This is the story of the creation of a team known as “2nd Time Lucky”. The inspiration for this being that last season was my first ever year as a Man United season ticket holder and unfortunately I can say that every single year I have held a season ticket for Old Trafford, City have gone on to win the league!
So this is a story of one man looking for redemption played out through the majesty of fantasy football.
In the comments section, I would love to hear what you think of the theories and speculation that spun through my brain as I kid you not, I have already changed this team 3 times in 1 day…..1st step is admitting there is a problem…..I can quit anytime I want I just don’t want to ALRIGHT!?!
Anyway, this preview of my musings on the upcoming possibilities for the new premier league season will be explained in this report and Cave of Man actively invites you join our league on PremierLeague.com known simply as the “Why the Hell Not?” league. To join in the fun, simply complete the free register on www.premierleague.com and once you have created your account click on the “My Leagues tab” and enter this code to join this league: 473407-123462 and also join our Cave of Man Head2Head league and use code to join this league: 473407-154687. Plus, you know the upcoming transfer in this window will surely send some cold sweats down my brow. Carzola? Baines? Whoever City buys?? Remember your breathing Brendan.
I have a simple rule I try to abide by when it comes to picking my teams for fantasy football and it is indeed the same phrase used in the title of this blog, “It’s business, not personal.” Therefore as a lifelong Manchester United fan and there are a few boundaries I have crossed in my footballing pragmatism. In fact, I have a single solitary resident of the “Theatre of Dreams” but 3 Blue Moon-ers and 2 of the most disgusting Chelski cretins in my squad. But this is not a competition to determine who will be the Best Man for my wedding, imagine my Gerard Butler 300 inspired next line, this is FOOTBALL!!!
My strategy will be devoted around 1 upper-mid goalkeeper, 3 defenders with a good chance of clean sheets and some goals, 4 midfielders containing 2 “superstars” and 2 creators and then 3 forwards comprising of 2 superstars and a hopeful surprise package. My subs include 1 cheap as possible keeper, 1 wildcard choice of a defender, a potential surprise bargain basement defender and a consistent midfielder.
2 Games in Week 1 for Chelski
The epitome of my business mentality for Fantasy Football begins with 2 “people” who personify everything bad about Chelsea. John “Spectator Shin Pads” Terry for clean sheets and headers and Edin “Let’s see where Didier puts this penalty” Hazard for potential assists and goals. Both are pretty much guaranteed starting spots, bonus point magnets and more importantly have Wigan and Reading both in week 1 hence also why Hazard has my double point awarding captain armband for this week. Another option could be Lampard who is actually £0.5m cheaper than Hazard for that more immediate tried and tested result.
The New Manager Effect?
Brendan Rodgers has created a ripple of thoughts in my kiddie pool brain. Will he have a positive effect on Liverpool? Will Swansea players like Scott Sinclair be adversely influenced by his departure? What about Joe Allen to Liverpool? As you will see from my team sheet I have tried to stay away from both teams except for £4.5m Leon Britton on my bench.
How will both Swansea and Norwich fare against 2nd season syndrome and without the managers that kept them up? This brings us to the Paul Lambert from Norwich to Aston Villa situation. Grant Holt stays and can Anthony Pilkington remain on form? Will someone like N’Zogbia benefit from a new manager with the personnel skills of Lambert? I seriously considered this possibility until I saw the Steven Pienaar transfer completed to Everton and for the same price online, I had made my decision.
The very nature of Fantasy Football forces us to picks some price sensitive gambles that are sometimes the most fun to discuss when comparing your team with your mates. These wildcards are the picks that we each get to theorise why we see the footballing world in our unique perspectives and enjoy the “Told ya” moments. My personal favourite in recent years was picking Andy Carroll in his promotion year with Newcastle and had me seriously considering another pick if/when he moves out of Anfield to a team like Big Sam’s West Ham. Crazy? Exactly the type of discussions we love debating!
Although when you get statistics into this, for the same price as Carroll (£8.5m) you can have Everton’s Nikita Jelavic who scored on average every 106 minutes (954 minutes, 9 goals) and it is far less risky. Or do you gamble either of the Newcastle front 2 of Demba Ba or Papiss Cisse staving off 2nd season syndrome and continue close to their averages of a goal every 170 mins (2722 mins, 16 goals, 5 assists) and 85 minutes (1106minutes, 13 goals, 2 assists)? After all, we still have to see where RVP will end up although I have a sneaky suspicion that he may be leaving the EPL for Juventus, pure guesswork though.
This year I have gone for Fabio being loaned to QPR and as he has been playing as a left midfielder in pre-season I see more opportunities for defender assists and possible goals/bonus points. Up front I am attempting new Reading signing Pavel Pogrebnyak as his second half of the season loan spell at Fulham shows good potential and goal scoring ability while being Reading’s record signing should guarantee starting points.
The Red Midfield Dilemma
When you look at my team line-up you will notice a distinct lack of Red Devil midfielders. This is actually not a criticism of the central players in the slightest but while my heart wants to pick the rocket shot of Nani (£9m), the crossing machine of Tony V (£9m), the dribbling and set pieces of Young (£8.5m) or the Rising Sun of Kagawa (£8.5m) I have to remember that for week 1, an awkward away fixture to Everton, I simply have no idea the composition of that midfield. This is even before you look at the range of options across this area; Nani, Young, Valencia, Kagawa, Scholes, Carrick, Anderson, Powell and the likely resting of Giggs and Clev from Team GB duty. It did break my heart a lot to replace Kagawa with Hazard.
Nevermind that I have 3 Man City players in my line up because sometimes you can’t avoid the talent that they have on show but atleast I don’t detest any of these players personally so it was not the worst. In fact I have a huge amount of respect for Yaya Toure nowndas a player as he is an example of the midfield enforcer I want to for Man United as described in my Club Manchester United needs a Bouncer article. Also Lescott can be a threat from attacking corners while Aguero is pure class as I wish he was 13 seconds later with his shot at the Etihad.
I am looking forward to reading your feedback on my squad and discuss why I am a undiagnosed madman or quite possibly a certified genius. Send us your Premiership Prophesies and click the link to join the “Why the Hell Not?” league using this code to join this league: 473407-123462 and the Cave of Man Head2Head league and use code to join this league: 473407-154687, Join both!