[queue z-cars intro]
Episode 25 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Wednesday February 13, 2019 – Season Defining
INTRODUCTION – Episode 25
Hello and welcome to episode 25 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
Last pod was on January 31 after game week 24. It seems these midweek games really toss a curve into my availability to podcast.
I started producing one last week, but life took me away from FPL and much of that information, now irrelevant has been pushed aside as we look ahead to 11 days off from Premier League action with European action and league cups ahead.
This week I will discuss an SDM or “season defining moment.” Will review the Javi Gracia vs Marco Silva battle at the Vic this last weekend. Discuss how my team is doing and strategy headed forward.
In beer news, I picked up two new stouts from Tree House Brewing out of Chalton, Mass and will give you my review of their milk stout called Impermanence
SF Beer Week has just ended, but I will look back one centerpiece of this event every year. From Russian River, it’s Pliny the Younger.
Looking ahead, I am not going to get into much chip strategy, as there will be many others breaking down the details. Ben Crellin is the best follow on Twitter, as well as James at the Planet #FPL podcast, now on “THE You Tube as Suj said ahead of last week’s pod.
All that and more, this week on the Pitch & Pint Podcast. Let’s get started with a season defining moment.
Season Defining Moment (01:24)
The last few years, I’ve written several articles on 6thgoal.com as it relates to what I call an SDM or season defining moment. This is a point in a season where, a decision made or not has adverse effect going forward.
Now, if time spent on FPL equaled success, we could be called experts. Oh wait, I forgot there are no experts in this game unless you end up on official Premier League and are a strong passer of the ball. Holly, I am not.
The last few years I have written a few articles surrounding my season defining moments. In GW25 it was City with the DGW and the possibility of triple captaining of Sergio Aguero as season defining.
Before we explore Aguero, let’s look a bit further back.
Going back to the 2016/17 season, the SDM for me, Alexis Sanchez. I published a piece called The Sanchez Effect, asking the question, “Can a single player make or break your fantasy season?”
At the time of the article, Sanchez was the highest scoring FPL player with 178 points ahead of GW28. He started the season slow returning from Copa America. I didn’t opt to start the season with the Chilean, but did move to him.
An interesting note from the article, “…at the conclusion of GW6 my global ranking was 29k! The highest I have recorded in nearly 4 years of playing fantasy EPL. So, did I miss his contribution? In some respect, I did.
Total at the end of GW6 was 356 points or 59.3, just 0.7 short of my goal of 60 points/week. To start the season Sanchez scored 46 points through GW6, a difference of 26 points when compared to the three-pronged attack of Tadic, Hazard and De Bruyne.
Those additional 26 points would put me at 382 points through GW6 (avg 63.6/points/week) and in a much stronger position two weeks after activating my WC.
It wasn’t until GW7 that I introduced Sanchez to my starting XI. Not surprisingly, he fell out of form, with just a single double digit return in GW10 (13 pts.) against Sunderland.”
Last year, it was Harry Kane was my SDM, as I moved the Spurs front many weeks earlier than the James Egersdorff, #KANEXIT that backfired on nearly every manager who followed suite.
That said, you can’t fault mangers for the logic implied, as it made good sense, based on form and fixtures of Kane, as well as potential options to replace him with.
In the 2017/18 season, on Boxing Day I wrote an article titled #KANEXIT Comparison that showed how much better off I would have been, had I stayed on Kane with his two hat trick performances than moving off him.
The Kane move, coupled with point hits for additional transfer made this a bigger season defining moment than that of Sanchez the prior year.
From the article, “Overall, the #KANEXIT strategy employed starting Gameweek 14 didn’t pay off. It was a calculated risk, one I was willing to take, based on his form and that of Spurs.
Out of 13 weeks I owned Kane, he blanked in 6 out of 8, failed to return captaincy points in 4 out of 5 I handed him the armband. At £12.8, I did not feel he was worth his value.
A difference of approximately 78 points separated what I would have had if kept Kane in my starting XI and didn’t decide to move my budget into the midfield.
While 6 weeks doesn’t make a season, it was one of the important decisions to date that has had an adverse effect on my overall score. An additional 78 points puts me into the top 50k, as opposed to where I sit now at 529k ahead of Gameweek 20.”
Last week, after 25 game weeks, we can point to Sergio Aguero, the “Silver Fox” as the SDM. I lost my man crush on him when he changed his hair color, but the Argentine has looked sharp the last 9 games, with 11 returns including 6 goals in the last 2 weeks.
Depending on your ownership of the Argentine, he scored 19, 36 or 53 points in game week 25.
If you played it like me, then you were rewarded with a big, fat fucking ZERO!
I had the chance to “do the hokey cokey” dropping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a one-week punt on Sergio Aguero. Instead, my infinite wisdom had me drop Callum Wilson for Josh King. I had a gut feeling about him ahead of Cardiff.
However, I failed to realize that Cardiff were at home, their first game since the Emiliano Sala tragedy. The cards were stacked, and King was nothing more than a court jester in the game.
This week, Aguero was owned by 52.6% of the top 1000 managers. Big ownership! But well off the pace of Jimenez and Rashford.
Sergio Aguero on the back of 6 goals in two game weeks have provided a season defining moment after City dismantled Chelsea, 5-0 at the Eithad. In all honesty, it he should have had 4 goals, missing a tap in.
So, 51 points, if you captained him in the double and just started him against Chelsea. That’s BIG! So big that using my current totalof 1547 and adding Aguero’s points would have pushed me up from 140k to just outside the top 40k, short by 3 points!
A difference of 100k in the overall rank. Now the chances I would have held onto Aguero for 2 weeks would have been slim.
With the Aubameyang news of not being seen in training on Friday coupled with the caution flag, I still can’t say I would have held Aguero IF he was in my starting XI.
Still that said, this has been the season defining moment of the season. There could be another with Harry Kane, if he returns to fitness for Spurs.
Now, onto the Watford GW25 review, as they Hornets hosted the enemy, Everton. Actually, the enemy is only Marco Silva. Not even Richarilson, even though I have been against his all season long.
Watford Review (07:00)
It was the tail of two Watford’s again. Looking back to GW25, the Hornets went to Brighton. If you talk about a very poor game, this was that game. Watford recorded ZERO shots on goal.
You have no chance to win if you can’t get your shots on target, but that has been a knock on this teach all season. It was also a game in which they missed Abdoulaye Doucoure, out with a knee injury.
Ben Foster, the hero of the game, again! Picked up 4 saves and recorded his 6th CS of the season.
This week it was a highly anticipated match up, as Marco Silva returned to Vicarage and the team he dismantled last year with his lack of management after the illegal approach by Everton.
Sorry Toffee fan, alleged approach. It was also the return of Richarlison.
Now I’ve been hard on Richarlison all season, but I see it as fair. Watching him last year, I’ve said he had a lot to prove this season. Has he done so? I don’t think so.
Sure his goals have increased from 5 to 10, but his assists are off by 6, as he’s just 11 points off his season total of last season.
But one return in 8 games is what we have come to expect from this inconsistent Brazilian. He’s got skills, dynamic on the pitch, but he’s still a bit immature and does make the best decisions. All these factor into my opinion that he isn’t worth the 6.7 million price tag.
Going off the back end of last season, he didn’t score. What makes you think he is going to do that now, under the same manager on a team that is underperforming? The blame lies squarely on Silva as a manager, not as Richarlison, as a player.
As for the game, Javi Gracia made a half time change, dropped Ken Sema to the bench in favor of more speed down the left side, introducing Andre Gray.
He’s become a bit of the forget forward with Gerard Deulofeu playing OOP up top with Troy Deeney.
It took just 20 minutes for Gray to make his mark and score his 4th goal, first since GW6, to give Watford the 1-0 lead.
Both teams came close in the first half as Etienne Capoue and Kurt Zouma each had shot saved. It was Gylfi Sigurdsson, who came very close just 5 minutes out of the break, as he pinged one off the crossbar.
Late in the game, it was a dead ball from Luca Digne from a sharp angle, to Ben Foster’s left that dinged off the crossbar.
Again, it was the play of Foster in goal as the difference for Watford. He recorded his 7th CS of the season, now 3 out of the last 4 games and made 4 saves on the day.
And United fans think they have the best keeper in the Premier League. If you haven’t seen Foster this year, he’s put together arguably his best season ever. #BENSAVES
Watford picks up a vital 3 points, now on 37 for the season as they retain their 8th spot in the table, four better than Everton, but looking at Wolves just ahead of them.
Before we get into the FPL opinion I must pour myself the Gameweek 27 Beer of the Week.
Beer of the Week – Gameweek 27 (10:03)
As a craft beer connoisseur, I really do drink more than JUST beer from Tree House Brewing Company. The mini fridge is packed with all sort of selections, not just from California and some local brewers but I have a fair selection from many East Coast brewers as well.
Tree House is just one of a lot that I drink. You can toss in breweries liks Alchemist, Bissel Brothers, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Battery Steele, Trillium, Mast Landing, Other Half, Foundation, Foam Brewers and Maine Beer Company.
Even on my 30 Second Beer Reviews, Tree House dominates my reviews, as I have 16 reviews of their beers. So, what makes their beer so delicious?
Part of the reason, as I have mentioned before, it’s not beer I can get in California. Much like if I sent some Pliny the Elder to the lads of the FPL Beer Club in Europe. It’s an old school, West Coast DIPA that is loaded with hop goodness. Probably completely different than what many get in the UK and Scotland.
It’s also a case of not wanting the pipeline to dry up. The connection I have came via Twitter and it’s a steady flow of beer via the post that comes directly from Tree House.
It’s $105US for 12 cans including shipping. That’s 81 quid. Broken down per can it’s 8.75US or almost 7 quid per can. Depending on the beer inside, it’s well worth the price! FPL_Sauce of The Punt Podcast would pay that much for beer from Bible Belt and many stouts are also priced higher. Hardywood Gingerbread Stout is another that is well worth 8-10 for a pint.
Tree House really needs no introduction, as there are two breweries. The Monson location churning away and amassing a stockpile of barrel aged creations that will emerge sporadically as they mature from a lengthy slumber. Charlton – internally known as the juice machine – their highly capable, state of the art, environmentally supportive facility has been making their acclaimed beer better than ever and at scale for more people than ever to enjoy.”
In 2019, They are adding a third vertex to complete the Tree House Triangle: Tree House Orchard & Farm Fementory!
Tree House now owns and operates a one hundred acre working farm, ripe with over sixty acres of agriculturally prime soil, grazing pasture for grass fed cattle, an existing produce and flower program, an appreciable number of heirloom apple trees, and vast expanses of land to be cultivated and planted for many years to come.
A significant portion of the farm will be set aside for a long-term orchard project and planted with fruit bearing bushes and trees, including, but not limited to apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, jostaberries, black currants, and more to service both fresh farm stand sales and our eclectic fermentation program.
From Nate at Tree House, “As we mature and evolve, hands on projects of lust and passion will be at the forefront of what we do – a means to continue to pursue our interests, broaden our horizons, and create something of taste, elegance, intrigue, and refinement, to be enjoyed and celebrated; contemplated and proudly imbibed…and to serve as a means for meaningful reflection and an enjoyable companion to jovial, life affirming celebrations.
We are obsessed with creating irreplaceable taste experiences of significance and authenticity, with a genuine connection to our long and storied agrarian lineage. Tree House Orchard & Farm Fermentory will allow us to do so with more vigor, focus, and inspiration than ever before. We can feel this in our bones. We are so, so excited to share it with you.”
Today’s review is called Impermanence, a 9% milk stout b rewed with coffee, chocolate and maple syrup. A kettle addition of lactose amplifies this unique offering.
Impermanence pours a thick and viscous dark brown with a small, tight and frothy khaki tan head that dissipates quickly leaving a ring around the glass.
The smell is wonderfully smooth; lactose sweetness with fresh vanilla beans and roasted coffee. A hint of coconut, maple syrup and smoked wood.
Wow! It’s amazingly smooth on the palette with the roasted malts coming forward, as the coffee bitterness is very mild. A nice sweetness throughout with the maple and sweet chocolate coming through.
Gotta give credit to the FPL Beer Club, as I have slowly started drinking more stouts, a much more complex beer than my favored DIPAs. Well worth the drinking experience. And something completely different on the palette.
Now with a beautiful stout poured, let’s look back on a less than pleasant, game week 26.
TEAM NEWS (13:51)
Review Gameweek 26
It’s been a good spell, outside DGW25. My failure to realistically consider Aguero saw me lose out, as I noted a bit earlier. Those points would have put me just outside the top 40k, rarified air for me in FPL.
Three out of four green arrows, but DGW25 did me in with just 51 points, in a week that averaged 65. I do believe that is a high for the season.
There were some positive takeaways in GW25, aside from the captain failure of Josh King. Heung-min Son has hit for 26 points over the last 3 weeks. His three goals have all come in the last 10 minutes. This week was 90+1 before he netted his 3rd goal in 3 weeks since returning from the Asian Cup.
FPL gold now, even without the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Spurs aren’t playing great, but Son seems to be the focal point of the attack and he’s rewarding his owners. 6 points this week with 11 and 9 the last two weeks.
Paul Pogba could become the permanent vice-captain, even though United’s fixtures shift over the next 5 weeks, as they are home to Liverpool, followed by a trip to Selhurst Park and Palace, back home against So’ton and then it’s away Arsenal, home Man City.
Since bringing him in for GW20, he’s scored 64 points, averaging 9PPG over that period. 16 points this week with 2 goals, CS and 3 bonus, his second highest score of the season.
I will keep him through GW29, but what I do with him ahead of Arsenal and City, is up in the air right now. That decision could hinge on what happens with the blanks and doubles after cup play concludes.
Robertson and van Dijk got back to winning ways, as it had been two weeks without cleans, something that has been tough to come by since the turn of the year. Robertson picked up an assist and 9 points on the back of the 3-0 clean sheet, while van Dijk got 6 points.
Sead Kolasinac was the biggest winner, who eventually became loser by the end of the Huddersfield Arsenal match. All was going well, as he was on 11 points, thanks in part to the assist on Alex Iwobi’s first half goal. CS points were added in and Kola was on 11 points.
It all went south at 90+3, as he seemed to flick the ball into his own goal, past Bernd Leno, followed by a yellow card.
Those 11 points dissolved into a no return, as he finished on 2 points. What originally looked like an excellent transfer had me rethinking, why the hell did I pick up an Arsenal defender?
Call it bad luck or just bad defense. I think I fell into the same trap that many Digne or Doherty owners did. I banked on the attacking return, my decision made based off those statistics instead of CS potential.
However, against the league’s worst team, who’d scored just 13 goals this season, it seems a sure thing. Then again, this is the Premier League there are no guarantees. Even into injury time.
What made this weekend tough was Marcus Rashford rested and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing out due to illness. Talk about that big fat fucking ZERO!
Off the bench was Josh King and Ryan Fraser for a combined 4 points. Could have been worse, but not much. Against Liverpool I didn’t expect much more than 4 points.
Bournemouth still have a tough run, as they host Wolves next week, a match up I do like. In GW17, it was Wolves 2-0.
The Cherries are a Jekyll Hyde type team. 3-0 loss at Liverpool, a 2-0 loss at Cardiff, a 4-0 win against Chelsea and a 2-0 win against West Ham. They seem to be feast or famine when it comes to goals.
At this point, I see no reason to move King or Wilson. Arsenal defense is poor, just 4 CS on the season, second worst with Huddersfield, West Ham, only Fulham is worse, with 2.
Mo Salah was captained picked up a goal and CS for 16 with the armband. He’s only been back in my team since GW23, after being transferred out for an 8-week period.
I finished 26 with 67 points, 10 more than the weekly average of 57 that saw my OR drop 900 spots. The top 1000 averaged 71.8 points.
It was another week, taking a red arrow on the chin, as I continue to struggle breaking back into the top 100k. On a positive note, my TV is up to 104.5
So what strategy do we employ moving forward?
A week away from BGW27 that won’t feature CHE/MCI/EVE/BHA. I have no players from any of those teams, as I moved my lone Chelsea asset, Maros Alonso ahead of City because I didn’t like the fixture or the BGW.
However, out of the break Chelsea is away to Fulham but that wasn’t enough for me to hold onto Alonso, as I have been a supporter all season, even during the thin period with no attacking returns.
Baring injury I plan on rolling my GW27 transfer and go into GW28 with 2 frees.
Chip strategy isn’t much different than what’s been discuss on FPL Twitter. BGW27 is covered, as I have all 15 players. BGW31 will depend on the cup games but could see 6 teams blank.
Depending on Premier League teams that advance, I could be without 6 players. Planning and smart transfers could see me navigate BGW31 without the use of a chip.
That would push the FH chip or second WC back to DGW32.
There are no guaranteed starters on my team after BGW31. That planning will take place when we get more data and more teams confirmed in or out of cup action.
I plan on holding the FT until the Friday before BGW27. As I just mentioned, I don’t have any players from the four teams not playing in the game week, so I just need to concern myself with any potential injuries.
It could be a rough week as United host Liverpool and I will have 5 players in that game. I’m sure, many FPL managers will be starting 5-6 players.
Transfers could be dependent on what your strategy ahead of BGW27. The number of BGW players will factor in, how many do you hold? None? 2-3?
Looking at my current squad, I am happy with how my starting XI is shaping up and barring injury I believe I am going to roll.
There are four players, Jonny, Wan-Bissaka, King and Fraser for two spots. Wolves are away to Bournemouth and Palace travels to Leicester. That leads to me bring both Cherries back into the mix and place AWB as the first sub. Looking back, both Jonny and AWB picked up clean sheets in the reverse fixtures. Interesting to not that both King and Fraser blanked in a 2-0 at Molineux.
Unfortunately, clean sheets have been tough to come back since 2019 started. Palace have just 1 CS in their last 5 games, the same can be said for Wolves, but their CS dry spell goes back to 9 games!
Where do we look for captain options this weekend? It could be very difficult to look at United or Liverpool assets for the armband in BGW27.
These teams met in December, while Mourinho was still in charge and Liverpool got over, 3-1 as Shaqiri hit for a brace with Sadio Mane scoring. Lingard picked up the lone United goal.
Not sure I will fancy Salah, Pogba or Rashford to wear the armband. I suspect there will be goals, but I still don’t buy into the United defense; Jones, Smalling, Dalot, Lindelof, Shaw and Young, whichever combination Ol’ Gunner rolls out.
Of course, United fan will point to the fact that the Red Devils have put up back to back CS as well as 4 out of 6. Dave might save, but I would still back #BENSAVES. No doubt Liverpool will score, but I will be looking at Aubameyang or even Son as my captain this week.
Aubs should have recovered from his illness and Son, damned if the South Korean continues to roll on. I give the Arsenal man the advantage, as they are playing at home, while Son is away at Turf Moor. The Clarets have conceded just 5 goals in their last 5 games and have been better defensively since Heaton came back into the starting XI.
FPL OPINIONS (21:53)
What did we learn this last weekend? Guess we need to start with the white elephant in the room, which wears blue. That’s Chelsea. City demolished them, 5-0. It was 3-0 before Chelsea knew what hit them, but the game was over.
Things looked good under Antonio Conte before he was relieved of duty and in came Maurizo Sarri, former Napoli boss in Serie A.
Though 12 weeks, Chelsea was looking like the Chelsea of old, 28 points, behind only Liverpool and City with a +19 goal differential, best in the Premier League.
Many will point to Sarri’s system, dubbed “Sarriball” as it doesn’t seem to have caught fire in the Premier League.
Through 26 games, Chelsea are on 50 points, still in the hunt for a Champions League spot, a single point behind the resurgent Man United in 4th.
Their most recent run has been abysmal! 2-0 loss at Arsenal, 4-0 loss at Bournemouth, 5-0 win at Huddersfield and the 6-0 loss to City. Just when you think it can get no worse, it does.
While fingers point to Eden Hazard as the “leader” and I use that loosely, his future at Chelsea is in the air.
N’Golo Kante has been highly praised as a great holding, defensive midfielder, as he played last year for the Blues and before at Leicester. This year he’s the midfielder making runs into the box. He isn’t an attacking midfielder!
Now Jorginho IS a strong passer of the ball. Just ask Holly, she know strong passers when she sees them. But any sort of press on the midfielder and teams can shut down the Chelsea transition play.
Defensively it’s been a nightmare! Alonso owners raise your hands. I’ve been a staunch supporter of the Spainard since I brought him in ahead of GW3. Many FPL managers will point to GW11 as the last attacking return he scored. Defensively, with Luiz the pair have been terrible. What was Emerson brought in for? How about Christensen, who played well, when healthy last season? Gary Cahill? He’s still banging around on the bench.
Both Alonso and Luiz love bombing forward and getting into the attack but City exposed what can happen in transition as they put 6 by the Blues.
How much patience does ownership show with Sarri? Mourinho and Conte weren’t the answer. Played defensive at the Bridge isn’t what they wanted to see.
There needs to be some personnel decisions made to the players to inject new blood into a rather stale squad. Seeing Alvaro Morata move back to La Liga and Gonzalo Higuain arrive isn’t going to fix the problem of who’s going to score.
While the Sarri system might be sound, not sure he’s got the combination of players he needs to be successful. Never sold on American’s, Chelsea did buy him Pulisic for a pretty penny, but can be play at the Premier League level?
For now, I won’t bother myself with any Chelsea assets. That said, they could be options from 29-33 based on fixtures, not form.
Let’s turn our attention to the bottom of the table, where Claudio Ranieri is coming under fire from fans, wanting to see more of a free-flowing style of play. The Cottagers lost 3-0 to Man United, but it was youngsters, Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon both were unused subs for the game week.
Both players were key to promotion last season for Fulham, but have become forgotten about, part time players in the last 7-10 game weeks.
Slava Jokanovic had a more wide-open style of play compared to the Italian, who guided a struggling Leiceter City side to the Premier League championship. Not that anyone is expecting those sorts of results, but will be able to survive the drop this season?
Just one win in their last 6 in 19th place with just 17 points, 8 points from safety. Not sure the scheduling is going to favor them down the stretch. They have lots of work to do, but it appears they will be headed back to the Championship.
Spurs continue to play a part at the top of the table, as they pick up their fourth consecutive win, 3-1 over Leicester City. Since Alli and Kane’s injury Spurs continue to be perfect on the pitch.
The return of Heung-min Son has been nearly pitch perfect, but it’s been FPL owners waiting until the last 10 minutes for the South Korean to score, as he’s picked up 3 goals since returning from the Asian Cup.
If you listen to Planet #FPL Podcast, James is the avid Spurs fan, doesn’t believe his team has enough to challenge for the top spot. Looking at Spurs, their depth doesn’t rival that of City or Liverpool. With no off-season acquisitions, Mauricio Pochettino has been working miracles this season to keep Spurs within striking range.
Out of both the FA and League cup, Spurs have Champions League and two legs against Borussia Dortmund. They continue to impress even under adverse conditions.
They travel to Burnley in 27, a team they beat in the reverse fixture, 1-0 on a late game winner from Christian Eriksen. It’s then a trip to Stamford Bridge before a visit from Arsenal. Two games that are must wins as they hold their fate in their hands, as they play both Liverpool and City away in 32 and 35.
How safe is Marco Silva at Everton? The Toffees lost 1-0 at Vicarage Road this past weekend. That’s three losses in a row and 10th in the last 16 as they continue to hang onto 8th in the league table.
Sad to say that Everton this season, looks much like Watford did last year. No surprise that the common denominator, Marco Silva.
This season, he’s got better talent on the squad that he did at Watford last year, especially on defense. Recent injuries to Zouma, Mina, Baines and Jagielka haven’t helped the situation. But he’s got quality players in Luca Digne, Michael Keane and Seamus Coleman. Let’s not forget Jordan Pickford in goal. But as FPL_Tornado reminded us a while back on Academica Vertex, he’ll make the world class saves, but give up a few easy ones.
Maybe the defense needs more time to come together as a cohesive unit. Unfortunately, Silva isn’t that manager, he didn’t play defense last season while guiding Watford and this season Everton have conceded 39 goals to date.
“We all rate the manager and we’re all pulling for him,” insisted Michael Keane, the Everton defender.
Silva turned heads when he was brought in to keep Hull City from the drop. He didn’t achieve it, but the Tigers gave it a great run and Silva looked promising as a Premier League manager.
That limited success saw him start last season brightly, but Watford faltered and began a long, slow slide down the Premier League table that culminated in his firing.
Expectations were high for Everton this season, as it appeared they had all the parts to a successful team. The addition of Richarlison was like Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janiero. Big expectations from a player who did not live up to the hype last season.
His numbers have improved this season, I feel Silva is holding him back in the Premier League. Richarlison is pulling a Houdini act, much like he did last year during the later part of the season.
“When you do not achieve the result and do not score goals with the chances we created, it is a big frustration for us,” Silva said to Everton TV after the Toffees loss to Watford.
Frustration is to the point, the Jose Mourinho has been rumored for the Everton job. It appears owner, Fahid Moshiri wants to appoint Leeds boss and spy, Marcelo Bielsa as Silva’s replacement.
Everton assets? Nope, they are in the bin, along with Chelsea.
Cardiff City, the small club from Wales is out of the relegation zone, on 25 points and in 17th!
While I don’t want to point to the Sala tragedy as the inspiration in their play, this is the first time all season they have put back to back wins on the board.
They have a run of 5 games from 27 to 31 in which to pick up 9-12 points, to give them a shot at staying in the Premier League.
Their schedule turns in 32, Chelsea, followed by an away trip to City. In 35 it’s home to Liverpool and they finish up away to United. Realistically, it’s 8 games to score 15 points and hit that vaulted 40 points, which historically has been enough.
Options are few and far between, Neil Etheridge is coming off 11 points in his last 2 games. Defensively, Sol Bamba (4.6) on 89 points has been a worthwhile budget option.
The best value has been in the midfielder with Victor Camarasa (4.6) on PKs and Callum Paterson (5.0) with 76 points, playing OOP as a forward.
Cardiff host Watford in GW27 and it might be a tough call for the Bluebirds, but their fate is in their hands.
How lucky did Wolves get on Monday? They were able to salvage a draw in added time past the 90+4! I believe it was a poor decision on the officials part.
Wily Boly had both arms around the neck of Martin Dubravka. Had that been ANY other point during the game. That would have been called as a foul. It was clearly interference that prevented Dubravka from making the save.
Yet Graham Scott let teams play on, as Newcastle in a valent effort conceded on the final kick of the game.
Now maybe I a bitter because this draw means two managers remain alive in the Always Cheating Survivor Pool and I am one of them. So, I made no bones about it, wanting Newcastle to win.
Still backing Wolves assets over the next 3 games, bou/hud/CAR. Currently I am only on Jonny but have been tempted much of the season my Raul He-menez, but never bought in to the Mexican. At this point, 6.8 is pricy but his 124 points on 9 goals and 7 assists could make it a good investment in the short term.
Even the Chelsea and Arsenal fixtures aren’t that bad, we’ve seen Wolves compete against the top 6 rather well with a 2-3-2 record. 10 goals scored, and 13 goals conceded. Wins against Chelsea and Spurs, draws with City, United and Arsenal and losses to City and Pool.
D 1-1 home City
D 1-1 away United
L 3-2 home Spurs
D 1-1 away Arsenal
W 2-1 home Chelsea
L 2-0 home Liverpool
W 3-1 away Spurs
L 3-0 away City
Now let’s shift gears into some beer related news
Beer News – Flagship February (31:37)
From Christopher Osburn posted at mandatory.com comes The 6 Best Flagship Craft beers In the Country.
One of the biggest trending hashtags in the craft beer world is #FlagshipFebruary. It’s a reference to February being the perfect month to pay homage to all of the flagship beers brewed by craft brewers all over the country.
If you look up that hashtag on Twitteror Instagram, you’ll be met with classic beersfrom some of the most iconic brewers in the country. The best part is that most of the flagship brews can be found at any grocery store or liquor store in the country.
But, since every brewery has a flagship beer, it’s tough to figure out exactly which beers to drink this month. It’s extra difficult because February only has 28 days (unless it’s a leap year) so there are only so many days left to get your drink on. Fear not!
We’re here to help with a list of the six best flagship beers you can get pretty much anywhere. Obviously, we can’t add your favorite flagship beer from your tiny, local micro-brewery. Get over it and get drinking.
Now before I give you the top 6 beers, I must preface this by saying some of these are no long Independent Craft.
Topping the list Anchor Steam.
Anchor Brewing Company is one of the oldest breweries in America. Founded in 1896, Anchor has a handful of beers that are household names, but Anchor Steam is the main beer. This 4.9 percent steam beer is rich, creamy, and the perfect complement to a night sitting in front of a roaring fire.
Anchor is now owned by Japan’s Sapporo Holdings Ltd. Keith Greggor explained that “difficult market conditions” and “declining volumes” as the reasons for sale. Oh yeah and a tidy sum of $86 million
Next on the list, Firestone Walker and their Union Jack IPA.
This 7 percent west coast IPA isn’t for drinkers adverse to hops. That’s because this brew is “aggressively” hopped with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. Fans of the slightly bitter, refreshing style of IPA love this flagship beer. It’s best paired with spicy food and great friends.
Here’s another flagship that sold out, as the company is now owned by Duvel Moortgart Brewery out of Belgium. Rumor was to be in the neighborhood of $250 million.
New Belgium and their Fat Tire Amber Ale comes in at #3. They are still 100% employee owned out of Fort Collins. Opened in 1991.
In the past few years, New Belgium has become one of the most well-known names in the world of craft brewing. The Colorado-based brewery (with another location in Asheville, North Carolina) makes a handful of well-known beers, but Fat Tire is the flagship beer. This 5.2 percent amber ale is toasty, sweet, and subtly bitter.
Not a big fan, as I usually pass on their beer, but if I were to buy a six pack, it would be Fat Tire.
The fourth beer, Rogue Dead Guy.
Dead Guy is the flagship beer at Newport, Oregon’s famed Rogue Ales. This 6.8 percent German-style Maibock is rich, malty, and sweet with hints of caramel and honey. It’s the perfect beer to get into the Maibock style and is well-suited for winter drinking.
Started by three Nike executives in Ashland, the company is still independent. Widely available in California, I have never fancied a Rogue.
Fifth is Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
No flagship beer list is complete without Boston Lager. Made since 1984, Boston Lager is the flagship beer at the Boston Brewing Company because it was the first beer founder Jim Koch perfected. This 5 percent lager is available year-round and gets its smooth, rich, complex flavor from Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Tettnang Tettnanger Noble Hops as well as Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend and Caramel 60.
Before I knew what, good craft beer was, there was Sam Adams. Now, due to their size, I don’t even consider this craft any longer, as they produced 4 million barrels in 2016 and had revenue of 903 million in FY 2014.
Finally, no list would be complete without Sierra Nevada.
California’s Sierra Nevada is a craft beer staple and its Pale Ale is their flagship beer. This classic beer set the industry standard for its balance of hops and malts. At 5.6 percent, this pale ale is complex with hints of pine and subtle tropical fruit flavors finished off with the right amount of bitterness.
Much along the lines of Sam Adams, if I could find a Sierra back in the day, I would drink it.
Now, I don’t bother with their offerings. Surprisingly they are still owned by Ken Grossman who opened the company in 1980. They brew well over 1.25 million barrels a year. This is that beer you go for if you can’t find real craft.
So, there you have it, craft or crafty brands that made the list for Flagship February. I do pay homage to those who came before us and created the strong craft market we have today, a landscape which seems to be constantly changing.
As I’ve said to the FPL Beer Club, doesn’t matter what you drink, it’s beer that brings us all together.
Top 1000 Managers (36:25)
The final segment today, we will look at the top 1000 managers, a group I closely monitor. Not really a surprise to see Sead Kolasinac and Sergio Aguero cracking the top 1000 starting XI this week. Aguero on the back of the GW25 hat trick, repeated the feat in 26. Kola though, went from hero to goat in the same of a minute at the end of the Arsenal game.
I still expect him to retain a starting spot in the XI as Arsenal have a few more good fixtures.
Richarlison however, has been shipped out by well over 102k ahead of Everton’s blank in 27, as his ownership has slipped to 47.4%. I expect that number to continue to decline. Many managers moving to or back to Felipe Anderson.
The same holds true for Digne owners, now down to 32% owned, as FPL managers opt for Kolainsac and Pereira at Leicester.
Son continues to climb, owned by 69% of the top 1000 and transferred in by over 125k owners this week.
Salah, Rashford and Pogba were the highest owned, but over 53k managers have moved Rashford out ahead of the Liverpool clash. Managers moving to Aguero, which makes no sense ahead of GW27 and Lacazette.
Speaking of Aguero, brought in by over 180k new managers ahead of a blank game week? Do we call them casuals? Uninformed managers? Or is there some strategic value to picking up the Argentine?
No way could I tie up 11.5 million ahead of a blank. Maybe FPL managers are banking on a price rise or two over the break.
Time to answer some listener questions.
Players to watch (XXXXX)
Always fun to go to the mailbag and see a few questions. From Adam P @ThreeFiveWho on Twitter asks,
“Need some dark beer recommendations please! Just tried Brewdog’s Get Out Claus and really enjoyed it.
So not being from the UK I enlisted the help of a few locals who enjoy a big, dark and full-bodied stout.
Magic Rock Brewing Dark Arts or Common Grounds.
Dark Arts blends four malts and bags of whole hops to deliver a decadently deep and indulgent experience. A luxuriously smooth mouthfeel is followed by spicy hop notes and full flavors of chocolate, licorice, blackberries and figs. The finish is rich and satisfying with a lingering roasted bitterness.
Common Grounds is a full-bodied, decadently smooth coffee beer in collaboration with local roaster Dark Woods. 7 different malts combine with 7 different coffees added at 3 different points during the brew to create a sweet toffee, rich fruit and chocolate depth, accented with notes of vanilla, and hazelnut. A coffee beer designed with texture, aroma and deliciousness in mind,
Tiny Rebel Brewery do a marshmallow porter called Stay Puft named for the 1984 Ghostbusters character, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
This marshmallow porter has the classic roasty qualities of a proper dark ale, whilst the marshmallow gives it a smooth sweetness, both combining for a delightful, S’mores-like ale
Any stout from Wander Beyond Brewing and Left Handed Giant also do great stouts
Thanks for the dark question Adam! You can check out Adam’s articles over at PlanetFPL, as he’s a regular contributor.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for episode 25, thanks for listening. Lots of information to digest, from this and other podcasts as we are on the brink of the first BGW of the season. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out with City.
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Thanks for listening to the Pitch & Pint Podcast – FPL from inside the Six