They say a week is a long time in football. But two weeks with nothing but European qualifiers on at ridiculous times of the morning and some countries who don’t deserve to qualify is hell. The Dutch missing out gave me a ripple of excitement, but recording Gibraltar when I thought it was Germany was a lowlight of my International Break. I need some football!
But on the horizon was the man who all Liverpool fans dreamed of: Jurgen Klopp. And the big difference? Nothing. Oh, except no Sturridge. Galoot (thanks Taylor Walker!). City continued to bang in the goals – unfortunate for Adam Federici, who got a rare start – while Arsenal kept a clean sheet away AND scored three goals?!?! With a 11-2 record and 2 cleanies from their last 3 games, are they legit? Big Sam couldn’t help Sunderland, except to the buffet in the team hotel after the game, and Pulis’ regimented defence was back, delivering in spades for those who kept faith after 2 unusually lacklustre and open performances. Chelsea are back on track, my man crush Yohan Cabaye pours on the points yet again (5 of them thanks to a spot kick which was retaken, so that should be 10 right?) and that man Payet popped up with a goal in the 91st minute when the game was won. He knew he had 30 % of owners relying on him 😉
That’s me giving Jamie Vardy his own paragraph. What a beast. I’m claiming him in the ‘James’ Club’. Even when Sky Sports awarded him the Man of the Match award, he didn’t care.
That’s a goal in the last six matches. Add a few assists and bonus points in for good measure and you have one mint party:
I really don’t care that I have Kolarov & Sturridge injured, Gomis plateauing and Targett not playing – Ross Barkley is gone so fast it’s not funny. Everton getting demolished 3-0 at home, making United look like a Pulis coached wonderteam? Are you joking? Not one shot on target from Ross? Get out of my team.
With that wrap up, it’s on to Worth It or Flash in the Pan? A quickfire edition this week to give you what you need to know:
FLASH IN THE PAN: With Southampton, Chelsea away, Palace and Man City away on the horizon, I beg you not to invest in the Liverpool team. Even Jurgen Klopp can’t turn this team into a defensive juggernaut overnight. They are lucky Simon Mignolet was between the sticks and both Kane & Eriksen seemed to be a bit off. DID YOU SEE THAT SAVE FROM N’JIE’S SCORCHER???
Oh and if you’re wondering why he has “Clinton” on his shirt, wonder no more:
Spurs could’ve and should’ve had 3 at least. Oh and that Liverpool bench yesterday was just disgusting. To have two players with numbers 50+ as your reserve defenders is just gross.
WORTH IT: I legit should have started with him and you won’t have to be told twice if you already have him. Boaz – pronounced BO-AZ if you didn’t know already – Myhill is a freak. Whether it’s the beard of the sleek pink on black Adidas three-stripe he sports between the sticks, he’s a machine. The 2 week break provided Pulis with all the time he needed to return Brom to a defensive powerhouse, and Myhill is key cog number 1. God help them if he has a shave though…
Ben Foster every time Boaz Myhill pulls out a save.
Defenders: **Knocked it out of the park with recommending Bellerin last week. 10 points, a cleanie, an assist and the full 90. Hope you made the move… oh and Alderweireld the week before! They are the spine of my team right now!**
FLASH IN THE PAN: Combo flashes this week. Could’ve gone one of two ways here. Everton’s patheticness screams ‘put Smalling in here!’ just to warn you. But I’m assuming you are all that smart. Boy I want to buy into the Hammers backline for some weird reason. Jenkinson has the Arsenal experience and has netted in the past 2 games. His work down the right side is influential, but if you watch his 2 goals closely he was unfollowed, unmarked and both times quite lucky to score. And then he gave away a penalty 3 minutes later, as if he was guilty for scoring. Then he came out and said he wants 2 in the next 2 to make it 4 in 4. But it’s all just banter, isn’t it Carl?
WORTH IT: Oh man. Back up the karma bus. Virgil mate. Going from Flash to Worth It is a big achievement as I am quite a stubborn man. But Virgil van Dijk has done it. With Rodgers gone from Liverpool, you would have thought he’d lose the passion to perform based on the below, 100% true quote*. He won’t score every week, but with a unknown Liverpool, a shaky Bournemouth, and a Big Sam coached Sunderland in the next few weeks, this guy has 1% ownership and is worth a punt.
Ones for the bench… Danny Rose $5.2 (Spurs), Alberto Moreno $4.7 (Liverpool)
*quote may be entirely fabricated and completely untrue
Midfielders: **May have stuffed it up with popping Ozil in the Flash column last time out. He was everywhere v Watford and strung together 2 quality games in a row. I just don’t think you can have both him and Sanchez in the same line. Pick your poison but Alexis is the Chile that won’t come back to bite you!**
FLASH IN THE PAN: This guy was one on my pre-season picks. The Dutchman came to Tyneside with big wraps and the team around him let him down. Naturally, I dumped him in my Wildcard trades after Matchday 2. He proceded to chug along. Until Norwich visited. Newcastle wins 6-2 and Georginio Wijnaldum scores 4 goals?!?! Are you actually joking. That makes me sick. 2% ownership too! Screams POD. I’ve already traded Cabaye in for Barkley and I think Wijnaldum is a Flash but if the Toon can find some form, he will be central to their success. Playing in a higher role suited him, as will their next 3: Sunderland, Stoke, Bournemouth. I kind of wish I waited to dump Ross until now. With NO early games this week, keep track of the lineups 1 hour before kickoff to see if Mahrez is named as a starter and if he’s not, pull the trigger to Wijnaldum.
Had him, traded him, loving life. That’s what most FPL managers who closely followed pre-season and did their research were thinking before City v Bournemouth kicked off. Raheem, not only did you leave Liverpool – the club who deserved you pay them back a bit for their faith in you – in the lurch for the $$$, you tease and complain and whinge on the pitch until you get your way. I’m not falling for your 19 (3 goals, 2 bonus) not because I don’t like you, it’s because of your run of 2, 2, 1 from the previous 3. And maybe because I don’t like you.
City fans are absolute idiots/bandwagoners. Enjoy these “fans”:
WORTH IT: Yohan Cabaye. CABA CABA CABA CABA CAAAAAABAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYEEEE. CABA CABA CABA CABA CAAAAAABAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYEEEE. (read and/or sing in the Batman theme). Liking the Frenchman has also got me into Maroon 5. Don’t know why. A game I like playing is: “Adam Levine or Yohan Cabaye”. Great times.
But you rely on me for sane, measured advice so I will desist.
This man who made the right move for his thriving career over the season by joining a great team packed with quality players and depth the envy of any club. He had a spluttering start, but as he showed at Liverpool, he needs to be the main man to thrive. And now with no David Silva and no Aguero for at least a month, it is his time to shine. Boy was he everywhere v the Cherries. A magnificent hat trick and he could have had 2 or 3 more. The fact that KDB sat a bit further back and Sterling pushed on got me excited. Reep the Raheem rewards but be warned, I think it is short term only.
Cue City fan intelligent comments once again:
Ones for the bench… Lanzini $5.3 (Hammers), Schneiderlin $5.2 (Man United)
…before we move onto the forwards, one for the N*Sync (and Cabaye/Levine fans)
Forwards: **I told you Aguero was the definition of Flash last article. Boy was I right! Yep, I’m claiming it! Why not? Technically, it was a Flash. Pelle did nothing, so I’m sorry – but he was so close to assisting 2 goals thanks to poor finishing from Mane.**
FLASH IN THE PAN: When Wilfried Bony went to Manchester City, I shook my head and thought “Well, at least he’ll have a lot of money to spend on Buttock Splinter Removal…”. Now with Aguero out for (I think they’ll take no risks) 6 weeks, it’s Bony’s chance. And boy, he didn’t take long. 2 goals, 3 bonus points, 1 assist and the full 90 when Pellegrini rotated City studs Sterling and KDB off early. It is a Flash only because it’s the Manchester derby next and after Bournemouth got their goal, they pushed up too high. Bony reaped the rewards. Not a bad effort coming back from a summer where his life hung in the balance after contracting malaria. If you have Aguero still, or perhaps Sturridge like I do, then Bony is the definition of Risk v Reward.
WORTH IT: Sturridge is annoying. Lucky I have Vardy and Gomis to cover his absence, but you just need that big name option up front. And I’ve got the guy for you. Having a decent 4 week break due to a ridiculous suspension and then Spain’s ridiculous depth, Diego Costa looks like he has taken the Chelsea criticism personally. I love the man. Yes, I’m a Chelsea fan, but how many times have the referees looked the other way at clear penalties and clear free infringements? He put it behind him and partied hard last night:
No wonder frustration builds. One hopes that this Chelsea dip of form has cancelled out any jealousy or preconceived notions of simulation or whinging that Costa has become – wrongly – renowned for. He’s had 4 weeks to calm down and let his football do the talking. Even if Brad Guzan did gift him the goal, he played brilliantly without Hazard and if Mourinho is to be believed, Hazard won’t play unless his defensive capabilities improve (Juan Mata anyone?). Diego Costa will put the Blues on his back and drag them up to a Champions League place. Go, Diego, Go!
An exclusive image of Diego Costa as a child, 140 years ago:
Ones for the Bench… Saido Berahino $6.2 (West Brom), Divock Origi $5.6 (Liverpool – watch the status of Sturridge and if Origi holds his spot with Daniel in the team).
Brilliant to have the football back and Chelsea on a winning streak! We’re pushing up the table and with West Ham, Liverpool, Stoke and Norwich to come look like having the most real life and fantasy friendly form run. Once United get the next 3 weeks (Man. City, Palace, Brom) out of the way, look for Rooney or maybe Mata as PODs as they have Watford, Leicester, West Ham, Bournemouth, Norwich after that.
Personally, I’m having a long, hard look at Southampton players Mane, Tadic, van Dijk and Pelle, as I like the look of a Liverpool, Bournemouth, Sunderland and Stoke month ahead.
As always, share, share, share, look out for me at Reds games – either there or in the bar where I work – enjoy the football and let me know your thoughts in the comments!