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Fantasy Football GW30 : Nothing but Bonus Points

FY logo paint2

So… Gameweek 30 was a tough week. Surprisingly tough in that none of the 3 predicted big hitters hit big…

Suarez, RVP and Bale all came up short this week. It’s a strange week for us #FPL managers, with a full program of fixtures we never got the points on the board we were all expecting leaving a very moderate 39 point GW average.

However this can happen – we have been treated in recent weeks to players like Bale and Suarez putting in some extremely strong performances and ultimately no player can maintain that level every minute of every game. (A Suarez Hat-trick would have helped my #FPL team a hell of a lot this week though!)

Wins for Everton, Southampton and Fulham may not have made up your weekend accumulator slip but once again the Premier League reinforces the competitive nature of the competition.

Maximum bonus points this week for Monreal of Arsenal was a sign of things to come. He has settled well at Arsenal and there have been some welcome clean sheets in the league since his arrival. In his 5 games so far he has contributed 1 goal, 2 assist, 3 clean sheets, 5 bonus points and now averages 7pts per game.

Another full back currently improving his position is Fulham’s Sascha Riether with another 2 bonus points this week. Two assists and a goal in his last 3 games have put him on our watchlist, however he has been consistent all season and finds himself in 15th position for point scoring defenders. A push for the top 10 is no without possibility.

Ricky Lambert popped up again with a goal and took all 3 bonus points also. A handsome reward for #FPL managers who retained his services after he drew a blank in both his last two previous outings.

Stoke v WBA finished 0-0. Having only seen the highlights of this game I can honestly say it would be difficult to pick out too many stand out performances. The team allocating the bonus points must have had a same thought so they decided to give SIX players bonus points!

Rooney took the maximum for United and Hazard was impressive for Chelsea as they seek to challenge strongly for the Champions league positions.

Full bonus point allocations are below and as always drop a comment underneath or contact us on twitter @FantasyYIRMA

How did your Team do??


Everton 2 – 0 Man City

Osman (3)
Fellaini (2)

Aston Villa 3 – 2 QPR

Agbonlahor (2)
Weimann (3)


Southampton 3 – 1 Liverpool

Schneiderlin (2)
Lambert (3)

Stoke City 0 – 0 West Brom

Begovic (2)
Shawcross (2)
Etherington (2)

Foster (2)
Ridgewell (3)
Odemwingie (2)

Swansea 0 – 2 Arsenal

Jenkinson (2)
Monreal (3)

Man Utd 1 – 0 Reading

Ferdinand (2)
Rooney (3)

Sunderland 1 – 1 Norwich

Gardner (3)

Hoolahan (2)

Tottenham 0 – 1 Fulham

Riether (2)
Berbatov (3)

Chelsea 2 – 0 West Ham

Azpilicueta (2)
Hazard (3)

Wigan 2 – 1 Newcastle

Beausejour (2)

Santon (3)


Gameweek 30 preview: The case for the defence – Volume III



For the third time this season we’re ignoring those Fantasy Premier League attention-seekers and instead looking at those who often miss out on the headlines.

Yes, never mind your midfielders and forwards, the case for the defence has been opened again and this time ahead of a Gameweek which offers ample chance for a few clean sheets.

The best of those opportunities probably comes at Old Trafford, where Manchester United welcome a managerless Reading side in a contest that the hosts will not just expect to win – but expect to win well.

Brazilian defender Rafael da Silva (£6.2m) has excelled in the United defence this season, and with 16.9% ownership he finds himself as the most selected player from the champions-elect after Robin van Persie.

Sir Alex Ferguson surprised many by leaving Rafael out of the 4-0 win over Norwich two weeks ago – his first non-appearance of the year in the league – but the right-back was back in the team for the FA Cup tie against Chelsea last weekend, and he’s almost certain to start here in a match in which United are of course likely to be on the front foot.

Following earlier struggles for clean sheets United have now kept four in successive league matches, and with Rafael contributing three goals and five assists this season – including that stunning strike at QPR recently – then the Brazilian could be a key player in their run-in towards an almost certain league title.

Elsewhere, Tottenham will be bidding to rediscover their excellent form which they displayed prior to last weekend’s thrilling 3-2 defeat at Liverpool.

They have a good chance to find it at home to a Fulham side who have won just two away games this season, and with defender Michael Dawson (£4.6m) having now recovered from previous injuries to start and crucially finish the last 10 league games at the heart of the Spurs defence, the centre-back could be a valuable and cheap addition to your squad as Andre Villas-Boas’ side close in on a Champions League place.

Another Sunday fixture sees Chelsea host West Ham at Stamford Bridge, and although the make-up of Rafael Benitez’s defence does have a habit of changing regularly, David Luiz (£6.5m) has started the last three league games – registering his first assist of the season in the 1-0 win over West Brom last time out, a match in which he also picked up a bonus point.

Manchester City go to Everton in the opening match of the weekend, and with defender Pablo Zabaleta (£6.2m) a firm Fantasy favourite after starting the last 16 league matches there is sure to be plenty of interest in him. Leighton Baines (£7.6m) will of course provide a threat going in the other direction.

For cheaper options, the Sunderland v Norwich match offers the possibility of a stalemate with visiting defender Javier Garrido (£4.7m) bidding to follow up from last weekend’s clean sheet against Southampton with another blank against his opposition’s name. Teammate Michael Turner (£4.2m) also picked up two bonus points in that 0-0 draw.

This weekend Southampton face the tough prospect of facing a Liverpool side who have won their last three in the league, and whilst it was Daniel Agger (£6.4m) who scored the winner when the Reds beat the Saints 1-0 at Anfield in December it is the form of teammate Jose Enrique (£6.0m) which can’t be ignored here.

The left-back registered an impressive sixth assist of the season which he provided the first goal for Luis Suarez in the Tottenham win, and with two goals to his name as well he is certainly one to watch ahead of a match which Brendan Rodgers will expect his Reds to win.

If they can win it with a clean sheet then that is sure to please many.

*We’ve focused on defenders again for this Gameweek, but if you have any selection issues, dilemmas or problems then feel free to tweet us at @FantasyYirma. Goalkeepers, midfielders and forwards are allowed!


The Mark Jones Column: Roberto Mancini deserves another year

Soccer - Pre-season Package

Whatever happened it could never be as exciting as the end to last season, but the closure of this campaign looks to be somewhat quieter for Manchester City.

Of course they have an FA Cup semi-final against either Manchester United or Chelsea to prepare for, but as much as fans will enjoy that day and acknowledge that it was winning this trophy in 2011 which really kickstarted City’s time amongst the big boys, it’s not quite the ending to the season they envisaged.

This was supposed to be the year when City – fresh from that remarkable ending to last season and buoyed by their title of champions – made a big impact both home and abroad; starting an era of dominance in the Premier League and establishing themselves as a big hitter in the Champions League.

That hasn’t happened.

With neighbours United running away with the league title in England, and having fallen foul of a devilishly tricky Champions League group for the second season running, this has so far been a year of standing still for City.

Of course they could still rescue it by winning the FA Cup back at Wembley in May though, and that prospect alone should be enough to convince City’s infamous owners that manager Roberto Mancini should be allowed another crack at the job next season. Whether or not he will is another matter of course.

As we discussed on these pages back in October, City’s summer signings didn’t look as though they were going to significantly improve the squad. Maybe this year it will be different.

With Mario Balotelli having packed his no doubt eccentrically coloured bags for Italy and Edin Dzeko an apparent target for Borussia Dortmund, Mancini will almost certainly be in the market for another forward to complement Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez in the summer. He simply must be allowed to spend big this time.

Missing out on Robin van Persie last year was one thing, but Mancini then had to watch the Dutchman slot into Manchester United’s winning machine and only add to their ruthless nature. That simply can’t be allowed to happen again.

Providing the Italian with a top class forward in the summer – in other words a Radamel Falcao, or maybe even a Luis Suarez – is simply essential if City want to be challenging for the type of honours they want to be in the mix for at the end of next season. A statement needs to be made.

Sadly, a much more likely statement could be made with the removal of Mancini, a man who has been in his position at City since December 2009 but has frequently made enemies during that time.

Just like Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez before him – and right now come to think of it – Mancini has frequently paid the price for being a bit different, and for saying things that we don’t normally hear from the mouths of managers in the Premier League.

He shouldn’t be shunned just for simply having a personality though, and if he can spend the summer finding the personality that his team produced in their epic Premier League victory last season then there is nothing to suggest that they won’t be celebrating success again next year.

It’s safe to assume that if this were Chelsea then Mancini would have lost his job already, but this is Manchester City and they have admirably stuck by their man so far.

Stick by him a little more, give him some better players and they might find out that they won’t regret their decision come 2014.


Guest Post: Finding End of Season Value and Differentials

Many thanks to Jonathan from @SportinglyBet for supplying this guest post.

Finding End of Season Value and Differentials

With just nine games remaining, fantasy managers up and down the country will be looking to put their below par points return from Gameweek 29 to bed and make a final end of season push.

On paper Arsenal have the best run of fixtures including a double gameweek against Norwich and Everton in Gameweek 33.

Midfielders Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla can both be expected to be drafted in by an influx of managers, especially before Gameweek 33, but it is England international Walcott (£9.0m) who offers the best value given his more advanced role for Arsenal this season.

Centre half Per Mertesacker remains the cheapest way to get into Arsenal’s backline, with the Gunners keeping clean sheets in three of their last four games in the Premier League.

By Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, United Kingdom

By Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Oliver Giroud (£7.6m) is a somewhat divisive mid-price option in attack, but after scoring nine goals in his debut season the France international could still flip opinion between now and the end of the season. Selected by just 2.6% of fantasy managers, the France international could prove a significant differential given Arsenal’s remaining fixtures in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers’ LIVERPOOL side also end the season well with a favourable run of fixtures, fuelling hope that the Merseyside club could make the Champions League.

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has again been the Reds leading light this season, with over 40% of fantasy managers currently boasting the Premier League top scorer in their ranks.

Fabio Borini’s injury and Raheem Sterling’s fatigue could see January signing Daniel Sturridge (£7.5m) feature more heavily for Liverpool this season. Sturridge has scored five goals in the league since making the move from Chelsea and the English striker has often been played in the more advanced role alongside Suarez.

Phillipe Coutinho has also impressed since his January move, but the Brazilian midfielder will be subject to a gradual introduction of Premier League football by Brendan Rodgers. Stewart Downing offers a more in-form selection, with two goals, one assist and three bonus points in the last three gameweeks and despite a budget price of £5.7m, only 1.3% of managers have the England international in their squad.

By Dean Jones (Flickr: Coutinho Goal) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dean Jones (Flickr: Coutinho Goal) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Relegation threatened QPR enjoy fixtures against Aston Villa, Fulham and Wigan over the next three gameweeks and fantasy managers have been quick to snap up French forward Loic Remy.

Three goals in four starts has been the return of the former Marseille striker and a price tag of just £5.9m will see Remy quickly become the third choice striker for many fantasy sides.

Harry Redknapp’s team remains full of fantasy worth, epitomised none more so than on loan midfielder Andros Townsend at £4.4m who produced a man of the match performance with a goal, two assists and three bonus points against Sunderland last time out.

Christopher Samba is another to add to the watchlist, after scoring over 100 points in three successive seasons for Blackburn during 2008-2011. Samba is still short of the pace of the Premier League, but the Congo international has always carried a substantial threat from corners and set-pieces..

Elsewhere suitors of NORWICH could come back into fashion, with Javier Garrido, Russell Martin and Sebastian Bassong high on the agenda given the Canaries run of nine clean sheets already this season.

NEWCASTLE’s Moussa Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye look encouraging in the centre of the Magpies midfield, with fixtures against Wigan, Fulham Sunderland and West Brom on the horizon.

Over the next few gameweeks managers will be eagerly reshaping their squads and the quest to find differentials with favourable fixture runs look never-ending, as we approach the final part of the season.

By Jonathan Day


About the Author:

The Mark Jones Column: Suarez v Bale – It’s not Messi v Ronaldo, but why care?


We live in an age of comparison, from television meerkats with funny accents to the best footballers on the planet.

Everything can be contrasted, scrutinized and pored over in great detail, and there are always those ever-helpful statistics available to back up whatever point you want to make, and to shout down those that you don’t agree with.

The kings of the comparison – in a football sense anyway – are of course Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but to many calling both ‘kings’ simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

Apparently it’s not enough to simply enjoy the fact that we are currently lucky enough to be able to watch two of the greatest players there have ever been, instead we have to constantly compare and contrast the pair, pointing out weaknesses in one that are strengths in the other.

The worldwide availability of Barcelona and Real Madrid’s fixtures each and every week only adds to this craze, but whilst people are guilty of constantly comparing Messi to Ronaldo, this has created a skewed argument in which the pair are compared to everyone else. In that situation, there are only going to be two winners.

As a result of this, is has become impossible to discuss some of the finer talents in world football today without making an indirect link to everyone’s favourite Argentinean and Portuguese.

Take the forthcoming Premier League action at Anfield on Sunday, when we’ll be privileged to see surely the Premier League’s two most exciting players go head-to-head.

Robin van Persie has of course achieved great things in his maiden season at Manchester United – just as everyone knew he would – but the Dutchman comes alive when the ball is in the penalty area, he doesn’t generate that same buzz when that ball is at his feet further from goal as Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale do.


Anyone with an even vague knowledge of this season’s Premier League must be aware of just what an impact these two players have had on their respective sides this season. Suarez’s at times one-man attempts to transform Liverpool from a mid-table team in transition into one capable of challenging for Europe have been a compelling watch, whilst Bale – with a more experienced team around him – has been spearheading Tottenham’s hugely impressive tilt at Champions League football.

You don’t have to look too hard to see comparisons with Messi and Ronaldo in both players. Suarez’s often mesmerising close control – seemingly keeping the ball as close to his feet as possible – can draw a likeness with his fellow South American, whilst Bale’s athleticism, pace and power can be favourably linked with the former Manchester United man.

Yet instead of focusing on these traits which make the Premier League duo so good, it is often the negatives which get talked about with both.

Perhaps it comes from a desire to leave Messi and Ronaldo on top of the perches that they rightfully deserve to sit on, but Suarez and Bale don’t draw the same kind of admiration.

Suarez of course has a previous incident on his rap sheet – one that has been discussed and debated far too often to warrant going over it again – but both he and Bale are also frequently accused of bending the rules in order to seek an advantage. Of diving, in other words.

Ronaldo received similar attention during his time in England, and whilst it is true that both the Liverpool and Spurs man have exaggerated contact on some occasions, you’d be hard pressed to find a modern player who hasn’t. Look, here’s Gary Neville.

It pays to focus on the negatives with some players and not others though, and whilst that doesn’t look like happening with Messi and Ronaldo any time soon, for some reason it does with those who constantly seem to live in their huge shadow.

Can we not just enjoy watching them though? Enjoy the terrific pace, power, finishing ability, skills, trickery, team ethic, leadership and outright quality both possess?

Surely it’s about time we can, and Anfield on Sunday will be a good place to start.


GW28 FPL Match Centre, from @Shots_on_target

Friend of Yirma @shots_on_target is back with his terrific match centre, giving you everything you need to know about Gameweek 28. Click on the individual match centre for a better look at all the great stats!


Welcome to the Gameweek (GW28) Match Centre for Fantasy Premier League.  One game is still outstanding – Aston Villa vs. Man City.  This post will be updated once it’s complete

Fresh from Rafa’s Rant midweek it was always going to be interesting to see how the Chelsea players performed today and they did okay, winning this game comfortably despite the slender margin.  West Brom were content to sit deep and hope for a late sucker punch but  were bereft of Lukaku’s heavyweight presence up-front has to rely on a late flurry from Odemiwingie, in from the cold.  Demba Ba showed that when played he will have shots and score goals.  He’s just Torres’ metatarsal bone away from being the best FPL player ever.  Oscar had a stunning game, outshining the more glamorous Mata and Hazard and could have scored two early on.  He has 8 goals for Chelsea this season in 43 apps, but only 1 from 25 in the league.  Fantasy potential bubbling under the surface.

The Big Man does it again, with a top points haul from a goal and assist.  Fellaini owners know what they’re getting.  Kevin Mirallas was the other Evertonian to put in a performance worthy of a least a goal, and is back to something of the form that saw me highly recommending him before his injury. Jelavic continues to struggle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Anichebe back in the team as Everton for their next game.  Pogrebynak’s red card affords Le Fondre a rare chance to shine for 90 minutes but despite hitting the bar Reading’s best chances came through attacks from midfield.  Baines was kept very quiet and if Everton can’t get a clean sheet against Reading then attacking points look his only hope.

I was failry sure Van Persie would not start this one and get 20 minutes off the bench. Or at least I hoped! But within minutes of the game starting he had an assist.  Rooney looked very threatening and scored well.  Kagawa. too. will have opened up a few people’s eyes but I feel this was more of a warm-up for him ahead of Real Madrid to give him some gametime.  Norwich? Worst performance of any team this season.
Shocker this really, although you had have to thought that QPR were going to get a win at some point this under Redknapp this season, although Southmapton’s victory over City still fresh in people’s minds had been enough for Lambert to be considered for captaincy here.  He didn’t threaten much though, and it was Rodriguez who had the most of the attack, on for the injured Lallana.  The home side were still the side looking most likely to score though when Remy popped up with a goal to change the dynamic of the game. Whilst the Frenchman may grab the headline it may be Ji-Sung Park’s return to the team that adds the real drive that this team needs to make a fight of it.
Stoke’s season has been unravelling steadily since shortly before Christmas to the point were they can now no longer defend to add to their inability to score goals.  Recipe for disaster if they hadn’t started so well.  It’ll have to worry fans for next season though, where exactly can they go from here? West Ham are the slightly better version of Stoke with slightly better personnel in positions key to their playing style.  Andy Carroll is good at what he does, although not good enough to warrant a picture.
Berbatov is back!  Or maybe not.  But he’s quietly and calmly scored 2 goals in his last 2 games and remains Fulham’s go to player for goals.  Whilst Fulham have pulled themselves back up from the poor form which blighted them though the colder months the start of some springtime weather has not seen them climb right back to their early season heights. Here they performed to the league average against their opponents, as too did Sunderland against theirs.  O’Neils signing of Danny Graham now sees Sunderland line up in a 4-4-2 with Sessengon and Johnson nominally out wide.  Both will drift inside though and Graham’s presence should afford them more space and time on the ball, Sessegnon rescuing Sunderland a point here.
Not so obvious who the pick out here as a player with the most fantasy potential.  Steven Taylor had the highest F.SCORE of both sides with 2 shots on target and increased scoring from defenders.  However, both his were headers and these don’t have quite the conversion rate as some other types of shots (more on this one day!).  Similar story for Swansea really, no one player stood out from the stats. Therefore I’m giving the accolade of a picture to this site’s new budget fave Sissoko, who although just 1 shot on target had the most attempts of anyone one on target, showing he is a threat in this side.

Gareth Bale continues his incredible scoring run this season as Tottenham really restricted Arsenal’s opportunities here.  There’s really no-one on the Spurs team who can get close to Bale although Sigurdsson and Lennon may flirt with your fantasy affections.  For Arsenal, it’s Walcott again really who is the main man.  Giroud is an extreme outside bet and until he finds his scoring groove he’s going to remain so.

Yet another player ‘does it again‘ and this time in the most emphatic style of the weekend.  Sturridge’s concerning minor injuries are good news for owners of Luis Suarez and what performance this was.  The much-maligned Stewart Downing was also on the score sheet and was Liverpool’s 2nd most threatening player.  Coutinho’s two assists also warrant attenti0on with some real good attacking passing.  Wigan had their chances to score, their two standout players remain Kone and Maloney.

Fantasy Premier League GW28 Nothing but Bonus Points!!

GW28 Nothing but Bonus Points!!


Whilst hat-tricks for Luis Suarez and Shinji Kagawa saw the pair inevitably gain the full trio of extras, there were – as ever – some interesting bonus points doled out across another packed Fantasy Premier League weekend.

Four Chelsea players managed to pick up extras following their 1-0 victory over West Brom at Stamford Bridge, with the Brazilian midfielder Oscar a somewhat surprising recipient of three bonus points despite a failure to register either a goal or an assist.

Oscar’s compatriot Philippe Coutinho (who looks a steal at £6.5m) picked up his first ever FPL bonus point thanks to his two assists in Liverpool’s 4-0 win at Wigan, whilst West Ham’s injury-hit Jack Collison picked up all three thanks to his winning goal for the Hammers at Stoke.

The debate still rages over whether or not Gareth Bale should have been awarded an own goal after he deflected in Per Mertesacker’s flick in Spurs’ win over Arsenal, but the in-form Welshman survived without any points penalty awarded, and with the goal awarded to Mertesacker the big German gained a bonus point from it too.

Chelsea 1-0 West Brom

3 Oscar, Ba

1 Luiz, A Cole

Everton 3 – 1 Reading

3 Mirallas

2 Fellaini

1 Pienaar

Manchester United 4-0 Norwich

3 Kagawa

2 Rooney

1 Carrick

Southampton 1- 2 QPR

3 Remy

2 Bothroyd

1 Hoilett

Stoke City 0-1 West Ham

3 Collison

2 Jaaskelainen, O’Brien

Sunderland 2-2 Fulham

3 Sessegnon

2 Berbatov

1 Riether

Swansea 1-0 Newcastle

3 De Guzman

2 Rangel

1 Davies

Wigan 0-4 Liverpool

3 Suarez

2 Downing

1 Coutinho

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal

3 Bale

2 Lennon

1 Mertesacker

Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester City

3 Kolo Toure

2 Clichy, Tevez

The FantasyYIRMA Knockout CUP: Free to play! Great Prizes! NOW CLOSED!!



We are delighted to launch the FantasyYIRMA KO Cup!! We have a huge £200 prize pot to give away in the form of free bets from the generous folk over at StanJames .

The cup will run for 8 gameweeks starting from GW31. Be warned – places are limited to 256 players only so follow the link below if you want to join!


The league will take the form of a head to head knockout. Starting in GW31 with 256 players we will finish on the final day of the season with the grand final! 1 lucky winner will receive £100 in free bets from @StanJames with 2nd place taking home £50 in free bets.

To make it even more interesting we will also give away £50 to the best individual GW score from the teams registered at the start of the cup for the duration of the competition… meaning you can get knocked out in the first round but still be eligible to win a prize!  



If you haven’t played Fantasy Football before with the site you will have to register a team (Free) before entering the cup. Entry code is 44397-579605 alternatively – click the link below


We think this is a great way to finish off the season – so get involved – get talking about the cup – Tweet us once you are signed up at @FantasyYIRMA  using hashtag #FYCUP and get ready for kick off in Gameweek 31!!



  • Fantasy Football scores based on the game.
  • Players must be 18+ to Enter
  • Players must be following @StanJames and @FantasyYIRMA on Twitter to be eligible for prizes
  • *£200 Prize pot split in the form of free bet codes from Stan James – no alternatives.
  • Winners must have an existing account or can open a new account with to receive prizes
  • Standard Stan James T&C’s apply Terms & Conditions
  • Fixtures drawn at random by an online fixture generator
  • Weekly match-ups available on
  • For more information on Responsible Gaming please refer the Stan James Responsible Gaming Policy.

*In the event of a tie for the bonus prize the deciding factor will look at 1.number of goals scored, 2.number of goals conceded. In the event of a draw after this there will be a coin toss decision.


Free Fantasy Football weekly Newsletter – “The Gameweek”

Free Weekly Newsletter – “The Gameweek”

 Over the past few weeks we have been asked to contribute to a new fantasy football weekly newsletter which hopes to bring some of the best FPL stuff from around the web together in one place and straight to your inbox. Our main contribution to date has been to look at gameweek previews and club articles which will be of interest to #FPL players. I certainly recommend you check it out!

So, as they would say themselves, what are you waiting for? SIgn Up 🙂 

Click to Sign-Up.
The Gameweek is an email newsletter for players and fans of the Fantasy Premier League. Created by the folks at InsideFPL, it‘s FREE, and once you’ve signed up it will land in your inbox each week ahead of the Premier League fixtures with the top gameweek picks, captain choices, betting tips and featured articles and insight from some of the best writers in the FPL community.  All in the name of winning you your mini-league!

January Transfer Window: SLAMMED SHUT!!

Many thanks to the team from @FourFourTweet for submitting this great review of the January Transfer Window

Guest Post by @jonnywarburton

Premier League clubs contemplate future as January Transfer Window concludes.

Deadline day has been and gone with plenty of deals that will impact clubs seasons across the Premier League.


The toughest time to chop and change your squad is in January but many Premier League mangers use this window to bring in extra depth to depleted squads and to find that hidden bargain that can change a season’s fortune. Plenty of teams have been busy over the last couple of weeks and here is the summary of the key ins and outs at every Premier League side.



Current League Position 6th

Arsenal failed to bring in more than one senior player despite persistent links with Barcelona striker David Villa. Nacho Monreal was added late on in the window to provide significant quality at the LB position. Arsenal fans have been crying out for several new signings that will help lift the gunners into the champions league places. Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to spend significantly signals a very frustrating end to the January transfer window.


They needed a couple of quality players and to ship out the dead wood from years ago, Monreal is a nice pick up and should adapt to the Premier League well.


Players IN: Nacho Monreal (10m)

Players OUT: Johan Djourou (Loan), Marouane Chamakh (Loan), Chuks Aneke (Loan), Emmanuel Frimpong (Loan)

Aston Villa

Current League Position 19th

Villa failed to strengthen an inexperienced squad with only one senior signing through Ligue 2 forward Sylla. It is tough to see the Villa staying up with such little experience throughout the spine of the squad. Premier League experience was a must as other relegation candidates spend the cash in a bid to stay up


Failed to address the need for experienced players which could cost them their place in the Premier League. Defensive and Midfield quality was a must but instead an unproven Frenchman fits the bill.


Players IN: Yacouba Sylla (2m) Simon Dawkins (Loan)

Players OUT: Stephen Warnock



Current League Position 3rd

The signing of Demba Ba from Newcastle United was the main signing for the European champions who replace outgoing Daniel Sturridge. Ba proved to be a hit on Tyneside and the talented Senegalese international will be looking to compete with out of sorts Fernando Torres for a regular spot in the Chelsea line up.


With Benitez only seen as ‘Interim’ manager, there wasn’t much surprise that the blues didn’t bring in more players to complement their squad.


Players IN: Demba Ba (7m)

Players OUT: Lucas Piazon (Loan), Sam Walker (Loan)  Billy Clifford (Loan)  Todd Kane (Loan)  Daniel Sturridge 12m, Patrick Bamford (Loan)


Current League Position 5th

The toffees took the approach of if it’s not broke don’t fix it. They managed to keep hold of key players Baines and Fellaini which will be vital in their push for a European campaign next season. There only addition of the window was young Barnsley defender Stones, who they pipped Wigan Athletic for his signature – one for the future.


Quiet window for Everton, which will suit David Moyes down to the ground by keeping his core together.


Players IN: John Stones (£3m)

Players OUT:  Ross Barkley (Loan) Anton Forrester, Magaye Gueye (Loan)


Current League Position 12th

The oldest average aged squad in the league have added younger talents to their side through Frimpong and Emanuelson both on loan. The former Ajax prodigy adds significant experience alongside the midfield powerhouse that is Frimpong. Emanuelson had a OK time in Milan and will be hoping this loan move reignites his career with Fulham. Manolev will offer international experience and is a solid pick up from Holland.


Like there two midfield signings in particular and will help bolster the ageing midfield.


Players IN: Chris David , Emmanuel Frimpong (Loan)  , Urby Emanuelson (Loan) , Stanislav Manolev (Loan)  , Eyong Enoh [loan from Ajax]

Players OUT: David Stockdale (Loan) Stephen Kelly (Loan), Richard Peniket [loan to AFC Telford]


Current League Position 7th

Liverpool splashed the cash for another transfer window with a double swoop of Sturridge and Coutinho. Two quality signings with real technical skill that will be on show for years to come at Anfield. The two young players are the only real business the Reds side have completed despite reported links that Tom Ince was due a return to the club.


Spent a lot of money again so it will be interesting to see if it is money well spent, face value looks good.


Players IN: Daniel Sturridge (£12m), Philippe Coutinho (£8m)

Players OUT: Danny Wilson (Loan), Nuri Sahin , Joe Cole , Adam Morgan (Loan)  , Alexander Doni, Michael Ngoo (Loan)

Manchester City

Current League Position 2nd


With no real additions to the Man City squad it is difficult to see City really giving Man Utd something to think about in the final few months of the season. The sale of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan has been met with split views as the hot headed Italian has undeniable talent but an attitude that offers anything from bizarre to crazy just wouldn’t cut it any longer.


Relatively quiet month for the club, splashing the cash on a new striker should have been the main focus for the champions to provide significant competition for Tevez, Aguero and Dzeko.



Players IN: Godsway Donyoh

Players OUT: Mario Balotelli (19m) Alex Nimely (Loan)  Godsway Donyoh (Loan) Jeremy Helan (Loan)  Reece Wabara (Loan)

Manchester United

Current League Position 1st


The Red Devils sign and loan back Wilfried Zaha to Crystal Palace after beating many top flight clubs for the England internationals signature. The technical winger will become an instant hit at Old Trafford next season with the basis to learn from one of the best managers in the game, the potential is there for Zaha to become a real hit in the North West.


Would of liked to of seen a centre midfielder come in to strengthen the squad however the signing of Zaha will prove to be a gamble worth taking.


Players IN: Wilfried Zaha (£15m)

Players OUT: Davide Petrucci (Loan)  Scott Wootton (Loan)  Robbie Brady, Angelo Henriquez (Loan)  Josh King , Luke McCullough (Loan)  Wilfried Zaha (Loan) Federico Macheda (Loan)



Current League Position 15th

Alan Pardew brought in five senior signings from Ligue 1 which has prompted the call of a French revolution. The signings of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko will be key as both have international pedigree that will emulate the North East club in the coming months. The first French signing of the window was Debuchy from Lille who is well known to be good friends with Yohan Cabaye. A successful window for the magpies as they conclude their business early on.


Strengthened squad with real quality players in key areas of the pitch. The bargain of Moussa Sissoko will be the January signing of the window for the Toon – great signing.


Players IN: Mathieu Debuchy (5m) Kevin Mbabu,  Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara,  Yoan Gouffran , Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (6.7m)

Players OUT: Demba Ba (7m) Conor Newton (Loan)  Xisco, Mehdi Abeid (Loan) Bradden Inman (Loan)


Current League Position 14th

Norwich head back to Leeds for another signing with Luciano Becchio the latest export from Elland Road. The Argentine scored a lot of goals in the championship and will prove to be a steady signing for the canaries in an effort to avoid the drop zone.


Like the Becchio signing and will be interesting to see how he fairs against top class defenders. Steady Window


Players IN: Luciano Becchio, Kei Kamara (Loan)

Players OUT: Jacob Butterfield (Loan) Elliott Ward (Loan), Steve Morison, Declan Rudd (Loan), Tom Adeyemi (Loan)


Current League Position 20th

Rangers add defensive steel through the signing of Chris Samba from money bags Anzhi Makhachkala. The powerful Congo international will prove to be a fantastic purchase in QPR’s bid to avoid relegation. The signing of Samba was prompted due to the retirement of Ryan Nelsen who takes up management with MLS side Toronto FC. Loic Remy swapped the south of France for West London in an £8m move that will provide a genuine goal threat in firing the hoops to safety.


Added much needed defensive help which was key to QPR’s transfer window and the experienced Samba will prove to be vital in both penalty areas as the London club attempt to stay up


Players IN: Loic Remy (8m) Tal Ben Haim, Christopher Samba (12.5) Yun Suk-young, Jermaine Jenas, Andros Townsend (Loan)

Players OUT: Djibril Cisse (Loan)  Frankie Sutherland (Loan)  Michael Harriman (Loan)  Alejandro Faurlin [loan to Palermo], Michael Doughty (Loan)  Anton Ferdinand (Loan)  Jordan Gibbons (Loan)  Rob Hulse (Loan)


Current League Position 17th

The Royals lie in a delicate position in the table and this has led the club to bring in four players to their first team squad. Reading looked to the lower leagues for the majority of their signings by securing Akpan and Blackman from Crawley and Sheff United respectively. Kelly will add great depth and experience throughout the Reading ranks.


Some decent business in this window for the club, still remain to see whether it is will be enough come May.


Players IN: Daniel Carrico , Stephen Kelly . Hope Akpan , Nick Blackman

Players OUT: Gozie Ugwu (Loan)  Dominic Samuel (Loan)  Jordan Obita (Loan) Michael Hector (Loan)


Current League Position 16th

The Saints brought in only one player to help strengthen the defence during the window. Vegard Forren was a man in high demand with Liverpool closely watching the former Molde man. After the departure of Nigel Adkins earlier in the window, it was expected that Pochettino would bring in some of his own players.


Expected the new Saints manager to bring in a couple of players but failed dramatically. Will be interesting to see if they have enough in the second part of the season.


Players IN: Vegard Forren

Players OUT: Dan Seaborne (Loan)  Ryan Dickson (Loan), Sam Hoskins (Loan)  Jonathan Forte (Loan), Steve de Ridder (Loan) Ben Reeves (Loan)


Current League Position 10th

The Potters didn’t have too much business to do during January, however the deadline day signing of Birmingham City’s goalkeeper Jack Butland will be a shrewd move. The England international has been in hot demand from the majority of Premier League sides and it was confirmed that he turned down Chelsea. USA international Shea will provide competition down the left hand side of the pitch as the MLS product will look to make his mark.


Solid bit of business as Butland will become an International regular for years to come.


Players IN: Jack Butland (3.5m)  Brek Shea (2.5m)

Players OUT: Michael Tonge, Danny Higginbotham, Rory Delap (Loan) Ryan Brunt, Jack Butland (Loan)  Matthew Upson (Loan)


Current League Position 11th

The Black Cats had a three in three out policy this window with Danny Graham headlining the Sunderland imports. The goal scorer was desperate for a move back to the north east and the signing may highlight a need to help Steven Fletcher out in the goal scoring department.


Graham will be a good signing and N’Diaye will provide a dominace in midfield that is much needed for the club.


Players IN: Kader Mangane (Loan) Alfred N’Diaye, Danny Graham (5m)

Players OUT: Blair Adams, David Meyler (1.5) Ahmed Elmohamady (Loan) Jonny Maddison (Loan) Fraizer Campbell (600k)


Current League Position 8th

Swansea City did not bring any players in during the January window however they decided to sell Danny Graham to Sunderland for £5m. Michu still leads the line for the Swans and this was important for Swansea to keep hold of their talisman going into the final months of the season.


They have allowed fringe players, to leave, so no major cause for concern.  The Swans just need to keep Michu, injury free, however, the Home fans I am sure would have been hopeful to see an attacking addition to replace Graham and keep Michu company.


Players IN: N/A

Players OUT: Jamie Proctor,  Danny Graham (5m) Curtis Obeng (Loan) Leroy Lita (Loan), Ashley Richards (Loan), Gwion Edwards (Loan)





 Current League Position 4th

AVB beat off competition from many top clubs across the continent by signing German international Lewis Holtby from Schalke 04. English speaking Holtby will offer craft and guile which will provide an added dimension for a loaded squad of attacking talent. A quiet month for Spurs despite their persistent approach for Leandro Damiao that inevitably proved inconclusive in a bizarre transfer saga.


Love the Holtby signing but another striker to keep Defoe and Adebayor on their toes would have made it a fantastic window.


Players IN: Lewis Holtby (1.5m) Zeki Fryers (3m)

Players OUT: Heurelho Gomes (Loan)  Alex Pritchard (Loan)   Jermaine Jenas , Andros Townsend (Loan)  , Tomislav Gomelt (Loan) Simon Dawkins (Loan) , Ryan Mason (Loan)

 West Brom

Current League Position 9th

Very quiet window for West Brom as they held off late interest for want away striker Peter Odemwingie. Sitting steady in mid table, the baggies will look to bolster their squad in the summer.


Sold Chris Wood to Leicester but there wasn’t much need to buy after a good start to the season.


Players IN: Roland Lamah (Loan)

Players OUT: Sam Mantom, Gonzalo Jara, Chris Wood (1m) Dawson (Loan)

West Ham

Current League Position 13th

The Hammers made a couple of signings throughout January and took to the loan market to bolster their squad. West Ham brought Joe Cole back to the club where he made his name. Cole has had a stellar career and the chance to return back to Upton Park proved too much to turn down. Big tackler Pogatetz on loan from Hannover will be a welcome addition to an injury hit defence.


Steady if unspectacular business from West Ham, shouldn’t add too much quality to their squad. Cole will be a welcomed signing amongst fans.


Players IN: Wellington Paulista (Loan) Marouane Chamakh (Loan) Joe Cole, Sean Maguire

Players OUT: Alou Diarra (Loan)  , Stephen Henderson (Loan)

Wigan Athletic

Current League Position 18th

A busy month for Wigan who brought back Paul Scharner on loan from German side Hamburg. The second spell at the DW stadium will prove to be an astute piece of business as they bring in defensive cover for an injury prone defence. The signing of Honduran winger Roger Espinoza from MLS side Sporting Kansas will be a very clever move as a need as he will provide an immediate impact for Roberto Martinez’s side.


Small but important business for Wigan who only tinker with their squad over January, add defensive depth which is essential for staying in the division


Players IN: Angelo Henriquez (Loan), Roger Espinoza (Free), Joel Robles (Loan), Paul Scharner (Loan)

Players OUT: Mauro Boselli (Loan) Rob Kiernan (Loan)

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