Arsenal, Zlatan and the Big Sam Allardyce Effect



Merry Christmas!! Unless of course you don’t celebrate Christmas, in which case Merry Christmas!!! I’m very stubborn. With the festive season, it is the most vulnerable time of the season to forget the cluster of gameweeks that fast approaches. With that in mind it is a good opportunity to make sure you have some solid choices over the next 3 crazy FPL weeks.



One thing you might not have done in a while is look at your goalkeeper. It’s something that feels like a waste of a transfer but why? They aren’t just eligible for clean sheet and bonus points. They also get points for multiples saves regardless of result, worth bearing in mind. With a home game against Sunderland, and home to Boro the game after, David De Gea might be worth recruiting as your new number one. If not now, then when you wildcard, perhaps.


As much as I would love to just pick Sadio Mane every week, I can’t. A couple of players seem to be having a resurgence in form and FPL picks of the early season might be rearing their head again. Sterling has assumed a more advanced role while Aguero is in the naughty corner and Theo Walcott has 2 goals in 3 games, making him my Boxing Day selection. Arsenal also have a very favourable Xmas treble with regards to fixtures with West Brom first up. With a Baggies back line that can’t match Walcott’s pace I imagine Theo has as good a chance as any as getting on the scoresheet. Presuming most of you already have Sanchez, I’d say it’s worth trebling up on Arsenal players for Christmas given their two homes, one away schedule going into the New Year.

Theo Walcott is close to committing to Arsenal, according to his manager, after showcasing his attac


New managers bring new leases of life. Unless you’re a Palace fan or my co-host Ash Kernsworth who claims Sam Allardyce as the worst thing to ever happen to West Ham. Players, however, like playing for Big Sam and one thing is for sure. He gets results. The Palace chairman went on record to say that the ‘playing football’ experiment didn’t work. That combined with the appointment of Allardici would indicate a lean towards ‘direct football’ shall we say. So, I can’t help thinking that Christian Benteke will be very excited by the physical brand of football that he is about to play. There’s also an undeniable correlation between new managers and increased effort so I think Bentekkers and the boys will be out to impress against Watford. It might also numb the pain of Glasgow Rangers stealing their song in time for Xmas.



I wrote him off at the beginning of the season saying he wasn’t a must have. I was right for all of about two gameweeks but ever since that, King Zlatan has proved that he is as essential as Turkey this Christmas (I’m actually having Roast Beef – typical). 7 goals in 7 games, Aguero/Costa suspended and Sunderland, Boro, West Ham in the next three games is a holy trinity of YES for including Ibrahimovic and sticking the armband on him. Swallow your pride, along with your pigs in blankets, and do it.



I’m going to go for a 2.6% midfielder and really buy into the Allardici Effect with James McArthur as my Xmas outsider. Any Palace fan who knows their stuff will tell you McArthur has been one of their best players this season and while he isn’t prolific in terms of fantasy points, at 5.0m he is currently outpointing Jordan Henderson, Riyadh Mahrez and Paul Pogba. It’s a Christmas Miracle!





Craig Hazell is a television professional, writer and Heart of Midlothian fan who makes up one third of the popular FPL podcast The Gaffer Tapes. As a student, Craig won the BBC Sports Broadcaster and Comedy Broadcaster of the year, before going onto to be a regular on the London open mic comedy circuit. He now writes about anything from TV & Movies, to food and of course football, providing he can shoehorn a 90s pop culture reference into just about anything.

Check out The Gaffer Tapes Podcast Here


Posted on 24 Dec 2016, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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