Category Archives: tottenham

Fantasy Football: Five Interesting Deadline Day Deals

1. Peter Crouch to Stoke- It seems that Tony Pulis has given up on any kind of reformatory notion. The signing of Tuncay two years ago was supposed to herald the start of a revolution – no longer would Stoke be a long ball team, no longer would every throw-in won be greeted with roars from the vociferous home fans. Now, in 2011, Tuncay plays for Bolton, Delap’s still going strong and the Potters are likely to start both Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch in their next match. Effective, yes. Pretty, no. Needless to say, Crouch will thrive in the Stoke system. His ability in the air should produce countless numbers of goals and assists, and available at low, Spurs bench warmer type price, fantasy potential is there.

2. Nicklas Bendtner to Sunderland (loan)- Nobody seems to rate Nicklas Bendtner, but his statistics aren’t really that bad. A career haul of fifty-eight works out to about a goal in four, and considering most of his appearances have been off the bench, that record is quite impressive. At Sunderland, Bendtner is guaranteed more playing time and it will be fascinating to see whether he can develop a relationship with Asamoah Gyan. For Denmark, Bendtner has always been dangerous, so perhaps he is big fish-small pond type player, and will only succeed when it is he who has the highest profile.

3. Yossi Benayoun to Arsenal (loan)- Of Arsenal’s two creative signings, this one presents the most fantasy intrigue. Benayoun has always been a crafty little player, and I can see him fitting in well with the Arsneal way of doing things. At Liverpool, Benayoun was able to develop strong relationships with players like Gerrard, Torres and Kuyt, so if equivalent bonds can be forged, perhaps the Israeli might prove just as useful as the departed Samir Nasri.

4. Shaun Wright-Phillips to QPR- After two excellent seasons in the mid 2000s, Wright Phillips’ professional career has tailored off a bit. A disappointing spell at Chelsea, was followed by failure to adjust in Manchester City’s new financially charged environment leaving the England international cut adrift. At 29 though, he still has plenty to offer. Very tricky down the wing, SWP will have ample targets in the penalty area – both DJ Campbell and Jay Bothroyd are adept converters of crosses. Again, like Peter Crouch, Wright-Phillips is available for a knock down price – certainly one which will rise as the season continues.


5. Royston Drenthe to Everton (loan)- After going the entire summer without once dipping into the transfer market, Everton signed two player on deadline day. Headlining their business was the acquisition of former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe, a speedy player with the potential to make a big difference in the Premier League. As of now, Drenthe’s price hasn’t been confirmed, though I’d be shocked if it was any more than six million.

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Sunday’s Fantasy Review

Ryan Shotton Ryan Shotton of Stoke City celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City at The Hawthorns on August 28, 2011 in West Bromwich, England.Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal- An absolute obliteration, I couldn’t dream of covering all angles. Assists and goals were in bountiful supply, with Rooney and Young the chief perpetrators.

On the other side of the coin though, villains were everywhere in the Arsenal team – shameful performances from all their defenders, a penalty miss by Robin Van Persie and a red card for Carl Jenkinson.

MOTM: Ashely Young- Two goals, a number of assits and now the game’s most valuable midfielder.
FOTM: Johan Djourou- Many would have thought Jenkison, but he was saved by an assist.

Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City- Another sensational result, attacking point scoreres were once again prevalent. Dzeko netted four and Aguero one, while a hat trick of assists for Samir Nasri earned him is first major fantasy haul of the season.

A goal from defense for Younes Kaboul made his score respectable, with Van Der Vaart’s corner making him Tottenham’s most dangerous attacking player.

MOTM: Edin Dzeko- Need I explain…
FOTM: Benoit Assou Ekotto- Five conceded and a yellow card.

Newcastle 2-1 Fulham- Newcastle get their second consecutive win, but no clean sheet for early front runners Ryan and Steven Taylor. Leon Best was the undoubted attacking hero, scoring two goals.

For Fulham, Clint Dempsey scored his first of the season, while popular defenders like Riise, Hughes and Hangelaand remain stuck on one clean sheet.

MOTM: Leon Best- Two goals, an easy pick.
FOTM: Brede Hangelaand- Could have been any Fulham defender, but he is the most popular.

West Brom 0-1 Stoke- West Brom’s unfortunate start to the season continued with another unlucky loss. Ryan Shotton was the hero, in a game – interestingly – without a single yellow card.

Shotton took advantage of a Ben Foster error, consinging the former Manchester United keeper to a third match without a clean sheet.
MOTM: Ryan Shotton- Scorer of the winning goal.
FOTM: Ben Foster- Not terrible in fantasy terms, but it was his mistake which lost the match.
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Manchester Sends Out A Remarkable Message

Somewhere, an Arsenal fan just hanged himself. The malaise which the Gunners have slipped into over the past couple weeks was one that most saw coming – a function of questionable transfer business and an unfortunate series of injuries.

However, to concede eight goals, even at a venue like Old Trafford, is an unprecedented feat of self destruction. If he stays, Wenger better make sure he hasn’t got plans for Thursday nights anytime over the next eighteen months.

In many ways, playing in the Europa League is more manifestly demoralizing than not participating in Europe at all. Every week critics are reminded that their favorite punching bag dropped down a tier or so – just look at pre Kenny Dalglish Liverpool…

For all the goals and excitement, Sunday was a somber day of football. On the East coast of the US at least, all that happened was engulfed in the surreal atmosphere of a New Jersey hurricane, one which managed to deny this writer his fill of Premier League action. Moreover, the nature of North London’s demise was anything but pleasurable. What was once a set of closely fought fixtures began to gravitate towards the farcical – Roy of the Rovers stuff from Edin Dzeko but just the opposite from Arsene Wenger…

Both Spurs and Arsenal will seek comfort in the other’s annihilation – Tottenham fans pointing to the six goal margin, Arsenal ones to the White Hart Lane venue. Neither set of supporters can take much solace in their teams’ transfer activity though. If Harry Redknapp plans to replace a clearly unsettled Luka Modric with Scott Parker then, possibly, Park Chu Young won’t be labeled the least able replacement of the summer.

Clearly, there are problems in key areas that need solving. Spurs have yet to be vindicated in their purchase on loan of Emmanuel Adebayor, while Arsenal continue to toil in their quest for a central defender. In certain Manchester nemeses, no such weaknesses are apparent.

Rather than expose new signing David De Gea, Manchester United’s supposed “crisis” at the back resulted in the delivery of an ominous message. Jones and Smalling are both in Fabio Capello’s England squad for qualifiers coming up next month – two savvy buys by Ferguson, more proof that the Scotsman will never let his team grow stale.

Danny Welbeck too has made waves, now tied as the league’s second most prolific Englishman, the academy product is just a hat trick off teammate Wayne Rooney. His rise over the last seven days has been remarkable, unfortunate then that he was omitted from the England squad due to an injury

Across town Manchester City’s depth comes from money rather than development, with new acquisitions like Aguero continuing to shine brightly, and old ones like Dzeko just starting to. Their attacking fluidity is reminiscent of Arsenal at their best, though the support which Fabregas and Nasri never had at The Emirates is provided by a healthy backbone of Toure, De Jong and Kompany.

City may have taken multiple tries to get to the top, but in the end their hit and hope approach to market usage has trumped Arsenal’s measured and conservative one. Perhaps the success of Mancini, Sheikh Mansour and Gary Cook is indicative of the modern game – the long term rewards that City’s money will bring should stretch out farther even than Wenger’s infamous six years.

At the Etihad Stadium, City are poised for a shot at greatness. They have well and truly out muscled their adversaries. No longer will Spurs catch them at the death to claim Champions League qualification, no longer even will Arsenal worry them in pursuit of prizes yet grander.

And in that truth, there is sadness. Call it nostalgia if you will, but the destruction of two teams once celebrated is one not worthy of jubilation. Many find joy in others’ misfortune – the Germans even have a word for it – but no matter how many goals Manchester racked up, there was never going to be any happiness about Sunday’s striking bonanza.

INFTH Premier League Prediction

This week we’re doing things a little bit differently, with one extended preview as opposed to ten mini ones.


Tottenham vs Manchester City-


Why Spurs will win-

Modric’s return- Back after missing Tottenham’s loss at Old Trafford, Luka Modric seems set to remain at White Hart Lane. The attitude players put out after having transfer requests rejected has varied over the years, but Harry Redknapp should be confident in Modric’s maturity, and expect the utmost professionalism.

City’s experimentation- The biggest transfer news to come out of England mid week was City’s deal for Samir Nasri. The talented Frenchman has proved himself as one of the most potent attacking threats in European football, but it will be interesting to see how City manager Roberto Mancini chooses to deploy him. Out wide or through the middle, it’s hard to say, and fans of the Sky Blues will just have to hope that their new acquisition doesn’t throw a cohesive attack out of sync.

Why City will win-


Tottenham’s striking disaster- With new loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor ineligible to play against what technically remains his club, Spurs are left with only limited options up front. Both Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe have struggled for form over the last twelve months, while Peter Crouch remains inconsistent at best.

Depth in attack- Quite simply, City have more options than anyone else. Even if one raft of attackers fail, another wave is available on the bench. Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli are all top quality strikers, while the support from midfield and the wings is equally imperious.

Conclusion: I’ll go for a draw in this one, as Spurs should be fired up on the occasion of their home opener – capable of stealing a result against unquestionably superior opponents.

Over the last few years, this fixture has been defining in the race for Champions League qualification, and while it no longer holds such significance, I expect an exciting game.

Prediction: 2-2

Live streaming of the game.


Quick Predictions:
Aston Villa vs Wolves- 2-2
Wigan vs QPR- 2-1
Blackburn vs Everton- 1-1
Chelsea vs Norwich- 3-0
Swansea vs Sunderland- 1-2
Liverpool vs Bolton- 3-1
Newcastle vs Fulham- 1-1
West Brom vs Stoke- 2-1
Manchester United vs Arsenal- 3-0

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