What we learned | Week FourteenMonday, December 2 2019
Six things we learned this weekend…
Clean Sheets are so last season…
There’s me saying (in Friday’s View From The Boot Room GW 14) that there might be an upswing from the average four or so we’ve been seeing this season. And we top out at 2.
One for Palace, the other West Ham. Who’d have thunk that?
This season it’s all about assists for Defenders. And Jose agrees. He can’t have been happy inheriting the loosest of loose cannons Serge Aurier at Spurs. But has responded by sticking him on the right-wing, maximising his attacking threat. And limited the damage he can do defensively.
Take note. And another thing…
Jose is not quite at the wheel at Tottenham…
Six of the last seven goals Tottenham have shipped have come in the last 20 minutes of the match. The previous four have been when already 3-0 up and the Spurs bus should be safely parked. Very un-Jose like.
My Alderweireld tip was looking rosy on 70-odd minutes; made two, assisted 1, sheet looking handy. But he’s worth persisting with. Mourinho likes a centre-back who can quarterback attacking moves – and if Alli has turned the corner, both will be worth looking into for the rest of the campaign.
Emery out. Mustafi in. But no change at Arsenal…
No-one expected Arsenal’s defensive frailties to disappear overnight. Especially when they saw the team sheet on Sunday. The hapless Mustafi was barely through his first 20 minutes of Premier League action before bundling one into his own net at Norwich.
(If you’re one of the 0.3% FPL managers with him in your ranks, give yourself a Chinese burn).
Pukki will rightly take the credit with his first goal in 8 (as tipped up in Friday’s post, while we are dishing out plaudits). But rear Gunners remain a no no.
In fact, Aubameyang is the only one I’d mess with. Especially versus promoted teams – his retaken penalty was his 10th in 11. Bullying in the workplace.
Have Blade will travel well
Sheffield United extended their unbeaten away record to seven. True, six have been draws. But they are not going to suffer too badly at home so remain a solid pre-Christmas defensive pick. We can expect a wobble/ slump/ gassing at some point, but not yet.
Don’t get carried away with Mousset though. Still has a hint of the talented pub player about for me. Hasn’t finished a game all season and fits Wilder’s philosophy of getting 10-12 good games (and 6-8 goals) out of 3 or 4 average strikers.
Last-minute Leicester look like they smell success
Leicester were far from convincing against Everton but celebrated their last-minute winner like Champions. Surely, they’re not thinking… Not again.
Probably not. But when you have a gen-u-ine (pronounced ‘Jen. You. Wine’) goal scorer in your team, you can do damage. So, if you’re one of the 55% that haven’t yet, do what you have to do to get rat boy Vardy in yours.
Another good week for Li-VAR-pool
Another team that celebrated like Champions after scraping an uncomfortable win.
Their front three have only failed to secure them the points 3 times this season. But someone normally steps up. This time it was the increasingly immaculate Van Dijk. Proving he’s got a bit of everything in his locker.
He might yet add the Ballon D’Or to his CV this season. Messi will probably win it. But after consulting VAR, it will be awarded to Virgil.
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Matt's short, unremarkable football career was ended by his own bad driving. His long, distinguished career as a football tipster was ended by his own good advice. Because bookmakers don’t like a winner. First, they closed his accounts. Then his members’ accounts. Then his tipping service. And now they employ him as a consultant. Funny old game.