Welcome back! Four down and my team is looking like a train wreck… It’s a marathon not a sprint. It’s a marathon not a sprint… I have that written on my bathroom mirror. And in the loo. And the rear vision mirror in the car. It’s the only thing keeping me going right now.
LVG – Could’ve gone for United as a whole, or QPR as a dislike but I’ve gone for the gaffer. This was the exact result he needed after the antics of the last couple of months. Granted it was against a fairly lacklustre QPR, but they did the job and there was some amazing football played, in patches. It takes some serious ballsh to empty the bank account to such a massive degree, especially with no noticeable plan. I’m sure there is a plan, just not an obvious one. Di Maria looks like he’s been in the EPL for a decade. Blind was immense and although he’s not directly FPL relevant, could have freed up Herrera who might now become relevant… Still too many question marks against who will be played where with Falcao starting on the bench, I can’t see that being a long term plan!
D. Costa – Did it again. He just seems to be in the right place at the right time and came through for the gutsier amongst us who kept the faith with a hattrick. Hard to take all of this injury talk seriously. Is he a must have, or at the top of a form curve? Remy took his chance very well.
Southampton – They’ve got goals in them! Four this week, three away to West Ham the game before… Pelle seems to have slipped into the number 9 role nicely and is being fed some good chances. Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, the wingbacks all impressing. Swansea away this week will be a test.
Arsenal v Man City – Game of the season so far. If all the blockbusters are as good as this we’re in for a super season. Man City v Chelsea this gameweek has all the markings of a massive game.
Stewart Downing – This could be happening people. With West Ham’s newly found attacking intensity, Downing has bcome central to a lot of their good play. Created 6 chances last night! Albeit in a very open game. They’ve got United and Liverpool coming so maybe hold off. And it feels more like an Adam Johnson squirt as opposed to a Gareth Bale river… Mention to Enner Valencia for celebrating his first start with a fairly decent goal!
Honourable mentions; The Chelsea machine keeps ticking along, Rom Lukaku getting back into the swing of things with a cracker, Benteke back to full training.
* Could’ve told you that a while ago… *
Defending – One thing that stood out on Saturday was the awful defending. There weren’t many goals scored that didn’t include some sort of defensive error, poor general positioning or a goalkeeping gaff. All previous defensive trends took a battering. Feels like picking defensive assets in our teams has a high degree of luck involved this early and perhaps more expensive defenders may not worthwhile…
Rotation and “injury” – Screwed over a lot of us this weekend. Sterling could have been the worst though as it came out of left field. Feel for those that captained him! We might have had a glimpse into Brenda’s thinking with Lallana and Coutinho taking Sterling’s number 10 or left wing role. Based on the result however, you’d hope this potential rotation policy be put to bed for a while, but with Champions League up now who knows. Injuries reared it’s ugly head again, or should I say “reported injuries”. Both Costa and Ramsey seemed like they were definitely going to miss, only to suit up… Take everything some of these gaffers say with a grain of salt.
Newcastle – As much as I really like Southampton, I dislike Newcastle even more… They’ve got work to do. The rumblings of discontent amongst the toon army are getting louder and it won’t be long until Pardew’s position becomes untenable. Not sure Ashley takes their opinion into consideration but he can’t have Newcastle back in the Championship. It’s bad for business. Defensively poor, no tactical awareness, disjointed in attack and not enough putting in shifts. It’s hard to see if they are still gelling or they really are this bad. It’s not a big jump to suggest the latter…
Burnley – Have only scored once this season. At some stage you’re going to have to put the ball in the back of the net if you want to stay in the EPL. Avoid like ebola.
Champions League – Starts this week. As an FPL fan this is heart in mouth stuff. Bunker down and hope for no injuries!
Honourable mentions; Mario “it helps my football” Balotelli… Didn’t take long.
Ryan Bennett Award – Paul Konchesky. A surprise 1-0’er away to Stoke saw Konchesky benefit to the tune of 11 points from an assist and a couple of BPs. They welcome United to their backyard this week, that could bring them back down to earth with a thud!
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Jonjo Shelvey! He had one of those games he has every couple of months with a goal and a BP. There’s a reason why the Jonjo Shelvey Award is named as such.
So, what’s the plan from here? My WC didn’t quite work out this week, but the team’s in better shape than prior to it. I’ll probably be holding my trade and hoping Costa can’t keep this up! And hoping the Champions League is kind…