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Episode 21 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Monday December 24, 2018, Tis the Season to be Green
INTRODUCTION – Episode 21 Tis the Season to be Green
Hello and welcome to episode 21 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
Let’s get right into the show and look back on the West Ham Watford game.
West Ham 0 Watford 2
Going into this game I expected more from West Ham. Now before I get too far in, I will say they were unlucky, more than we were good. How many times did Michel Antonio find himself in front of the Watford net and couldn’t bag that goal.
This final score isn’t indicitive of the game, which I feel was a bit closer than the 3-2 victory for Watford. West Ham had 7 shots on target and kept Ben Foster on his toes all game long. However, Foster, in good form kept it clean, made those 7 saves and bagged 3 bonus points. Not bad for a day’s work.
The first goal came courtesy of a Fabian Balbuena yellow card that brought down the elusive, Roberto Pereyra in the penalty box. Up stepped Troy Deeney, referred to by some as “Fat Boy Troy” and he sent Lukasz Fabianski the wrong way to give Watford a 1-0 lead.
In the second half it was more attack from West Ham, but Hornets were equal to the task, as Manual Pellegrini brought on Andy Carroll to make a difference in the air.
It didn’t make much of a different. Chicharito nearly equalized, but it was Abdoulaye Doucoure nicking the ball wide of the goal.
West Ham continued to pile players forward, but got caught in the 87th minute when Pereyra played a 1-2 with Gerard Deulofeu, catching the Hammers and slotted the ball past Fabianski. 2-0 Watford.
Watford have now won their last 2 games, posting 27 points and in 7th for the season, just 2 points behind a reinvigorated Man United.
While there won’t be any beer news this week, I must pour myself the Gameweek 19 Beer of the Week.
Beer of the Week – Gameweek 19 (1:56)
Tree House Brewing Company
Since I have been drinking so much Tree House Brewing Company beer the last few weeks, I thought it was only fair to give them the spotlight, as we pour Abstraction, an 8.8% Imperial porter.
Tree House Brewing Company is in Charlton Massassachuttes, an hours drive west from Boston and across the street from Zorbas Pizzeria Tavern. Don’t know the first thing about Zorbas, but it does get great marks on Yelp. Then again, you are here for excellent beer, not half ass Mediterranean food.
Tree House Brewing Co. started as a brewery located in a small red barn overlooking the Pioneer Valley in Monson, Massachusetts in 2014. Creating articulate and flavorful ales that contribute character and finesse to the burgeoning local movement – ales inspired by a deep respect and awe for the landscape surrounding us.
From their site, “We think great beer can enrich lives in countless ways. We think the good life is about the experiences you have and the friends you laugh with.”
A quick look for the top beers as rating on Beer Advocate and you see 6 Tree House beers in the top 20! Talk about an amazing brewery? Recently I have been getting all my Tree House from a guy who lives back that way, who makes a few bucks on shipping their flavorful nectar across the US. Don’t give one fuck if it’s illegal or not, it’s high quality beer making the trip to the West Coast.
More importantly, it’s beer that I NEVER see on the West Coast.
Abstraction is the first stout
Let’s pop the top on this 16 ounce can
From the description on the can, “Today we are excited to share a new rendition of Abstraction with you, featuring a coffee from our friends at Olympia Coffee Roasters – Guatemala Sweetheart San Marcos!
This coffee features beautifully balanced character, and we found it to be the perfect candidate to pair with heaps of hand sliced Madagascar vanilla beans. The resulting beer is rich and velvety, but never heavy or overly burdensome to drink.
We smell and taste fresh roasted coffee, milk chocolate, and a hint of sweet vanilla cream wrapped up in a creamy and smooth body.
We are very excited to share this beer with you as it represents everything we try to achieve as craftsman – balance, elegance, authenticity, and rich flavor that is a function of carefully selected and simple natural ingredients – Beer that is enjoyable pint after pint, time and time again, in any circumstance. Enjoy!
Abstraction pours a dark and murky brown with a big off tan head that lingers momentarily before dissipating, with a thin veil of lacing on the glass.
The smell has roasted coffee and dark chocolate with notable bitterness and a hint of vanilla.
The taste is a bitter dark roast coffee up front with a hint of cacao nibs and a roasted malt base that is sweet. The vanilla comes in late, almost like a vanilla wafer sort of sweetness. While Abstraction has a medium mouthfeel, it finishes with an acrid bitterness on the palette.
Now lets get into some FPL opinions
To be honest, I can’t even pronounce the managers name, so I’ll just call him OGS.
Let me start by saying to United fan, one game does not make a season. So before you lose your shit over a 5-1 win this gameweek, please remember a few things.
First, you have quality players. World class players in the starting XI and sucking their binky on the sideline. Right Alexis Sanchez?
Second, they scored 5 goals, I get that you won the game, but Twitter was melting down with myopic supporters, as Red Devils were winning and posting their best score on the season.
When it comes to the fantasy assets, it’s a hold for me. I am not going to get caught up in the new manager bump or the hype we saw in ONE game.
Yeah, I understand it’s a former player coming in and posting a nice win to maybe get this pathetic bunch turned around. I feel he did a good job, in this game.
That doesn’t have me losing my shit because their beat Cardiff City, who before this game had conceded 33 goals.
No longer is it just Lukaku, the flat track bully, it’s Man United the flat track bully, as they don’t play anyone but Spurs in 22 and Pool in 27.
I expect they will beat up on MOST of those teams moving forward.
It could potentially be smooth green seas through the start of March. But let’s keep our heads and knees and not making any “rash” not Rashford transfers until we see a bit more.
Fantasy assets from a non-Man United perspective.
I don’t see any defensive assets. All those who keep buying Luke Shaw, why?
If there is one place they need to address its defense. I won’t even consider DDG at this point, so let’s look forward.
Don’t like this punk, but Jesse Lingard had an 18 point game with 2 goal, an assist and all 3 bonus. Just the second time all season he played 90 minutes. He’s now returned in 3 out of 4 games. At 6.7, he appears good value.
Pogba at 7.8 has done nothing to warrant consideration. 3 assists, okay I get that. Just his second return in 10 games. Not overly impressive as his haircuts. I think at that price I look elsewhere for consistency, Everton and West Ham in the short term. I will give Pogba the benefit of the doubt for the upcoming fixtures.
Anthony Martial, amazing how quickly fantasy managers jumped off when he blanked 3 weeks ago, but got on the board with a goal, which is now 2 returns in 4 weeks.
Rashford could make a play for that third forward spot in our fantasy lineups, which will be hard to wrestle away from Jimenez or Ings.
I will give United the fixture run, but Jimenez has been a model of consistency this season. Ings, under ralph Hussel what the fuck has been good. He picked up another goal this weekend and might edge Rashford due to price point. Ings at 5.5, Jimenez at 6.2 and Rashford at 7.0.
Oh yeah and its no fucking surprise to see the reactionary fantasy managers cramming in to get their United assets, as Rashford (206k), Lingard (156k) and Martial (140k) are the top transfers IN this week. Oh yeah and Pogba is there too with 106k.
Top four transfers are ALL United.
Absolutely crazy on the back of a single game. Could it pay off? Sure, they play a bunch of cream puffs in the next 3 games, (H) HUD, (H) BOU and (A) to Newcastle.
Still, if you have a festive plan in place, I would refer to my earlier comments of hold and give it another game. I won’t buy into the one-week hype.
I spoke about this last week in my opinions section. I own both Aubs and Kane and the duo came through for me this weekend with 28 points! They totaled 4 goals and 5 bonus points.
They both buy themselves another week in my team, as I had considered moving both after this week. Arsenal is away to Brighton and Spurs host Bournemouth.
While it’s a lot of your budget wrapped up in two players, if they keep up this sort of scoring pace they will act as a differential. Owned by just 27.3% across the top 1000 managers and only 6.1% across FPL.
It’s a great run for both players, but we need to look at City, after that 3-1 ass kicking by lowly Crystal Palace. Jesus wasn’t the savior during this holiday period, but neither was Aguero.
Kun could start away to LEI and SOU, important games to get the Sky Blues back on track before a visit from the league leaders, Liverpool. More about City in a bit.
Eight midfielders finished on double digits this week including Son today, Lingard, Brooks, Pogba, Redmond, ah no. Salah, Pereyra and Milivojevic.
More importantly just outside that double-digit group lurks Kevin De Bruyne. Healthy? Apparently, he picked up 28 minutes and a goal in the City loss, but he looked good.
While the goal was a bit of luck, as it looked more like a pass that just happened to find the back corner. He will make City even better through the midfield. He will improve the play of Sane and Sterling and Kun up top. While he didn’t look on yesterday, at times he looked like the Kev of old. He’s one I will keep my eye on. Again, more on City shortly.
As for the list of midfielders I gave, many big names missing, Hazard, Sane, Sterling and Anderson to name a few. Does that mean we move these guys out for hotter prospects? Not necessarily.
I think it depends on what your festive plans were. Again, I won’t be swayed by a single bad performance from City or an exciting one by United. Would it be knee jerk to move Sterling out for Pogba in? Probably. That’s just one example, but I could line up a few more.
One short term punt I would consider, Heung-min Son (8.5). We know he’s the real deal and looks so fluid and consistent in the Spurs starting XI playing in conjunction with Kane. Remember, the Asian games are coming, giving him 4 weeks before he leaves.
It’s not often I mention Watford assets, because there aren’t many I would want on my squad. I continue to be high on Gerard Deulofeu, as I have been since returning from injury.
It’s two returns in as many games, scoring 22 points and looking like a solid 4th or 5th midfielder. At 5.4, his price might be a bit high for a 5th, but starts to rival the likes of David Brooks (5.0), Callum Paterson (5.3) and Lucas Torreira (5.2) and victor Camarasa (4.6), who’s also named on pens.
So moving through the festive period, it might not be completely about the premium options in the middle of the pitch. Going forward, practice a little bit of patience, unlike the well over half a million owners who are jumping the United bandwagon.
Top 1000 Managers
If you’ve listened to the Pitch & Pint Podcast before, you know I am a big supporter of the top 1000 managers. I feel these ownership numbers lend favorably as to players in form, allowing you to mirror some of those picks to help improve your overall rank.
This week there is a new entry into the top 1000 team. Say hello to Sead Kolasinac, now owned by 27.2% but just 3.7% across the FPL. Big differential! Kola brought with him his 3rd assists on the season, coupled with a CS 2 weeks ago.
Arsenal have some tricky fixtures through GW25, Pool, Chelsea and City but the adjacent fixtures are worthwhile enough to bring Kola in, as he offers CS and attacking potential.
Oddly enough, Callum Wilson is still owned by 51.3% of fantasy managers but has been transferred out by 111k after no return last week. Remember, he’s coming back off injury, didn’t play against Liverpool and got 32 minutes against Wolves. Might be wise to ride the Cherries asset but their fixtures get ugly through March.
I do believe we will see Wilson slowly slide out of the top sides as we approach the end of January. After Spurs and United, it’s a nice 4 out 5 game run.
I spoke about Kane earlier, but he’s now 59.6% owned and looks to be hitting stride after a brace last week. Many fantasy managers aren’t starting a premium forward because of their price, making their inclusion restrictive when it comes to putting together a big midfield.
For me, this has been a very good transfer, picking up 4 goals over 3 games. No intentions of coming off him right now with Spurs upcoming run of games.
Managers continue to move off Alonso at a rather alarming rate. No value in the 7th highest score FPL players in the game with 102 points, just 1 point behind Robertson.
He hit the woodwork for the 5th time this season. It was an ugly loss for Chelsea against a weak Leicester City team.
As of this recording, 70k managers have moved off Alonso, allegedly for greener pastures. Not sure who that is. Wait, I do. Digne surely, not that I expect Everton to match Chelsea’s clean sheet output.
On the attacking end, I still favor Alonso over Digne, but know there is a substantial savings of 2 million, depending on when you bought into Alonso.
How about Liverpool! A few weeks back I bought into double Pool, adding van Dijk (6.3) to my starting XI. Partnering with Robertson, this pairing has been outstanding.
Van Dijk picked up his first goal of the season, which has been a long time coming, as he’d scored in the league cup action and international duty. That was his third attacking return in 5 gameweeks, which includes returns of 12 and 15 points.
It’s to the point, where I am looking at moving to triple Liverpool defense, adding Lovren to the mix. While he isn’t a premium defender, I feel Pool’s run is that good, especially after Arsenal and City. During those games, I would have no problems benching Lovren.
The talk of premium assets leads us to Man City. What do we do with their assests?
Some discussion on Twitter about moving Man City assets? The Sky Blues suffered their worst loss of the season, 3-1 to Palace, who rattled off 3 goals.
Defensively, this team hasn’ been as strong as what we saw when Mendy was healthy. Co-releration? Eh, maybe, although he did start two of the games in which City didn’t keep it clean after their 6 game scoreless run.
Owning Aymeric Laporte, at 6.1 has been tough and while they still have a good run, outside of Liverpool in 21, it might be time to cut your losses until Pep gets the defense sorted.
They’ve conceded 11 goals in the last 8 weeks, keeping a single CS. Laporte was my Mendy replacement in order to keep the City double with Ederson, but 11.8 in those two players could be better spent replacing them with better, in form options.
Knowing how FPL works, the moment you come off City assets, they are going to bang, right?
In the midfield, Sterling has 1 return in the last 4 games, scoring just 10 points and finishing 90 minutes in just one game.
Not the Sterling we saw in gameweeks 10 through 14 scoring 54 points. That said, he has the potential bang 2 goals off the bench or starting and seeing limited minutes.
I can’t see coming off Sterling, even at 11.5 he will come good. Last game, I won’t put much into, as I think City underestimated their opposition, who took advantage of their shooting opportunities.
Sane is in a similar situation, but has 2 returns in 4 games, with 20 points over that period. At 9.7, it does seem easier to hold him, rather than move him. However, there are some convincing options making a strong case for inclusion.
I’ve already mentioned Kun Aguero, but we need to keep an eye on his fitness and return. Maybe he was hurried back this week, as Pep was looking desperate when it was 2-1, as they were trying to climb back into the game.
The addition of Aguero and KDB will put this team back at full strength offensively. KDB will make everyone around him better, we know that. 9.7 for KDB seems to be a great price ahead of some good games for City.
No doubt they will win a majority of them and continue to post big returns. I see Pep coming out against Leicester and posting a big game. No way do they lose a second in a row, also feel they will keep a clean sheet. Why? Because it’s Pep.
A few weeks back it was the discussion of moving for Spurs assets or holding with players from teams like Liverpool and City, players who had gotten managers to where they were.
Now, I think we look at Spurs with a real vested interest. I made the move on Kane ahead of GW15 and it’s been 3 returns in 4 games.
Yesterday’s 6-2 thrashing of Everton was quite convincing, and they have Bournemouth next, as well as Cardiff and Fulham in the next 5 games.
Heung-min Son at 8.5 seems like a great buy, continues to look the best of the Spurs midfielders and kindly priced at 8.5. Ahead of Bournemouth, he’s been brought in by 109k managers.
He’s still a differential, owned by 7.6% across FPL and 13.6% in the top 1000.
Defensively, I won’t be bothered with Trippier. His price of 6.1 isn’t worth the investment, as Lloris looked terrible in goal. The Cherries and Wolves are both attacking teams with United in 22.
Alli and Erickson continue to tick along, each picked up a goal, as Alli also picked up a hamstring injury. With the depth they have in midfield, Poch could leave him out a game. At 9.3 and 8.9 respectively, I still look at Son as the option, if you don’t want to buy in on Kane at 12.5
Players to watch
Ahead of the next few weeks I am watching a small group of players at each position.
It’s really the premium GKs have that have the good fixtures, but understand there are many managers who won’t pay premium prices for this position. That’s why Fabianski is so popular with the amount of saves, 69 and 3 penalty saves on the season to make him the 4th best keeper on the season with 74 points at 4.7.
While Fabianski has been grabbing all the headlines, I am going to promote Ben Foster this week. He’s been a defensive standout for Watford recently, as they’ve won their last 2 games. Chelsea this week, but 4 nice fixtures after including NEW/bou/cry/BUR.
Now Pickford looked like shit against Spurs, made some bad decisions but at 5.0 Everton are coming into a good run starting with Burnley. I know I haven’t tapped them for many clean sheets, but he offers a set and forget keeper.
Kepa, 5.6 has one of the best run of fixtures through the new year, Chelsea are wat/cry/SOU/NEW. Not cheap, but could offer great value if that Blues defense steps up.
Dejan Lovren, 4.9. I mentioned him last weekend. Pool hosted Newcastle this weekend, then it’s ARS/mci before a great run. Personally, I am considering tripling up on the league’s best defense. I like what he offers more than those attacking defenders, who haven’t been returning CS.
Luca Digne or “The Dingy” as the King Podcast call him. Everton, on paper looks to have a great run, but Everton still worry me defensively. I want CS points, so I don’t have to rely on the attacking. Digne has been dangerous.
Hard to believe I am mentioned Jose Holebas, but he’s on 7 attacking returns for the season with 59 points. Watford after Chelseas could post a few CS.
Jonny Otto, I continue to look in his direction, depending on the direction I want to move with Laporte. At 4.3 he’s got a lot to offer at both ends of the pitch. A goal and assist with 5 CS on the season, he’s two games back from injury. Could be used in a rotation as Wolves play at Spurs and City in the coming weeks.
Victor Camarasa continues to shine at 4.6, as he picked up a goal from the spot last game week. Now on 52 points for the season, he’s a great 5th midfield option. That’s 2 returns in as many games.
David Brooks at 5.0 hit for a double last weekend, now with 5 goals and an assist on the season. He’s lacked minutes over the last 5 games and with the Cherries fixtures turning, you might look elsewhere.
If you don’t own Fraser, I think he’s viable as a 5th midfielder.
At 6.2 Robert Pereyra might offer a look. He’s been exciting to watch and plays very well with Gerard Deulofeu, 5.4. In fact I like the Spaniard OOP up top, as he offers better value. Pereyra, 4 assists in the last 3 games and Deulofeu, 2 goals and an assist in the last 2 games.
Coming out of left field, I am going to give you Calvert-Lewin, 5.3. He’s played 90 minutes the last 2 weeks, Everton has good fixtures and he’s returned a goal and assist in the last 2 games. Tosun is a man out of form and not favored by the Snake, Marco Silva.
Danny Ings, 5.6 seemed to be everyone’s new darling up top. Brought in by 97k this week, some managers have him as a one or two, but would make a great 3 forward for those with premiums, like Aubs and Kane.
Selected by just 5.5% overall FPL, his ownership is now up to 10.7% in the top 1000.
Keep an eye on Troy Deeney. Christ, my 4th Watford recommendation. Something much be wrong with me. Deeney netted a PK this weekend. He’s still getting good minutes and into good positions playing next to Deulofeu. He’s on pens when he’s on the pitch. At 5.8 not as good a buy as Ings but keep an eye open.
Now it’s time to look back on my GW18
In a week that averaged 55 points, I finished on 65, a green arrow up to 136k. This with a captain fail of Leroy Sane. I was possibly talked out of it by the guys I pod with. That said, I take full responsibility, as I came off Aubameyang. Tough break but pleased with my team’s performance after rolling my transfer.
It started on Friday with Liverpool doing the business for me, as Robertson and van Dijk finished on 21 points, making it a solid start for GW18.
Alonso, close again, as he hit the post, but Leicester’s Jamie Vardy netted as Chelsea couldn’t keep it clean. City, well they were a damn mess.
The midfield struggled, Ryan Fraser in a 25-minute cameo picked up a late assist. Sane was captained for 4 points and Felipe Anderson, nada. Not a good week for midfielders.
Up front I was living fat off Aubameyang and Kane with 28 points between them. Wilson, 90 minutes of nothing.
My strategy moving forward is to bolster the midfield. I am looking at Richarlison, as Everton have a great run. I also want to see Casey, FPL_Tornado due the pigeon dance on the next Academica Podcast.
While Callum Wilson seems to be a concern since returning from injury and Bournemouth with an ugly run, he’s a concern. I want in on Ings before his price gets too high but feel there are bigger concerns defensive with Laporte and Ederson.
Yet, if you look at City, they have a nice run of fixtures; lei/sou/LIV/WOL/hud/new. That last time they played Pool, it was a 0-0 draw. Leicester and So’ton aren’t exacting high powered offenses.
At this point, I think one or both need to go. Don’t want to make that GK transfer, as I am willing to ride Ederson out for a few more weeks. Might look at that Liverpool triple or the other option Jonny of Wolves.
Moving Gudmundsson is a top priority, as I’ve lost 0.2 on him recently, while making gains elsewhere in my team.
Moving Gudmundsson and Laporte puts 11.7 ITB, which is enough for Richarlison and Jonny
The other option, take a -4 and move Laporte, Gudmundsson and Wilson for Lovren, Richarlison and Ings.
West Ham is a sieve on defense and see Southampton netting at least twice. Lovren could be a great call with potential for a CS against Newcastle.
Richy picked up an assist, as well as missing a few chances. It could be a logical -4 hit to get the necessary players in for this gameweek.
Captain this week, Harry Kane against Bournemouth, they have a terrible defense, Salah did the business, I could see Spurs rolling up another 6 goals midweek.
It’s time to open the Pitch & Pint Mailbag
From FPL_Tornado, “I’d love to hear about united assets. I’m still worried about whether Rashford or Lingard will miss out once Lukaku is back. Think Martial is the safest pick, or Pogba. Maybe Shaw is a cheeky punt.
As I mentioned at the top of the show, I am not sold on United assets after just a single game…that game against Cardiff. There is reason to be excited, as this expands the player pool with assets are known commodities.
Martial had a great run a few weeks back, now it appears to be Lingard following suite. I am holding, in order to see what OGS does with his starting XI. Great fixtures up to GW29 sees them play away to Spurs and home to Pool with lots of green in between.
Having a plan in place now, I don’t want to rip it up and add in United assets, who outside or Martial haven’t really been options for much of the first half of the season.
A follow up from Casey, “Thoughts on Anderson-> Martial. Love Anderson and West Ham sill have a few good fixtures, but United could start scoring big time and in general they are a better attack than West Ham.
As an Anderson owner, I am going to ride him for 3 more weeks and Arsenal. Even after that game, the Hammers still have a viable run and he could retain his spot in my starting XI.
Ahead of GW22 I will reevaluate moving him for another player. Martial seems more dynamic and clinical as a midfielder than Anderson. Without Arnie up top, I think Anderson is being asked to do a bit more. Still he’s got 4 returns in the last 5 games.
Martial, just 2 returns in the last 4 games, even 6, if you want to go back him coming off his streak. I think both are good options for the next 3 weeks. For me, I would keep Anderson, even if I didn’t have other fires to put out. I want to see more from Untied before I invest.
I do agree United has a stronger attack going forward, scoring 34 goals, compared to 25 for the Hammers. In 10 games they’ve scored 2 or more goals. The 5-1 victory was their largest margin of victory this year, however they did defeat Fulham, 4-1 just 3 weeks ago.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for episode 21, thanks for listening. I want to wish all those listening a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate. It’s been great to be involved with the community this season, providing articles, beer reviews and the Pitch & Pint Podcast.
I will return Thursday with another podcast ahead of GW20.
It was a great green arrow this week, as I look to bump back up into the top 100k by Boxing Day. I’ve got a shot!.
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Good luck this weekend, may your arrows be green!
Thanks for listening.