One of the problems with us all rising as one is that when it goes pear shaped we all fall too! I picked a great week to combine a Studs Up because it really was a complete contrast of fortunes. After the midweek GW14 we were all pretty chipper about our FPL lives, but after GW15 there are some looking at the delete button! Just sit tight, don’t do anything crazy… There’s still a long way to go. The January Wildcard would be handy right about now however!
* Brenda’s been playing FPL too by the looks *
Crisitunity! Ok, so it’s happened. No use crying over it. Aguero is out for a spell. In all fairness we’ve been fortunate he hasn’t missed any games thus far with his injury record. It does however open up some options for us over at City in the mid priced striker options… You would think Dzeko walks into the team but Jovetic is also a shout and at 8.1m and 7.8m respectively we have some value to play with. But, Dzeko has only just come back from a decent injury layoff, and Jovetic missed this week with a minor leg injury. And they have a do or die Champions League game midweek to get injured in. But… They have Leicester (a), Palace (h), West Brom (a), Burnley (h) and Sunderland (h) in the next 5 which has heaps of goal potential. So many factors to consider… This is where the top managers come out to play and make the right decisions. I still don’t know what I’m doing so don’t bother asking me!
GW14. Remember back in the good old days when Aguero was our captain pumping out 32 point games? Azpi knocked off 12? Hazard, Sanchez 9. Chambers 8. We were all posting scores like 70, 80, or even some 90s? Yeah that was less than a week ago. A heap of us rocketed up the rankings last week and I guess we need to keep in mind one thing… Those sort of weeks should be treasured because the FPL gods are a bunch of arseholes.
Defence! Not really a sexy topic but one that has to be discussed occasionally. GW15 saw an unprecedented (for this season anyway) 8 cleansheets. Not many of them were down to good defending, more so poor finishing so trends are still hard to pin down this season. Good example is the Spurs Palace game having 30 shots on goal… If we were to stretch for some trends, Liverpool actually pop up with some green lights. 3 cleansheets from their last 4 home games and a decent defensive effort this week against Sunderland had me putting a little thought into them. Until I saw their upcoming fixtures… Arsenal threw away all their good work of recent games with Stoke putting three past them. Chelsea looked a little off their game at the back, although much could be put down to a missing Matic, and they should bounce back to their tight ways this week. Newcastle, as suspected, have fallen off in their defensive efforts which directly coincided with the loss of Krul. If I’ve learnt anything so far, is that there’s nothing to learn. There are no regularly good defences. Outside of maybe Chelsea and up until recently Southampton, most teams will go on a short, unsustainable run of cleansheets then go back leaking.
Honourable mentions. My rapidly developing football crush on Yannick Bolasie. Jon Walters smashing it off the radar. Joey Barton trying prevent his opposite number getting a yellow card. Ramsey warming up to his old form?
* Noooooooo *
Tales of woe. We’ve all got a story to tell of GW15… Here’s mine. Aguero, obviously. But also Rob Elliot went off injured too, meaning the Krul/Elliot keeper choice was a poor one, albeit slightly unlucky. How often does a club’s top two keepers go down injured!?! Then Chambers getting redded to provide a helpful score of -2. Potential replacement in my team, Steven Taylor also gets redded and scored -1. Other potential replacement is Duff who’s still injured. So, two available defenders for next week, and no keepers! Nice.
It was all yellow… The yellow cards are starting to mount up with Fabregas the latest FPL relevant player set to miss. Might be time to visit what the rules actually are, because the last thing you want to do is trade in a player who then gets rubbed out. It’s well known that 5 yellows means an immediate 1 game ban, some may not know that once the calendar ticks over to January 1 that goes out the window and they can afford to get up to 10 by mid-April. So who is in the firing line? For those on 4 cards, it’s not actually too bad. There’s quite a few teams with Naismith, Kompany, Schneiderlin, Janmaat and Shawcross who will miss soon. Plus potential trades Yaya and maybe Skrtel are in that boat too. Looking ahead to those on 3 cards; Hutton, Boyd, Ivanovic, Jedinak, Sterling, Clyne, Wanyama, Dier, Eriksen and Williams might miss a game before 2014 is out.
Relevant reds. Austin. Chambers. Taylor. Fabianski. All were stupid and unprofessional… And highly fantasy relevant.
Honourable mentions. We’re all pretty down at the moment so I’ll leave it there.
Ryan Bennett Award – Mauricio Isla. Had this bloke in my team for big chunks of the preaseason, and have really no idea why. This was one of those lucky cleansheets. It’s really a mystery how Burnley didn’t score. Trips to Everton and Arsenal in the next three won’t be as clean. One of the slowest defences in the EPL may get torn a new one, or two.
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Leroy Fer. Keep an eye on Fer. He’s got all the tools to be a really good player… Not top, top but just really good. He will at some stage put it together and turn into something similar to a poor man’s Yaya Toure. I just don’t think it will be at QPR.
Jamie Vardy Award – Peter Crouch. In hindsight this award should really have been called the Peter Crouch Award. Enough said.
Go on, it’s your turn now… Make some of us feel a little better and tell us your own tales of woe below? And obviously what are we to do with Kun…