Another week, another Saturday captain fail – this one was harder to see coming though. Many of us will have suffered the same despair as me on Saturday afternoon, hearing that Coutinho had been stretchered off in the first half of what looked a plum fixture. The pain of a 1 point captain was worsened by a couple of things, A. I’d just transferred in Coutinho for Theo Walcott. B. I’d sat and watched Sergio Aguero run riot in what looked on paper to be a tough fixture away at a solid (at home) Burnley, knowing that many would still have handed him the captaincy!
My other two new signings, Alonso & Snodgrass didn’t return anything but I’m still happy to have them on board. So a very modest 30 points on Saturday saw me plummet down the rankings.
Sunday was brighter though, mainly thanks to a 2 goal & MoM display from my captain, Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez is the main man for Arsenal at the moment and performances like this make it difficult to think about selling him for Harry Kane.
Gameweek Points: 66
Overall Points: 936
Overall Rank: 553
Transfers Remaining: 23
Once again, I had a sense of calm around my team heading into Saturday. After bringing in Alonso, Snodgrass and Coutinho I thought things were looking up, and the only thing really missing was a Spurs asset. That was obviously blown out of the water 30 minutes into the 3pm games when Coutinho was stretchered off. There’ve been a variety of reports coming out, but best case on his return looks like 4-6 weeks, another transfer required then!
I took the decision to bring in Alonso based on watching 2/3 of Chelsea’s recent matches, as mentioned last week he just looks like a forward when they are in possession, he missed another couple of good chances on Saturday. So I’m happy to have him on board, especially for Chelsea’s favourable run over Xmas. I wouldn’t normally have a defender at 7.5m+ but at 7.9 I think Alonso is a genuine bargain, especially if you compare him with similarly price midfielders.
So on to Coutinho then. The obvious replacements for me are listed in the poll below, of those I’m leaning towards Dele Alli. Alli has picked up 3 goals and 4 bonus in 10 starts this season, not exactly amazing figures but given Spurs were without Harry Kane for much of that period they’re not too bad. Last season Alli came alive in December thru January, and the fixtures in December – SWA, mun, HULL, BURNLEY, sot, could hardly be any better. Alli isn’t someone I would trust with the captaincy, but he does give me an option on 28th December with Sot v Spurs being the only fixture. The rest of Spurs fixtures can be covered well throughout December with the use of Aguero, Firmino & Sanchez as captains.
I’d love to be able to get Harry Kane into my XI, and as I said on this blog last week he’s certainly in my thoughts, but aside from selling Aguero or Sanchez I can’t see any other way of getting him in. A frontline of Aguero, Sanchez, Kane would set you back 38.2m, add in the (pretty much essential) Hazard and you’re looking at 49.4m, almost half of your whole budget on just 4 players. If you’ve found a way to fit those 4 into your side, please let me know how in the comments below! As things stand then, I won’t be able to squeeze Kane into my team – there are going to be a few games watched from behind the sofa throughout December.
How will you replace Coutinho in your team?
Saturday looks like a straight flip between Aguero & Sanchez for me, both coming off the back of a brace and MoM performance. At the moment I’m leaning towards Sanchez, I expect City v Chelsea to be pretty tight and Chelsea’s defensive record in recent weeks is insane, West Ham meanwhile aren’t exactly known for their solidity. Sanchez is carrying Arsenal at the moment and if they win he will be heavily involved. This one could go either way, and for those of us who don’t own Harry Kane, it’s sure to be a decision that goes to the wire.
Sunday is a bit more clear cut, my options are Gueye at home to Man Utd or Firmino away at Bournemouth. Firmino will get the armband, assuming he’s starting – we will know before the deadline.
Monday rolls round and Robert Snodgrass has his moment to shine! This fixture is basically the reason I got him in, and it would ideal if he could reward those of us who’ve picked a player from the league’s worst team.