Well all the other posts have rather taken over the fantasy premier league news posts so here’s a brief catch up plus the implications for our fantasy premier league teams. I’m going back to Tuesday so forgive me if some of this is old news for you. I’m not going to concentrate so much on old injuries and fitness as I’ll catch these up in my updated line up article
The 21 year old Czech and former Watford striker, who last season was Championship player of the year, joins Albion on a season long loan. Rotation happy Clarke obviously thinks he needs 4 strikers like a team in the Champions League and Vydra joins Anelka, Long and Rosenberg in the striking department.
Last year Vydra scored 22 goals in 44 games in the Championship so he certainly knows where the net is. Everyone at WBA felt the need to get a word in over the signing and to be fair they did give some useful insights in the Independent:
The West Brom manager, Steve Clarke, said of the player: “I’m delighted to welcome Matej to the club.
“He had a really good year with Watford and we believe he’s got the qualities to score goals at a higher level.
“Hopefully, he’ll show that this year with us.
“We had Matej watched throughout last season. As well as some excellent scouting reports, we had some really good feedback from within Watford about Matej as both a player and person.
“I’ve said previously we’re a bit light in the forward areas and Matej will increase competition for places. He’s another good quality striker to add to the other three senior forwards we have here.”
West Brom’s sporting and technical director Richard Garlick, added: “Matej is a player we watched consistently last season due to the level of his performances for Watford and the number of goals he scored.
“We faced a lot of competition for his signature and we’re delighted he has chosen us to make the step up to Barclays Premier League level.
“Matej feels he can be successful here and we believe he will bring a different dimension to our attacking options.
“He’s a clever player, is quick and can play anywhere across the front three positions, or in a slightly withdrawn role.”
So what does this mean. WBA has 2 interesting prospects for our fantasy premier league teams. 1 was Anelka who has really been on fire in pre-season. He was a risk though with his age, and Clarke’s penchant for rotation although he did have the pedigree over Long and Rosenberg. Furthermore, Clarkes favoured formation last year was 4-2-3-1 although he did mix it up in pre-season with 4-4-2. This can’t help Anelka. However, the words talking about a front 3, something Clarke did a few times last year is helpful. The statements seem to suggest Vydra as a utility player striking wise rather than a nailed on CF leading the line. I have Anelka in my fantasy premier league team at the moment but reluctantly I have to say due to the competition, rotation and historic formation. My preference was for Cornelius of Cardiff who’s the same price, had a good record in Denmark and will definitely be the main man for Cardiff but he’s an injury doubt.
The other prospect was James Morrison who could play behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1. The words about a withdrawn striker do worry me if Vydra could take on that sort of role. The tinkering with 4-4-2 though in pre-season ended my thoughts over Morrison as that would see him far more withdrawn
As for Vydra himself, he’s on at £5.5m in Barclays fantasy premier league. Not for me at the moment, he needs to establish himself in the team first
Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore
Bruce talked about more midfielders joining and thats what he’s did.
Livermore has joined on loan and Huddlestone permanently.
Huddlestone last season in 20 appearances (9 as sub) and roughly 1000 minutes got 4 assists. Last year he managed a fantasy premier league point in every 25 minutes approximately, which is nothing to write home about and surely won’t be improved in a team that will fight relegation. He’s also £5.0m so the prospect of a regular £4.5m player doesn’t exist as Huddlestone. In my mind at £5.0m Koren at Hull and Kim at Cardiff are better attacking prospects than Huddlestone who will be a deep lying passer of the ball
Livermore in 1300 minutes of premier league football, over 2 seasons has managed 1 assist for Spurs. He’s £4.5m in fantasy premier league. However, I’m not sure of his immediate starting prospects. With Stephen Quinn injured he could very well start ahead of Meyler but Bruce has alot of time for Quinn so will Livermore hold his place when he returns in a few weeks. That’s hard to say at this stage.
The good news though is that both purchases, I don’t think will effect Brady or Koren who are the 2 Hull prospects. Livermore at least should help protect the back 4 if he establishes himself. However, they don’t look like great fantasy premier league prospects themselves either
Bruce on Huddlestone in the Daily Mail:
‘He’s got something we’ve been wanting to bring into the club for a long time now…the ability to pass the ball the way he can. There’s not many, left-footed or right-footed, who can pass a ball as well as Tom.
‘He’s stll young enough, he’s played for England before. Let’s hope playing for us week in, week out can get him back in there and if we can help him along the way that’s terrific.”
And Huddlestone on his move
‘I was very pleased with what the manager had to say, the role he has in mind for me and the way he wants the team to function,’ he said.
‘He wants me to get on ball as much as possible and give me licence to get forward as well.
‘I had some some good years at Tottenham but the last couple of years, whether through injury or not being selected by the new manager, have been frustrating.
‘I played quite a few games last year but not as many as I maybe would have liked.
‘I have the chance to play more regularly that I was was given the opportunity to last season and as a footballer, when you’ve missed large periods with injury you just want to play as regularly as possible.’
Nothing really said by Bruce or Livermore about his loan
With 2 out it was inevitable there would be another signing by AVB. The 25 year old French CDM seems to be an amalgamation of the 2 players that left in that he’s a strong deep passing but with more ability to get round the pitch than Huddlestone who shall we say was more defensively disciplined. He does have the ability to get forward though and shoot, as with Toulouse last year he managed 7 goals and 1 assist in 34 games which is a pretty good record.
However with Spurs going to 4-3-3 this year the midfield 3 seems certain to be Sandro Paulino and Dembele so I wouldn’t be rushing to transfer him in to your fantasy premier league team
No quotes offering any insights just the usual stuff about how great the player and club are blah blah etc
A few of the major injuries
As I said I’ll pick this up in my updated line up article tonight but here’s a few of the biggies:
- £4. 5m cheapie defender Wes Brown is out this week but expected to be back for 24 August. I think when fit he will hold the CB position over Cuellar
- Walcott expected to be fit for GW1
- Sagna is a doubt for the weekend after knock in the France friendly
- Bale is ruled out of GW1
- Agger is expected to be fit
- £4.5m defenders Clyne and Shaw expected to be fit. Clyne ha the better attacking stats for me
- Best £4.5m midfield cheapie Thomas out until 31 August. Bolasie out for some time with no return date. £4.5m Williams could start on the left flank but for how long when Thomas returns
- Aguero is looking like he wont play. Helpful for Dzeko
That’s it, on with the rest of today’s articles that will all be pretty much fantsy premier league based
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Here’s the link to my GW1 fixture ease schedule: