Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gameweek 5 running diary

Taking inspiration from my favourite sports write, Bill Simmons, I thought I'd try a running diary of Gameweek 5:

11:02am I've finally decided on my weeks transfers bringing in Agbonlahor and Bullard for the injured Ashton and the ineffective Bentley. I had the intention of not doing any double transfers as last season I did way too many which cost more points than I received. However, with Ashton injured, my hand was forced and I didn't like anyone I could get without shifting Bentley out. I'm pleased with Bullard as his next four games are all rated as easy on my ratings system. Agbonlahor is not particularly cheap at 8.2m but after not scoring since week 1 he is probably due a goal and I've been very impressed when I've seen him this season. The potential loss of Young may hurt him a bit but against a West Brom side that has already given up 4 goals in their two home games he's a decent pick.

11:15am Checking the schedule for the week I notice there are only three games at 3pm and five on Saturday in total. I like having as many games on TV as possible but for tracking your fantasy team there's nothing better than six or seven games at 3pm on Saturday, watching the points role in on Sky Sports News. Still with Arsenal, Villa and Chelsea on TV weekend I get to see seven of my guys in action which is always a bonus. That leaves just Bullard and Green in action at 3pm.

12:47pm They're under way in Sunderland and there's news of Mido pulling out of the team after an injury picked up in the warm up. Mido and Alves (who was originally slated to start on the bench) were both considered as Ashton replacements this week so I'm hoping the decision to ignore Alves doesn't bit me in the ass.
Its incredible how many players get injured in pre game warmups. Having trained for hours all week you'd think an extra 30mins or so wouldn't cause too many issues.

13:06pm BBC sport live text say Boro look the better side and are knocking it around "sweetly". I wasn't into the Boro team at all pre-season but they've impressed so far. Southgate is willing to delpoy an attacking line up (though only one up front this afternoon) and give it a go every week. Their oldest player in the starting line up is 25 so with a bit of extra creative quality Boro could be a decent side for the next few years ahead.
13:14pm Cisse seems to causing some problems and I'm thinking he may be worth a go at 6.9m if the fixture list was right. Having searched for a replacement for Ashton I've noticed a distinct lack of options at forward so I'm considering anyone to replace Van Persie and Agbonlahor when their fixtures become a nightmare. Cisse hasn't proven to be a 90 minute man yet though, finishing just one game so far this season. The search continues . . .

13:33pm Half time in Sunderland and its 0-0 with Boro shading it by all accounts. With just Alves up front it looks like Boro might look for Sunderland to attack and wouldn't be too unhappy with a draw. We'll see how the Mackems react in the second half.

14:21pm Boro are awarded a penalty but Downing blasts it over the bar; his second miss of the season. I was going to do a piece on penalty and free kick takers and maybe his name won't be featuring. Alves could be intriguing if he were to be the penalty taker. Alves believes he can be the European Golden Boot; certainly would be an achievement for a 7.5m man.
14:28pm Sunderland make Downing pay and take the lead, with Chopra getting his a goal in his first game of the season. If you're desperate to save cash for the Ronaldo sweepstakes, Chopra could be worth a look if he gets decent playing time at just 5.4m.

14:37pm Chopra adds a second and it looks to be all over at the Stadium of Light, a good win for Sunderland but a disappointing result for Boro whose lack of ambition may have cost them (as well as Downing's miss of course).

15:08pm Zola's West Ham reign gets off to a great start with David di Michele scoring after only 8 minutes. The commentary on SSN suggests Cole got the assist which is annoying as he was one of the Ashton replacement candidates.

15:34pm Bulllard takes his second hit of the day and is walking a bit gingerly. I expect big things from Jimmy and I'd be gutted to lose him for just 1 point. He is staying on at the moment though.

15:38pm 2-0 West Ham, di Michele gets his second. Di Michele is inexplicably priced at 6m compared to Cole who is just 5.4 and Bellamy who is 6.4. I sometimes wonder where they get their prices from.

15:43pm So far so good for Greeny though he had clean sheets against City and Wigan at HT and conceded three and one in the second half of those games. Regardless this is Green's last game for the Juice with 0.9m tucked away to bring in Van der Sar next week. United play Bolton, Blackburn, West Brom, West Ham, Hull and Stoke in the next 8 weeks (Everton and Arsenal being the two harder games).

16:12pm West Ham are cruising as Etherington makes it three. What’s the betting the goal concede a stupid meaningless goal to deny Greeny his clean sheet

16:26pm It would be annoying if it weren’t so predictable. Own nets for the Magpies and Green will contribute nothing again this week. West Ham are so frustrating and I will never touch their defense again. Don’t bother getting on the Juice team bus Green, you’re fired.

16:43pm Rovers take the lead through Matt Derbyshire and that blows Bullard’s clean sheet. It looks like the double transfer this week will be a poor decision, unless Agbonlahor can pull something out of the bag tomorrow. When will I learn to not make double subs?

16:48pm In brighter news Green has made three saves so gets back the point just lost by Bullard. Still, 5 points for two players is not a great return. I really need an Arsenal clean sheet this evening.

16:49pm Stoke are holding on for a 0-0, great result. Shame I didn’t get any Liverpool defenders but you never know who’s going to play!

16:57pm No great fantasy impact so far today. Di Michele is the pick so far but he is owned by just 0.1% of the league (presumably his mother) so not much impact there. Blackburn and Liverpool defenders will be fairly widely held, especially Reina and Carragher who each have 6 points (before bonuses).

Chopra chipped in with 8 points though as di Michele it’s doubtful that many people own him (0.5%).

The day goes from bad to worse as I turn to Setanta to see van Persie on the bench. Wenger is fast becoming the new Benitez with his penchant for dropping key players. I think it may be time to lose RvP for a cheaper striker and replace one of my mid-tier midfielders with Fabregas who is due a goal run and scores bonus points for fun.

17:21pm Smolarek makes his Bolton debut which is interesting to say the least. I like the look of Riga and he’s unlucky to be behind another midfielder in the squad. It’s a defensive looking team from Megson considering they’re at home and if they don’t push on Arsenal will pick them apart. Still no Elmander so Gardner will push on down the left wing with Smolarek on the right and Davies anchoring the line. Their defense worries me without Cahill and I cannot see Shittu and O’Brien holding out Adebayour and co.

No comments: