Enabling the Future

There's a long time until "next week's" matches with the Premier League deferring to the FA Cup this weekend. There are a lot of games to be played between now and then and there are a lot of players whose injury status is in flux - Nani, Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart come immediately to mind. Hell, this game week isn't even over as we have Chelsea/Blackpool and Everton/Birmingham still to be played.

But is any of that a reason, an excuse, not to be looking ahead? I think not! So here's an out-of-the-blue suggestion as you add, drop, and trade players, and configure and re-configure your lineup:

Ali Al-Habsi.

I guess that's not very dramatic. I have his photo at the top of the post after all. Maybe this will help.

I know what you're thinking. "Al Habsi!?! WTF, Spitzberg. He's terrible. He plays for Wigan. They've been getting shelled. And did you see his howler against Manchester City this weekend!?"

Not entirely true. True. Somewhat true. Of course I did.

But hear me out.

Maybe I'm just over-reacting to the horror show that was Birmingham City this weekend, but Wigan will be at home to said Blues who are tied for second-bottom in the away goals scored table (behind Wigan, naturally) and who've only picked up 11 points away from St. Andrews.  And what I saw against Manchester City was a team that could, and did, at least compete all game.

And the best part is that Al-Habsi is only 3.96.  That leaves a lot of money available to re-purchase the likes of Robin van Persie, Rafael van der Vaart or Charlie Adam.  Maybe even Gareth Bale, depending on how you've spent your money (or haven't) over the last few weeks.

Of course, this is still Wigan.  And we've been down this road before - we all remember the first week of the season, don't we? I don't know if I'll keep him, but for now, he and his price tag sure makes adding, dropping, and trading players, and configuring and re-configuring my lineup a lot more fun.


  1. Interesting theory partner - certainly not a direction my brain was going after watching Wigan/Citeh but not unreasonable in light of Birmingham's performance against WBA.

  2. Anonymous2:08 PM

    i`m first...-ahmad khairul nizar-

  3. Al Habsi!?! WTF, Spitzberg. He's terrible. He plays for Wigan. They've been getting shelled. And did you see his howler against Manchester City this weekend!?

  4. @2:08, first fail.

  5. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Jeremy, thanks but no thanks. My looking ahead was buying T. Howard at 3.79 for the double week and keeping him against Fulham (who are tied with Birmingham on away goals).

  6. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Hmmmm. Gives me food for thought, although I'm still holding Howard @ 3.79. I guess they're both calculated risks, given the horror show that is Everton's defense going against a somewhat resurgent Fulham attack. Everton allow a lot of shots which (hopefully) allows for a lot of saves to make up for the abundance of goals that inevitably go in. #wishfully thinking in ignorant bliss

  7. Jeremy, If you're planning on signing Al Habsi just to free up some cash then look no further than Friedel, he plays Wolves at home (and we all know wolves' away form), AND he's only 3.54!

  8. Chris Jones3:37 PM

    And STILL the Wolves hating continues. Yeah go on....pick Friedel. I double dog dare you.

  9. so there are rumblings on the AM blog that van persie might be coming back this next week. anyone know anything about that.

  10. Birty4:12 PM

    Foster @ 6 is my goalie and will always be my goalie, unless something serious happens like VdS going out long term.

  11. Kellz7:07 PM

    @Neal + Jeremy: I'd rather keep Howard @3mil than risk Wigan's defense.

  12. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Thinking about going outside of the box and choosing PRob this upcoming Gameweek. Blackpool can score and they will have Charlie back so there is some concern but Blackburn play much better on their own pitch and PRob will have chances to make saves.


  13. Anonymous9:22 PM

    why not save some big $$$$$$ and go for Carson @ 2.46? he will see plenty of save opportunities vs Arsenal. AND with RvP, Walcott, and Fab out; Arsenal not exactly goal crazy.

    I am joking of course.


  14. Anonymous9:28 PM

    no thanks, howard @3!!

  15. Anonymous7:35 AM

    I'd rather go with Friedel

  16. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Arsenal's goal keeper is injured during the match in the CPL. So go for the Spanish PK for Arsenal next week and he will reward what he costs.