The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 25

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

A few seasons back I mentioned, or tapped out, the term “vanity transfer”, referring to a Fantasy Football trade that wasn’t designed to fill the void left by injury or repair the damage of a player dropped or suffering rotation. Instead, such a move gave us Fantasy managers the option of almost bringing in a player for the sake of it – to follow a hunch without any real risk but with the chance of plentiful rewards. It’s an indulgent transfer, without any real purpose.

From the depths of a forgettable season, somehow I’m sitting here this morning pondering my own vanity transfer. Rickie Lambert is not a player I have to bring in – I may just reserve my trade and opt to keep Wilfried Bony in my lineup, perhaps in hope that the new regime at the Liberty will revive the dying Swans and bring me some belated returns. The urge to bring in Lambert is strong, however.

The Saints stalwart is a player I’ve long admired but not often invested in. It remains a mystery why he’s failed to find a place in my squad – even when he’s proved, with some consistency, to offer strong value as a striker option.

This morning, I’m wondering if I’m letting this sway my decision. Whether I’m being drawn to Lambert, not because he’s the right trade but because I’m harbouring some odd notion that I should show some faith in the Southampton man for failing to back him before now.

Certainly Lambert’s prospects look decent. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are oozing class and confidence, with Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana central cogs in a string of impressive attacking showings. Lambert came away with a goal and a pair of assists in the win at Fulham, however and, with spot-kicks and set-plays, he’s almost guaranteed to be amongst things should the Saints turn over Stoke at St Mary’s as expected.

Although he has been benched on some occasions against the big sides – Chelsea and Man City being recent cases – with fixtures looking kind in the coming weeks, Lambert would seem certain to maintain a run of starts and continue to reap the rewards from the tireless leg work of Lallana and Rodriguez.

There’s the logic, then. It’s a convincing case but maybe not quite enough to warrant a transfer than can only really be described as a luxury. For once I’ve no fire to fight, no urgent gap to fill or problem to resolve. I can sit back and wallow in the extravagance of carrying out a transfer because I genuinely believe it will add to my Gameweek tally. It feels new and exciting – when was the last time that was written in the same sentence as Rickie Lambert?

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“Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”


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  1. Hazard can't even speak english :shock: sounds really weird

    1. 'Azarrr ... ! :-D

  2. Whilst I wait impatiently to see if Dzeko starts (yes, I did it :( ) and before United thrash Fulham, I thought I’d give my opinion on why United have struggled this season.

    If you ask me, there is obviously a lack of quality in the squad. But I think the key issue is that there are not enough players at their peak. Half the squad is young and inexperienced, whilst the rest are past their best. I’ve had a look at those who have played in the Prem this season:

    Age >24 : SZCZĘSNY, Jenkinson, RAMSEY, WILSHERE, Gnabry, Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Age 30+ : SAGNA, ARTETA, Rosicky

    Age >24 : Nastasic, Rodwell
    Age 24 - 29 : HART, Pantilimon, ZABALETA, KOLAROV, CLICHY, KOMPANY, Richards, NAVAS, SILVA, NASRI, FERNANDINHO, Milner, Javi Garcia, AGUERO, NEGREDO, DZEKO, Jovetic
    Age 30+ : DEMICHELIS, Lescott, YAYA

    Age >24 : HAZARD, OSCAR, Schurrle
    Age 30+ : CECH, TERRY, Cole, LAMPARD, Eto’o

    Age >24 : Sakho, Flanagan, Kelly, HENDERSON, STERLING, COUTINHO, Moses, Allen, Alberto
    Age 30+ : Kolo, GERRARD

    Age 24 - 29 : SMALLING, EVANS, Buttner, VALENCIA, MATA, CLEVERLEY, YOUNG, Fellaini, Kagawa, Nani, ROONEY, Hernandez
    Age 30+ : EVRA, VIDIC, FERDINAND, CARRICK, Giggs, Fletcher, VAN PERSIE

    REGULARS in the wrong age brackets:
    Arsenal - 5
    Man City - 2
    Chelsea - 5
    Liverpool - 4
    United - 10

    And this has been the difference if you ask me. :) Just a theory. Feel free to share yours.

    1. Shite tactics and a shite midfield.

      1. SPOT ON in concise summary!

    2. Could you summarise this?

      1. REGULARS in the wrong age brackets:
        Arsenal - 5
        Man City - 2
        Chelsea - 5
        Liverpool - 4
        United - 10

        1. thanks Ginkapo - I did summarise it Woy. :)

          1. I know. Just a long read. ;)

      2. they old

        1. thanks ollie

      3. it's not complicated

    3. SW6

      Age isn't the issue, it's quality.

    4. You are classing RVP as a weakness

    5. Yoyo is an old fart isn't he?

      1. Didn't say that. :) Him and RVP just fall into that category. Both are exceptional talents and defy age.

        1. http://www.bettingexpert.com/blog/age-performance-football

          I think this helps to explain why at his age RVP is now starting to slow down and become more injury-prone.

        2. ... and why Chelsea only give one year contract extensions to their over thirties.

    6. Sir Szcz is under 24? Happy days

    7. Same squad that won the title last year.

      To say there's not enough quality is stupid - there's something else

    8. it should be < not > for the young players ;) good post btw

      1. Then the whole post disappears though ;)

    9. nice post but their ages can't have been that much different last year..

      1. the one difference? Fergie. He hid all of these issues.

    10. I think their problems lie elsewhere.

      1. I believe Moyes has had problems with some of the player, i.e. Vidic, Ferdinand, Nani, etc.

      2. They have had their key players out for significant periods.

      3. Too many individual errors and bad defending at set pieces.

      4. Moyes inability to adapt his system and fit the system round his top players.

      Yes some of the things you mentioned above have also contributed but I would say to a lesser extent.

      1. By the way pip great article
        and cheers for going to all the effort to bring it our attention

        it was a good read!

    11. Is this just the long winded version of Hansen's "you'll never win anything with kids"??

      1. or oldies.

  3. I am getting so much abuse of my ML for Captaining RvP.

    Must be fear.

    1. lets hope so... ive done the same :)

  4. Most exciting gameweek of the season imo. I'm not overly confident, but bring it on!


  5. Wow cant belive i captained Dzeko, that must of been on there for 1 week. at least. No time to even check FPL after my move to Darwin. lol

  6. Why do I do this to myself?
    Cazorla (c)

    1. Same here .

      What have i done?

      1. What about your Grav name??!! :roll:

        1. I meant bony

    2. Hoping for a repeat of last season?

    3. Bony (c) :P Sometimes it's better to be fun ;)

      1. :shock:

        Lets do it ;)

  7. Does any one know anything else about the Terry out rumour. can't see anything about it anywhere. Would not be happy if it's true seeing as i just got him in.,

    1. Have you checked out the stickies? Source is there

    2. Super ted baddy?

      1. him n ronh

    3. Twitter says not starting. Find out soon.

    4. it was on twitter just believe it.

    5. Sticky by Demi

    6. Go back a few pages. Demi posted it with a link

  8. How do we reckon Rooney going to perform for the next few games? Can't afford RvP :(

    1. i'd swerve rooney. no more set pieces/penalties for him which were a large source of his points

    2. Or Negredo? Trouble is I don't have any MU attacking coverage and already have Yaya...

    3. It wont matter if he fecks up tomorrow cos he'll be out of my team

    4. The flatter his tummy gets, the better he will perform. Two weeks ...

    5. So worth bringing in Negredo with no United coverage elsewhere? It's a toughie...

  9. No players playing on Sunday for my team! Hmm

    1. 4 here .

      Baines Eriksen Mata and Mirallas

    2. Just Van Persie(c) and Mata for me :(

      1. RVP and eriksen

  10. Hey where's that Smarty Pants dog?

    He did good things...

      1. Thanks

        Bit of a shame - good timely post

        1. Should be on his site soon.

    1. He made an unsmart comment and was disciplined

      1. what about that whitman2013 he writes some great comments..

  11. These Ramsey-less Arsenal games are painful to watch

  12. New Post
  13. Boardwalk Empire any good?

    1. Good luck in Cup of Tea.

      1. Ty. You too :D

  14. OMG Maicon died in a car crash :( RIP

      1. different maicon...sad all the same

      2. Shakhtar striker.

  15. Who wants to tell me where the 4th game (minimum) in GW29 is hiding?

  16. Just saw three girls come out on their balcony in their lingerie... when they clocked me looking they waved.

    Thats a good sign for a good weekend.

    1. Not when they are the Golden Girls....

      1. they were alright

        1. or when you are introduced to Bruce, Warren and Alex

  17. putting Koscielny 3rd on my bench has been the best decision of the week

  18. soooo......I just looked at Everton's next six fixtures. :shock:

    Ozil-> Mirallas without a second thought right?

  19. Dzeko even not starting - where do FFS get their team news?? its a joke

    1. "with Stevan Jovetic pushing for a first start since returning from injury. The summer signing could replace either Negredo or Dzeko upfront"....

  20. Last minute I changed captain hazard to mata,i thik it was the biggest mistake of my life.

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