Category Archives: FA Premier League

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 46.2 On Nationalism.

We love him despite his unique looks.

Wayne Rooney plays for Manchester United, a soccer team with plenty of Irish support. To us ManYoo fans, Rooney can do no wrong. He finds the net on a regular basis.

Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool player. To fans worldwide, he is the heart and soul of the team. Likewise with John Terry and Frank Lampard. Irish supporters of Chelsea FC know their team depends heavily on these lions of football.

But put an England shirt on any of these players and Ireland bays for blood. It seems ironic that these men are both heroes and villains to the same set of supporters.



Aardvarkian FC

I can’t remember the last time I played Fantasy Football. I think it was well before the advent of the Interwebs, and I also think it cost me money – the price of a very expensive phone call. Now, with online gaming, I can take part for free. Free is a good price. I’ll do anything for free (but I won’t do that).

The English Premier League is running a competition where prizes can be won every week and month. Details can be found here.

For further advice on how to select your team, check out Tim Liew’s blog – it’s jam-packed with useful information. But you have to know what you’re doing. There’s a lot of pride at stake.

In a nutshell, here’s what Fantasy Football is all about. The “manager” is given a budget to spend on football players. In this instance, my budget is £100m and I’m to spend it on 15 individual players. There are conditions, though: I have to pick two goalkeepers, five defenders, five mid-fielders and three forwards (these are the guys who, theoretically, bang in the goals). I am allowed to pick no more than three players from any one club, I can’t pick players out of their position (I can’t, let’s say, pick a goalkeeper for a forward position), and I can’t go over-budget. With this in mind, I went and picked my team. They are:

  • Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers) Goalkeeper
  • Jose Reina (Liverpool) Goalkeeper
  • John Terry (Chelsea) Defender
  • Johnny Evans (Manchester United) Defender
  • Armand Traore (Arsenal) Defender
  • Stephen Carr (Birmingham City & Republic of Ireland) Defender
  • Richard Dunne (Aston Villa & Republic of Ireland) Defender
  • Darren Fletcher (Manchester United) Midfield
  • Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) Midfield
  • Steed Malbranque (Sunderland) Midfield
  • Adam Johnson (Manchester City) Midfield
  • Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool) Midfield
  • Robbie Keane (Spurs & Republic of Ireland) Forward
  • Carlos Tevez (Manchester City) Forward
  • Bobby Zamora (Fulham) Forward.

I can play 11 of the 15 in any match, as long as I use a 4-4-2 formation (four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards – plus one goalkeeper). If your player scores a goal, you get points; if he keeps a clean sheet (no goals scored against him), you get points, too. If he assists in a goal, bingo – you get awarded points for that, as well. Hell, if he even plays a game, he’s awarded a point. Points are deducted when goals are scored against him or if he’s booked or sent off.

There are other ways to get points, but these are the basic ways. I have called my team Aardvarkian FC and I’ll be giving them a pep-talk soon.

The Premier League kicks off this weekend. Chelsea are the reigning champions; but my beloved Manchester United will do all in their power to get that trophy back. Let the battle commence. Come on you Reds! Come on you Aardvarkians!