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GW5 Review: Posted After The Final Whistle

Gameweek 5: Spurs, Sheffield United and WBA make the Preview

I think it’s fair to say that we are living through unprecedented times.

In fact, I can’t remember back to a time when things were precedented. I often find myself wondering how historians will view the times we are currently experiencing. How will they view the decisions made by our leaders and ourselves?

I have no doubt that one of the things that will confuse the bejaysus out of them is the decision to proceed with international football during a global pandemic….

The logic behind sending footballers out of their club ‘bubble’ around the globe to play international games that are as important as my opinion on Masterchef Australia (No Poh! No!), leading to an inevitable surge in positive COVID-19 cases which are then brought back into the club ‘bubble’, therefore possibly bursting the bubble of professional football happening at all….

Yeah, onto GW5!

Defender: George Baldock, Sheffield United

I’m not saying that The Blades have had a ropey start to the season, but right now Richard Osman has them written down as an answer on his desk. Yep, they’re pointless.

This weekend they face the only team below them in the table, as Fulham come calling. While The Cottagers racked up three goals at Elland Road in GW2, they’ve been firing blanks elsewhere.

I’ve had to ignore the fact that George’s surname references a very niche fetish, and focus instead on the fact that he has a knack of adding goals and assists to his clean sheet hauls. He’s already notched an assist this season, and he’s due a clean sheet.

Midfielder: Matheus Pereira, West Bromwich Albion

West Brom welcome Burnley to my gaff this weekend, so I may open the curtains to watch them in the garden.

Pereira has started the season strongly with a goal and a brace of assists thus far, and he faces Sean Dyche’s men who have conceded SEVEN goals in their two away games. SEVEN! Imagine conceding that many goals in two away games! What eejits!


Forward: Neal Maupay, Brighton And Hove Albion

Here’s a player who is smashing it while flying under the radar of many.

Four goals and an assist already this season, adding to his ten-goal haul last season. He travels to Selhurst Park as The Seagulls take on The Eagles.

Based on knowledge of ornithology alone you’d fancy the Eagles, but have you seen how rowdy the Seagulls have become in recent years? They’d have your fish supper out of your hand and slap you across the face with their wing if you don’t have your wits about you.

Neal Maupay is a French seagull. Just imagine the attitude…

Captain: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

I’ve seen plenty of stats during this interminably daft international break about West Ham United and how sound defensively they have been. Their xGA is tiny, apparently. Their xGF is decent. Their xGEEKS is as yet unknown.

My fantasy football methodology is far more straightforward. Old Moyesey has self-isolated and rid himself of his COVIDness, so he’s back on the touchline and The Hammers are going to hell in a handcart once more.

Harry Kane will profit handsomely

Outsider: Rhian Brewster, Sheffield United

Whether you’re one of those (like me) who has had Rhian tucked up safely on the corner of your bench since the season started, or you’ve taken the plunge once you saw him move to Bramall Lane, welcome to the beginning of the ‘£4.5m Bloody Hell He’s A Bargain At That Price’ adventure.

The kid is a talent, and his first big chance is against at home to a team that has a habit of conceding three goals in every game.

All aboard!

Written by @NiallHawthorne

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof

GW4 Review: Posted After The Final Whistle

GW4 Review: Written by @JackAGoodwin

Much like James Bond’s No Time To Die, or Black Sabbath’s album “13”, I’ve delayed this long enough, haven’t I. The inevitable write-up of a horrendous GW for my beloved Manchester United only slightly less salty due to Liverpool’s arguably worse performance in GW4.

Needless to say the past week I have been shaken AND stirred by friends and family about how hilariously bad United are, to which my damaged soul is only just coming to terms with it (deep, I know – t’was the only way I could shove a Black Sabbath track from 13 into the sentence).

With that, let’s review GW4 – Let’s get this over with shall we…

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace

Business is back at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich likely standing down some of the assassins he has positioned near some of the Chelsea players houses after this vote of confidence of a game.

It did take a 4-goal second half for the Blues to turn it up a notch after a pretty dull affair for the first 45 in which Palace were right in the game.

Chilwell & Zouma opened the scoring within 15 mins of the restart, the game then signed sealed & delivered from the spot with 2 penalties by Jorginho.

In FPL Chilwell stole the show, with a goal, assist and 3bps he took home a cool 18 points on his Chelsea debut (insert Conor McGregor swag walk gif here). Jorginho delivered 15 points, Zouma 13, and is time nearly up for Werner owners? He took home a lonely 2 points.

As Shakira would likely say if she changed her lyrics a little bit, the Stats Don’t Lie. Chelsea had 71% possession, 17 shots and were deserved winners (even if 2 goals were PK’s) …. (get it…PK…. Pique…. Shakira…Oh forget it!).

Everton 4-2 Brighton

OK everybody calm down, calm…down. Everton, sure, 4 wins out of 4 and looking fantastic, are on quite a run. It’s 4 games, only one of which against “big” hitters when they rocked Spurs 1-0 in the opening game of the season.

They DO look good, Ancelotti (yet to smile) pretty much won the transfer window with his acquisitions who are already rewarding him, none more so than Caitlyn Jenner lookalike James Rodriguez. An 18-point return from 2 goals, an assist and all the bonus points rounded off another successful day on the pitch for the guy known the world over for one lovely volley in that World Cup that one time.

Also unstoppable is Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored his 6th Premier League goal and 9th of the season (remember we’re only 4 games in!) and is so high with confidence there’s really no betting against him scoring this coming weekend against rivals Liverpool. Especially with the unfortunate injury that took off Richarlison in the 1st half, DCL needs to now more than ever be the star of the team.

Pickford is naff, let’s get that straight. Everton landed a GK in the transfer window which may see Picky both dropped from the Toffee’s lineup but importantly then Euro2020/1 next year. Brighton did get 2 past him, Maupay with his 4th of the season (a bright light in a very foggy Brighton outfit) and Bissouma with a 90-minute consolation.

Everton this coming weekend are like a bunch of 17 year old’s beaming with confidence rocking up to Anfield with their fake I.D’s. Could go two ways: 1) the bouncers let them in and they have a blast inside (even Pickford hooks-up) OR 2) the bouncers aren’t fooled, let them in knowing they’re going to get battered inside by the much bigger group (Liverpool) inside. Poor analogy, I know, let’s move on.

Leeds 1-1 Manchester City

Aww this was nice, wasn’t it? Didn’t we all enjoy this? Leeds (5th in the League now!) came from behind to earn a point from a City side lacking in confidence.

It was of course City on the attack from the outset, 23 shots in total, but this is quite deceiving. Of those 23, only 2 were on target, whereas Leeds registered a much less 12 shots but higher 7 on target. Leeds also had more possession in a game which saw them looking rather comfortable in what was their biggest test in the Prem so far. They passed with flying colours, sticking to their attacking mentality themselves regardless of the opponents.

Rodrigo scored for Leeds, who interestingly scored in the Premier League nearly 10 years ago for Bolton (the 2nd biggest gap between goals scored, only Andy Johnson betters that “record”).

For City it was flappy-hands Sterling who scored his 1st of the season and for all the world looked like he would go on to score more, but the Leeds defence was solid.

Not much FPL return, with KDB, Jesus & Mahrez not even in the top 10 in the FPL BPS ranking – does this concern you? Are you worried not only the Pep-Roulette, but now actual form may cause you to change FPL strategy? Does anyone even like Kyle Walker? Am I asking too many questions?

Newcastle 3-1 Burnley

Callum Wilson, that one from Bournemouth, scored his 3rd & 4th goal of the campaign in a match against a worryingly bad Burnley side short of any impact players.

FPL’s favourite man, Allan Saint-Maximin came back from injury, scored a goal, grabbed an assist, took all 3 bonus points, and then got injured again – picture Grandpa from the Simpson’s walking into Mo’s Tavern, taking his hat off, turning around, putting his hat on and leaving. That, but instead of Grandpa it’s Allan, and instead of a hat, it’s a Gucci headband.

Wilson (& now ASM) aside, Newcastle despite their position in the table and recent results, don’t have many more attacking outlets – Joelinton is absolutely useless, Shelvey isn’t consistent enough and Fraser hasn’t hit his 18/19 Bournemouth form just yet. With United, Wolves, Everton & Chelsea on the horizon, the sunny start may get rather dark soon for the Toon.

Dyche’s lads are a mess, without a point for the season (still, only 3 away from Man United lol) and not knowing where they will win their first match. West Brom are up next, so there’s a chance, but for FPL managers the world over you’re likely avoiding all Burnley assets for now unless you set-n’-forgot Nick Pope.

Southampton 2-0 West Brom

It wasn’t Ings this time, it was FPL outcasts (3% and 0.2% owned) Romeu & Djenepo with the goals that saw the Saints go marching on. With Chelsea and Everton up next it’ll likely be on Ings shoulders once again – he was quiet in this one.

After his brace against Chelsea, West Brom’s Callum Robinson not only blanked, but got subbed at the 59-minute mark! Johnstone had to make 6 saves, and as the GK was the most active player for them unfortunately. Southampton were better in every way, and that’s not because they were playing fantastic football, it was more the lack of it from Bilic’s side.

Fun fact, Johnstone is only the second goalkeeper to concede 13+ goals in his first four Premier League games, after Fraser Digby for Swindon in 1993-94 (Swindon’s only ever season in the top league). Funner fact, Twitter ITK superstar & Norwegian striker Jan Åge Fjørtoft scored 12 for Swindon in this campaign.

Leicester 0-3 West Ham

The Bluebells were singing Young At Heart, Indecent Proposal just hit the cinemas and Hulk Hogan had just pinned Yokozuna after dodging some salt at WrestleMania 9. April 1993 also saw the last time West Ham beat Leicester 3-0 (David Speedie with a brace and Kevin Keen with the other!).

We now have Cardi B literally talking about her woman bits, cinemas are closing down, and wrestling ratings have plummeted to record lows – take us back to 1993!

I digress, Moyes’less (covid) West Ham ended Leicester’s 100% record with a display mirroring Leicester’s own dominant display against City just a week prior. West Ham countered with confidence and looked totally in control throughout. Antonio bagged his 2nd goal of the campaign, Bowen his 3rd in only an 8-minute cameo appearance, Fornals with the other goal in this game.

Interesting, FPL darling Cresswell is picking up form, a double assist in this game saw him take all the bonus points, however, be warned that the next 3 games for West Ham are Spurs, Man City & Liverpool so I can’t imagine clean sheet points will be as available as they were here.

Worryingly Leicester did not register one shot on target, a quiet day for the almost always present Vardy who after his hattrick over Man City was nowhere to be seen. Villa next, so don’t panic.

Wolves 1-0 Fulham

Not nearly as fun as above, the last time Wolves beat Fulham 1-0 was about 4 months ago.

A 4th straight defeat for Fulham see’s them hand in hand with Sheffield and Burnley at the bottom of the League – all crying on each other’s shoulders. Fulham’s Mitrovic still the only outlet, still very much on a dry run and looking destined to fail (& grab plenty of yellow cards on his way).

Wolves bounced back after getting thrashed by West Ham, Neto scoring the only goal here in a match short of much chances for either side. Jiminez now 2 games barren after a strong start is causing over 190k managers transfer him OUT, but with Leeds, Newcastle and Palace next there still might be something for Jimmy to grab.

Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United

Yay, Sheffield finally scored in the 2020/21 season! Boo, they still haven’t won a game!

The Gunners did take 60 minutes to get going, Saka heading a Bellerin cross to open the game which Bellerin again provided a lively Pepe to score his first of the season after a 19-pass phase which apparently is impressive?

McGoldrick scored a consolation for the Blades who are yet to find any remnants of their impressive 19/20 campaign. The hope, the little tiny glimmer for Sheffield is Rhian Brewster, who has transferred in from Liverpool and will make his debut next against a poor Fulham side. At 4.5m he could instantly reward those with him.

Aubameyang blanked. Again. Worrying times for the high-priced, now injured “midfielder” in our FPL teams if at all you still have him in there. Nearly 300k of you removed him this GW alone, but weirdly 20k of you brought him IN…what do you guys know? Lacazette didn’t even feature in this match, after scoring in every one of his last 3 appearances – so will Aubameyang’s absence be a blessing for the Frenchman? Read Niall’s GW5 preview, he’ll likely have a better idea on that…

Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham

And now this. Bloody this. Man United lost 6-1 to not only Spurs, but to Mourinho. Kane (2) & Son (2) ran United riot in a game which could’ve very easily been different with a different referee. VAR ruled correctly to give Martial a red card but didn’t punish Lamela who, all TV pundits agreed should have also seen red for his involvement. Yes, I am bitter, but I do think since that moment United looked shellshocked and Spurs pounced.

A fantastic day for Spurs after an impressive transfer window which will only boost the team more once Bale hits the pitch. A window which Cavani, Telles and a couple of kids joined United maybe a little too late with reinforcements needed sooner.

Fixtures are fantastic now for Spurs, FPL managers a’plenty should be investing in not only front line but defensive players with a couple of clean sheets likely. For United, fixtures are tough. Newcastle this coming weekend is a tame starter which leads into a main course of Chelsea, Arsenal then Everton – I do hope Ole is hungry as there’s going to be shed loads thrown at them!

Martial’s red card couldn’t come at a worse time, 3-match ban imminent sees Rashford & Greenwood the focal point of United as Cavani will have to wait to make his debut after Newcastle due to not being an elite athlete or something like that (cracking hairdo though, nonetheless).

Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool

And finally, like finding a £20 note after being mugged, a small victory was then watching this shipwreck of a performance by Liverpool moments later.

Aston Villa of 1982 in the flesh! Jack Grealish aka Peter Withe with 3 assists, 2 goals and the smallest pair of socks you’ll ever see bossed the game from start to finish. 24 FPL points for the lad. McGinn with another 10 points after his performance at Fulham and Ollie Watkins finally scoring not one but THREE goals in a match even the bookies wouldn’t have taken bets on a 7-2 Villa finish.

The Salah brace truly was the icing on the cake, rewarding many (inc. me) with 13 points in a match no Liverpool players should have registered anything to be honest. A tidy return in the untidiest of matches for Klopp’s men. Weirdly, this won’t impact FPL in the slightest, Liverpool will move on from this and your FPL assets will be as secure as a box of dishwasher tablets – those buggers are a pain to open aren’t they?

For the ballsy amongst us, Villa are intriguing now – proving they will attack versus the bigger teams, quite exciting right? The international break is a bugger for them, form is everything and this break will have stalled or perhaps reset the form they had. Teams such as Man United, Leicester and of course Liverpool will have all their players fresh from International performances and all very eager to kickstart their domestic form once again.

T’was a GW to forget for Manchester United & Liverpool fans, but in London there’s celebrations all-round with the cockney teams stealing all the limelight with impressive wins (apart from Palace & Fulham, lol).

Now let’s all see if Niall’s GW5 review is as upbeat and cheery as that! *passes pen*.

FPL GW4 Review


Written by Jack A. Goodwin -Follow him on Twitter @JackAGoodwin

Jack is an “alternative FPL writer” (Who knew, right?) looking for hidden tales behind the most obscure players, dark humour in the game and the creative storytelling to the most mundane of GameWeeks!He’s played the official game for over 7 years, running leagues throughout the offices of his day job.

GW4 Preview

Written by Niall Hawthorne

The big debate in the world of football this week has been the handball rule, and its application in the Premier League this season. The debate itself has borne remarkable similarities to the debate around Covid-19 restrictions. If I had a euro for every person I heard bemoaning the handball law or the ‘lockdowns’, I’d be rich enough to buy myself a Covid-free island and spend all day every day recreating Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ against the actual Peter Shilton. What larks!

My point is that it’s easy to give out about ‘rules’ that you don’t agree with. It’s a damn sight harder to come up with a plan yourself. Don’t agree with the handball law as it stands? OK then, how should it be?

The most common refrain to that question is for referee’s and lawmakers to ‘use common sense’. Yet we’ve had decades of experience of common sense and judgement being lambasted by every pundit in the land when they didn’t agree. In fact, it sounded exactly like it has for the past week!

Don’t agree with the lockdown restrictions and feel that we ‘must learn to live with the virus’? Great, tell me how. Go on, I’m waiting. Remember though, unless you’re a fan of eugenics, or believe that a form of apartheid should be implemented against the aged or vulnerable, then you must protect them while ‘living with the virus’. Not so easy now, is it?

In summary, it’s easy to chastise those who come up with plans, it’s far hard to come up with plans to replace them.

Which reminds me that I should really tell you how to plan for GW4!

Defender: Timothy Castagne, Leicester City

Now here’s a man who likes to make a good first impression.

A goal, three assists, a clean sheet and four bonus points in his first three outings will certainly get you attention. He faces back to back home games against Claret and Blue opposition with West Ham and Villa calling to the King Power stadium.

West Ham are first up, and they are the antithesis of consistency right now. (On a side note, I reckon ‘antithesis of consistency’ would make a great name for an up and coming band). One minute they’re getting walloped by Newcastle, then they shellac Wolves while their gaffer watches on at home with a mug of Ovaltine, which they then follow up by getting chewed up and spat out by the Toffees.

Could Castagne be the new Alexander-Arnold? Can you have a ‘new’ Alexander-Arnold when the old one is only 21? Am I confused?

I’m saying ‘Yes’.

Midfielder: Adama Traore, Wolverhampton Wanderers

A player who has disappointed thus far this season, but who has a huge opportunity to impress against a frankly hilariously poor Fulham side who stutter into Molineux.

He’s going to get those naturally muscly limbs oiled up nicely before taking his place in the front three as an ‘out of position FPL dream’ should, before racking up at least 10 points.

On a side note, if you are watching this game, keep an eye out for Scotty Parker’s clobber. A double-breasted cardigan and a tie-pin wider than your tie? Relegate them now. Disgraceful.

Forward: Anthony Martial, Manchester United

No logic here, just pure gut instinct.

‘Tony’ has been abysmal thus far this season, but then again, that’s what he does, isn’t it? He’s due, is what I’m saying. A classic ‘Super Sunday’ slot at home to Spurs should be enough to get him to switch his FPL owners from screaming “Merde” to whispering “Ooooh la la, c’est magnifique”

Keep an eye out also for Eric Dier and any unplanned toilet breaks. If he’s defending the wrong end, it’s a long way to the tunnel and the bathroom…could get messy.

Captain: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

Pop Quiz:

Q1: Who has completed the most passes into the penalty area in the Premier League this season?

A: Mo Salah

Q2: Who has received the most passes in the penalty area in the Premier League this season?

A: Mo Salah

Q3: Who has carried the ball into the penalty area the most in the Premier League this season?

A: Mo Salah

He’s doing alright this season. He faces an Aston Villa side who have beaten Sheffield United and Fulham thus far, flying high with 6 points. Of course, Sheffield United and Fulham have been bobbins this season, so they have a false sense of security and Liverpool are going to batter them.

Outsider: Andre Ayew, Crystal Palace

Just the one assist thus far, however he now faces a wonderfully enticing run of fixtures, starting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. You should back a striker facing that defence! Also, all the attention will be on the impressive Zaha, so I fancy Ayew to nip in and steal the glory.

On a personal note I can’t wait for Frank Lampard to have a pop at Roy Hodgson on the side line. He will you know, he’ll actually pick on an old man. He’s that far up his own arse is Frank.

Written by @NiallHawthorne

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof

GW3 Review: Posted After The Final Whistle

Fantasy Football – Player Picks Ahead of Gameweek 3

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Fantasy Football – Player Picks Ahead of Gameweek 2

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