What we learned | Week Seventeen

Thursday, December 19 2019

 

Back in the olden days of Brylcreemed hair, baggy shorts and muddy pitches – we used to say the league table didn’t mean a thing until Christmas.

That’s all changed nowadays, of course. Managers are under the cosh if they’re not in a Europa League qualifying position by 4pm on the opening day. But with the festive season sneaking up behind us with its ball-peen hammer raised, it’s a good time to consider what we have learned so far.

And this, brothers and sisters, is the team of the season up to and including week seventeen:

Player

Team

Points

Cost (m)

% picked

Ramsdale

BOU

70

£4.6

4.6%

 

 

 

 

 

Lundstram

SHU

89

£5.2

48.4%

Pereira

LEI

85

£6.5

17.4%

Evans

LEI

77

£5.2

5.5%

Baldock

SHU

77

£4.9

7.4%

 

 

 

 

 

De Bruyne

MCI

116

£10.3

40.3%

Mane

LIV

115

£12.3

40.4%

Salah

LIV

104

£12.2

21.9%

Sterling

MCI

91

£11.8

24.2%

 

 

 

 

 

Vardy

LEI

133

£10.1

51.4%

Rashford

MUN

103

£9.0

26.8%

 

A few eyebrow raisers to consider. The first being the total bill for the above – a mere £91.1m. If you’re wondering where your selection went so wrong, read on…


Goalkeeper

I know what you’re thinking…

Who?

Aaron Ramsdale. That’s who. Currently keeping goal for the worst team in the PL. Suffering a defensive injury crisis. Told you it was not a season for clean sheets.

And with Guaita (Palace), Ryan (Brighton) and Henderson (Sheff United) making up three of the next four, if you’re still paying more than £5.0m for your keeper, you need to have a long, hard look at yourself.


Defenders

Leicester and Sheffield United have probably been the stories of the season so far. But – Lundstram aside – plenty of you are banking on the second half of the season telling a different story. Liverpool’s trio Alexander-Arnold, Robertson and van Dijk have all scored in the 70s. And been selected by 29.9%, 20.9% and 40% of you respectively.

Still some bargains about though. Blades have got a tough looking January, which could bring LEI boys Soyuncu (£5.1m) and Chilwell (£5.8m) into play. And at £4.7m Dunk (BHA) is worth dipping your bread in.


Midfielders

No arguments with this four. Unless your surname is Son, Maddison and Silva perhaps. And even then it’s based on counting pennies rather than points.

Mount (CHE) and Tielemans (LEI) offer a bit of value at £6.5m and £6.6m. Alli (£8.7m) could have a grandstand finish at Spurs.

And Pogba is due back soon – if his ankle stands up to the rigorous workout in the conga line at his brother’s wedding. You might think £8.4m is an expensive risk for a moody Frenchman looking for a transfer, so you might want to swap him for Martial. A moody Fren… you’re way ahead of me.


Forwards

Aubameyang (ARS) is only squeezed out on price and looks worth £10.8m of anyone’s money. Or if you go £0.1m more and think Kane is able to turn things around at Tottenham.

Abraham and Jimenez haven’t quite done enough (for me) to justify their midrange fees, so it’s all about thrifty third choices.


And that looks as random as the Top Five goalkeepers.

Check in next Friday for more of that good stuff.

Ben Dinnery

Ben Dinnery

@BenDinnery

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 Wilson

Johnny Wilson

@johnny_wilson5

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 Nesbitt

Matt Nesbitt On TipTV

@MattNesbitt16

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.


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