Saturday, 15 August 2009

David Puddy XI (“Alright, high-five”)

I used to get well excited about putting together Fantasy/Dream Teams when I was a kid. It was almost like a real Championship Manager. I’d stay up all hours creating shortlists and working out different teams and formations. It’d take several weeks for me to narrow down a first XI and then I’d have to do another team because I felt bad for all those I left out. Hell, I even like typing in all the individual player codes on phone.

Now, I could give a shit. I did my first one in years last season because it allowed me to get away from work momentarily and ended up doing my 30 (!) transfers before February. It’d be better if had something riding on the league winner because “pride” isn’t really going cut it for me.

Having said that, I did enjoy picking out a player or two that I think will shine over the course of the season. But even though my starting XI’s will no doubt change within the week, I still aired on the side of caution and went with some guaranteed points players.

Anyway, here’s a sentence or two on each player of my team…

Manuel Almunia – 3.5

Is the cheapest keeper of the top four and will be a starter every week. He and Arsenal’s defence are a liability though so this might be one of the first changes I’ll make.

Branislav Ivanovic – 3.3

Solid defender and was favoured over Bosingwa in the Charity Shield. With the persisting rumours the Portuguese right back is off to Bayern Munich, I expect the Serbian to start a lot of games.

Richardo Carvalho – 3.8

Hopefully Ancelotti will instil Carvalho back alongside Terry at the heart of Chelsea’s defence. If so, they’ll be lots of clean sheets, and maybe he’ll pop up with odd goal.

Mathew Upson – 3.5

This pick is in hope that Lescott stays at Goodison so Man City will quickly move for Upson. If so, he’ll probably acquire more points, but whether at West Ham or Eastlands, he’s a guaranteed starter and consistent performer.

Yuri Zhirkov – 4.2

I don’t expect Zhirkov to start too many games at left back if Ashley Cole’s fit, so he’ll probably line up on the left hand side of midfield. My only concern is he’s an Abramovich buy so he might not fit into Ancelotti’s plans. Good player though.

Andrei Arshavin – 5.5

I’m guessing Wenger’s learnt his lesson about leaving out this little genius. Should be the focal point of Arsenal’s attack where he’ll make and score goals all season.

Steven Gerrard – 6.5

Like Lampard, you know what you’re getting with Gerrard and he’ll doubtlessly score points every time he plays.

Morten Gamst Pedersen – 3.4

Believe it or not, I actually chose Pedersen before his midweek brace against Scotland. I’ve always been a fan and while he’s underperformed the last couple of season, I’m hopeful he’ll recapture some of that form that made him one of the most dynamic players in the league.

Wayne Rooney – 6.8

Rooney is supposedly going to start more games through the middle, so that can only mean more points for a man who already scores them regularly.

Peter Crouch – 5.7

I expect Crouch will be preferred to Pavlychenko and alongside either Defoe or Keane he should be the spearhead of the Spurs attack. Is accomplished enough now to guarantee you 12 + goals a season.

Christian Benitez – 3.8

This boy’s my pick to make an impact. You don’t drop 9 mil on player (especially if your Birmingham) if he hasn’t got something. Hopefully he’ll settle early but with pace, power and an excellent goalscoring record, he’s got a chance.

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