Continuing on from the previous article, and following some discussions with the league members, we've decided to go ahead and adopt the player trading system starting from next month. Overall, this is extremely exciting! I think it will really spice up the league and we're looking forward to it.
On a personal note, there is an element of devastation in this. Why? Because it means that my Sanchez propelled monster of a team is likely to lose... well... Alexis Sanchez! :(
As things are shaping up, I would have to self sabotage myself in order to finish in the lower half of the January table, thereby allowing me to choose the player position being traded, in order to avoid losing my star midfield men (yes, plural, because sitting next to Sanchez I have somehow managed to lineup Hazard, Tadic, Ozil, Boyd).
No, I am not quite sure how I was allowed to accumulate such a collection of midfielders either! For the full history of how the initial draft went down and the trades that have taken place since then, you can view the spreadsheet here.*
Not to worry though. There are silver lining. Bony's transfer to City means that I will have a premium City attacker once he is back from the AFCON. If he gets playing time, I can see him smashing the goals in at a rapid-fire rate.
*In fact, for anyone wanting to follow the spreadsheet or make a copy and use it for themselves, I may put a permanent link up on the header bar, along with a link to the league table. Feel free to comment and berate as you please :p
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Top picture courtesy of The Times.
You should hold your draft league on playtogga.com. We offer this exact same format but without having to keep up with the spreadsheet.
Yeah I am on playtogga.. I haven't managed to get used to it though. I'm not sure whether it is a lack of a graphical interface to change teams (ps. how do you change formations from 4-4-2?), or a more complex points scoring system than I am used to.
We currently only have the 4-4-2. Would you rather see a pitch view of the players? As for the point system it is more complex than the fantasy premier league site, but it shows a very accurate representation of what is happening in the game.
Yeah no doubt the complexity adds accuracy, but personally the sacrifice of simplicity takes away some of the fun . Mainly, it is a lot harder to gauge how your team is doing compared to your rivals beyond the major stat points.
Pitch view is a nice touch. Not really necessary I suppose. Flexibility in formation would be higher on your priority list I'm sure..
Okay, so as asked by a couple of people, how were we playing this using spreadsheets before? Well, I'll outline the process here, while trying to find a balance between keeping it short and sweet and still providing enough detail.
1. Use Google Docs!
It's free, and it allows everyone to connect at the same time. Also, as it's in the cloud, it is always up to date. You can look back at past revisions if necessary and is the ideal tool (short of a fully dedicated site) to play fantasy football in this way. Sample: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiNH-JHpkhe8dFVVX2RiaDNyNUdZTFdieHliaUtUemc&usp=sharing
2. Decide between doing the entire game manually vs using an existing salary cap based fantasy game
Personally, none of our group could be bothered going through the hassle of creating a point scoring system, updating each player's scores manually, keeping track of transfers/team sheets and scoring the entire game manually which is why we went with the second option.
I read an article recently (which I can't currently find) that talked about the evolution of English soccer/football. The English Premier League is arguably the most competitive of the major European leagues (La Liga in Spain, Ligue 1 in France, Bundesliga in Germany, Serie A in Italy, Eredivisie in Netherlands). However, the quality of international play has suffered. As of this post, the English national soccer team is ranked #14 in the FIFA World Rankings. Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are in the top six.
Critics have pointed to the dominance of the English Premier League as the cause of the demise of the English national soccer team. The argument is that so many foreigners have come to the league that they have pushed the local English out. More than two-thirds of the players in opening matches in the Premier League were foreigners. Club owners rightfully want the best for their club. If they have the option to chose between a star foreign player or an Englishman a little worse, the former will be chosen. This has caused Englishmen not good enough to play in foreign leagues or those below the Premier League. The quality of play in these leagues are often second-tier and so these players do not experience as high quality play as they could be.
Now personally, I'm all for keeping the Premier League the way it is. I don't think it's the main reason of the demise of the English national soccer team. The Premier League is a global brand, and it needs to stay that way. It's the Mecca of world football. Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga mainly feature local players, but the Premier League is the most recognized worldwide because of its diversity. To be honest, this benefits England more than the national team's success. Club soccer is bigger than international. Honestly, there are very few hardcore fans of an international team. And by that, I mean the fans that religiously follow the team year-round (not every fourth year during the FIFA World Cup). They should not sacrifice the popularity of the league at the expense of the international team.
Also, the increased quality of play in the Premier League simply means that the English players in that league compete against stronger opposition. Theoretically, this should mean they play a higher quality game and improve more than second-tier players. They are playing the leaders of most international teams on a weekly basis during their club fixtures. Shouldn't this be adequate preparation? I mean, if most of the players in the Premier League were English, the players would be at a disadvantage when they play international teams because they are used to only competing against their own countrymen and not the top players in the world.