Fantasy Football Ramblings part 2
Welcome to Fantasy Football Ramblings part 2. Yeah, I am back, quantity over quality I say. While most FPL nuts really hate the off-season, I kinda like it. Hypothetically so many changes from day to day, even if nothing actually happens with the actual teams. I love to see the rumours fly and the fans get excited, just to feel like Wenger’s kids at Christmas when they get nothing. Unfortunately my happiness is occasionally muted by them teams who don’t just pretend to compete for top signings but go out and get them. Of course, there is always the third option, which was just invented in the last week. Compete for a top signing and then apologise. Eh???? Sometimes being the founder of the “You get nothing and you best apologise” method is not what the fans are hoping for, not every invention is covered in glory. In a chat with a Liverpool friend (think he still thinks I am a friend) this week he crossed into a state of ‘We are going to win the league’ to a drinking problem. As it all unraveled with Virgil van Dijk, my dear friend who we will call ‘Migs’ to protect his identity made a couple of short comments where we can see the shame, pain and anger all in a couple of short sentences. He says “Just got home and saw twitter”, “Not quite sure what to say… might just have a little cry”, “Bloody hell man!! How many times is this club gonna do stupid shite”. Luckily he had Cookie and I to pick him up and console him. Don’t worry guys, he will get through this and when he does, we will bring it back up 😉
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[/three_fifth]As the transfer window rumours heat up, we see the appearance of Alvaro Morata to United making its way through the twittersphere. While his bench partner at Madrid James Rodriguez is also hanging about in the United chitter chatter, his link is not as strong as it was, like say 5 days ago when Virgil was all but done and dusted to LFC. As some of you might know, Los Blancos are the team I follow, which could explain why I seemingly root against every PL team. The possible selling of these two makes me happy for one of them and someone distraught about the other. I want James to move on, because I don’t think he is likely to get the kind of shot he desires and as a Colombian (this week) I want what is best for him and our national team. Morata is different, because I honestly feel he should be starting and he will if he stays. Benzema should not start over Alvaro, and I feel Morata is not only the present, but the future striker for Real Madrid. The 24 year old Spanish international should stay in my selfish opinion, but I understand why he might want to leave.
I am going to put my PL hat on for a moment and state the case for both at United or any team for that matter, but also why James in particular is a tricky one. Morata is still very young so you are not just buying him for the short term. His physicality is impressive, he can ride tackles and is certainly strong enough for the hold up play that will be required of him. Alvaro has deceptive speed, his frame sometimes fools you into thinking he is a lumbering forward, he is far from that. If you don’t believe me ask David Alaba, who tasted a bit of Morata’s pace in their Champions League meeting back when Juve met Bayern a couple of seasons ago. His strike rate is good, but in the last year it was absolutely ridiculous. Only Messi had a better one in La Liga. He possesses the ability to finish with either foot (ask City as they got victimized by him in CL) and he is strong in the air. He is also versatile enough to play wide if needed as he is a good dribbler and because of his hold up play and good vision he can drop a bit when required. He gets fouled quite a bit and he tends to be a touch over aggressive, really more than he should at times, so expect some yellows. Personally I view him as a very complete forward and he will fit into any squad, just give him the minutes he deserves. Price tag seems to be very high, so that and the fact he has never played in the PL are the biggest question marks on him.
James has a bit more question marks than what I believe Morata has. Rodriguez will not fit into any style and that is why if you buy him you need to understand what you are getting. On the ball decision making he is as good as you are going to find. All his best traits revolve around him having the ball and creating opportunities for others or himself. Similar to Morata he has shown he can produce goals at a very high rate, but in the case of the Colombian also add assists. Rodriguez was third on goals per minute at Madrid only behind Morata & Cristiano and was best on the team in assists per minute. While unfair to compare the leagues, if you stack James vs say Hazard you find that the Colombian does very well by comparison. If we take James 3 seasons at Madrid he has 28 goals and 27 assists in 4988 minutes in league play. Hazard has 34 goals and 17 assists in 8578 minutes of league play. The difference in minutes rounds off to 40 games of 90 minutes. So while the goals and assists are comparable, the edge goes to James is terms of offensive production while on the pitch. That is not to say I believe Hazard is not the superior player, it is a case being made from a FPL point of view and he certainly looks like he can produce FPL wise. You can expect James to take corners on any team and have a fair share of all set pieces, he is an excellent free kick taker. Here comes the big BUT though. If he is not given some liberties as far as roaming you will not get the best out of him. If he is burdened with a big responsibility defensively you will not get the best out of him. He can get back and get in the way, but if you expect a bunch more you are buying the wrong player. This is why if he goes to United it worries me, on paper he does not fit in with Jose. I can’t believe I am fixing to say this, but Arsenal is the much better fit because of Arsene, if he is willing to actually spend. That is not to say he should go to Arsenal or that they would want him, it is more a statement on the manager and his personal style of play. James can play wide, but if a team runs a 4-2-3-1 and you tuck him in behind the striker, you got a player. The further away you move him from that position the less you get, but he can still produce out wide if that is where he is deployed as long as the manager understands where his strengths lie.
Say it ain’t so Alexis, say it ain’t so! While I usually can’t get enough of watching Arsenal fail, hearing rumours picking up about a possible Alexis Sanchez departure makes me sadder than Theresa May. I hope he leaves Arsenal, because he deserves better, but I hope he simply goes to another PL team and not to Bayern as he is being heavily rumoured. As far as Diego Costa goes, Grandpa can leave whenever he likes, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, I say.
Now…Zlatan Ibrahimovic what can you say about a man of his quality? I also heard he was a good footballer, by the way. Instead of trying to come up with words that will never do him justice, let’s run through a couple of his quotes over the years. Legendary stuff!!
“First I went left, he did too. Then I went right, and he did too. Then I went left again, and he went to buy a hot dog.”
Ibra on making Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz.
“You’ll have to ask your wife that.”
When a reporter asked Ibra about scratches on his face.
“No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.”
When offered a trial with Arsenal, Zlatan snubbed Arsene Wenger.
“Nothing, she already has Zlatan.”
When asked what he got his missus for her birthday.
“You bought a Ferrari but you drive it like a Fiat”
On being used incorrectly at Barca.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Ramblings part 2
This article was written by Mito21