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The Promoted

What to expect from Aston Villa manager Dean Smith in FPL

Aston Villa sealed promotion back to the Premier League with a 2-1 play-off final victory over Derby County on Monday, ending the Villans’ three-year stay in the Championship.

Villa will join Norwich City and Sheffield United in the English top flight in 2018/19, two teams we have already been previewing from a Fantasy perspective.

Part of our analysis has been on the tactical approach of managers Daniel Farke and Chris Wilder, so we will now turn our attention to Villa’s head coach Dean Smith before beginning a player-by-player examination of the Midlands club’s squad.

READ MORE: Our guide to Norwich City’s goalkeeper and defenders
READ MORE: Our guide to Norwich City’s midfielders and forwards
READ MORE: Our guide to Sheffield United’s goalkeeper and defenders
READ MORE: Our guide to Sheffield United’s midfielders and forwards

We spoke to The Villa View‘s Dan Bardell about Smith’s footballing ethos and helpfulness in providing us with accurate team news – something we Fantasy managers particularly appreciate.

What is Smith’s background?

Brentford finished 9th, 10th and 9th with Smith at the helm

Born in West Bromwich in May 1971, Smith’s 16-year playing career took him to five different clubs.

It was with fourth-tier club Leyton Orient that he made 239 of his 566 league appearances and Smith’s coaching career subsequently began with the Os in 2005.

Smith served as a youth coach and assistant manager at Brisbane Road before moving on to work in Walsall’s academy set-up, graduating to caretaker manager and then permanent boss in January 2011.

The Saddlers were bottom of League One when Smith took charge but he steered them to safety by the season’s end, following that great escape up with finishes of 19th, 9th, 13th and 14th in the third tier as well as a run to the Football League Trophy Final in 2014/15.

Smith departed for Brentford in November 2015 and continued to build on his reputation for delivering attack-minded football in his three years at Griffin Park.

The Bees finished in the top half of the table on three successive occasions under Smith, who fought in the face of the west London side’s tight budget and ‘selling club’ status to get them within reach of the Championship play-offs.

The lure of a move to his boyhood club, Aston Villa, was too strong to resist and Smith replaced Steve Bruce in the Villa Park hot seat in October 2018.

The Midlands club were 15th in the Championship when Smith took over but the Villa boss guided his new club to the fringes of a play-off place by mid-December after five victories in his first eight fixtures in charge.

A mini-slump subsequently followed, with Villa winning only two of their next 14 matches, but a ten-game winning run in March and April sealed a play-off spot with two fixtures to spare.

Villa were taken to penalties by West Bromwich Albion in their play-off semi-final before Derby were seen off at Wembley.

WHAT STYLE OF FOOTBALL DOES SMITH USE?

Smith has instilled an attacking mindset at Villa

Smith experimented with wing-backs earlier in his managerial career but the 4-1-4-1 formation he had settled on in the final months of his reign at Griffin Park has generally been used at Villa since his appointment in October 2018 – although a tweak to a 4-3-3 was seen in the play-off final.

In this system, Conor Hourihane or Glenn Whelan will sit in the deepest midfield role and drop back to support the two centre-halves – latterly loanees Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe, in the absence of the injured James Chester – as full-backs Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor bomb down the flanks.

The two other central midfielders, the influential Jack Grealish and John McGinn, are given license to push forward in the manner that Leicester City’s James Maddison and Youri Tielemans are under Brendan Rodgers.

Albert Adomah and Anwar El Ghazi have been the preferred options out wide of late, with another loanee, Tammy Abraham, spearheading the attack.

Possession-based, attacking football has been a feature of Villa’s season under Smith.

Only Norwich City and West Brom scored more Championship goals than Villa (82) in 2018/19, with 62 of the Midlands club’s strikes coming in the 34 matches that Smith oversaw (an average of 1.82 goals per match).

Villa only failed to score on five occasions with Smith at the helm and found the net in all but one of their 17 home games under the former Walsall and Brentford boss.

The Villa View’s Dan Bardell said of Smith’s approach:

“He likes his team to keep the ball on the floor, he’s an attacking manager with a set ethos of how he thinks the game should be played.

He usually goes for a ballplayer in defensive midfield rather than an enforcer.

If the game is going a certain way, like the last 10-15 minutes in the play-off final, he will change it to a 4-2-3-1 to firm things up and ask to midfielders to sit.” – Dan Bardell

An aggressive high press is another feature of Villa’s play in the Smith era, which is excellently dissected in this article from EFL Analysis.

Dan says that Villa’s starting XI has been fairly settled under Smith, although the Villans’ boss is not afraid to shake things up mid-game.

“A major positive with Smith is his use of substitutes, he generally tends to make great game-changing decisions from the bench. In general, we have had eight/nine set starters and I’m interested to see how he will act in the Premier League.” – Dan Bardell

*All statistics given are for the regulation season and exclude the three play-off matches.

HOW DOES SMITH HANDLE THE PRESS?

Smith is expected to be the Fantasy manager’s friend when it comes to team news

Dan says that Smith is a well-liked personality among the media and should provide Fantasy managers with some honest information.

“He’s a likeable guy, so it’s good. He doesn’t come on and try and b******t anyone; compared to Steve Bruce’s latter days, he is a complete breath of fresh air.

Obviously, there is a heavier media focus in the Premier League but I really think he will take it in his stride. He really talks a great game.

We are a great story with a lifelong fan as manager and lifelong fan as captain, so I expect the press to enjoy us being back.” – Dan Bardell

When it comes to the all-important team news and pre-match press conferences, Smith mercifully appears to be on the opposite end of the spectrum to the cagey/duplicitous Eddie Howe and Pep Guardiola.

“No games with Smith, what you see is what you get. I get the impression he doesn’t really believe in mind games, he tends to let the team do his talking on the pitch.” – Dan Bardell

WHERE MIGHT SMITH STRENGTHEN IN THE SUMMER AND WHICH PLAYERS ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING THEIR PLACE?

Villa may turn to the loan players that helped them to promotion next season

Villa were busy in the loan market last season, with five of their temporary signings featuring in the 18-man squad at Wembley in late-May.

Smith may well return for some of those loanees in the summer, either on a short-term basis again or on a permanent deal.

Dan says that Villa may look to learn from the failures of Fulham in 2018/19 after the Cottagers spent big last summer.

“Ideally, we’d get Mings, Tuanzebe and Abraham back either permanently or on loan. El Ghazi and Hause are shoo-ins to return permanently.

I’m a massive believer in continuity when you get promotion; Fulham got it all wrong. You’d want the loans back and then you’d want to be getting in three to four top-level Premier League players.

I think we will get a couple of players from the Championship, for example, Lolley from Forest or Bowen from Hull. There is talent in the EFL, the gap between the bottom seven or eight in the Premier League and the first ten places in the Championship is not that great, in my opinion.” – Dan Bardell

Defensive and attacking options on the flank seem to be where Villa need investment, while some experienced squad players will have to be replaced when their contracts expire this summer.

“We’ve a lot of squad players out of contract, I expect all of them to leave. Whelan, Jedinak, Elphick and Hutton have all been good servants in the Championship but I can’t see any of them getting renewed.

Full-back and wing are the two areas that most need addressing, assuming we get the loan players back.

I’d imagine a couple of strikers will be coming in, as well as a few wide players so it will be interesting to see who Smith wants.” – Dan Bardell

Our guide to Aston Villa continues soon with a look at their Fantasy options in defence.

Thanks again to Dan for his time in this interview.

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196 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Ginkapo FPL
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    THERES ONLY ONE BEE IN LONDON

    1. Deulofale
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      LONBON

      1. Ginkapo FPL
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Its no laughing matter, they are close to extinction and youre cracking jokes.

        1. Deulofale
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          It's out of our hands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKweqxWUC38

  2. pingissimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Going big on batting and one or two Saffers:

    Bairstow
    Roy
    Finch
    Gayle
    Du Plessis vc

    Du Koch c

    Moeen
    Norris

    Tahir
    Southee
    Roach

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      you spelled The Cock wrong.

    2. Vobinho In Wengerland
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Roy
      Gayle
      Markram
      Warner

      De Kock (c)
      Buttler

      Phehlukwayo (vc)
      Russell

      Starc
      Cummins
      Archer

      Also playing the batting free hit today...

    3. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Bairstow golden duck is a poor start. But De Kock and Tahir will make up for it

      1. diesel001
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Bairstow over 30% ownership. Lovely as a non-owner given he is on negative points.

        1. Nightcrawler
          2 months, 20 days ago

          I'm seeing a lot of roys and not enough bairstows in our league tho.

          1. Nightcrawler
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Phew roys gone too. Went with root

            1. diesel001
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              I went with Root and Buttler from England. Gone much heavier on South Africa batting because of the double fixture in Round 1. De Kock and Faf taking catches is good so far.

              1. Nightcrawler
                2 months, 20 days ago

                Lol I jinxed it. Went with 7 saffers hopefully it pays off

    4. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Morgan and Dhoni are probably the two best ODI batsmen IMO. I know the averages and strike rates won't support that when you have Warner etc, but they look so assured at the crease with lots of time. You can't see them getting out unless they are trying to hit boundaries and get caught in the deep.

    5. Vobinho In Wengerland
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Have a feeling West Indies v Pakistan will be a very high scoring affair tbh..

      West Indies in great form the other day.

    6. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Faf doing a great job with the catches. Hopefully he gets runs with the bat too.

  3. Chelsea: what's needed for next season?
    Geoff
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    With a big win in the Europa league final, what do you expect from Chelsea leading into next season?

    Hazard and Sarri are strongly linked to moves away, so a new manager might be a need. Who would be a good fit for Chelsea if Sarri leaves and who would you expect to come in? Is it time for Lampard now? Is Chelsea the right move for him right now or is the short shelf life of Chelsea managers too much of a risk for him this early in his managerial career?

    There is obviously the potential for a transfer ban - do you think that comes through?
    If it doesn't, where should Chelsea be aiming in the league without Hazard? What do they need to improve their chances of a strong finish next season?
    Where are their weaknesses, and who that's on loan should they bring back into the side?

    If anyone wants to write a HT on one of the teams without one so far go ahead and post it, and flag it and I can make it green 🙂

    Manchester United: https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2019/05/14/how-the-fantasy-premier-league-cup-was-won/?hc_page=1&hc_sort_by=comment_date#hc_comment_20374169

    Manchester City: https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2019/05/20/the-lessons-learned-from-2018-19s-midfielders-of-the-year-candidates/?hc_page=1&hc_sort_by=comment_date#hc_comment_20376570

    Liverpool: https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2019/05/21/defender-of-the-year-alexander-arnold-could-break-robertson-record/?hc_page=1&hc_sort_by=comment_date#hc_comment_20376912

    Newcastle: https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2019/05/27/aston-villa-return-to-fpl-after-play-off-final-win/?hc_page=1&hc_sort_by=comment_date#hc_comment_20378696

    1. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Ah great, I was going to ask whether every team would get a hot topic at some point for this.
      As for Chelsea, everything depends on that transfer ban. If they can't improve the squad, it is very hard to see what type of threat they pose. And surely players like Kante would be looking elsewhere.

      1. Geoff
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Yeah, kind of been watching out for other people doing posts that work so it's not just me leading them off. Feel free to do one if you want 🙂

        I think Sarri and Haz will leave, though I guess Sarri is maybe more likely after winning the EL. But I can never really figure out what will happen with Chelsea. I can't decide how much Pulisic will impact things and they have so many young players who could step up

        1. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Great - I'll knock up a West Ham one at some point if nobody more lucid and prepared offers up 🙂

          1. Geoff
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Nice one that'd be great 🎉

          2. G-Whizz
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Go for it 🙂

        2. luv4rotties
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Regarding Pulisic, my feeling is that Chelsea are buying a 'raw' talent rather than a ready replacement for Hazard.
          Point also backed from the scout report written a couple of weeks back (https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2019/05/18/can-christian-pulisic-become-a-viable-fantasy-option-at-chelsea/).

    2. Ask Yourself
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Unfortunately looks as though they will definitely be banned.
      If so they appear to be keeping majority of their loan players to have a deep but very young squad and will have to compete in UCL.

      I don’t expect another top 4 finish with the squad they’ll have but a manager like lampard, willing to play their young talent could be essential in forming their success in a couple of season’s time

    3. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      If Chelsea get a transfer ban they should sack Sarri and get Lampard in.

      A transfer ban would take the pressure off Lampard and give him time to get his style of play across.

      A transfer ban would mean they need to recall players like Zouma (who is better than Christensen IMO) and Batshuayi (who is better than Higuain IMO).

      I would want to see Chelsea try something like this:

      Kepa
      Azpi Rudiger Zouma Emerson
      Kante RLC Luiz
      Pulisic Batshuayi CHO

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Looks ok but are CHO and RLC going to be available this calendar year? And RLC is sadly already looking like someone who’s fit for 20 games a season.

      2. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I'm unsure on Lampard, I think he needs another season in the Championship. Derby massively outperformed their xG numbers this season, which usually catches up, see Solskjaer at United.

    4. Deulofale
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Lampard will be a good assistant. Kepa will take good care of him and teach him the ropes.

    5. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Current expectations are that we won't look for a 1 window delay of the transfer ban and Hazard will leave. So, based on that I'd expect this team to be 1st choice:

      Kepa
      Azpi Rudiger Zouma Emerson
      Kante Jorginho RLC
      Pulisic Giroud CHO

      I think this will be the prep season for Reece James to get him ready to replace the ever reliable Azpilicueta, with Zappacosta not convincing in his backup role.

      Zouma, Luiz and Christensen will all compete for the last CB slot, but I think Zouma will get the nod due to his age Vs Luiz and improved aerial ability Vs Christensen. Ampadu is still an option, but after struggling with injury this season he might be looking at a loan now.

      In midfield there will be a deluge of mediocrity to go through. Drinkwater was an absolute embarrassment of a signing, Bakayoko returns from loan after falling out with the AC Milan manager, Barkley showed improvement, Kovacic may be secured on a permanent and Mount returns from his Derby loan. Think Mount needs gametime to develop, and I don't think he'll get that this season at Chelsea, so could do with another loan. Drinkwater can be sold, Bakayoko could probably be given a second chance this season.

      On the wings you'd expect CHO and Pulisic to be first choice, but with CHO's injury Pedro will probably step up to first choice for now. Not an ideal situation, but I'd expect some serious rotation for cups or midweek games with 4 good wingers - does make me think we should have bitten Barca's arm off when they offered 30m for Willian though. Pulisic is a bit of an unknown, but hopefully he can get some good minutes and really work ok his goal involvement.

      Upfront there's Giroud, Higuian, Michy and Abraham. Looks like we'll sign Higuian on another loan, costing something like 16m, so I don't see him being anything other than 1st or 2nd choice striker. Likewise, Giroud has just signed a new contract, which I wouldn't expect him to do unless he had promises he could compete for the starting role. This leaves both Michy and Abraham competing for the 3rd striker slot, which feels a complete waste of their talents. I expect one to be loaned and one to stay (now Hazard isn't available as backup), with my guess being Michy would stay and Abraham getting a PL loan - I see him as more likely to become our first choice striker than Michy, just now might be too soon.

      Speaking of too soon - Frank Lampard. Sarri has had a strong season with a number of excellent achievements, in a year that has seen Chelsea tactics change dramatically. He now needs a second year to build on this team, and then I'd feel happier passing judgement. Sounds to me like he'll stay, which I'm very pleased about given Lampard's lack of experience - whilst he'd be my dream manager, this season would be such a huge risk and would require a great coaching team around him.

      With no Hazard, someone needs to step up and start scoring, and all eyes will be on a forward to do that, but the question is which one.

      Might be a rough start to the year.

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Great post, agree completely on Lampard, and Reece James looks like a real prospect.

      2. luv4rotties
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Great analysis!
        In terms of the current loans; Kovacic does not have a 'buy option', if I am not mistaken, which I view as a good thing, since he was not very impressive in 2018/19.
        About Higuain, I would much rather ship him back to Juve and utilize Tammy and / or Batsuayi (will be in our benefit also FPL-wise, as you would expect them to not exceed 7.0-7.5 similarly to this year's Rashford's valuation :D).

        1. Rotation's Alter Ego
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Whilst there is no buy clause in Kovacic's contract, he's already listed as a Chelsea player due to his loan, meaning I believe we can organise a transfer now, before the 30th June and therefore the ban, if that is what Chelsea want.

          Basically, due to a technicality he's still able to be signed, which Sarri has said he wants Chelsea to do.

          Not keen on Higuain either. Tend to like my forwards to, you know, actually move... 🙄

          1. The Champ is here
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            The ban is on registering new players afaik. Higuain and Kovacic would have to be registered as new players to be signed to the club. So can't happen. At least that's what my limited reading on it lead me to believe

            1. Rotation's Alter Ego
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Both can be signed still, I promise you.

              They are already registered as Chelsea players due to their loans.

              Higuain has a buy clause in his contract, which can be activated prior to the ban coming into effect if Chelsea desire, Kovacic's technicality is covered above. I think there's a lot of confusion around the situation, but from what I've heard, due to them already being signed as loan players they can bypass the re-registering process on the TMS.

              1. The Champ is here
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 20 days ago

                Hmm. I read an article a few weeks back on these two specifically saying that it can't happen. They are registered as Chelsea players until the loan ends but then couldn't be re registered if bought. Good point above the buy option. I presume you've read up on this more than me anyway so I'll take your word for it. If that's the case they pretty much have to sign them even fatty higs

                1. The Champ is here
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 20 days ago

                  Cheers. I think that's actually the article I was thinking of

      3. Saint Steve-O (@EliteFPL)
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Brilliant read Alter ego

    6. MeatPieSausageRoll
      2 months, 20 days ago

      I can do another HT on Utd if their is the demand for it

      1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Newcastle?

        1. The Champ is here
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Puffpastryposeidon should definitely do a write up on Newcastle's new signing mbappe

        2. MeatPieSausageRoll
          2 months, 20 days ago

          No, Utd

          1. Mysterion
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Their isn't much demand for MLS fantasy knowledge on here 😉

          2. Diva
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Sheffield?

    7. Santigold
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 19 days ago

      According to the Chelsea website they currently have over 40 players out on loan, including names like Pulisic, Batshuayi, Morata, Moses, Abraham, Bakayoko, Kenedy and Zouma. Putting a decent team together for next season shouldn't be a problem.

  4. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Wonder what will become of Andy Carroll now he's left West Ham.
    One of those weird cases where he is as likely to play for Sheff Utd, a team in China or get picked up as a folly by a top 4 side willing to have him as a luxury roll the dice option from the bench.
    Bit old fashioned I know, but I still love the type of goal he scored all too infrequently - bullying centre backs and pummelling in a bullet header.

    1. Ask Yourself
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Man City could do with a target man you know

    2. luv4rotties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Also, Burnley might opt to 'downgrade' Crouch with Andy 😛

      1. Lord Tachanka
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I’d love Carroll at Burnley, could do very well for them!

        1. luv4rotties
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 20 days ago

          It is the type of team he could, indeed do well for.
          Only reason for using the 'downgrade' is because I really like Crouch (at least a younger version of him that is...)

  5. Aston Villa's approach
    avfc82
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Having looked at both Sheffield United and Norwich City in recent weeks (linked in Hot Topics), here’s my take on Play-off winners Aston Villa – a club close to my heart. Having attended my first game in 1990, I’ve been following the Villans for almost 30 years now. I’d hoped to get this out sooner but Wembley celebrations extended into Tuesday!

    So, Aston Villa are back in the Premier League, and it feels right.

    Led by Dean Smith, an Aston Villa fan, they play an effective 4-1-4-1 / 4-3-3 system. The philosophy is possession with purpose, but its adaptable, as the Play-off final victory proved with Villa having just over 42% of the ball.

    Whilst there are interesting assets in this Villa side, the issue is the promotion charge has featured key loan signings including Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham, whose futures are unclear.

    So I thought I’d try something a little different with this profile, and focus on four players I think warrant a place on our pre-season Watchlists, plus 1 Wildcard. It means I’ve had to ignore the likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Conor Hourihane and Anwar El Ghazi, but I’m happy to answer any questions below if you want to find out more.

    Jack Grealish

    It feels only right to start with captain Jack Grealish, who without doubt has what it takes to grace the Premier League. Over the last 12 months he’s matured as a player, and now leads the club. His influence cannot be overstated. Villa won 17 of the 31 matches he started compared to just 3 of the 15 he missed. He ranks amongst the best in the league in key passes, pass accuracy and dribbles, and also won more free-kicks than any player in the Championship, by a long way. 6 goals and 7 assists in 2018-19 doesn’t do much to inspire, but we need to remember Steve Bruce was in charge till the beginning of October, and he missed almost 3 months through injury from December to February. Since his return in March its 4 goals and 3 assists in 13 matches – much more interesting. If fixtures fall kindly, and the price is right, Grealish is one to keep an eye on.

    John McGinn

    The bargain of the season at £2.7m from Hibernian, McGinn’s flawless performances throughout the campaign makes me think he’ll not be out of place in the Premier League. A complete midfielder - think aggressive pressing high up the pitch, last-ditch tackles, driving with the ball through the middle with several long-range screamers along the way. His all-round contribution, including 7 goals and 9 assists, have turned him into a real fan favourite. However, be wary of yellow cards, he’s picked up 14 this season!

    Tammy Abraham

    Abraham is a clinical finisher who doesn’t tend to get too involved in creating chances or build-up play, just scores goals, and lots of them! The Chelsea loanee bagged 26 goals and 3 assists in a prolific Championship campaign, bagging four goals against Nottingham Forest back in November. If he signs permanently, and it’s a big if, Abraham could be a useful asset, but I do wonder whether Villa will look elsewhere bearing in mind he’ll cost £25m plus.

    Tyrone Mings

    A colossus at Centre Back, the recruitment of Mings in January shouldn’t be overlooked, he has been simply brilliant. Since signing, Villa have conceded just 15 goals in 18 games with him in the team, with 6 clean sheets and 2 goals. Smith has talked about there being a matching clause in his contract and I’m hearing he’s close to signing permanently. If priced at 4.5m, there is a lot to like here.

    Wildcard - Frederic Guilbert

    However, we could have a cheaper defensive option than Mings, and a possible 4.0 starting defender at right-back. Ahmed El Mohamady and Alan Hutton have occupied the spot for the majority of the season, but with the latter’s contract expiring soon and the former being 32 in September, there could be an opportunity for Frederic Guilbert to make the position his own. Signed from Caen in January and then loaned back for the remainder of the season, the former French U21 international won the Player of the Season Award in 2017-18 and although primarily a right-back, has also played further forward too. A real wildcard option, but any possible 4.0 starting defender is worth monitoring right?

    Of course, with any newly promoted club, recruitment will be high on the agenda for Villa this summer, and a lot will change between now and August, but I hope this piece has given you a bit of insight from a fan’s perspective.

    Thanks for reading!

    1. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      I have found both Villa and Derby too reliant on loan players. Grealish is the standout player Villa own, but I could see him leaving if a big offer came in for him.

      I can't see me owning a Villa player next season as I think they will concede too many goals and will struggle to score the goals without the loanees.

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Yep I understand those concerns, but I expect a few of the loanees will sign permanantly - Mings, Hause and El Ghazi for sure, admit it's still a bit up in the air with Tuanzebe and Abraham though. I guess it depends how much United and Chelsea plan to use them?

        Re Grealish, he won't be sold this summer.

    2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Thanks AV, very useful and I'll keep your suggestions mentally shortlisted. Good to have another claret and blue team and a proper club so to speak. I really do hope you and Norwich do well and stay up.
      Sheff Utd not so much 🙂

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Thanks mate.

    3. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Nice one, great stuff as usual. I've got all three of these bookmarked to read and look back on as the season approaches.

      It'd be great if you could write another one of these before the season starts to look at pre-season form and new players, at least on Villa 🙂

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Thanks Geoff, definitely up for that!

    4. Ask Yourself
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Great post thank you. This Guilbert chap’s attacking stats don’t look great and looks to be a huge card magnet too (10+ YCs last two seasons).
      Doesn’t fit villa’s excessive crossing system it seems with only 2 assists in 34 games but is very solid defensively apart from the card issue. Has also done a job at CB but is nothing compared to elmohamedy going forward and considering he is still performing well I expect him to carry on next season as RB to begin with at least

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I agree mate, Guilbert is a real unknown.

        Playing for a relegated Caen side this season doesn't help, but he does love a card and was suspended recently.

        Really interesting that you bought up crossing, it's something Villa have done loads of this season, but I suspect this is down to us playing to Abraham's strengths, rather than it being a set in stone tactical strategy. If we don't sign Abraham and go for someone like Maupay, I think this trait could change.

        El Mohamady certainly in the driving seat for RB, was so much better than Taylor on the left on Monday, but it's one to monitor in pre-season for sure.

      2. The Champ is here
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I forgot all about elmo! Fpl is whole again

    5. Peter Ouch
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Thanks for all the details mate, much appreciated!

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Cheers mate!

    6. Ason Willa
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      25 million for Tammy doesn't sound that bad at all. He's young, knows AVFC's system and has plenty of potential. Can you think of anyone cheaper who could do as good a job?

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I just wonder whether Chelsea will hold onto him if the transfer ban stands? Maupay, who I like a lot, is also being talked about and would be cheaper. He's pacy, really good linking play and scores a fair few too.

        1. Ason Willa
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Good point. He's also got plenty of years ahead of him and Dean Smith has worked closely with him before.

    7. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Grealish is by far the better player, but I would prefer McGinn as an FPL asset.

      When Grealish is playing well it doesn't always equal attacking returns. A lot of the time it is the assist the assister type of play. He might well pick you up a bap or 2, but I'm not too confident about attacking returns. McGinn is the man for that, much more likely to pick up attacking returns when playing well.

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Good points - how much do you think they'll both be mate? That will be key.

        1. Deulofale
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Hoping for a BOGOF deal. 5.5m for the pair?

        2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          I'm always terrible with prices. I'm thinking though that they might price overprice Grealish on name alone, with maybe McGinn 0.5 less. Hopefully McGinn has gone under the radar a bit, though maybe not after being given player of the season.

          5.5-6.5 ish maybe?

          1. avfc82
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            I was thinking Grealish 6.5, hopefully McGinn will be a bit lower, maybe 5.5?

            1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              If I had to put my money on it I'd say

              Grealish 6.5
              McGinn 6.0, but that might easily be 5.5. Depends if they have been paying attention.

              1. Mysterion
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 20 days ago

                He deserves the 0.5 extra just for that thunderbastard volley

      2. The Champ is here
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Interesting stimpy

    8. Jafalad
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      “It feels right.”

      How can you say this when you finished so far behind Leeds, the best footballing team in the division and the biggest club in the land?

      Straight back down for you I’m afraid.

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        It feels right because we're a big club, history tells us that. 21 major trophies, including a European Cup, only Everton have spent longer in the top tier etc.

        1. Jafalad
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          That was in 1867. I’m talking 2019.

          1. avfc82
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Cmon, don't be bitter! I actually like Leeds, big club, proper fanbase. I suspect you'll be up this time next year.

      2. Ason Willa
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        and yet they're better resourced than Norwich or Sheffield United... I fancy them to stay up.

    9. Stimps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Connor Hourihane 8 goals and 11 assists. On set pieces. If he is nailed he's the Villa player I'd be after

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Hourihane is interesting, plays at the base of the midfield trio so deeper than McGinn and Grealish, but has great technique. He was heavily rotated with Whelan this season tho, and I wonder if Smith will look to bring in more of a ball winner over the next couple of months.

      2. Andy'81
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Plays too deep for me, relying on a set piece taker (not on pens) from a bottom dwelling EPL team isn't the way to go.

    10. fclackless [RoboKlopp]
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      great stuff again, cheers

      1. avfc82
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Thanks!

    11. The Rumour Mill
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      cheers for this. Quite difficult to assess them at this point when a lot of the key players are on loan. Completely different prospect next season with the loanees returning compared to without I feel.

      Abraham would be the hardest to replace. I think Chelsea may well want him back with Higuaín departing (especially if transfer ban is enforced). That would just leave Giroud as the only striker as Bats seems to be on an eternal loan. they also need to keep Tammy around to satisfy the "home grown" quota at the club.

      1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I'm not entirely convinced Abraham can cut it in the Premier League. I've got the feeling he's in a similar bracket to the likes of Jordan Rhodes. Can bang them in for fun in the lower leagues but struggles in the Premier League.

        I may be completely wrong, and hopefully I am wrong if he stays. But that's my gut feeling.

        1. The Rumour Mill
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          He's only 21 isn't he? If he was 25 I would be inclined to agree but at 21 I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Plenty of development to come I think

    12. The Champ is here
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Good write up cheers. Had to double check I was on the right website there. Will check your others. Being an antipodean it's hard enough to watch the premier league I never catch any championship footy

  6. Deulofale
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    @Geoff where did your comment go?

    I wrote an essay in reply and now it's gone. My main request for next season is that you stop modding your own posts. It's not really fair that you edit after posting (then delete other people's legit replies to suit yourself) or delete your posts if you change your mind. Lead by example and get the post right the first time 😉

    Now where can I post my essay?

    1. Deulofale
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Okay posting it here, because I don't want to waste time. Question was about improvements to the ticker:

      I'd like to be able to have more freedom pick and choose GW ranges, e.g. maybe I want to see GW1-6 & 8-10 together (omitting GW7), or maybe I want to just see GW1, 3, 5 & 6 for some reason. It can happen 😀

      Maybe even better than this, we could plan rotation by clicking on the fixtures themselves to turn them off, so the sort function stops taking them into account when finding the best fixtures in your custom range. Or some other way to filter out good or bad fixtures before the sort so we can see best fixtures which are actually relevant to when we will field the players in our XI.

      Does that make sense?

      1. Geoff
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Yeah, see EFs post below 😀

        Basically I asked because I couldn't find a specific thread about something related to it, but I then found it.

        I think Drag & Drop plus simple removal (or addition like you say) is the best way to go. Then I'll look at black not grey for the team names and think about two other things that are slightly less important, showing fixtures dates and previous scores.

  7. Arsenal: what's needed for next season?
    Deulofale
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Thoughts on how to improve Arsenal on a shoestring budget?

    There's depth in youth, but I don't think more than 2 should be promoted to the first team yet (although through necessity, one or two should so that money can be utilised on bigger signing(s)).

    Here's the bulk of Arsenal put into XIs for fun:

    Leno
    Holding, Sokratis, Medley
    Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac
    Smith Rowe, Iwobi
    Lacazette

    Macey
    Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Saka
    Chambers, Bielik
    Aubameyang, Willock, Nelson
    Nketiah

    Martinez
    Xhaka, Mustafi, Monreal
    Elneny, Sheaf, Maitland-Niles
    Mkhitaryan, Nwakali,
    Asano

    Other notables: Amaechi, Gilmour, Iliev, Olayinka, Ballard, Osei-Tutu, Bola, Thompson, Burton, John-Jules, Ozil

    Leaving: Cech, Suarez, Welbeck, Lichtsteiner

    Which youth players should be given a chance or loaned? Which senior players should be kept and sold? And where should Arsenal spend their "limited" money?

    The priorities for me would be to sell Mustafi and Xhaka, and if possible, get Ozil out of the door - even loan to China if necessary, as he's absolute poison.

    1. Ask Yourself
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      They’ve gone for Fraser which would be a great signing on the cheap. Replace mustafi with Manolas ideally. Tierney from Celtic and I think emery wanted Nkunku who was excellent and versatile in his PSG days.
      Was hoping you’d win yesterday as it would have meant more elite signings but I think these guys will be perfect

      1. Deulofale
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Remember when they were linked with Mbappe :'( 😆

    2. Deulofale
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Oops. Missing a player in the last XI. Pop Osei-Tutu in at RB.

      1. Mysterion
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Can't wait for the day Arsenal are losing 1-2 and Pop bangs on in...

        1. Deulofale
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          And to do it away to Leipzig in an EL game... 😮 A star is born!

    3. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Sign a CB and play:

      Leno
      ????? Koscielny Sokratis
      Bellerin Torreira Xhaka Guendouzi Kolasinac
      Lacazette Aubameyang

      This gets the best out of Laca and Auba as a partnership up front. It gets the best out of Bellerin and Kolasinac in the wing-back position. It allows Xhaka to play those longer balls. You get defensive protection from Torreira and Guendouzi.

      1. diesel001
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Backup team:

        Martinez
        Jenkinson Holding Mavropanos Monreal
        AMN Elneny Chambers Iwobi
        Mkhitaryan
        Nketiah

        1. diesel001
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Get rid of: Cech, Ospina, Mustafi, Lichsteiner, Suarez, Ramsey, Ozil, Welbeck

          1. Deulofale
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Koscielny is getting old af, but there's actually quite an abundance of CBs at Arsenal for backup. There are just question marks over their ability.

            I wouldn't be upset if we sold Mustafi plus one more CB to make room/money for a quality signing. That could even be Koscielny to make a little dough before he leaves for free or practically free due to age.

            We don't necessarily need to buy another if we keep Chambers and Bielik at the club as versatile backups competing for 2 or 3 places with Sokratis, Mavropanos, Holding, even Jenkison as potential CB cover (though could be sold himself) and the new signing (as well as for a potential central midfield role).

      2. Deulofale
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        How about something like this:

        Leno
        ?????* Sokratis Holding
        Bellerin* Torreira Tielemans* Guendouzi Kolasinac*
        Aubameyang Lacazette

        Alternates:

        Martinez Macey
        AWB* Bielik/Chambers Mavropanos Monreal/Saka
        Chambers AMN/Bielik
        Nelson Mkhitaryan* AMN/Willock Iwobi Fraser*/Saka
        Nketiah

        Sell: Xhaka; Koscielny; Jenkinson; Elneny; Ozil; Asano; wouldn't mind saying goodbye to Kola & Bellerin too, but unfortunately this ain't Monopoly or Pokemon card-swapping.

        Buy: AWB/Meunier*; Tielemans*; Quality CB*; Fraser*

        Loan: Smith Rowe (or sell Mkhi*); Willock* or AMN*; Medley; Sheaf; Nwakali

        Perhaps asking a little too much *wails* :'o

        1. diesel001
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Yes, Tielemens would be a good signing. I think AWB will be out of your price range, but Meunier is possible. Still unsure on whether Fraser is good enough for a Top 6 club.

          I wouldn't want to change too much tbh. The core of the team is there and still fairly young. It really needs a CB and a CM to take it to the next level.

          1. Deulofale
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Yeah not sure on Fraser, but would definitely improve the squad, I think. I added him because he seems realistic given the situation and the fact I wasn't more than just 2 players this window 😀 I can always change him to Zaha!

    4. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Good post.

      Excited to see both Nelson and Smith-Rowe return, they can both become useful squad players. When you add them to Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang, Iwobi, Lacazette etc there is firepower. I'd like to see Arsenal prioritise a central midfielder to complement Torreira. Xhaka has improved this season, and Guendouzi is only going to get better, I just feel they need someone who offers a little more control / presence. A new left back should also be a priority, not convinced at all by Kolasinac!

      How much do you think you'll have to spend this summer?

      1. Deulofale
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Depends on the Ozil situation. Whether budget can be increased by selling or loaning him, or if he continues to strangle the club both financially and with his attitude.

        I don't really know either way, though. New Addidas deal is worth £60m per year, and people might actually buy this kit if the leaked shirts are legitimate, because they don't look like shite haha.

        Obviously it's most important to get quality, but I really hope £100m+ is spent this Summer, and spent wisely. Hopefully we can raise even more by selling a few players, but Arsenal are notoriously slow to make things happen, so could always backfire 😆

        1. Deulofale
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Just looked into the leaked kits and they're just old concepts. Should've figured AFTV didn't do their research! They even shared the concepts in Oct 2018, then made a video recently about how they thought it was the real deal, just leaked 😆

    5. Differential (c)
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      That UEL loss has had a huge impact on your targets, me thinks.

      CL meant targets like Felix/Dembele etc.

      EL means targets like Sessgenon and Fraser.

      I think pouring funds in position you REALLY need reinforcements is key. No point spending on a Welbeck replacement, for example. Promote youth.

      CBs is a HUGE hole to fill. I actually think the only class CB in there is Holding. The other CBs are past it at the high level.
      Another key position is a Ramsey replacement is essential. Will be hard but they need someone that can inject that fight, spirit and exude leadership like Rambo.

    6. noquarternt
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 19 days ago

      Got enough youth talent and senior options for mid and attack. Think serious cash on a CB is all we can hope for unless some players leave.

      Fraser should be a good addition but a premier CB would be my preference.

      Not too far off the CL this year in the league, just a bit more consistency and of course not letting Lacazette or Aubameyang go could push us over the line.

    7. asquishypotato
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 19 days ago

      Lost of square pegs in round holes, half the people playing are out of position - Emery, whilst hold at being reactive, doesn’t know his best starting 11 or formation.

      Defenders are a massive issue, along math width/pace. A good example is Miki, he has been in and out, injured, playing in different positions. How do you expect anyone to get rhythm ?

    8. Santigold
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 19 days ago

      In goal, Leno and Martinez as backup are good-to-go. We should sell Ospina.

      Auba and Laca have been great this season. Nketiah is good backup. We should just sell Asano. We're never going to use him.

      In defensive midfield we're doing ok now, I think. Torreira and Guendouzi are both great and will keep on improving. I think Xhaka has also stepped up a bit under Emery. We also have an OK backup in Elneny and even Chambers, if necessary.

      We have some problems in attacking midfield. Ramsey is leaving, Özil isn't worth his paycheck, Mkhitaryan has been a slight disappointment and Iwobi still isn't quite good enough for the starting XI. I hope we will give Nelson and Smith-Rowe some proper game time next season and one of them will have a breakthrough season. I guess it would be the best for the player and the club if we would just sell Özil and spend the money to strengthen the defence, which is our weak point.

      Defence really is the area where we should be spending our budget. Koscielny is getting old and has been making a lot more mistakes recently. Mustafi and Sokratis are both very inconsistent. Monreal is a good left back, but he can't really make it in a back three. Holding was really good before his injury. He should get plenty of starts once he's fit again. Mavropanos is promising. I honestly don't know what to think about Chambers. We really need a big signing at centre back. Someone to lead the defence. I know we're on a tight budget, so we might need to sell Özil to fund the transfer.
      Our wing back/full back situation really depends on which formation Emery wants to use next season. If we continue with three at the back and wing-backs, then we should be fine with Bellerin and Kolasinac, with Maitland-Niles and Monreal as backups. But neither Bellerin or Kola are suited to a back four. They're too attacking and get caught out of position too often.

      TLDR: Sell Ospina, Asano and Özil, and use the funds to buy a proper CB (or two).

    9. CROCosta
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 19 days ago

      priority buys: CB and creative midfielder like Sarabia/Fraser, would not mind Porto's Yacine Brahimi as he is gonna be free agent come July
      priority sacking: Ozil to free up payload

      I like the full-backs: Bellerin and Kolasinac with Maitland-Niles and Nacho as backups, also would like Willock and Nkietah to get more game-time

    10. MeatPieSausageRoll
      2 months, 18 days ago

      Needs an ACM and a CB. That should be the priority. Given budget constraints - maybe a Schar or Bednarek for CM? For the ACM I dont even know what to suggest bro

  8. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Score prediction for Spurs vs Liverpool this weekend?

    1. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      2-2 Liverpool to win in extra time with a late goal.

  9. Gravless are for Kinnear
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Why was my penultimate comment deleted?

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      If there's a good reason to be posting that comment then explain it on site. If there's a reason explaining it on site will get you in trouble you shouldn't be leaving the comment in the first place. Email me directly if you have a problem with this or want to explain your side of things

  10. Fantasy Gold
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    I just posted a comment (completely innocent) yet there was no review or anything it just didn’t post.

    Very odd.

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Strange one, I didn't get a report for that

      1. Geoff
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Ah I see it, because the comment it was in response to was removed. Nothing to do with yours!

        1. Fantasy Gold
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Ah, that’s a relief.

          Thanks Geoff 🙂

    2. Klopptomist - Guardiolas of…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Hey mate, did you see Pumpkinhead was looking for you?

      1. Fantasy Gold
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Who... me or Geoff?

        1. Klopptomist - Guardiolas of…
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Let one of us if you email 🙂

          1. Fantasy Gold
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Hey Klopp, I’ve emailed Pumpkin.

            Thanks 🙂

  11. Fantasy Gold
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    How many points are you all on in the official fantasy cricket game?

    167 here.

    1. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Amla retired hurt after getting hit by a bouncer from Archer.

      1. Fantasy Gold
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        That sucks. Just heard.

        Can he come back on later in the innings if he feels better?

        1. Ask Yourself
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Yes precautionary checks must be done after a player collapsed after carrying on with a hit to the head

          1. Ask Yourself
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            He can come back on though if all is okay looks to be that way

            1. Ask Yourself
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              But England need to get everyone else out first lol

              1. Nightcrawler
                2 months, 20 days ago

                He can come back after the fall of any wicket

        2. diesel001
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Yes. Archer is going to be hard to score against. He is just too quick. If this was in the West Indies or Australia with their quick pitches it would be carnage.

    2. Nightcrawler
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Seriously regretting dropping faf for markram now. Hopefully he goes early

      1. diesel001
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Very poor batting from South Africa. Should not be attacking Archer really unless he is giving you something pitched up or very wide.

        Can see South Africa being all out for 150 here.

        1. Nightcrawler
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Don't rate this english bowling unit at all. Seriously poor in the recent series they had against a bang average batting side

          1. diesel001
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            I felt England were experimenting against Pakistan to work out who to drop from the squad. Moeen is their weakest bowler and he isn't getting runs so if I were a selector I would be considering his place, especially given how good England's batting is. I would be playing Archer (opening and death bowler), Woakes (opening bowler), Rashid (middle over bowler), Plunkett (middle overs bowler) and Wood (middle over and death bowler). If you need another spin option then Root can bowl a few. If you think the pitch is a turner then play Dawson over Wood.

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 20 days ago

      This dope didn’t read up on the chip system. Mega fail. 153

      1. diesel001
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Damn. That's why I loaded up on South Africans this Round. In the hope they would get boundaries and I can get the chip bonus.

    4. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      393.5 here. All eight wickets with four catches, and the bowling chip active plus stokes and Roy. I mean, I should be doing well, I have ten players in this game.

      1. Nightcrawler
        2 months, 20 days ago

        The bowling chip seems by far the most productive.

        1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Yeah, it's massive. Especially in combination with captaincy. I've been in the top 50 for much of the day due to it.

          1. Nightcrawler
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Gone with the 4 main saf bowlers vs bang for that chip. No cap but rabada vc tho

          2. Vobinho In Wengerland
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            I'm using mine on Starc & Cummins v Afghanistan

            1. diesel001
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Same.

  12. Dakes.
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    People seen the Barca Griezmann news?

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      What is it? I saw rumours yesterday, I hope that happens!

  13. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Never watched a game of cricket before but my friend roped me in to playing fantasy. Captain amla. Brilliant.

    1. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Not over yet. He can still come back in if he is okay and he has another game later in the round.

      1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Here's hoping! Got a lot of wickets from South Africa (all of them :p) so a little disappointed I didn't c a bowler. Also was told that chips weren't cumulative so has limited my bowling chip.

        1. diesel001
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Just said on commentary that they expect Amla to come out to bat later in the innings

        2. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Cracking. Thank you

  14. Vobinho In Wengerland
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Eng v SA might just go down to the wire... quite even right now.

    De Kock (c) with the chip doing well for me.

    1. Nightcrawler
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Needless from de kock

      1. diesel001
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        As I said above, South Africa batting strategy has been poor.

        1. Vobinho In Wengerland
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          That was poor. They only needed a run a ball...

        2. Nightcrawler
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Another one gone trying to take archer on. Absurd batting

    2. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Jinxed it

      1. Vobinho In Wengerland
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Indeed... I never learn!

  15. Ask Yourself
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Amla fit to play again

    1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Hasn't come in this time sadly. Come back captain amla!

    2. Vobinho In Wengerland
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      He needs another assessment to judge whether he's fine to bat.

    3. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Amla back in

    4. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Amla flop. Poor strike rate too. Glad I (c) De Kock.

  16. Deulofale
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Argh. Too much comment clean-up occurring still. If you're gonna delete stuff arbitrarily, it's amazing all that chat about cricket managed to survive. Maybe roll the deletion dice a few more times 😆

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      There are reasons for it, and it's certainly not arbitrary

      1. Deulofale
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Top of the page post survived... Seems to be the same as ones removed.

        Doesn't seem particularly consistent or necessary most of the time. "There are reasons" is pretty mysterious. Seems to be just a spring clean of stuff you don't fancy looking at.

        1. Geoff
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Yeah, I was going to leave them but then it started to get bigger. Missed that one!

          One of the problems with removing posts is that explaining it on site actually gives those posts more time 😉 Email me if you're interested and we can talk off of FFS about it

          1. Deulofale
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Things naturally grow and die out, don't worry about it unless it's harmful - would be my approach. Just annoying and even frustrating and time-wasting for us users when posts are removed. It's all part of how a community interacts and finds its identity.

            Maybe there's something I'm missing about the joke which was really harmful. In which case, I apologise, but I assume not, since it wasn't consistently applied. More of an attempt to control the discourse, which is not really appreciated in my book (unless, as I say, it's blatantly harmful).

            1. Geoff
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Like I said, email me if you want specifics. New article now though 🙂

        2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Snitches get stitches.

          1. Deulofale
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Hahaha sorry