This is the week that has ruined me as an FPL manager. Only one player didn’t draw a blank, my friend El Nīno. Apart from that, I’m stuffed. Pienaar, Hazard, Cazorla, Ben Arfa, Podolski and Graham all proceeded to take their shoelaces out their boots and whip me with them. Oh well, them’s the breaks. Let’s take a look at how the games panned out.
Arsenal 1 – 2 Chelsea
Ahhhh how promising my night started. My wayward striker Torres found the net, before assisting Mata‘s free kick calamity. Gervinho sparkled with moments of briliance, one which equalised. I learnt a few things this game. Firstly, by playing Oscar, Hazard and Mata in essentially the same position, only one sparkles each game. Hazard had his time for the first few weeks, but now Mata looks to be the orchestrator. I’m afraid that means Hazard, Mata and Oscar will each have two weeks of scoring 2 points, followed by one week of scoring 13. It’ll be frustrating to say the least. The other is that when Ramires plays as a CM with Mikel, Chelsea’s chances of a clean sheet soar. On the Arsenal front, Podolski was invisible, while Cazorla couldn’t find a way through. Mertesacker was dropped, but I assure you he will be there next week.
Fulham 1 – 2 Man City
Things looked dire for Fulham before the game, with Berbatov ruled out, Petric and Rodallega were handed the chance to impress. A dodgy penalty saw Petric finish, before Aguero levelled. Dzeko seems to be a super hero at the moment, and again gained City two points with his late finish. You can’t help but think City just don’t look like a champion team. They’re too leaky at the back, and their attack looks disjointed, with their CM’s just handing the ball to the strikers and seeing what comes out of it. I bet Mancini is regretting tinkering with the formation in pre-season.
Everton 3 – 1 Southampton
Grrrr, why did Ramirez have to score. That clean sheet ruined Baines, while Pienaar and Fellaini all weren’t involved, as Mirallas, Jelavic and Osman caused the most damage. Davis owners fret not, Gazzaniga looked positively awful in between the sticks. A lively first half had me thinking it would end up 6-1, but Southampton to their credit tightened up in the last half and shut up shop. Captain options here would have been disastrous, as all popular ones would have scored a measly 2 points.
Stoke 2 – 0 Swansea
Ahh Swansea. How you have fallen. All Graham and Michu owners are scratching their heads. It just isn’t working for them. A trip to the Brittania to play the Rugby boys Stoke isn’t exactly what you’re after when you’re out of form mind you. Crouch is proving to be a very tasty P.O.D this season. A brace saw him skyrocket to be the third highest scoring striker in FPL. Given he and Walters are the only two attacking options for Stoke (maybe Kightly too), he looks to be fairly enticing. Next week the Swans host Reading- I’m giving Michu and Graham an ultimatum. Perform or be chopped.
Sunderland 1- 0 Wigan
Surprisingly it was Wigan who deserved to win this away game at the Stadium of Light. Kone had many chances, only to be denied by a brilliant Mignolet between the sticks. After Gomez was sent off for a reckless tackle, Sunderland were always going to score. Fletcher continues to defy me. I refused to pick him based on the fact he only gets 1 or 2 chances a game to score…Joke is on me though. He always scores them. A poacher of the highest order. Imagine if Sunderland completely dominate a game where he gets 4 or 5 shots? Tasty proposition isn’t it! Johnson didn’t do a lot, but he should light up in the next few weeks with a bit more match fitness.
Reading 2- 2 Newcastle
What a strange game. It was one of the most boring first halves I’ve ever seen two PL teams play, but after the break Reading went ahead, only to be pulled back to 1-1 from an absolutely clinical strike by Ba. Hunt then put Reading ahead again, and celebrated with a cartwheeling backflip. Cool stuff. Ba had obviously been watching the AFL GF on Saturday morning, and then missed a crossing header with his head, only to have his trailing arm knock the ball in. How no referees picked up on it is beyond me, but the game then went end to end before finishing 2-2. Cisse continues to live in Ba‘s shadow and in no way justifies his price tag. Reading dropped Guthrie for the game, which could spell an end to him as a cheap midfield option.
Norwich 2 – 5 Liverpool
Suarez continued his love affair with Carrow road with another Hat-trick against the Canaries. Starting with a 4-3-3 playing Gerrard as a false 9, Liverpool finally exploded, as Adz had hinted earlier in the week. Those who traded Suarez in (adz again), well done. Enjoy being a million bajillion points ahead of everyone else. Holt started on the bench before scoring in the second half- his relationship with the club obviously hasn’t repaired following his transfer request in the off-season. Gerrard‘s position as a false 9, if continued, may be exactly what the doctor ordered for FPL managers, and he could be a nice P.O.D in your midfield.
Man United 2- 3 Tottenham
Game of the round for me. After going 2-0 up at the break courtesy of Bale and Vertonghen – thanks to some absolutely woeful Ferdinand defending- the game looked Tottenham’s at the 50 minute mark. Enter 3 goals in three minutes. Nani,
then Dempsey, followed by Kagawa. Boom. 3-2, with 35 minutes left. Unfortunately neither team could quite string together a finished product, and the game finished with Tottenham winners. SAF then cracked the shits about injury time being ONLY five minutes. What a whinger. Man U are looking in a wee bit of strife. Their CB pairing of Evans and Ferdinand (the only 2 fit CB’s on their list) looks too slow and reckless, while their central midfield can’t link consistently with Van Persie. I wonder who could solve that problem? Cough* Rooney * Cough.
Aston Villa 1 – 1 West Brom
Not many fantasy relevant players here, as surprisingly Bent was relegated to the bench, before coming on and grabbing the late winner after Long put West Brom ahead in the second half. 1-1 is a FPL manager’s nightmare, robbing McAuley and Foster of clean sheets, while not providing much in the way of attacking returns. As I hinted at earlier in the week, Lukaku was dropped to the bench for the away trip- a trend I see continuing for the year.
So let’s get down to the fun* stuff.
*Fun is directly proportionate to points scored. In my case it’s very un-fun.
Players left: Jaask, Demel
Weiner: All other 8 players who have played
Captain: Pienaar :*(
Trades: Graham > Fletcher
S.Taylor > Baines
It’s easy to see. I had an absolute mare. Taylor getting subbed off on the 59th minute was a highlight. As was Pienaar aimlessly trotting around Goodison Park while his teammates had all the fun. Thank god there’s next week!