In Form and Out of Form

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Chelsea's Juan Mata celebrates scoring during his side's 4-2 Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur

Form along with value is a key driver to this game. Get the right combination of form and value alongside nice fixtures and your team will be on top in the long run.

It is often about looking for that unique edge to surround your superstars. This is particularly important as we approach the new year with significant rotation in place

Player in form: Juan Mata

Some would say an obvious selection having had such a consistent first half of the season (with 19.1% of players confirming such thoughts). When looking at the numbers it presents a somewhat different tale:

Mata has already suffered a two major peaks and troughs in only 18 matches

GW 1-4 = 8 points @ 2 points a game (holding midfield & fatigue)

GW 5-9 = 54 points @ 13.5 points a game (left side of midfield switching with Hazard)

GW 10-14 = 10 points @ 2.5 points a game (Rafa rotation)

GW 15-18 = 21 points @ 7 points a game (central behind Torres)

These peaks and troughs highlight:

  • The major instabilities at the club
  • How (well noted) fatigue can kick in
  • How the role of Mata has changed numerous times this season

The third point is perhaps the key driver to why Mata features in this piece. Mata is quite simply becoming the main man in Chelsea’s attack. Playing in behind the striker in a free roaming role is clearly important to the teams attacking ambitions. Without him completing 90 minutes (and playing such a role) Chelsea has dropped a staggering 12 points (out of 19).

The high variability of Chelsea’s tactics and line-ups has somewhat dimmed Mata’s consistency (as noted above). The ‘Rafa rotation’ combined with the complex issue of changing manager saw reduced returns as the bandwagon grew (9.2-9.6 with only a single assist in 4 games)

Looking forward Chelsea as a unit presents great upside at an unknown level of consistency. The 8-0 drubbing of Aston Villa has heavily thrown a spanner in the works of what to expect going forward. With games against nor (a), everton (a), QPR (H) realistically Mata could continue to return a very strong 7 points a game.

One must also consider that looking forward Chelsea is prime to invest in the transfer window. The likes of Falcao could make the switch that would again see a change of game plan and a possible downturn in Mata’s form. Until then he is a more then worthy investment among the premium midfielders.

Out of form: Michael Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur are a very strange beast under AVB this season, they hover around the top 4 but appear to lack a bit of a cutting edge at both keeping clean sheets and finishing (without Bale anyway).

That is where Dawson comes in, Bale is back to fitness and set to boost the returns of the team. This will inevitably reduce the pressure on the defense. Combining this with the high quality defensive abilities of Dawson and clean sheets should flow.

His not the most attractive defender, he doesn’t tend to return goals nor look flash running around the pitch at a slow pace but he is a very good at what he does.

With Villa (a), sunderland (a), READING (H), Qpr (a) the fixtures are shining kindly if you have faith in the unit.

At a very kind 4.5 & a minimal ownership of 0.6%. Dawson is the budget defender of choice (0.4 cheaper then the next one) for a challenging top 4 unit with better things to come over the course of the season.

People may argue that Dawson is set for rotation. AVB is reorganizing the defense to a 3-5-2 of sorts and Dawson appears an important part of that unit as he boosts his value for a possible January transfer.

Again please leave some feedback about the article & Merry Christmas to all!



19 comments on “In Form and Out of Form

  1. mattcraigdt

    Nice mate, great read. After thinking Gallas was locked into Spurs first XI I’m a little nervous to pick Dawson, also Spurs captaincy confuses me. Normally most clubs have a captain locked into each game, however Gallas and Dawson seem to rotate. Might just take the risk though…

    • Liam Post Author

      It is the 0.5 saving (caulkers job security is very low so not counting him) that offers great value in a top 6 side.

      I think avb was open to sell Dawson maybe didn’t value his abilities or dawson was just struggling with injuries or personal issues.

      The captaincy is confusing Gallas looks well past his best, Dawson is well liked around the place.

      The major problem with Dawson is his injury record not his pure ability. On ability he would start in the back 3.

      I have no idea if Gallas is the vice captain or the actual one.

      • Hplate

        Nice article.

        Anybody who’s watched Chelsea this season will agree that Mata is Chelsea’s vital midfield cog. When Chelsea’s attacking machine hums it’s almost always because he making the runs and threading the passes. Top footballer.

        Dawson’s situation at Tottenham is weird. At the start of the season AVB was basically pushing Dawson out the door and now he’s their defensive rock? Maybe that fact that Redknapp said he highly rates Dawson, then gets the QPR job and publicly states that he’s going to buy in Jan, gave AVB the idea to show off Dawson before selling to QPR?

        • Liam

          I took particular notice of the club world cup I thought it would be a fair assessment of just how important he is to Chelsea’s game. In that match Torres was marked by 3 other players in a 4-2-3-1. He was essentially marked out of the game as the striker with mata left to create behind in full.

          Chelsea were totally outplayed in that game which doesn’t happen very often it really provided an insight into how dangerous mata is, how he plays such an important role and how the team really works.

          The Dawson situation is quite honestly complicated by the media reports. I made a few assumptions. This is my honest opinion of what happened at the start of the season.

          Dawson was injured in pre season or had major personal problems that did not get reported to the media for one reason or another. Dawson is loved by the people at the club and possibly clashed with the new manager but I doubt it.

          Gallas was handed the arm-band because of the Dawson issue whatever it maybe (anything from health issue, manager clash to injury). To me a 35 year old at a challenging top 4 club is not healthy as captain particularly when he played at Arsenal and is well past his best.

          Anyway enough of the speculation now onto the rock solid facts.

          Dawson made his return to the team in GW11 before playing 2 full games from GW 13-14 before picking up an injury after starting in GW15 (he also built his fitness up via europa league over this time).

          He tweaked his hamstring but returned to the team to complete 90 minutes once fully fit in GW18.From what I can see Gallas remains captain with Dawson being the vice captain (surely he would not hold the vice captaincy if there were major issues).

          The value situation was total bullocks really I was just speculating!

          The complexity of the situation goes quite deep. As most football supports know a solid defence is built on a solid centre back partnership. Tottenham don’t have one.

          I think the best Tottenham back 4 is:

          Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghan – Assou-Ekotto

          Currently due to injuries I expect it to be:

          Walker – (Dawson / Gallas / Caulker) – Vertonghan

          As Captain and vice captain I would expect those players to start when fit with the younger Caulker trying to prove his worth from the bench. (Kaboul long term injury list)

          If Tottenham do switch between a back 3 and a back 4 I think the likelihood of Dawson playing increases further as he can play both roles. I would expect to see him play in 75% of spurs january fixtures. It is very hard to judge between league and cup games as it would depend on AVB’s gameplan (would depend on the opponent too).

          One to keep a strong eye on if you are looking in that price range of 4.5-5.5 certainly a punt but one that could pay off with 2 or more clean sheets before a january wildcard.

          • Hplate

            I brought in Vertonghan just because Spurs schedule was good. He’s a class player and to me was the one that stood out, wasn’t sold on any of their CB’s and not about Walker.
            However you’ve done a pretty good job of selling Dawson!

            Didn’t know Dawson is vice-captain. THe whole ‘Dawson on the outer’ is probably just crazy ideas sprouted from articles : )

          • Liam Post Author

            Yeah you made the right choice, I am not sure he is worth 6.3 but when backing spurs you can’t look past him.

            I will probably try and get Vidic but that is a story left for another short story (I think Manchester United will tighten up during the second half of the season)

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