That’s more like it. After a few frustrating weeks, and blanking 5 captaincies in a row it was nice to hit a century this week, with a couple of captaincy successes. The week couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, with a vintage Alexis Sanchez performance delivering 2 goals and a man of the match as captain. The 3pm games weren’t quite as kind to me as they were to some, Tom Heaton’s incredible performance at Old Trafford certainly game a lot of managers a bonus they wouldn’t have been expecting. I had to settle for a clean sheet Jose Holebas, but frustratingly the rest of my defenders & goalkeeper delivered nothing.
Remember when we were thinking about ditching Sergio Aguero!? Having been the talk of the town last week, (and this blog!), Aguero delivered 2 goals & a MoM performance to remind everyone that he’s still the best player in the game and punish anyone who went for an early sale. I was bemused that he wasn’t also awarded an assist for Gundogan’s goal, but replays emerged later on showing a slight deflection off the WBA defender – not enough surely to deny Aguero the assist – but Sky weren’t going to budge. I think those that captained him can consider themselves unlucky.
Elsewhere on Saturday a goal for Bobby Firmino was most welcome, but again it was Phillip Coutinho who was the star of the show at Anfield, rewarding his owners & captainers with a haul to match Sanchez & Aguero. Coutinho is now not as much ‘on my radar’ as he is knocking on my front door, ringing the door bell, desperate to be let in. He looks in formidable form and I can see him racking up 10-12 MoMs this season.
Sunday rolled around and I did something I wasn’t expecting to do going into the week. The lure of Eden Hazard was too much to avoid, and after Sterling’s poor performance on Saturday I decided to take the plunge and bring Hazard in as (c). It was a move that certainly paid off, Dusan Tadic who would’ve been my captain again frustrated, and Hazard again proved he is the man to own with a goal, assist & MoM. Petr Cech made way for Tom Heaton to fund the move and I’m happy now to have both Hazard and Heaton on board heading into the festive period, even if I am lighter on transfers than I would like.
Gameweek Points: 101
Overall Points: 774
Overall Position: 218
I’m relatively happy with my team now, I’m a bit worried by Tadic’s recent performances whilst I’m a big fan of his and have sung his praises on this blog, his recent scores have been very disappointing. I will hold on for now, he has a great fixture away at Hull this week so he will stay and I can reassess during the international break. Similarly, after a great start to the season, Idrissa Gueye’s points have dried up, and he’s not hoovering up bonus like he was a few weeks ago. He was very unlucky not to either score or win a penalty on Sunday, but that’s how it goes and he’s now going to miss the Chelsea game having picked up his 5th yellow. My instincts are to hold him; I think he will come good in time, and I can’t afford the transfer at this stage.
Having spent 2 more transfers than I was expecting last week I am shorter on transfers than I’d have hoped at this stage, so I won’t be making any this week. I have set aside funds to do Walcott to Coutinho at some point, but I’m likely to hold it for now, given Walcott is expected back this Sunday.
Another thought that has crossed my mind is downgrading Gueye to a super-cheap enabler in order to try and squeeze in another big hitter in place of Tadic. There are just so many players performing at the moment, it is proving hard to be patient. But the nature of limited transfers games like the Sky one means you can’t have everyone. Whilst it’s important to jump on players who are in/entering form, I really don’t want to end being short on transfers the other side of Christmas, where the fixtures come thick and fast and transfers are usually that little bit more valuable. So whilst we’d all probably like to squeeze all of Coutinho, Firmino, Hazard, Walcott, Sanchez, Lukaku, Aguero into our teams, it’s not really viable. There are bound to be frustrating days, as Ibrahimovic captainers on Saturday will attest to, but sometimes you just have to ride it out.
I made the Hazard move on Sunday because Raheem Sterling seems to be out of form, and Hazard in his new freer role is coming into form, added to the fact he’s going to be a useful captaincy option in the coming weeks. I do think there is a need to balance short term gains against longer term prospects though, and with only 26 transfers left I will be trying my best to keep my itchy fingers away from the transfer button in November.
It’s another relatively straight forward week for my team. I’ll have Aguero at home to Boro on Saturday, now firmly back in favour after his performance last weekend. On Sunday I’ll again trust in Alexis Sanchez for his home tie with Spurs. If I had Coutinho in at this stage I would probably throw him the armband but I don’t quite have enough faith in Bobby Firmino to hand it to him. I’d expect Watford to try and shut down Liverpool, Watford have been very good defensively recently but as we’ve seen this Liverpool side can rip through teams on their day. A Liverpool captaincy option will certainly be a great option for many on Sunday I think.
What’s your plan for the week, will you trust a Liverpool asset over Alexis Sanchez on Sunday?