Tuesday, 26 October 2010

In Praise Of Samir Nasri & Fantasy Football update.

The victory over Man City on Sunday is still fresh in my mind but it's now time to move on as Arsenal have a Carling Cup game away to Newcastle tomorrow night. It's a competition in which Arsenal have played a mixture of youth and reserve players in the past but it would seem that they are treating it a little more seriously this time around. I expect that all the substitutes from the victory over Man City will be in the starting 11 and a few others will be added to them to make up the team.
On looking more closely at the subs bench from that game on Sunday I was a little surprised to see Laurent Koscielny's name among them. I was of the opinion that he was unavailable for the game but it would appear that he was a lot closer to being able to play that we were told. I'll go into the possible line up tomorrow but I would certainly expect Koscielny to be available to play. 
It's usual for me to run through my Fantasy Football league, that I run in conjunction with 11Gunners on a Monday but I've left it for today as yesterday's match report took quite a while. Firstly my team got 49 points this week and it wasn't too bad considering the fact that my star players didn't perform for me with the exception of Malouda who managed eight points. My other good point scorers were Elmahomady, Dann, Nolan and Brunt and between those five players they managed 38 points of my total of 49. 
In the overall scheme of things my team made up a few thousand places but it actually dropped to 92nd place in my own league. With prizes for the first three places I have a long way to go to try to win one of them myself but I haven't given up hope yet. My next goal is to make the top 50 of my league and I only need to make up 17 points to do that. If I had the foresight to include Samir Nasri in my team and make him captain I would have got 28 points for him this week. It's decisions like that which can make or break a team and I just need to get a few of them right to keep moving up the table.
There's a total of 728 teams in our league and it's ranked 65th overall out of over 212,000 leagues. It's a pretty good performance and one that I'm fairly proud of. Hopefully we can improve that overall position over the rest of the season and a top 50 finish would be fantastic in my opinion. Here's a look at how the top 10 in the league looks.
Ranking stayed the same1 Laverick 'N' Sons Stephen Laverick61   557
Ranking increased2 In Arsene We Trust Sam Griffiths82     542
Ranking fell3 Leave-Ma-Arcelona Gurdeep Jugpal45       541
Ranking fell4 MahindraUtd Ankeet Mahindrakar 49 538
Ranking increased5 RipRoarinReds Cole Friedlander 61 526
Ranking increased6 Lokomotiv Gav Gavin Ball 61 522
Ranking increased6 outlawz FC beck outlawz 62 522
Ranking fell8 DUO's Gunnerz David Okere 39 520
Ranking increased9 Bles FC Ben Sloane 61 519
Ranking fell10 Sura FC Anand Wenger 49 518
I mentioned how many fantasy points Nasri got on Sunday and he is now our top scorer in all competitions with seven goals. For a few years Arsenal have being missing goals from the wide roles in the team such as the ones that the likes that Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg added a few seasons ago. So far Nasri and Andrei Arshavin have 12 goals between them in 13 games and with Theo Walcott chipping in 4 goals from a limited number of games before his injury it would appear that we might have found one of the elements we have been missing for a few years.
Nasri played exceptionally well on Sunday and he took his goal very well along with setting Nicklas Bendtner up for our late third goal. Besides that he also did all that could be expected of him defensively as he helped Bakari Sagna out as much as possible on the right hand side. He wanted the ball at every opportunity and he was always looking to do something with the ball when he had it. In his younger days he was known as the new "Zidane" and despite the fact that it's a big burden to carry he is starting to look like he might be worthy of the title.
I'm not saying that he is or will be as good as Zidane but he is certainly giving Arsenal that extra edge that they need at the moment. Along with Cesc Fabregas he is the most creative player in the team at the moment and the addition of all those goals makes him even more valuable to Arsenal. I know that he's not playing in his favoured position at the moment as he would ideally like to play in that position that Cesc occupies but he is certainly making the most of operating from a wide role.
His omission from France's World Cup squad was well documented at the time and it was hoped that it might give him the spur he needed to push his game to a level where the new French manager just could not ignore him. If he continues to play like he is at the moment then he will be the first name on his national team sheet by the time Euro 2012 comes around, as long as France make it to the finals.
That's the lot for today but I'll be back tomorrow to give you my thoughts on the Carling Cup to Newcastle and of course to make my prediction for the game.

See You Tomorrow.

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