Feeling Fuzzy: #FPL Gameweek 5 Review – “Clearly, The Special One isn’t all that Special”
Written by @FuzzyWarbles
As of today, we are only one week from the release of FIFA17. I am a middle-aged man and I couldn’t care less if I am judged for displaying unabashed excitement because of a release of a video game. So BACK OFF! My parents attempted to judge me twenty years ago, to no avail, and I am not about to grow up now. Eventually, my hand-eye coordination will begin to wane and I will be physically too old to manipulate a controller. Allow me to feel depressed when that day comes. Until then, I will be looking forward to getting the newest FIFA in my hands and getting destroyed online by opponents who are younger than Wayne Rooney’s hair plugs.
One of the challenges for EA Sports, the publisher of the FIFA franchise, is to add improvements and new dimensions to the game each year. Some years are better than others in that regard but, with the addition of “The Journey” this season, an entirely new mode will be introduced, giving FIFA nerds like me something to get excited about. Another new feature this season will see the likenesses of real managers in the game, and it is about time. Try as I might in prior seasons, I was never able to create a comparable likeness for Sam Allardyce when setting up my manager in Career Mode. I was only given three options: Slim, Regular and Stocky. First of all, the term “regular” in this context is sizeist! It implies any other shape is irregular. Why hasn’t there been any outrage over this? Second, “stocky” does not do justice for a man like Allardyce. I need an option like “Pufferfish” or “Rock-Biter from The Neverending Story”. (Google Image this if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about)
But I digress. I am hoping, with the new likenesses for managers in the game, FIFA will go a step further and assign ratings to them as they do for players. I want to know what the brain trust at FIFA headquarters think about the value of the manager. Specifically, I want to know how they rate Jose Mourinho. Yes, the Special One. Regarded as one of the best managers of a generation, where would Mourinho’s rating stand to date? Coming off of a shambolic season at Chelsea, Mourinho has now lost three straight matches. The Red Devils were outmatched by City in the Manchester derby, then took a loss to Feyenoord in the opening tie of their Europa League campaign, and now, a shocking result at the hands of Watford.
Yes, Watford are in good form, and a club in good form can win in the Premier League on any given matchday. But United needed to win here. Watford was suppose to provide the medicine to heal the wounds from their two previous losses. Instead, the wounds appear to be infected. Some of the blame has to be on Mourinho, try as he might to avoid responsibility for anything going wrong under his management ever, ever.
This weekend will be a serious gut check for The Special One, or things could get ugly. He will be playing in front of the home crowd and playing against the reigning title-winners. Wayne Rooney seems to be hitting a wall in his career. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has yet to influence the side. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were brought in to transform United into world-beaters but that has yet to materialize. But, what to make of Mourinho’s role in all of this? Why did it take him so long to determine the value of Marcus Rashford? Why is assigning so much blame to Luke Shaw for conceding a goal to the Hornets when the kid is doing his best to play through pain? If Mourinho felt that Shaw’s groin problem was a hinderance to the club at any time, it is up to no one but Mourinho to find someone else to play left back. Now players are unhappy with the manager’s criticism of Shaw. We have already seen Mourinho lose the faith of his players at Chelsea last season. One month and change into his tenure at Old Trafford, could we be seeing a repeat?
Fantasy managers are taking notice as United players are getting shipped out this week, but, despite a tricky fixture coming, I would like to point out that the Red Devils have an opponent the following week that look to cure any club’s woes – Stoke City. The Potters were pegged by many to be the club capable to make a jump this season, looking a candidate for a place in the table that would earn them a Europa League spot, maybe even knocking on the door of the Top 4. Instead, they look like this season’s Aston Villa, except Villa had more points at this stage last year. The defense stinks, the attack stinks, and Mark Hughes is clinging to his job. Wouldn’t it be Stoke’s luck to have to face West Brom next – a club coming off their first four-goal output under Tony Pulis. Everyone is rushing to get Sergio Aguero back into their FPL squads, maybe this is the week to grab Nacer Chadli and give him the armband. Yeah, I said it.
Elsewhere around the league, we were given another reason to believe that Manchester City are the clear front-runners for the title this season. It appears mandatory to have to attacking City players in fantasy right now. Everton are looking very strong under the management of Ronald Koeman. Ride the Lukaku train before it goes off the rails. Tottenham had a bittersweet result. They grab three points but at the expense of losing their talisman Harry Kane, who was just getting a taste of how productive he is when Mousa Dembele is on the pitch. Vincent Janssen – welcome to the microscope. West Ham’s defense is atrocious. Slaven Bilic is promising changes after coughing up eleven goals in their last three games. Be on the lookout for Reece Oxford then.
That’s it for me this week. One more week of playing FIFA16.