Saturday, 29 January 2011

Week 25 - Player Picks

We have just 48 hours of the transfer window to go and I while it's been reasonably quiet in terms of actual signings so far, the rumours suggest we should expect some big money transfers before the deadline at midnight on Monday night. It's the rumours that are causing some real headaches when it comes to picking a team this week.

Many of us have Torres. Will he be at Liverpool or Chelsea? If he stays, will he play against Stoke. If he plays, will his mind be elsewhere? The same questions could be asked of Charlie Adam, who is getting increasingly frustrated over Blackpool's stubbornness. Add Bale's injury (10 days according to Redknapp, but he often lies) to the list of worries and my own team is in real disarray at this point in time (I have all three of the players mentioned), with this weeks deadline at 7pm on Tuesday.

Torres Wants To Leave

From BBC Sport:
Liverpool have rejected a written transfer request from Spain international striker Fernando Torres.

The Anfield club have already turned down a bid from Chelsea - thought to be about £35m-40m - for the 26-year-old.

"He's under a long-term contract. We expect him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool and its fans when he signed the agreement," said the Reds.

Earlier, Liverpool announced they had agreed a deal to sign Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez from Ajax for £22.8m.

But Suarez's arrival at Anfield did not stop Torres from asking to leave Liverpool on Friday evening.

"Fernando Torres has submitted a written transfer request, which has been rejected by Liverpool," added the Reds statement.

This is about as bad as it gets for Liverpool. Just as they show signs of turning things around, and just after the great news that Luis Suarez has been snapped up to partner Torres, this bombshell is dropped after Chelsea made their interest in the Spaniard clear.

Many will have little sympathy - the Reds have just done exactly the same thing to Blackpool which led to Charlie Adam's transfer request - but having experienced something similar as a Spurs fan (Berbatov & Keane leaving in the same summer after having their heads turned by Man United & Liverpool in 2008) I do know how they will be feeling & it's not nice at all.

There's still a chance that he could stay (look what happened with Rooney & Tevez after their requests earlier his season), but the I guess the big difference here is he is reacting to specific interest from another club rather than simply looking to force a pay-rise. Everyone knows he'd been unhappy for a while, and my gut tells me that this is the end of the his time at Anfield if Chelsea can stump up another £10m or so in the next 48 hours.

What say you Liverpool fans? Do you still have faith that he can be persuaded to stay - at least until the end of the season? Do you actually want to keep a player who wants to join one of your club's major rivals, or should the board cash in? After all, there's a ready-made replacement coming in...


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Very Quickly

Just a quick holding post as things are crazy at work....

Firstly, a reminder it's the FA Cup this weekend, so the Week 25 Deadline is not until next Tuesday 1st February @ 19:00 GMT. My Player Picks post will therefore be delayed until the weekend - hopefully Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.

As for the double week, I finished on 176.5 points, staying inside the Top 200 (180th). I'm now trying to decide what to do with Bale with the news that he'll probably miss 2 weeks, and I'm leaning towards selling him.

What would you do? And how did you do in Week 24?


p.s. Blog Cup results will be done next week once I'm sure they'll be no points adjustments by Yahoo.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Week 24 So Far

What a crazy week it's been so far - goals & points galore! It tells you something when my 127.5 points with 6 DGers to go is considered only average, with many on 150+ with 7,8,9 10 or even 11 DGers left. I hit a season high of 149th over the weekend, but expect to drop outside the Top 250 by the end of the week as people with Liverpool defenders, Bent, Berbatov, Rooney & Meireles charge past me in the overall rankings.

Things could've been far far worse! Five of my 11 players: Bale, Caldwell (-7 idiot), Anderson, VDV & Dembele combined for just 3 points, so I have to be delighted that the other six (Reina, Adam, Nani, RvP & Torres) saved me by racking up 124.5 between them. I think we'll be seeing a large proportion of weekly scores between 200-250 points this week, so I'm hoping my remaining six in midweek can get me up towards 200 to limit the damage.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Week 24 - My Team


Caldwell   Kolarov   Bale

Anderson   VDV   Adam   Nani

Dembele   RvP  Torres

Probably the least pleased I've been with my final team all season, but we'll see how things pan out. Maybe I should've downgraded Nani to Meireles so Anderson could've been improved, but I was too hungover to think this morning.

Good luck to all, please let me know what you ended up saving! Who are you looking at on the barndoor?


Friday, 21 January 2011

Week 24 - Update

I usually write my full update post on Friday afternoons, but so far there has been very little relevant news & I'm about to head out with work on a "team bondage bonding" afternoon, bowling and drinking beer, so I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to get all the team & injury news to you until later tonight.

Until then I have added a link to each fixture below, which will take you through to Yahoo's Matchpack page. Yahoo update these pages with the latest news coming out of the manager's press conference's throughout the day, so it should come in useful...

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Week 24 - Player Picks

Much like the transfer window I'm very very busy at the moment, so I'm going to jump straight in to things this week.

Before we get to the fixtures, here are the important things you need to know about Week 24, which could be a pivotal one in your fantasy season:

  1. It's a double week for 6 teams: Manchester United, Liverpool, Blackpool, Fulham, Aston Villa and Wigan
  2. The other 14 teams play once
  3. You should try to fill your team with as many double-gamers (DGers) as you physically can as even the worst DGer can still pull out one surprise score across two games. However...
  4. You should NOT drop your big discounts on the top performing single gamers (SGers) to get DGers in (e.g. Keep Bale @ 12, VDV @ 6, Kolarov @ 4, RvP @ 9 etc.)
  5. Week 24 is the Quarter Finals of The Blog Cup
  6. I'm now on twitter (@nikarg) and will be using this feed for general football/YFF updates, so please follow me (admittedly this piece of information is not really that important...)

Monday, 17 January 2011

Darren Bent Wants To Leave

Well, hands up if you saw that one coming.

The Press Association are reporting that Sunderland's Darren Bent has handed in a transfer request. The reason behind all this is an £18million bid from Aston Villa, apparently rising to £24million, and this has led to Bent telling his club that he wants to leave. It seems a hell of a lot of money for the player, but he's a proven Premier League goalscorer (32 goals in 58 games at Sunderland) and that's the rarest of rare things these days.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Week 23 - My Team


  Bale   Heitinga   Kolarov

Bentley   Adam   Lampard  VdV

   Dzeko   Van Persie   Tevez

I'm fairly happy with my team this week. There are certainly doubts in there (Kolarov, Bentley & Dzeko) but I decided the roll the dice because if they play they could all score very well. I constantly seem to be stuck between 250th-350th in the standings so these risks are necessary if I'm to push on towards the Top 100.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Week 23 - Update

There's already a truckload of team and injury news to get through and I'm sure they'll be more to add as the day goes on. I'm going to tackle things club by club and update each team as the news trickles through from the various press conferences.

Let's start with the club of the man in the above picture...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Week 23 - Player Picks

As I begin typing my first full player picks post for 3 weeks we are actually still waiting for the conclusion of Week 22. Blackpool v Liverpool takes place tonight, but it will not feature suspended 'Pool captain Steven Gerrard & also may not feature Blackpool captain Charlie Adam if some of the reports from the past 24 hours are to be believed.

Adam - one of the outstanding performers in the Premier League this season - has been the subject of bids from Birmingham (£2.5m rejected), Aston Villa (£2.5m rejected, £3.5m on the table) & now Liverpool have expressed an interest, so it's possible he he may not play tonight to avoid injury affecting a potential transfer. Many of us have him in our team so it would be extremely frustrating if he were to miss out, especially after Gerrard's suspension, but I'm crossing my fingers that he makes it...even if it is the last time he appears in a tangerine shirt.

As a football fan rather than from a fantasy football stand-point, I simply cannot believe the amounts being offered for the Scot. Surely he's worth far more than £3m-£4m in the modern game, at 25 years old & having proved he can more-than cut it at the top level? I'd think £8m-£10m would be more like it, but to be honest I hope Blackpool stick to their guns & keep him for the season to ensure they remain in the top flight. Unfortunately money talks, especially for a club as small as the Seasiders, so it very possible they choose to cash-in before his contract winds down further (currently just 18 months left) - shame.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Some Thoughts...

An entertaining weekend of FA Cup football combined with the opening of the transfer window has brought up a few talking points that I thought I'd comment on...

Firstly, Liverpool. I feel a bit sorry for Roy Hodgson as he's clearly a good manager, but the decision to let him go was probably the right one. The majority of fans lost faith in him, the crowds started to fall and once that happened the board had to move, although it really grates me that the manager takes all the blame when his players performed so poorly for the club week after week.

It'll be interesting to see how Dalglish copes with his first managerial stint for a decade. The fans have got their way, but while it's easy to draw comparisons with Newcastle & Keegan, Kenny has actually kept himself involved in football & still has a great knowledge of the ins and outs of the modern game. Managing the change in "player-power" since he was last in charge of a squad could prove a different obstacle altogether, so it'll be interesting to see how he does in his 5 months as caretaker, but in the short term it will certainly give the whole club a huge lift.

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Blog Cup - 5th Round Results

I've finally got round to calculating the 5th Round Blog Cup results from all the way back in Week 20, and I can reveal that the cut-off to qualify for the Quarter Finals was...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Week 22 - My Team


Skrtel   Kolarov   Bale

Phillips  Lampard  Adam  Van Der Vaart  Gerrard

Ameobi   Torres

What did you end up with?

Double Week Confirmed

From The Fantasist live-chat...

Indeed it is (a double-week for Blackpool & Liverpool). Points will be awarded for BOTH games involving those two sides, including when they face each other next Wednesday. No points will be awarded for players selected for the original fixture last month, only the upcoming rearranged one, so it's time to load up on Reds and Tangerines this week. Let's hope that puts the matter to rest. Apologies for any confusion...

So all the information given to us regarding "no more double-weeks" and points for postponements was incorrect. The rules remain the same as previous seasons, which is good news, but the communication from Yahoo has been very poor.

In terms of team news I have to recommend you visit Fantasy Football Scout this week as I'm unable to provide updates. You will find all the latest info via these two links:

Good luck!


Monday, 3 January 2011

Week 22 Update

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few days but unfortunately I just don't have any time at the moment and there have been four game-weeks in just 9 days over Christmas & New Year. This mean I will be unable to write a full player picks post for Week 22 as it takes me hours which I don't have spare today (which is the final day of my break before going back to work).

I've missed every barndoor over the holidays, have found only 30 minutes to do my team & haven't touched the Blog Team, so while I'm sorry for letting you down I hope the majority understand; I'm sure you've found yourselves in a similar situation!

I obviously still need to do the Blog Cup Results from Week 20, but again this takes a long time so they will be calculated later this week & a full Week 23 Player Picks post will be completed the following week as it does not come around until 15th January due to the FA Cup.

"What about Blackpool v Liverpool on Jan 12th?" I hear you ask!? Well...