The second date is always the hardest…
* Owners will be hoping for more of this @ 10.6m *
1. Cabella. Call me old school but I love seeing new players to the EPL getting a good old fashion seeing to. Cabella got it. Oh boy did he get it. And he will continue to get it… This is a two part “like”, one for the welcoming party Villa gave to him, but more importantly second because he looks a great player and was involved in nearly all of Newcastle’s good attacking play. They’ve found someone to fill in creatively for the the long departed Cabaye. If he can learn to deal with the kicking he’s going to get he will be a gem.
2. Eden Hazard. To think some were putting him up as trade bait! This guy is not far away from being talked about in the same vein as the very, very best and this could easily be the season he takes that step. The only FPL relevant thing holding him back is that he’s not as consistent as he could be, but he does make up for it with some over the top point scoring. Only scored 9 points this week but his game stats show he’s not far away from a big one. 9 successful dribbles (compared to 6 last week, and his total of 15 is 7 more than second placed Lamela), 2 key passes (7 last week), 3 crosses (same last week), zero shots (2 on target from 2 last week). You could easily suggest he had a better game last week, and didn’t score any points… Relax. Or don’t, I don’t care. I’ll happily take a quiet game here or there for his 20+ point games…
3. Humble pie. It tastes ok actually… Juan Mata. Booooo. He looked so ordinary in GW1 I thought I had no choice but to get rid of him while his price was still where it was. Liking this as a lesson to everyone. Give the stars a chance… Such as Hazard above perhaps!
4. West Ham! They continued their evolvement towards being a football team on the weekend with a great performance away to Palace. They look like they have goals in them (look at what Downing has managed to do!?!), and they have some quality attacking players that should be on our watchlists including the impressive Zarate. Holding off on them for now until they show some consistency. The flipside is their defence can no longer be deemed reliable.
5. Mr Balotelli. It’s great to have you back son! It was a bit boring without you… Cue Liverpool fans with “it’s our year”, “we’re going to win the league” and other similarly delusional comments (just messing about lads). How he fit’s into their team is going to be interesting and whether he’s developed some sort of consistency, and temperament, to help us FPL managers out will be a talking point. I wouldn’t jump onboard straight away…
Honourable mentions; Spurs (in particular Chadli, Lamela, Adebay… ok most of the team right now), Ramsey again, Naismith again, Rodwell’s road to redemption, 5 x home cleansheets…
* Lol *
1. Villa v Newcastle in the early game. Nil – Nil? Yay, defensive points for everyone! It’s not a true reflection of this game however, and that needs to be remembered… Both teams need a lot of work. Newcastle have a bought up a talented new attack but it will need time to gel, they’re one of only two teams yet to score this season. Their defence is still ordinary and gave up too many chances. They need and can’t lose Tiote. Villa, are ordinary everywhere and I don’t think a Benteke can solve all their problems, but can only help. If either team had played nearly anyone else on Saturday there would have been a few goals… Buyer beware.
2. European rotation. I fear this season will be one of the worst for teams rotating players around big Cup games. We’ve already seen Arsene screwing over a huge number of managers by going short up top and demoting Giroud to the bench again. He came on late to show how important he is, but at the moment he’s more important to getting Arsenal into the Champions League, if he’s fit… Which I think we can all understand. Chelsea WILL rotate, they have far too many players not to (except in defence). Then there’s the likes of Spurs, Liverpool and City who all have decent sized squads of players who need minutes… Do yourself a favour and keep the Champions / Europa League games in all trade calculations.
3. Top team defensive trends. None standout yet, we’re just going on hunches. Even then there’s too much uncertainty surrounding who is going to be playing. There’s a fair hunch that Totenham could recreate their defensive form from early last season pre-Sherwood, but the only lock from their back 4 is Vertonghen, every other position is up for grabs. I’d normally be all over Spurs right now but they have a tough couple of games to come before their schedule opens up. Chelsea have started out ok, but the full back positions are not certain long term… Arsenal didn’t look great on the weekend and let in a couple of ordinary goals. Liverpool are doing a sound impersonation of Liverpool from last season and Man City could also be great, but aren’t… Everton ran out of legs at the end of the game and dropped far too deep, and Man Utd are yet to take advantage of their “easy” start to the season. The rest are really a wait and see proposition… So hard.
4. Man City strikers. What now? I like the fact I have Jovetic but all last night’s game has done is thrown away a possible trade to Dzeko. Nothing is certain now, especially with Aguero scoring off the bench again! Jovetic and Dzeko are both different strikers that bring something very different to Man City so it will be interesting to see how it’s managed. For what it’s worth I still reckon Aguero will be eased in until he’s actually needed.
5. Price changes. Something is amiss. There’s a particular website that used to be vital to find out when players are due to go up or done in price and were usually very close to reality. News is filtering through however that the FPL powers that be have made some tweaks to the backend algorithms (trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about) that effect prices changes, and then hidden that so we can’t access it. Makes a tough competition even tougher!
Honourable mentions; QPR and Palace (problems), Slippy G’s 2 Bonus Points, Chester undoing all his good work.
Ryan Bennett Award – Andre Wisdom. Great value for those that picked him, but doubtful if you fielded him. WBA do have some potential to be a good defensive team so watch.
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Stewart Downing! Surely not… Could Downing be one of the main beneficiaries of West Ham’s newly found attacking prowess? Or is it one of those flash in the pan, “dare to be great” moments? I’m betting on the latter BUT he has had good seasons in the past. Hmmmm…
What do you reckon?