That was yet another example of how exciting the EPL can be when it wants to! Most of the top teams did what they were supposed to do, while some of the lesser clubs surprised to help reinvigorate their seasons. A certain worldclass Man City striker also decided he wanted back in and stuffed a lot of FPL gaffers who traded him out!!! He was due!
* Manchester is red *
Crystal Palace. What Gaffer Pardew has done since leaving St James’ Park has been amazing. Now, everyone has an opinion on Alan Pardew (mine’s not fit to print), but nobody can argue that he’s not a good gaffer. Since he’s taken over at Palace the club has turned full circle. 12 EPL games so far for an amazing 8 wins and only 3 close losses is sensational. Some other notable accomplishments… They’ve only failed to score in 1 game. They’ve scored more than twice in 4 games. They’ve kept 1 clean sheet… This is all textbook Pardew! Anyone who watched Newcastle will agree that his style is for open, fast tempo football with only a sideways glance towards defensive solidarity. It is the style of football the punters love to watch however. What I personally love about his managerial style is his ability to bring the best out of seemingly ordinary players… The poster child has got to be Jason Puncheon. Pardew’s first order of business was to bring Puncheon out from the wings and pop him in the middle and he’s repaid the gaffer in spades. 3 goals, 4 assists and 8 BPs in those 12 games won’t get many FPL’ers overly excited until you realise he started that run at 5.5m. Their recent run of 4 straight wins has seen those wings previously occupied by Puncheon now dominated by Bolasie and Zaha. Any regular readers should know by now of my football crush on Yannick Bolasie. I love him. It’s taken him a little time to recover from the African Cup, but his form over the past couple of months has been sensational and culminated in his hat trick on the weekend. He’s started just the last 6 games but has scored those 3 goals, but also laid off 4 assists and tallied up 6 BPs. 5.5m for him too… The only other player I’ll mention could also be the most obvious. Glenn Murray hasn’t been assured a start for much of Pardew’s reign, that is until now. He’s only started 5 games in 12, but he’s scored 5 goals in those including 3 from 3. Even when all of Palace’s strikers are back and fit, you’d be hard pressed to see Murray dropped and at 5.2m is immense value. There’s 3 players there you should be looking at for the final run of games if your structure warrants it and you aren’t going to be decimated by the bye round!
Honourable mentions. Captain Bentekkkers! Ramsey’s 36 points in 4… Relegation battle heating up!
* Cooked *
Newcastle. Nobody really knows what the hell goes through Mike Ashley’s mind at the best of times, but I’m sure there will come a time where he wishes he’d backed Alan Pardew a little bit more than he did. If he hasn’t already… I don’t recall giving Newcastle a slap yet, they’ve turned it a bit of a meh club in recent seasons so my care factor is probably non-existent. That said, to see what Pardew has done since he left and what Newcastle have failed to do in that time however we have to bring the spotlight down on them. 5 losses in 6 games is the worst form imaginable (with their 1 win against Villa @ home!) and if it wasn’t for the decent work done in the first half of the season they’d be back down in the Championship. Some good decisions need to be made in the off season or that will be their fate in 12-14 months time. Then Ashley can piss off to Rangers and let someone who cares about the club take over…
Bye week. You should have realised by now how deep in the preverbial you are when you logged on to try and field a team for this week. Let us know how bad you have it below!
Honourable mentions. City’s wheels fallen off. Chelsea fans in general.
Ryan Bennett Award – Nathan Baker. I should really read up on these bonus points at some stage… He came on as a sub after 17 and was deemed better than the other 3 defenders who played the whole game. I dunno, thought Vlaar was a monster down back all game. Anyway, that’s Villa’s 3rd cleanie this year so should never be considered.
Jonjo Shelvey Award – Ashley Young. Under different circumstances this could easily have been dubbed the Ashley Young Award. One of the most frustratingly inconsistent, diving, bird poo catching footballers to have ever played the game. No.
Jamie Vardy Award – Sergio Aguero… 🙂
Stealth Player of the Week – Aaron Lennon. Come on let’s get this new category going shall we?!? Aaron Lennon is up… One thing I will give my club credit for is that we do loan signings very well. Ever since we picked up Big Dunc from Rangers back whenever it was we’ve had a great record with picking up players who are screaming for a fair go. That was followed by the likes of Arteta, Pienaar (the first time) and recently Deulofeu and Lukaku. Lennon is the latest success story and I reckon a sneaky punt could pay out. It’s no coincidence our complete form reversal has corresponded with him turning up and finding his feet. We’ve missed a decent right wing since Deulofeu left, McGeady has been largely shite, and having someone out there has helped our shape no end. His workrate is out of this world and although his final ball is what it is, the quality he has has shown hints at better things to come. Awkwardly priced however…
6 rounds to go!!! The way the end of the season is set out this time around really will seperate out the pretenders. A bye week followed by a massive DGW, plus another sneaky in GW37, could finish a heap of us and turn some of us into supergaffers. Mine’s looking good with nearly a full team prior to trading this week… Hold and load for the DGW or top up is going to be hard choice to make. Don’t ask about A League.