Editors Blogs

Saturday Sweats, Meldonium’s Highs and Lows, and Kante do it? Blog #17

Saturday Sweats, Meldonium’s Highs and Lows, and Kante do it? Blog #17

This Transfer Window By Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

Hello and welcome to the final blog of July. The Transfer Window and Pre-Season schedules are in full swing, and we are eagerly awaiting the commencement of the Summer Olympics in Rio, which begin next Friday with the opening ceremony.tW

This week, you can read about why Chris’ Saturday mornings are a usual panic rather than a lie-in, Steve has his Grumpy Gramps segment, where he speaks of the issues surrounding drugs in professional sport, and (as usual) you can catch my run down of all of the transfer goings-on thus far in the transfer window.

Enjoy!

 

We are a month into the Transfer Window this summer, and we have plenty of dealings going on! Throughout the summer, right up to Deadline Day, we will be covering the best and worst transfers that our local sides have sealed in the recent fortnight, whilst dissecting and rating the players’ decisions too. Our five transfers this week are…

1: N’Golo Kante – Leicester to Chelsea, £33m

Rating: 8

Kante has passed up the chance to play in the Champions League.

Kante has passed up the chance to play in the Champions League.

N’Golo Kante was a star in Leicester’s shock league win last season, and will gel right in with Antonio Conte’s men. He’s not a 10 – Chelsea’s midfield is saturated with players so we will see whether or not he is warming the bench for Oscar or Willian, or it works the other way.

 

 

2: Tomas Kalas – Chelsea to Fulham, Loan

Rating: 3

Kalas secured promotion to the Premier League with Middlesbrough in 2015-16.

Kalas secured promotion to the Premier League with Middlesbrough in 2015-16.

 

Chelsea never fail to disappoint, in terms of loaning players out. 14 have already left the club on loan deals and this is another one of them. I personally believe Kalas is a defender who should be in Chelsea’s first team (competing definitely with the likes of Ivanovic and Cahill last season), and am annoyed that he is back in the Championship rather than a Premier League campaign, after a brilliant season with Middlesbrough. Credit to Fulham – he will do well there.

 

 

 

 

Gasson scored the only goal of the game as the Beavers beat Salford 1-0.

Gasson scored the only goal of the game as the Beavers beat Salford 1-0.

3: Jay Gasson – Basingstoke to Hampton and Richmond Borough, Undisclosed

Rating: 9

 

Gasson proved himself against Salford to be an excellent defender, and leader, as well as someone who can head a ball in! He’s come from a good club, and has a lot of experience. At 31, he will do well and has more to give!

 

 

Hibbert has been around the local area for a while.

Hibbert has been around the local area for a while.

4: Jordan Hibbert – Dulwich Hamlet to Met Police, Free

Rating: 10

 

A highly regarded player, Hibbert was a part of the squad which reached the play-offs last season. He will be looking to keep that brilliant form going and is a real coup for the Met.

 

Chelsea 'keeper Delac represented Croatia at U21 level, despite being of Bosnian origin.

Chelsea ‘keeper Delac represented Croatia at U21 level, despite being of Bosnian origin.

5: Matej Delac – Chelsea to Royal Excel Mouscron, Loan

Rating: 0

Another rant about the loan system – any Chelsea fan who has seen Delac play for the Blues can get £10. Delac joined Chelsea in 2010, and will probably retire a Chelsea player with 0 appearances. Disgusting treatment, and should leave in search of a permanent deal.

 

 

Chris is our new Football correspondent.

Chris is our new Football correspondent.

 

Fantasy Football is Back! By Chris Reidy, Chief Football Editor

For years now, my Saturday mornings have been filled with panic, stress, sweating and regret. Sound familiar? I am not talking about a hangover. I am talking Fantasy Football.

One would think that the older one gets, a trivial pastime such as Fantasy Football would decrease in importance. But every year the tension grows as rivalries become older and carry more weight.

Maybe I just have odd friends.

As an Arsenal fan, Fantasy Football has resulted in me shrugging my shoulders rather than shouting in rage when Tottenham score. I have found it reasonable that Chelsea have kept a clean sheet. It is this strange emotion that Fantasy Football brings, that means I tend to avoid choosing Arsenal players in my team. An Arsenal loss is hard to take. Poor performances from expensive costing players are hard to take. A weekend of both? Unthinkable.

The Premier League's rebranding also means a new interface for FPL.

The Premier League’s rebranding also means a new interface for FPL.

This week saw the Premier League’s official Fantasy Football website open its doors for the world to select their teams for the 2016/7 season. With over 3.5 million players, it is the biggest Fantasy Football game in the world and highlights the Premier League’s global popularity.

 

Users are given £100 million to spend on a squad of 15. No more than 3 players can be selected from one team.

Here are my tips for the season ahead:

Goalkeeper – Despite Arsenal’s perceived shaky defence, Petr Cech was the top scoring goalkeeper. He achieved 16 clean sheets, the most in the league.

Jose MourinhoWith Jose Mourinho taking over at Manchester United, expect many clean sheets and David De Gea to rarely pick the ball from the back of his net. For those who prefer to spend their money up top, Middlesbrough were promoted with the best defence in the Championship and new signing Victor Valdes will have a point to prove after a few years on the side-lines.

Defence – Hector Bellerin collected the most points for a defender racking up impressive stats of 18 clean sheets, 6 assists and 1 goal to match his impressive performances for the Arsenal.

Hull City’s Moses Odubajo received raving reviews for his performances in the Championship and would have been an interesting shout until a preseason injury ruled him out until January. Any of Spurs’ back four is a safe choice for this season. With Sam Allardyce managing England, expect West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell to receive a call up and take his wonderful form last season into the Olympic Stadium.

Midfield – Riyad Mahrez blew the minds of Premier League fans and Fantasy Football players last season. 17 goals and 11 assists saw him top the entire leader board by a clear margin and players this year will not be able to pick him up on the cheap.

The powers that be have registered Anthony Martial as a midfielder and after a season of bedding into the league, should be strongly considered. For value, Ibe and Gradel of Bournemouth will provide pace and trickery down the

Deulofeu scored in Everton's 3-1 pre-season win over MK Dons.

Deulofeu scored in Everton’s 3-1 pre-season win over MK Dons.

Cherrie’s wings which could see points galore. Ronald Koeman made Fantasy Football beasts of midfielders Dusan Tadic and Saido Mane and I am backing him to do the same with Deulofeu. Henrikh Mkhitaryan looks like a Fantasy Football player’s dream and will be looking to continue his assist and goal machine antics for Man Utd.

Striker – Fine seasons for English duo Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy saw them finish top of the strikers list.

Former Brentford star Gray has 5 goals from 4 pre-season appearances.

Former Brentford star Gray has 5 goals from 4 pre-season appearances.

I am tipping Burnley’s Andre Gray hit the Premier League by storm and will represent a cheap option as a striker. You can never look past Aguero but I would also suggest considering Andy Carroll to have a successful season with a full preseason under his belt. Players around the world are sure to stick Ibrahimovic in, even if for the novelty rather than quality. My final picks would be Negredo, Berahino (if he secures a transfer) and the mystery Arsenal striker, who may or may not exist.

Do you want to join our Fantasy Premier League team? Here’s our code to join via the OFFICIAL Fantasy League Website… 30103-122427

 

Down with the Drugs by Steve Zetter, Deputy Sports Editor

'Grumpy Gramps' is our Deputy Sports Editor

‘Grumpy Gramps’ is our Deputy Sports Editor

There doesn’t seem to be a moment when some Athlete/Sports star, has failed a drugs, test following a great sporting moment.

Some famous events and names have fallen from grace due to this evil and can only be considered as cheats

From Maradona, Gatling to Sharapova the bigger the star the bigger the cheat

A ruling on Maria Sharapova’s appeal against her two-year doping ban has been postponed until September, ruling her out of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The court of arbitration for sport said that Sharapova and the International Tennis Federation had agreed to defer the decision, which had been due to be issued by next Monday.

The CAS said both parties wanted more time to prepare their cases and also cited “scheduling conflicts” with a verdict now expected by 19 September.

Sharapova filed an appeal last month, seeking to overturn or reduce the suspension imposed by the ITF. She tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January.

She was named as one of four Russian players to compete in the women’s singles in Rio alongside Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Kasatkina. Her place in the team is likely to be taken by Ekaterina Makarova, the fifth-ranked Russian woman.

The ban, announced in June by the ITF, was deemed to have commenced on 26 January – the day she failed a test for the recently banned drug after losing to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals in Melbourne. Sharapova has not played since, although she has maintained a high profile at public appearances to promote her confectionery business.

While admitting she had failed the test, Sharapova has maintained since that she took the drug before it was banned

Sharapova was absent from this year's Wimbledon.

Sharapova was absent from this year’s Wimbledon.

and for health reasons only, on the advice of her doctor over a 10-year period.

It was found that while she had not intentionally contravened anti-doping rules, she bore sole responsibility for the substance being in her system during the Australian Open and for her failure to notice that the drug had been added to the banned list.

It also found that, whether legal or not, Sharapova had deliberately concealed her use of meldonium from the authorities, who require athletes to declare all frequently used medications, as well as from her own coaches and team.

Just a week ago, Brock Lesnar stood in a tent behind Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena celebrating a most improbable victory. He laughed. He strutted. He joked about wanting to drink a beer from a company that was not an official UFC sponsor. It seemed a story too good to be true: How could a nearly 39-year-old man, five years removed from his last mixed martial arts fight, stomp back in the cage and look like he was a decade younger?

This is the First in a 2-part series as we build up to Rio 2016. Catch Steve’s next entry next time!

 

FEATURED IMAGE: The Wandsworth Radio Sports Team host the Get Active Wandsworth Festival, Wandsworth. July 9th 2016. From Left to Right: Chris Reidy, Chief Football Editor and Assistant Sports Editor; Keilon Rochford-Hawkins, Sports Correspondent; Stephen Zetter, Deputy Sports Editor; Craig McAulay, Wandsworth Radio Presenter; Cllr Richard Field, Mayor of Wandsworth; Kai Chappell, Sports Editor; Harry Fell, Lead Presenter and Sports Correspondent.

 

July 28th, 2016

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