Posts Tagged ‘etherington’

Season Previews 2010/11 – Stoke



Last Season: 11th

New Signings: Cuvelier, Nash

Key Player: Matthew Etherington

One To Watch: Tom Soares

Needs A Big Year: Sanli Tuncay

Would Quite Like: To be given credit for something besides Delap —> big man’s head. Might help trying some different tactics besides Delap —> big man’s head.

Just keep wasting 30 seconds a throw.

Prediction: 10th

Thoughts: I find it hard to like Stoke. It’s partly because they know what Arsenal’s weaknesses are and ruthlessly expose them every time the Gunners visit the Britannia. It’s partly because one of their central defenders put one Arsenal’s best prospects out for nine months with a filthy tackle. It’s partly, well, they’re just not a likeable club.

Credit must be given to Tony Pulis, who has slowly been improving Stoke season by season but you feel that until they play some more expansive football, they’re not going to be recognised for their efforts. Stoke should absolutely play to their strengths but they can’t complain if people say they play crap football.

Whilst there are some quite creative players at the club, most notably Etherington and Tuncay, plan A seems to predominantly be to hit it direct to Fuller or Beattie. This has resulted in quite a contrast between home and away form, with just four victories on their travels last season, as home teams dominate possession and Stoke fans can’t play as much of a part.

Stoke do seem to be looking to get the next level, given some of the players they’ve been linked with and some of the transfer fees suggested. Someone like Kenwyne Jones or Carlton Cole would be a good signing given the circumstances (unglamorous club/no European football yet) and they probably will improve, though perhaps only by a place or two.


Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 26 Preview


The gameweeks are coming thick and fast at the moment and with the FA Cup this weekend and the Champions League not resuming until next week, there’s a full set of midweek matches to gorge over. It’s like Christmas all over again.

Week 25 was reasonable enough but a score of 50 points was a point below average but relatively speaking my second worst of the season (rank: 1,244,616). Captain Rooney saved the day but I regretted not going through with my plan of bringing in Drogba for Tevez. Still ranked in the top 10,000 overall so it’s not too bad but that’s two shoddy weeks out of three. Need to up my game.

It’s a double gameweek for Bolton, Man City, Stoke and Wigan. Not the best selection of teams but more on that later.


Gameweek 25 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):


Maverick thinks you should at least face the camera if you win Top Gun. Not going to happen often if you're a Stoke player is it?

Stoke won handsomly at home against Blackburn and Etherington ran the show with a goal, assist, clean sheet and three bonus. 14 points for a player who’s still very cheap at just £5.5m. It was his first big game for a while, but Etherington has been steadily consistent and seven assists for the season is higher than most.

Elsewhere Fox of Burnley made his first fantasy impression with 13 against West Ham. Not bad for a first go. As predicted in last week’s captain picks, Drogba destroyed Arsenal with two goals and the man of the match for 13 points while Rooney got a phantom assist to go with his goal and bump his total to 11. Kevin Phillips scored twice for 11 points too.


Three Captain Picks

1. Tevez or Adebayor/Man City – Easily the strongest side playing twice but due their inconsistency you can only really look at the attacking players. Tevez had a super run of form but now hasn’t scored in three while Adebayor has scored two games running since returning from Angola. Those two things may be linked but either way I think that there’s enough to go round against Bolton and Stoke.

2. Etherington/Stoke – Always go with a man in form. The nippy left winger had his most productive game of the season at the weekend and now faces Wigan and Man City, both sides being notorious for leaks at the back. I would back him for an assist and perhaps a cheaky bonus point too. Might have to wait until the City game to ge tit though – Stoke have only scored four away goals all season.

3. N’Zogbia/Wigan – I would have put Bolton’s Cahill as an option here but he’s now injured for a few months. Instead we’ll go for one of the only two Wigan players worth captaining. N’Zogbia has been at the heart of all Wigan’s best moments this season and for a struggling side they at least score some goals. Rodallega could also be an option but I’ll be bringing in the winger this week.

Emmanuel Adebayor Man City

Gets a Captain's tick.


Three Potential Transfers In:

1. Drogba/Chelsea – Stating the obvious but the quicker you get him back in, the more money you’ll save. The double against Arsenal should have convinced you. Watch Lampard’s preformance drop now that he’s back.

2. Bolton players – Six games in the next four gameweeks. Plenty of value to be found even if Gary Cahiill is now out. All the games bar Man City are against sides around them and Owen Coyle has already had an impact with their first two clean sheets of the season in the last three weeks.

3. Arsenal players – Just because they’ve been handed consecutive lessons by Man Utd and Chelsea doesn’t mean they aren’t still viable fantasy options. 60 goals scored and a very easy run in (just Man City (H) and Spurs (A) left of the top eight) means you should still have one or two players in your team. Bendtner, Ramsey, and Diaby are all cheap and worth keeping an eye on.

Didier Drogba Chelsea

Might be worth a pick.


Three To Avoid:

1. Arshavin/Arsenal – I’ve given him weeks and weeks but finally had to get rid. You can’t have that expensive a player not producing week in week out. One goal in nine I believe. Still has a high score overall but there are better ways to invest £10.5m. Now watch him score a hat-trick against Liverpool!

2. Aston Villa strikers/wingers – Scored in just one of their last six league games.

3. Cahill/Bolton – Out for the season if it wasn’t already obvious from the previous mentions.

arshavin arsenal

Are you taking the mick?!



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