Tuesday, October 11, 2011

League Links: Gameweek 8

Alex McLeish wants Alan Hutton to return to the form he once showed at Rangers and will presumably play him every week to give him the chance to do so. At 5.0m Hutton is the joint-cheapest member of a so-so Villa back line and if we assured he will play, his attacking upside might push him ahead of Warnock in the player pool. I'm still a bit concerned by the depth the team have at right back but Hutton is getting closer to registering on the radar.

Kevin Davies admitted he deserved to be dropped by Owen Coyle (debatable, but it's the right thing to say) and he says he is re-focused to win his spot back. Long term, Davies will start. Granted he hasn't been in great form but he is so important to what Bolton do, and to be honest, is one of the few true Premier League quality players in this side. That said, until he regains his place and his form, he doesn't even register in the player pool (you can't imagine how hard that is to say for me).

The Liverpool Echo seem to have come to the same conclusion, that Jordan Henderson will be the man to miss out with Gerrard's return and he becomes unownable for the foreseeable future. As for Gerrard, it isn't clear how fit he is or how he will be deployed, but such is his upside, he at least deserves checking back on each week when he's fit.

Mancini described Balotelli as his weapon in the Champions League, which will be pleasing to Dzeko and Aguero owners. While it won't be so simple as playing two different sides, giving Balotelli preference in Europe reduces (but doesn't eliminate) the rotation risk for the widely owned City pair.

Alex Ferguson paid tribute to Valencia's versatility which is probably bad news for him but good news for Nani and A Young owners. Both will face rotation at some point for Valencia but with Ferguson suggesting he can play centrally as well as right back (where he filled in last week), the number of minutes he vultures from the elite pair might be reducing.

The MEN reckon that Tom Cleverly's absence was the chief cause for United's form slowing after a torrid start to the year. At just 5.4m, Cleverly becomes very good value as an every week starter as while he is upside is not elite, he will always score points in that position, as we've seen from Anderson so far this year. When fit, he definitely deserves to be monitored.

Hatem Ben Arfa is back in training after injury and a brief leave of absence following a family illness. His talent level is undeniable and at 5.4m he has an intriguing price tag to be differentiator over the coming weeks. He isn't ownable just yet, but he might deserve a place on our radar very soon.

Steve Bruce suggested that S.Korean signing Dong-Won Ji will get a chance to play at some point, but emphasised that it probably won't be in the immediate future. At 4.9m he would potentially represent decent value but we're some way off that point just yet.

Peter Odemwingie will not need surgery but Hodgson concluded that his injury concerns may be the source of his lacking confidence. There isn't a great deal of talent in that ~7.0m range for forwards (Agbonlahor is the obvious exception) so if you still own the Nigerian it might be time to cut ties and ramp up to the likes of Adebayor or downgrade to the Ba-Zamora, Fletcher range.


Grounderz said...

It's true Valencia might get less playing time with Nani and Young on form on each flank at the moment.

But something tells me that when it comes to playing against mid-to-small teams like QPR, Norwich City, etc., either Nani or Young will get substituted out for that reason just like what SAF did on Young against Norwich City. That's when Valencia gets back in to his original position again.

Do you think it's better to own one of these wingers or both together? Can you explain the short and long term effects for the two reasons?

EddieO said...

Valencia is a versatile player. He's filled in at right back but more interestingly he has the discipline and physical attributes to become a solid central midfielder. Sounds like SAF has recognized this so I think we may see some experiments soon.