Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gameweek One Chalkboard Lessons

The initial reactions to the weekend's game can be found here but here are a few more random thoughts from scanning the chalkboards today. More concrete analysis along with ideas on how to use your free transfers this week will follow as soon as the site updates all their stats.

Blackburn v Wolves
  • Hunt took up the most dangerous positions out of the three potential options (O'Hara and Jarvis) and also took most of the set pieces. Jarvis grabbed the assist but on this display I might lean towards Hunt as the man to own here. I still believe O'Hara is the best player but he sat so deep that fantasy points are going to harder for him to come by.
  • Formica's touches were fairly limited which brings into question how he was awarded the 7 EA Sports points. You have to think that goals are going to play a massive part of bonus points, thus suggesting that little will change from last year.
Fulham v Aston Villa
  • Strange deployment of Heskey, Agbonlahor and Bent with N'Zogbia floating all the field and clearly struggling to get involved. I am a little bit down on all these players until McLeish shows that (a) he has a clear plan how to use them and (b) is willing to take the reins off a bit and let them play.
  • Bent had zero shots all day but he's never the kind of player to get too involved in interplay so I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point. The formation however does concern me as I'd much prefer to see N'Zogbia and Albrighton slipping balls into Bent in the channels.
  • Dempsey was pushed out to the left a bit to accommodate the two forwards and I think his value takes a hit accordingly. I much prefer him playing just off a lone front man, a position which has created fantasy stars of Cahill and Van der Vaart in the past. I'm certainly not down on Dempsey based on one game but the positioning is certainly a concern.
Liverpool v Sunderland
  • Anyone who read the blog last year knows how much I like Chaz Adam; indeed he was far and away my best pre season pick. However, I did not foresee him immediately locking down a place in this Liverpool side, nevermind dictating the play. He did just that for large period (more successfully in the first half) and given his wicked set piece abilities he is very much in play at 9.0m. With so many big names flattering to deceive, Chaz might once again be a mainstay on many of our teams.
  • A few commentators were down on Carroll but I thought he did okay. He isn't the most mobile forward and won't therefore come deep and show for the ball but he seemed to link up with Suarez fairly well and he took the disallowed goal beautifully. In a vacuum I like him at 10.0m but it's hard to value him ahead of Suarez who looked class again the first half.
Man City v Swansea
  • With so many other options to choose from it would be easy to forget about Yaya Toure but he really is an exceptionally good player. He was all over the field against Swansea and managed to rack up 10 shots on goal. It seems inevitable that we will all own a City defender and one of Silva/Aguero very soon but if you're priced out of the market for any of that group, Yaya comes at a bit of discount but could very well present equally good value.
  • It won't be the hardest game they face all year but 31-8 in shots on goal speaks for a team ready to take the next step. Handling their players in your squad will be essential for the season as they have more players that deserve fantasy consideration than any other. A separate post on this will follow later in the week.
  • Be sure to check the future fixtures and monitor Mancini's comments before joining the Aguero bandwagon.
  • Vorm will have won some admirers with a great first half display between the sticks but eventually he couldn't keep this side at bay. His potential save totals do make him intriguing though and he could replicate the kind of year Al-Habsi had last year, which would be great for 4.0m.
Newcastle v Arsenal
  • Demba Ba had 7 touches and 0 shots in the entire first half. One game is too soon to write someone off but given the free wildcard, you might want to cut your losses and look at him again when he's shown he can settle in.
  • Joey Barton took up some good advanced positions along with taking corners and set pieces. At just 6.0m, if you can live with the risk of suspension, he looks like he will continue to build on an excellent 2010/11 campaign. You never know, he may even be doing his work for Wenger
  • Van Persie was pretty quiet throughout and the chalkboard seems to suggest this was a product of having to come too deep to receive the ball. Ramsey had a pretty good game but possibly lacks the attacking instincts to take up advanced positions with regularity. Of course, we must bear in mind that Arsenal were away from home against a pretty good side, so we shouldn't jump to any conclusions about Van Persie just yet.
QPR v Bolton
  • A couple of readers took issue with my criticism of Taarabt but looking at the data, my view that he wasn't that involvedTaarabt can be a force in the Premier League in the immediate future. He remains very much on the watchlist but I need to see more before I consider buying. Unless you are convinced QPR can outscore expectations, Taarabt will need to be involved in a high percentage of their goals to justify his price tag and the inevitable 2 pointers.
  • Klasnic dropped much deeper than it seemed while watching and this concerns me a bit long term. While he had a successful day with a goal and an assist, Davies tends to move laterally into the channels which keeps him involved where as it seems Klasnic might be left behind the play on occasion. 
  • Eagles impressed on first look and his set piece and corner duties make him intriguing. Be careful though as the fixtures are brutal so you might want to hold back here.
Stoke v Chelsea
  • Pennant and Walters are both players we have talked about in the off season, but neither really got into this game and were wasteful in possession when they did. Walters positioning here should dampen the spirits a bit about get a forward classed as a midfielder as he is only really taking up the kind of position Aaron Ramsey did, but in an inferior team.
  • The signs for Torres to improve as a Chelsea player look promising as 40 touchs and 4 shots represent one of the more involved days he's had in a Chelsea shirt. I don't think we're ready to put him back in the group he once was but he's at least showing development. Perhaps this was another win for the group suggesting he and Drogba cannot coexist.
  • The use of Chelsea's wing backs was good to see as Villas-Boas capitalised on one of the better attacking pairings in the league. With an advanced deployment, you have to wonder if Bosingwa will get substantial minutes rather than Ivanovic on the right.
West Brom v Man Utd
  • Young was much involved than Nani with the possession flowing down his left side far more often that Nani's right. It's still early of course but in the battle of the 10.0m wingers, advantage very much lies with Young after week one. His set piece duties make even more intriguing. It's worth noting however that Nani still had more shots and of the two I would still take Nani to score more this season.
  • Despite Aguero's heroics, I still feel Rooney is the safest option to hold for the immediate future and his next two games are much better than Aguero's. He looked sharp for his goal but didn't really dominate in the second half but overall I was pleased with what I saw from Rooney.
Wigan v Norwich
  • David Fox was heavily involved for Norwich and only costs 4.5m. He only registered a single shot on target but this kind of play should lead to assists in the future which makes him worth considering in that very shallow 4.5m pool.
  • Ben Watson was equally involved in everything Wigan did, including taking corners and converting a penalty. At 5.5m he may still be a bit pricey given the team he's on but there is certainly potential here given the fact he does at least have a couple of options (Rodallega and Moses) to play with.


Chungwook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thommas said...

Agree with the Young/Nani comments. Futhermore, Nani is always good playing at home, most of his points comes at OT. United has very difficult fixtures coming up but the points will come from either Rooney, Nani or Young. Maybe in that order too.

Also stuggled a bit to understand why N'zog and Albrighton didn't play. I think Mcleish need abit more time with the team before finding his prefered 11. Might also be because he wanted a bit more muscle upfront against a physical Fulham side. I expect to see some changes against Blackburn.

Vorm was better than many of the other experienced PL keepers yesterday if he keep up this performance I expect the big clubs coming sniffing around xmas/end of the season.

I'm very intrigued about the Bosingwa prospect, if he can nail down minutes he will be a very cheap way into the Chelsea defence!

And as always a lovely read from you Chris! :)