So Long, Farewell: A Final Post from Never Captain Nicky Butt

Today, we’re retiring the Never Captain Nicky Butt blog.

It’s been a remarkable five years where expression about the beautiful game was encouraged on a myriad of topics – most notably, of course, our love for The Fantasy Premier League. We’ve had a great run and hope you have enjoyed the blog and our little football community as much as we have.

In fact, our football community wasn’t so little after all…

Unique Visitors1 So Long, Farewell: A Final Post from Never Captain Nicky Butt

Over 2 million visitors in five years

Over 2.3 million fans of the beautiful game joined us on our journey the past five years – and while there are too many memorable moments to list in just one final blog post, we had an amazing time…

We made our living predicting and commenting about the Premier League’s best performers. Calling RVP the next Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009 was perhaps a bit early – he didn’t become the dominant Ronaldo-esque force until the past two seasons (2011-2012 and 2012-2013) but that’s the beauty of analysis and the beauty of a blog. To some, that’s a brilliant prediction – foreshadowing that the game’s next great would be RVP, “He remains the best future fantasy option in the game, in my opinion,” we wrote in February, 2009.

And while the Premier League headlines would be dominated by the likes of Drogba, Rooney, Lampard and even Darren Bent that season with RVP not even in the league’s top 10 in goals or assists, he would come good in the long term. You can look at that RVP prediction with a half empty glass – “you guys got it wrong in 2009.” Or you can look at it the way we prefer to, glass half full. “Wow, you called it. After Cristiano Ronaldo left for Madrid, RVP took over as the league’s best player and top performer. Well done.” That’s the beauty of personal opinion. The beauty of arguments. The beauty of a blog like Never Captain Nicky Butt.

Recognition was always nice, and it motivated us to improve and grow. In addition to being listed as a ‘Top Niche Website’ by SoccerLens, as well as a ‘Best Niche Website’ from A Football Report in their 2010 Website Awards, we were perhaps most excited with our inclusion in the ‘Top 25 Football Websites’ in The Telegraph in 2009.

Telegraph Top251 So Long, Farewell: A Final Post from Never Captain Nicky Butt

We loved alliteration. It’s certainly a juvenile literary device, but we didn’t mind that too much. When writing about the best Dutch players in the Premier League we titled our 2011 post ‘The Flying V’s – Van Persie, Van der Vaart and Vorm.’ We often spoke about what was in ‘Butt’s Brain,’ of course, and our ‘Funny Feeling Fridays,’ really brought out our most ardent supporters and biggest critics…

Football religion So Long, Farewell: A Final Post from Never Captain Nicky Butt

We’ve enjoyed the past five years. But as beautiful as the sun shines, it always sets. While we’re retiring this blog, we look forward to continuing to engage with you all about the beautiful game from time to time on the blog’s Twitter account – @NickyButtBlog.

Good luck to all Fantasy Premier League managers this season. We wish you the best.

Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog | Tagged fantasy premier league blog, farewell blog post, final blog post, fpl blog, last blog post, never captain nicky butt, never captain nicky butt blog, premier league blog | Leave a comment

FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE 2013/2014 IS HERE

FPL 20132014 FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE 2013/2014 IS HERE

Let the squad tinkering begin...

For those of your early adopters who need to start tinkering a month in advance of the Premier League season, the time is now. In the past few days, the official FPL game has opened up – and you can now register and discover new player prices, transfers, and game features for the 2013-2014 Fantasy Premier League season.

Go ahead – snap up RVP for 14.0m or Gareth Bale for 12.0m. Jesus Navas comes in at 9.0m.

We still have a month until the Fantasy Premier League game officially gets underway, and with over 2.5 million players last season, there’s still plenty of time for the stragglers to create their teams in mid-to-late August, but if you’re an early adopter, as many of our blog readers are – then it may just be time to jump right in this weekend and start looking for bargains.

Good luck to all Fantasy Premier League payers in the 2013-2014 season.

Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog | Tagged 2013-2014 fantasy premier league, fantasy premier league, fantasy premier league official game opens, fpl 2013-2014, fpl 2013/2014 | Leave a comment

Chelsea £20m bid for Wayne Rooney is Rejected

Wayne Rooney Chelsea Chelsea £20m bid for Wayne Rooney is Rejected

Rooney, Ba, Lukaku & Torres?

Manchester United have rejected a bid by rivals Chelsea for unsettled superstar Wayne Rooney.

Media reports have suggested that either Juan Mata or David Luiz were offered alongside cash for Rooney, but Chelsea have since rubbished those reports. And rightly so, as why would they ever let either of those young studs go to Manchester United? That would just be silly.

Rooney is angered and confused by the treatment he’s received at Manchester United and believes, at 27, and in a World Cup year, that he’s still at the prime of his career.

Regardless of whether Rooney stays or goes, one thing is for certain – Robin van Persie is the main man at Old Trafford in the striker’s department, so Rooney will have to prove both his form and fitness (currently out with a hamstring injury) in a supporting role either from attacking midfield or as a complementary forward to RVP.

Posted in Chelsea, fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog, Manchester United | Tagged chelsea, fpl blog, luiz and mata for rooney, manchester united, mourinho transfer, rooney 20 million, rooney angry, rooney chelsea, RVP striker, transfer premier league, wayne rooney transfer | Leave a comment

Butt’s Brain: Bony & Wanyama Arrive; Dempsey on the Move?

Clint Dempsey Butts Brain: Bony & Wanyama Arrive; Dempsey on the Move?

Clint Dempsey could be on his way out of Tottenham

A bit of what’s going on in Butt’s Brain this past week as the transfer season heats up and plenty of moves are underway…

  • Tottenham have reportedly placed Clint Dempsey on the transfer list. Sure, they landed Paulinho last week but this one doesn’t make too much sense to me. Dempsey is still a superb squad player to have and proved his worth at Fulham with some sensational seasons. Liverpool and Sunderland could be circling, looking to land the American Captain…
  • Meanwhile, Swansea are splashing the cash as well. A club record signing has been completed in Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony. Bony scored a whopping 31 goals in 30 Eredivisie games last season – and could be a cheap FPL option come the start of the season if he can link up with Michu to produce some attacking results for Laudrup.
Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog | Tagged Arouna Koné, clint dempsey sunderland, fantasy premier league blog, fpl blog, transfer rumors, victor wanyama southampton, wilfried bony swansea | Leave a comment

Wayne Rooney Hamstrung: Injured in Asia

Wayne Rooney picked up a hamstring injury on Manchester United’s tour in Asia and will be out for about a month.

He has flown home from the three-week long trip in Asia to receive treatment.

United play in the Community Shield on 11 August and start their Premier League season the following weekend. Rooney will hope to be fit for England’s friendly against Scotland on 14 August.

Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog, Manchester United | Tagged england vs scotland friendly, fantasy premier league blog, manchester united asia tour, rooney injury, wayne rooney hamstring | Leave a comment

Tottenham’s Paulinho the next Frank Lampard; Altidore & Anelka Back

Paulinho Tottenhams Paulinho the next Frank Lampard; Altidore & Anelka Back

Paulinho is a Tottenham player

With the Confederations Cup behind us, and the start of the Premier League season a little over a month away, the transfer news is coming thick and fast… Here’s the latest:

  • Tottenham have completed the signing of Brazil midfielder Paulinho. Paulinho should contribute goals and assists from his box-to-box midfield position with Tottenham – in the last month alone for Brazil he scored three goals – one in a friendly against England and two in the Confederations Cup – one each against Japan and Uruguay. The 24-year-old has been compared to Frank Lampard, and scored 13 goals in 47 appearances last season.
  • American Jozy Altidore is set for a return to the Premier League, after agreeing a move to Sunderland. Altidore scored a whopping 31 goals in 40 games in the Netherlands last season but will need to improve on his first spell in England, where he managed just one league goal on loan at Hull during 2009-2010 – a season where Hull would be relegated. He has matured since then – and three years later should offer a bit more of a goal threat either as a complementary option to Steven Fletcher, or an impact substitute.
  • Nicolas Anelka is back in the Premier League. Anelka joined West Brom and his dream is to qualify for Europe before retiring. The 34-year-old French superstar has featured for the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus in his nomadic career, and if fit, should be relied upon to deliver 10+ league goals for a West Brom side that will look to challenge for a spot in the Top 8 once again.
Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog | Tagged altidore fletcher, altidore sunderland, anelka west brom, fantasy pl blog, nicolas anelka, paulinho lampard, paulinho tottenham, paulinho transfer, pl transfers, usmnt | Leave a comment

Marco van Ginkel to Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has an exciting job ahead of him – with the likes of Mata, Oscar, Lukaku and other youngsters in the ranks at Chelsea. And he’s just added another one – the 20-year-old Dutch international Marco van Ginkel.

Van Ginkel won’t set the Fantasy Premier League on fire like another Dutchman who’s surname begins with “Van,” but he should turn into a strong midfielder in the long term for Mourinho’s men. He wears the number eight, the same as Frank Lampard, so he’ll have to start by finding a new uniform number in London.

Van Ginkel is Mourinho’s second summer signing after the capture of 22-year-old attacker Andre Schurrle late last month.

We expect Schurrle to have a bit more of an immediate goalscoring impact at Chelsea while Van Ginkel will perhaps be brought along a bit more slowly, but either way, the future looks extremely bright at Stamford Bridge.

Posted in Chelsea, fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog | Tagged andre schurrle, chelsea starting XI, chelsea transfers, chelsea youngsters, fantasy premier league, FPL, jose mourinho transfers, marco van ginkel | Leave a comment

Butt’s Brain: Jonjo Shelvey & Vito Mannone on the Move…

Jonjo Shelvey 1024x768 Butts Brain: Jonjo Shelvey & Vito Mannone on the Move...

Shelvey joins Swansea

A bit of what’s going on in Butt’s Brain in what has been a relatively quiet few days of transfer dealings in and out of the Premier League. Expect some more movement in the coming weeks…

  • Vito Mannone is on his way to Sunderland from Arsenal. He looked decent in a Champions League game or two this past year, but is certainly not guaranteed a starting role despite Simon Mingolet’s departure earlier this summer to Liverpool.
Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog, Liverpool, Manchester United | Tagged cristiano ronaldo, cron, fantasy premier league blog, jonjo shelvey swansea, leighton baines manchester united, roberto martinez everton, vito mannone sunderland | Leave a comment

Carlos Tevez Moves to Juventus; Another Fantasy Premier League Star Gone

Another one bites the dust. Carlos Tevez is off to Juventus. The Manchester City striker and former Fantasy Premier League legend has completed his £12m move to Italian champions Juventus.

Tevez is a great capture for Juventus. With Balotelli and Tevez both leaving Manchester in the past 6 months, will Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko be able to handle the goalscoring load on their own? Perhaps not. Edinson Cavani has been rumored as a potential Tevez replacement, but his pricetag may be prohibitive.

Tevez’s off-the-field issues were rampant in the past two seasons but when in action in the Premier League he was a joy to watch – a true ‘bulldog’ who battled for every 50-50 and combined his sheer grit and passion with sublime technique and a goalscoring touch.

Posted in fantasy epl blog, Fantasy Premier League, fantasy premier league blog | Tagged carlos tevez, fantasy premier league, juventus tevez, manchester city cavani, manchester city strikers, tevez transfer | Leave a comment

Week in Review: Torres Scores 4; 2013-14 Premier League Fixture List Announced

Zorro Week in Review: Torres Scores 4; 2013 14 Premier League Fixture List Announced

Fernando Torres scored 4 against lowly Tahiti

As the Confederations Cup rolls on amidst sweeping protests across the country in Brazil, there have been a few demonstrations on the field as well to keep note of. Let’s take a look at the latest…

  • There has been no protesting about Neymar’s talent over the past week. The young Barcelona-bound Brazilian stud is showing up on the international stage. Will he be able to link up with Messi to create the greatest duo in the world?
  • And David Beckham may be retired now but he still can’t escape the headlines. A visit to China caused a stampede which left seven people injured, including five security personnel.
Posted in Chelsea, fantasy epl blog, funny feeling friday, Manchester United | Tagged antonio luna, beckham stampede, brazil protests, confederations cup, david beckham china, fernando torres tahiti, neymar barcelona, premier league 2013-2014 fixtures, premier league fixture list | Leave a comment