Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Premier League Awards
Before I get too carried away with the World Cup, I want to take a bit of time to look back over the season and hand out some well deserved awards. I will be posting some further analysis throughout the season as soon as I have managed to build a decent database that I can use.
Premier League Blog Champion
Congratulations to Ahmed el Kassar whose 'No Mercy' team won the blog league with a very impressive 2441 points to place just outside the top 1,000 in the world. I plan to comment more on the status of the league next year so please re-join next season and invite your friends as I look to integrate the progress of the team into the blog.
PL Team of the Year
I have selected the below squad which was available for under £100m at the start of the year, as my team of the year. I would guess that this might be the most controversial section so please post your alternatives below and we'll discuss:
GK T.Sorensen (4.0m)
Fourth among GK in points scored despite missing 4 games through injury. Led all players in Points Per Million Spent with a stunning 1.036 and contribute clean sheets, saves and bonus points throughout the year. I was heavily behind the Sorensen/Hart combo at the start of the year and though I have yet to run the numbers I think that the strategy worked well and I will be looking to employ a similar strategy next year.
Honorable mention: M.Hahnemann, J.Hart, J.Reina
DF Richard Dunne (5.0m)
Looking at the top scorers now, Dunne doesn't look as good value but remember that Dunne was available for just 5m at the start of the year and his 1.8m value increase was highest among all players (along with Drogba). Dunne lead all defenders on the year and contributed in all categories including 3 goals (9th among defenders) and 31 bonus points (1st among defenders). A real no brainer pick here.
DF Carlos Cuellar (5.5m)
Fourth among all defenders and totally unheralded throughout the season, Cuellar joins his teammate on the honour role. Incredibly consistent scoring just 5 points less than Terry despite being available for 2m less. Contributed goals, assists, clean sheets and bonus points and missed just 2 games all season.
Jody Craddock (4.0m)
I remember dismissing Craddock back in week X when he scored twice to win some fantasy plaudits. However, he was able to continue some of the form throughout the season on his way to 5 goals, 2 assists and 13 bonus points. Will I be targeting him for next season? Probably not, but he seemed to catch some lightning in a bottle and any owners who stuck with him were well rewarded.
Gareth Bale (5.5m)
Possibly the most controversial pick so far, Bale was just too good in the second half to ignore. Bale added an incredible 6.2 points per game with 3 goals, 5 assists and 24 bonus points. Anyone who jumped on the bandwagon at the right time received a PPMS of 1.016 and probably stole a jump on their mini league competitors. I like Assou-Ekotto (who had a decent season when fit) at the start of the year and if Bale stick around at Spurs and proves he has taken the next step, he is really one to watch for next year.
Defender honourable mention: Patrice Evra, Thomas Vermaelen, Chris Samba, Ryan Shawcross
Frank Lampard (12.5m) (c)
Another stellar season from Lampard, smashing last year's total of 226 with an incredible haul of 284. This was all despite a slow start in which he scored just one goal in the first 9 weeks of the season and appeared to be a notch below Fabregas in fantasy value. 10 goals in his last 8 games along with 11 bonus points drove many teams to league titles and not hitching on to this bandwagon cost many more a shot at theirs. One to watch in the upcoming world cup game given his position at the heart of the England and his incredible scoring form.
If Fabregas had played a whole season he would have threatened this spot (8.8 PPG and 0.752 PPMS) but I couldn't find room in the budget for a player who missed so much time.
James Milner (7.0m)
Milner bounced around from Leeds to Newcastle to Villa failing to live up to the hype that he brought with him from a very young age. Milner was able to build on a solid 2009/09 (128 points) to explode with 184 points, 3rd among midfielders. Despite Villa failing to make a realistic push for Champions League football, they enjoyed a decent season and got very good returns from Milner, Young and Agbonlahor. The inevitable rumours of a move to a 'bigger club' have started though hopefully he stays and continues to the focal point of a very good team next year (just don't expect to get him for 7m, expect a Stephen Ireland sized jump).
Charles N'Zogbia (5.5m)
Players such as Malouda and Young are unlucky to miss out here but the value delivered by N'Zogbia was too good to pass on. N'Zogbia took a real step at Wigan and along with fantasy steal Rodallega was one of the best buys of the year. The driver behind his success ahead of other budget midfielders was the fact that he caught the eye of the pundits earning 31 bonus points (as many as Drogba and Dunne). A potential move to Birmingham appears to be on the cards which I don't like and I will probably be looking elsewhere for budget midfielders next year but let that not detract from a great season from the once mocked Charles Insomnia.
Midfielder honourable mentions: Cesc Fabregas, Matt Etherington, Florent Malouda, Damien Duff
Didier Drogba (10.5m)
Another fine season from Drogba who (just) proved my pre season prediction of him as the golden boot as correct. Drogba's problem against Rooney will always be the bonus points which are stolen by Lampard while Rooney is free to take 3 points any time he plays (31 v 46 points). Drogba actually scored 3 more goals and added 7 more assists despite playing just 60 more minutes, hence why he has earned top striker for me this year. Hopefully he can parlay the season into success for Cote d'Ivoire in the summer.
Wayne Rooney (11.0m)
Rooney enjoyed his best season by far in both real and fantasy terms and was widely praised as the player of the year. Drogba pipped him to the golden boot and fantasy title but Rooney will be back next year and assuming United strengthen a bit, he should be right up there again next year. Stay tuned throughout the off season for some analysis I am planning on how best to predict how and when the big name strikers score their points.
Carlos Tevez (8.5m)
Tevez was a great fantasy pickup this year given his contribution across all categories and was consistent throughout the year. Eight double digit games, 23 goals and 36 bonus points made Tevez close to a must own player and he will be very highly sought after next season, especially if City can add one more attacking midfielder.
Forward honourable mentions: Darren Bent, Cameron Jerome, Bobby Zamora
Darren Bent (7.0m)
Matt Etherington (5.5m)
Ryan Shawcross (4.5m)
Joe Hart (4.0m)
If you had rolled with this team from day one you would have amassed 2,589 points and your team would now be worth 114.6m. If only we all had this kind of hindsight back in August.
More awards to follow include my biggest surprises for the season along with an early look at some players well placed to have a big 2010/11.