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Posted by John Culea on 07/24/2012

With the launch of ESPN Soccernet’s 2012-2013 Premier Fantasy competition just days away, it is time to consider developments that have occurred and what likely is about to happen.

The wait on Robin van Persie's kit is the key summer transfer issue. Will the goal-scoring machine wear Man Yoo red, Man City sky blue or another color? And can he remain healthy for two full seasons?

So far City has been shedding dead weight with at least ten players out and no notables in. For SAF, Kagawa is the biggest name in while players of lesser repute are either history or on loan. Park and Fabio on loan to QPR are two of the secondary players to depart. Kagawa is an appealing addition to any fantasy roster.

Everton will be without Tim Cahill as the Aussie has signed with MLS New York. In reality, the Blues had a shadow of Cahill last season. The 32-year-old midfielder only scored two goals in an injury-riddled year, a dramatic decline from nine goals the year before and eleven goals in 2004-2005.

Still to be resolved is Clint Dempsey’s destination. The Fulham midfielder has to be the most under-priced transfer possibility in all of football. While a 60 million dollar figure is tossed around for such over-rated players like Luka Modric, Dempsey’s price tag is in the 5 million range. Last season the Texan scored 17 goals and had six assists for offensive-challenged Fulham. Since 2006 when he joined Fulham, Dempsey has had 50 Premier goals and 16 assists. On the other hand, in four years at Spurs Modric has bagged 13 Premier goals and had 15 assists.

Chelsea’s RDM has a “problem” with an abundance of intriguing players including recent signings of Hazard and Marin. Adding to the list of talent is the impressive 18-year-old from Brazil, Piazon. And in the works may be the arrival of Brazil’s Oscar. The departures of Drogba, Bosingwa, Kalou, etc. are more than covered. Fantasy rosters are likely to be a stronger shade of blue for the coming season.

Fantasy managers are wondering about Arsenal with the addition of Giroud and Podolski. Wenger and fantasy managers who believe media hype, question if the over-rated Jack Wilshere will ever be fully fit. A positive move was the new contract for defender Koscielny. Sir John believes talk of Walcott leaving is just contract posturing. If mentioned suitor, Liverpool is involved, the Reds would be better served getting Dempsey over the fragile Theo and for a lot less money.

Spurs and their sour manager have added two bright lights at White Hart Lane in Sigurdsson and Vertonghen. However, the Modric standoff is disruptive and the team is likely to be without the stump-like Scott Parker to begin the season because of an Achilles injury.

At Anfield the arrival of Borini is positive. To be seen is how much Kuyt and Maxi will be missed and if Andy Carroll stays.

Fulham’s season is largely linked to what happens with Clint Dempsey. The Cottagers added Rodallega from Wigan but lost their heart and soul in Danny Murphy. To a lesser extent, the defensive line will miss Riise. Stephen Kelly signing a new deal was a key defensive plus.

QPR could show up on more fantasy manager’s rosters with the arrival of Park from Man Yoo and Andy Johnson from Fulham. The Rangers went to Man Yoo’s kiddie section to get Fabio on loan.

To all fantasy managers who have endured the off-season, hang on for a few more days. The launch will happen soon. Let’s hope fantasy format changes include budget rules that allow player values to increase or decrease depending on their performance.


Posted by Prakhar on 07/25/2012

Not sure if you deliberately wanted to run down some bigger names in favour of American players or not but either ways there are some basic mistakes in this article. Park left to join QPR not Fulham and if you really think that Hazard and other 18 year olds can replace proven experienced performers like Drogba then I question your expertise on the sport

Comment: My error on Park and QPR.
As for Drogba, he is getting long in the tooth and Chelsea is doing what it must to bolster the team.
Dempsey was the only American I mentioned and he would have been praised even if he was from the South Pole.

Posted by Anonymous on 07/25/2012

being a Man U fan, it hurts me to say this, but I'm most excited to see the new Chelsea squad this season. Hazard is really, really good. so is Marko Marin. and with RDM getting a full season, Chelsea will do well [well, really anything is better than AVB at the helm] ... CAN'T WAIT FOR FANTASY TO START!

100% agree.
As a longtime Chelsea supporter, I am also encouraged by the off-season moves. However, Man Yoo got a great addition with Kagawa. He should team beautifully with Rooney. I also have been impressed with Brady. Not sure how much playing time he will get with SAF, but I love his strength and attacking qualities.
As a side note, I watched the match from China and was aghast at SAF's attire. Knights should not wear short-sleeve white shirts with a tie. Ha ha.
I, too am eagerly waiting for the ESPN Soccernet fantasy launch.

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John Culea John Culea is an American living in San Diego who became hooked on football while serving in the Navy for two years in London. A former TV news Emmy award-winning anchor/reporter, John manages the Premier Fantasy league MCMUARTN and goes by the Fantasy honorary title of "Sir John". John is a devoted Chelsea supporter and offers candid, often off-beat commentaries on the Premier League from an American perspective. He invites open discussion on his blog and can be contacted at

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