One more GW down… We’ve got a week off now, so sit tight and have a rest because it’s going to get hectic right up until Christmas.
* So much joy right here *
1. Diouf. If Rooney had of scored that goal he’d have a date with the Queen to be knighted. And knowing Rooney’s history of women, you just know he’d try it on don’t you? Diouf won’t get the credit he deserves, but I’ll give it to him. Well done kid.
2. Managerial appointments. And the effect on FPL. I always bang on about this but we’ve had our first new managerial appointment for the season, and we need to tune into what effect it will have and then respond to trends. As we should all know Palace have turned back time to appoint Neil Warnock to replace the departed Pulis. We definitely all know what Pulis was able to achieve in turning Palace into a defensive beast, but we’ve already seen that defensive solidity be completely eroded since his surprise quitting. Warnock is from the same vague school as Pulis, but without the tactical sophistication. He likes his teams to put in a shift, run, tackle and pinch goals. I don’t see there being too many more 3-3 games… On his side, he has a team that will probably fit his style of play and having a more professional group of players than he’s had at other clubs, I’m willing to back him in. 3 of the next 4 games would have been penned in as wins before the season starts and 2 of those clean sheet certainties, so we’ll see very quickly how this team reacts.
3. Chelsea / Costa. Enough will be written about Diego Costa’s “injury” and how many of us traded him out on the basis of it so I won’t waste any more words on it. Every now and then you play a game where everything you touch turns to gold and Chelsea was kissed on it this round. It felt like every time they had a shot they scored, and the stats nearly prove that. For their 6 goals, they only needed 8 shots on target! And those 2 non-scoring shots on target were from man of the match Costa himself. If he can stay fit, he should be a good trade if you’re in the market for a replacement for Rooney and can’t afford, or don’t trust, Sergio Aguero. Chelsea themselves have started out the season well and look to be a good source of attacking points this season, all our teams should have a couple of them… Just maybe not in defence? They actually have a very up and down set of fixtures until about mid-December so be careful down back.
4. Swansea. They look like they’ve got their groove back! When they were at their best a few seasons ago it was on the back of their wingers dominating the attacking points and on the basis of their last two games that has revved up again. Their last 4 goals have all been from the wide players, with the most traded in player this week in Dyer getting 3 of them. Siggy has hit the ground running too having a hand in all of Swansea’s goal this season, bar one. There’s a lot to like about what’s going on there and if they can do something against Chelsea after the break, they have a nice run of games after that. Load up.
5. Mario. Fair play to the lad. If he can keep up that sort of attitude then he becomes relevant. He was everywhere, tracking back, helping out at corners and generally looking like a team player. With a similarly lethargic strike partner when it comes to anything defence related in Sturridge, they can’t afford to have Mario sulking around the pitch too. Could’ve had a couple of goals as well… He might just have jumped a spot in my watchlist.
Honourable mentions; Weimann under the radar, Puncheon and Warnock making friends?
* You’re doing it wrong *
1. Manchester United…. Not good. Anderson played for crying out loud. ANDERSON!!! Anderson… Let that settle in. An…der…son… The more you say it, the less meaning it has. Just like his place on a football pitch. They do have a heap of injuries I guess, with Mata potentially being added to that list, but their transfer policy feels like a claw game at the circus. They’re just picking up whatever they can and putting a heap of coins in to get it… They have now bought 2 1/2 left backs, one of them in Rojo isn’t even allowed to play in England yet, shouldn’t that be handled beforehand?!? Having depth is all well and good but they haven’t had a decent right back since Gary Neville! Tactically, they continue trying to play balls into the box from wide, without having one striker capable of profiting from them. Mata, Rooney and RVP were non-existent, flipside Di Maria looked good. Most clubs allow a bedding in period, but not United. How long does LVG get before we get on his back?
2. Refereeing. In the Everton v Chelsea game. It wouldn’t have effected the result but it was pretty ordinary. Blatant on and offsides, Howard not getting red… If Howard gets red Chelsea may have scored more, perhaps Hazard getting on the action? While I’m on Hazard… Seriously. Your team scores 6 and the only attacking points you get is 1 lousy assist? Then there was two situations where players were in on goal, only to be called incorrectly offside. For such a huge league, and the decisions of these guys having the potential to greatly influence players and managers careers you would think they’d be better than this. I know it’s been talked about but surely some sort of goal review would fix this up, similar to Rugby League. It doesn’t take that long and would help solve many refereeing gripes I have right now.
3. Expecting teams to get blown away. I read far too much about how Man City were going to run up a cricket score against Stoke, it nearly felt inevitable that it wouldn’t happen! The fact Man City scored a duck and got beat is a little surprising however as all indicators suggested that a couple of goals were likely. Not sure what to take out of this result to be honest? On one hand, it seems all Stoke’s games so far have been relatively tight affairs so a defensive trend could be forming. They did do quite well to stymie Man City’s wealth of attacking options. And with this game out of the way they have a good run of fixtures after the break… Or on the other hand, Man City just had a shocker… What I’ve learnt is that when there’s a groundswell of result expectation (as I’ll call it), the chances of it happening goes down considerably!
4. Newcastle and Villa’s defence. Nothing has changed my mind from last week. I’m picking on these two teams due to the high number of us having one or two of their defensive assets in our teams… We probably should try to look elsewhere! Newcastle should never let a team like Crystal Palace score 3 against them at home. Palace only had 36% of possession but were able to amass 12 shots on goal (with 7 on target v 4 from Newcastle). That’s poor from a home team… Villa? They can’t expect to play at home and only have 45% of possession against a team like Hull and expect to be good defensively over the long term. It’s just unsustainable. I’m jumping off.
Honourable mentions; Mid to high price strikers not getting the job done, Spurs still have work to do against the top teams.
Ryan Bennett Award – Michael Duff. 36 year old centre back who profited from the unlikely cleanie against United. 36… Well done. Move on.
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Morgan Schneiderlin. Great game considering the speculation re his future. In one game he’s equalled the total amount of goals he scored in the previous two…
For the record, my wildcard is in play. I’m hoping for some +0.2 price rises but it seems the new pricing model (backend algorithms, etc), might not produce too many of them. Even if doesn’t work out, I’ll have a completely new defence to play with! Something United should consider maybe?