 10 - Weekend Review

Not a great football weekend in all honesty. From the 9 Premier League games played over Saturday & Sunday only three contained more than 2 goals, which is probably the reason there weren't too many big fantasy scores around. I moved up 150 places to 913th with just 82 points - which seems to back up my theory - and I'm really hoping Charlie Adam makes tonight's game to add a few extra points to that total.

The big talking point of the weekend was obviously Nani's goal. Firstly, Spurs deserved nothing from the game. We went to Old Trafford and once again looked scared of our surroundings against a United side who were there for the taking. This mentality is typical of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club over the pas two decades and is the reason we've failed to win away at Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool in 60+ attempts.