What's happened to Chelsea?
So, at last, the Big League starts after 4 weeks of phoney wars. Transfer deadline day has come and gone, lots of wildcards will have been played and we're all desperate to know who's going to do what this season, but the question on everyone's lips is, "What's happened to Chelsea?"
From being odds on favourites to retain their crown, they’re looking like they’ll be lucky to reach 4th place. The loss of Courtois is massive but they also have lots of big players such as Ivanovic, Fabregas, Hazard and Costa who just aren’t performing. It’s maybe significant that the Chelsea player with the most FL points is Pedro who’s only played 3 games. And don’t even mention the doctor or the fact that the manager Jose replaced back in the day was none other than Leicester manager, Claudio Ranieri. How much must he be laughing today looking down on the mighty Chelsea who unceremoniously sacked him back in 2004 and how much must he be looking forward to December 12th at the King Power?
All this has caused massive disruption to us FL managers because those names we just mentioned would have formed the crux of many top FL teams but now comprise 50% of those players sold over the last week.
Finally, may we point out that Jose has lasted more than 3 years in just one of his previous managerial positions? That was Chelsea first time around. What date did he resign? September 20, 2007. Can you imagine if Arsenal give Chelsea an absolute drubbing at The Bridge next Saturday which happens to be September 19th?
In our league we’ve seen the first of the new chips being played with 3rd placed Matthew Robinson making a wonderful choice in Callum Wilson for Triple Captain and gaining all of 6 points. Good choice Matthew! Marc Normanton on the other hand, made an excellent choice in selecting Riyad Mahrez as his TC gaining a massive 33 points, which was almost 50% of his total score. If you saw where we are in the league, you’d realise that we’re no experts, but we can’t help thinking that these chips are better played after Christmas when the double gameweeks appear. Only one of the Top 10 played their wildcard, which is surprising given the changes to the wildcard rules this season. Perhaps their teams are so good already that they don’t need it yet? And finally, almost every team in the Top10 featured both Mahrez and Dimitri Payet. At £13.8m for the two, that’s some bargain compared with the expensive flops that many of us have invested in.
The top 10 are as follows:
For those new to our league, the following awards are usually for the best weekly performance so you can be absolutely pants all season and still have your 15 minutes of fame with just one good week. This week, they obviously just reflect the top of each grouping.
Manager of the Week
Selecting Mahrez as his captain and also having Norwich’s Wes Hoolahan in his side (13 points, a goal and an assist) made Franco’s week. His defence of Cech, Cedric, Bellerin and Darmian was pretty good too, but like the rest of us, finding a decent forward is proving elusive at best with only Benteke doing anything. Not taking anything away from Franco here, but we suspect he’s been a tad lucky with Hoolahan, in that sitting on his bench is David Silva. Would he really have chosen Hoolahan instead of the mercurial Spaniard? Maybe he did – after all Hoolahan now has more assists (4) than any other player in the league and is level with Mahrez in this respect.
A superb start Franco. Keep it up.
Page 2 Pacesetter
With 54 points in 51st place we find HFG’s Stephen. Stephen’s going to struggle winning any prizes this year without a surname, but perhaps he has his own reasons for being a little coy. Anyway, he’s done very well and we think 54 points should really get you a place on Page 1, but such is the competition this year. Stephen captained Aguero but had Payet as his VC. If only they had been the other way around, a Top 10 place would have beckoned for our Stephen.
Such are the vagaries of the PFL eh?
The Best of the Rest
With 49 points in joint 99th place we find John Carrington. John has gone for the strong defence tactic with Fabianski, Cresswell, Kompany and Fonte in his team backed up by Jagielka and Clyne on his bench. His midfield ain’t half bad either but like most of us, the forward line is suffering with a mere 7 points between them and that’s after getting double points for Harry Kane.
A big push for Page 1 next week John. You’re only 16 points away from it.
Taxi for Cesc Fabregas......
To be honest, we could have chosen any 5 from 11 Chelsea players this week but Fabby it is because he seems to have started his customary post-Christmas lull 4 months early. He’s played 418 minutes of football in all 5 games and has amassed just 10 points. No goals, no assists, no clean sheets, no nothing. Even Falcao has got the same points from 78 minutes and has got a goal to his name. As Alan Shearer said on MOTD the other week, “He looks like he’s carrying with a fridge on his back.”
Get him binned!
One to watch..........
With Ben Foster out for the foreseeable future, 3 clean sheets in the past 5 games, a £4.5m price tag and less than 4% ownership the Baggies’ keeper has got to be the name on everyone’s lips. Oh, and don’t forget that WBA kept 15 clean sheets last season.
Team names please
Now we’re at the business end of the season we’d like to remind all those who have a chance of a prize that we need your agency name as part of your team name. It’s the only way we can ensure that we are paying the prizes out to the correct managers and that those managers are genuinely in the recruitment industry. Thanks.
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“I have known John now for nearly 20 years. He approached me in typical John Whalley fashion with an offer I couldnt turn down- "recruit me on the basis that I will only take a share of what I earn- end of". He did not disappoint, turning his hand in the way that John does to being entreprenuerial and opportunistic- opening doors with clients in a proactive and sytematic way. John was a one off and a rare person in so much that unlike most recruiters he was prepared to back his own skill and talent by only getting paid for what he did. No hiding behind big basics and delivering little, John performed and performed well. He still operates in that fashion today, being proactive, opening doors by introducing clients and to candidates and promoting people who match up to his standards. Well done John for keeping consistent and being true to your talents- long may that continue!”Futura candidate