Ranieri Sacked, Dele Alli Red Card and potentially relevant statistics!


Written by @CraigHazell – (that’s important!)



Manchester United, Southampton, Manchester City and Arsenal – DO NOT PLAY IN GW26… You have been warned!



I’ve mentioned plenty of times this season that Everton have a disproportionately decent defensive record and I will be sticking with that and suggesting Seamus Coleman as a pick if you’re looking to bring in a point scoring defender. While fixtures and gameweeks are all up in the air, you can get a good night’s sleep on Coleman playing 90 minutes at home to Sunderland.

He had a combined 3 goals/assists up to and including gameweek 20 but now has has 4 in his last 5 with 5 clean sheets from 8 to boot. Sunderland decided to go on a mid season jolly, sorry i mean training camp, to America but no amount of wall building advice can keep unwanted attacks out of their defence. Ooooh political.


Craig, Craig when are you going to stop shoehorning mentions of child actors, 90s pop music and kitsch references to nostalgia, and give us some cold hard football facts on which midfielder to pick this week?

Funny you should mention that but it’s right now. My Elton John musical based on the life of Charlie from Casualty called Holby Close Now Tiny Dancer will have to wait. Spurs face Stoke this weekend and while The Potters are a very good side who don’t get the recognition they deserve, they haven’t showed Spurs that in a while. The last two meetings have finished 4-0 and Dele Alli has managed 3 goals in those two games against them. When you throw in clean sheet and bonus points, that’s quite a total again Stoke over the last 12 months. With this one being at WHL, I think Dele has a very good chance of adding to that haul.

ED: Yes Dele Alli was sent off in the Europa League, Yes it was a disgusting tackle, No he’s not suspended for Premier League match



Since writing the midfield segment, Claudio Ranieri has been sacked.

  • Call your Mum.(Ed: YIRMA)
  • Tell her you love her.
  • Ask out the girl on the tube.
  • Stay up late.
  • Quit your job.
  • Live.
  • Live every moment.
  • Pick Salomon Rondon. He deserves a second chance. You deserve to be happy. Bournemouth have conceded 21 goals in 7 games. They deserve it. Sleep well, sweet Claudio.



I’ve had some time to dwell on the Ranieri decision and I’ve calmed down. I promise I won’t let it affect the rest of the blog. This week, Sadio Mane is up against the most spineless, cowardly, despicable of outfits the Midlands has seen since Richard the Third. And much like Richard I hope they get f***ing buried there and never leave the car park. He is quite honestly my favourite player to watch in the league (Sadio, not Richard) and he is so important to Liverpool having any hopes of being more than just a side who used to be good.

He was simply unplayable against Spurs and I don’t see how The Foxes can suddenly learn to defend just by replacing a manager. They can’t.

OUTSIDER: Oumar Niasse, Hull

Couple of other stats worth looking at again involve two bottom dwellers (snigger) Hull and Burnley. Hull have never beaten Burnley in the Premier League but that feels misleading. What isn’t misleading is Burnley’s away form. Of their 30 points this season, only 1 has come away from home. That’s an astounding statistic. It also means they concede everytime they play away from home.

So, who’s going to get the goal. Not Snodgrass. He’s gone, so who else? Well as a real outside pick I’m going for Oumar Niasse. He was Everton’s record signing and although it didn’t work out, they must have paid that money for something. Cameos against Chelsea and Liverpool showed glimpses but he got his first 90 minutes against Arsenal and I’m hoping he will get another against the league’s worst away team.



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 Feb 2017, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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