Thursday, September 1, 2011

Deadline disappointment

I don't know when the exact point in which I lost interest in the transfer deadline day happened, but I am painfully aware that it did. I used to be glued to Sky Sports News, excitedly dreaming of the next big arrival from overseas, rapidly googling names and checking Football Manager for a quick scouting report. Now I am aware that essentially, with the odd exception, all transfers/rumours fall into one of three categories:
  • A big name player is linked with a club in England, is 'spotted' at various training grounds across the country despite never being available (this year's examples include Kaka, Hazard and even Messi)
  • A player gets recycled between unimaginative teams whose scouting department appears to consist of a 16 year kid watching the Premier League highlights and recommending whoever scored that week or was good 5 years ago (examples include Crouch, Jenas, Parker, Wright-Phillips and Bellamy)
  • A player of genuine quality arrives or moves to a better situation. Easily the rarest of deal type (examples include Mata and Arteta)
So it's with a healthy serving of cynicism that we look at the transfers from today's action (and a couple from the previous weeks that I haven't yet discussed), noting where any fantasy impact may be found. As a side note, saying there is no fantasy impact does mean I am condemning your beloved arrival as a dud, merely that his fantasy impact appears limited.

"Remember, when we didn't have a transfer window"
Jermaine Jenas to Villa . . . has barely played since 2008/09 and even then he barely registered as a fantasy option . . . his situation has obviously improved but he still has to compete with Petrov, N'Zogbia, Delph, Ireland and Albrighton for just three spots . . . pass.

Nicklas Bendtner to Sunderland . . . might get some minutes as Sunderland's forward options are thin . . . has scored a few goals in the past but he was surrounded by vastly superior talent . . . his price contains a premium for playing on an elite team which he now doesn't . . . impossible to justify his cost being the same as the likes of Fletcher, Davies or Rodallega.

Yakubu to Blackburn . . . I don't want to crush Yakubu as I've always been a big fan of his but it isn't 2004 anymore . . . 10 goals over the past three Premier League seasons (53 appearances) suggests a player who is not just in declining, but declined . . . not yet added to the fantasy game but unless he comes on at 5.0m or less I'm out

Gael Kukuta . . . has some ability and looked okay in limited time at Fulham but there's no real evidence from his time in the Premier League he is ready to compete with Petrov and Eagles for serious playing time . . . get back to me in a month or so if he's played more than 100 minutes

"Oh, he moved again, great"
Owen Hargreaves . . . let's just call this move Vieira 2.0 . . . even if he's fit (which is a big presumption) it would surprise to see him exceed Vieira's numbers from last year (15 appearances and 2 goals) . . . it's a shame for Hargreaves whose career could have been a lot more but don't take pity with a place on your bench.

Peter Crouch to Stoke . . . I never really 'got' Crouch as a player on a supposedly elite team like Spurs or Liverpool . . . they say he has 'good feet' for a big man (which is true) but that's like saying I am good at sumo wrestling, for a guy under 200 pounds . . . for me he lacks the quality to play in a free flowing system and so the move to Stoke finally makes sense . . . that said, he's only hit double digit goals once in his Premier League career, despite playing with more talented players . . . as with Bendtner, you're paying a premium for a player on a 'big' team and 7.0m (0.5m more than Jones, 1.5m more than Fuller and presumably more than Cameron Jerome) is a tough pill to swallow

Alan Hutton to Villa . . . looks like he'll get playing time at Villa as Luke Young's replacement but at 5.0m he doesn't represent a discount so it's nothing more than you could already have got with Warnock

Shaun Wright-Phillips to QPR . . . I actually kinda like the move for QPR but it's the price which bothers me here . . . Wright Phillips has been frustrating at the best of times and he's a hard player to rotate as his production is so sporadic . . . until he shows he can turn back the clock, better and safer options exist in the 6.0 - 6.5m price range

Craig Bellamy to Liverpool . . . really? I don't get this move from either side . . . Bellamy won't play often and Liverpool have to deal with a potentially disgruntled player . . . to be fair I actually think Bellamy is a good guy who is just too honest for most people but well meaning or not, I don't see it being helpful to have him talking about playing over Suarez come December.

"I see the logic, but I'm not excited"
Scott Parker to Tottenham . . . decent player going into a situation where he should get playing time . . . whoever plays in the middle alongside Modric is likely to be limited from a fantasy perspective . . . Parker derived a decent amount of value from set pieces last year but with Van der Vaart and Bale around he won't get too many of those at White Hart Lane . . . I'm not sure he's particularly an upgrade over Sandro but not a bad buy from Redknapp for once.

Andre Santos to Arsenal . . .  the move makes sense but given that he will surely receive a 6.0m+ price tag, it's going to be hard to look at him seriously . . . Arsenal might get back on track with the arrival of Santos and Mertesacker but until we see some major strides, that entire defense looks vastly overvalued.

Bryan Ruiz to Fulham . . . has a good scoring record in Holland and joins a Fulham team with a couple of forwards who can't seem to stay on the field . . . I haven't seen him play and must admit to taking Dutch scoring records with a pinch (or bucket full of salt) thanks to Kezman, Elmander and Alves among others all flopping badly in England . . . if his price tag holds at 6.0m I guess he joins that pool of talent but there are far too many other options to consider him yet.

David N'Gog to Bolton . . . not a big fan of N'Gog from his time at Liverpool . . . tough to see him playing every week with captain Davies and an improved (and for me more talented) Kalinic already in the squad

Scott Dann to Blackburn . . . a good player arriving in a bad situation . . . his name will probably lead to a 5.0m price tag, which is way too steep for a player on a team with such scarcity of talent

Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea . . . great young prospect but Chelsea were apparently willing to let him leave on loan, suggesting his playing time will be limited . . . 8.0m is literally ridiculous unless a couple of first teamers suffer long term injuries

Wilson Palacios to Stoke . . . a good player but has never been fantasy relevant . . . going off topic a bit, how on earth did Spurs recover 6m for a player who barely played last season and was buried 8 men deep on the depth chart. If you're Stoke, how do you not get a better price: you have all the leverage. It's also ridiculous that Redknapp can spend 12m on a player based on a couple of games for Wigan, play him for half a season, get bored then dump him for a 6m loss but yet still be regarded as a great 'wheeler-dealer' in the transfer market.

Royston Drenthe to Everton . . . an interesting story from a reality perspective but I'm not sure how he can contribute from a fantasy perspective . . . he doesn't have a history or scoring goals or assists and he joins an Everton side lacking in quality . . . I'd be more interested if he were a budget attacking left back but that obviously won't happen with Baines around so I don't see too much value here.

Raul Meireles to Chelsea . . . I like Meireles as a player but you have to feel he's lept from the proverbial frying pan here, leaving one cluttered midfield for another . . . with their forward options and the presence of Lampard, you have Malouda, Mata, Meireles, Kalou, Ramires and Mikel shooting for three or four spots and after taking the defensive ability into account, Meireles looks to be towards the bottom of the list . . . if he plays every week he will be sensational value but I struggle to see that happening in the immediate future

Per Mertesacker to Arsenal . . . much likes Santos, this looks like a good signing (this one may actually be great) but the unit will need time to gel before you're willing to spend 6.0m on a defender and so Mertesacker, who may even receive a 6.5m price tag, looks to be a little pricey for me

"I just pulled a Nasri face of excitment"
Emmanuel Adebayor to Tottenham . . . probably a stretch to say I am excited, but definitely intrigued . . . everything is really dependant on Adebayor's price but I have an easier time buying into a player who scored 14 goals in 2009/10 as opposed to a Bellamy/Wright-Phillips who haven't played well in the Premier League for 5 years or more . . . there's a good chance that Adebayor never bounces back to his previous heights but at least there is upside here to peak our interest . . . needless to say you shouldn't invest yet but this certainly one to watch.

Mikel Arteta to Arsenal . . . a potentially great match of a talented, mid-priced option in Arteta (8.0m) and a team in need to a central playmaker . . . should get his fair share of set pieces though will likely lose penalty duties to Van Persie . . . should slot into the side from day one and instantly becomes arguably the best Arsenal option for the immediate future (I still like Wilshere's potential long term too) alongside Van Persie . . . he hasn't been as good over the last year as he has in the past but remember that he spent the majority of that period with no forwards in a side and few other quality options in midfield.

Yossi Benayoun to Arsenal . . . will he finally get a chance to play every week? . . . he managed to top 100 points in 2008/09 and 2009/10 despite featuring in just 1800 minutes each year, adding 14 goals in the process . . . there is still competition in this side with Gervinho, Rosicky, Arshavin, Walcott and the two new arrivals scrapping it out for three places in the side but none of the current options have covered themselves in glory in the early stages of the season and Benayoun has a great chance to finally get that first team spot his play has often justified . . . at 6.9m he would become outstanding value if he can indeed lock down that spot

Juan Mata to Chelsea . . . along with Aguero who we've already seen in action, Mata is one of only a couple of elite players to join the Premier League during the current window . . . he brings a good scoring record from Valencia and already opened his account last week . . . at 9.5m he is pricey but comes cheaper than Malouda and Lampard and has a ceiling as high as anyone not currently playing in Manchester . . . Chelsea have a couple of tricky road trips coming up (Sunderland and Man Utd) but after that the fixtures look very promising and assuming Mata has continued to impress, he would seem to make a lot of sense at that point.

I'm glad the disappointment of the window is over; what a ridiculous waste of time. See you at the end of January where we'll all be sucked in once again.


[YeOp] said...

keep asking this at twitter and waiting patiently for your answer.

apart from Moses, who's your recommended long term pick midfielder with price range between 5.0 and 6.0?

thank you, sir!

PUl615 said...

Great post!!!!!!!!

But something that also got me interested is the improved quality in the QPR defence with 3 new signings. Do you have any idea who priced at 4 mil will start for them?

I think it could be a bargain, seeing as the entire team has improved a bit with the 5 new signings.

Thank you in advance for any response.

Chris Glover said...

YeOp, sorry I did get your quesion but I was going to save them all up for a post this weekend. I'll answer here though. The sub-6.0m is pretty thin this year but there are a number of options who, at worst, look like good players when the matchup is right. Brunt, Cabaye and Cleverly stick out thanks to their upside while the next group of Eagles, Walters, Hunt and O'Hara looks useful to. Of everyone I like Brunt or Cleverly, depending on how you feel about the United man keeping his job when everyone is healthy.

Chris Glover said...

PUI615 - I missed the QPR signings from this post by accident but realistically their value is probably limited in the short term anyway. It's hard for so many new players to gel quickly and QPR don't really have a solid base from which to build. They could contribute at some point but I'm not looking right now, instead preferring cheap options from proven teams like Woodgate or Senderos (though he himself now looks a bit riskier)

PUl615 said...

Hmm too bad, I was thinking Gabbidon. And I have my perfect team with only a 4mil defender open for discussion

Daniel Brian said...


Young, Jarvis, Adam, Yaya Toure, Feguson

Rooney, Long, Dzeko


Midfield: Young, Jarvis, Adam, WHELAN, Ferguson

Forwards: Rooney, SUAREZ, Dzeko

Which lineup do you think is best? Or something different entirely?

amtosh said...


I think earlier you alluded to a post about the best time to play your WC. When can we expect that post and is there a previous one you've done which is pretty current?

I'm considering whether or not to play mine this week and replace Torres with Rooney, Bent with Dzeko, Silva with Yaya Toure and Ben Watson with Arteta as well as finding a good replacement for Senderos. I stand to lose 12 points or use my WC.

This is my first season and I'm unsure of the wisdom in early use of the WC.

Chris & Gillian said... are like a god to a lot of people on here!All coming to you for answers, i love it. Great blog, keep up the good work!x

stooshermadness said...

Chris - love the blog and your take but I'm not sure I agree with your analysis of Bendtner as a prospect after transfer. In the 2 years he actually got decent minutes, he scored 9 goals in what was effectively 19 games and in the other he scored 6 goals in what was effectively 13/14 games. And he was often pushed out on the right wing, obviously not his best position. I think with a run of, say, 2700 minutes at Sunderland, the numbers suggest 12-14 goals, certainly in Fletcher or Rodellega ballpark. I think he was underrated as a striker at Arsenal and never got a settled run of games there. I think he's got a lot of upside and is worth a punt at Sunderland if you are in the market at this price.

Methos said...

Hi there Chris

I have been keeping track of your very interesting blog since July. I must say I am impressed with the amount of information you share with us readers.

I have been playing FPL for three seasons now so I am still new to the game and its strategies but I'm trying to understand various tactics thanks to your input.

Now that I have activated my WC, I am also keeping track of players price rises/drops on totalfpl so as to anticipate as well as I can to make a small profit. Do you have any suggestions in that area?

The owner of Totalfpl, Frank, also spoke very highly of you btw. I was chatting to a number of people there and told them about your blog and why I feel it's extremely helpful to play FPL well. He seems genuinely interested in getting in contact with you. In case you are interested:

Anyway, keep up the good work and I will continue to be reader for as long as you keep writing!

Greetings from Belgium

Alex said...

hey cris,

i agree with all your evaluations and their playing chances. But, you missed to mention santon, exactly for whom i googled and found your blog. I being newcastle supporter already have danny simpson and ryan taylor on the team. As santon can play on either back position and will take either of these places, probably both on rotation. your views on this.
- Alex