First Impressions and Second Thoughts - Week 11

Can you say "unmitigated disaster" for your favorite blogger? I know I certainly can after this disaster of a weekend.  The only good news, a chance to reload and wipe this one off the books come Tuesday.  Arsenal lost to NUFC.  ManYoo won despite playing terribly.  My entire fantasy team decided it was the weekend not to show up.  I honestly can't think of a single bit of upside to write about. 

  • The Champions - Wow, what can you say about Chelsea's away form? Loss to Citeh, draw with Villa, loss to Liverpool.  Not a good trend.  Making matters worse is that their first choice line-up was pretty much intact with the exception of Lamps who wasn't contributing much before he went out. 
  • The Pursuit -Let's face it, ManYoo looked TERRIBLE fielding what amounted to a Carling Cup team against Wolves and but for the industry of Park Ji-Sung they'd have dropped home points to 19th place Wolves.  You could take that one of two ways - the upside, they got three points; the downside - even a mid-table team would have punished them.  Once Chelsea lost, a cr@ppy performance turned into a great weekend all over Manchester.  Back in London, Arsenal continue to confound with a third listless performance in a row (two Premier League matches and the mid-week Champions League match).  Opportunity lost and a potential champion has to pick up all three points against mid-table opposition - not a good sign.
  • The Pretenders - Hello Spurs, welcome to official status as pretenders to the crown.  Just not enough there to fight a battle on two fronts.  Other than the brief run where they scored through impressive strikes from Hutton and Pavyluchenko Bolton dominated them.  Chelsea, Arsenal, and ManYoo may lose to inferior opposition on the road from time-to-time but they are rarely dominated like Spurs were on Saturday.  Whereas Spurs lost their chance to gain on Chelsea and Arsenal, Citeh capitalized with solid performance against a team that has been giving others trouble.  That's the difference between Citeh and Spurs thus far this season.  Seems to me that on the basis of this week that Arsenal and Citeh have to be grouped together a notch behind resilient ManYoo but a notch above Spurs.
  • Bolton - A lot was made in some circles of the fact that Bolton were only one point ahead of last season's pace heading into this weekend.  The difference that such analysis misses is that this edition of Bolton are capable of dominating a pretty good team going forward.  Not just gutting out tight, hard-hitting match-ups against fellow mid-table teams.
  • Birmingham - Can anyone explain these guys to me? The results make sense but they play a tight defense-oriented match one week only to play a wild attacking match the next.  Hard to know what to expect from them from week-to-week or know where the points might be coming from (if any). #NewBolton.
  • Wolves - So close but they couldn't quite keep it together to get the Manchester sweep over two weeks that could easily have seen them take 4 points from the two high-flying Manchester sides.
  • WHU - Like Wolves, they dropped valuable points in the late going.  They dominated the early going forcing Foster into 7 saves in addition to their two goals.  If they're going to avoid relegation they have to pick up all three points.
  • Bunching - Bolton and NUFC are the two most recent teams to enjoy at least a few days in the rarefied air just below the top four spots and above current Champions League darlings Spurs but with only 7 points separating 5th from 18th the margins are still razor thin for just about everyone.  I'm not saying that everyone from Blackpool to WBA to Bolton to NUFC shouldn't enjoy their position while they have it but it's probably best not to get TOO carried away with it.
  • Chip off the Old Block - First, a tip of the blog hat to Melanie, daughter of Jeremy, on her goal over the weekend - I believe that's her second of the season in this, her first season of playing the beautiful game - may there be many more.
  • Milijas - He didn't have another 17 point effort but he was very effective again with an assist for his efforts - definitely worth consideration alongside Adam, Brunt, Barton, and Nolan as strong midfielders available for less than 10 on less-fancied teams. 
  • Gyan - I'm still not sold on him as a strike partner for DBent but with Bent out, he did the business that we would have expected Bent to do.  If DBent continues to miss out, I hope you got him on the BD
  • Chicharito/Obertan/Bebe - Wow, that was unfathomably bad.  Chicharito looked for all the world like Macheda 2.0 (a few "magical" early performances followed by, well, nothing).  Obertan seemed to be mostly running around for some exercise rather than with any purpose, I don't know if I saw anything other than a few sideways passes to mark his efforts.  Finally, Bebe looked like he'd never seen a soccer ball before and that the concept of crossing it into box was entirely new to him.  His crossing made Aaron Lennon's look like Beckham in his prime.  Yes, it was THAT bad from ManYoo's reserves.  And to think, van der Vaart cost about £1.7M more than Bebe.  Can anyone explain how ManYoo didn't go in for VDV if they were spending?
  • Bale - So, you think Rafa is a better manager than his successor at Anfield? How is it that Bolton and other lesser-lights of the Prem can find ways to keep Bale in check while Rafa with a much more talented Inter team and Rafa's familiarity with Bale from his years at 'pool can't figure out how to bottle him up?  With all of that talent at Inter he can coast through most of Serie A but he's shown me very little to lead me to believe he should be considered a great manager.  Oh, and Bale is officially off my list of fantasy players after that stinker of a performance.  He's just too expensive.
  • Drogba/Malouda - Dead to me (OK, that's too severe but I'm dumping both of them for midweek).  Just too much budget to be spending on players who aren't doing anything.  I assume this means that the derby match with Fulham will be where both players break back out. 
  • Balotelli - What a frustrating day for fantasy managers, a fantastic BD day turned sour with a red card ensuring that he won't be around to be in your line-up in mid-week.  Still, you have to wonder if Balotelli's performance signaled the effective end of K2's Citeh career.


  1. Anonymous8:40 PM

    I think that you're being too harsh on Bale. He's clearly playing well in the main. He's taking kicks (and hit the frame on Saturday) while VdV is out.
    Tottenham's problem is that they're treating the league like a second rate comp.
    I'm keeping him for Tuesday's game - home to low scoring Sunderland. At least Spurs won't have played an extra game between league games.
    Totterham might even get their first clean sheet since the opening game.

  2. Jeremy+Neal: For spending a majority of the summer dishing nothing but grief on Liverpool, and continuing into the first quarter of the season (don't get me wrong it was fully deserved). And yet now with a 4th win on the bounce and a completely divine performance against the Champions, a spectacular Torres performance and WORLD CLASS 2nd goal, you fail to even mention the glory that just befell the Premier League. Not even an honorable mention but a quick blerb in Chelsea's paragraph. Baffling really, how can you write a first impresions second thoughts without commenting on the biggest game of the week? I bet you got Torres on the BD didn't you! He eh jump on my Liverpool bandwagon you GUNNER!


  3. Not harsh for purposes of Yahoo game. Bale has returned double digits only 3 times after week 2 and has been priced at 12.5 or above since the first week of the season and as high as the 15's in that time period.

    Biggest challenge with this season has been finding the consistent performer at above 15 units. In past seasons there were must-have players that brought above average returns on a majority of weeks (CRon, Rooney, Drogs, Lamps, Cesc, Arteta, etc.). Not the case this season where we're scraping to find the 3-4 guys that will go off on any given week.

    Add that to relatively inconsistent performances by top 5 teams on a weekly basis in general and you'll have your occasional weeks of 75 pts and be happy.

    Definitely miss Jimmy Bullard as a guaranteed 12-15 pts weekly for 10 unit investment.

  4. Based on his masterful performance today and the relative weakness of the Liverpool schedule over the next few weeks, I'm lining up Torres alongside Tevez in my frontline. Here's hoping it pays off. Still not sold on much of the rest of the 'pool team for fantasy purposes, though.

  5. Alibaba12:45 AM


    I agree on what you have posted. It's hard to find a player which is able to bring back consistent high points at the moment.

    This make me think of matt Taylor in seasons ago.

  6. Have to agree w/ Kellz - surprised your disliked Reds didn't get more of a shout. Lots more needed from Liverpool to have a crack at the Champs League next season, but surely a string of very winnable games coming up - even @Tott w/ their focus on the Champs League. No mention of Torres' brilliant form all game? Surprising. Great day to be a 'Pool fan!

  7. Anonymous5:24 AM

    and there's not many of those as of late...

  8. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Been reading this blog for a while but writing for the first time.
    What do you think about Torres - Rooney - Van Persie trio?
    They are all around 16.5. Van Persie 14.58. Around 2-5 less than their starting price. Is it about time to include some of them (or all 3 of them, of course Rooney when he is about to return) in the team since quite likely their price won't decrease and all of them are quite consistent performers?
    Thank you in advance.

  9. Rawad9:22 AM

    Neal & Jeremy, As much as i would have liked to read something about the Liverpool - Chelsea game, and OUR GLORIOUS WIN :) I would have to agree with you about dropping Bale, Drogs and Malouda... They've been going from bad to worse; the good thing: I already dropped them a 4 weeks ago and it's paying back. I know one day they will score crazy points but i can live without these points knowing that a combination of 3 or 4 other mid-range players will get me more points...
    On Arsenal, (Sorry Neal), but they are just not good enough, every year it's the same story. they just can't keep the consistency and i'm sorry to see that. Although i'm a liverpool fan, but i would honestly rather see arsenal crowned as champions that those ManU Lucky "extra-time" Ba*****s.
    Chelsea are not up to the big games, especially the away ones.
    I'm loving Birmingham and blackpool's attacking approach compared to Brum's last year's award winning defence...
    One more thing, THANK YOU SOO MUCH for trashing the ManYoo players :P, I'm loving every bit ot it

  10. A word of warning on bale, he was close to a couple of assists with some decent crosses that crouch couldn't quite reach to tap in, and he hit the post with a free kick, so don't be surprised if you drop him and he has a massive week. I agree that he has not been worth his price though. In the absence, however, of any decent value at above 10points cost I may just give him one more game. (but ive been saying that for 3 weeks now...)

  11. Anonymous11:18 AM

    oh man i hate that you hate's becoming a bit annoying