Fantasy Football Blog

Tactical review: Given Hell

Fantasy Football Blog

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The Fantasist has one word for you this week: 'Whoops'.

"Shay Given could be in for a quiet day at the office," was the confident prediction on Friday, on the seemingly fairly solid ground that Sunderland had only scored once in their previous four matches.

Needless to say the Black Cats trebled that tally in just over an hour to ensure that the Irish gloveman earned a grand total of minus four points - helped out by his booking during the match.

Our second recommendation was for Everton's Tim Howard, who did slightly better in that he only conceded one goal for a minus-two point tally.

Still, at least you were warned off Manchester United's Tomasz Kusczak (minus five) and Blackburn's Paul Robinson (minus eight). Although a confident assertion that if you picked West Ham's Robert Green "then you need your head examined" proved to be the sort of recommendation that you would expect from somebody who genuinely did need their head examined.

Green picked up four points after the Hammers creditable draw with the league leaders.

As the Fantasist said earlier: Whoops.

Things did improve slightly in defence, with Branislav Ivanovic and Richard Dunne being Chelsea's and Aston Villa's top-scoring defenders with six and 15.5 respectively. And the Fantasist's lack of faith in Matthew Upson was shown to be well-founded as he notched a minus two.

But that's all the good news. Johnny Heitininga was another dud, picking up just three and a half points while our strong warning to leave Portsmouth's Younes Kaboul alone was turned on its head as Pompey stuffed Liverpool and kept a clean sheet as they did so. Kaboul picked up a stonking 11.50.

Predictions improved ever so slightly moving upfield, with Wolves' Nenad Milijas (13.5 points) and Tottenham's Peter Crouch (22.5 points) producing the goods in midfield and attack, plus there was a well-timed suggestion to avoid Scott Parker.

That was the lot though. Samir Nasri showed exactly why he was "the best value" in the Arsenal midfield: he scored fewer points than any of his team-mates, giving the Fantasist a classic lesson in the difference between 'price' and 'value'.

Meanwhile, Robbie Blake of Burnley and Ivan Klasnic of Bolton were even worse value: Blake didn't even get on the pitch, while Bolton's match on Monday night has been postponed.

Selecting Fernando Torres, likewise, proved an eye-wateringly expensive waste as the Liverpool hitman contributed a humiliating minus half-point that no doubt will have felt like a punch in the stomach to anyone who laid out their imaginary £19.93 million to draft him in for what should have been a pleasant walk in the Fratton Park.

And it just kept on going wrong. Jermaine Defoe was recommended alongside (okay then, ahead of) Crouch yet contributed minus one point, an effective three less than Darren Bent (who we told you not to touch with a rolled-up match day programme).

And worst of all was Arsenal's Eduardo. Despite being cheap as chips at just an imaginary £7.39m, we told you to ignore the Brazilian striker... and he repaid our well-intentioned words with a very solid 13.0 point showing as the Gunners thumped Hull.

All together now, one more time: Whoops.

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