If ever there were a great reason to become a writer fulltime, this is it. Rather than my usual deskchair in Northern Virginia, I'm writing this week's version of TWA from the balcony of my hotel room in St. Thomas. I'd add a picture but I'm also doing this on my iPhone so the blog editor is somewhat limited.
My current surroundings got me thinking about the notion of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence - or Manchester. Thinking back on a few recent high profile cases, I guess it all depends on what you're looking for. Henry left Arsenal and continues to win but had to do so as a secondary player rather than as the star. Combine the trophies with living in a more beautiful climate and I can see why you might make the choice. Ronaldo made a similar choice presumably for the money and I'm sure he's got more of that for his time in Madrid despite the lack of any actual success. Hard to see him having spent any, ahem, quality time with Kim Kardashian in Manchester - there are some places even reality stars won't go.
So, what does Wayne Rooney want? Who knows? But a wise man once said, when in doubt, follow the money. I can't pretend to know why anyone would care about making the next million when they already have more than they could spend in multiple lifetimes. On the otherhand, maybe that lack of competitiveness on my part (and insufficient footspeed) is why I'm not playing professionally somewhere. Maybe part of being THAT competitive is needing to make the most money.
One final thought on a storyline that I haven't seen written yet. What happens if Rooney is reunited with one of his former strike partners in either Madrid on the other side of Manchester? The Rooney/Ronaldo partnership relegated Rooney to being an excellent supporting player in the drama while CRon became a World Player of the Year
OK, on to the week to come:
The only two matches I really rate as a decided advantage are Spurs vs. Everton and Chelsea hosting Wolves. I have to admit that I was more excited about the former match before Everton started winning a few matches. That said, Everton's last scalp was Liverpool and while that would ordinarily be impressive, it has been well documented here and pretty much everywhere else on the web how not true that is this year.
The rest of the match-ups are pretty even with the exception of maybe Citeh/Arsenal but I have to say, I generally try to stay away from top four clashes because they tend to be bad investments.
Tevez - better value than Drogba right now but you'd rather have Drogs at 20 than Tevez at market price so this decision really depends on who you have and for how much.
Obinna - Playing at home against questionable opposition - I like him to rebound from a bad week last weekend.
Odemwingie - Assuming he's healthy he's got a solid match-up with travel-challenged Fulham
Dembele - WBA are picking up points but they're doing it from the attack while letting in goals as well, seems like a good week to invest in the attackers in this match.
Elmander - On the road but against Wigan so I'd say there's some value here at under 9
Harewood - Call it a hunch but I like his chances against Brum
Nani - He's been awesome since week 3 and is currently the epitome of a fantasy player who is much better as a fantasy player than a real one (he should be the third best player on a good team like Malouda when Chelsea is healthy)
Malouda - I expect he'll look better with Drogs back
Adam - If you haven't gotten this message yet, you're just being obstinate.
Nolan - If he returns to health, I think he'll do the business this week disappointing those who went back in for Carroll
VDV - Strong match-up and his price is pretty reasonable compared to other premium midfielders.
Brunt - The poor man's Adam but with a better match-up, solid value at 8.50
Holden - Lots of options in the Bolton midfield with MPet, Lee, and Holden all returning value but this is the best value of the three after Lee's goal/price jump last weekend
Gomez - Wigan are at home and so we should give them some love and N'zogbia is too expensive and inconsistent for my tastes.
SeaBass - check the injury news but he seems like a solid potential bargain
Coleman - robbed of an assist last weekend by a deflection but a useful midfielder listed as a defender by Yahoo
JBoateng - but only if you need the money elsewhere.
Hutton - much better value than Bale the last month or so.
Salcido - he definitely won't get a CS but I see points here
Bale - tough call but he's hard to ignore after scoring a hat trick down a man vs. The reigning European Champs. Plus, he'll be on a mission to screw me for dropping him.
Cech - just that good
Hart - a team that takes but doesn't make lots of shots vs a keeper who makes lots of saves - seems to have some potential
Foster - price is right at home
Gilks - if you don't believe in Foster/Brum at home