It’s an International Week.. and I hate an International Week!
If Van Persie gets a Hat-Trick for the Dutch this week I will get sod all points and with this in mind I’m opening up the FantasyYIRMA.com site for some new guest posts.
We will feature writer/bloggers from individual Premier League clubs to tell us how they thought their team did in the Transfer window, how they think their club will do this season and more importantly – who from their club should we be considering for our fantasy team??
Don’t forget you can still get involved in the FREE to play Fantasy Football mini-league. Click the FY logo below to join with the winner taking home £100.
Next up FantasyYIRMA’s own Mark Jones reflects on the Summer activity at Anfield…
Liverpool: Above us only sky, for now
Around this time last year Liverpool were something of a laughing stock.
Two points from five games led to 18th place in the table and signified the team’s worst start to a season for 100 years, and Reds fans couldn’t fail to notice that the poor form of their team was a source of enjoyment for others.
That’s fair enough of course, as Liverpool are there to be shot at following years of success, and the motto at John Lennon Airport just outside the city was even modified to riff on the Reds’ pain.
‘Above Us Only Sky’ says the billboard at the airport’s entrance, a reference to a line from Lennon’s Imagine. ‘Below us only QPR and Reading’ was the witty response, perhaps tellingly written in blue ink.
Yet right now Liverpool are above Everton. They’re above Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal too. In England at least, that ‘Above Us Only Sky’ line rings true. The Reds are top of the league.
Of course there are only three games of the season gone, of course things could very easily have changed by next weekend and of course the Reds won’t still be there come May. The power of the clubs around Liverpool mean that a top four finish would be an excellent and unlikely achievement too, but can we not just enjoy this for now?
Three games, three 1-0 wins, three goals for the effervescent Daniel Sturridge and three clean sheets for the elastic Simon Mignolet are really all that matter at the moment, especially given which team were on the receiving end of the most recent 1-0 victory last weekend.
That win over Manchester United was watched by three men who subsequently joined the Reds the following day, capping what was a seen as a successful transfer window by the vast majority of supporters.
France centre-back Mamadou Sakho, youngster Tiago Ilori and Premier League pedigree winger Victor Moses were all added to take the summer’s total of additions to eight, with Mignolet so far doing the most to earn headline act status, although he’s being closely followed by Kolo Toure, a one-man bundle of energy and commitment who has got the supporters to fall in love with him already.
Yet this window was really more about who the club could keep as opposed to who they could bring in.
Luis Suarez’s ego will never be in a position which will make the man himself realise it, but his summer-long transfer saga was always about much more than just him.
It was about Liverpool not being seen as just another club, and not being bullied by those around them who would have felt as though they were in a position to make the Reds suffer by cherry-picking their best talent – particularly a club of the standard of Arsenal, who the Reds are trying to get back on a level footing with.
Equally the retention of Daniel Agger and, judging on his Manchester United performance, of Martin Skrtel was crucial to Liverpool’s hopes of progressing this season, and the start the Reds have made has raised hopes that that progression can be achieved.
How good will it get? That remains to be seen, but the new signings certainly ensure that this looks a healthier squad, and one which you’d hope will only get better.
Above us only sky? Not yet, but maybe one day.
How to Scouse up your Fantasy team
If you’re a firm believer in the Fantasy formbook then you surely aren’t ignoring Simon Mignolet (£5.7m) and Daniel Sturridge (£9.2m) at the moment. One doesn’t concede goals and the other can’t stop scoring them.
Elsewhere the mesmeric Philippe Coutinho (£9.0m) is a popular choice, but keep an eye out for his positional change in the coming weeks and the introduction of Victor Moses (£6.2m) to the left flank following his arrival from Chelsea.
Moses adds pace and goals to the Liverpool attack and once he’s settled in he could prove a valuable replacement for Coutinho given the money you’d be saving.
Meanwhile, the new centre-back Mamadou Sakho (£5.5m) presumably hasn’t signed to sit on the bench, whilst additionally, Sunday 29th September is a date to circle on your calendar.
Liverpool go to Sunderland on that day, and for the first time in this Premier League season they’ll be going with a certain Luis Suarez (£10.9m).