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Episode 28 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Wednesday March 06, 2019 – Twitter Never Lies
INTRODUCTION – Episode 28
Hello and welcome to episode 28 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
GW29 is over and it was anything but impressive. Lots of less than average results and performances, as we continue to keep an eye on BGW31, now 2 weeks away.
Last July, ahead of the season, I wrote an article, Keys to Success for 6thgoal.com, which listed five thoughts to keep in mind approaching a new FPL season.
Make Your Decisions
Have A Plan
They are all self-explanatory and I read similar articles from other pundits, there were some similarities.
Today, I want to concentrate on social media. Last season was my first using Twitter as my main source of FPL news. Sometimes those tweets would lead me to a few websites and podcasts I respect and use to help make my decisions.
The problem with social media, it’s such a small cross section of the game. Much like making my own decisions, I’ve let social media scare me, dictating strategic and weekly moves that left me hunched over and defeated.
I would have prospered if I had made my own decision. There is much knowledge to be gleaned from social media, but tread cautiously.
This week was one of those weeks, as FOMO got the best of me and I knee jerked Raheem Sterling in, as one of my two transfers. Before I get into how my starting XI did, let’s look back on my club, Watford and their last minute 2-1 victory over an unimpressive Leicester City.
Watford Review (01:48)
It was Brendan Rodgers first game in charge and a return to Vicarage Road, where he managers in 2008/09.
This was an important game for both teams, however coming off a 5-0 loss to Liverpool, I was curious to see how the Golden Boys would rebound.
It took just 5 minutes and a dead ball foul for Watford to get on the board, as Gerard Deulofeu whipped in a free-kick that glanced off Troy Deeney’s head, past Kasper Schmeichel, as Watford went up.
After that goal, the Hornets didn’t put much forth to double the lead, dropping into a defensive posture, not allowing the Foxes to run in behind, where Jamie Vardy can be so dangerous.
On the day, it was Leicester City controlling the game with 60.9% of the possession, but could only muster 2 shots on target, something that Watford have struggled with. Leicester had 14 shots to Watford’s 6, five of which were on target.
Out of the break, the game because more attacking for Leicester. Watford had an excellent chance when Abdoulaye Doucoure fired a shot on target that was pushed away by Schmeichel to keep the game 1-0.
On 75 minutes, Youri Tielemans, sent Vardy away with Adrian Mariappa in chase, as Ben Foster came out, to cut down the angle, but Vardy in limited touches slotted the ball past Foster to draw the Foxes level, 1-1.
Prior to the Leicester goal, Javi Gracia had substituted Deulofeu for Andre Gray. It would take 90 minutes and a few extra for the Watford forward to make the most of his opportunity.
Deeney picked up the ball, just past the center line and lofted a pass forward that Gray ran onto, taking a touch to settle the ball before firing it past a helpless Foxes defense to give Watford an important 3 points.
This was the second successive home game in which Gray has scored the winner. After the game, Gracia said, “When he plays, he’s always good for the team because in the time he’s playing he’s only thinking of the way to help the team. He’s scored two important goals for the team.”
Next Saturday Watford visit the Etihad and Man City. It was encouraging to see Bournemouth play City to 1-0. This past December it was a 2-1 loss at Vicarage Road. All the pressure is on City, hopefully it’s a better showing that Liverpool was.
On the season, Watford 12-7-10, tied with Wolves, who get the 7th spot based on goal difference, however Watford is the highest scoring team (41 goals) outside the top 6 and one of three teams without a negative goal differential.
Before we get into the FPL opinion I must pour myself the Gameweek 30 Beer of the Week.
Beer of the Week – Gameweek 30 (04:11)
San Francisco Beer Week concluded last month, but I was very surprised to be pursuing a local online beer retailer in the downtown SF area and was shocked as shit to see Alcehmist’s Focal Banger.
Alchemist Brewery is known for Heady Topper, which has become a legendary beer brewed by Jon Kimmich and his wife Jen.
Now, I could do an entire episode on the history behind Heady and Kimmich along with Pliny a Cilurzo, both pioneers when it comes to DIPAs.
So, scrolling through the beers I come across an Alchemist beer. Now it’s not common to see cans of Alchemist on the West Coast. So, when I came upon Focal Banger, I was shocked. Come to find out there had been cans delivered for beer week and nearly a month later there were still 16 oz. cans available. How, I don’t know.
So late last week I scored a 4-pack of Focal Banger, which is the GW30 Beer of the Week. I think it’s fitting for the GW as well, as we need to rebound with a big return to make up for last week.
If you got time, just Google John Kimmich and read about how Heady and the Alchemist achieved success in the craft beer scene.
Today, as I mentioned, it’s Focal Banger from The Alchemist out of their Stowe, Vermont brewery and visitor’s center. As described on Beer Advocate, an American IPA, hoped judiciously with Citra and Mosaic hops.
So let’s crack open this 16 oz can
Focal Banger pours a hazy light straw yellow with a unfiltered characteristic with a big white and frothy, sorta sudsy head that linger with lacing that coats the glass.
The smell is ripe citrus and tropical fruits; including orange, grapefruit, pineapple and mango. There is a sweetness present, melon or bubblegum as well as an underlying dank pine.
The taste is very hop forward with a mouthful of bitterness that breaks releasing the tropical and citrus fruits, as it finishes dry with a hint of sweetness.
An EXCELLENT beer might even prefer it a bit more than Heady Topper. Both are quality. If you have a chance to drink Focal Banger, on tap or from a can, do not pass it up.
Now let’s look back on my GW29
TEAM NEWS (06:15)
It’s been very frustrating the past 10 weeks, putting up back to back green arrows, but only to get knocked backwards with a red or two. It’s that yo-yo movement that continues to frustrate, even though scoring has been relatively consistent.
This week I was coming off back to back in 27 and 28, climbing to 80k. I finished GW29 with 41 points, just a single point above the average, but 3 points under the top 1k average of 44.
That resulted in a small 5k red arrow as I dropped to 85k. Given how poor of a week it was, I am happy it wasn’t worse.
It was Liverpool on Sunday with the biggest returns, Robertson and van Dijk combined for 13 points, as Salah returned 3 points, his fifth no return in 6 weeks. AWB had a spot start and picked up 5 points with an assist.
Raheem Sterling was a bust, 6 points as my captain. My initial plan, ahead of this game week was to bring in Chelsea assets, either Hazard and Luiz or Hazard and Higuain. In the end, City and more importantly Twitter forced my hand and I went a completely different direction.
It was Sterling in and Vardy in. The Sterling shout is wasted in BGW31, but Vardy will feature. Thankfully Vardy returned a goal, more on him later.
So, 41 points, a red arrow as we look to GW30 and more importantly, GW31.
Let’s take a quick break from FPL and get into a little beer news from big beer, not that I will ever advocate for big beer.
Beer News – Big Beer Gimmicks (07:46)
Many craft brewers have little to no advertising. Some have no distributors, where social media and word of mouth allow these brewers to sell out their cans on a regular basis, Alchemist, Tree House on the East Coast come to mind, as does Monkish and Russian River on the West Coast.
Before there was craft, there was Coors Light, known as “The Silver Bullet” and Budweiser, “The King of Beers. Let’s not forget Miller High Life, “The Champagne of Beers.” Love all these gimmicks to sell their product.
Growing up, it was Pabst Blue Ribbon or PBR. I remember cracking open cans and sucking down the head as a kid before giving my dad a can. Coors Light and MGD were short lived for me before I wised up and went craft. I drank, what I term as piss water.
Coors Light is the second-best-selling beer in the U.S., shipping 16.5 million barrels in 2017. It’s also among the top 10 best-selling beers in the world, with an estimated 22.6 million barrels sold in 2017. What makes this mass-produced light lager so irresistible?
Here are 13 things you should know about Coors Light.
(1) IT’S LIGHTER THAN LIGHT.
Before Coors Light, Coors’ original label, Coors Banquet, was marketed as “America’s fine light beer.” In 1978, the brewery launched Coors Light to compete with other brands like Miller Lite, launched in 1973; as well as Natural Light and Schlitz Light, both launched in 1977. The lighter-than-light beer launched 105 years after the brewery was established in 1873.
(2) THE ‘SILVER BULLET’ WAS A SHOT IN THE DARK.
Coors Light’s now-iconic “Silver Bullet” can was designed by a Cuban-American artist, Marc Barrios. Barrios emigrated to the U.S. at age 15, and began working for Coors’ art department in 1969.
In 1975, an encounter with Pete Coors encouraged the young artist to submit his designs for the new Coors Light can. His idea to eliminate the cream-colored background featured on the Coors Banquet can was a hit.
Barrios eventually moved up the ladder and became Coors’ head of creative services. His career later took him to Hollywood, where he worked on promotional materials for films such as “Apollo 13,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Batman.”
(3) THE CAN GOT ITS NICKNAME FROM (WHO ELSE?) COLLEGE STUDENTS.
According to the MillerCoors blog, the “Silver Bullet” nickname shot off in the late 1980s, becoming part of the country’s collective lexicon by 1991.
In Pete Coors’ 1998 book, “Coors: A Rocky Mountain Legend,” he writes that “students began asking for the Silver Bullet in bars. We thought it was a pretty good moniker.”
(4) ITS FIRST DELIVERY MAY HAVE REQUIRED SAFETY ESCORTS.
On Aug. 23, 1978, the first trucks of Coors Light rolled out of the Golden, Colo., brewery with 23,000 cases on board. “Law enforcement agencies in the various states where the convoy traveled were notified in advance and provided safety escorts in and near various cities,” read Coors’ company newspaper. It’s unclear whether this was a joke.
(5) ITS 1980S HALLOWEEN-THEMED ADS WERE CHILLING.
Although Halloween is now a drinking holiday for adults, this wasn’t always the case. Former brand director Gary Naifeh said he believes Coors Light was “the first brand to really promote Halloween in a big way. And it turned into a phenomenon.”
That phenomenon took the shape of the “Beerwolf,” a disturbing promotional character that donned billboards, TV commercials, radio spots, and even pre-recorded point-of-sale speakers in grocery stores. He even snuck into non-Halloween campaigns, like St. Patrick’s Day, and this creepy fishing trip.
(6) IT’S COLDER THAN ICE CUBE.
Remember those Coors Light commercials that pitted Ice Cube against inanimate bottles of Coors Light in a silent icy battle? Neither do we, but they happened.
(7) DID WE MENTION IT’S COLD?
In December 2018, Coors Light parent company MillerCoors announced plans to revive its “World’s Most Refreshing Beer” tagline for television commercials. It said the reason was millennials’ lack of awareness about its “Cold Activated” cans, which turn partially blue at refrigerator temperature.
“We are going back to truly being the ‘World’s Most Refreshing Beer,’ rooted in our ownership of cold,” Ryan Reese, Coors VP, wrote. “When the mountains turn blue, it means Coors Light is at the perfect temperature to bring refreshment. And younger consumers, believe it or not, didn’t know that. When we asked, they said ‘really? That’s so cool.’ And they didn’t know, because we stopped telling them.”
(8) COORS LIGHT, MIRACLE ELIXIR?
Last year, 101-year-old Coors Light superfan Andrew E. Slavonic of McMurray, Pa., said his secret to a long life was a daily Coors Light at approximately 4 p.m., a ritual he’s practiced for 15 years.
The following week, after news of the World War II veteran’s preference went viral, MillerCoors surprised the centenarian with the birthday gift of a lifetime: a fully-stocked Coors Light beer fridge, killer swag, and an invitation to a tour of the Golden, Colo., brewery.
(9) COORS LIGHT IS DRINKABLE AND WEARABLE.
In October 2018, apparel brand 686 announced a new “Sixer” jacket with Coors Light. The Coors Light Sixer featured enough pockets to keep 11 Coors Light cans icy.
(10) CRAFT BREWERS DRINK IT LIKE WATER.
Shaun O’Sullivan, co-founder and brewmaster of 21st Amendment Brewery, admitted to VinePair that Coors Light is his guilty pleasure. “I generally have a few cans in my refrigerator for the rare moments when I don’t want a craft beer but I don’t want to drink soda or water … I like it because it’s a lot like water.” His only requirement? “That it’s cold.”
(11) OTHERS THINK THERE’S ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
Teri Fahrendorf, founder and president emeritus of the Pink Boots Society and former Steelhead Brewing Company brewmaster, says it makes a great base for beer experiments. “One night we had friends over and I remembered the lonely can of Coors Light that someone had left at a party. I used it to demonstrate that you could add some 88 percent lactic acid from the homebrew store to create a passable kettle sour. We all agreed the lactic acid improved the Coors Light considerably.”
(12) COORS LIGHT SAVED A LIFE.
In April 2018, beer distributors Kwame Anderson and Jason Gaebel encountered a man in St. Paul, Mich., planning to take his own life. Anderson, a salesman, struck up a conversation with the man, eventually talking him off the ledge of a bridge by offering him a case of Coors Light.
St. Paul Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said at the time, “Beer has been bringing people together for a long, long time. Today, it brought people together in a life-saving way.”
(13) IT’S PROUDLY BREWED WITH CORN SYRUP.
During the 2019 Super Bowl, MillerCoors competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev sparked #corntroversy when its Bud Light ads called out Coors Light and sibling brand Miller Lite for using corn syrup in their beer recipes. During Molson Coors’ 2018 fourth-quarter earnings call, MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley said the commercials were a “gift” and have been motivating its distributors and employees. “[T]he next few months are going to be interesting for sure,” he said.
You can find this article on Vine Pair and more information on big beer made with corn syrup. Now, let me have a sip of this Focal Banger and get back into FPL opinions.
I just mentioned the Sterling transfer was a waste, since he doesn’t play in BGW31, a week that some managers are willing to let slide without a full starting XI. Other mangers are dead ending their teams with intentions of free hitting or wild carding in DGW32.
What concerned me was continuing to run without any City assets, as I got rid in GW21 and haven’t looked back. Last week’s BOU fixture looked good, but so did Chelsea’s fixture at Craven Cottage.
Seeing many on Twitter jumping on Sterling, I gave into social media, changed my plans and left the Chelsea assets out and brought in Sterling and Vardy.
This week I was planning on moving Jonny and introducing a Newcastle defender. Florian Lejeune is tentatively penciled in.
Next week, to get a GK for BGW31, I was looking at Martin Dubravka. Since I moved for Sterling, not in my original plans, I might look at moving a Paul Pogba and his poor attitude out for Hazard, as they face Everton in BGW31 and are home to Wolves this weekend.
The transfer this week will hinge on the healthy of Jamie Vardy. He picked up a head injury and was having double vision during the game, which now has him flagged ahead of the game week.
If Vardy is fit for the game week, then I will look at Hazard or the Newcastle defender in. That will give me a total of 9 players for BGW31.
Early thoughts on captain include Mo Salah, home to Burnley. Heaton gave up 3 to Palace last week and 2 goals to Newcastle in GW28. I know he hasn’t been in form but it’s a strong shout at home this weekend.
The other option, Jamie Vardy. Leicester playing the leagues worst defense. Need we say thing else? Could be a punt for the captain.
Time to get into a few FPL opinions based on what we saw last weekend, as we look forward.
FPL OPINIONS (16:25)
First, let’s stay in Leicester City. I wasn’t impressed with Brendan Rodgers and his first game in charge. Their defense was still shit, making players like Chilwell and Pereira, more less irrelevant with the good run of fixtures upcoming. I won’t be buying into them.
While Vardy netted last weekend, he only had 2 penalty touches and 1 attempt on goal. Not worth the outlay of 8.9 million.
While one games doesn’t make a season, Watford went into a defensive shell after getting the 1-0 lead, but to be shut down as Vardy was, maybe that say more about the ineffectiveness of their midfield.
I won’t consider James Maddison either, reminds me of Richarlison, must be the blue jersey. On set pieces, which is a plus, but he isn’t in returning attacking points.
If you look inside the numbers over the last 6 weeks you see he’s third in crossing with 42 and first with 22 successful crosses, only 1 BCC. None of his chances are being finished. And it shows in his statistics. Can’t play for the “what if.” Passing on attacking assets and not considering defensive assets from Leicester.
I am keeping my eye on West Ham players, attacking only for the next 3 fixtures; car/HUD/EVE, none of them are particularly good defensively, so we could see some multi-goal games for the Hammers.
Arnie was ill, picked up 20 minutes but he’s so fragile and 6.8, again I look at the midfield. If you got the money and don’t mind the inconsistency, then Felipe Anderson is your man, now just 1 attacking return in 10 games.
I would consider Manuel Lanzini, as he’s back from injury. I mentioned last week on Twitter or Slack, that I am watching him but won’t consider him until he plays 90 minutes, which he got against Newcastle last week. He could be good for the Hammers going forward and comes in 6.4. Great price for those will be free hitting in GW32.
I can’t take their defense serious though, much like Leicester, they leak goals, only 5 CS on the season. If you want to waste a transfer, then Fabianski is your man through 31.
Still keeping my eyes on Newcastle through the double and blank madness, as they could miss GW34 depending on the outcome of the Watford vs Crystal Palace game. Currently, I have Rondon in my squad, but he’s blanked the last two weeks. They are home to Everton and have good fixtures, but there are some other options in that price range to consider, if Rondon doesn’t do it for you. Magpies are home to Everton this week.
Defensively, they have been playing well, not sure how they conceded twice to West Ham, but I would still consider the likes of Lascelles or Lejeune. Yedlin was benched this last week and Schar is one card away from a 2-game ban. Lejeune is the budget option at 4.4.
Martin Dubravka is another player I am considering, as my keeper. A bit expensive at 5.0 but he’s a great differential at 0.9% owned.
Since I am discussing keepers, I am considering buying back in on Ederson. I wasted many weeks holding the City man through some very thin fixtures before dumping him in GW21.
He’s dropped in price to 5.6 and has posted 4 consecutive clean sheets. City coming to play to win the league, seems to be a makeshift defense in front of him, but can’t argue with the results. They don’t play in BGW31 and have Watford at home this week.
Out of 31 it’s ful/CAR/cry, could be some big fixtures for City coming very soon. In fact, I am planning on the treble for City when I free hit in DGW32. Sterling currently in my team, Ederson will come in and that will leave me one spot remaining.
Chances are I will give Aguero a sniff, at 11.8, he’s expensive, but worth it, 7 goals in his last 5, he blanks in 31.
However, Gabriel is back ahad a cameo last weekend. Could that play into Pep’s plans? Probably, Aguero didn’t look all that sharp, a bit fatigued from what I saw on the tube.
If I had to double up in the midfield, Bernardo Silva at 7.5 would fit the bill, but he’s got just 1 assist in the last 8 games, however KDB is injured again, that could bring Leroy back into the starting XI.
If both positions are too expensive, I think you are rolling the dice defensively. Walker doesn’t represent value at 6.4.
Otamendi at 6.0 has played the last 4 out of 5. Stones at 5.2 is still carrying a flag and Kompany, 5.2 got some time this week as well.
A cheeky play could be Iklay Gundogan at 5.4 or Oleksandr Zinchenko, 4.7. Gundogan has played the last 5 games and posted an assist, finishing 90 each time. The Z-man played left wing back and represents excellent value, if Pep continues to start him.
I was quite impressed with So’ton for much of their game against Man United. The showed some resilience, clawed back to make it 2-2 as Ward-Prowse had an excellent free kick to draw level. Before that, it was Yan Valery with a rocket of shot to get the Saints on the board. He’s priced at 4.0, while JWP is 5.1. Both could be considered options. Redmond is the top scorer with 93 points and has looked dynamic, with just 2 attacking returns in 5 games.
Angus Gunn, 4.3 has got the gloves in the last 3 games for the Saints, good price but has conceded 4 in the last 3 games. Might be worth some save points, picking up 3 points on 10 saves the last 3 games.
As mentioned, I am already invested in Bournemouth, with King and Fraser, but their fixtures have turned are excellent through the end of the season! It starts this week away to Huddersfield.
The only concern, how does Callum Wilson? Little known fact, after returning from a cruciate ligament injury last season, Wilson hit for a hat trick against…you guessed it. Huddersfield! Will lightening strike twice for him?
Rest assured Josh King will continue to start for Eddie Howe, as he’s returned just 1 goal in his last 5 games, but with Fraser back in form and the return of David Brooks, this could be the Cherries squad we saw earlier in the year when a double up was common place.
Defensively, I just can back Bournemouth. I see many FPL managers talking about Ake, but at 5.0 he isn’t cheap and this is a Cherries team that has posted just 7 CS in the last 29 game weeks.
Much like Leicester and West Ham, I think you look for budget defenders elsewhere.
Let’s look at who will most likely feature in BGW31, as we look over some statistics from the top 1000 managers, courtesy of Fantasy Football Fix.
Top 1000 Managers (22:43)
This is a group of FPL mangers I’ve been watching for much of the year. As many know, if you score around the average weekly, there is a good chance you will pick up a red arrow.
It’s happened quite a few times this year, in fact this week with my 41 points, I dropped 5k spots because I didn’t keep up with the top 1k, who’s average was 44 points.
Surprisingly, Pogba is the most highly owned at 93.3%, but he’s also one of the top transfers out this week as 36k managers have moved him on, many in favor of Sadio Mane.
Salah has dropped down to 89.1% owned by the top 1k and much like Pogba is being dropped, so far by 35k in favor of Mane.
Now Mane is the top midfielder being brought in, as he’s got 45k new managers ahead of Burnley. Not sure I am ready to move the Egyptian, we know what he can do. Over the last 6 weeks, he’s second to David Silva for penalty touches with 53. Salah is also second in goal attempts with 20, one less that Leicester’s Harvey Barnes. He also leads midfielders in the last 6 weeks with 9 shots on target.
So much like the early part of the season, Salah has some good underlying stats. Now we do over use that term, but he could have posted 2 goals this last weekend. He looked good down the flank, but just couldn’t get that final ball.
I believe he looked better than Mane in the Merseyside Derby. However, if I made the move from Salah I wouldn’t bring in Mane.
With Roberto Firmino healthy again, I think we see Mane slide back to the left flank and Firmino will take up that central position, we could see Salah moving more centrally when on attack.
At this point, treble Liverpool is the way to go for BGW31. Looking at the combination of Robertson, TAA and Salah, 19.1% of the top 1k have this trio.
For me Robertson, van Dijk and Salah are owned by just 10.7% and for those doubling up in the midfield with Salah, Mane and Robertson, it’s 13.8%. So, your treble will vary. However, 3 Liverpool players should make up your BGW31 team.
My plan was to have treble Liverpool with two Chelsea players. Initially it was going to be Luiz and Hazard but bringing Sterling in could potentially limit my inclusion of Blues players.
Luiz by himself is owned by 21.2% but partnered with Hazard they are owned by just 4.4%. This could mean many FPL managers will get into BGW31 with either a defender or midfielder, but not both. The same holds true for those looking at grab Higuain.
The Chelsea forward is owned by 12.4 across the top 1k and 7% across all FPL. Could be a differential, as he picked up his third goal since coming over from Napoli.
If you start two Chelsea players, Hazard would potentially be where many managers go. He’s still owned by 23% in the top 1000 but doubling up on Blues players, that numbers take a steep drop.
For me, it’s Robertson and van Dijk with Salah in the midfield. Others have Alisson and a defender, coupled with Mane or Salah.
So, 3 Pool, 2 Chelsea and 2 from Bournemouth is how I will enter BGW31. Most likely I will also have a Newcastle and Leicester player, which will give me a total of 9 starters.
The best I could have done would have been 10, if I had not made the Sterling transfer. Last year, the BGW had some huge scores if I recall, backed by Salah and Milivojevic.
Conclusion [queue outro music] (26:12)
That’s it for episode 28, thanks for listening. It’s another week which I look to rebound, as attention has been split between planning for the current game week, while trying to strategize for BGW31 and beyond.
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Good luck this weekend, may your arrows be green!
Thanks for listening to the Pitch & Pint Podcast – FPL from inside the six