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Blog Roundtable: The Theo Spot Edition

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The "Theo Spot" from where he scores all his goals. This one past Rob Green, who gets a bit of a mention himself.
The "Theo Spot" from where he scores all his goals. This one past Rob Green, who gets a bit of a mention himself.

In which your humble bloggers expand on the upcoming fantasy Premier League gameweek, all the latest transfer news, rumours, and gossip, and a bit of MLS fantasy and the latest El Clasico for good measure.

Jeremy Spitzberg: good morning

Neal Thurman: good morning to you

Jeremy Spitzberg: working from home today

Jeremy Spitzberg: so short commute

Neal Thurman: nice

Neal Thurman: wish I could say the same

Neal Thurman: have Arsenal continued the dismantling in any official capacity yet today?

Jeremy Spitzberg: still just rumours

Jeremy Spitzberg: #impasse

Neal Thurman: right

Jeremy Spitzberg: whenever they negotiate, theo should insist on sitting at the top, righ-hand side of the table

Neal Thurman: HA

Neal Thurman: interested in the Dembele move for Spurs

Neal Thurman: Love Dembele as a player but since our initial 4 week or so love affair with him, he's been injured or ineffective on a pretty regular basis

Jeremy Spitzberg: dembele plays that same role as modric, but does it so differently

Jeremy Spitzberg: never a true forward

Jeremy Spitzberg: or oddly a great goal-threat

Jeremy Spitzberg: runs with the ball out of midfield and passes

Jeremy Spitzberg: i worry that he'll get caught out of position

Jeremy Spitzberg: but probably not an issue

Jeremy Spitzberg: modric drifted around

Neal Thurman: and certainly never tackled anyone (although Dembele has done a lot of tackling so far this season)

Neal Thurman: interesting mix with Siggy

Jeremy Spitzberg: i'm excited for the lloris move ;-)

Jeremy Spitzberg: hope it happens sooner

Jeremy Spitzberg: and that Y! gets him in the system right quick

Neal Thurman: no joke

Neal Thurman: interesting that last season - Dembele started 44 matches in all competition for FUL and managed 2 goals and 3 assists for a mediocre team (and there didn't seem to be this love affair with his play) - two matches into this season, everyone is in love and he's off to a bigger club

Jeremy Spitzberg: i wonder how much of it is that he's fun to watch, versus how effective he is

Neal Thurman: can't argue - he is fun to watch

Jeremy Spitzberg: does he have a long pass in his arsenal?

Jeremy Spitzberg: he's great a moving the ball up the field, but does it happen too slowly?

Jeremy Spitzberg: he can go past defenders one-on-one, or one-on-three...

Jeremy Spitzberg: but does it open up the field for others?

Jeremy Spitzberg: love that we're already on to the backlash phase of this transfer

Neal Thurman: suppose we'll see - maybe with better teammates, his numbers will improve

Neal Thurman: I suppose I'm wondering why the "frontlash" rather than having soured

[Editor's note: I've removed about 20 minutes worth of fantasy NFL talk here.]

Neal Thurman: ouch - Lucas out 2-3 months - that's not going to help things at LIV

Jeremy Spitzberg: nope. but may open a spot for sahin

Jeremy Spitzberg: if gerrard drops

Jeremy Spitzberg: deeper

Jeremy Spitzberg: not to the bench

Jeremy Spitzberg: though... ;-)

Jeremy Spitzberg: there a blog post there, i just haven't gotten to it

Jeremy Spitzberg: also...

Jeremy Spitzberg: surprising number of attacking mids playing defensive roles

Jeremy Spitzberg: related, but possibly separate post ;-)

Neal Thurman: certainly seems like there's a AVB/Lampard (last season) vs. Rodgers/Gerrard clash w/ club legends comparison to be made

Jeremy Spitzberg: clerverley, diaby/arteta, lamps, shelvey...

Jeremy Spitzberg: modric/dembele

Jeremy Spitzberg: #regista

Neal Thurman: how many actual holding midfielders are there anymore?

Neal Thurman: de Jong

Jeremy Spitzberg: mikel, tiote

Neal Thurman: Cattermole

Neal Thurman: Mikel

Neal Thurman: Tiote

Neal Thurman: anyone who plays for Stoke

Jeremy Spitzberg: new guy @ norwich

Jeremy Spitzberg: ha!

Neal Thurman: (including Walter)

Jeremy Spitzberg: new guy at Villa (who scored)

Jeremy Spitzberg: pjones; cameron

Neal Thurman: don't know if Anita at NUFC counts

Jeremy Spitzberg: wait, you said stoke

Jeremy Spitzberg: certainly didn't do it well against CHE

Neal Thurman: no

Jeremy Spitzberg: livermore/sandro

Jeremy Spitzberg: barry

Jeremy Spitzberg: britton?

Jeremy Spitzberg: de guzman in the deep attacker category

Jeremy Spitzberg: mulumbu

Neal Thurman: I'd actually put Barry (or Carrick or XAlonso) in as the prototype attacking/passing player moving the HM

Jeremy Spitzberg: anyone named diarra

Neal Thurman: HA

Jeremy Spitzberg: seriously though ;-)

Jeremy Spitzberg: alou, lassana, mahamadou...

Neal Thurman: you're right - but still funny

Jeremy Spitzberg: schniederlin

Jeremy Spitzberg: (fun to say)

Neal Thurman: who?

Jeremy Spitzberg: SOU middie

Jeremy Spitzberg: pnev

Neal Thurman: I wonder what odds you could have gotten on PNev's Everton career lasting as long as it has - feels like he's either 40+ or actually undead at this point

Jeremy Spitzberg: could be both things

Jeremy Spitzberg: reminds me, third post is on Fellaini and how he'll play deeper now that moyes bought 18 attackers (but no Jelavic cover)

Neal Thurman: this is what being newly undead looks like?

Jeremy Spitzberg: who said "newly"?

Neal Thurman: lol - well, compared to the typical undead of legend who have been wandering around for 100s or 1000s of years

Jeremy Spitzberg: fair enough

Jeremy Spitzberg: though...

Jeremy Spitzberg: never mind

Jeremy Spitzberg: that whole era of manu players could be vampires

Jeremy Spitzberg: keane, butt, beckham, schmiechel

Jeremy Spitzberg: Stam!

Jeremy Spitzberg: vampire, vampire, vampire, vampire, HEAD VAMPIRE

Neal Thurman: HA

Jeremy Spitzberg: giggs is clearly a werewolf

Jeremy Spitzberg: LOL at my own joke

Neal Thurman: you'd break SEO records at SBNation and maybe even the internet overall if you came up with the right Manchester United/Twilight crossover post #TwoHUGENon-OverlappingAudiences

Jeremy Spitzberg: lol. i'm working on it, except i know next to nothing about twilight

Jeremy Spitzberg: was going for more of an Underworld thing

Neal Thurman: Liz can consult with you if you're so inclined

Jeremy Spitzberg: #beckinsaleinleather

Neal Thurman: Becks...Beckinsale... next on Never Manage Alone

Jeremy Spitzberg: okay, so now I'm four posts behind

Neal Thurman: HA - maybe we should stop chatting before the list gets longer

Jeremy Spitzberg: #backlog

Jeremy Spitzberg: Julio Cesar to QPR

Jeremy Spitzberg: #wow

Jeremy Spitzberg: and yet...

Neal Thurman: yeah

Jeremy Spitzberg: no fantasy value!

Neal Thurman: but if they don't get a CB...

Jeremy Spitzberg: trading Lucio and Maicon for Clint Hill and Fabio

Neal Thurman: and not going bankrupt

Neal Thurman: Maicon is on the market :-)

Jeremy Spitzberg: lol

Jeremy Spitzberg: package deal

Jeremy Spitzberg: still have fabio and clint hill though

Neal Thurman: right

Neal Thurman: less worried about Fabio - very worried about Clint Hill

Jeremy Spitzberg: too bad PSG already bought Thiago SIlva and Ibra

Jeremy Spitzberg: or they could be at QPR by Friday

Neal Thurman: the way PSG are playing they will be

Jeremy Spitzberg: yeah... and yet QPR don't learn

Neal Thurman: no they don't - you know what they say about old dogs

Neal Thurman: and QPR are OLD

Jeremy Spitzberg: Norwich bought Bunn today from Rovers

Jeremy Spitzberg: QPR couldn't do that?

Neal Thurman: much smarter move

Jeremy Spitzberg: or Stockdale from Fulham?

Jeremy Spitzberg: ... or put in a big for BBBF ;-)

Jeremy Spitzberg: ** bid

Neal Thurman: only way they could get older

Jeremy Spitzberg: ha

Jeremy Spitzberg: the true shame is that they're compounding their initial, Rob Green, mistake

Neal Thurman: HBA to ARS?

Jeremy Spitzberg: are you getting that from somewhere?

Jeremy Spitzberg: b/c that starts to fuck with my team

Neal Thurman: The Twitter machine

Neal Thurman: but not confirmed yet

Neal Thurman: never mind - @7AMKickoff Ben Arfa's been left out of the France squad. Can we get the B.Arfa to Arsenal rumor started?

Jeremy Spitzberg: lol

Jeremy Spitzberg: someone obliged?

Neal Thurman: indeed

Neal Thurman: More from 7AM Kickoff - Breaking news: France not even PLAYING a friendly this weekend. Hatem Ben Arfa reportedly got a haircut ahead of his photoshoot for Arsenal.

Neal Thurman: Apparently @EPLTransferTalkNews has come out with Arsenal have had a £8m pound bid for Hatem Ben Arfa ACCEPTED! (AS)

Jeremy Spitzberg: meanwhile, Kevin Mirallis has 2 goals and an assist today

Neal Thurman: against Leyton Orient

Jeremy Spitzberg: still

Jeremy Spitzberg: more fuel for my "fellaini moves back into mid" post

Neal Thurman: could be

Neal Thurman: but Mirallis not going to be "in the hole"

Jeremy Spitzberg: arsenal should be in for cabaye, if not tiote

Jeremy Spitzberg: even if Walcott leaves, they're covered

Neal Thurman: collect them all

Jeremy Spitzberg: maybe

Jeremy Spitzberg: i wonder how much Wolves want for Hennessey

Neal Thurman: they've been doing well getting top dollar for their guys

Jeremy Spitzberg: true

Jeremy Spitzberg: back to Ars... they're selling players...

Jeremy Spitzberg: but to Barca, and the Manchester teams

Jeremy Spitzberg: it's not like Stoke is picking up their starters

Jeremy Spitzberg: #digression

Neal Thurman: that's true

Jeremy Spitzberg: Mirallis with 2 and 2 now

[Editor's note: More fantasy NFL chatter here.]

Jeremy Spitzberg: try to get this meeting done quickly so i can tune in to the Classico

Neal Thurman: Cup competition?

Jeremy Spitzberg: si. second leg. @madrid who trail 2-3

Jeremy Spitzberg: #awaygoals

Jeremy Spitzberg: #valdezhowler

Neal Thurman: online or you watching at home?

Jeremy Spitzberg: both

Jeremy Spitzberg: is it being broadcast?

Neal Thurman: no idea

Jeremy Spitzberg: just assumed it was only on the Tres

Neal Thurman: Berbs to FUL

Jeremy Spitzberg: not Fiorentina? VERY interesting

Jeremy Spitzberg: so two 30+ guys fighting for 1 spot?

Neal Thurman: Berbs and ?

Jeremy Spitzberg: Petric

Neal Thurman: is he that old?

Jeremy Spitzberg: pretty sure

Neal Thurman: yup 31

Neal Thurman: who knew (well, you did obviously)

Jeremy Spitzberg: ;-)

Neal Thurman: I'm getting the sense that the Orient result is apropos of nothing for EVE - now 5-0

Jeremy Spitzberg: lol

Jeremy Spitzberg: #hater

Neal Thurman: bitter over Mirallas choosing EVE over ARS :-)

Neal Thurman: Esteban Granero in London talking to QPR - what does it mean for Adel?

Jeremy Spitzberg: just getting silly

Neal Thurman: yeah

Neal Thurman: has a West Ham before they went bankrupt feel to it, doesn't it?

Neal Thurman: (or even a West Ham this season as Big Sam overpays for his old BOL guys who weren't that great in the first place and are now 5 years older)

Jeremy Spitzberg: Portsmouth, even

Neal Thurman: yeah, although I can honestly say, I have no idea where the Pompey money went - they never even got big name over-the-hill players - they managed to overpay for a bunch of never-were-types

Neal Thurman: Even this year's WHU and QPR have stayed away from Tal Ben Haim :-)

Jeremy Spitzberg: i think the secret was that the money was never really there

Neal Thurman: that coudl well be - or 'arry managed to scam a huge chunk of it and then skate on the charges

Jeremy Spitzberg: lol

Neal Thurman: that was quick - Higuain scores

Jeremy Spitzberg: here's hoping he inspires his brother

Neal Thurman: you buy him in MLS?

Jeremy Spitzberg: and (c)

Neal Thurman: wow - did you have him last week for his brace? or did you BD?

Jeremy Spitzberg: ha. bd. have (and have had) arrieta

Neal Thurman: I'm paying occasional attention to MLS but not enough to know what anyone else is doing - just how my team is doing

Jeremy Spitzberg: #excuses

Neal Thurman: lol

Neal Thurman: I'm actually doing pretty well despite not paying much attention

Jeremy Spitzberg: just imagine if you didn't have that Spealman week! ;-)

Neal Thurman: I think I'm in the 300s out of 12000 or so in MLSsoccer.com fantasy - obviously missing the week in ESPN hurt but am slowly recovering

Jeremy Spitzberg: ok, wow

Jeremy Spitzberg: that was STUNNING

Neal Thurman: What's that?

Jeremy Spitzberg: cron

Neal Thurman: 2nd for Real?

Jeremy Spitzberg: yes, and how!

Jeremy Spitzberg: flicks a long pass over pique

Jeremy Spitzberg: ball was behind him and he flicks it with his heel

Jeremy Spitzberg: then collects it on the Theo spot...

Jeremy Spitzberg: and hits it so hard that Valdes can only parry it into the net

Neal Thurman: wow

Neal Thurman: and HA - the Theo spot - sounds sort of dirty but I know exactly what you meant

Jeremy Spitzberg: lol

Jeremy Spitzberg: how have barca not bought another CB?

Jeremy Spitzberg: pique, then...

Jeremy Spitzberg: puyol old/injured

Jeremy Spitzberg: Masch

Neal Thurman: excellent question

Neal Thurman: wonder if Song will see time there

Jeremy Spitzberg: still not an answer

Jeremy Spitzberg: see Masch above

Neal Thurman: not that he SHOULD but wonder if he will

Jeremy Spitzberg: Adriano sent off

Jeremy Spitzberg: should be 4 or 5 to RM

Jeremy Spitzberg: Barca non-factor so far

Neal Thurman: as Arsenal's starting midfield watches from the bench :-)

Neal Thurman: maybe they should bring back Cesc

Jeremy Spitzberg: and 1/2 of Spur's

Jeremy Spitzberg: wrong bench, but still

Neal Thurman: they could have a 2 on 2 North London Derby to pass the time

Jeremy Spitzberg: londoners v. "northerners"

Jeremy Spitzberg: sure i'm screwing up my English geography and/or regional names

Jeremy Spitzberg: but Song/Modric/Cesc against CRon/Alonso/Arbeloa/Pique

Neal Thurman: is Alonso starting?

Jeremy Spitzberg: dunno. i just assumed...

Jeremy Spitzberg: and that's why he's the best

Jeremy Spitzberg: Messi with a free kick

Jeremy Spitzberg: gorgeous

Jeremy Spitzberg: always going wide...

Jeremy Spitzberg: until it wasn't

Jeremy Spitzberg: just like that RM only winning by a road goal

Neal Thurman: and Barca still have Messi

Jeremy Spitzberg: Suarez-like, but in the air

[yep... more NFL.]

Jeremy Spitzberg: Modric on for Ozil

Neal Thurman: I saw Song came on too

Jeremy Spitzberg: yes

Neal Thurman: apparently the Twitter has GvdW and Llorente to Arsenal (which sounds insane)

Jeremy Spitzberg: i'll admit I had to parse that

Jeremy Spitzberg: but at least the former makes sense

Jeremy Spitzberg: latter does too, but just more top-heavy

Neal Thurman: I guess - although what happens when Sagna comes back in a month?

Jeremy Spitzberg: either giroud is your man or not

Jeremy Spitzberg: ask Andre Santos

Jeremy Spitzberg: or Jack Wilshere

Neal Thurman: Wilshere looks like he has an Alex Song-sized spot waiting for his return

Jeremy Spitzberg: he may not be back

Jeremy Spitzberg: Sagna or Wilshere

Jeremy Spitzberg: at least not soon

Neal Thurman: Wilshere

Jeremy Spitzberg: remember when Wilshere/Ramsey was the future of the game?

Neal Thurman: yup

Jeremy Spitzberg: yeah...

Jeremy Spitzberg: about that...

Neal Thurman: will be interested to see what happens with Ramsey

Neal Thurman: he looks good occasionally but then looks clueless occasionally

Neal Thurman: still hasn't had THAT many first team matches

Jeremy Spitzberg: last minute

Jeremy Spitzberg: Barca still need a goal

Jeremy Spitzberg: RM with the ball though

Jeremy Spitzberg: 3 mins added

Jeremy Spitzberg: Valdez busy

Jeremy Spitzberg: but up to it, so far

Jeremy Spitzberg: well, at least in this half

Neal Thurman: need to check MLS

Jeremy Spitzberg: https://twitter.com/NMA_Blog/status/240550821937426432

Neal Thurman: :-)

Neal Thurman: M or F?

Jeremy Spitzberg: F

Jeremy Spitzberg: i'm on pontius, higuain (sp?) and arrieta (sp?)

Jeremy Spitzberg: #twogamers

Jeremy Spitzberg: signing off for a bit

Jeremy Spitzberg: good luck

Jeremy Spitzberg: across your leagues

Neal Thurman: and to you