Week 5 is over but I has some questions heading into week 5.
Question 1 - can anyone beat me?
I am having the worst start to a season since I can remember. Sitting on a feeble ***** points I'm glad there is no global game yet. To battle for the blog and private league titles I need to find my feet soon. The latest mistake was selling Diego Costa and watching him smash 3 past Swansea City. He will not be in my squad week 5 and unlikely to make it back any time soon. I stand firm he is no Luis Suarez when it comes to fantasy output, however, I have some doubt for the first time.
Question 2 - Are Chelsea brilliant but beatable?
Chelsea have started the season proving people wrong scoring goals galore and entertaining in every game. With a ridiculously powerful squad they have steamrolled their four opponents and for all the negative feeling with some of last season's tactics this Chelsea have started very well. Only two of the last ten teams that lead the league after four games have gone on to win it but should they win at Manchester City on Sunday they will be huge favorites to do so. Expect Chelsea to follow last seasons plan, sitting deep and playing on the break. Vincent Kompany and co will have to improve their concentration level against Mr Costa.
The beatable part may be due to a more expansive approach this season. In 4 league games they have conceded 6 goals and in the one clean sheet Leicester City created enough good/clear chances to have added to the total. John Terry isn't the play he once was and the longer the season the more those old legs will suffer. Sergio Aguero will test that theory Sunday afternoon.
Question 3 - Did you overload on Manchester United players after Sunday?
As Manchester United fan I was pretty pleased to arrive home yesterday to see Utd have found their attacking feet. Having watched the game back I have to say Queens Park Rangers were awful, In fact bloody terrible.
In years gone by teams would roll up to Old Trafford beaten before they started and that is my thought with yesterday's effort. After the hammering at Tottenham look for the trend to continue when QPR travel to Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
As for United they have installed a little of the fear factor back into their play. Still unsure on how Van Gaal will shape the team when everybody is settled and the back line seems like it will require many hours on the training pitch. The time without midweek games cannot be underestimated as we saw with Liverpool last season. With a decent if not complete squad should be as prepared week to week as any team in world football this season.
Leicester City have already held Everton and Arsenal this season and given their back lines plenty to worry about. For sure United will need to earn their points next week.
Angel Di Maria looks a value pick based on his high energy efforts. He is not a player who tends to score goal after goal but is one who improves the value of the other attackers picked. Robin Van Persie is the obvious forward under threat. Given the full game on Sunday he failed to score (me picking him may have influenced that). He will need to find his goal scoring boots pretty soon with the shadow of Falcao waiting in the wings.
Oh and this shocking team are now only one point behind Arsenal and twice beaten in four games (sack the manager) Liverpool, couldn't resist sorry.
Question 4 - When will Aston Villa come back down to earth
Yet a further example how off the boil I have been on the football front brings me to my tip surprise relegated side. If you told me Villa would go four unbeaten and bear the mighty Liverpool at Anfield and let know opponent score against them (og only so far) I would have smiled and said you are wrong. Yet here we are with Villa sat second and a quarter of the way to safety already. To win at Anfield minus the caption and rock Ron "concrete" Vlaar is even more impressive. Not enough to make me pick any of their players home to a stuttering Arsenal next. Not enough to put me off looking at Ramsey or Sanchez or Welbeck due to the laws of probability. However, whilst surely a gunner will score you can't be sure they leave Villa Park with all three points can you?
Question 5 - Will Pardew last the weekend?
Newcastle lost 4 nil at St Mary's last season against a very good Southampton side. They lost 4-0 again this season against a Southampton side who put in a very good performance. According to my season ticket holding friend the difference was the level of effort and fight put in by the new Newcastle side being much lower. There were that fans trying to get on the pitch and debate the effort with Alan Pardew. Further there were 33,000 signing "You're getting sacked in the morning". When the fans turn on you, time is slipping away.
He is almost dead in the water and it would be just right for a Geordie to finish him off. Steve Bruce's growing side will smell blood and the manager himself may just be the new Newcastle manager come a week today (sort Hull fans). If not Tony Pulis may fit the bill.
Question 6 - How will the Champions league affect the players playing midweek?
With European footy starting tonight we face the first week where rotation may become a real issue. Certain players of course will play this weekend if fit but who are the ones to be wary of this weekend?
After being rested against Villa I cannot see Raheem Sterling benched for the tricky away day at West Ham. Nor at Chelsea can I see Jose going with anything but his best 11 against Man City. In fact I see the Premier League as the main target for Jose this season. At Arsenal you don't see Wenger rest many but with the options available in midfield we could see the out of form Ozil rested at Villa.
Certainly playing away from home after a midweek game is not the ideal. Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all face this problem and all face tricky to very tough games. Further Liverpool and Everton squad do this without the experience as squad of playing European games midweek and league games a few days later, how will they adjust?
Question 7 - Before we launch this week's player picks who is this weeks out of the box thinking pick?
You all have Di Maria, Rooney, Kun, Ramsey, Sanchez and Costa (bar me) but who is your gut or logic pick you really want to go with in week 5 bar the obvious?