After a fairly run of the mill Saturday, Sunday burst into life with some huge results and performances! How many of us were able to profit from the 8 goal bonanza Leicester and United put on?
* Welbz is dat guy!!! *
1. Inevitability. Villa v Arsenal. In hindsight this was always going to happen! Arsenal have been copping it from everywhere in recent times. They barely had a defence midweek and rolled over to a world class Dortmund team. Ozil has been copping it. Welbeck? Yep him too. They both got amongst it with Ozil playing more centrally and Welbeck too fast for an ageing Villa defence. They were due a clean sheet too… Villa have been walking a very fine line in their defending this season and they did themselves no favours… 29% of possession at home is never, ever going to get you results long term. At some stage you’re going to get smashed. Granted it was 3 goals in 3 minutes but what does that matter, 3-0 is a hiding. It does set up a pretty handy Arsenal v Spurs derby next week! Cool stat, Agbonlahor completed 4 passes in the entire game, 3 came from kick offs.
2. Man United. GOALS!!!! I don’t care about their results, they have goals in them going forward and back. It’s great for footy and great for FPL. Keep it going Van Gaal, don’t let the tiny matter of actually having to win games get in the way of whatever the hell you’re doing over there.
3. Sympathy. Stoke. Feel for them. QPR were horrid and showed little signs of learning anything from their last spell in the EPL. They’re one of highest shots on goal teams in the division, but that’s because they’re taking pot shots from everywhere and isn’t a true reflection of how they’re going. Nico saves the day for them. Stoke looked pretty good considering how far they’ve come from the Pulis style of play. They still have that mongrel about them but can get the ball down and play, they should do ok. Especially if Crouch can put some consistency together. They have a decent run coming up so consider.
4. Leicester. Hard to not mention them. Scoring 5 goals in any game, in any league, in any country in the world is hard. But to do it against the “mighty” Red Devils is pretty special and these guys will be telling their grand kids about it. Ulloa has scored 5 in 5… Might sound crazy but this mob is pretty good for a promoted team and games against Palace and Burnley to come might set them up for a really good season. Defence is a worry, but most teams seem to have a dodgy defence this season.
5. Southampton. Real deal? Well yeah, relatively. They’ve cemented their place amongst FPL’ers as a very solid midpriced team who are doing the business. This is their best start to a top flight season since 1988 and have so far proven all the critics wrong after their summer garage sale… QPR at home next round could be anything then Spurs could be a test but after that the run is very tempting.
Honourable mentions; Lampard the Pro, Papiss saving his gaffer’s ass for one more week, Crystal Palace doing Everton over again, Pelle’s 6 shots on goal.
* Brendan Rodgers is not dat guy right now *
1. Liverpool… I’ve avoided disrespecting them too much due to my own allegiances, and certain perceptions of bias based on that… But after a couple of losses against teams that will end up in the bottom half of the table, I can’t hold back now. This is an average team. Or are they a good team having a very average run? Granted losing a player with the ability of Suarez was always going to be tough, but I don’t think anyone foresaw how much he was able to paper over the cracks. Add in another Sturridge injury and you have to worry if they can handle a Champions League campaign as well as the tougher than ever EPL season. Their defence has been ordinary for a while, but their attack has always covered them. Now the goals have dried up they’re coming back to the pack and hoping for them them, and more importantly our FPL teams, they don’t freefall. The most alarming aspect of their play this week was the lack of the forward pressure that they were renowned for last season. They only attempted 3 tackles in their front half, winning only one… Fix that up and the rest should follow, but does Mario have it in him to do this week in week out, and for midweek games?
2. Doubt. Burnley eh? Not keen on teams so obviously bucking trends like this and putting doubt in our selections. I, and a lot of others, picked Duff in their teams to happily chill out as D5 for the season and not have to be thought about too much… Three nil-nil’ers in a row now just annoys. This latest example was actually a fairly open game as far as nil-nil’ers go, and just adds to the belief that they can’t keep it up. A total of 31 shots (12 on target) and not one goal. West Brom away this round. If I was a betting man (and fortunately I am) I would be all over +2.5 goals! WBA have had a tough run to start the season and will be going all out for this one after a huge, moral boosting win at Spurs.
3. Newcastle, again. It’s sad how far this once great club has fallen under Ashley that a come from behind win against Hull at home… Yes, HULL AT HOME, is good enough to see Pardew have a stay of execution. An 8 year contract didn’t sound a great idea back then, it’s seems absolutely ludicrous now. He must have something on someone… Their next two are on the road against a decent Stoke and then a more than decent Swansea. In their defence (and don’t get me onto that train wreck again), they did have an amazing 25 shots on goal!
4. Europa League. The Europa League curse seems to be striking again! It’s pretty common for teams to do really well in getting into Europe, only for their league form to suffer once there. Both Spurs and Everton had games on Thursday and then fell to games yesterday that they’d normally feel comfortable with. Same happened to Swansea last year, and Newcastle the year before. Still early obviously but worth keeping in mind?
Honourable mentions; Perma-captain Aguero! Harsh, but fair.
Ryan Bennett Award – passed over this week
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Victor Wanyama. Didn’t score a goal last season BUT was going a goal every 5 games in his last season for Celtic so he knows what he’s doing. Finding it tough to get into the Southampton team though.
Jamie Vardy Award – !!! Talk about a Roy of the Rovers moment. A couple of seasons ago he’s playing for Fleetwood Town, this week he’s cutting Man Utd to shreds. 4 assists and a goal is taking the piss surely?
Anywho, that’s my 2 cents. Happy to say I scored 50 this week to start the long trek back to respectability. Already pulled the trigger on a bizarrely bench ridden Vertonghen for Bertrand, and had to get in Di Maria. Sad to say but Fabregas had to be shipped to make that happen. Keep that in mind when making your trades! ADM will get injured and The Vert will score a hat trick.