This is what this game is all about.
It’s midnight on Saturday. The last of the team submissions roll tiredly in like the last train home. A long drawn-out midfielder round punctuated by bluff and counter-bluff has come to an end. It’s been tense. There’s a feeling the spending has to start soon, but will it? The previous defender round has been a tentative, restrained affair with only three teams spending double digit tokens on a player. When will the wallets come out? When will the bidding get nasty? When will the Phoney War end?
Well, this cold war just got hot. Hull’sdouble capture of Iniesta and Bale for 24 tokens each leads the way in a stunning display of financial power which has shaken up the leaderboard and propelled a host of teams into triple digit market value. Southampton climbed off the foot of the table with a well judged double swoop for Fabregas (14 tokens) and Gotze (13 tokens), while Liverpool managed a terrific triple in Ribery (12 tokens), Hamsik (8 tokens) and Mkhitaryan (4 tokens). On the other side of the bidding spectrum was a brilliantly executed capture of Milner for a single token by Newcastle, and Arsenal displayed Wengeresque stinginess to grab Moutinho and Cazorla with the two token trick.
Plenty of other notable acquisitions litter Round 3, but spare a thought for Man City and Spurs who were simply deserted by Lady Luck, missing out on all 3 bids. Indeed, a City representative was heard to mutter on results night that “we lost every bid by 1 token”. Danorakiel Levy was unavailable for comment, although reports are emerging that his fax machine was found smashed beyond recognition in a local dumpster. The fax machine was unavailable for comment.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the juicy stuff and unveil some statistics about this round’s secret bids…
Average bid amount: 10.35 tokens
A big rise on last round with the cash really being flashed. Notable was the eagerness of lower value teams to upset the top four applecart.
Most common bid amount: 6 (8.3% of bids with a 40% success rate)
With the exception of Arsenal, it’s no more two token bidding in a round where winning players was paramount. With the average bid amount skewed by spectacular bidding to secure marquee names, the largest number of bids was around 6.
All tiebreakers were resolved by more tokens remaining.
Teams that have spent more will have to spend that extra token to be sure of beating the tie.
Cheekiest successful bids: Milner (€17 m/token), Moutinho (€15m/token), Cazorla (€12.5m/token)
Newcastle and Arsenal’s willingness to look beyond the biggest names resulted in extremely good value deals for two tokens and less.
3 most valuable homeless targets: Silva (€40m), Martinez (€37m) and Wilshere (€33m)
Hindsight’s a cruel mistress, but there were three even more valuable players to be had for a single token in a round littered with 18 of the top 20 most expensive midfielders.
No released players.
It should be noted that Round 4 is the last round where player releases are free. With two clubs having already spent more than half their budget, we await to see who decides to retrieve their tokens.
Average ROI: €5.16m/token – Median ROI: €3.9m/token
The average ROI has been skewed upwards by the extreme stinginess of Arsenal (€14.0m/token) and Man City (€11.0m/token). 6 out of 10 clubs in the top half of the table have ROIs worse than the median, with Arsenal and City’s superb ROIs sitting in the bottom half. This suggests higher spending has been at the expense of getting value for money. It all adds up to a delicately poised leaderboard with lower ranked teams well poised to climb the rankings.
Average tokens spent so far: 23.4
On average teams have spent just under a quarter of their budget, setting the stage for some rather splendid fireworks in the striker round as Messi and Ronaldo come into play.
Order of Extreme Valour
Jose Mourinho Rumour Mill
West Ham silence the doubters with a huge price rise for their man Mangala. And they’ve worked out how to play too.
Stoke City have announced they will go all out to bring Messi to the Britannia to play him alongside their star striker Peter Crouch.
Man United owner COMH on City’s situation. “Embarrassing to say the least. Knew they were never going to keep up with Financial Fair Play”
The latest from Hull City is that they have called an Extraordinary AGM this evening to discuss the release of Gareth Bale.
Don’t forget the TWS Happy Hour is on at Saturday 10pm from now on to accommodate the Saturday midnight deadline. We’ve got a special surprise in store this week courtesy of Chief Geezer ENR. Check out what the TWS Reporter snapped at a particularly infamous Happy Hour.
So go forth, be bold, and get Messi.