Category Archives: Football

Fantasy Premier League Q3 Review

With 30 GWs completed thus far this season, I have to admit the game in fantasy realm is starting to get exciting!

GW21-30 was pretty important because I was slumping in 3rd place in my mini-league and I knew I had to play some risks and catch up somewhat or not have a chance at all.

Firstly, I was forced to use my Wildcard early on, even before the January transfer window closed. This was (again!) due to the numerous injuries that decimated my squad to a worse than skeleton crew. Simply not enough bench strength to rack up the points to chase the leaders.

Of course, as suspected, the didn’t magically transform my squad into instant champions, but what it did was to stabilise the existing squad strength and provided bench strength as a base to chase the leading pack. With no other strange anomalies like Suarez scoring 5 goals, etc., I was able to rotate sensibly and leverage on my deep bench to provide strong outputs of 73, 69, 55, and 73 points from GW22-25.

Suddenly I was within range again of my mini-league leaders! I might even have caught up sooner if that strong gust of wind didn’t blow away two matches which I had more than 3 players, both my captain and vice were playing. And to add salt to that GW, I made two transfers that week to players who were affected by the weather!! Talk about tough luck!

Fortunately, I was still able to average out about 50-60 points per GW from GW26-30. My key move happened in GW 29 when I dropped Suarez and opted for Rooney, captaining him too, which he repaid me with a goal and assist! That proved to be a crucial differential in a season where almost everyone is stacking their teams with Sturridge and Suarez. The 69 points collected in GW29 was good enough for me to overtake the summit in my mini-league…almost 20 GWs since I led at the top!

Although the current lead is a fragile less than 10 points from the chasing pack, the patient chase from GW10 and eventual topping the mini-league (to-date) is so much more exciting that the season my Man Utd is having these days. 😛 Anyway, It is these kinds of exhilaration that makes fantasy football management so much fun!

In summary, as at GW 30, I have accumulated 1,731 points, sitting me in the Global Ranking of 129,819. This is a big improvement from about 266K ranking as at GW10. If there was one area I wish I could have improved more this season, it is in investing. I have failed miserably in this area in which the total value of my team is only 104.7M. Just have a bad feeling all these early bad and bothed investments may yet come back to haunt me before the season is over.

Why? Experience tells me that usually the final stretch of the season is usually controlled or owned by seasoned heavy hitters…which I just cannot afford to buy. Sigh.

With only 8 more GWs to go, I reckon it’s gonna be a very close race in my mini league because there are still a lot of games and twists of double GWs on the horizon. Final stretch. Feeling pumped up. Hopefully Man United are pumped up in the REAL WORLD too! 😀

Fantasy Premier League Q2 Review

Nightmare. Insidious. Sinister. Desolation. Not Good.

Some words to sum up GW11 – GW20 of my FPL campaign. Sigh. After sitting aloft my friend’s league throughout Q1, I had continued to plummet so deep till even 4th place somewhere in GW18. I only managed to claw back to 3rd place as at GW20.

Main factors of my drop?

#1. Suarez – Failed to pick him up when he came back from suspension. Figured Sturridge would provide excellent differential to all other template managers who picked him up. Sigh…turns out Suarez was to be another (and perhaps the BEST) streak performer along with Ramsey, Coleman, Barkley, etc. which I had also missed out. Double sigh.

#2. Injuries. Injuries was what forced me to play my WC earlier on this season and it was injuries again that is hurting me in Q2. Good news about these injuries is that they are also causing massive template break-ups for other managers too.

As at GW 20, I have amassed 1,153 points, putting me at a global rank of 266,057 (big drop from sub 50K global in GW10). My investment skills have been pretty bad this year too as I only managed to increase my team value up to 104.5M. At this rate I can forget about finishing my season with heavy hitters…sigh.

So what do I do NOW?

Well, for everyone else in the same predicament as mua, ie. CHASING the leaders…here are some useful pointers:

1. Research and play the January WC well. This would be our only chance to even up the playing field once more with the leading pack. Of course it would also mean buying players at premium prices. If you are not in a rush to earn a couple of bucks buying ‘sure-rise’ players right now like Eriksen, Walcott, etc. my advise is to WAIT till AFTER the REALITY transfer deadline closes to see what new players have been brought into the BPL for the second part of the season.

2. Risk differential line-ups. With the leading pack obviously sporting some similar template line-up right now, it is crucial that we pick out a line-up that is different from that. How else would we be able to catch up if we also sport the same lineup, right?

3. Risk picking CAPTAINS that are not popular choices. For example, Suarez is the most likely choice of everyone for the captain’s armband. Why not pick SOMEONE ELSE so that we’d stand a chance to gain some ground in the event that Suarez doesn’t deliver. :-)

Of course, the exciting thing about being behind in FPL is the fun of catching up with the leaders. Looking ahead for the next half of the season! 😀

 

 

Fantasy Premier League Q1 Review

I have to admit. Being a Fantasy Football Manager this season hasn’t been easy at all. Apart from venturing into a whole new ball game with new sets and scoring rules in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL), the unpredictability of the player’s performance thus far certainly adds to the challenge of managing a fantasy team this season!

Like what I did for my previous seasons of fantasy management, I always like to reflect on my personal performance on a quarterly basis, thus after the completion of GW10 two weeks ago, here are my thoughts on Q1 to-date:

For me, GW1 started off with a bang – bagging 90 points and scaled the overall global ranking of 107,452…is a pretty good way to kick off the season! Key player was Benteke who performed admirably in his double GW, together with my Chelsea trio who had a double GW too. I was placed third in my very competitive friend’s league.

From GW2 to GW4, I was really struggling to adapt to the FPL system of having only 1 Free transfer each. week. In addition, the new Bonus Point System (BPS)  is giving me analyzing nightmare, lots! Surprisingly, I still managed to hang around 2nd to 3rd place in my friend’s league regularly till then. It wasn’t until the results of GW5 rolled out that really forced me to reconsider my tactics. GW5 ended with yet another ‘below average’ score coupled with a -8 hit and a team plague with serious injuries and suspensions. My global ranking had dipped to 375,596! I realised I was not able to rotate my squad as much as I would liked to because I was virtually running on a skeleton crew!

After many sleepless nights following the horrific GW5, I decided to play my WildCard…totally reshuffling my entire team, framed around a healthy rotatable team and to be able to run the next few GWs (at least) without using any FTs. I breathed a huge relief after GW6 brought me a respectable score that pushed my global rankings up to 201,822, but more importantly, pushed me to the top of my friend’s league for the first time this season! Yay me!

For the next four gameweeks, I managed to get by without having to take any hits to transfer in players. I still managed to stay in front of my friend’s league up till GW10 with a total of 630 points where my global ranking stood at an FPL career best of 49,454 (sub 50K…yay!) and a team value of 102.4M, which  is rather pathetic compared to other more savvy investors of the FPL…sigh.

But even as I write this, I know that Q2 would be a rougher ride. The signs were there already. By GW 10, I was forced to re-organise my squad with a -4 hit, unlike the previous GW6 to GW9. GW 11 will see me producing my WORST FPL score yet, resulting in me being knocked off the top of my friend’s league into 2nd spot, and I foresee a very tough Q2 battle ahead, what with many other fantasy managers in form catching up really FAST!

Of course, I believe that it is always more FUN to do the chasing than maintaining the lead in front. Heh. 😀

 

Rookie Lessons from Fantasy Premier League

Whilst I managed to perform considerably well in Facebook Citizen Sports Fantasy Football League for the past three seasons, I had to go back to the drawing board and sorta start afresh this season following Citizen Sport’s decision to merge with Yahoo! Football Fantasy, which I felt was a bit buggy.

So, following some other football kaki’s advise, I joined the more renowned Fantasy Premier League (FPL), supposedly the biggest fantasy football league in the WORLD..:-p

Anyway, with quite a number of differences in terms of point scoring and exciting elements like wildcard, I felt like a total rookie coming into FPL. I had already sensed it was gonna be quite a difficult fantasy season ahead and I was proven right because from the season kickoff, I had already started to make several uncharacteristic ‘rookie’ mistakes in the FPL.

As the season progresses, I hope to learn and adapt more to the FPL system so that I can improve on my standings. So, as for today’s blog, I thought it would be good for me to share some ‘rookie lessons’ learnt (so far!) from my first year playing in FPL. guess it would provide some good references to others in the same boat too…

1. There’s NO SHAME in taking a HIT (ie. minus 4 points for each additional trade in per GW). Unlike the previous fantasy league I was familiar with, FPL only gives ONE free transfer per week. Additional transfers will involve points deductions. After GW1 completed, it felt so awkward and sinful to make more than one transfer. It only came to my senses to make around 2 transfers after GW3. After all, most managers would also be forced to make similar number of transfers, so on the overall, the point deductions won’t matter so much.

2. Need to master the new Bonus Point System (BPS). Apparently FPL rewards best players of the match via BPS, where the top players gets an additional 3 points, second best scores 2 points and third best gets 1 point.  So far, I have to admit I have not done enough research to determine which kind of players would benefit best from the BPS, although on paper it would seem like the DEFENDERS would stand a better chance, with the assumption that there would be more 0-0 or 1-0, 2-0 scorelines in the defender’s favour.

3. Using the Wildcard (WC) wisely. When I first saw this exciting element in FPL, some thoughts came to my mind on the best times to use the WC – (i) during key double or triple GWs; (ii) when the team is badly struck with injuries; (iii) when the total points deducted from additional trades is like 16-20 points.. Anyway, I had already set my mind to use it during one of those double GWs where a top team would be playing twice, but I had to use this as early as GW 6 because of items (ii) and (iii) above. My decision was based on the fact that I didn’t have a complete team that I was ‘comfortable’ with, and although I was still consistently scoring above average every GW, I foresaw that I would be running into trouble shortly. Hope that using my WC this early into the season won’t come back to haunt me later.

I’m also learning that many managers also tend to use the WC quite early into the season to fine tune the template formation based on the early games into the season. This is quite common because the first three GWs is usually a trial and error phase where we would be studying the performers of the league.

4. Using the WC does NOT guarantee an immediate points harvest! How you should utilise the WC is to plan for the dividends to show up in the longer run. For example, when you use the WC, you would already know which players can or cannot play, so this will help you to save up on those precious free transfers in weeks to come.

5. Cannot see my friend’s team selections for the coming week. Something minor but of which I had to adapt to because the previous fantasy league that I played allowed me to peek at my friend’s selection, so I could re-strategize some pieces based on that. :-p

6.  There is NO specific opening or closing of window to perform player trades. Apparently, I could already start making transfers and pick my team as early as when the current GW is under way. This minor thing cost me some chances to make easy money in the early GWs. Sigh. Shall be more alert now that I know…:-D

Plenty to learn, yet plenty more GWs to play for! 😀

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 3 /3)

My final installment of my trilogy of 38 tips to be a successful Fantasy Football Manager….

25. Every year, your Fantasy League will try to be more innovative and introduce new parameters for scoring, eg. Shots on Target, or Bonus Saves. The tip here is to be well aware of these new parameters and choose the best players who can benefit from this.

26. In the event that you are CHASING a leader in your league, try to use DIFFERENT players from the ones your leader has. I know it sounds like a risk but if you are trailing in points, you can never catch up if the majority of players you have are the same.

27. In every season, there is bound to be a ‘template line-up’ formed after around 10-15 GWs. Template line-ups refer to the typical formation and players that have performed well to-date so much so that the majority of fantasy managers would have also picked in their team. The trick here is to quickly improve your salary cap and achieve the template line-up as soon as you can. For those still confused, try to recall last season when after GW10 or so, the popular line-up became one that was littered with players playing in the ‘hole’ like the midfield template of Cazorla, Michu, Bale, Feillani and Mata.

28. In your selections, try to pick some star players from mid level teams. In the long run, this could turn out better than the oft rotated stars of big teams. For example, many managers stayed clear of Man City’s star-studded midfield last season because Mancini tended to frequently rotate his midfield.

29. Plan for 2-3 GWs ahead, whilst keeping in sight upcoming games for the coming 5-6 weeks. If planned properly, you’d notice you’d have strong players to rotate to suit every upcoming GW. :-)

30.If you are trailing in your league, especially whilst chasing the leading pack….DON”T GIVE UP! The entire season lasts 38GWs….that is a very, very LONG time. Accurate selections of captains or a hattrick here or there could see you collect many points in a flash!

31. Always remember to MOVE your bench pieces too…they do make a difference! Although you are well aware of the automatic substitution based on player position, moving bench players to your preferred priorities would help in teh event that some of your subs are injured and you’d want your best sub to come on instead.

32. Especially in pre-season, keep an eye out for unknown (and golden) prospects! Keep abreast of other leagues and read, read, read on player bios, form, etc. to identify these gems. For example, by following the Primera Liga in the seasons leading to last year, Michu and Cazorla had already caught my eyes, so it was a no-brainer for me to snap them up the moment they crossed over to the BPL.

33. As mentioned above, it’s always good to do additional research on player bios, character, temperament (yellow card prone?), past statistics, etc. before buying a player. This is especially true at the beginning of the season when everyone wants to start off well! :-)

34. Anticipate a players game time. For example, if Man Utd has a mid-week match and Kagawa was rested in the mid-week match (eg. League Cup, Europe matches, etc.), there is a bigger possibility of Kagawa starting in the BPL match over the weekend!eg. run out in mid week game usually means starting 11 in weekend BPL

35. Always scan the upcoming GW and ROTATE your squad to face weaker teams. There is a higher risk of allowing your star-studded squad of primarily Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal players to remain as they are then the next GW fixtures sees Man Utd vs Arsenal and Chelsea vs Man City! Reduce this risk and use your other fringe players so that some of your stars are benched in exchange for example, your mid-level Kevin Nolan (WHU) playing at home against QPR…

36. No idea who else to buy or improve your squad? Don’t be shy…go ahead and pry on other teams to see who they are buying and their positioning strategies! There’s even a filter in the Stats area to show you which player in which position is the most popular purchase to date!

37. If you are playing in a league (friendly or unfriendly..:-p), it is always good to check out your competitors team and formation too. This will help you to plan your upcoming trades too. For example, if you are leading the pack, you;d want your team to have more or less the same players as yours! And if you are trailing, you’d want to know which players you need to improve your team so that you have a chance of catching up!

38. RAP. My final tip is to remember that in fantasy football manager, all you need to do is RAP. You need to start off by doing some Research – on players, teams, form, injuries, suspensions, etc…. Analyse the current scenario, upcoming fixtures…and Plan your next course of action…which players to buy…when to buy….when are DGWs coming up, etc.

But above all, HAVE FUN!

All the best in the upcoming BPL season!

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 2 /3)

Continuing my trilogy of tips to help you become a better fantasy football manager…

13. Be aware that the Africa Cup of Nations is one tournament that will totally affect your fantasy team, particularly if you have loaded it with a big African contingent. Typically taking place around early Jan till mid Feb, my advise is to slowly offload your African-based players by the end of December. Also you are encouraged to keep abreast of the news of players involved in the tournament. If you are lucky, some of your African-based players may be omitted from their national squad!

14. In the BPL, one of the more kan-cheong periods is during the Christmas-New Year madness. With all teams required to play like 5-6 matches within a 2 week stretch, it is something pretty stressful in reality football, and very much so too in fantasy football! During these periods, take note that the trading windows open and close at a very fast and furiious rate. Sometimes even as tight as 24 hours…miss these quick trades and you could easily lose pace in the fantasy league standings…

15. I would encourage you to ALWAYS make trades during every GW. There is a rare chance that your lineup is good enough for consecutive GWs. There will always exist a a chance for a trade to strengthen some position or to make a quick buck at the trades. The only exception here is when you are planning some 4-5 weeks ahead for a Double/Triple GW and you factor in additional trades you may need then… :-)

16. Don’t pack your fantasy team with too many players of the same team. Too risky, I reckon….unless it is for a double GW, of course…

17. It may be actually quite fun to have a Target dream team line-up at the start of the season and slowly work your way through the GWs to achieve it.

18. One of the more oft forgotten stat is the VAL of the player. This simple stat gives very valuable info to monitor all the players so that you’d know when the best trade can be made. for example, after a particular GW, you have no clue as to which player actually ‘performed’ well. All you need to do is just to filter the VAL list and look at which players are fast approaching the 1.0 mark. Player that have a fast rising VAL would surely increase their price too!

19. Always be on the lookout for players who are nearing an automatic suspension (accumulating 5 yellow cards). An overlook here may see you fielding a crock player in your line-up…

20. I know it may sound morbid, but try to make it a habit to check up on player injuries every other day, especially after each GW. Info like this goes a long way in determining which player to be used in the starting line-up or sold immediately!

21. There are plenty of resources out there to help you experience the complete action of fantasy football. Some of my favourite sites for Fantasy Football news and updates are Skysports and Fantasy Football Scout. My suggestion would be to follow them on Twitter to get the current updates, or to visit their website regularly…

22. All football matches are NOT played over weekends only. Be alert with those niggling mid week matches like the  Capital One Club, UCL matches, FA Cup matches, etc.

23. Be familiar with team formations. One of the ‘revolutions’ of last season was the ‘ man in the hole’ position. In other words, the position of an attacking midfielder who would play behind two strikers in a typical 4-3-1-2 formation. Last season, several ‘man-in-the hole’ players excelled to great effect, like Feillani, Kagawa, Mata and Cazorla.

24. Look out for “misplaced gems’. With so many players involved in the BPL, it is fairly common for some players to be wrongly identified in their positions. For example, some players who are naturally strikers could be seen as tagged as a mid-fielder. Buying these gems would be great because they can offer you more points at a (possibly) cheaper rate..

Stay tuned for Part 3/3 coming soon!

 

38 Tips to be a Successful Football Fantasy Manager! (Part 1/3)

 Image Credits

Before barreling straight into my blog for today, I think it would only be fair if I started off with a disclaimer that despite the catchy title of the blog, I am NOT a fantasy football expert! Honest! :-)

I started my addiction with Fantasy Football only three years ago with 100% football fanatic enthusiasm and absolutely 0% knowledge of how to play the game. Many people do say that football fantasy management is really a whole lot of luck and accurate predictions. However, over the course of three years of managing football fantasy teams, I would clearly beg to differ. Whilst luck does play a role in managing your fantasy team over the course of the entire season, the management point of the team also plays a big factor. I should know because I have never been really good at predicting matches, but yet I seem to be doing pretty OK in this fantasy football management business. Another proof is that many people that do well in these Football Fantasy games are the SAME people who would do well every other year! Thus, I don’t think it’s very likely that these same people happened to be just as lucky and good at predicting matches every other season, right? :-p

So, in three years of managing Football Fantasy teams of the BPL under the Citizen Sports Fantasy League on Facebook, I have continually and steadily improved myself from 1,764 points; global rank 1,341 (2011) to 1,773 points; global rank 789 (2012) and finally 2,329 points; global rank 218 (2013). Three years of playing this game has taught me many tips and tricks of the trade which I felt I should share with everyone leading up to the upcoming new BPL season next month!

Since  there are 38 gameweeks in every BPL season, I thought it would be best if I shared 38 tips – one for every GameWeek! – in a three part series! Have fun and enjoy!

1. There is no need for a proper formation in your Fantasy Team. For example, you could easily enlist THREE leftbacks in as your Defenders without worry that your centreback position is exposed. :-)

2. Always seek to buy players who can get you points at the Fantasy level; and not players who can perform in real life football. For example, players like Scott Parker and Dembele are excellent players with fantastic influence for their teams. Unfortunately, they offer very little in terms on points return.

3. Don’t fall into the trap of buying great players for all 15 slots of your team. Commit to a preferred formation and work around it. For example, if your preferred default is a 3-5-2, focus on strengthening your starting 11 with emphasis on your midfield.

4. The key every GameWeek (GW) is to earn points and increase budget at the same time. Thus, weekly target is to achieve at least one of these.

5. Set a personal GW target of total points to hit every week. If you are playing the FB version, the average target should be around 50 pts/week.

6. Buy low, Sell high. Very simple principal to remember but not so easy to carry out.  Always try to BUY early (ie when the trading is open) if you know the player’s value will increase. For example, if Benteke, valued at $10M scored a hattrick in GW 3, chances are high that his value may soar towards $11 way before GW4 as soon as the trading window opens. Similarly, try to SELL quickly if the player on your roster has a high chance for going down in value, ie. red-carded, long-term injury, sold off to other leagues, etc.

7. Start to love numbers and make full use of system statistics offering invaluable data on players who scores the most goals, provides most assists, etc. Familiarise yourself with sorting these data to obtain best info required on who to buy next!

8. Always have this mentality that you are creating a fantasy team for EACH GW, and NOT for the ENTIRE SEASON! Many people fall into this trap of wanting to form the best team possible for the entire season. Definitely not possible. Form a fantasy team that is flexible enough for you to customise and tweak to deliver high points for you for each GW.

9. Make sure you draft in 15 players…that can play. Many people tend to have a solid starting 11 but deadwood bench. Always fill your ENTIRE roster with players who can PLAY, preferably players who play regular first team football in real-life too!

10. I noticed that for many seasons, picking the right captain for each GW is critically the key to a successful fantasy football season. Whilst there are no secret formulas in selecting your captain, my best tip is to choose your captain based on Form>Home Ground>vs Weaker Opponent

11. Don’t be too emotional over the team you support. For example, if you support Chelsea, don’t stack your fantasy roster with Chelsea players. Similarly, if you have much hatred for Liverpool, you don’t need to line up or stack up players on your roster that would be facing Liverpool for that one GW. It’s suicide. For example, although I devotedly support Manchester United, there are quite a number of GWs that I have a roster without any Man U players!

12. Be alert and plan for double GWs. Double GWs are bonus weeks where certain teams play TWICE or sometimes even THRICE! Always plan ahead and keep these GWs on the horizon so that you can deploy as many players as you can from teams playing in these double GWs. Failure to take advantage of these GWs would result in a great big gap of points from those who played their cards right here.

 

Stay tuned for Part TWO!

 

 

Football Fantasy: 2013 Recap

FF Final Score 2013 v2

Woo Hoo! the 2013 BPL Season has come to an end and so has the Football Fantasy season…

..and guess what?…I’m lucky enough to be the champion manager amongst my friends again…successfully defending it for the third year in the row liao…hehe…Anyway, what was more important is my improvement in the overall score and also global ranking as illustrated below:

2013: 2,329 points; rank 218 (0%) *

Comparison: 2011:  1,764 points; rank 1,341 (0.2%); 2012: 1,773 points; rank 789 (0.1%)

* of course it is worth noting that scoring parameters of  FF under Citizen Sports (Yahoo/Facebook) has changed considerably this year, thus making everyone’s scores bulge significantly. :-p The total number of games counted into this year’s totals were only 37 Gameweeks, due to a big boo-boo that they developers screwed up before GW1. So based on 37 GWs, I ended up with a weekly average score was 62.9 pts/GW. Other than that, my high and low points, as well as scoring spread is summarised here:

Highest GW: 107.0 pts (GW 28); Lowest: 31.5 pts (GW 10)

Scoring Spread: >100 pts (EXCELLENT) (2X); 80-100 pts (9X); 60-79 pts (9X); 40-59 pts (16X); <40 pts (BADDD) (3X)

In terms of team value, new rules regarding the introduction of a 28-day vesting period and also the ability to carry forward unused transfers certainly curbed the ability of most players to increase their team value by many, many folds as per previous seasons. For example, in 2013, I only managed to increase my team value by $12.5M from the start of the campaign to a total of $162.5M at the end of the season. In comparison, I finished with $172.8M in the 2012 season…

At the end of it all, I guess I have to be quite satisfied, although I am quite disappointed I couldn’t break into the top 100 despite flirting with it a few times throughout the campaign. I have to remind myself that based on last season’s scores, my modest target was actually only to break into the top 500 this year. And…with that box checked, I am boldly giving myself a target to break into the top 200 next year…:-D

Some lessons I can take forward to a better season next year:

1. Need to capitalise more on those Double/Triple Gameweeks. Strangely, unlike previous seasons, I was not able to score big here in the 2013 season. Sigh. Probably need to do more research and better prep for available trades.

2. Stick with RVP. Should have stuck with No. 20 throughout the season. The thing was, before he came in, SAF would frequently rotate his frontline, with Rooney the only constant, making it quite difficult to predict or even consider buying a ManUtd striker for your FF team. Should have seen No. 20 as SAF’s preferred and constant striker throughout the season. Sigh.

3. Improve GK pairing. For most parts of the season, I fared quite well with Jussi and Begovic alternating with each other with great effect. However dips in form and injuries forced me to mash it up towards the final quarter of the season, finally ending up calamitously with Fabianzki (injured) and Guzan (porous D). I was not able to improve this because of my limited trades week after week, which I preferred to improve in other positions. Sigh. Before, I didn’t really see the need to invest much in the GK position. This season is teaching me to NOT forget this area too..

Did YOU have a good football fantasy season? :-)

 

5 Hairdryer Lessons for Malaysian Politics

Image Credits

For most Malaysians, 8 May 2013 will forever be remembered as a day when throngs of thousands braved the late evening showers and gathered…. UNITED in heart and spirit, not as Malays, Chinese, Indians or Bumiputeras, but as Malaysians…. UNITED in ONE Suara Rakyat.

However, for all Mancunians, 8 May 2013 will also forever be remembered as the day Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF) made his official announcement to retire as manager of Manchester United. After 26 years of building up a Red Empire that conquered England for a period spanning at least 2 decades, SAF tearfully decided to call it quits. :-(

For someone widely regarded as the most successful football manger EVER, there is arguably SO MANY things we can learn and follow. So, in the light of the recently concluded General Elections in Malaysia, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of the lessons or character of SAF that would be most exemplary to all politicians and ministers of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat…

1. Be a Champion Loser – It is a well-known fact that SAF is someone that truly respects his opponents on and off the field. It has been recorded that one of his best known gestures of football management is to share a bottle of wine to congratulate his opponent in a big match or at the end of the season if he was the loser. He shared it with Wenger during those battling seasons with Arsenal and also with Mourinho in Porto’s dressing room after the Portugese sides shock upset over Man Utd in the UCL. Wouldn’t it be cool if our politicians have that same level of fierce confrontations on field but sincere respect and friendship off the field? Hmmmmm.

2. Dare to Cut Names – During his tenure at United, SAF is also well known to drill his philosophy that “no player is more important than the club!” If there were players who had crossed the line for disciplinary problems or non-performance, SAF would have no hesitation to drop them from the squad or (worse) sell them off! I remembered there was a time when Rooney had a fantastic stretch of games going but suddenly he got involved in some drunk driving and partying. Although the games that lie ahead were crucial, SAF benched Rooney for 3 matches (if I remember correctly)! Have our political parties reached that maturity to drop or cut off their members who are plain liabilities and do not have the heart to serve the rakyat?

3. Never Give Up! – I have seriously lost count of the number of times Manchester United have fought back or scored in crunch time (aka final 15 minutes of the game + err..Fergis time, of course..:-P). The club wouln’t have been able to amass so many trophies if it weren’t for this indescribable desire to fight on till the final whistle. Who could forget the “Football…Bloody Hell!” moment at the Nou Camp in 1999 with two goals at the death won SAF his first Champion’s League trophy? Likewise, for politicians or parties that have lost the votes or seat, my advise is to continue to serve the rakyat and Never Give Up!

4. Have a Personal Touch – One of the things I admired most about SAF was his willingness to be personally involved in any player deals – especially the high profiled ones. 😛 In his biography, stories are shared about how SAF would personally visit the players the club would buy next, to the level of visiting them in their homes! How nice if our politicians emphasised more on serving the rakyat at the grassroots, giving a personal touch in the areas or constituency they are serving?

5. Focus on Youth and Build a Legacy – One of the key football management elements of SAF is his penchant to build up a youth system to unearth and develop talent for the future of the club. Of course, there are times he would simply just BUY the talent but YOUTH remains a priority. The endless crop of players like Beckham, the Neville brothers, Butt, Scholes, Giggs to the current batch of Welbeck, Cleverly, Buttner, Young, Hernandez is testament to SAF’s solid youth-development policy. Eventually, this would lead to the formation of a very strong squad to leave behind to his successor when he leaves. SAF is genius in this way that he doesn’t want to abandon a ship that is in tatters but one that is still strong and powerful. An extract from his retirement speech:

“It was important to me to leave an organization in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so,” Ferguson said. “The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth setup will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”

Has our political parties thought of succession planning and developing youth in their agenda? If not, they should quickly learn from SAF. :-)

THANK YOU SIR ALEX FERGUSON! 😀

Chez Suarez’s Menu

 

Image Credits

After last weekend’s delicious incident where Liverpool’s Luis Suarez took a bite off Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the Internet grew abuzz with loads of suggested names of other football players who should be next on Suarez’s menu going viral. LOL.

Here is my personal favourite list of these names (scoured from Twitter (#PlayersOnTheSuarezMenu) and other online reads):

– Bacary Lasagna

– Kieran Ribbs

– Andy Casserole

– Alex Oxtail Chamberlain

– Sergio Biscuits

– John Cherry

– MacaRooney

– Nachos Monreal

– Ice Cream Kone

– Gabriel Heinze Baked Beans

– Ashley Coleslaw

– Julian Cesar Salad

– Shaun Wright Fillets

– FerNando’s Torres

– PepperRooney Pizza

– Philip Lamb

– Dimitar Burgertov

– Olive Giroud

– Leighton Baines on Toast

– Daniel Porridge

– Gareth Berry,

– Peter Odem-chicken-wingies,

– Ji Sung Pork

– Juicy Jaaskelainen

– David Beck-Ham

– Pear Mertesacker

– Chocolate Mousse Dembele

– Patrick Burger

– Frank Lamb parts

– Paul Scones

– Cream Benzema

– Mark Bunn

– Robbie Cauliflower

– Aaron Lemon

– Adam La Fondue

And to top it all off, they even have a recommended ref for his matches…Mark ClattenBurger!

Check out more from #PlayersOnTheSuarezMenu on Twitter!

Bon Appetit!