What we learned | Week ElevenMonday, November 4 2019
You might think this FPL business is all ‘…I’ve seen the keeper off his line, had a go and lucky enough it’s gone in…’. But no. Every round leaves us a trail of breadcrumbs that lead us to better decisions next time.
This is where GW 11 led us…
Liverpool really DO have the look of champions
And maybe the luck too. I’ve said it before, and I daresay I will again. But the stars are aligning for the Kloppites this season.
Coming from behind to snatch the points from a spirited Villa in front of their raucous home support had all the hallmarks of champions.
Sadio was again the Mane man. Assisting and scoring his way to another 12pts. Hitting his third – count ‘em, third! - 90+ minute goal of the year. Andy Robertson also reminded anyone that needed reminding that he is arguably the best full-back in the Premier League. And the only argument is coming from his opposite flank.
Liverpool have now started the season better than any team since Jimmy Greaves’ double-winning Tottenham in 1960/61. It’s a funny old game.
Man City can come from behind though
Long way to go, of course. City’s 2-1 win followed a similar path to that of their title rivals. But it’s becoming clear that any success they enjoy this season will be down to their front players.
Their defence and midfield look as soft-centred as it has done for a couple of seasons, so don’t expect any clean sheets from their next couple. Liverpool, then Chelsea will fancy they can hurt them.
Sharp Blades = clean sheets
If it’s clean sheets you want, restock your backline with some Sheffield steel.
Their almost stainless recent record (four shutouts from six) could in the next two – Spurs, then Man United. But after that, they have a very tidy looking run of fixtures - Wolves, Norwich, Villa, Brighton and Watford - which should take them into 2020 comfortably in the Top Half.
And provides you with a low-cost pre-Christmas shopping list. The top of which should be John Lundstram. If you’re not one of the 37% (and growing) already.
For starters, he’s a midfielder listed as a defender. So he’ll bag you clean sheet points. Plus, he’s got goals in him - two (should’ve been three) at the weekend, with more to come. And he’s trading at £4.8m. Do it, brothers and sisters. Unless there’s a gift horse, you know about with a gob you’d rather be staring at.
Stick with me, and you’ll be wearing diamonds
But if there’s only one lesson we can collectively learn this weekend, let it be this one: you need to make reading this column part of your pre-match ritual.
In Friday’s View From the Boot Room, I gave you goal scorers Pulisic, Aubameyang and Deulofeu… I pulled a 21pt Blade on you – Lundstram’s brace, sheet and star player bonus… And even cooked up a baker’s dozen (13pts) from Lys Mousset.
His two assists were either brilliantly flukey, or fooking brilliant depending on your viewpoint. But either way – you’re welcome.
That one was free. But remember where you got it.
Check in next Friday for more of that good stuff.
Ben is football’s leading injury specialist. The ‘go-to’ guru for big hitters like Sky Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports when they need data. Or the BBC, talkSPORT and the broadsheets when a quote is required. His unique insight has helped provide a better understanding of what is really happening in the treatment rooms.
Johnny is a respected physiotherapist and sports scientist, specialising in football injuries and rehab. Johnny has headed up the medical departments at Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Notts County. Overseeing everything from player-specific training loads to pre-signing medicals. He has a proven record working with elite athletes in Private Practice and is regularly called upon throughout Europe to deliver presentations on the latest rehab innovations.
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.