Monday, September 3, 2012

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 3

Arsenal
Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Walcott, Ramsey, Coquelin, Gervinho.

A really good display here from Arsenal with some impressive performances throughout the side. The Gunners earned their 3rd straight clean sheet and were generally good value for it with Mannone not really making any saves of note. The back four have settled down very nicely and were kept together despite the return of Koscielny from injury. Over the course of the season I'm not sure if Mertesacker will hold him off but for now it doesn't make sense for Wenger to change much. Jenkinson remains particularly good value until Sagna returns (currently on schedule for the end of the month) and by then the centre back position should be cleared up so a transition can be made to either Mertesacker, Koscielny or Gibbs if this side remain a solid defensive option.

Offensively I am very excited by this team's prospects and while I'm not pushing their title credentials yet, I'm confident this side can be more of a threat to the league's elite than in prior years. Arteta and Diaby were masterful in the middle, with Diaby making a strong claim to head towards the top of the class in my recent question about where all the centre midfielders went. We're not there yet, but at times, if you squinted (and probably had a few beers) you could almost see Diaby's shirt number change to a #4. That doesn't mean too much in fantasy though, so let's push onto the weeks' stars.

Podolski is a tough man to categorise so far, as while the stats have been underwhelming (6 shots, 1 on target, 6 chances created), I have seen all three Arsenal games this year and he's ranged from useful to very impressive in his three appearances (significantly better than Giroud and the other wide players in my eyes). I see him as locked into the team and with the midfield trio of Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla looking mighty impressive, he is surely guaranteed to hit double digit goals and close to that many assists. Whether he can do enough to justify his cost over the likes of Ba and Fletcher or come close enough to the elite group to make it worth saving a couple of million is a close call, but for now I'm okay giving him the benefit of the doubt.

The other highlight in this Arsenal side to date is Santi Cazorla, who has been outstanding in all three games and finally got the production to match his underlying stats this week. Through three weeks he simply leads all midfielders in total shots, shots on target, chances created, through balls and touches in the final third and if you have any faith at all in Arsenal this year, Cazorla has Fabregas like upside without too much risk. Two trips to Manchester loom large on the fixture list over the next seven weeks but overall the next 10 look rather favourable and so Cazorla should be strongly considered before assuming Hazard is the only way to go, or for those looking to replace a Bale or Mata.

Aston Villa
Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Lichaj, Bannan, El Ahmadi, Ireland, Weimann, Holman, Bent
Subs: Given, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Bowery, Baker, Burke, Williams.

Benching keepers for one mistake rarely seems to gain a great deal but Lambert did so anyway this week. This isn't really a defense you want to be backing anyway so if you were holding Given it seems sensible to cut your losses and move on. In truth the same might be said about this whole team, though at least Bent was more involved this week. Even then though, his 8.3m price tag looks unjustifiable until this side look more dangerous going forward and I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

Everton
Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Gibson, Naismith, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic
Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Mirallas, Gueye, Coleman, Anichebe.

This looks like the first eleven for now and while I'm a little surprised to see Heitinga relegated to bench duty that appears to be the way Moyes will send his team out. Mirallas will likely have an impact sooner rather than later while Oviedo would appear to be cover and shouldn't figure in the first team early on. Fellaini and Pienaar both come somewhere near the top of that mid-range midfield group along with a host of other options like Michu, Walters, Nolan etc. I'd take Fellaini of the two but Pienaar has been fairly impressive since his return to Goodison too and carries a slightly lower price tag if money is tight.

I'd categorise this defense as good rather than great and thus it's tricky to pick any of that back line over the players from teams like Swansea or Sunderland given the premium you'll have to pay. Maybe Distin at 5.5m if the fixtures fall nicely but he's not on my personal shortlist for now.

Fulham
Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Diarra, Sidwell, Richardson, Duff, Rodallega, Petric. 
Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Kasami, Berbatov, Briggs, Kacaniklic

Last week I noted that "I was perhaps a little harsh last week suggesting Fulham might find it hard to score too many goals, as I failed to give enough credit to Dembele". Ah, sorry about that one Fulham fans. Throw in the inevitable (and thoroughly disappointing) departure of Dempsey and my concern has quickly returned. It would be hyperbole to write this team off because of one off game (well, one half really) but the defense has been uncharacteristically shaky through the start of the season and they simply don't have the firepower to win too many high scoring games.

You have to think that Berbatov will slide into the first team sooner rather than later and so he becomes an extremely interesting prospect (browse the FFS comment section for a sample of the wild excitement). Aesthetically I simply love Berbatov. His game is unorthodox and not always easy to appreciate but he has a rare ability to do certain things on the field which 95% of the league just cannot do, and his first touch remains otherworldly. Of course, "wow" moments don't score fantasy points on their own, but he's been incredibly consistent in that arena too over the years. If he plays with regularity and can stay fit I'd be okay pencilling him in for 10 goals and close to that many assists, though I might be getting a touch carried away as this will be the worst surrounding cast he's had during his time in England by some distance. I would be all over Berbatov if it weren't for the presence of others in his price range who have already hit the ground running: Ba and Fletcher. I will of course be watching Berbatov closely but with a couple of good options in the same price bracket I see no real reason to act too soon on this one.

Liverpool
Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Allen, Sahin, Borini, Suarez, Sterling. 
Subs: Jones, Henderson, Coates, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly

This side isn't terrible but the game against Arsenal gave us a good chance to give them a realistic assessment against a team they would hope to be equaling soon, and they were very much left wanting. You'd be hard pressed to conclude that anyone in this side is an upgrade over their counterpart at Arsenal, never mind one of the Manchester teams. The issue with this 4-2-3-1 is very much like that which we discussed with United a week or so ago when Rooney leads the line. Suarez drops into space, Gerrard pushes forward and Borini drifts in which leaves a very crowded quadrant of the field with no real way to cut through the opponents defensive line. Hopefully Assaidi (or, heaven forbid, Downing) will help balance this team out a bit.

The good news is the continued play (at a decent level) of Raheem Sterling. I don't believe you're getting an excellent winger from an elite side here, but you are getting a promising player who is still surrounded by some talent and if you think about what he has to do at 4.5m to justify investment, his chance of success is very promising. I can't imagine he will play every game until the next transfer window, especially with Assaidi waiting in the wings, but with the disappointing performances of Borini and the fact that Downing is, well, Downing, you wouldn't bet against Sterling continuing to rack up some minutes. If you're wildcarding this week and want a short term fix at 4.5m he might be worth a roll of the dice but the upside probably isn't sufficient to waste a transfer on, considering you will rarely play your 5th midfielder.

Man City
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Silva, Yaya Toure, Rodwell, Nasri, Tevez, Dzeko
Subs: Pantilimon, Milner, Sinclair, Clichy, Toure, Balotelli, Razak

Aside from the two troubles spots of left back (Clichy / Kolarov) and the second 'forward' (Dzeko Balotelli) this side is largely stable (though Mancini is always liable to spring a surprise and the likes of Milner will always get some minutes here and there). The new arrivals of Sinclair, Maicon, Javi Garcia and to a lesser extent Nastasic, could cause a log jam at some point but I'm not sure they really change the standing of the widely held options here.

I have some concerns over what happens if and when Mancini plays the 5-3-2 / 3-5-2 formation he's toyed with in the preseason and which Maicon looks custom made for. In that system we're left with just 5 advanced slots with two of the midfield likely to be occupied by Yaya Toure and a defensively able partner (Javi Garcia, Rodwell, Barry etc). That leaves just three spots in which to fit Silva, Nasri and four forward,s guaranteeing plenty of disappointing and frustration. Perhaps Maicon will be used as a traditional right back (surely only at home or against the league's weaker sides?) but this is a situation to monitor if you hold Silva, Nasri or even Yaya who might be pushed deeper in such a system.

Man Utd
Lindegaard, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Welbeck, van Persie, Kagawa
Subs: De Gea, Evans, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Scholes, Powell.

Another stellar job from the United scouting staff here: where do they keep finding these under-the-radar stars? This time it was Robin van Persie who you may recall had a useful season last time out with Arsenal. I had some concerns coming into the year about how he plays with Rooney but these have been brushed aside (for now at least) with Rooney's leg injury and van Persie's timely reminder of his incredible talent. This week's display will be enough for a majority of managers to assume van Persie is now right back on track to have last year's success so I won't bother making that side of the argument. The knock against him is that we still don't know what happens when Rooney returns. Sure, he seems better equipped to lead the line than Rooney but to simply write off Rooney's place in this side or relegate to him a supporting role is still premature.

There's no doubting that barring injury van Persie should reside somewhere near the top of the scoring charts by year's end, both in fantasy points and goals scored. The sticking point for me though is that I'd say the same about Carlos Tevez who costs 3.6m less yet comes with the same job security surrounded by arguably more talent. There's no reason you can't grab them both, but then your midfield won't be able to accommodate more than one of the Hazard, Cazorla, Silva, Kagawa etc group, all of whom again have huge potential for 3.0m-4.0m less than the Dutchman.

I love van Persie and very nearly brought him in this week myself. But, my final decision came down to not finding too many 6.0m players who would perform like 9.0m players or 4.5m defenders who would act like 6.0m defenders so I needed to use the funds elsewhere in my team. I wouldn't argue with a decision to bring van Persie in but I would implore you at least think about the opportunity cost before you do so.

Edit: De Gea was dropped for this one - h/t to @dmnfitz for reminding me, I somehow managed to neglect the fact totally in the first draft - and looks tough to own right now. I personally thought he had looked okay between the sticks (not great, but okay) and really brought the same skill set as last season: excellent shot stopper but still not dominant in the air or with organising his defense (see Vidic OG). Gun to my head I believe De Gea starts 30 games this year, but I have nothing concrete to base that on and thus I'm leaning towards slapping a sell tag on him. Depending on who your backup is, you would ideally give him another game as Wigan at home is tough to pass up, but at this point I wouldn't say it's rash to move on. Replacement options are somewhat limited (hence why De Gea was so initially attractive) though Everton have a nice run of games coming up putting Howard in play while Swansea have looked good again (though their fixtures aren't the best). Otherwise, I'd recommend blowing up your keepers and reverting to the tried and trusted rotation pairings discussed in preseason.

A couple of other points to note from this unsettled side was the benching of Nani, who I liked as the safest of the wide players, the continued play of Rafael and the early subbing of an underwhelming Kagawa. Welbeck didn't do much for me here and so I don't see a reason to change my view on Nani. With Kagawa not impressing himself and being withdrawn on the hour, there's at least an argument to be made that Nani could yet end the year as United's top scoring midfielder. Kagawa has looked good at times but his underlying stats are underwhelming (6 shots, 3 on target, 5 chances created) and we'll need to see more in order to justify his price tag. Until Rooney returns I see him as being pretty locked into this side, but after that things have the potential to get very messy. Kagawa owners should at least starting considering their next move, even if they don't make it yet (with Wigan at home next it's best to hold off). Finally, Rafael was exposed for the first goal and that just underscores my belief that Phil Jones could earn significant minutes at right back when fit.

Newcastle
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse. 
Subs: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Obertan

There's never much to say about Newcastle within this post. Pardew's squad is thin (perhaps worryingly so) but that makes great reading for fantasy managers whose prize assets are rolled out every week without much concern. After converting everything that came within 10 yards of him last season, it's safe to now conclude that Cisse won't be the exception to the rough rule, and isn't the greatest finisher of all time, instead he's just a good player - who would have guessed! His 6 shots (2 on target) are fine but as suggested in the preseason, there's no real reason to distinguish him from Ba (11 shots, 3 on target) and thus the extra cost appears wasteful. Despite the setback here this defense remains a good option and there are enough promising fixtures on the horizon to give one faith to stick with them. The imminent return of Tiote may also help in this area.

Norwich
Ruddy, R Martin, Bassong, Barnett, Garrido, Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass, Pilkington, Holt, Jackson
Subs: Rudd, Turner, Surman, Hoolahan, Morison, Tierney, Tettey

A good point here for Norwich and one which was largely deserved (admittedly as much due to Spurs' flat play than Norwich's particular excellence). That's not to put Norwich down though as they looked useful in possession and got another good performance from Snodgrass. The lineup is quite settled now with only the omission of Turner being somewhat surprising. That said, I still don't see too much here to get excited about. I like Snodgrass but he was pushed to a more traditional right wing spot here and at 5.9m needs to outscore the likes of Nolan, Dyer or Morrison which looks like a stretch at the moment.

QPR
Green, Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Da Silva, Wright-Phillips, Granero, Park, Faurlin, Zamora, Johnson
Subs: Murphy, Derry, Cisse, Mackie, Onuoha, Dyer, Hoilett

I seem to recall a blogger not too far from here suggesting that the front six of this side will be hard to predict all year, with only Cisse really guaranteed of a starting spot. Well, that ship has apparently sailed too with the Frenchman benched this week in favour of Andy Johnson. Until we see more from this side by way of lineup stability and actual production I see nothing here worth more than a cursory glance. Next.

Southampton
K Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Puncheon, S Davis, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Lambert
Subs: Gazzaniga, Rodriguez, Lee, Do Prado, Richardson, Mayuka, Seaborne

This back line is one of a couple in the league to have 5 players who've all played 3 games so barring any unforeseen changes this lineup is here to stay. Though they haven't looked overly sturdy to date, they've faced the best two teams in the division so let's see them a couple more times before writing them off. The two wing backs take up some very advanced positions so Clyne in particular could be outstanding value if the Saints can tighten up a bit at the back.

The midfield is a tricky group to judge so far with a good amount of fluidity apparently built into the system. Puncheon impressed this week and took up some good advanced positions but he was deployed in a much deeper role against City and didn't even feature against Wigan. Lallana is most likely the best pickup here but at 6.0m he is alongside some fairly established names who have enjoyed success in the past and thus he's a tough guy to take a flyer on. His 10 shots, 3 on target are encouraging though and given that Southampton will have put United, City and Arsenal behind them after next week, the fixtures might open up enough to make him an interesting pickup.

Stoke
Begovic, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Whelan, Cameron, Whitehead, Kightly, Crouch, Walters
Subs: Sorensen, Pennant, Jones, Edu, Adam, Upson, Jerome

After a couple of encouraging defensive displays to open the season, Stoke were quite poor this week against Wigan which might bring some storm clouds over their generally reliable defense. That's probably a touch unfair in a vacuum but with four of the next five games coming against United (A), City (H), Chelsea (A) and Liverpool (A) anyone you own on the defensive end is essentially going to be useless until Halloween.

Going forward, Walters and Kightly both have decent shot totals and remain in the mix in that ~6.0-7.0m price bracket. The rest of the team is going to potentially get a bit more crowded with the arrivals of Edu and Adam though in all honesty the likes of Cameron, Whelan and Whitehead were hardly attractive options so any new blood is probably for the best.

Sunderland
Mignolet, Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Colback, Johnson, Larsson, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher
Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Kilgallon, Ji, Meyler, Bramble, Saha

We've seen a couple of changes in this side with Fletcher and Johnson coming in at the end of the transfer window but it remains a fairly predictable side and one which has good potential going forward. No one from the midfield has really stood out yet (admittedly in just two games) but there is definitely upside here with Sessegnon, Larsson, Johnson and McClean all showing enough over the past year or so to be ownable given their respective price tags. Given that he's the most widely held of the midfielders (7.4%) it's worth noting that Larsson took up a deep role this week, reminiscent of that played by Abou Diaby or Tom Cleverly in a 4-2-3-1. This doesn't necessarily preclude all fantasy success but with Johnson and McClean deployed ahead of him on the wings and Sessegnon pushing way up to be just off Fletcher, he clearly he has makings of too many 'hockey assists' and not enough actual fantasy points.

As for Fletcher, he carried on right where he left off with Wolves, converting shots on goal at an alarming rate. I wouldn't suggest he will continue to convert every shot he takes, but if he gets chances there's no reason to doubt he'll convert a good proportion of them and given his job security, he brings an interesting combination of valuable traits that few forwards under 8.0m have.

Swansea
Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Chico, N Taylor, Dyer, Britton, de Guzman, Routledge, Michu, Graham
Subs: Tremmel, Tate, Shechter, Moore, Ki, Agustien, Davies

The big issue with this lineup is the injury to N Taylor, though with apologies to the man himself, it could actually give us a nice opportunity. Ben Davies came on to replace his fellow countryman and all in all did a decent job. Unless Swansea opt to play someone out of position, Davies should have first shot at the left back spot, with Michel Vorm confident he can hold onto it (okay, he's bound to say that but this does at least suggest it's his spot to lose). At 4.0m he will represent outstanding value for the foreseeable future and is an obvious target for anyone unlucky enough to own Taylor.

I'm somewhat scared of this turning into a P Cisse situation, where I forecast regression for a number of weeks but the odds continue to be defied. Michu now 4 goals from just 4 shots on target which, like Cisse last season, means he is either the greatest finisher in the history of the game, or, is due for some regression in the future. Even with regression he will be a valuable asset, as shown by his 8 total shots, but it's still worth noting that he likely remains a good, rather than elite, asset and you shouldn't feel obliged to rearrange your team to accommodate him.

Tottenham
Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Sandro, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale, Defoe
Subs: Cudicini, Huddlestone, Adebayor, Naughton, Dembele, Townsend, Caulker

This team will surely see changes next gameweek with Dembele, Adebayor and possibly Dempsey ready to slide into the side assuming they get through the international break unscathed. The former made a splash with a debut goal but in truth this was a poor Spurs display and didn't dispel any of my concerns about Villas-Boas' ability to make his players fit a workable system. Livermore and Sandro sat way too deep for a supposed top-four challenger at home to Norwich, though this was somewhat resolved when Dembele came on, who was given more license to push forward. Bale was afforded a very free role again and often drifted inside which in one way helps his fantasy value, yet may also hurt it as the team lost shape and cohesion on numerous occasions.

There's talent galore in this side with Adebayor, Bale, Sigurdsson and Dempsey all justifying our attention but it isn't clear how they will lineup and, perhaps more importantly, whether Villas-Boas can get the best out of any of them. The upcoming fixtures are still really good so it's tough to pass on particularly Bale who seems to be taking an even greater role in this offense this year, but with Hazard back this week and Cazorla coming off a big week I assume many a trigger finger will be itching.

West Brom
Foster, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell, Yacob, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Long, Fortune.
Subs: Myhill, Rosenberg, Brunt, Gera, Odemwingie, Dawson, Jones

The lineup looks pretty settled for the most part, though we still have plenty questions marks over who will get the majority of minutes up top. Morrison is the only player in the front six I'd currently consider and he's already added 6 shots (2 on target) and 5 chances created to underline his prospects. The rest of the unit looks somewhat underwhelming, at least until Odemwingie or Lukaku can lock down a place in Clark's first eleven.

West Ham
Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Vaz Te, Taylor, Carroll
Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Diarra, O'Neil, Maiga, Hall, Cole

Boy can Kevin Nolan finish. Cynics don't want to hear it, but of all the midfielders who hover just off a front man, there are few who are so natural in front of goal than the former Bolton man. I was hopeful the arrival of Carroll might help this team take it to the next level but with him out indefinitely with a bad hamstring tear, it's as you were for the Hammers. Unfortunately for fantasy purposes I'm not sure anyone other than Nolan is ownable for now, unless Maiga or Cole can emerge as a threat up front or Vaz Te/Taylor can improve their end product.

Defensively West Ham remain a decent spot start option, particularly given the availability of Demel and (McCartney when fit) for 4.0m.

Wigan
Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo, Maloney
Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Crusat, Watson, Gomez, Boselli, Miyaichi

Wigan appear to be committed to the 5-3-2 and it's presenting an interesting opportunity for Emerson Boyce who is classified as a defender but is playing a very advanced wing back role. I'm not sure I'm convinced though, as his price tag pushes him into the range of starters from legitimate defensive teams which I just don't see Wigan as. Offensive points are great but they should be a bonus to an existing skill set, not the sole reason for investment.

Offensively, Maloney has quickly registered on the radar thanks to his decent assist potential (6 chances created) and penalty duties this week. Against Stoke he took up a very advanced role, often forming a front three with Di Santo and Kone, leading all Wigan players in touches in the final third of the field. Wigan don't have tremendous upside but Maloney comes with a great price tag and apparent job security which when added with the set piece duties makes him a very interesting prospect. There aren't many sub-6.0m options around who I'd take ahead of the Wigan man right now.

9 comments:

Phase1 said...

Hey Chris. What are your thoughts on moving DDG on? I think we all feared he might be a rotation risk but didn't think it would happen so soon and after only 1 mistake. 6 mil seems like alot to pay for a rotation risk especially as most of us have very weak 2nd keepers:( Right now I'm looking at Foster or Howard to replace him along side Federici. If you used ur W/C this week instead of last week would you have kept DDG?

John Macken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
guzzled said...

Hey Chris. Fantastic blog, I really enjoy your posts every week, great work.

My line up is currently as follows De Gea/ Begovic McCartney/A Cole/S Taylor/Lescott/Fonte Silva/Michu/Hazard/Walters/El Ahmadi Tevez/Podolski/Graham

I have 2 mill in the bank and I am unsure as to what to do with it which leads to me my first question

1)I am considering dumping Michu for Cazorla. You have pointed out that you expect regression in Michu's returns over the next few weeks while Cazorla looks like he is about to take off. The alternative would be to hold onto Michu and upgrade Fonte to Jenkinson and Graham to someone like Fletcher. How do you see this one?

2) Following the dropping of De Gea at the weekend, where do you currently stand on him? Fergie has suggested it was a one game thing and that he would return in the next fixture.

Thanks Chris...keep up the good work!

5 Times said...

I'm wildcarding this gameweek and will be taking out De Gea. Really thought he was nailed on for a permanent start this season and in fact he has started the season really well for Man U, bar one mistake. However, it's much too risky keeping him in for 6mil if Fergie is going to rotate.

Makes me wonder if he will rotate when the Champions League games start too so he is coming out of my team. Will probably go for Foster teamed up with another keeper that rotates well together.

John Doe, 2008 said...

Great article as always.

Interesting thoughts on Cazorla versus Hazard. I have personally decided that I simply cannot live without either and have taken both at the expense of my backline. I have no idea if I can make Bego/Jaas; Baines/Rangel/Cuellar/Figuero/Clyne work, but it should be fun as Hell to try!

@guzzled -

Tough choice. I would typically suggest holding on to Michu given the large ownership, but Cazorla looks prime to rise at least 0.2 over the break and Michu has only 0.1 possible (which he will get).

What price did you get Michu at?

guzzled said...

Got Michu at 6.8, his sp at the minute is 7.0 ...

Bryan McKenna said...

Heavily considering using my free transfer to get Cazorla in for Mata myself for the next GW and delaying Hazards immanent arrival to my team for a week or two.

Only a matter of time till Cazorla rakes in the points and masses, ala Hazard and I feel somewhat already behind on the Hazard bandwagon. What's another wek or two without him :-D

John Doe, 2008 said...

So Michu SP will be at 7.1 before long. Hmmm...

If it were me, I would probably keep the flexibility that Michu allows my midfield. A combo of Hazard, Cazorla and Silva is VERY pricey and will strangle options for you going forward. In addition, you already have Poldoski to cover for Arsenal's attack.

That's just my pretty uneducated opinion though :)

Gummi said...

Good points on RvP. I had the same thoughts and decided not to bring him in. That hurt this week, but United also have tricky fixtures after Wigan.

Cazorla has looked brilliant, and looks more and more like a must have for the season. Podolski is more of a question mark, but still a great finisher.

I'm hoping Ferguson wanted to send a message to De Gea, rather than this being a sign of goalkeeper rotation to come.