Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Legend Retires

 BBC Sport - Man Utd's Paul Scholes Retires
Manchester United's Paul Scholes has announced his retirement aged 36.

Midfielder Scholes made his United debut in 1994, making 676 appearances, and will now join the coaching staff.

The news came after he helped the club win a record 19th league title, the 10th of his career, and his last game was Saturday's Champions League final loss to Barcelona.

"This was not a decision I've taken lightly but I feel now is the right time for me to stop playing," he said.

The famously low key Scholes stated: "I am not a man of many words but I can honestly say that playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United has been a real honour.

"To have been part of the team that helped the club reach that 19th title is a great privilege."

In addition to winning 10 Premier League titles, Scholes was a member of the team that triumphed in the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea, but was suspended for the 1999 final win over Bayern Munich.

He also won 66 England caps before retiring from international football following the Euro 2004 tournament, aged only 29.

Paul Scholes was just starting his career as I started middle school aged 11 so I have grown up watching him and he's probably been the best English midfielder of his generation. A creative genius, scorer of fantastic goals (and a terrible tackler!), he's provided football fans with many great memories at club and international level and can be considered a true legend of the game. Unfortunately he's not been the same this season, so while it's sad that time has caught up with him I think we can all agree he's making the right decision.

Good luck Scholsey!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Final Standings

Rank  Team  Total
1 Matang Gerdu FC @Malaysia  4,062.50
2 Arsenal_Bergkamp [AM.Blog]  3,863.50
3 south city [AM.Blog]  3,849.00
4 AC KeLLz [AM.Blog]  3,840.50
5 Numero Uno  3,838.50
6 Maestro Harriers  3,836.50
7 Tardy 11  3,831.00
8 Cincilatori (Kosova) [AM.blog]  3,793.50
9 Axel's Eleven  3,790.50
10 Lengkee Wanderers [AM.Blog]  3,769.50
11 Fighting the Drop  3,760.00
12 Black Hole  3,756.50
13 Bail Out  3,755.00
14 AM FC [AM.Blog]  3,754.00
15 Electric Mayhem FC  3,750.50
16 blah blah [AM.Blog]  3,749.00
17 Homage to Catalonia  3,741.00
18 Remisheva  3,735.00
19 Dragonbalz [AM.Blog]  3,732.00
20 Woodford Reserves [AM.Blog]  3,731.50

So we've reached the end of another fantastic Fantasy Football season - and above you will see the Top 20 teams from across the 8 AM Blog Leagues. Massive congratulations to everyone for a fantastic effort; all of the scores above were enough to get in to (or very close to) the Overall Top 100, which is mighty fine indeed when you consider there are approximately 250,000 YFF teams.

A special mention must go to Matang Gerdu FC from Malaysia, who won the entire Yahoo competition by massive 125 points from 2nd place, the only man to break 4000 for the season - a truly remarkable effort mate, well done! Arsenal Bergkamp & South City both sealed Overall Top 10 finishes, Kellz finished just outside in 11th and Numero Uno in 14th. Maestro Harriers & Tardy were both in the Overall Top 20, Fidan (Cincilatori) Top 30, while Axel, Lengkee & Fighting the Drop were on the leaderboard inside the Top 50 - great stuff lads!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Week 38 - Points Are In

It took them a while but Yahoo have got the final points of the season up on the board (although the "latest points" total is incorrect on the "home" page, check your "my points" page for an accurate total).

What a final day it was! I'll write a detailed post later in the week but I'm sure you all witnessed the incredible drama of the relegation battle as it unfolded in front of us. Congratulations to Blackburn, Wigan & Wolves; commiserations to Birmingham, Blackpool and West Ham.

I scored 98 (3,754 points in total) to finish in a personal best 59th overall, 6 points away from a Top 50 finish. Although being that close to the Top 50 was a bit disappointing (damn you Krul & Craddock for -6.5 combined) I'm pleased with my season and hopefully I can crack it next year!

Please let me how you did in the final week, and where you finished overall?


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Week 38 - My Team


Craddock   Smalling   Vermaelen

Hitzlsperger   R.Taylor   O'Hara   Adam

Suarez   Van Persie   Berbatov

Good luck!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Week 38 - Update

I had planned to write this on Saturday but we had so much good information today - with many manager's doing their press conferences a day early - that it seemed silly not to post it up now and update it if anything new comes through tomorrow. So...let's jump straight in to it!

We'll start at Old Trafford, where Alex Ferguson has confirmed he'll actually be playing a reasonably strong team against Blackpool. Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov, Patrice Evra and Edwin Van Der Sar will all start the game. I'm expecting Rio & Vidic to be rested so Smalling & Evans should start too but there was no news on Fabio, Nani or Owen. I think they'll all start, but it is a risk.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Week 38 - Player Picks

Week 38 - the final week of the 2010/2011 Premier League season - is here, and with that comes my final Player Picks posts of the season.

It's always a very difficult weekend to pick a team for as there's often a carnival atmosphere at grounds on the final Sunday, especially where things have already been secured or there is very little to play for. Manager's are likely to give fringe/youth players a run-out, games can descend in to training ground matches and you end up with some quite strange results.

For these reasons you should look to avoid picking too many players from teams whose seasons are pretty much over already and focus on players involved in the fight for survival and the race for Europe. This has led me to a different approach this week, looking at individual teams rather than stand-out fixtures.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Week 37 So Far

Firstly thanks for the fantastic feedback in the "Wishlist" post. It was really interesting to see how split opinions are; almost 50-50 regarding dropping/keeping the barndoor, with plenty of people wanting even bigger changes such as subs benches, selecting a captain for double points (as in the FPL) and even a draft system.

There were some points everyone agreed on - a better searching facility for players/stats is certainly a requirement, while a less aggressive pricing algorithm to allow player price rises to have more structure and for prices to fall if players perform badly/don't play for a long period of time were also popular suggestions.

Every comment posted contained useful points so it was definitely a worthwhile exercise - hopefully someone from Yahoo reads the blog! :)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Very Greedy Child's Wishlist

With the season drawing to a close I thought it would be an appropriate time to ask a question that I've been thinking about in recent weeks - how would you improve Yahoo's current Fantasy Football experience?

Before you start reading my points below, I'd like to state that I'm not trying to sound ungrateful (although I probably will). I know Yahoo are giving us something for free and I honestly believe it is the best fantasy football game around. However, just like a football club, if you're not moving forwards you could find yourself in the Europa League, so there are always areas for improvement.

My feelings...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Week 37 - My Team


Fabio   Vermaelen   Craddock  

Hitzlsperger   Adam   Lampard   Valencia

Suarez   Torres   Van Persie

Please let me know your team...and good luck to all!


Friday, 13 May 2011

Week 37 - Update

What a nightmare!

Blogger are having major problems, all of my analysis from the Week 37 Player Picks and all of the comments from the past 48 hours have disappeared (how annoying!?) and I've only just managed to login to my account to post this. Not good.

Anyway, here's what I posted on Facebook earlier today...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Week 37 - Player Picks

"Week 37 - The Penultimate Week" is here, and while I'm sure there's still plenty of excitement left from a fantasy football standpoint as you try to hold on to/stage a late fightback for top spot in your Blog Leagues/Private Groups, the top of the Premier is more-or-less decided.

Man Utd are almost home and dry - with just a point required from either Blackburn or Blackpool to seal their 19th title, it's theirs. Man City secured the final Champions League spot last night so that's done, while in-form Liverpool are set to usurp Spurs to the final Europa League place.

I never want Spurs to lose and I'm feeling really down about the end to a season that promised so much (9 points from the last 10 games is relegation form btw), but I won't be disappointed if we don't have to take part in that muddled mess of a competition next season. The majority of Liverpool fans I know don't want the distraction either.

So anyway, that's the top pretty much sorted, but that doesn't mean there isn't huge drama still to be found in these closing weeks. I'm not talking about this weekend's FA Cup Final between City & Stoke, or even the Champions League Final on May 28th between Barca & Utd; it's the 6 teams fighting for their lives at the foot of the Premier League table.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Week 36 So Far

Just a quick update on how my week is going so far with Manchester City vs Tottenham to come tonight. I'm sitting on 92 points, up to 80th overall with what should be 8 DGers to go. I say "should" because the injury news is not good for Spurs.

Bale is definitely out for the season after Adam's horror tackle on Saturday and according Harry Redknapp, Luka Modric is struggling with a hip injury and Peter Crouch is unlikely to make the squad due to a back injury. That means it could be just 5 DGers tonight - Gallas, Lescott, VDV, Silva & Balotelli (if they all start).

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Week 36 - My Team


Gallas   Lescott   Bale   

Hitzlsperger   Modric   Silva   Van Der Vaart

Suarez   Crouch   Balotelli

I only had 5 minutes to look at my team this morning (I'm off to another wedding in an an hour) so I decided to keep it as it was yesterday. 8 DGers + Friedel, Hitz & Suarez, fingers crossed it'll give me a decent week.

A reminder that it's the Fantasy Football Challenge Champions League & Europa League Finals this week. These competitions were set up independently by Hans India and few of the chatroom regulars and they've done a fantastic job. Please visit http://www.ffchallenge.moonfruit.com/ for details on how you can join up next season.

Now on the barndoor you'll want to get involved in Arsenal, Chelsea & Man United players, as they have the pick of the fixtures next weekend (Arsenal v Villa, Chelsea v Newcastle, Man Utd @ Blackburn).
That's it - please let me know what you ended up with!


Friday, 6 May 2011

Week 36 - Update

In an ideal world Harry Redknapp and Roberto Mancini would've "done an Ancelotti" in their press conferences today and revealed their exact starting line-ups for this weekend's matches to help us all make some sense of this DG dilemma.

Unfortunately we've only been fed scraps of information from Spurs & City today, so we're left chopping and changing our teams, having to make final decisions based on rumours, our own hunches and hoping for a little bit of luck when the team-sheets are announced tomorrow/Tuesday.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Week 36 - Player Picks

The end is nigh - just 3 fantasy weeks to go until the end of the 2010/11 season. Week 36 is our final double game week this term and unfortunately it's one of those annoying occasions when only two teams have two games.

Those teams are Tottenham Hotspur & Manchester City. City are in form, Spurs are not, but Spurs have a nice fixture at home to Blackpool (probably the stand-out game of the weekend in terms of attacking fantasy points), whereas City have a tough trip away to Everton. The sides then meet at Eastlands where City are favourites, but a draw wouldn't be a great surprise.

The big question is - which players do we think are certain to start both fixtures? When you think about it there aren't actually that many we can be sure of getting two games. Spurs will field their strongest side in both, but City have an FA Cup final coming up, so with 4th almost in the bag they could rest some players.

I see it like this:

Monday, 2 May 2011

Week 35 - Summary

With 3 weeks of the season to go, the title race is back on! Arsenal's 1-0 win over Manchester United leaves Chelsea 3 points behind the leaders with the pair facing off next Sunday. It would be truly incredible if Chelsea come back to win it from where they were just a few weeks ago, but they have the momentum right now.

They also had a fair bit of luck against Spurs on Saturday. Ancelotti's men did dominate the majority of the game, and Gomes has to go after another clanger, but we could all see that the first goal wasn't over the line and the second goal was offside. Chelsea probably should've had a penalty, so perhaps a draw would've been a fair result, but life isn't always fair.