Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 1

Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Gervinho, Podolski
Subs: Mannone, Andre Santos, Giroud, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin.

Not too many surprises here, though I had assumed Santos would get the nod at left back over Gibbs. Gervinho's inclusion was also mildly surprising, though Wenger had mentioned on several occasions that Giroud was not ready to start in gameweek one and thus he found himself on the bench. Over the course of the season I would expect Giroud to get significant minutes up top with Podolski pushed out wide in those games. Koscielny and Sagna are due back at the end of the month and thus I would temper any early excitement there might be over Jenkinson and Mertesacker.

The team looked better going forward than the final score suggests though I suppose one could argue that the game was a reminder that players take time to fit together, with the occasional move breaking down due to miscommunication or players drifting into the same space (this seemed to happen fairly often down the left flank in the first half with Gervinho (#27), Podolski (#9) and Cazorla (#19) all occupying a fairly small area at times - see picture on right showing players' average position).

Nothing happened here to change my view on this team: they remain a good option for attacking talent with Podolski and Walcott remaining my favourite picks in the side. Defensively I think they'll be fine but will struggle to justify their price tags, assuming the pricier Koscielny and Sagna come into the side soon. That said, a healthy Sagna could be intriguing given the advanced position Jenkinson took (see #25 on the above picture) against Sunderland though the full backs tend to support, rather than create chances in Wenger's system so we shouldn't be overly excited just yet.

Aston Villa
Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Holman, El Ahmadi, Delph, N'Zogbia, Ireland, Bent
Subs: Guzan, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Herd, Burke, Gardner.

The defense lined up a little different to what I expected with Lowton and Baker getting starts at the predictably unpredictable full back positions. In all honesty though it probably doesn't matter as until we see a lot more from this team the defense isn't really one to be investing heavily in (though at 4.0m Baker could quickly become interesting if he entrenches himself in the team). Going forward things we as expected other than Ireland getting the nod over Weimann, who impressed at the end of last season. I thought Lambert might go with two up top, or Weimann just off Bent but he opted for the ever popular 4-2-3-1 instead. I didn't see much of the game but the heat maps and average position diagrams suggest that N'Zogbia was dragged inside too often which prevented them turning their dominant possession numbers (66%) into many clear cut chances (2 shots on goal). I don't see a whole lot to get excited about in this lineup though that front three have all provided memorable fantasy seasons in the past so they at least allow us (and presumably Villa fans) to dream of what might happen later in the season.

Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Hazard, Mata, Bertrand, Torres
Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Oscar, Ferreira, Meireles, Sturridge, Cahill.

A couple of interesting moves here, first with Luiz being preferred to Cahill and second to Mikel starting over the fit again Essien. I had heard that rumours of Essien's demise were greatly exaggerated but at least for now it looks like that central spot is Mikel's to lose. As for Cahill, I had him pegged to start over Luiz and with no hints of injury of a lack of fitness it would seem Di Matteo disagrees. Either way, Cole seems to make most sense here if you believe this unit can return to their once stingy glory days.

Hazard grabbed the headlines but I thought Mata was actually the more impressive player throughout (though Hazard of course showed impressive glimpses too). The problem is that Mata (#10) tended to drop deeper into midfield to collect the ball from the defense and then lay it off before the majority of Chelsea's attacks fully blossomed. We'll see how the team lines up when Ramires is healthy but Mata owners should be on notice that they might have the right man but in the wrong place. If Mata continues to play a deeper role I would be more than happy to switch him out for Hazard who looked lively and should generate good assist numbers for the year.

Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Gibson, Neville, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic.
Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Naismith, Gueye, Barkley, Coleman, Anichebe.

Monday night football is one of the unfortunate sacrifices one makes when moving across the Atlantic so I didn't get a chance to see this game. The pundits (and indeed most of the stats) tell of a game in which United dominated possession but couldn't make their limited chances pay and were punished at the other by a very good display from Fellaini (#25). Fellaini playing off a front man isn't particularly strange as he's assumed that role before, but it was surprising to see his average playing position, which was essentially that of a second forward. One game is obviously not a sample size to get excited about, but this was more than just a player netting a fluke goal. He managed 6 shots (2 on target) for the evening and that advanced role is reminiscent of the one which made Tim Cahill a useful fantasy asset for several years. At 6.5m he isn't a steal but if this offensive deployment becomes a trend he could quickly start paying back that investment. The increased use of Naismith in future weeks could well render this argument moot though, so be careful before piling onto the big Belgian (incidentally, Naismith (#14) is amusingly shown above in what looks like a sweeper role, having been introduced in the 89th minute. We can probably assume his next game will involve more offensive minutes).

Elsewhere the team was largely as expected, though I was surprised to Heitinga miss out on both a centre back and centre midfield spot. I'd still be a touch nervous owning anyone from the Distin / Hibbert / Heitinga trio which screams rotation but if you want access to this team for under 6.0m you have no choice.

Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Diarra, Dembele, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Petric
Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Sidwell, Kasami, Rodallega, Halliche.

Fulham's lineup was exactly as expected, once we knew for sure that Dempsey would not be included. They didn't exactly miss their talisman either, with Petric, Kacaniklic and the ageless Duff picking up the slack. Long term, you have to worry a bit about where the goals will come from unless Petric has a very good year,  and it's tough to single out anyone from the front six for fantasy attention.

Defensively the team looks as solid as ever with old faithful Aaron Hughes restored to the central defense for another year of budget fantasy returns. Given the threat of Senderos though, I might actually be tempted to stick in Hangeland who seems locked in to play every week and brings a better offensive threat than Riether and probably Riise. Petric - along with many of the other new arrivals - deserves more attention but that can only really come after we've seen at least a couple more appearances.

Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Allen, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez, Borini
Subs: Jones, Carroll, Cole, Henderson, Carragher, Adam, Shelvey.

As the third goal hit the back of the net, Twitter practically exploded with #Rodgersout tweets. I will assume they were tongue in cheek from even the most critical of Liverpool supporters, but still, it wasn't a good start for the former Swansea man. The good news is that, for now, the lineup looks to be predictable and was exactly as expected with the exception of the injured Jose Enrique who could feature as early as next week.

I'm not going to write a defense off after one game, but when you're paying 6.0m you need to be capitalising against the West Broms of the world, even if they are a useful side at home. In fairness, of course, the sending off played a major role here so let's not jump to conclusions, but that too will have future repercussions as a central combination of Skrtel and Carragher will struggle against sides with any pace whatsoever.

It was a mixed bag of a debut for Joe Allen as while he completed 66 of his 69 passes, helping Liverpool to 60% possession for the game, he didn't muster a shot on goal all day and only 13 of his passes came in the opponents third of the field. At 5.5m he sticks out as being underpriced at Liverpool and that could well still be the case, but he needs to be compared with the likes of the now departed Song, Rodwell and Carrick, rather than anyone taking more advanced positions on a weekly basis. The presence of Lucas made me think he would be allowed to make some venturing runs forward but on this week's evidence his domain will be limited to that middle third where players tend to 'assist the assist' rather than generating big fantasy totals. He's still very much ownable but be careful how high you set your bar here; he isn't a must own player.

Luis Suarez drew a typical amount of criticism from those labelling him as a wasteful finisher who lacks the 'clinical ability' of a Michael Owen or Robbie Fowler. Suarez is a frustrating player some times (not to mention one who appears to be somewhat dislikeable which doesn't help his case with the media) but the stats tell a different story to the current narrative. Since joining Liverpool Suarez has hit the target with 43% of his shots (per ESPN) with 12.5% of them hitting the back of the net. Compare that to Rooney's numbers of 45% and 13.6% and have a player who is admittedly not in the elite group of players, but is hardly Liverpool's biggest problem either. Throw in that Suarez takes a lot more shots (often self generated) and you can allow even more slack in those numbers. Now, this isn't necessarily forgiveable from a Liverpool point of view as ill advised shots are hardly the makings of an efficient scoring team, but from a fantasy perspective we must be careful not to get caught up in this same old narrative. Suarez remains well priced at 9.5m and while I would personally take both Tevez and Podolski over him, I see no reason to lose faith in a player who led the league in attempts this week with 8.

Man City
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Silva, Rodwell, Toure, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez.
Subs: Pantilimon, Milner, Dzeko, Kolarov, Savic, De Jong, Balotelli

The much anticipated 3-5-2 never materialised with Mancini opting for a standard back four instead. Rodwell got the nod over De Jong though from a fantasy perspective neither should be registering on your radar. The front line was headlined by the injury to Aguero which, while not as bad as first feared, is serious enough that his owners need to make the move now as 11.4m is simply too much to have on the bench for even a couple of weeks. The natural replacement is Tevez, who I ranked close to Aguero anyway and looked good again this week.

If Nasri can solidify himself in the first team then there's an argument to be made that he could represent better value for money than Silva given his 1.5m lower price tag, but I'll need a while to be convinced on this one, especially if Sinclair arrives to add further congestion to the front five.

Defensively, giving up a couple of goals against Southampton is obviously a blow, though it should be noted that they scored with their only two shots on target. I'd stick with my original assessment that Lescott makes the most sense here, though with Richards out for the medium term, Zabaleta should also prove to be a reliable pickup for a number of weeks.

Man Utd
De Gea, Valencia, Carrick, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Cleverley, Scholes, Kagawa, Rooney, Welbeck
Subs: Lindegaard, Da Silva, Anderson, Berbatov, Young, van Persie, Wootton.

Well that didn't really go to plan, did it. All the concern about if, and where, van Persie would play was rendered moot when Everton arrived with a very conservative gameplan which the new look United side simply failed to break down with any consistency. Given the lack of end results it's hard to suggest that this side is now going to be entrenched for too long, but I think we can draw a couple of clues as to Ferguson's depth chart. Other players have arrived more recently but I believe Nani is still favoured among the wide players and would probably once again tip him to lead them in minutes played (in midfield only, Valencia will surely play more if you include his minutes at right back, which aren't too useful for fantasy managers). The only factor that might cost Nani (#17) in the long term is his tendency to drift inside, which might frustrate Ferguson to the point of deploying Valencia or Young out wide. This is particularly the case when Rooney (#10) leads the line as he tends to drop into that position occupied this week by Kagawa (#26) leaving a very congested head of the formation. We can immediately see how much further upfield van Persie (#20) played in his brief cameo, which bring up the interesting question of where Rooney will play if that position is given to van Persie? Either way it would seem to limit Kagawa's minutes in the middle of the field and thus I'm still at odds as to which United midfielder to back here.

Defensively you have to feel this side will be fine, so long as either Ferdinand or Evans returns soon. From a fantasy perspective we'd like to see Rafael grab that right back spot but I believe it's going to continue being rotated, thus rendering both he and Valencia tough to own.

Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Perch, Santon, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Cisse, Ba
Subs: Harper, Williamson, Anita, Gosling, R Taylor, Shola Ameobi, Obertan.

Newcastle continue to make a good case for being the best fantasy team in the whole league. Even with the big names carrying knocks, the first team still ended up looking like the one setout in the team previews with the exception of the injured Coloccini. A couple of readers questioned whether or not Ryan Taylor would start but my suspicions were confirmed this week with Santon and Simpson getting the nod. R Taylor will get minutes at some point this year which makes this whole group somewhat tricky to own, but I still believe that long term managers tend to gravitate towards players in their natural positions which is always going to count against R Taylor. Personally I would avoid all the confusion and just go with S Taylor, whose threat from set pieces should just about equal about equal out with the full backs offensive points anyway.

This front six remains very promising and the two who shone this week (Ben Arfa and Ba) remain my personal picks. Now Ben Arfa has been handed penalty duties I would underline him as being one of the better mid-range options around while I see Ba and Cisse as essentially the same player and thus Ba's price tag is extremely attractive. Indeed, with trouble at the top of the forward list, a strategy is emerging to go with three mid range options (perhaps topping out with Tevez at 9.0m) and Ba would be very close to the top of that list.

Ruddy, R Martin, R Bennett, Turner, Tierney, Pilkington, Howson, Johnson, Surman, Snodgrass, Holt
Subs: Rudd, Hoolahan, Morison, Elliott Bennett, Vaughan, Barnett, Lappin.

The good news is that the team lined up largely as expected, though it was surprising to see Hoolahan riding the pine after a decent first year in the Premier League last time out. The good news ended there though with Norwich being soundly beaten by a Fulham side widely tipped to struggle to score goals. They gave up 60% of the ball to Fulham along with surrendering 15 shots, which suggests even with a stable lineup there may be limited value at the back here. If you grab someone like Tierney for 4.0m they may be spot startable, but for now I would steer clear until we see a marked improvement under Chris Hughton.

Going forward, Snodgrass (#7) was tipped to take a role behind the front man, but it was actually Andrew Surman (#11), who I didn't even expect to play, who was given the job. Again, opportunity is only one facet of fantasy success as you need ability and a surrounding cast of players too, but anytime you have a 5.0m player essentially playing up front it warrants mentioning. Norwich's lack of possession makes it tricky to assess Surman's performance but he's one to add to the shortlist for the next few weeks.

Green, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Da Silva, Taarabt, Park, Diakite, Hoilett, Mackie, Cisse
Subs: Murphy, Derry, Johnson, Wright-Phillips, Nelsen, Dyer, Zamora.

I really struggled to predict this lineup in the pre season and while we were on the right track, things are set to change to again with Bosingwa and Dawson both said to be arriving shortly. One would guess that those moves would give us a settled back line of Fabio-Ferdinand-Dawson-Bosingwa, though Onuoha and maybe even Nelsen could have something to say about that. Based on this week's woeful efforts though you won't want to be anywhere near this back line for some time. The arrival of Dawson, a useful player, should sure things up but the midfield still looks lighweight and very attacking which will expose the defense for the foreseeable future.

The front six looks very hard to predict, and while Zamora and Wright-Phillips were the big name casualties this week, I'm not sure we can write anyone into the first team in anything but pencil for now. Perhaps Cisse or even the enigmatic Taarabt emerge from the wreckage of opening day as become useful starters but until this team gets an identity and has a cohesive strategy and structure I don't see that as a likely possibility.

Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, Guthrie, McAnuff, Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak
Subs: McCarthy, Mariappa, Hunt, McCleary, Tabb, Church, Cummings.

I was surprised to see both Gorkss and Pearce hold their places in the lineup, with new arrival Mariappa held back on the bench. How long that will hold true remains to be seen with further changes likely when Shorey gets healthy. Though it hardly gets the pulse racing, I still like Gunter here who gives reliability on a decent team for a bargain price.

This side is going to struggle for goals and this week's game did little to persuade me otherwise. That said, Guthrie and Pogrebynak are both talented players who come at the league minimum (at least among those who might sniff the field) and so could still have use in the coming months.

Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Schneiderlin, Puncheon, Rodriguez, Do Prado
Subs: Gazzaniga, Lambert, S Davis, Sharp, Richardson, Shaw, Seaborne.

As expected, my 'forecasting' (read: guessing) didn't fare too well with several players getting unexpected minutes and of course the biggest story being Lambert being held on the bench. I honestly don't know what to make of the move, which is particularly puzzling when you see Do Prado leading the line (meaning it wasn't just a case of needing only one forward and Rodriguez being preferred for his counter attacking ability). We'll see if Adkins - who is so far defending his decision (not that he needs to) - gives in and plays Lambert next week, but in the meantime his owners are left in a tough position. Given he's likely your third forward (and did after all score this week) I'd be okay hanging on to him presuming you still like his long term prospects.

Though it was a valiant display against City, no single player really stood out in this one. Seeing as they were playing the champions and equipped themselves as a team very well, let's hold off judging the individuals for another couple of weeks.

Begovic, Wilson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Whelan, Kightly, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Crouch
Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Ness, Delap, Shotton, Jerome, Palacios.

Stoke came out as expected, though I still believe Geoff Cameron might get minutes in the side sooner rather than later having finally been cleared to play. Both full backs here look fairly entrenched in the side and represent very good value at just 4.5m. Pulis remains unaffected by others' opinions and continues to deploy a solid team who remain one of the more reliable teams around. With Whitehead and Whelan both playing fairly deep, this (a) protects the defense and (b) allows the full backs to get further forward thus increasing their chance for assists. Wilson will shortly be cast aside, whether for Goran Popov, Martin Olsson or someone else but Wilkinson appears to have Pulis' confidence and has the makings of a solid rotatable defender.

Walters continues to play very high up the field as is essentially a second striker. His 4 shots again this week are very promising and I see no reason why he can't enjoy a season close to his 2011/12. Teammate Kightly found the net this week but he wasn't heavily involved throughout so I wouldn't classify the game as a breakout performance. At 5.5m he's obviously cheaper than Walters but I see him more in the lottery category with literally tens of others so I wouldn't follow the inevitable masses bringing him in.

Mignolet, Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Richardson, Larsson, Colback, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Campbell
Subs: Westwood, Wickham, Kilgallon, Meyler, Bramble, Saha, Elmohamady.

It's hard to know whether to praise Sunderland for their game plan or suggest they got lucky, having ceded 70% of possession and 23 shots to an Arsenal team who just couldn't convert on the day. In Sunderland's defense they forced Arsenal into taking 9 of those shots from outside the area and only one of those taken inside the box forced a save from Mignolet. In truth, if they play a similar game plan too often they won't be so fortunate but the unit should be good enough to pick up a few more clean sheets at a budget price. I'll be happier when Brown returns but regardless I like Cuellar as a useful 4.5m option, starting this week with the visit of Reading.

Offensively Saha will likely get as many minutes as his fragile body can manage, which based on past seasons will be just enough to render both him and Campbell unownable. Sessegnon and McClean remain decent options though at least a portion of their upside is already accounted for in their slightly inflated prices. It's worth noting that Campbell (#9) was actually pushed out wide against Arsenal with Sessegnon (#28) leading the line. His 8.0m price tag should really then be compared with other forwards so you need to decide if you like him more than the likes of Ba and Jelavic.

Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Chico, Taylor, de Guzman, Michu, Britton, Dyer, Graham, Routledge
Subs: Cornell, Tate, Moore, Agustien, Gower, Richards, Tremmel.

Oh how I love this team. Take away the talented talisman and their highly rated manager and they just keep on ticking. Michu was one of the new arrivals I liked the most and had him pencilled into my own lineup until the last minute when I cleverly decided to double down with Ramires (don't ask). He looks very composed in front of goal though he remains more of a midfielder playing in the 'Lampard / Gerrard' spot in a 4-3-3 rather than someone like Walters is playing off a front man. Thousands will obviously pile on (81k at time of writing) and I wouldn't necessarily argue, but to play devil's advocate he only registered 4 shots for the day with 2 on target: the kind of numbers which will obviously not give rise to a prolific goal haul. In short he was good value at 6.5m and remains so at 6.6m and while one game has not made him a must own player, the next 7 games look pretty delicious.

The back line looks nicely settled and at 5.0m I'd be happy with any of them, particularly in light of the aforementioned fixture list. Elsewhere in the front six I'd say it's as you were, with Dyer and Graham remaining decent options.

Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Sandro, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale, Defoe.
Subs: Cudicini, Vertonghen, Van der Vaart, Naughton, Jenas, Townsend, Kane.

Two big surprises for me here with both Van der Vaart and Vertonghen relegated to bench duty. When I read his quotes about breaking into the team I honestly thought they were just the polite posturing of a player ready to kick Gallas or Kaboul to the curb. Not so it would seen. It's still almost certainly a case of when, rather than if, he starts but with an irresistible run of four games on the docket it's a real shame we won't have a clearer picture soon. At this point I can't offer any further insight until Villas-Boas gives us a soundbite but if you're happy with the rest of your squad and invested in Vertonghen it might be worth making the move to Assou-Ekotto or Walker to be sure to capitalise on the upcoming games.

As for Van der Vaart, I'm at a loss as to what to make of his prospects at Spurs. I'm assuming he (along with Vertonghen) were deemed not to be fit enough given their international work earlier last week but with Sigurdsson arriving, where exactly Van der Vaart plays is somewhat unclear. Without Modric and the Dutchman the team looked a bit more solid in the middle, but have swung too far and now lack enough creativity to break down the better sides. With Adebayor finally signing along with other new arrivals pegged to replace Modric we can assume that this Spurs team will change significantly in the next couple of weeks so I'm therefore going to hold off on drawing too many conclusions until then.

West Brom
Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Odemwingie, Long, Gera.
Subs: Myhill, El Ghanassy, Brunt, Jara Reyes, Lukaku, Dawson, Fortune

I struggled with this lineup in the pre-season but in the end it worked out as fairly predictable. Long term I don't imagine Long will stick around ahead of Rosenberg and Lukaku but that whole situation should probably be avoided for now (Odemwingie too, who spent long stretches of the game pushed out wide). I'm a little surprised Brunt finds himself out of the first team but in the 4-2-3-1 system Morrison and Gera give them a nice combination and it'll be a battle for Brunt to get his place back. Despite the three goals I'm not sure there is anyone to target here thanks to potential rotation and the fact that this is a team who tend to share the wealth around rather than having any single points of focus.

At the back the team came out as expected and should be useful, if not exciting for 5.0m. I wouldn't pay a premium to get this unit ahead of players from Stoke or Sunderland, and in a like for like battle I'd so with Swansea, but if the fixtures fall nicely Olsson and co make a decent use of your 4th or 5th defender spot.

West Ham
Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, McCartney, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Vaz Te, Cole, Taylor
Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Maynard, Maiga, O'Brien, Diarra, O'Neil.

As if watching Bolton lose at Burnley in the Championship wasn't bad enough, we also had to endure watching our 2008 squad, led by our 2006 manager get their first win of the year. I'm planning on some upcoming research into conversion rates of shots on goal but without getting into too much detail, let's just look at Kevin Nolan's conversion rate over the past three season (in the Championship / Premier League): 182 shots, 85 on target, 41 goals. That means 23% of his shots hit the back of the net. Over the same period van Persie's number is 16%, Rooney's is 15% and Ronaldo's was 12% in his last three seasons at Old Trafford. Nolan is obviously not in that group's class but the point remains that he is simply one of the most clinical midfielders of recent times and brings an excellent balance of upside and reliability for just 6.0m. Elsewhere I want to see what Maiga brings before I invest in Cole while the rest of the midfield looks uninspiring to be honest.

Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Ramis, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Figueroa, Maloney, Di Santo, Moses
Subs: Pollitt, Kone, Jones, Crusat, Watson, Gomez, Boselli.

Wigan went with a 5-4-1 here (which often played as a 5-2-2-1 with Moses and Maloney pushing quite far up field); a system that hasn't been used much in the Premier League in recent years. It's hard to judge it's success when the game was effectively over after 7 minutes but we can note that in the whole game I didn't see a great deal to disuade me from the pre-season statement that there really isn't much to get excited about in this team. I like Moses as a player and he did take up a fairly advanced position and get a couple of shots this week, but at 7.0m there is a significant amount of his upside already included in his price tag and thus I'm struggling to justify picking him over the likes of Nolan, Michu or Walters, among others.


ransor said...

Ben Arfa is not on penalties Chris, it's officially Ba but Ben Arfa got to the ball quicker. At least that's what Ba said afterwards.

Chris Glover said...

Ha! I didn't see that. Thanks. Having scored I wonder if he'll get to take the next one?

Gummi said...

@ransor: Yup, I read that too, that Ba would not give up his next penalty. That makes an even more exciting prospect. Although it should be noted that he played on the left after Newcastle's move to a 4-3-3 after the break.

@Chris: Excellent piece. It's comforting to see a better Fantasy manager than me do the same Ramires kerfuffle...

amtosh said...

Hey mate, can you put a link up the top to the Strength of Schedule table like last season?

One of the best resources on this site, and it's gonna get annoying scrolling down through your posts to find it!

Sorry to be critical, and thanks for your excellent blog. It won me about $300 last season.

Steven Holmes said...

Santos was arrested for Dangerous Driving the day before the Arsenal match. Probably why he was out of the squad.

goosetav said...

This really is an excellent blog Chris. Keep up the good work.

Sound advice on getting rid of Aguerro sooner rather than later. Annoyingly, I swapped Aguerro for Defoe on Monday before the Adebayor transfer got announced so I'm slightly concerned my new recruit will be shunned by AVB for his new recruit.

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