PITCH & PINT – EPISODE 18: International Break Hangover
[queue z-cars intro]
Episode 18 of Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Wednesday, November 28, International Break Hangover
[intro music continued]
Hello and welcome to episode 18 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter. Many fantasy managers were probably wishing we were back in the international break, as it was the third lowest average score of the season, just 50 points. Lots of red arrows as I understand it.
(:34) WATFORD PREVIEW
Let’s start off at Vicarage Road, as Watford hosted Liverpool. Ahead of the game, I had tossed out my prediction of 3-0, Liverpool, on episode 17, 6thgoal.com and in my PlanetFPL Watford Preview. I hate when I am right, but it was a just outcome.
Not a whole lot of talking points in this game to be honest. Many teams are not the caliber of Liverpool. While the Golden Boys gave them a great game for 60 minutes, things were staring to unravel at that point.
Ben Foster could be both, the hero and goat of the game. Tough to pin the loss on him, as he continues to play excellent between the posts. Still feel this was the Hornets best off season move bringing him back for 2 years.
He might be culpable for the first game from Mo Salah, as he got more than just a hand to the ball, but from inside the 6-yard box, it was just a bang bang play and Foster couldn’t keep the Reds out.
At that point, it felt the flood gated were opening. About 15 minutes later, a set piece from 20 yard saw TAA curl a great ball into the top left corner, nearly freezing Foster. An excellent free kick that doubled the Reds lead.
Gerard Deulofeu started off, on fire, however a disallowed goal early seemed to put him into a funk that he never got out of. Unable to keep pace or link play, he was substituted ahead of 60 minutes, as Issac Success came in.
Now some fantasy managers ask, “Is it still worthwhile to own Success?” The short answer, yes. I will expand more on this when I get into my FPL opinions.
Success drew Jordan Henderson into a quick foul, that would later lead to Hendo fouling Etienne Capoue and being sent off with a red card.
Late in the game, it was Andrew Robertson, flying down the left flank, finding Sadio Mane on the penalty shot, as he rifled a shot that Foster parried.
However, being unable to recover quick enough, the ball came down just ahead of Firmino who headed it home to give Liverpool a 3-0 win.
Still, I don’t feel the game was as bad as the score line indicates. There was an early foul on Will Hughes inside the Liverpool box that wasn’t seen by either official.
“In the last two games there were some decisions and I can a feel a little bit unlucky. But if we keep the same attitude and the same way of work every day, I have no doubt we’ll be able to win quickly” said Javi Gracia.
The problem is, Watford have been notorious for going into the tank when December rolls around. Watford need to right the ship if they want to avoid seening that slow and painful death spiral we encountered last year.
Next week, Watford hostt Brighton. We know Glenn Murray never scores in away fixtures.
Now, let’s start the show off right with the Gameweek 14 Beer of the Week.
(3:08) GAMEWEEK 14 BEER OF THE WEEK
This week I crack open Konkey Dong from Hoof Hearted Brewing Company out of Marengo, Ohio, an 8& Imperial IPA that weighs in at just 69.8 IBU.
Fermented in Doney Kong barrels and excessively dry hopped with Galaxy, Simcoe and Dr Rudi hops. Brewed in collaboration with Arcade Super Awesome
Konkey Dong pours a cloudy yellow-orange color with a stable 1-finger head that’s creamy and lingers, leaving some excellent lacing.
The smell is big citrus and tropical fruit with tangerine, pineapple and mango with a hint of pine.
The taste is juicy as the tropical and citrus shine through with a bitter bite that quickly mellows leaving this beer well balanced.
The cans from Hoof Hearted are awesome! If you haven’t heard of them head over to hoofheartedbrewing.com. I recently added a 30 Second Beer Review of Konkey Dong and Rollerblabe, another 8% Imperial IPA.
Now a quick update on the Two Cheaters Ale.
If you didn’t follow along this last weekend, I created a short series of videos on my brew day, as I put together my next home brew.
Paying homage to Josh and Brandon at Always Cheating, I decided to start an FPL series, leading off with Two Cheaters Ale.
This home brew is a Bell’s Brewery clone of their very popular Two Heart Ale, a 7% American IPA. Brewed with all Centennial hops!
It was a great brew day! Then again, I can’t recall a brew day that hasn’t been as such. I started as Chelsea and Spurs kicked off, thankfully the results were better than that Chelsea showing.
After I clean and sanitized all the equipment, I poured in the liquid malt extract, the dry malt extract, as well as some maltodextrin.
I also added half a pound of Crystal 10L and half a pound of Carapils, these were the grains. The Crystal 10L provides a sweet, mild caramel flavor and it golden in color.
The Carapils is a dextrine style malt that adds foam, improves head retention and enhances mouthfeel without adding flavor or color to your beer.
These were steeped until wort inside the brew kettle hit 170 degress. The grains were then removed and I let the wort boil for about 5 minutes then started by 60 minute timer.
60 minutes is the total duration of the boil, which started with 1 ounce of Centennial hops. At 30 minutes remaining, I added another ounce. The last two additions at 5 minutes and 1 minute were for aroma, while the earlier additions were my boil and flavor hops.
I also intend on dry hopping or add more hops as its fermenting to give it a big aroma. That will happen today or Thursday, just need to watch the air lock to see when fermentation stops.
Currently, I plan on bottling the Two Cheaters Ale on Saturday December 8. It should be ready to crack open a week or two later.
Now let’s get into some FPL opinions.
(6:10) FPL OPINIONS
Do I even want to ask how your FPL weekend was? I guess if you owned Raheem Sterling you didn’t do too badly. However, those 53% of managers who owned Sergio Aguero were left scratching their heads.
City rolled up 4 goals and it was Sterling & Sane show as the duo combined for 3 goals and 2 assists on the day.
The performance of Sterling has MANY managers on Twitter talking, ready to jump in on the City wide man. He’s now owned by 10.6% of fantasy managers across FPL, but just 15.1% in the top 1000.
At this point, I have a very hard time burning two transfers to move Aguero, owned by 90.1% of the top 1000 manager, downgrade him, in order to make a lateral move to Sterling.
As was pointed out, City have scored 6, 6, 3 and 4 in their last four games. For those managers quick to jump on Sterling, it could be Aguero next week netting a hat trick.
So while it’s great to see the midfielders getting their attacking returns, I can’t make the move. At his lower ownership, I won’t be hurt if he hits as a captain. That can’t be said for Aguero.
It’s playing the percentages or playing boring, call it what you will. I can’t see hoping off Aguero, only to hop on Sterling, because we know what can happen.
Defensively, I am still promoting the double up. The Mendy injury seemed to make many winners this weekend. I brought in Laporte, who picked up the clean sheet, but many managers brought in Lucas Digne.
While I don’t fancy Everton as a defensive juggernaut, like City, they played well enough to get the 1-0 win against Cardiff.
Both short and long term, I still figure Laporte to be a stronger option defensively. In the short term, it could be a tough call for Everton, as they have the Merseyside Derby this week, then home to NEW and WAT before going to City and hosting Spurs.
That’s not a fixture run I want to fancy with a defender. As for Richarlison, I don’t want to say, I told you so, but it appears the Brazilian has gone missing as it’s now one return in his last 3 games. At 7.0, he and Anthony Martial were all the hype but neither finished with attacking return points.
Again, going forward, I can’t back Marco Silva or Everton. I have an eye on Glyfi Sigurdsson, at 7.4 he could be “value added” to many teams, but will be a watch and wait until after GW18.
Over the last 4 weeks, Martial has 788k new managers. There will be many saying, “I told you so” after this week and his string of game scoring came to an end against Palace of all teams.
Still not sure what to make of United, as they dominated the game, but Palace had two great chances. So the Red Devils back into their second CS of the season.
They do have some great games upcoming sou/ARS/FUL/liv before the seas of green becomes even more favorable.
Yet with so many questions about this team and better assets out there form the top six, I can’t see backing any United players at this time. Makes me glad I held off moving to Richarlison or Martial and not taking a hit to bring either midfielder in.
Just how real is the new manager bump? Ask Alexsandr Mitrovic, who finished with a brace, his first goals since GW6! Just how much of a turn around will Claudio Ranieri make to this Fulham team?
I am not ready to buy in on Mitrovic at 6.6, but would consider Andre Schurrle at 5.9
For midfielders 6.0 or less, Schurrle checks many boxes. He’s netted 48 points on the season, just 4 behind Gudmundsson, averging 3.7 PPG, which is third best and another stat I promote, VAPM or value added per million, he’s at 0.29, just percentage points off that 0.35, which is a key figure.
He’s now scored 5 goals on the season and is owned by 5% of fantasy managers
Another midfielder in this group is David Brooks of Bournemouth. Got to watch the Cherries closer this week against Arsenal and Brooks was pretty impressive going forward.
At 5.1 he’s budget friendly on an Eddie Howe team that likes to attack. Against the Gunners he had a goal disallowed, but did pick up his first assist on the season, as he’s scored 45 points to date.
Fixtures aren’t great City and Liverpool, with a visit from Huddersfield in between. At this price point, he might not be an every week starter but continues to play well.
I’ll admit I have ignored Spurs this season. Started the season with Eriksen in my midfield that lasted all of 2 weeks when I transferred him during my WC.
Alli and Eriksen could be template busters in the midfield, priced at 8.9 and 9.2 accordingly the picked up 13 and 11 points. Oh yeah and that Harry guy finished with a goal too!
Being realistic, you can’t afford Kane and Aguero. So, if you want to buy into Spurs, it’s in the midfield. After GW14 or even for GW14 and a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal both midfielders could be strong candidates.
Let’s take a break from the FPL action and talk beer. This week I look at a beer style, in fact its the one I am drinking, the stout.
(11:10) BEER NEWS – Trillium Brewing
It started with a tweet and has turned into a big beer story, but not as you would think. This piece has nothing to do with “big beer” such as those crafty brands owned by AB Inbev, Miller Coors or Constellation Brands, just to name a few.
It has everything to do with Trillium Brewing Company out of Massachusetts.
Before this story, I was a staunch supporter of Trillium and would always try to get my hands on their beer. Its excellent beer but their business practices could have me rethinking their beer.
Now, I am somewhat of a hard ass when it comes to how I like to enjoy craft beer. It can’t be owned by big beer ala Ballast Point or Golden Road. It can’t be subsidized by private equity or investment capital, ala Stone Brewing.
Now that might lead you to believe, then what the fuck do you drink? There is so much good craft out there, losing one means you find another. It’s not that hard, and honestly, I don’t miss drinking Stone.
So, Trillium seems have some disgruntled, former employees. That’s not a surprise, nearly every company has them. A thread on Beer Advocate started about Trillium’s expansion plan, which then moved to their new fermentation profile, which many BA users didn’t think was as good. Many were shit talking their beer. Not sure I will go that far.
I just don’t drink enough of it on a regular basis. Would be like Russian River changing their Pliny the Elder recipe, giving us a bew taste, which wasn’t as good as the original. That’s a fair comparison.
This former employee says, “I can say that everything posted about employee wages and benefits being cut is true. JC and Esther (the owners) have absolutely no respect for the people working for them, all they care about is $$$. Guess you can’t really blame them, it is a business after all.
They are well aware of the fact that people want the “prestige” of working for a top brewery and are willing to be underpaid to build the resume. You can probably count on one hand the number of people who have lasted more than 3 years.
Trillium started paying $5/hr instead of $8/hr to new retail staff. However, any longstanding employees of the Congress St location were indeed given a pay cut for their years of service.
The next rumored practice was pouring tequila into their frozen Mexican Sunrise beer. Rumor has it this employee was told to “make something up” as it related to what type of barrels this beer was aged in. At the brewery, this was known as “brewers magic.” Call it a shitty practice.
There was also claims that “the reason that growlers are not for sale the same day as cans is that those trub kegs need to sit for a couple days so that the trub settles on the bottom. Then you can fill a good number of growlers until you hit the really gross stuff. How is it determined if it’s good enough? A manager taste tests it until the burn goes away. Yes I’m serious. Hopefully this ends the can vs growler debate, the growlers are decidedly inferior product. I guess if you like a more raw hop/vegetal slightly astringent flavor then by all means go for the growlers.”
While these claims are unsubstantiated, they received quite a bit of lip service on BA, the owner even chimed in.
While I won’t go into all the details, nor do I know how sincere their response was saying, “We made a mistake, which resulted in some employees not feeling valued, and customers feeling misled, and for that we’re very sorry.”
One thing to remember, this is a business. The goal of a business is to make money, why be in business if you can’t turn a profit? I also understand “quality of life” when it comes to employees working entry level jobs.
Many employees in the brewing industry would love to get a top company, like Trillium on their resume, only to move to something bigger and potentially better. I can’t speak for their business practice, however from what I have read it does seem a bit shady.
Does that mean I continue to drink Trillium? Probably. A few users floated a “conspiracy” theory that Trillium was on the take from some sort of investment to see such rapid expansion inside for 4 years. In my book, ANY sort of investment capital leads to a beer that is no longer “independent.”
So, draw what conclusions you want. You can read the entire thread at Beer Advocate. Just remember there is A LOT of great, small craft beer out there.
You can watch the 30 Second Beer Review at 6thgoal.com, listed under hashtag FPL Beer Club.
Now back to FPL.
(15:31) FPL OPINIONS (continued)
Watching Twitter daily, it seems many are making snap decisions on their teams after a single performance. Ahead of the break many discussions centered around Martial versus Richarlison. Both ended up blanking in game week 13.
Moving forward, I can’t really tell you the best one to look at. Based on fixtures in the short term, I will say Martial, over the long term I do think it’s Richarlison. However, the Everton man continues to occupy the side of a milk carton, with just a brace in the last 5 games (to his credit he also picked up 1 assist).
Consistency seems to be in defenders. While I am not on the Digne bandwagon, I will give him credit for a clean sheet this weekend. He also put in 9 crosses with 2 chances credit. Still many managers being sold on the fact he is attacking. I see one more clean sheet in their next 5, that a home fixture against Newcastle.
Still sold on the premium defenders over the mid-priced midfielders. Liverpool Chelsea and City are FPL gold right now. Okay, so Chelsea conceded three to Spurs, I still feel confident in Alonso and company going forward through mid-January. This leads me to look at David Luiz as my third double up defensive.
Risky? Yes, but I think this is a calculated risk I am willing to take. There will be much less rotation in defenders than midfielders. I don’t want to be caught in the Pep roulette with the Silva boys, Sane, Sterling and Mahrez.
Up front, the options haven’t been all that impressive. In the last 4 games Wilson leads all forward in goals, penalty touches and shots inside the box, Kane has goal attempts.
Not sure what to make of Raul Jimenez, who has 15 goal attempts, 11 inside the box but a single goal. Arnautovic has 28 penalty touches and 13 goal attempts. Morata? Please…Mitrovic? As I mentioned earlier, he’s a wait and see.
It might be worthwhile to play a 4-5-1 or a 5-4-1 this weekend. For Aguero owners, he’s a must start, but are there really any viable #2 forwards at this point? I would argue Glenn Murray is golden, but only at home. 6 out of his 7, as well as 7 out of Aguero’s 8 have come at home.
Away from home Kane and Aubameyang each have netted 5 goals, while Lukaku and Wilson each have 4. I guess that warrants managers holding Wilson, even though the tough run in the coming weeks. As long as he is healthy, he warrants consideration.
However formation becomes a very personal thing depending on where you have your budget divided. For me, 5 at the back will always be a consideration based on the fact I have 38.5 million invested. Granted Hamer and AWB make up 8.1 million of that total.
For me, 1, 2 or even 3 Man City midfielders are out of the question. Maybe I am going about this all wrong. Then again my overall rank of 92k tells me that I am doing something right.
Maybe I don’t know what that something is, but I favor playing the percentages when it comes to ownership. It probably seems I am a broken record citing the 1000 managers when it comes to player ownership.
However, I continue to field a team that includes players like Robertson, Alonso, Salah, Fraser, Aguero, Arnie, Wilson and Wan-Bissaka. All players in the 15-man squad from the top 1000 managers.
As I mentioned before, Aguero, 90.1% owned by the top 1000. Now you know why no other City player interests me at this time.
Sterling is owned by just 15.1%, Sane just 0.7%!
David is at 7.8% compared to Bernardo at 1%
As for Mahrez. Sorry, 0.6%.
Those numbers make my decision on a City attacking option easy. At 15.1% Sane could catch Hojbjerg, who’s at 16.8% as a bench player.
Even a 15% owned player won’t hurt your overall rank if they hit.
Spurs a consideration? Alli is at 0.5%, while Eriksen, zero!
So these are just numbers I am tossing out. As we all know templates change and move. Who was host in GW13 might not be so in 14. Look at Martial, hot for 5 weeks with 6 goals and can’t pick up an attacking return against Palace!
Hazard’s drop continues, which is odd seeing as they face Fulham. Currently, 157k managers have moved him out. Ahead of fucking Fulham! Worst defensive team in the Premier League!
How how many went to Sterling, well he’s leading all new owners at over 175k. One week with a goal and 2 assist with a third no return in 4 games from Hazard, who now carries a caution flag due to an ankle.
Even Sane is getting an influx of new mangers, just over 80k on the week. As for Aguero, he’s lost 44k. The ownership numbers just don’t jive for me. By all means, sell, sell, sell. So when Aguero does hit my green arrow is as big as your red arrow in the opposite direction.
Watch Sterling not even start this weekend. How’s that for a bit of FPL street justice? Okay enough of this shit.
The festive or Festivus the rest of us, thanks to FPL Dive for this Seinfeld reset, period begins Friday. Games coming fast and furious. More action that the DGWs and BGWs that dot the schedule deeper into the season. Both are tricky to navigate.
Looking forward to this period, as I feel I have a competitive team going forward with 15 starting players. Now is not the time to put those 3.something players on the bench to fund a better midfield. Even a cut rate Issac Success at 4.6 will continue to get minutes, who knows might even get a few starts in December.
(21:16) GW14 – A Look Ahead
Let’s quickly flash back to GW13 before looking forward, which saw AWB come off the second bench spot to give me 6 points, taking my final score to 56 on a week that 50 was the average.
That was good enough for a second green arrow in a row and 4 out of 5 weeks. It was also the first time I have broken the top 100k, for the first time in over 3 years.
With overall points of 795, I am ranked 92k. It’s been excellent to see a slow and steady climb up the OR since starting the season. It shows that my patience has been rewarded.
Defensively, I picked up 5 clean sheets out of 6 for 31 points, which helped my squad, as the forward line of Aguero, Wilson and Arnautovic failed.
In the midfield, it was a Salah captain that picked up 16 points.
Lots of captain failures and many managers who failed on their triple Wolves defense.
My squad isn’t without problems, as Salah is the only midfielder producing. On a week that saw Hazard, Martial and Richarlison fail, those managers who continue to stick it out with Salah were rewarded again.
I’ve started looking in the direction of Spurs, as I am liking the looks of Dele Alli and Christian Erisken. Harry Kane at 12.4 is out of my price range and I won’t tear up my starting XI to get him in. He’s “not coming home” based on his spotty returns, 2 goals in the last 6 games.
However, I don’t want to knee jerk either Spurs midfielder in after just one show, willing to give them another week as they visit Emirates and Arsenal.
While I was considering a 5-man defense that too has been put on hold, which makes this upcoming week transfer important ahead of the festive period.
Do I take the reliability of a fifth premium defender over the potential attacking returns of a Spurs midfielder? The selection lies on what I do this week with free transfer.
The 5-man defense was looking great, until Chelsea got their ass handed to them by Spurs, 3-1. But looking at Palace is coming back into a good run BUR/bha/whu/LEI with Cardiff on Boxing Day. I am ignoring the fact they play City as well, AWB wouldn’t get the start.
A bit concern ahead of Friday, Arnie and his trick knee. He continues to be flagged with a deep bone bruise, but looks worse and worse every game.
Hell, I saw him give up on a ball and basically say fuck it, while playing. This is not what I want to see from a 7 million forward. If you can’t play, then sit on the bench and heal.
I just don’t see West Ham taking advantage of this lucrative run of games, if Arnie continues to put in a lackluster performance with just 1 goal in his last six, he is running on borrowed time. Don’t care how good the fixtures are! He won’t be able to play 2 games a week through December.
Moving Moura and Arnie could free up nearly 15 million, allowing me a Spurs midfielder. But leaving me shit, I mean Danny Ings as a third forward, if I chose Eriksen, at 9.2 over Alli at 8.9.
Maybe Spurs aren’t the way to go, but the band is getting back together and they took it Chelsea, which was impressive.
I mentioned Sigurdsson earlier, at 7.4 he’s priced right for what he does on the pitch, with set pieces and Pks, a more well-rounded player than his Brazilian teammate.
However, three of the next 5 fixtures include Liverpool, City and Spurs. Don’t see many attacking returns, so he falls until Boxing Day, away to Burnley, but still one to consider.
Lots to think about as the GW14 deadline approaches.
(XXXXX) 6THGOAL MAILBAG
Let’s open the 6th Goal Mail Bag. Thanks to those who provided questions this week, which are both beer related. Enough questions about the football…let’s get to what really matters!
From Mr WP, “What beer do you long to try ST? Think you know the few that UK @fplbeerclub want to try.”
Wow! The world of beer is an amazing thing! Living in northern California I feel spoiled, hell, living in California I feel spoiled. So many excellent beers come out of state.
In the US alone, there are now over 7000 craft breweries and the sector continues to grow at a good pace. Even if you get a few closings, there are always new breweries popping up.
A local beer from Russian River that is brewed just once a year, released in February is Pliny the Younger.
Pliny the Younger is considered a “triple” IPA, simply meaning that it is higher in alcohol and has tons of hops. The alcohol should finish at about 10.25%, although it is remarkably dry for the amount of malt used in the recipe.
It is loaded with hop flavors, bitterness, and aromatics. The hops used in this year’s recipe are of excellent quality, but TBD fresh from the 2018 crop.
Younger was brewed for the first time in 2005 as a winter seasonal, building upon the Pliny the Elder recipe while pushing the envelope with malt, hops, and alcohol just to see how far we could go! It is always brewed only once a year and released the first Friday in February, rain or shine.
Another brewery I would love to get more beer from, 3 Floyds Brewing out of Munster, Indiana. I was fortunate to visit the brewery last May, when I flew into Chicago to rent a car and drive to wedding.
Out flight was late and if luck would have it, 3 Floyds was only about 10 minutes off our drive. So we stopped. To that point, I had only tasted their Zombie Dust, a 6.2% pale ale.
However, much like Pliny the Younger they do a single release in May of their Dark Lord Imperial Stout. It’s a Russian style brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla and Indian sugar. It sounds amazing.
We were at the brewery the day before Dark Lord Day, which gets something like 20,000 people at the brewery, to the point they sell tickets. More information at darklorday.com.
So those are two that are on the top of my want list. Sadly, it just scratches the surface, as the lads in the hashtag FPL Beer Club have some excellent offerings across the pond that I know damn well I won’t see stateside.
The Dude Abides comments, “With your new penchant for purchasing and buying stouts are you joining the #stoutcuntclub as well as being president of #DIPAclub?”
IPAs in general will always be my first choice. Living in the home of the West Coast IPA, the beer style never gets old. I love a big hop flavor, the piney resin and dankness associated with this style.
However, I have started to venture out more and try new and exciting beers. Just had my first “sour” which was sold as a Raspberry Parfait. Amazing! All around. The stouts, started with some of the imports from Samuel Smith including Oatmeal Stout and Organic Chocolate Stout before purchasing more local stouts from California.
So I have a new found fondness of a big, tasty stout.
[queue outro music]
That’s it for episode 18, thanks for listening. Gameweek 14 begins the Festivus period. Time to aire grievences and prepare for Festivus miracle or Sterling starting this weekend.
As for my team, I am looking to build on a strong start, hoping to hit that 60 point marker, backed by a bad assed, but expensive defense and another succesful captaincy.
All episodes of Pitch & Pint are available at 6thgoal.com. You can also find them on your favorite podcast client include Apple iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.
With all the other quality podcasts out there, hopefully you will continue to support the show.
If you like what you hear, tell your friends, if you don’t, tell me.
You can follow me on Twitter @6thGoal providing FPL opinions, as well as craft beer content, posted using the hashtag 30SecondBeerReview.
Look for the Watford Review & Preview at PlanetFPL.com as well as my review of the Leicester City vs Watford fixture on 90MAAT.com
For all my weekly FPL content head over to 6thgoal.com, as I always have something to say.
Time to display the feats of strength, game week 14 is here. Good luck this week
Thanks for listening.