PITCH & PINT – EPISODE 12: Bitch is Back
[queue intro music]
Episode 12 of Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Thursday, October 18, Bitch is Back, in honor of Elton John and the Hornets
(:26) Hello and welcome to episode 12 of Pitch & Pint. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter. I decided to take nearly 2 weeks off since my last podcast. Off the back of a 49-point week, one point off the average posting a red arrow, decided I could do without FPL, decompress and take a break.
It’s been a good break and to be honest, I haven’t missed a damn thing. In this early international play, results mean jack shit. What are they are calling it now? Nations League or some shit leading up to Euro Cup in 2020. Just more gimmicks for international play, which will now include VAR. And the hits keep on coming.
I’ve kept busy over the break, I had intentions, while the cheaters were jet setting around the UK, watching football, hanging out with those in the FPL community and drinking, to finish up their Two Cheaters Ale. Unfortunately, I experienced a pet emergency. Yeah, really a pet emergency with our little French Bulldog that required me to spend the next 10 hours trying to save my wife’s dog, as she and my son were at Disneyland.
As for the beer, I had posted 2 tweets, complete with video talking about the Two Cheaters Ale and had just started to steep the grains when my mother in law called in a panic. At that point, I had no decision other than turn the flame off on the boil and leave it in the kettle.
Now I could have come home, fired up the burner and attempted to salvage the boil. The grains had been steeping for nearly 9 hours, so honestly, I am not sure what it would have done to the brew, but I decided to toss it out instead.
Looking back, I probably should have kept it fermented it to see just how it would turn out with the Centennial hops inclusions.
That said, Two Cheaters Ale is delayed for a few more weeks. I had hoped to already have their ale complete, rest assured Josh and Brandon will get a 6-pack when it’s completed.
Aside from that, I have been listening to a lot of true crime podcasts. I have FPL_Sauce to blame for that. He got me hooked me Crimetown after GW8 and since then I have binged listened to about 4 others since. Addictive shit!
GAMEWEEK 12 BEER OF THE WEEK
(2:21) Before I get too deep in the FPL discussion, let’s pour our first GW9 Beer of the Week.
This week I keep it local as I crack open A Knee Deep Brewing, Imperial IPA that weighs in at 8.5% ABV and 66 IBUs.
Knee Deep Brewing Co. is a family run independent Microbrewery that was born in the late Summer of 2010. When Knee Deep first started producing beer as they started out “contract brewing” their beers at Mt. Tallac Brewing in beautiful Lake Tahoe.
In the first quarter of 2011, the company reached an agreement to lease the former Beermann’s Brewery in Lincoln, CA. During the renovation and startup phase, Knee Deep’s beers continued to be contract brewed in the Bay Area of California.
Fast forward to 2018, Knee Deep’s beers are now brewed in their 28,000 square foot facility in Auburn, CA, located about 35 miles northeast of Sacramento. Their original 15-barrel brew house has been replaced with a 40-barrel 4 vessel system.
Their 15-barrel fermenters are no more, and they now ferment their beers in 60, 90, and 120 barrel tanks. The year-round offerings now total 16 and they also produce multiple monthly special releases and seasonal beers.
They also barrel age a limited quantity of specialty beers which are periodically released in the taproom.
The tasting room offers an unobstructed view of brewery operations and guests can enjoy samples of their beer while watching Knee Deep brew, filter, and or even packaging their products.
Knee Deep recently celebrated their 8th birthday and are excited to announce that you can find their beers in 30 different states! Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore are also part of our distribution network with more to come by the end of 2018.
As they state on their website, “The one thing that will not change at Knee Deep is the quality of our product. We continue to brew great beer and receive recognition and awards both locally and nationally.”
Tahoe Deep Imperial IPA is described as “an 8.5% ABV Imperial IPA brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and CTZ hops. It’s golden/orange appearance produces fragrant floral, and juicy tropical fruit aromas that lead up to a resinous pine finish. A true West Coast-Style IIPA.”
Let’s crack this 16 oz can open.
This beer pours a beautiful dark caramel with a slight cloudy appearance and a healthy 2-finger rocky looking foam head that leaves a nice ring of complex lacing on my pint glass.
The aroma is mix of citrus including grapefruit and orange with some tropical pineapple with a bready and doughy malt combined with caramel sweetness and a soft piney and dank resin accented with some floral notes.
The taste…Up front, Tahoe deep is steeped in floral notes with some tropical fruits, mainly pineapple and a nice hop bitterness, thanks to the “C” hops, softened by a caramel malt.
Overall is a good, solid offering from Knee Deep, reminiscent of the old school West Coast DIPA that seems to get lost these days with the influx of Northeast style, hazy IPAs that have made big inroads into the craft sector.
Now, let’s dive into my FPL opinions.
(5:31) As for show today, I will look ahead to this week’s action and my strategy over the next 4 weeks, when we come up to the next international break after game week 12.
Hopefully, like many managers there are more questions than answers headed into this game week. This international break has been terrible for Liverpool, as they already had Milner out, but injuries to Salah, Mane and Naby Keita leave the Reds very thin ahead of GW9. It is rumored Salah will be fit for the game at Huddersfield this week. This could open the door for Xheridan Shaqiri to get a start or a few starts with Mane and Milner out. At 7.0, the Swiss international could be an option, however just 8300 managers have brought him in.
Managers are still flocking to the once golden boy, Richarlison. Still can’t back him. Maybe it’s becoming personal. Not that I give a fuck. The point I was trying to make, there are other options out there for midfielders less than 7.0 million that managers are bringing in.
Richarlison 127k, Fraser, still flagged 113k, Maddison, another one I won’t buy into, 65k, while David Brook has seen 44k new managers and Gudmudsson, on the back of 3 consecutive returns has 42k new managers.
There are currently 5 sub-7.0 midfielders in the top 10 midfielders, based on points. Fraser with 48, Maddison with 42, Gudmundsson, 39 Pereyra, who, as a Watford supporter, I won’t back, has 36 and Walcott with 35.
For those with the “tweeners” players, priced between 7.0 and 8.0, we need to give Glyfi Sigurdsson real consideration. At 7.4 on 42 points, he has started to look like the Siggy we saw at Swansea. Returns of 14 and 10 ahead of the break, he’s scored 4 goals, but just 1 assist. Everton doesn’t have great fixtures, but they do play Palace and Brighton but also travel to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
For me, I am stuck on Lucas Moura. As long as Harry Kane is playing deep, gotta figure Moura will be helping to lead the attack. At 7.4, he isn’t cheap, but falls into that “tweener” category I was just talking about. No returns in his last 4 games, a few, which could have been viewed as unlucky.
Spurs are third with 84 attempts and 12 of 15 goals scored from inside the box. They are still without Alli, Eriksen and Dembele, so the likes of Moura, Lamela and Son make excellent options, if you don’t want to splay the budget for Kane, who failed to return against lowly Cardiff.
The outward appearance is, I don’t give a fuck about my team, but that truth is I am working on displaying patience. Guaranteed in years past seeing a red flag on Milner with yellow flags on Fraser and Salah, I would have burned both my FT, possibly even taking a -4 point hit to remedy the situation.
Maybe this is a new maturity I am show, Yeah, granted I am 48 years old, it’s more like trying to teach and old dog, new tricks. One thing I have continually heard participating in FPL, play boring and don’t make rash decisions.
Word out of Anfield, Salah is fit and will face Huddersfield, so not making a snap decision when he went down with an apparent hamstring injury could pay dividends if he starts and returns against Huddersfield.
This is the fourth consecutive weeksmanagers have continued to move the Egyptian out in droves. Another 338k managers have gone a different direction in the midfield, based on his continued price decrease, just one return in the last 5 weeks and more importantly, Eden Hazard is outplaying him at 1.5 million less, allowing managers up upgrade elsewhere. Mane had been the popular selection.
At this point, with the Reds upcoming run, I don’t have any intentions on moving Salah, outside of an injury. I don’t want to get into having second thoughts, like we are seeing with many Kane owners, who went in on him after his brace against Huddersfield two weeks ago but are now having some anxiety after blanking against Cardiff, playing deeping and only picking up a couple assists in meaningless international games.
In my opinion, the midfield is still a muddled mess. Hazard hasn’t shown this sort of form in a few years. This season, he’s returned 7 out of 8 game weeks with returns of 10 and 14 in his last two game weeks. Chelsea still have a good run and I expect Hazard to maintain his excellent form with MUN/bur/CRY/EVE in the next four weeks.
One strategy I am looking, moving Aguero for a budget forward, most likely Raul Jimenez, while adding Hazard to the midfield in place of the injured Milner. However, home to Burnley, who have struggled this season defensively isn’t a good time to move Aguero. In GW11, City then host Southampton.
That move gives me 0.3 ITB and sets me up for future moves that would allow me to bring KDB into my midfield at the expense of Lucas Moura, while Zaha would make way for Issac Success. This plan, if executed allows for some price decreases, as it would leave me 0.5 ITB.
If midfield is where the points are currently at, this would set me up with Salah, Hazard, KDB, Walcott and Fraser. This plan also puts me back to where I started at GW1, a starting XI without a premium forward. Is that still the way to go?
It doesn’t appear we can rely on Harry Kane. At 12.5, he’s the second highest priced player in the game. For the season he’s returned 45 points, just 7 less than Aguero, who’s also priced at 1.2 million less.
The picture gets very busy if you toss in the Arsenal duo of Lacazette and Aubameyang. Now, their stats might be a bit skewed after GW8. Lacazette doubled his goal output for the season, which now stands at 4, as he hit for a brace in the 5-1 thrashing away to Fulham. Aubameyang did the same thing, hit for a brace and added an assist. At 9.6 Lacazette’s returned 48 points on the season, 3 more than Kane, while Aubameyang at 10.7 now has 43.
Let’s take a quick break from the FPL discussion and “seek the seal.”
BEER NEWS – SEEK THE SEAL
(10:20) How can you tell if a beer is made by a U.S. craft brewer? Seek the independent craft brewer seal.
The independent craft brewer seal was launched in June 2017 by the Brewers Association, publishers of CraftBeer.com. The Brewers Association is the membership organization dedicated to promoting and protecting small and independent craft brewers in the United States. The BA defines a craft brewer as small, traditional and independent.
The logo is designed as an upside-down beer bottle, which symbolizes how the U.S. craft beer movement has turned beer on its head worldwide
As global beer makers purchase formerly independent craft brewers, knowing which breweries are independent is confusing for beer lovers.
“What the seal provides is a clear message to the beer drinker that this beer comes from a small and independent craft brewer,” says BA Director Paul Gatza.
As of fall 2018, more 3,700 craft brewing companies had adopted the seal — representing more than 80 percent of the volume of craft brewed beer.
When you see the seal, it signals “That’s Independence You’re Tasting.”
When you’re shopping for beer, look for the independent craft brewer seal. When you see it, snap and share a photo on Instagram and add the #seektheseal hashtag.
Join the movement and #seektheseal.
However not everyone agrees with the seal. Frank Szpiegal, president of AB/InBev’ “high end” or the division responsible for throwing shit loads of cash at craft breweries, doesn’t necessarily agree.
When asked his thought on the seal he calls it “divisive” and “because of a little bit of a slower rate of sale and a lot of variety, products are sitting on the shelf for maybe too long. I would like to have seen a bigger effort on quality and due dates.”
Variety. That is what craft brings to the table. Not the acquisitions from the likes of AB/InBev, Miller/Coors or Constellation Brands, just to name a few. Independent craft beer is not meant to sit on retail shelves, spoiling.
That’s one of the problems I have with BevMo, they keep craft beer on the shelves way too fucking long. Saw cans of Mike Hess from last fucking November still on the shelves. That’s nearly a year old, really? This is something I expect from big beer, but not craft.
Szpiegal continues to talk about a “lack of unity” as it relates to the independent seal and that BA hasn’t followed through. “I would love to see the other steps in terms of quality, community outreach, looking forward…”
Big beer continues to be “really focused on educating consumers in general, and our partners… to help unify everyone’s commitment to quality. If everyone got behind [this] — if everyone had transparency on the [date codes] on beers. We believe, and many craft brewers are [doing this] as well, we should all be doing that, because that’s pro-consumer and unites us and doesn’t divide us.”
I continue to hold the belief that craft brands purchased by big beer are no long craft brands. If money is given to you as a brewer and you are under the control of a big conglomerate, your beer is now promoted by big beer as a “crafty brand.”
Gotta call a spade a spade and I can’t support AB/InBev trying to promote their craft beer acquisitions as craft beer. Some of these beers I used to favor. Ballast Point, out of San Diego being a favorite before Constellation Brands tossed 1 billion dollars their way.
Finally, I will end with this from Szpiegal when asked if there is a difference between craft and non-craft beer.
“Absolutely not. Beer is the same process, small or big. Brewing is like cooking. One [way] is [cooking] for your significant other, and the other is cooking for 20 people. The difference is that in one, you have a small pan and small portions, the other is you have a big pan and big portions, and you have to put the same amount of love cooking small or cooking big if you want to get great products out there.
People will associate craft beer with unique ingredients and styles, but the process is pretty much the same… it’s brewed the same way. What we believe in is great recipes, amazing people doing it and the connection that we have.
How can you explain to me how it’s any better to be 100 percent owned by a bank or 100 percent owned by a brewer? That, I don’t get.”
The process IS the same, no one will argue that point. However, if your brewery is being subsidized was bought by big beer or taking money from an investment company, in my book, you are no longer an independent craft brewer.
As for the seal, I seek it every time I can. Every few weeks I resolve to stop drinking those brewers who don’t fit my definition of “independent craft.” Stone Brewing was the latest. VMG Partner invested $90 million into Stone. Another I mentioned in previous podcasts was Ballast Point. Those are just a few. If you want to see craft brewing ownership, then Google “who owns craft beer” and it will give you some idea.
I am a real asshole when it comes to what I drink, but I won’t slam others for their choices. Beer brings people together. Look at the #FPLBeerClub, 33 individuals who have come together with two interests; fantasy football and beer. Nothing better than to relax with friends and enjoy a beer.
Now, back to my FPL opinion on the upcoming game week.
FPL OPINIONS (continued)
(16:19) It’s been the flurry of points from the budget forwards that continues to impress. However, I still can’t buy into the likes of Mitrovic, who plays on a bad Fulham team or Callum Wilson, who was nothing more than a cock tease last season, after hitting for his hat trick, when he returned from injury.
In Wilson’s defense, he’s been consistent this season scoring 49 points, priced at 6.4, he’s returned in 6 out of 8 games, including a season high 14-point return in GW8.
If we talk Bournemouth, we need to include Josh King, at 6.4 he posted 42 points on the season and is the primary PK taker. He hasn’t been as consistent as his teammate, but feel he does have a higher ceiling, as he appears more dynamic on the pitch.
A comparison at Fantasy Football Scout reveals that both players spend a great deal of time in the attack end of the pitch, with Wilson hotter in a central role, while King, still dominate seems to be stronger on both flanks.
The stats summary is split, as Wilson has 6 key stats, but King has 62% of the overall stats. All the xG data favors Wilson, while involvement favors King. BPS also swings in King’s favor, as well as goals, but Wilson’s involvement and attempts are higher.
Distribution is split, as King is favored in most every category, but the mins per chance created favors Wilson.
Looking over the next 4-week block, Bournemouth could come away with quite a few goals, as they face So’ton at home, Fulham away, United at home and Newcastle away. All four of these teams are near of bottom of the league in goals conceded.
Another forward I have considered, Glenn Murray, I usually refer to him as “Father Time.” At 35, he’s consider “old” for a forward, but the Brighton forward continues to post attacking returns. He scored his 5th of the season in GW8 against West Ham.
He’s one of four forwards on 5 goals, which is impressive, given the Seagulls have been without the services of Pascall Gross since GW4. Thankfully Anthony Knockaert has picked up a little bit of that slack.
Murray’s goal threat statistics aren’t impressive when looking at penalty touches or attempts in the box. Compared to Kane, Mitrovic, Aguero and Lukaku, Murray is well down that list, if you are looking to move on him, backed by statistics.
He’s had 21 penalty touches, which is 40 off the pace of Aguero and 13 attempts on goal to Aguero’s 38! However, Murray has converted all 5 big chances for goals, which is top in the league, along with Mitrovic.
However, I like Murray over Mitrovic. First, he saves you 0.3, he’s 3 points shy of Mitrovic in total score, 42 vs 39. Mitrovic has blanked in 3 of his last 4, including the last 2 games before the break, away to Everton and home to Arsenal.
Looking ahead, Brighton have outstanding fixtures through early December, as they don’t play any of the big six teams and get some of the whipping boys when it comes to opponents, including Cardiff and Huddersfield.
If you compare that to Mitro, Fulham have away trips to Liverpool, Chelsea and United through the game period. Much like Brighton, they do play Cardiff and Huddersfield as well as So’ton. Three teams that are quite leaky when it comes to defense.
The main issue I have is that Fulham is a promoted team, I feel their honeymoon is over in the Premier League. They started very well, Mitro scored 4 in the first 4 weeks, but just one in the last 4 weeks.
Fulham score 6 goals in the first 4 weeks, but just 2 over last 4-week period. When you compare the first 8 weeks for Fulham, their goal threat numbers are down.
Mitrovic IS Fulham, however if his game is off, the Cottagers will struggle. If they fall behind, they will struggle. So, I am not sold on Fulham or Mitro being the best option. I would be willing to give him 3 games, but longer term I prefer Murray.
Looking at my strategy for the next 4 weeks and even entertaining some holiday scheduling thoughts, I am not sure running without a premium forward is a wise idea.
City being City, I don’t fear any difficult match ups they face, so Spurs, United and Chelsea don’t really worry me. Aguero is the sort of player that can post attacking returns against any team. Just what the addition of KDB does is yet to be seen, but 39 assists over the last 2 years speaks volumes.
Many managers see this as an opportunity to get in on a City midfielder who shouldn’t face much rotation, is cheaper than Aguero and Sterling with the ability to return on a consistent basis.
The question I continue to ask myself, “Does Aguero fit my upcoming plans?”
Owning a midfield anchored by Hazard, Salah and KDB looks great on paper! But this leaves me a bit short up front, as Success doesn’t start for Watford but has looked impressive in his appearances. Jimenez on the season has 2 goals and 3 assists, currently on a run of returns in his last 4 games.
Wolves do face Spurs and Arsenal in GW11 and 12, then Chelsea 3 weeks later in GW15. The only games we have to go on against a big six team are United and City, games that both finished 1-1.
The only certainty up front is Marko Arnautovic. Sure, he’s got a trick knee that has bothered him, was sent him from international duty for Austria, but has the ability and support to post some big returns, especially as the Hammers schedule improves after Spurs, through the beginning of January.
So, I return to the question, “just how essential is Aguero?” From a goal threat standpoint, Aguero is the most lethal forward based on the numbers.
He leads all forwards in penalty touches (61), goals (5), goal attempts (38) shots inside box (28), minutes per chance (15.3). City are the highest scoring team in the league (21), have created the most goal attempts (174), most shots inside the box (113), the most big chances taken (28) and most on target (65).
The statistics seem to speak for themselves. Honestly, I can see Aguero improving his numbers with the return of KDB to the City starting XI. He is the playmaker in the middle of the pitch and will only bring more quality to that City midfield.
Haven’t even discussed defense, which is the strongest part of my team this season. It’s been plentiful for MANY managers this season, if you’d chosen wisely ahead of the season.
While I didn’t start with Marcos Alonso, I did bring him in on my GW3 wild card to partner with Ben Mendy and Andrew Robertson. I didn’t hesitate is dropping Mendy due to his suspicious circumstances in favor of Kyle Walker.
At 6.5, Walker was brought in as a placeholder for Mendy, upon his return I would look at moving back to the offensive minded Mendy. It worked to my advantage, as Walker recorded 25 points over that 4-week period, but now I want to jump back on Mendy, as he looks more dangerous going forward. It also saves me 0.3, which could come in handy. So, do you make a lateral move?
While the premium defenders have posted excellent returns, it’s been the budget defenders making more noise. The likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Matt Dohery, Ryan Bennett, in fact ANY Wolves defender at 4.5 has been outstanding to date.
Looking forward it could be time to move off the likes of AWB or the Wolves, even at cut rate prices because of the upcoming fixtures. It’s a strategy I am considering, as Palace have a terrible run of 4 games, while Wolves must face Spurs and Arsenal before the international break.
It’s apparently time to look at a Liverpool defensive double up. I’ve been considering it with Joe Gomez or Trent Alexander-Arnold, depending on how much budget I can scrounge up. I’ve made 0.1 on Ederson, and while I don’t want to get rid of him in goal, he could pave the way for the addition of another defender over 5.0 million.
Moving Milner would open that third Liverpool spot on my squad. One option I have been considering, buying in on Bernd Leno, 4.8 at Arsenal. Risky? Possibly, but if Leno can prove his worth, with Cech is sidelined, I don’t think Cech gets his starting gig back.
Then again, Unai Emery might have a different opinion. Arsenal have been playing well but have posted just 2 CS in the last 5 games. My only concern is their home game against Liverpool.
I feel Leicester defenders are flying under the radar a bit. No surprise that Harry Maguire is the most highly owned Fox at 15.7, but Ricardo Pereira at 5.1 and Ben Chilwell, 5.0 are low owned and cheaper. Pereria owned by 4.9, while Chilwell is at 0.8. After Arsenal this week, it’s a nice 6 week stretch for Leicester.
(24:49) After taking the last week to 10 days off, I continue to play a very boring style of FPL. I keep asking myself if I have benefited from it. I believe I have, as numbers this season are better than last season.
Pre-season decisions were solid, but the glaring failures in the midfield are coming to light. Then again, NO ONE could have predicted Salah this season, as witnessed by his price and ownership which eclipsed 50%!
Like last year, the success of my season to date has hung in the balance, on one player. Harry Kane did me in last season, as I chased and chased, but failed to capitalize, costing my more points that I want to remember.
That exercise in futility is what has me in my current state, to relax, make better decisions, rather than chase points. Even though Walcott and Fraser were decisions based on FOMO, rather than well thought out transfers. Both were mistakes that haven’t cost me, like the continued string of Salah no returns.
Something is going to give and when it does, I think the proverbial floodgates will open, and points will flow. It will be at that point, I will be glad I have decided to stick with the player who is in form, but not returning, rather than jumping from player to player, to capitalize on their good run of form.
Take nothing away from Eden Hazard, he’s been phenomenal through 8 games, but we have seen him go the way of a milk carton in the past. We must wait and see what the break has done for him or to him.
That’s it for episode 12, thanks for listening. Hope you had a good rest over the international break and are ready to get back into FPL with both feet.
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Break is over bitches and game week 12 is coming, be prepared or be left behind.
Thanks for listening.