It's been a while since one of these posts. And the ones I have done have been a bit all over the place. This will certainly fall into that category, but hopefully that's its beauty.
So, what is on the Manager's mind this Monday?
Craig Gardner is potentially a dream fantasy player. He's listed as a defender under 6, but plays on the right-side of midfield. When he plays he takes a large share of Birmingham's set pieces. However, and here's the rub, it doesn't seem like he's supplanted Larsson as the starter on the right side of midfield. I'm tempted to gut him for Hutton who is more than two dollars/pounds/units cheaper and is a sure starter for Sunderland. That extra money could allow me to move from Yuri Zhirkov (barn doored on Saturday after assisting Drogba's opener) to and up-to-8 middie like Simon Davies, Mikel Arteta or Theo Walcott.
On Saturday I also grabbed Cesc Fabregas before his price went up. But 18.64 is a lot to spend on any player not named Drogba. Since his 55 points against Bolton in week 19 he's scored 5, 7.5, 7.5 and 13.5 against Villa, ManU, Chelsea and Liverpool, and Sunderland respectively. That 13.5 was inflated by a last-gasp penalty kick. At home. To a struggling Sunderland side. This week Arsenal travel to Stoke, who have given them trouble in the past including a 3-1 victory in the FA Cup a month ago Wednesday.
Maybe that's not money well spent. Maybe I could spend a little less money on the likes of Gerrard, or maybe the returning (but still not likely to start) Torres. Duff has been very consistent for Fulham.
Okay... if you haven't guessed by now I'm winging this. I'm bouncing back and forth to the team manager and team fixture pages. I had all but convinced myself to sell Fabregas but I just went to check on the return leg against Porto. Turns out that it's not next week (following just after the Stoke match) but rather a week later after Arsenal host Burnley. Got that... ARSENAL HOST BURNLEY. Arsenal will host Burnley looking to go into their Champions League game on a positive note. Because they would hate to have been dumped out of the Champions League when they travel to Hull. Wait... Arsenal host Burnley THEN travel to Hull in the league? Before hosting West Ham and Wolves around a trip to Birmingham City?
Maybe Fabregas isn't the BEST bet this weekend. But maybe he's worth holding on to at a discount - albeit a slight one - for the next month.
Finally... a couple of quick thoughts:
Diao. Owned by 1.2% of teams due to his 1.05 price tag. His winning goal? The very definition of a red herring. Don't expect it to happen for another eight years.
Arteta was playing deeper than Lando, Osman and Bily. It will be interesting to see if that was just a tactical decision against Manchester United or if Moyes will play him a a deeper-lying playmaker in and continuing absence of Cahill and especially Fellaini.