Friday, 13 January 2012

Wildcard Changes

After much contemplation I have decided to use my January Transfer Window Wildcard (valid until GW 23).  Fortunately I didn't use my all-season wildcard prior to this so I still have that at hand for any prospective use later in the season.  So here are my final wildcard changes (reasons included):

GK: Bunn (OUT) / Lindegaard (IN)

Though Bunn has recently played matches due to Robinson's injury he is still Blackburn's no2.  At the same time, I wasn't keen on having two goalkeepers of a similar standard with the worry of having benched the one who did well in the gameweek where as the unforeseen under-peforming one was selected in goal.  I believe that the solution to this was to bring in Lindegaard (4.4) to replace Bunn.  He has kept 5 clean sheets out of 6 this season.  I am sure he will play some more matches, despite facing competition for De Gea.  But my logic dictated that I could play Lindegaard in goal whenever Manchester United had an easy-ish home match.  Of course, if he didn't play my current first choice of Vorm would be auto-subbed in.  I will see how this experiment works but I believe that now have the peace of mind of not having lost points on the bench or of having an ineffective back up goalie.

DEF: Jagielka (OUT) / Richards (IN)

This change in part was forced by the injury that Jagielka was struck by in DGW20.  However, I have had Richards before and only got rid of him to save money and also because I was tempted by cheaper defenders.  I feel that Richards attacking potency is such that he is definitely worth having in the team.  Whilst he isn't cheap I trust that this change will be of benefit to my team than having an injured player warming the bench.

DEF: Walker (OUT) / Terry (IN)

I made this change before DGW21 ended.  I only kept Walker in the team from GW 10 as I felt that Spurs had a decent run of fixtures from that time to present.  This is no longer the case though as they will now face top 4 opposition in the upcoming weeks ahead.  I opted to pick Terry, as like Richards, he is an attacking defender.  Of course, Chelsea haven't kept many clean sheets this season, but hopefully his should change with their January transfer window reinforcements.  Even if they don't keep clean sheets Terry will be about to cause problems in the other half.  Chelsea's easy-ish upcoming fixture list meant that I thought it best on taking a punt on JT for the time being.

DEF: Baines (OUT) / Assou-Ekotto (IN)

I made this change after the end of DGW21.  Whilst Spurs have some tough upcoming fixtures they also have a couple of easy ones.  At 5.5, I thought Assou-Ekotto was a steal and has some mild attacking prowess as was evident v Everton.  I don't intend to have him as an automatic first teamer, but I feel he can be of benefit when Spurs have easy-ish matches in the future.  As for Baines, bit of a dissapointment and he is over-priced.  His assists and goals from last year have dried up and I felt he was not worth keeping in the team after DGW.

DEF: Enrique (OUT) / Jones (IN)

Enrique has done me good with the clean sheets that he picked up.  But I wanted more from my first-team defence.  As a result I decided to reinstate Jones as he sometimes operates as a midfielder which ticks the attacking prowess box for me.  Of course Jones is more expensive, but I feel Sir Alex Ferguson will be playing him more regularly especially due to United's injury list.  For me it's a no brainer - if United need defensive cover he will play in defence, if they have too many fit defender he will be shafted into midfield.  Let's hope that this theory works in practice!

MID: Nani (OUT) / Silva (IN)

This move may come as a surprise for some.  But I feel that as United's midfield returns to full fitness, Nani's points tally may wane, along with his play time.  His form of late hasn't been good either.  I thought Silva would be a good alternative as he is a key City player and I like the way he can unlock defences.  The problem with Silva is that he too doesn't consistently pick points and is prone to squad rotation.  But I feel that with City out of the FA Cup, Champions League and almost out of the League Cup they will do their best to focus on the league.  This will entail Silva having to play better as they aim to win their first ever Premier League title.

MID: Osman (OUT) / Dempsey (IN)

Injury forced this change, but I would have replace Osman regardless.  Initially I planned to do so with the on-loan Donovan.  But I am not content with Everton's lack of goals.  Thus I felt that picking an established star player that scores goals would be ideal.  Dempsey stood out from my sub10.0 shortlist.  Moreover, his FA Cup hat-trick showed how important he is to Fulham - comparable to Steve Gerrard for Liverpool in days gone by.  Dempsey plays for a team where the strikers don't score as many as they should and I am confident that he will bag me some crucial points in the weeks ahead.

MID: Walters (OUT) / Sessegnon (IN)

I believe that these two players are comparable in their attacking attributes - listed as midfielders but can be deployed in a quasi second-striker role.  The difference is that Walters' form has dipped of late, where as Sessegnon's has come to life under Martin O'Neill.  I believe that Sunderland can maintain their good form and I will be happy to pick Sess in easy-ish matches, where as having him as a first or second sub for hard-ish matches.  Worth a punt in my estimation.

MID: Bale (OUT) / Gerrard (IN)

This may appear shocking for some but I believe that Gerrard will be the better option in weeks to come.  In part due to him returning to full fitness and Liverpool's easy-ish fixtures.  As for Bale, he has harder upcoming fixtures and I also believe he will be squeezed out for points with the fully fit VDV and Lennon.  Where as Gerrard will be a key attacking threat from midfield, especially with Suarez's long term ban in force.  Gerrard has proved his fitness and form with his fine FA Cup and League Cup performances of late.  Here's to hoping that the former PFL nailed on stalwart can carry that on in the Premier League.

FWD: Adebayor (OUT) / Yakubu (IN)

DGW was the final straw for me in ditching Adebayor - 0 goals & 0 assists at home, from 175 minutes of play.  His form of late has been poor, especially against easier opposition!  I thought it best to replace him with the cheaper priced Yakubu.  In part as Yakubu is arguably Blackburn's main goal threat with an impressive goal scoring record for them.  But also due to the fact that they have easy-ish upcoming fixtures.  The problem is Yak doesn't score regularly on a week-by-week basis for Blackburn.  Here's to hoping that will change as Blackburn aim to push away from relegation.

FWD: Ba (OUT) / Beattie* (IN)

I originally signed Swansea's Danny Graham* to replace Ba who has gone to the African Cup of Nations.  But due to other team changes I had to opt for the cheapest striker at hand, thus getting Beattie.  He hasn't played a minute of Premier League football for Swansea and is a reserve.  I thought that there was no harm in having one non-playing player as a sub thus picked him in my team to fund my other expensive purchases.