The Luis Suarez saga continues with John W. Henry openly coming out and saying 40 million is an understatement of Suarez's valuation. Liverpool's American owner took to twitter to vent his frustration. The Reds are asking a fee in the region of 50 mill for the Uruguan forward but Arsenal are reluctant to pay that price. Having had two bids of 30 and 40 mill rejected, it is reported by sources inside the emirates that Arsenal have tabled a third bid of 42.5 mill today in the hope of securing his services before the Emirates cup begins.
In all honesty, both clubs will be doing themselves a favor by reaching an agreement as soon as possible because it is unlikely that Suarez will be at Liverpool next season having made the champions league his priority and Arsenal desperately need to start their transfer activity having cleared a lot of the dead wood to get their team settled before the season starts. With Gervinho close to sealing a move to Roma, Arsenal WILL definitely need a big name in the striking department. With Higuain completing a move to Napoli, Suarez is the only realistic option for Arsene. I see the deal happening, just how quickly I don't know yet.
Norwich have completed the signing of Gary Hooper from Celtic. He had a good season with Celtic and has played in the champions league as well. Scoring 19 times and providing 6 assists, Hooper will play a big role for the canaries this season and should be one of your first draft picks. He will be a regular starter and Norwich fans should be excited with the 25 year old's arrival.
With all the talk about Gareth Bale leaving for Madrid, spurs have moved to complete the signing of Nacer Chadli. The 25 year old attacking midfielder started 14 games in the Eredivisie scoring 12 times for FC Twente in the 2012/13 season. Overall he scored 19 times in 27 appearances for both Belgium and FC Twente and should be a quality addition at white hart lane. There has been talk about Clint Dempsey leaving and Chadli would be a good replacement for the American. Tottenham still need a big name striker and Soldado from Valencia has been linked strongly with Spurs recently. Gareth Bale was not in the squad for spurs' pre season game yesterday with South China with AVB claiming injury being the reason. However, reports coming out of Spain today that Madrid have tabled a mammoth 85 million pound bid for the Welsh international. Whether he moves, it remains to be seen.
Not too long to go before we are ready to launch. That means we should all start thinking about our drafting strategy. This will vary from league to league and a lot of it will come down to the makeup of your competitors although a few of the key concepts will apply in every scenario. Over the next few articles we shall go over the obvious and less obvious drafting tactics. As we have mentioned before, the draft will make or break your season so you had best go in with a plan!
We will kick this off with going over the strategy that will come as a first instinct to pretty much everyone. Basic stuff but important:
The Fantasy Stalwarts
We all know these players. You can rely on them every season to bring home the bacon. They are consistent, fixture-proof, good captain material - the all-stars of the fantasy football world. In salary-cap leagues, they are without a doubt the players present in every squad. If you have them, you are able to keep up with those around you, if you are silly enough not to have them (the differential heroes amongst us), then 9 times out of 10 it leads to you losing serious ground on your rivals.
That entire concept changes dramatically in draft style leagues. The first round or two of the draft pick will be littered with these fantasy stalwarts and for good reason. Load up your priority lists with these guys quick and try and snag as many of them as you can. They are season keepers.
the way Arsenal took Manchester United apart on Sunday showed why they should be serious title contenders this season but the Gunners' problem is they do not play like that often enough.
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott came out after the game and said they had sent out a message that they are going to have a real go at winning the Premier League.
But Walcott also said the performance was for the fans after what happened at Emirates Stadium in Tuesday's Champions League defeat by Olympiakos.
That illustrates Arsenal's problem. We saw a reaction against United but, to be honest, it came five days too late.
I was expecting that kind of display against Olympiakos after Arsenal were beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in their opening game in Europe and I was amazed we did not get it.