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Fantasy Friday: week 18 review

Santa_1Christmas has been and gone, but which of our Fantasy Football teams has Santa been good to? Click below for the latest league table and update. Don't forget that bumper points are up for grabs again this weekend with the hectic New Year fixture schedule.

Fantasy Friday: week 18 review continued

This week's league table:

1 Where Was Dean Ashton? (Tom) 260 
2 Pauper For Manse (Rob P) 256
3 Strictly Badmanism (Matt M) 255

4 Onimans Legends (James) 233
= Tanghall Tykes (Matt D) 233
6 Modbury Juniors (Ollie) 225
7 Houssemayne FC (Jan) 219
8 Gimmervision (Mof) 213
= Scrumpy Rovers (Simon) 213
10 Dynamo George Vader (Rob W) 210
11 West Country All-Stars (Ben) 208
12 Villa Rourke FC (Jez) 174
13 Big Bunch of Lewsers (Lewis) 173

14 Felixs X1 (Felix) 171
15 Dial Square (Nicholas) 159
16 Abney Park Rangers (Ash) 118

Good week for... Tommy stormed to the top of the table after scoring an impressive 35 points.

Bad week for... Les Reed is being touted as a possible replacement for Ash at Abney Park Rangers after the Pies Fantasy League (or PFL to our American readers) bottom club picked up just five points over Christmas.

[Rob Parker]

December 29, 2006 in Fantasy football | Permalink | Comments (1)

Terry back operation 'successful'


Chelsea hope to have John Terry back in action within a matter of weeks, after he undergoing surgery on his back injury. The England skipper has not featured in the Blues' last three Premiership matches, in which they have conceded six goals and fallen four points behind leaders Manchester United.

It's hoped that the England captain will be available in around a month's time following his operation in France. A club statement read: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm that today club captain John Terry underwent successful surgery following his back injury. The operation took place in France following consultation between the Chelsea medical department and a leading neurosurgical specialist. The operation to remove a sequestrated lumbar intervertebral disc was successful, and everyone at the club wishes John a speedy and full recovery."

Terry's return would be welcome news for manager Jose Mourinho, who has made no secret of his desire to get the defender back in action as soon as possible, while England play their first international of 2007 - against Spain at Old Trafford - on February 7. It's likely that Terry is to remain out for around 4 weeks according to independent medical expert Phil Sheard - who believes Chelsea probably chose surgery for their lynchpin defender merely to speed his recovery.

"A couple of weeks is the most optimistic. Realistically you are looking at four to six weeks before he will be back playing football," the consultant told Sky Sports News. "In most cases, these will get better by themselves. But we quite frequently do operations so that we can get people back to work quickly - and I think that is what has happened here."

Meanwhile, reports have suggested that Manchester City defender Micah Richards is set to move to Stamford Bridge in a move that could see £18million change hands. Manager Stuart Pearce has rejected reports that Chelsea have lined up a bid for Richards, merely stating that the only contact made has been Pearce's request to look at some Chelsea players, fuelling speculation that Shaun Wright Philips could be making his way back to Eastlands. [Mof Gimmers]

December 29, 2006 in Chelsea, Manchester City, News balls | Permalink | Comments (3)

Crouch shipped off to Newcastle in January?

Robocrouch With Liverpool being decidedly average so far this season, January sees Rafa Benitez given the opportunity to flex his Spanish muscle in the transfer market... and with his sights set on David Villa from Valencia, someone will have to make way. It appears that Peter Crouch is all set to be shipped out for a reported £12million... but who is daft enough to pay an inflated price like that?

It won't surprise you to learn that Newcastle are first in the queue to throw their money around like Ollie Reed in a 24 hour pub, with Toon boss Glenn Roeder seeing Crouch as the perfect signing to boost his injury-hit strikeforce.

Liverpool chiefs are reportedly saying that they are ready to let their 6ft 7in striker go - but have warned they first need to land long-term target David Villa from Spaniards Valencia for a whopping £22million. And if that bid fails, Kop boss Rafa Benitez will need to look elsewhere for a replacement. Crouch... who is still only 25, only signed from Southampton in a £7million deal 18 months which surprised a fair few (and that is putting it mildly) but has looked half decent for The Reds. It would appear that Robo-Crouch would be prepared to sign for Newcastle. [Mof Gimmers]

December 29, 2006 in Cult Heroes, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (2)

Pressley to join Addicks?


Former Hearts captain Steven Pressley has undergone a medical at Charlton, but his agent has not ruled out a move to Scottish champions Celtic. The 33-year-old was at The Valley on Wednesday and held talks with Addicks gaffer Alan Pardew. The players agent, Blair Morgan, told the Scotsman: "He had a medical while there but nothing should be read into that. It now comes down to two excellent offers from two clubs - one in England and one in Scotland."

The Scotland international is a free agent after leaving Hearts earlier this month following his criticism of majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov. Pressley also claimed there was "dressing-room unrest" at the Scottish Premier League club.

Pardew, who replaced Les Reed as manager of Charlton on Christmas Eve, did, however, add a note of caution after revealing his attempt to sign Pressley. Pardew earlier said: "There is a good chance he will be at Charlton. We are interested in bringing him here before the transfer window but I am never confident about signings until they are done. What I like about him is he is a leader. I think we have got some very good centre-halves here but he comes into a pack where we need characters and leadership and that is one thing that attracts me to him." Rangers, Southampton, Derby and Leeds have also been linked with Pressley, who is ineligible to play for any new employer before the opening of the transfer window in January. [Mof Gimmers]

December 29, 2006 in Charlton Athletic, Rumours & gossip, Scotland | Permalink | Comments (0)

It's a kit of an animal: Sausage snack firm supplies new gear for renamed Peperami FC

PeperamifcA London part-time outfit has secured a new kit after deciding to change its name to Peperami FC. Wandsworth FC, of the Wimbledon and District League, decided on the new tag after being inspired by an advertising campaign for the spicy sausage snack.

When Peperami's manufacturers Unilever heard about the situation they sensed a good photo opportunity and, well you can see the rest for yourself! You know what level of football we're talking about here when the Peperami mascot is the healthiest looking bloke on the team photo! Unilever also supplied The Artists Formerly Known As Wandsworth FC with a brand new kit, and delusions of grandeur too it seems. 

Peperami FC boss Joe Ladd said: "We are extremely excited by this move and glad that our friends at Peperami can see that this club is going places." [Via 4TheGame]

[Rob Parker]

December 28, 2006 in Funny old game, Non League | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shunsuke Nakamura reveals his goal against Dundee United was copied from a YouTube video

It's not just bloated football bloggers who want to get back to their turkey sandwiches and mince pies that benefit from using YouTube videos. Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura has revealed that his cheeky chip against Dundee United on Boxing Day was inspired by a video on the site.

The Japanese midfielder said: "The reason I tried to do what I did at the goal was because I saw someone else do exactly the same on the internet. I saw footage on YouTube of a player, I can't remember who it was, chip the goalkeeper from that position. I thought I would try to do the same if I got the chance because it was a goal I really liked. So I was happy I was able to do the same and score." [Via Daily Record]

And here is the goal (now on YouTube to inspire others, albeit with underwhelming commentary!):

[Rob Parker]

December 28, 2006 in Funny old game, Scotland, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (3)

Carlos Valderrama gets groped in the penalty area

This player is presumably trying to find out whether Little Carlos has a matching ginger Afro!

[Rob Parker]

December 27, 2006 in Classic Moments, Funny old game, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sir Alex Ferguson to get an iPod as a late Christmas present from Rio Ferdinand

Fergie_4Rio Ferdinand has revealed he is to buy an iPod for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. And he's going to fill it with his favourite hip-hop and garage tracks before giving the gift! Rio told a United fanzine that Fergie was "totally confused" by his musical tastes.

He said: "He just says ‘What is this?' I’m going to do his iPod for him, that’ll get him up to date. I like hip-hop, R&B, Jay-Z, reggae, old soul, garage and ’80s pop such as Madonna, Wham and Depeche Mode." I'm not sure I can see Sir Alex getting into Jay-Z, iPod or no iPod. Good luck to Rio, who - as this video shows - has always enjoyed bringing the gift of music to others! [Via The Sun]

[Rob Parker]

December 27, 2006 in Funny old game, Manchester United | Permalink | Comments (1)

Henrik Larsson breaks leg

With Henrik Larsson nearly ready to play for Manchester United, it's worth remembering that he isn't just an incredible goal-scorer... but a tough nut too. Larsson came back from a horrific leg break twice the player he was before... and had a better haircut. Watch and whince.

[Mof Gimmers]

December 22, 2006 in Manchester United, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hamman era ends as Cardiff do deal


A takeover deal to secure the future of Cardiff City FC has been signed just minutes before deadline. There were fears that the club could have been put into administration if a deal was not done by noon on today (Friday) but director Steve Borley confirmed the agreement was struck at 11.45 this morning to sell former chairman Sam Hammam's controlling stake. It is crucial to a new ground and manager Dave Jones had warned he could have walked away without the deal. The £27m buyout of Hammam's majority shareholding is set to clear the Bluebirds' debts and leave Jones with a budget to strengthen the team, which has undergone a slump in form after weeks at the top of the Championship.

Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale was brought in by Hammam to find a way of stemming the club's losses. He found new investors in the club for the takeover deal - needed to build the planned 30,000-seater new stadium as part of a 60-acre retail development - but the people with the new money wanted Hammam to cut his ties with the club.

Ridsdale is likely to be credited as the man who finally delivered the stadium which will be good news for him as he seeks to restore his name after the shambles he left at Leeds United. In a statement, Ridsdale apologised to fans for the "uncertainty that has surrounded the future of the club and its stadium project". He added: "[The deal] has allowed the council to today sign off the planning consents for the new stadium project and to enter into the 90-day judicial review period, at the end of which building can start. Following the EGM [on 12 January] the club will have the money to support it financially and to build the new stadium."

Cardiff Council had been reluctant to give its go-ahead to the retail scheme until it received assurances over the viability of the plans. Failing to sign the takeover deal by noon on Friday would have put the skids under the takeover and, consequently, the stadium bid. Borley told BBC Radio Wales: "A deal has been done - we got everybody to see sense and we got an agreement right at the 11th hour and it's sorted and can go forward. The uncertainty surrounding the club has disappeared and the manager can get on with his job and the players can not worry about whether they're going to get paid at the end of the month." [Mof Gimmers via]

December 22, 2006 in News balls, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (0)