Hope you all had a great Christmas and got a few pressies. It’s been a strange couple of GWs hasn’t it? There’s been a lot of point scoring going on amongst the players, but so few are FPL relevant it’s left a lot of us with some ordinary scores. Not to mention the dreaded rotation donut…
* Boom *
Chelsea. Daaaamn. West Ham might take a bit of time to recover from that absolute smashing. Probably one of the best team performances I’ve seen this season, they just couldn’t get the ball in the net as many times as they deserved. When you see a team click together like they did in that game it’s great to watch. Couldn’t get the job done against a Southampton team “getting back to basics” (watch them) but that result could be put down to one thing. Azpi not playing. Maybe not but Azpi is now too risky to keep for those who have him, an upgrade to Cahill or Terry would be a safer option.
David Silva. This paragraph was written a little differently prior to the Burnley game. It went along the lines of City being able to cover the absence of their strikers exceptionally well, and that perhaps they were doing better than if they had Dzeko or Jovetic fit. Then they dropped 2 goals at home to Burnley throwing away a win in the process… Start again. Still, the main reason for this section did it yet again! Little Davey Silva has filled the striker hole in pure Aguero fashion belting 4 goals in 3 to make those who traded him in fairly happy! He’s basically saved my season…
Relegation battle. Could be a good one this year? No one team is playing particularly badly enough to be singled out which will make it as cut throat as ever. There’s a school of thought that the relegation 6-pointers are tight affairs and the stats back that up. Of the 15 games played between teams in the bottom 6 (QPR, West Brom, Hull, Palace, Burnley and Leicester), there have been 14 clean sheets, 8 home and 6 away. Following that school of thought, one could do a little work on teams that have these sorts of games coming up and load up ‘n rotate 3 or 4 of your defensive positions with these guys? They’ll be cheap and will let you spend elsewhere. Just an idea.
Honourable mentions. Roondog an FPL midfielder next season? Costa getting both an assist and BPs v West Ham! Kane.
* Gorn *
EPL Chairmen. You have to question what was going through the minds of Palace and West Brom’s big wigs when they hired Warnock and Irvine. Do they understand this is the English Premier League? There’s millions, billions of pounds riding on what their teams do on the pitch? One of them hires a 66 year old with a terrible record in the EPL and a weak stomach. He took Sheffield United up, and then straight back down. He “quit” from his first spell in charge of Palace because he didn’t have the stomach to help fight to save the club during a bad period. His last spell in the EPL was with QPR when he was sacked 2 days into New Year 2012… The other’s only claim to fame, post-playing, was being a successful academy director at Newcastle and doing something similar at Everton. His management career consists of being sacked by Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, and now West Brom. Seriously. If Palace had’ve put up more of a fight to keep Pulis they’d be sweet right now, maybe even top 10! West Brom though, they have previous. Pepe Mel, Steve Clarke, Woy Hodgson… While we’re here. Manager’s complaining about these short turnaround games like they were a surprise?!? If you’d won we wouldn’t have heard a thing about it.
Alan Pardew. Whilst we’re on the subject of managers… What’s going on here? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manager quit a “big” club to take charge of a “smaller” one in a relegation fight before. Could easily have been a like due to the old “ex-player homecoming” thing but the reality is there is a very good chance Palace go down. Pardew has turned around Newcastle to such a degree that European footy is not a bad shout so I’m sure the temptation would be to keep going until the end of the season. But the fact he had to turn them around at all is a worry for prospective managerial positions… Mike Ashley could be that horrible of a boss? If you ask Tony Pulis, Steve Parish ain’t much better. Maybe he’s sick of learning French? Either way, keep an eye on Newcastle if Bruce goes there. He has the ability to tighten them up at the back enough to make them FPL relevant.
Honourable mentions. Cisse’s elbow.
Ryan Bennett Award – Erik Pieters. Stoke used to be the gun defensive team a couple of years back. Remember that? They’re a long way from being that now and this week was only their 3rd and 4th clean sheets of the season. Decent form? But is it games against United and Arsenal form?
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Gaston Ramirez… First goal of the season. First assist. First BPs. Hasn’t played much though… Hull are due a form run. He did cost a lot and looked pretty good in his first season at Southampton. Ahhh you nearly got me there FPL gods. His goal was a fluke and his assist was from a corner…
Jamie Vardy Award – Mame Biram Diouf. Probably should be scoring more than he does… A heap more.
Looking forward to the New Years Day games! A seemingly rejuvenated Southampton at home to a similarly form team in Arsenal stand out for me, with Spurs v Chelsea not far behind. Hull would be looking forward to their game….