Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday Musings

What a nice change to see a genuinely entertaining domestic Cup final. Birmingham City's surprise 2-1 victory over odds-on favourites Arsenal was full of drama from the first minute to the last; great for the neutral, unforgettable for Blues fans, but a disaster for the Gunners who were ready to end their 6 year trophy drought.

Yes, Arsenal had more chances, but I can't help feeling Birmingham just about deserved the victory after they were incorrectly denied a 2nd minute penalty which should've seen Szczesny red-carded. 11 men v 10 men for 88 minutes on the huge Wembley pitch would've swung the whole thing in Birmingham's favour, but at least the linesman's error allowed for an end-to-end match packed full of chances, saves, and a farcical finish.

Birmingham started the game far better and despite the "non-penalty" they took the lead through Zigic, before the giant was denied a second goal as Szczesny saved well when one-on-one. Arsenal came back in to it and Van Persie equalised with a goal of technical brilliance, volleying in mid-air on his unfavoured right-foot. He appeared to suffer an injury in the process but came back on within a minute, looked OK, and Arsenal were then well on top. At half-time I though Birmingham's chance may have gone, the momentum was with the Gunners and I could only see one winner.

Arsenal pressed throughout the second half forcing a number of good saves from eventual man-of-the-match Ben Foster, but Birmingham had their own chances, with Fahey hitting the post from 20 yards. The tie changed on 70 minutes as Van Persie was surprisingly withdrawn, Arsenal's dominance subsided sightly - and as both managers made attacking substitutions - the game appeared to be heading for extra time.

It took the gaff of all gaffs from Szczesny and Koscielny to gift Birmingham the winning goal in the 90th minute. It's hard to even explain what happened - neither really left the ball, they both sort-of went for it - but both completely fluffed it, and the ball fell to Martins who rolled it in to the empty net to seal an unlikely but famous win for Alex McLeish's men.

The result ends Arsenal's dream of the quadruple, To add to Arsenal's woes, Wenger revealed he'd been forced to withdraw Van Persie because of the knee injury he sustained when equalising in the first half, and early reports suggest he's a doubt for the second leg of the Barcelona Champions League tie. With Fabregas & Walcott also struggling this really could not have happened at a worse time and you wonder what psychological impact this will have on the players and the manager.

For fantasy managers the Van Persie news is either good or bad. If you dropped him for this week's blank/double then you're pleased as it looks like he could miss further league games; if you kept him then you'll be waiting on the news and hoping it's no more than the Sunderland game next weekend. I feel sorry for the Dutchman as he's been sensational over the past few months and I hope it's nothing serious. As a fan of the Premier League I want to see the best players at the top of their game, and of course Arsenal need him if they want to sustain their title challenge.

In terms of Fantasy Week 28, it's gone really well so far. The gamble of picking 8 Manchester United players brought 94 points on Saturday and a further 13 from Kolarov & Dzeko yesterday leaves me on 107 points, up to 60th overall. With Carew to go tonight and hopefully 8 to go vs Chelsea (although Rooney could be banned after his stupid off-the-ball elbow into James McCarthy's head) it could be a really big week & I'm hoping it could even be big enough to push me in to the Top 50. I've NEVER seen my team on the Top 50 leaderboard in my eight years of player the Yahoo game, so I'd be delighted if I can finally make it.

Of course next week is potentially a double for Everton & Birmingham, so I was pretty annoyed I missed the barndoor on Saturday night, meaning I'm paying full price for Everton players. Still, I've managed to put together a team I'm reasonably happy with, with plenty of time to change things around.

Howard, Kolarov, Ridgewell, Coleman, Baines, Arteta, Bentley, Cahill, Carew, Beckford, Zigic

£1.5m left in the bank, so I may still think about Roger Johnson, Obafemi Martins & Louis Saha. A lot depends on injury news as a few of the players listed could be doubtful, but we'll have more on that later in the week.

I'll leave it there - please let me know what you made of yesterday's game. How are you getting on in Week 28? Who have you got left?

Cheers,
AM

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Howard
Kolarov, baines, Coleman
Bentley, Cahill, Arteta, lampard
Beckford, martins, Torres



Alfred

Anonymous said...

plz comment AM

Alfred

Jelly said...

Nik, how about tim cahill and martins? is he not worth considering?

Anonymous said...

Howard
Coleman/Luiz/Ridgewell
Silva/Bentley/Cahill/Gardner
Dzeko/Beckford/van Persie (awaiting news)

-Mike

Anonymous said...

he has tim cahill in his team and mentions martins just below it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Birmingham looked absolutely knackered and were apparently going off partying so in my book that slightly devalues their upcoming double game week... maybe a defender but zigic looks too unfit and martins too unreliable.. everton it is then..

Jelly said...

anon @11:47

first, sorry for spelling mistake. should be 'are they worth considering'. that's why i ask, because nik included them.

if i'm not mistaken cahill came i as substitute for everton victory against sunderland

Anonymous said...

you cannot win trophies with kids

Ken said...

Um...D. Silva?

I saw nothing, heard nothing, and my spidey senses did not go off, as far as him being a "no show" this weekend.
I am happy with my 94.5 points so far with two stoke players today and 4 man u. players on the double yet to play.
With my excellent picks of Bent and Meireles, combined with my Silva zero, I am lucky to be near 100 points with more to come.
My decision to avoid either Rooney or Berbatov in order to have A.Young looked pretty good, (for awhile) anyway.
My big mistake on the "door" was I concentrated
on making sure I got Foster and completely forgot about Howard being so cheep and I missed that..big time.

This weeks team still in progress, but will avoid Cahill..wish I could give a good reason.

Good luck everyone & yet another thank you to A.M. and his hard work.

Ken said...

Forgot....

If I knew that Silva would have been a "no show" I most definitely would have kept that guy nobody knows...you know.."Thunder toe". Was it 14 points?
Could have used that for sure.

kwyjibo said...

Rooney escapes ban! Whew! Still have 6 potential DGers...

Anonymous said...

Ken

Do you mind telling why are you avoiding cahill?
I was just about to consider him.Any advice?
Thanks

Yeong Chuan said...

AM, why you say Everton double week only potentially ? Not confirm ? Is it because there is possibilty of FA cup replay of Everton against Reading ?

Anonymous said...

its beacause he is hit or miss Cahill if he doesnt score he gets nothing and I just flat out hate australians.


Ken

Ken said...

Sorry..stated I was avoiding him and I was not sure why.

All I can say is that even if there is a "hint" a player may not be 100%, or he has been or continues to be somewhat injured, AND he has never produced for me each time I have picked him, I tend to avoid.

I also think using the funds else where will give me better results.

Sorry...no facts, just feelings, plus I am not one to seek advice from as you can tell by my "long way around the barn" reasons that go nowhere.

Anonymous said...

i was afraid of that happening and dropping Van Persie would surely have boosted my 120pts

Linesman said...

Currently at 141.5 with 0 for RvP and 5 DGers to go. Finally my gamble on Young paid off :)

Current team

Howard
Kol Coleman RJohnson
Hitz AYoung Arteta Bentley
RvP Torres Zigic

I am hesitant to let go of Hitz (2.5 discount) and Young (5.5 discount) especially with the nice set of fixtures coming up for Villa. I may switch Torres for Saha, but I'd like to keep Torres for the Blackpool match. RvP obviously depends on his injury, but fingers crossed that he's ok! If he's out for more than one game, Saha for him will be the natural switch.

220 pts ahead of 2nd place in my private league and 4288 overall after missing the first two weeks of the season. Hoping to be in the top 2500 by the end!

Anonymous said...

linesman nice scoring with missing two weeks, very good. i am at 3600 and can't seem to make headway. i missed out on holding kolarov at 4.4 or so, and that has been a big reason for not moving up smartly.

Anonymous said...

"Of course next week is potentially a double for Everton & Birmingham"

How come it is only potentially?

Assistant Manager said...

http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2011/02/24/everton-and-birmingham-double-at-risk/

Because if Everton need an FA Cup replay then the 2nd game would be postponed.

Anonymous said...

Oh right cheers Nik, didn't know that.

Anonymous said...

I have a question: I BDed a seven players for next week, but by accident I forgot to "save changes". My roster costs 107 units, and I got full squad, but i cant sdave changes. Will I earn my points? Please help me!

paul mac said...

111.50 points with van der saar smalling nani fletcher scholes and rooney to go.was really happy with that and keeping van persie at a cost of 9.33 and taking a zero for him until i found out he is now injured.cant see any way he plays against sunderland with game v barca a few days later.damn it.

to answer a couple of questions asked earlier jamie o hara cannot play v spurs this weekend and double game for birmingham and everton will be cancelled if evertons fa cup game goes to a replay

Anonymous said...

Ach, stupid linesman allowing that West Brom equaliser. It was offside and ruined Stokes clean sheet. Bugger

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: You will not earn points for an unsaved team. What ever was your last saved team will earn you the points for next week, be careful if that has a player missing because then you take 0pts. You have to sell a player or two now to get your budget back to positive.

Sorry Mate

Anonymous said...

West brom goal should not be allowed. It is definitely offside. Roy Hodgson man got the equaliser easy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kellz!

Anonymous said...

what RvP was injured??? i didnt know that... hmmm... should i keep RvP at discount price??? bdw this is my team..

Howard
Kolarov / Coleman / ......
Nani / Hitz / Bentley / .....
RvP / Beck / O.Martins

have 14 in the bank...
plz help me to fill in the players...

-ERIC-

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I keep Nani vs Lpool..... how does he historically do against the Devils?

I am glad I got hamburger on the bd as he will be a point scoring stud for the hammers!!! 14 points

FLScott said...

God Bless the Hamburglar!

Anonymous said...

dang.. i missed howard at 3 and change

Anonymous said...

I would not fear Liverpool, they are up and down and with loss of Kelly and possibly Meireless- Nani has a very solid chance of scoring, plus he has been very selfish lately. So much so in the FPL game, I believe he is losing bonus points for it.

How will we know if Cahill will start with his injured ankle. I may not risk him playing both games.

FLScott said...

Trying to scrape out all the points I can - Another heavy DG'r for me (comments welcome as always):

B. Foster

S. Carr
P. Jagielka
L. Baines
L. Ridgewell

T. Hitzlsperger
C. Gardner
L. Osman

Luis Suárez
J. Beckford
N. Zigic

Cheers everyone!

Anonymous said...

I actually dropped d burger for a double gamer, if he hits double digits again, then he comes in on d bd.

Anonymous said...

the "hamburglar".... I LOVE it!

Ken said...

Still a work in progress:
Howard
Coleman/Carr/Luiz
Nani/Bentley/Gardner/Arteta
Carew/Zigic/Saha

Would much rather have Foster for two games but just can't seem to fit him in.
Not looking for big returns in Gardner and will continue to look for a better choice.
Arteta..same as Gardner, double game/yes..return on investment..?
Carew..Last week. I know he is cheep but so are players that take a zero. He has done well for the price but down the stretch I must take bigger risk.
Zigic..If the double is on I like him for the price.
Saha...Still may be the one I move if I bring in Foster, but that would be the only reason..injury aside.

Current team just looks weak. Will need to change many time I am afraid.

Good luck....

Anonymous said...

Where is NANI AM on your team?

-RICHO-

Anonymous said...

I would rather have Foster for next week also (slightly), but when you look at Everton's next four gameweek's (FUL,AVL,wol,BLA) it would be foolish to sell Howard @3.79, regardless of double gameweek i think. I'm gonna use these extra funds to sell Carew @1.97 and get in a proper 3rd striker.

Howard
Kolarov Baines Coleman Rjohnson
Cahill Bentley Arteta
Beckford Martins 11.62

Still lots of decisions to be made. I will want Gardner in if he's fit and i might change Coleman for Ridgewell/Jiranek.

I'm gonna find it hard to drop hitz(5.51) and Young(13.08), if i do at all. Villa's next games after Bolton are WOL,eve,NEW,whm,STK,wba, WIG! He could well be the top scorer from now to the end of the season @13.08!

Irons

KPM/MPFC said...

RVP out for a minimum of 3 weeks.

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/van-persie-out-for-a-minimum-of-three-weeks

Steev said...

Hmmm, decisions decisions, if RvP is out for 3 weeks he might only miss 2 prem games but having already taken a zero this week, is it worth another 2 at this stage of the season? I want to keep in the top 100 and perhaps he could be the differential I need in the last few weeks of the season if he keeps his form. He could of course end up aggravating the problem and be out for the whole season, he's seemingly so fragile. I'll probably run with the crowd and drop him. Or will I?

Oh, and I had a dream that Ryan Giggs got sent off vs Chelsea so keep an eye out for that I'm hoping for a Chelsea win and -10 for VdS. Evra and Fletcher can score though if they like, so maybe 3-2 to Chelsea, that would be nice.

Mell 10-11 said...

Chelsea win makes the title quest more interesting;Arsenal should love it if Liverpool could hold United this week;

I think RVP should be transferred out despite Arsenal favourable fixtures; Nasri & Chamakh are your likely candidates;

Everton win against Chelsea was such a waste of effort; They are facing uncertainties next with their confirmed double; Can we depend on Arteta guys?

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