If I'd included something about them it would have looked something like this:
Liverpool - What a shocker. Granted Liverpool have been in the ascendancy and Chelsea have been struggling on the road but I don't think anyone really saw this coming. Either the great play from Torres or the flat play from Chelsea. Liverpool just wanted it more in their defensive end and had the exceptional version of Torres at the other end to ensure the win. The return of Kuyt certainly helps a great deal as well. He isn't glamorous but I'd bet every opponent would agree he's a pain in the @ss to play against. I'm not ready to jump on the Liverpool for Top 4 bandwagon until they diversify their attack beyond Gerrard and the occasionally-brilliant-but-frequently-crocked Torres but mid-table seems guaranteed at this point and the real questions become 1) Can Torres stay healthy and in form? 2) What will NESV spend in January? 3) What does this do to your opinion of the Woy era to date? and 4) Can Torres stay healthy and in form? (repetition intentional).Second, I'd like to address the notion that I hate Spurs which seems to be a frequent complaint from those in the comments section. I assume it's easy to assume I hate Spurs because I make it fairly evident that my personal allegiance is to Arsenal. I take some pride in being objective and commenting on performance on the field, in the transfer market, and in the boardroom regardless of whether I am for, against, or ambivalent towards a team in my personal life. If I couldn't do that for you, then there would be no reason for anyone to read my work. For those who still think I'm a Spurs-hater, here's a little game for you. Go to the comments section and answer the following questions:
- Was it my horribly biased writing that dropped points to Wigan, WBA, West Ham, and Bolton or was it Spurs?
- Was it me out there dribbling aimlessly and getting knocked off the ball or was it Modric?
- Was it me not living up to the investment of 15% of my fantasy budget by scoring 6.5 points or was it Bale? (Fair point that he had a few excellent crosses that SHOULD have been converted leading to assists or at the very least SC points but they weren't and he hasn't gone higher than 10 points since Week 5 while his price has been at about 15)
Finally, for those frustrated about the fact that we didn't know that DBent was going to be out, join the club. I was frustrated by not knowing that ahead of time but no one else did either. I would have added Gyan in a second if I'd known he wouldn't be competing with DBent for opportunities.
OK, on to a quick review of the mid-week matches so you can hopefully adjust your teams to recover from what was likely a rough weekend.
- Torres - Hello bandwagon. If he's in form, then he'll be worth it, especially with so many other "premium" players struggling to justify their prices.
- Tevez - If you don't like Torres two matches in a row then Tevez against his most recent former team in a big derby match seems like a pretty solid bet. I usually stay away from such affairs but with ManYoo struggling with injury, I'm inclined to think a better team than Wolves will do well.
- Gyan - Assuming that DBent is still injured [ed note: he is.] he's a great bet as he'll be the only healthy player who has scored in the Prem for Sunderland this season.
- Yakubu - He tends to get points in spurts and he's been in form the last couple of matches - the match-up is a good one as well.
- Obinna - 11 SOTs and no goals. Call me contrary but you have to figure that will change eventually, don't you?
- Crouch - 11 matches and no goals in the Prem. Call me contrary but you have to figure that will change eventually, don't you?
- Bendtner - I don't even know if he'll start but in a tip of the hat to the ARS/Wolves match I saw last season where he scored late to send me home happy, I'll throw this name out as a completely random option.
- Gerrard - With Cesc struggling, Nani likely still out, and FloMal off of his best form I'm thinking that both the team momentum and the match-up (@WIG) are with Gerrard when it comes to premium midfielders even if his output was modest against Chelsea.
- Arteta - If you don't like the choice on the red side of Liverpool then maybe the blue side will be more attractive with an even better match-up for Arteta than Gerrard. I'm not a Cahill fan for the purposes of Yahoo! (too dependent on scoring to get his value back) but if you are more inclined towards the Australian then you probably want to consider him here as well.
- Albrighton - Despite a strong effort over the weekend, he's still value priced. If you don't like buying players coming off of a goal (on the theory that most midfielders don't score two weeks in a row) then you might want to look at Bannan or Delfouneso as potential bargains instead of Albrighton.
- Adam/Brunt - Still in, still the same reasons.
- Nolan - With Barton and Nolan both (relatively) expensive, you have to ask yourself which one you think will do well. They've sort of been alternating strong weeks so unless you have one at a big discount then I'd go Nolan since Barton got the points vs. Arsenal.
- Coleman - At home, strong match-up, defender playing midfield, price still pretty reasonable - much better value than Baines.
- Hutton - See Coleman above and strike the "defender playing midfield" part (although he does attack a lot more than he defends) and replace "Baines" with "Bale".
- Kelly - All Liverpool right backs who know how to actually defend, please take one step forward, not so fast Mr. Johnson. If Kelly gets a second start in a row, he should be solid value.
- Squilaci - I'm probably overly dismal about Arsenal's prospects for the match vs. Wolves, if you're more optimistic that they'll rebound against weak opposition than I am then Squilaci represents value.
- THo - I'm not 100% sold on this pick but he's probably the best bet out there on paper combining price, match-up and home match
- Gomes - His price went way down after putting up a -10 so this might be the time to get on board with Spurs playing at home where they're generally better.
- Begovic - I dubbed Birmingham "the new Bolton" in "First Impressions..." last night so take this recommendation of Begovic going against them with the grain of salt that we have no idea what we are likely to get from Brum but if you need a less expensive keeper, then Begovic is a pretty strong bet.