Friday, 30 September 2011

Rooney & Hernandez Fit For Norwich Official - Rooney & Hernandez Fit For Norwich
"Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez are fit for tomorrow. They trained very well yesterday, which is pleasing. We'll hopefully have Jonny Evans back too." Official - Team News
"Walcott, Gervinho and Koscielny will all be late tests and very late decisions. Saturday or even Sunday morning. Walcott looks the most likely to have a chance. Koscielny maybe less. He is recovering well but the game may come too soon." - Dzeko Apologises to Mancini
"Mancini said he was "furious" with the striker and he reiterated at a team meeting on Thursday that he would not tolerate any more of his players disputing his decisions. The club have decided not to fine Dzeko but he has been warned about his conduct and is hoping to make amends at Ewood Park."

This changes things but I'm out of the office for the day so I'll need to have a proper look at my team later.

Please can I ask you to add any important team news you read about/hear about to the comments sections below and I'll look to summarise everything when I'm home tonight.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Week 7 - Player Picks

Week 6 was a massive disappointment as my decision to go with Rooney over Van Persie cost me 34 points, undid a lot of the great progress I'd made in Week 5 and left me right on the edge of the Top 10,000.

It's been boom or bust for me in the opening six weeks of the season; 3 weekly scores of between 60-75 points and 3 weekly scores of 115-135 points. I could really do with another bumper score so Week 7 is a chance to bounce back and again it's another single week for all teams. There are seven teams in particular that have my attention...

Stand-Out Fixtures
MAN UTD v Norwich
MAN CITY @ Blackburn
CHELSEA @ Bolton

No surprises here as the 3 teams with the pick of the fixtures make up the current top 3 in the Premier League. Norwich have been playing well but Manchester United will be frustrated after 2 draws in a row and I'm expecting them to hand out a bit of a thrashing at Old Trafford this weekend. Manchester City head to Ewood Park to face 3rd from bottom Blackburn and Chelsea travel to to rock-bottom Bolton. It is advisable to have at least one representative from each of the top 3, ideally two if you can fit them in/afford them.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Game Over For Tevez

Roberto Mancini revealed that striker Carlos Tevez refused to come onto the pitch in Manchester City's UEFA Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich.

The Italian admitted in his post-match interview that the Argentine striker 'let his side down' after staying on the bench and will never play for the club again.

Makes it easier for fantasy managers, but just shows what a complete mess Tevez has made of his career in the past 12 months. Utter waste of an immense talent.

It gets better...

There was more trouble for Mancini when striker Edin Dzeko shouted at his manager when he was substituted in the 56th minute and then threw his tracksuit to the floor.

Mancini stated: "Dzeko had a poor game. In terms of being unhappy, it should be me, not him. This is the last time with me a player will do this."

There were also reports that Dzeko, Tevez and Pablo Zabaleta were all involved in an angry confrontation with Mancini as the second half wore on. Mancini's assistant David Platt had to try to restore some sense of order as the bizarre scenes raged but City were in chaos on and off the pitch.


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Week 6 - My Team

A bit late, but just for the record, my final Week 6 team was:

De Gea, Boyata, Santos, Bosingwa, Wright-Phillips, Adam, Arteta, Silva, Adebayor, Aguero, Rooney 

From my Friday Update post:
"I stuck with Rooney over Van Persie in the end but I've put a £10 bet on Van Persie to score two or more goals so that should soften the blow if he goes points crazy against Bolton." 

Rooney's no-show hurt badly, especially with RvP hitting 2 goals (although I won £44 from my bet!), Santos was also benched, so I sit on just 58 points with Wright-Phillips to go today. I also missed the barndoor yesterday, d'oh,

Hope the week has treated you better?


Friday, 23 September 2011

Week 6 - Update

Quick run through of the news on this Friday afternoon....

My fear in the week that David Luiz will replace Jose Bosingwa appears unfounded as Luiz played 120 minutes in the Carling Cup. With Alex suspended for a sending off in that match it should be the usual back four of Bosingwa, Terry, Ivanovic, A.Cole. Drogba is back the squad but Torres should continue with Mata in support.

Martin Skrtel and Charlie Adam are both available after serving their suspensions against Brighton. Steven Gerrard has a chance of starting after getting 20 minutes in that match but another appearance from the bench seems more likely. Martin Kelly is fit to return at right-back and Dirk Kuyt is rumoured to replace the increasingly disappointing Andy Carroll in support of Suarez.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Week 6 - Player Picks

I'd been a very happy chap for the past few days after rather successful weekend all round, but I'm not particularly happy today after seeing Spurs crash out of the Carling Cup on penalties to Stoke City last night. I've probably raised this point on the blog in the past, but I'm going to raise it again.

At the start of each season there are a maximum of 4 trophies available to an English top-tier side - the League title, a European Cup, the FA Cup & the Carling Cup. Now the League title is obviously out of the question for Tottenham and Redknapp is playing a youth team in the Europa League at the moment. He'll probably take it seriously if we get through the group but with 16 matches plus drop-outs from the Champions League to join later on, it's very tough to go all the way. The FA Cup is a complete lottery due to the number of teams and rounds, so the Carling Cup is Tottenham's best chance by far to get to Wembley and win some silverware.

Many people see it as a joke competition but two of the greatest days I've had as a Spurs fan were seeing my team beat Leicester to the trophy in 1999 and Chelsea in 2008. I can't help but feel we threw it away last night by resting the majority of our best XI against a Stoke side (also in the Europa) who were close to full strength, and I just can't see the logic.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Week 5 - How Did You Do?

After a tough start things are finally on the up; 133 points in Week 5, a great win for Tottenham over Liverpool and a major milestone for the blog as we passed TWO MILLION page views - I don't think I'll have many better weekends this season. The 133 could've been 150+ had Rooney not slipped over/hit the post, but complaining would be greedy. I'm in to the Top 8,000 and hopefully I can push on from here.

We saw a real classic between Manchester United and Chelsea, played at such a pace and packed full of drama - goals, chances, misses and contentious incidents - it was the Premier League at it's best. Manchester City's 100% record is over after Fulham fought back from 2 goals down, Blackburn came from behind to beat Arsenal, all three promoted took 3 points, while Bolton & West Brom lost again to end the weekend in the bottom two spots. A cracking weekend of action from top to bottom.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Week 5 - So Far

That's a bit better ... 59 points so far thanks mainly to Petrov, Santos & SWP, but Baines & Ward did little. Again, unexpected results (Arsenal, Bolton & Wolves all losing) is affecting returns across the board.

I'm up from 20,000th to 8,500th overall with DDG, Silva, Adebayor, Aguero & Rooney to go, so I'm really pleased with that. Is this the week things start turning around? I hope so!

I didn't make a single barndoor switch as I didn't feel there was anyone I desperately needed at this stage, but that could change after Sunday's games.

How did you get on today?


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Week 5 - My Team

 De Gea

Santos   Boyata   Baines

Wright Phillips   Ward   Silva   M.Petrov

Adebayor   Rooney   Aguero  


What did you end up with?

Cheers, AM

Friday, 16 September 2011

Week 5 - Update

Wow, this is a tough one. We have almost no decent news from the manager's press conferences today; there's loads of uncertainty over who will/won't start so it makes it difficult to give you decent advice. I'll just go with what we have been told and make a few assumptions, and maybe we can discuss things in the comments section/chat-room.

First up, it appears that Steve Fletcher is really struggling to make it for Wolves game vs QPR - he hasn't trained all week, so that means Kevin Doyle will need a new partner. As I mentioned in my Player Picks, Stephen Ward is the favourite to be that partner and as a midfielder listed below 6 he could be cracking value. It's not 100% but I may take the gamble as he'll definitely play left-back if he doesn't start upfront and he has scored already from that position this season. Jarvis it fit to start so he'll join a strong midfield including Hunt (who has trained without issue this week) and O'Hara.

There's a decent chance we'll get the Arsenal team news before tomorrow's deadline (Twitter is our best bet from around 11:45am) but we can already take an educated guess on the line-up. I think Gibbs may keep his place as he's done nothing wrong, but Santos is a real option for Wenger now he's made his debut in the Champions League. Ramsey is a big doubt so Benayoun should get a start (bargain @ 3). Gervinho and Alex Song are back from suspension but Verm & Wilshere are out.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The YFF Blog Cup - 1st Round Results

It's taken me bloody ages, but I can finally reveal The Blog Cup 1st Round Results.

The cut-off to qualify for Round 2 was...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Week 5 - Player Picks

I'm away on a work football tournament today and tomorrow so this post is being researched & written on my iPhone, which is not easy! For that reason I can't add any anaysis but I'll look to do it tomorrow evening if I can (though with The Blog Cup results to calculate & publish too it will be a push). I'm sure some people will be unhappy but it's better than nothing at all.

Here's how I see the Week 5 fixtures...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


So Week 4 is over and a distinctly average 115 points leaves me 19,000th, already 150 points off the Top 50 - sh*t! - I may take a few risks in Week 5 in an attempt to get back in to contention. I'm considering taking another punt on Leighton Baines ... thoughts?

As for The Blog Cup, I'll be waiting a few days before calculating the results, just in case there are point adjustments by Yahoo (I had to re-do them twice last year and it takes ages!), so expect them on Thursday. Week 5 Player Picks should be up tomorrow afternoon.

How did you get on in Week 4? Are you confident of making it through to Round 2?


Sunday, 11 September 2011

A Day In The Life....

12:00 - Feeling insecure as I'm pretty sure up to 5 of my player may not play. Also, Spurs are a crappy shambles and could lose, in fact 3 defeats from 3 is almost certain, relegation looms and I wish I didn't write a blog about this stupid game.

14:15 - Kick girlfriend out of the house so the lads can come round for Soccer Saturday. Dream team are in (Le Tiss, Merse, Phil T, Charlie Nich); What can go wrong?

14:30 - Team sheets are in, everyone but Nasri starts for my XI, and that includes Aguero. Guilty that I stated my fear that he could be rested in my update post? Yes. Bothered that he isn't and I have him? Hell no. Spurs' line-up looks good, Jarvis doesn't start = bonus.

15:45 - Everything going ok. Aguero has scored, Spurs aren't losing but sound dodgy, as do Arsenal, Liverpool are behind. This game is alright I suppose.

16:45 - Delight, Aguero hat-trick, 2 assists for Silva, 1 for Nasri, 2 clean sheets for Arse defenders, Spurs win from nowhere, Liverpool lose and my arrogant 'Pool fan mate shuts-up for 5 minutes about how it's "our year", I'm in dreamland, text my Wolves fan mate a picture of Adebayor, he cries, I laugh a lot. This game is freakin' awesome.

17:30 - Points come in, I'm on 85, up 11,000 places and in to the top 9,000, overtake most people in my private league, beers flowing, loving life. RvP did nothing, disappointing, but who cares? Bolton is a tough place to go, Rooney & Hernandez won't do much. On train to London for mate's birthday in rapturous glee.

18:00 - Get to London, f**k it, 0-3 to United after 30 minutes, Hernandez & Rooney in the goals, all that hard work is going out the window. This game can be rough, and I blame everyone.

18:01 - Drink...

19:30 - 0-5 United, 2 for Hernandez, Rooney hat-trick, good to have De Gea for 20 points but not having Wayne hurts... down to 20,000th in the space of 2 hours. Mates I gave grief to earlier are now 30 points ahead of me. I hate them and this game.

19:31 - Oh well, Spurs won

19:32 - Drink...

00:44 - Home late. Drunk. Angry Girlfriend. I tell her I want to write a blog post and watch Match Of The Day.

00:45 - Sofa-bed tonight.

105 points never felt so shit, but the ups and downs is why we love the game! Would I change anything? Probably not. Will my girlfriend change me? Almost certainly, but I'll confirm in the morning :)

How was your day?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Week 4 - My Team

De Gea

Gibbs    Mertesacker    Riise

Walcott     Silva    Cabaye    Nasri

Mata    Van Persie    Aguero

Major, major investment in Man City & Arsenal this week; I know if either team performs poorly or either manager decided to rotate a few players then I'm in serious trouble.

I had the added problem (as I'm sure many of you did) of this morning's price changes leaving me with a team in negative funds, so I had to drop Richards down to Mertz to enable me to save - thanks Yahoo.

Next week we have Arsenal at Blackburn, in-form Wolves at home to QPR, Man City at Fulham, Bolton home to Norwich, Villa home to Newcastle & Everton home to Wigan, so I'll be looking at those teams on the barndoor.

Let me know your team - and good luck, especially if you're in The Blog Cup!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Week 4 - Update

There is a word that every fantasy manager in the world lives in fear of, and it's a word I'm reading and hearing an awful lot this Friday afternoon. The word is 'rotation', and it's being used to describe Roberto Mancini's plans for Manchester City's game again Wigan on Saturday.

The Manchester Evening News has suggested that due to their international exploits both Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero could be given a rest to ensure they are fresh for Napoli in the Champions League. Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson are all being mentioned as possible replacements, but the worst thing about it is it's all unconfirmed. My gut feeling is Aguero gets a rest and Dzeko continues, but it really is just a guess so it'll be tough to pull the trigger on dropping the little Argentinian.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Week 4 - Player Picks

Woohoo! The international break is over, fantasy football is back, we have a full programme of Premier League fixtures and it's also the 1st Round of The 2011/12 YFF Blog Cup. That's a big weekend in anyone's book!

I've had not time to write a proper intro to this post as I've been busy getting things in place for the start of the competition (organising 1400 teams across 14 blog leagues is a chore) and I had to speed through my analysis, but hopefully you'll let me off.

Let's get things going with a look at the Week 4 Fixtures where we have another single week for all teams:

The 2011/12 YFF Blog Cup

It's that time again; The 2011/12 YFF Blog Cup is here and it's bigger than ever...

1400 team, 8 rounds, 1 winner!

This all started two years ago with 300 teams, growing to 800 teams last year, but having joined forces with Jeremy & Neal this year we have taken things to a whole new level. At set points throughout the season we will have weekends where the Top Weekly Scores from our FOURTEEN blog leagues go through to the "next round". It's a knockout so once you're out, you're out!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

New Players Added

Yahoo are on it again - the new signings from deadline day are already being added to the game and of course those "new" to the Premier League are entering at very reasonable prices.

Which of them take your fancy? Mertesaker at 6.02? Drenthe at 5.99? Ruiz at 6.78? And what about those who've switched EPL clubs? How will Arteta & Benayoun fit in at Arsenal? Crouch at Stoke? SWP at QPR? Hutton at Villa?

Below is a full list of the deadline day deals, both in & out of England's top tier, just in case you missed any: