Tag Archives: bpl

New Man United First 11

With the early season transfer window officially closed last weekend, we Man Utd fans are now faced with one seriously complex question:

“What would the Best Man Utd Starting 11 look like?”

One of the premium strikers joining Man Utd on loan at the tail end of the transfer window deadline was Rademel Falcao. With the Colombian on board, how would LVG manage his side on his preferred 3-5-2 formation? Would one of Rooney or RVP have to be sacrificed to accommodate Falcao? Or would Rooney play in a slightly more deeper role now? Or does LVG just abandon the 3-5-2 and slot in a 4-3-3 to allow his trident of star strikers to wreak havoc week in week out in the BPL?

I’m sure many Man Uts fans would have their own preferred first 11. Here is my ideal first 11 for Man Utd this season:

football formations

 

I stuck with a 3-4-1-2, slotting in Rooney in the ‘hole’ behind RVP and Falcao. Mata would provide the creativity as the attacking MF whilst Hererra would be the holding MF. History shows Man Utd also does well with wide-men and I would pick Di Maria and Valencia to light up both left and right sidelines respectively. In defence, I picked Blind to cover the central defender’s role. whilst many people may have only seen him as a left-back in the World Cup, his profile actually shows he is equally adept in covering the middle. His lack of pace also seems to concur with my pick to slot him in the heart of our defence. Both LB and RB, Rojo and Jones are perfect fits in those areas and their speed and courage to push forward makes this line-up a very offensive-minded one.

But of course, in the CURRENT scenario where Man Utd is beset with numerous injuries, I thought I should come up with a short-term first 11 based on the available players, so here it is:

football formations

Formation is still a 3-4-1-2. Only difference here is Blind slotted into the defensive midfielder role behind Mata. In defense, Evans would have to stay more consistent as he is given the CB role.

Many people may be talking about big signings like Di Maria and Falcao but personally, I felt that Daley Blind would be one of the best buys of Man Utd this season. A bit of an unknown (until the World Cup commenced), Blind is one of those versatile players who can play in numerous positions which would prove very useful in the current scenario where there are many injuries. His style of play is even a fit for the holding midfielder role!

 

I also tinkered about the possibility of a What-If scenario for LVG should he decide to stick with his 3-5-2 formation. In this formation, my favoured first 11 would look like this:

football formations
I would pick both RVP and Falcao up front because they are technically better finishers compared with Rooney. The important man in the ‘hole’ behind the strikers is a toss up between Rooney and Mata. In this formation, one of these two would have to be sacrificed. Valencia and Di Maria are the natural wingers whilst LVG could then utilise the speeds of both Rojo and Jones as wing backs! The back-3 would have to be players who don’t usually forage up front too often, so I would pick Shaw, Smalling and Evans here. Not sure how Hererra might fit into a 3-5-2 this way though. Hmmmm.

…which led me to another alternative formation, a 4-4-2 as follows:

football formations

 

Under this formation, Hererra would be able to support Mata in their favoured positions in the middle. Rooney would get to play his favoured role in the hole. Only problem  here is either RVP or Falcao needs to be sacrificed up front. Another change here is the back four where Rojo and Blind have been slotted in CB roles, which both have played before. Shaw and Jones make up the defensive backs.

With all being said, I’m just excited to see how LVG rolls out the brand-new look of Man Utd next wekeend! 😀

Fantasy Premier League: 2014 Recap

Two Words: Champion Again!

Woo Hoo! Well…in my mini league of 26 friends, at least. Heh. On a personal note, I was really pleased with this achievement of (still) defending my mini-league title four times already ( 3 times in the Citizen Sports FB League and 1 time in the FPL) since I started to mange fantasy teams! Yeah!

Of the four past seasons, the recent one is probably one of the closest I’ve ever been ran before. I t wasn’t until probably GW37 that I was quite sure none of my friends could catch me. Check out the tussle for the top in my mini-league from GW 25 onwards:

GW25 Leader: Friend P

GW 26: P

GW 27: P

GW 28: P

GW 29: Me

GW 30: Me

GW 31: P

GW 32: P

GW 33: Me

GW 34: Me

GW 35: P

GW 36: Me

GW 37: Me

GW 38: Me!

It was quite an exciting FPL mini league overall. I was consistently in the top three early on in the season. Towards the end of GW10, I briefly took the lead, only to lose it about 3-4 GWs later. My form would stumble badly in the early part of Q2 of the season, falling behind to as badly as 7th place. I then started to pick up pace again after GW20 and played catch up week in, week out, till eventually catching up with the leaders by GW 29. It was really head-to-head from this point on. Exciting stuff. After the final GW38, I finished ahead of my second placed friend by a close 14 points. Phew! Definitely a FPL season to savour. :-)

In summary I amassed a total of 2,254 points, averaging 59.3 points/GW in the process. My overall global rank is at 158,420, out of 3,218,989 total players, just making the top 5% cut. :-) Biggest disappointment was the poor investment of players, making my yield only a measely $5.7M over the entire season, making my team value at $105.7M

Key Plays Down the Stretch:

1. Consistent Scoring: From GW31 till GW38, I had managed to score 60+ points in all but one GW, averaging 70.4 points in that span.

2. Edin Dzeko: Supposedly my third striker, Dzeko was one of my more consistent performers down the stretch, where it was littered with many coaches benching players and injuries, etc.

3. Depth of Bench: With so many double and even triple GWs, coupled with the fact that towards the end many teams were not fighting for much anymore, this led to many leading players being benched. Somehow this helped me because of my bench depth comprising of regular starters too.

4. Wildcard Playing: I thought I played both my wildcards at very timely moments in the season. The first one was played early on, around GW7/8 I think, due to the numerous injuries plaguing my team. I dealt my second WC before the international break, not only to offset the second round of injuries, but also to position a team ready for the final stretch.

5. Suarez Non Performing: With Suarez not firing on all cylinders down the stretch, it was a huge relief to me, whom I didn’t have him on my squad till late on.

Can’t wait for the new FPL season to begin again! 😀

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! 😀

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!

 

 

20 Factors Contributing to Man Utd’s 20th Title

Image Credits

1. Magnificent leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson

2. Embarrassment of letting the title slip from our grasp in 2012 to City (on goal difference, on the last day, etc.) hurts so bad that it was used as an inspiration and drive for this season’s glory!

3. Never say die attititude. Personally, I’ve lost count of the number of times Man Utd had to rally back from a goal or two goals down to achieve a result in a match this season. Inspiring attitude.

4. Spanish laundry service finally clicked! After months of frustration in goal, De Gea finally came good about  a month and a half ago when he managed to keep like 5-6 consecutive cleansheets. Perhaps SAF’s keeper rotation tactic really DID work!

5. Consistency. With the level of football at its highest in the BPL where every weekend offers a tough challenge, whether Man Utd were playing the likes of Chelsea or Wigan, the team with the more consistent performance would revel.

6. Although a bitter pill to swallow, the ‘early’ defeat in the UCL (last 16) did help the cause. (Sigh)

7. Offensive Defense! This season saw the likes of Evra, Evans and Rafael consistently getting on the scoresheet at important times of the season. Whoever said that the best defense is offense is genius. :-)

8. Vintage performances. Apparently both Scholes and Giggs still have some legs left in them as their presence in some of the key matches helped steady the ship. :-)

9. City self-destruction. There were certain stretches in the campaign that City seemed unwilling to win, drawing with numerous mid-level clubs and allowing us to build our lead at the top.

10. Psychological win at the Etihad. Though relatively early in the season, RVP’s last gasp curler of a freekick that secured the 3-2 win over City in the first Manchester derby certainly had a telling effect in the months to come. So, although the loss to City in the Old Trafford reverse was tough to chew, the lead that we built over the course of the season was already too wide to cover.

11. Nov-Dec blitz! It was during this remarkable stretch that Man Utd secured critical wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, City (and a whole lot more) that probably became the foundation of building an uncatchable lead.

12. Opening loss to Everton was certainly a JOLT in every sense and probably a stern reminder of the quality of all teams in the BPL.

13. The tough 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane with Spurs knicking in the equaliser at the death would probably be what I would call the second JOLT that propelled Man Utd to engineer a 7-game wining streak in the BPL. Examples like this certainly cements Man Utd’s reputation to respond positively after each heart-breaking loss or draw.

14. Game-changer rotations. In a curious observation, I notices that whilst the team was more or less built on the consistency of RVP thoughout the season, there would be evident instances that ONE midfielder would emerge for short stretches of time. For example, I could recall those stretches where Nani was instrumental in a few matches before going off injured; then there was Cleverley for a few matches; and (even) Anderson had his time in the spotlight as well; Young was dangerous in a few matches in Jan-Feb; as was Valencia and of course Kagawa, who suddenly seems to fit into SAF’s formation like to the T. I can only imagine how devastating Man Utd would be if all our midfielders were healthy and consistent throughout. :-p

15. Rooney’s patches of brilliance. Sure it would seem that Wazza was playing second fiddle all along this season to RVP, but there were certain stretches in the season that he almost scored at will and combined with devastating effect with RVP. With constant injuries to the Man Utd midfield, Rooney often sacrificed his preferred striking role to play a much deeper, play-maker role in much of the season. Personally, I feel he definitely still has a place in Man Utd’s starting 11.

16. Itching strikers. For Welbeck and Hernandez, I guess it can become rather frustrating to watch most of Man Utd’s games from the bench, with SAF ‘s preferred Rooney-RVP as his first choice. However, one would notice that probably because of this, everytime Welbeck or Chicarito gets a chance to play, they would be playing as if their lives depended on it – scoring some important goals in the process too. :-)

17. Wealth in Youth. This has already been in SAF’s mind for a couple of years, what with the crop of young players like Young, Jones, De Dea, Buttner, Cleverly, Rafael running regularly on the pitch. Certainly helps to have young and energetic legs to keep up with the pace of other BPL teams.

18. Survival during Christmas-New Year peak period. All teams in the BPL would acknowledge that one of the toughest stretches in the season comes during the time when other European leagues go off on their winter break. Whilst most of the other pretenders faltered, Man Utd continued their solid consistent performance during this insane period to secure 7 points from a possible 9 from 23 Dec 2012 till 1 Jan 2013.

19. Barcelona. My personal theory is that SAF had steadily invested and built a team worthy to take on Barcelona. Kinda like when Starfleet designed the USS Defiant specifically to take on the Borg. :-p Anyway, from the displays during UCL nights, it was clear that he had already or was close to establishing the right pieces, formation and tactics to finally match mighty Barcelona. Whilst Man Utd’s defeat to Real Madrid was truly unlucky, I believe that in the evolving process of designing Man Utd to fight Barca, the team became considerably stronger. :-)

20. Robbie Van Persie. Sporting Jersey no. 20 from the start of the season was a clear sign of his intentions. Simply the X-Factor and made the ultimate difference with his unstoppable goal-scoring feats. ‘Nuff said. Personally, I’m truly happy for RVP for FINALLY securing his first BPL title. Couldn’t he have come to Man Utd any sooner? Hehe. :-p

5 Reasons Why BPL is the Best League

Image Credits

With the new European football season unleashed everywhere in recent weeks, many people still wonder (and some may argue) if the Barclay’s Premier League is the best lot of em all?

Personally, I KNOW it is, and here are my top 5 reasons…

1. Every match-up is just as kan-cheong! Where else would you get Southampton giving Manchester City a run for their money, or West Brom trashing Liverpool? Although there are certain number of clubs that are of a higher level in the BPL, there’s no denying that every other team in the BPL are no pushovers either!

2. It is so GLOBAL! Unlike many other European leagues where the majority of the players are domestic, I believe the ratio of British: Foreign players in the BPL is quite close! Being a global arena makes for more exciting styles and plays from all over!

3. Watchable time zone! Being in Malaysia, it is not too challenging to watch all these great BPL action. With the latest latest on every weekend coming in at 1.00am (Msian time), the BPL s one of the more watchable leagues…well, at least for me. 😛 I noticed the strange gametimes of other leagues, like the Bundesliga and La Liga which runs on through the graveyard shift, and even some during dinner times (around 7pm!). Strange…:-p

4. English tabloids! One thing that makes BPL more exciting week in week out are the English tabloids. Yup, the same blokes who are responsible for over-hyping the England team at every World Cup. the juicy transfer news, manager sackings, player scandals, outrageous bets, etc. are just every bit a part of the BPL footballing culture. Love it or hate it, they are here to stay! 😀

5. The greatest football club is playing in it….(drumroll)…MANCHESTER UNITED! 😀

Fantasy Start!

Woo Hoo! Talk about a blistering start to the new Football Fantasy campaign!

Personally, I was slightly  a little majorly pissed when due to some technicalities, scores for GW1 was wiped clean and everyone had to start from GW2. I was particularly angry because all my proper pre-season analysis and planning had gone to waste. And worse, my score of 91.6 pts for GW1 was not counted! Although it is still a few points shy of my career best of 97.8 pts scored in GW36 last season, the score would have been my best ever start to FF. SIGH.

Anyway, that’s not the end of it. Having a RESET of GW2 for everyone meant that everyone who had played to the advantage of FF management had no advantage now. For example:

– After the GW1 debacle, now practically everyone on the planet owned Michu for GW2. Big points, investment and advantage lost. Sigh.

– For some strange reason, many people didn’t notice that GW1 was a double gameweek itself. So, FF managers who packed their GW1 squad with Reading and Chelsea players reaped in the points. No More. Sigh.

Of course, anyone who read my early predictions for the new BPL season may have cashed in on the likes of Michu, Ptric and Jussi too..haha…:-p looks like I wrongly predicted on Hazard though. 😛

Although Citizen Sports tried to redeem themselves by resetting the scores and allowed all FF managers unlimited transfers again to start off GW2, the boo boo had already been committed and it was a pretty catastrophic one. Sigh….

Anyway, life does go on and Fantasy Football management is after all JUST a game…:-p

So, on we go to GW2 as the first Gameweek, where almost everyone on the planet has picked Michu and probably half of those installed him as captain too. ;-P

With the new scoring format where MANY additional parameters are included (fouls won, fouls committed, shots on target, etc.) it is making the points to bulge every GW. Yay! With Tevez, Hazard, Torres and (yes) Michu scoring, I was able to notch up an exceptional 80 points for GW 1. Switching for Ben Arfa and Yaya Toure for GW 2, most of my players performed again as I scored an identical 80 points again for GW 2. With 160 points in the bag, I am now in 88th position OVERALL. Woo Hoo! Never dreamt I would reach these heights before, but it is still a long season ahead so it remains to be seen if I could hang tough in this bracket till the end of the season. 😀

I have already made some amateurish mistakes with my latest player investments. Of course I’m not going to reveal it here. Sheesh…:-p Didn’t expect the market to be so volatile! Sigh. Anyway With a 2 week break coming up, I shall watch in concern with hopes that none of my players get injured…:-P

How well are you doing so far in your FF Management so far? 😀

RVP in Man Utd Formation?

football formations

I am SOOOOO excited with the start of the new BPL season 2012/13…..especially so much more so when RVP had just been acquired. Woo Hoo!

Now the biggest question would be how would RVP fit into SAF’s Man Utd formation this season?

Here is my recommended formation for Man United with RVP in the lineup (see diagram above).

For starters, Man United should revise from their typical 4-4-2 to a more solid 4-3-1-2. Simply because now we have the players to do so. Kagawa has impressed much during pre-season that he is certainly capable of filling in the hole in the middle, just behind the two main striking duo of Rooney and RVP. I would prefer Cleverley to play the defensive midfield role flanked by Nani and Valencia. At the back, I think healthiness is key but I would like to see a back four consisting of Jones, Evra, Smalling and Vidic. Of course, with Jones and Smalling still out injured, it may be sometime before Man United sort out the defensive formation.

Are you excited with your team’s formation for the new season? 😀