Premier League: Player of the Week: Alisson

Alisson earned 8 points and is our player of the week in the Premier League.

The Liverpool goalkeeper much like his team has been unbelievable this season, and the Brazilian put in another magnificent display at the weekend. Liverpool were playing a potential difficult game when they came up against old rival Manchester United at Anfield. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season Manchester United had held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw. That draw remains the only blemish on Liverpool’s unbeaten season so far. They have won every other game and have 64 points from a possible 66. We can talk about the quality that Liverpool possess up front, in midfield and in defence but there is no denying that Alisson has been the bedrock of this side.

Against United he made some sterling saves and important ones and rode the storm well. In the end Liverpool won the game 2-0 and got even more bragging rights over one of their greatest rivals. Alisson naturally earned another 7 points as a result, but he got even more as he assisted in his sides last minute goal, a rarity for a goalkeeper. Kicking the ball out, it found striker Mohamed Salah who has been quiet for his standards this season and the Egyptian international made no mistakes in sealing the win. The goal was important for killing off the game, as at 1-0 it was always going to be on a knife edge.

In the fantasy rankings Alisson has 49 points and is ranked as number 1 in the Premier League goalscorers list. He has 10 more points than 2nd placed Kasper Schmeichel. Alisson is good value to add to your team and would cost 10m. From 14 starts this season he has kept 7 clean sheets and so every time he plays Liverpool has a 50% chance of not conceding, and that is an impressive statistic.

Whilst Alisson has picked up no yellow cards he has received a red card this season but that is a rarity for the player. Liverpool have also only conceded 7 goals this season when he has been between the sticks. An early season injury did keep him out for over a month when Adrian filled the position.

If we count all major European leagues Alisson would rank as 5th but this is down to the fact that he missed a chunk of the season through his injury.

Liverpool have two testing games coming up. Both are away and the first is against Wolves tonight. They will finally play their game in hand against West Ham on January 29th and the club has a 13 point lead over 2nd placed Manchester City.

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

 

 

Best 11 Players in the Premier League: Matchday 23

Liverpool gained again at the weekend when they won and 2nd placed Manchester City could only draw. 3rd place Leicester lost and 4th placed Chelsea also lost. It was simply total gain for Liverpool who have now moved 16 points clear at the top with a game in hand. We take a look below at the best performing players in the league this past weekend. Did you have any of them?

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Alisson- Liverpool

The best goalkeeper in the Premier League picked up a massive 9 points and that is huge for his position. Liverpool beat rivals Manchester United 2-0 as Alisson kept his 7th clean sheet of the season. To put the icing on the cake the Brazilian assisted for Mohamed Salah’s goal. He has 49 points now and is 9 points clear of 2nd placed keeper Kasper Schmeichel. Alisson would cost 10m

Defender: Virgil van Dijk- Liverpool

Nine points were earned for Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool kept a clean sheet and the Dutchman also opened the scoring. He now has 59 points and is ranked in third place i the fantasy rankings for Premier League defenders.

Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold -Liverpool

Keeping a clean sheet against Manchester United is no mean feat and Alexander-Arnold was at the heart of everything Liverpool did back there. It is his 9th clean sheet of the season and he is ranked No.1. for defenders in the Premier League. He is valued at 7m.

Defender: Isaac Hayden- Newcastle

The hero for Newcastle! The Magpies beat Chelsea 1-0 due to a last minute strike from Isaac Hayden. That topped off an amazing day for Hayden who also helped his team keep a clean sheet. Hayden is valued at just 2m and has 11 points so far.

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool

In defence Liverpool almost had a clean sweep. In getting a 2-0 win over old rivals Manchester United, the Reds had achieved a huge result which underlined just how good they have been this season. Robertson earned 5 points at the weekend and is valued at 7m which seems like a great bargain.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool

The attacking midfielder Salah scored Liverpool’s second goal which confirmed the win over Manchester United, and more important for him ended a baron spell. The Egypt international now has 11 goals and 5 assists.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa

Jack Grealish now has 38 points and his value of just 3.5m to buy looks like a steal. He scored a goal at the weekend too as his side drew 1-1 away to Brighton. Grealish has now scored 7 goals this season.

Midfielder: Jordan Henderson- Liverpool

Jordan Henderson is just getting better by each passing season and is the engine room in this fantastic Liverpool side. He only earned 2 points at the weekend but with many midfielders not performing so well, that was enough to make this team.

Midfielder: Ismaila Sarr- Watford

Ismaila Sarr has really stood out as one of the best players Watford have as they continue their fantastic recovery from what looked like certain relegation a month ago. Watford drew 0-0 against Tottenham. Sarr is valued at 7.5m and has 27 points so far.

Striker: Sergio Aguero- Manchester City

For the second week in a row Sergio Aguero tops the charts as one of the best strikers in the Premier League. He scored two goals and almost won the game for his club who were 1-0 down with 8 minutes to go against Crystal Palace. Aguero earned 8 points and he has now scored 15 goals this season.

Striker: Raul Jimenez- Wolves

Raul Jimenez is a real gem of a player at Wolves, and the club produced the best stunning comeback of the weekend. They were losing 2-0 to Southampton and won 3-2 and Jimenez grabbed two of those goals earning a nice 8 points. He has 50 altogether and can be added to your team for just 5.5m.

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premier League Predictions: Week 23

It’s another round of the English Premier League with some exciting games as the top 4 is still up for grabs and so is relegation. Which teams will be able to make in roads and can Liverpool stretch their unbeaten run to 39 games when they face old rival Manchester United?

Watford v Tottenham

The weekend kicks off with this Saturday lunchtime game and what a game it looks to be. Watford have been in brilliant form and are unbeaten in their last five games. They have climbed out of the relegation zone. Tottenham have been in mixed form and are 9 points behind 4th place now. With Harry Kane out Jose Mourinho will be relying on Heung-Min Son to find some form.  Watford and Tottenham to draw

Arsenal v Sheffield United

Arsenal have been average even under Mikel Arteta with just one win in his 4 games so far. But last time they were at home they beat Manchester United 2-0. One would think they will have too much for the Blades here. Mesut Ozil looks like a new player, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their potent striker will be missing after being sent off. A narrow win perhaps? Arsenal to beat Sheffield United

Brighton v Aston Villa

Both sides have shown a lack of form and Brighton have slipped to 14th place and have won just once in their last five games. Aston Villa lost 6-1 at home to Manchester City last weekend and are in 18th but a win here could move them out of the bottom three and they could join Brighton on the same points. Watch out for Jack Grealish who is using this year to try and get into England’s team for Euro 2020. Brighton and Aston Villa to draw

Manchester City v Crystal Palace

Last season Crystal Palace stunned Manchester City at the Etihad with a 3-2 win. But it was a one off stunning goal that won it for the Eagles. City are in rich form and scoring goals, with 10 in their last 3 games. A win here would take them to 50 points. Can Sergio Aguero score more goals this weekend after his fantastic hat trick? Manchester City to beat Crystal Palace

Norwich v Bournemouth

Norwich look doomed for relegation. They are bottom of the league and 8 points from safety. They have earned 2 points from their past 15. Bournemouth are in 19th but are six points ahead of the Canaries. This is Norwich’s biggest game of the season, they need to win and need a player like Teemu Pukki to show his early season form. Norwich to beat Bournemouth 

Southampton v Wolves

Along with Watford, Southampton have been the team of the moment. They beat Leicester away from home after losing to the same team 9-0 a couple of months ago. Their recovery looks complete. Wolves have quality but had to play in midweek in the FA Cup and lost to Manchester United. The Saints are at home and the fresher team. Southampton to beat Wolves

West Ham v Everton

David Moyes will face his former team who he spent 11 years at. Moyes’ 2nd stint with the Hammers started well but they lost to Sheffield United last week. Carlo Ancelotti has won 3 of his first five games with Everton. We expect to see a very entertaining game with the away side getting all three points. Richarlison looks fired up since Ancelotti took charge. Everton to beat West Ham

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle have only lost 3 games at home and Chelsea usually don’t travel so well up here. The Blues have gone their last three matches unbeaten, but this will be a tough game for them. The Magpies have not won in 4 games but this record won’t keep up. Jonjo Shelvey just needs to show some of his brilliant form before Christmas. Newcastle to beat Chelsea

Burnley v Leicester

Burnley have lost 4 games in a row coming into this match and that includes losing 4 of their last five home games and now they are up against the 3rd best team in England right now. Leicester’s form has dipped but they can get back on track with a win here. Leicester to beat Burnley

Liverpool v Manchester United

One of the all time great fixtures of football. Liverpool are still unbeaten and have a  100% record at Anfield. They have no major injuries and no distractions. Manchester United are missing Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford could be touch and go. Liverpool are light years ahead of United even though it was the Red Devils who have taken the only points from Liverpool so far. Liverpool to beat Manchester United

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

 

 

Is racism growing in the Premier League?

Many people would call the Premier League the best in the world but the league has been hit hard this season and in recent weeks for racist chanting amongst a minority of fans who have spoiled great occasions and overshadowed matches.

In truth it was thought that before the season started that racist chanting was resigned to Eastern European countries and in Serie A in Italy they have also had their fair share with ex Premier League player Mario Balotelli facing the brunt of so called fans’ actions. But it is easy to point at other countries and other fans, less easy to admit that there is a much bigger problem in England and the Premier League than there was first thought.

There have been countless incidents this season and it really does feel that sadly racism is growing in the league. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba was subjected to racism earlier in the season for missing a penalty. Marcus Rashford then came to his defence and he was subjected to the same vile chants. Again at Manchester United a fan had to be ejected for his actions in the massive game against Liverpool seen by millions of people around the world.

In the Manchester derby a fan had to be arrested after his actions towards certain players and the game had to be stopped as a consequence. Most recently in the Tottenham and Chelsea London derby clash the game had to be interrupted no less than three times to remind fans to stop alledged monkey chanting. Some of these seemed to be aimed at Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger although police later said that there was no evidence of an attack on the player. Stlll if true there were plenty of unsavoury moments.

The Premier League has been excellent in leading the charge to kick racism out of the game. A hint of it and actions have been taken and other leagues can still learn from this zero tolerance attitude. But it is still a worry that some fans turn up to the game not to watch it but to vent their hate for another player based on the colour of their skin.

The Premier League has issued statements and will enforce bans and this is very good and the right steps to make. But this season has clearly been a step back into a time that no one wants to remember and a big wake up call that the Premier League has a huge racism issue that perhaps the people running the league did not think was the case before.

The good news is that punishments are being handed out which normally means an arrest and being banned from football for life. But one senses that more education is needed on the topic, it is just sad that we are still talking about divides amongst people in 2020.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

The 10 best Premier League teams of the decade

In England the Premier League’s best teams have, for a time, been described as the big six and below we look at how these big six teams have compared points wise, which team has garnered the most points since January, 2010- December 31st, 2019?

If one was to say who has been the most successful Premier League team of the decade, do you say Manchester City or Chelsea? Both clubs have won 7 titles between them and of course it is City who have won the most titles this decade winning 7. That would have been unthinkable at the beginning of the decade where City had just been taken over and injected with money.

This table is based on points earned in the Premier League only:

6th- Arsenal  702pts

The great Arsenal side have really had a down turn this decade and winning a few FA Cups aside this has been a disappointing 10 years for the club who finally saw the end of the Arsene Wenger era when he left the club after 22 years. His first half reign had been supreme but after the club moved stadium success did not follow. Arsenal are certainly a team in transition.

5th – Tottenham Hotspur  703pts

Tottenham forever in Arsenal’s shadow it seemed stepped out of it this decade even if they had a lack of trophies to show for it. The club surpassed Arsenal and started qualifying for the Champions League on a regular basis instead of their north London rivals. They even made a Champions League final in 2019 but lost to Liverpool. Now the club has one of the most successful managers in charge of them in Jose Mourinho as they try to continue to build on former boss Mauricio Pochettino’s hard work.

4th-  Liverpool  710pts

It may be a surprise to see Liverpool only 4th in the decade standings and that is in large part because of some of the poor seasons the club had endured. This included finishing below Everton their rivals for a few seasons. Brendan Rodgers did almost win the league for the club in 2014, but they have only looked like the Liverpool of old under Jurgen Klopp. When the German was appointed manager he struggled at first but now he looks like the best coach in the world. Liverpool are the European and World club champions and are after their first league title since 1990 which they look like they will wrap up in style this season. They have not lost in the Premier League for 1 year.

3rd-  Chelsea  740pts

Continuing on from a very successful 2000s, Chelsea went a step further and won the Champions League in 2012 and this decade they have won 3 league titles, with 3 different managers. They are a superb team when they want to be, but surely would have taken 2nd place here after they had two poor seasons this decade.

2nd-  Manchester United  747pts

This has been a very tough decade for Manchester United, their worst since the 1980s, and so this is all very new for a new generation to witness the fall of this great club. The decade started off well enough with 2 league titles and a Champions League final appearance. But once Sir Alex Ferguson left the club the wheels started to come off. David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho couldn’t find the solution, though the club still picked up a league cup, an FA Cup and a Europa League in between, they have had a succession of very poor league results.

1st-  Manchester City  818pts

Way out in front is Manchester City who won 4 league titles this decade including their first ever back to back wins in 2018 and 2019. The club have been fantastic and really went up another level once Pep Guardiola came into the fold. He installed a winning only attitude and the club raised the bar so much that in one season they got 100 points, the other Liverpool got 97 points and that wasn’t enough either. In two seasons City earned 198 points, incredible stuff. And no club can come near them this decade.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Mikel Arteta has stepped into the storm at Arsenal can he prove his worth?

No wins in his first two games does not bode well for Mikel Arteta and one has to wonder if Arteta will be the right man to lead Arsenal forward?

Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal ended in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth. The result was seen as acceptable given that Eddie Howe’s side had taken the lead but at the same time Bournemouth had been in very bad form and fallen in the league, this could have been an opportunity to beat them.

That match was followed up by the recent Chelsea game. A grudge London derby match was not what Arteta and Arsenal needed right now. But the club played good football and took the lead through the excellent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and everything seemed like it was going well. Even with five minutes remaining one could see Arsenal winning the game. Although there was the niggling thought that despite good play the Gunners had only had 2 shots on target and this was a home game.

And then it happened, Bernd Leno made a shocking error and Chelsea scored not one but two goals in the last few minutes to snatch the win. Perhaps a draw would have been the fair result as this was a game of two halves but Arsenal had lost again.

Arteta then has started with 1 draw and one loss and it is clearly too early to judge him yet. However the modern game has turned cruel at times and if Arsenal have not picked up and changed in a months time he will be judged by some.

Have the Arsenal board made the right decision and what is expected of Arteta this season? Well Arteta was one of the leading favourites to be appointed as Arsenal manager after Arsene Wenger had left the club after 22 years but instead the board chose Unai Emery, on paper that seemed like a fair choice. The board have now gone for Arteta, but again on what grounds?

Arteta has no top flight managerial experience however the one card he does have up his sleeve is that he has been Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City in the last few years and has stuck to the former Barcelona legend like glue. But surely management of your own team and making those decisions is quite a different job altogether? When one looks at the fact that Everton were able to lure Carlo Ancelotti one of the most decorated managers of the past 20 years and Arsenal make do with Arteta, one also wonders just how far the Gunners expectations have fallen.

Of course let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Arteta could well end up being a brilliant manager, but maybe Arsenal needed that experience and quality now and not to flourish slowly in the next few years. With the exception of Chelsea hiring Frank Lampard most big clubs go with experience. The other worrying aspect is that with new managers usually come the results. Look at Ancelotti at Everton and Nigel Pearson at Watford.

Arsenal are now 11 points from a top 4 position and it is quite clear that this season is a near write off in terms of the league. There are simply too many points and too many positions in between the clubs, and this league has been fiercely competitive this season.

Arteta’s objective is too surely get the club winning games again and make coming to the Emirates a fortress. The confidence factor has to be reversed. So forget league positions and cups, the priority has to be making Arsenal what Arsenal have been for the past 20 years, a very good attacking club.

On the little evidence that we have seen Arteta is in for a major job, and one has to wonder if he has been thrown in at the deep end? On New Year’s Day Arsenal will face Manchester United to begin their first game of a new decade, good luck Mikel, you will need it.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Leicester have come up short against the better teams but it has still been a brilliant season so far for them

Leicester have had a superb season but recent results have certainly brought the club back down to earth, but this shouldn’t mask just how strong the side has been so far this season.

The recent 4-0 whitewash against Liverpool confirmed what most people already knew, Leicester are not about to win their second title in four years. As good as the club have been this season they have clear limitations. They have lost to Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool as an example. But the beauty of the club is that they are plugging away and getting the right results against everyone else.

Currently the club are in 2nd place, ahead of champions Manchester City and that should tell you everything about them. They are not just satisfied with the league either and have made in roads on the domestic cup namely the Carabao Cup where they have reached the semi-finals. The Foxes will play Aston Villa in a 2 leg semi final and it isn’t unrealistic to think that they could reach the final where they would meet either Manchester City or Manchester United. So whilst the season hasn’t been picture perfect for the club most teams would give their right arms to be at the level that Leicester are at.

It has been quite an achievement and Brendan Rodgers coming into the club last spring has worked wonders. If anything he has reinstated the belief that Leicester’s 2016 Premier League title was not a one off. Sure in terms of actually winning it again one could see it like that. But he has insured that the club are remembered not for just one amazing season. The clear objective now is to return to the Champions League which would be a magnificent achievement and the club have a 10 point safety net in doing so. That looks good but we must remember that we are only at the half way stage of the season campaign and there will be so many twists and turns to come.

Recent form is not good for Leicester too- True losing to Manchester City and Liverpool is no shame but they have also drawn 1-1 at home to Norwich in between those games. The Foxes will play West Ham at the weekend and lose that and this could be the start of the slippery slide that many have suggested could happen. After that game Leicester will play Newcastle another away game before venturing into the FA Cup.

There is all to play for then and it would be unfortunate if Leicester blew a top 4 place now.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Carlo Ancelotti is not the manager Everton are looking for

Everton have been without a manager for two weeks after sacking Marco Silva once the club had dropped into the relegation zone. But no Everton fan could have predicted that the next man coming in would be Carlo Ancelotti- but is the Italian the right manager for Everton?

In Silva’s absence Duncan Ferguson a bona fide club legend stepped up and was given the care taker job. From the minute Ferguson took his position inevitably Everton have looked like a different team. Suddenly they are good enough to beat Chelsea, to draw away to Manchester United and to take Leicester to penalties in the Carabao Cup.

But enough of the players what about the Scotsman Ferguson who bleeds Everton blue blood- he loves the club and it shows. No one will forget his touchline joy with two ball boys when Everton scored against Chelsea- and went on to win the game 3-1. Against Manchester United in his 2nd game in charge he took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves, except it wasn’t sunny, it was windy and rainy. But that is Ferguson all over, he wants to involve himself in the game as much as he can without playing on the actual pitch. For any Everton fan it would have been a joy to witness the last few weeks of what has been a miserable season so far for the club.

In post match interviews Ferguson has sounded like a fan given the caretaker job- but underneath it all he is a professional and has so much pride having this chance to manage the club. However he has filled fans hearts they will know himself that the club are going through that honeymoon moment and sure enough the penny will drop and the club will go back to poor form. They need investment and they also need a manager with proven skills. Ferguson is building his up, and it seems only natural he will step aside for whoever comes in. That man seems to be Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti has won over 15 major trophies as manager. He has won Champions Leagues with AC Milan and Real Madrid, countless league titles with Juventus and won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. He has of course coached in the Premier League and won the double for Chelsea. In short he would be massive for the club, and he is one of the best managers the game has witnessed in the last 20 years no doubt about it.

The problem is will Ancelotti and Everton be a good fit? Everywhere Ancelotti has gone he has already had world class players at his disposal and then a generous owner who has given him many millions. True Everton owner Farhad Moshiri does have some deep pockets, and Everton are one of the highest spending clubs in the league- but they have sold many players too to raise funds. It seems unlikely that Ancelotti will be given upwards of £200m in the summer- that is evidently what it will take to move Everton onto the next level.

In one sense Anceotti should be congratulated. He is taking a step down and a risk to go to a club like Everton who have flirted in recent seasons with the bottom half of the table. At the same time one wonders if Ancelotti’s best days are behind him? He was sacked as manager of Napoli after they lost distance in Serie A and his normal win rates of between 65-70% diminished to just 50% under Napoli.

Ancelotti will come into the club and should raise the standard, no doubt about that, but it may not last as long as one would hope. He needs to come in and understand the clubs philosophy, the players he has, the owners, the fans- this takes time and it could well be a difficult six months until the summer where he will have proper transfer funds. So would it not be better to stick with Ferguson until then at least? Or would it be better not to pay Ancelotti a kings ransom which he will surely get and look for a more hungrier, younger manager with a proven win rate?

Look at Arsenal a club in crisis who have reportedly lost interest in the highly experience Ancelotti for Mikel Arteta, who has no first team coaching experience but is being mentored by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

In getting in Ancelotti and saying good bye so quickly to Ferguson it just seems that we were given some insight to a football free from the powers of money and Premier League marketing. Everton had taken a time travel machine but of positive vibes. Before you can say suited and booted they are back with a classy Italian in charge. Hopefully he will be able to understand the club and his job quick enough not to be picking up an early P45.

He deserves all of the plaudits and hopefully if Ancelotti is indeed appointed as manager he can really move the club up to the next level, one just wonders if this move is a smart one or a vanity one?

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Pep Guardiola is set to make a massive mistake letting Arteta leave Manchester City

Manchester City are furious that Arsenal have held talks with their No.2. Mikel Arteta about Arteta becoming Arsenal’s next manager and so they should.

The problem for City is that they understand Arteta’s desire to be a full time manager- he can’t stay under Pep Guardiola’s wing much longer. But it has been the way that Arsenal has conducted themselves. According to City, Arsenal have made no formal contact with the club over Arteta but have spoken to the Spaniard. Photographers captured Arsenal’s board leaving Arteta’s home very late in the night and it almost seems a given now that Arteta will be Arsenal’s new manager.

Whilst City will not stand in the way of his ambition one has to wonder why Guardiola has not spoken out about this? Just watching any of City’s matches over the past few seasons there has been Arteta right by Guardiola’s side, it seems that Pep needs him and it seems odd that he is just willing for his right hand man to leave halfway into the season.

One could rightly point out that City’s title chances have all but evaporated being 14 points behind Liverpool but there is still the navigation of the Champions League coming up, something that Guardiola wants more than anything. Will losing Arteta’s input and let’s face it a friend at this stage of the season harm Guardiola’s thinking? It is worth a thought.

It just feels that Guardiola is having too much of a shift with his close knit team in the middle of a gruelling and testing season. Had this happened in the summer it would have given him some time to think, but it happening now makes little sense.

One wonders if the change is going to come back to haunt City? The league looks over but Guardiola really wants the Champions League. His own time at City will be winding down soon with many believing that he could leave the club next season. If City don’t win the Champions League it would be two clubs now in a row where Guardiola hasn’t won it and he hasn’t won the competition since 2011 with Barcelona.

In short Guardiola is losing reliable quality. First it was fearless club captain Vincent Kompany, then some key injuries took hold and now it is Mikel Arteta to Arsenal. The cards seem to be falling and it will take every bit of Guardiola’s professionalism and experience to get through this time unscathed.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

 

Manchester United remind the Premier League who were kings for 20 years

Let’s not walk around the situation this has been a hideous and largely terrible six years for Manchester United a club so used to picking up trophies and being England’s if not Europe’s best team. Those days look long gone but in the past few weeks the Red Devils have shown hints of their qualities which will always be festering in the clubs DNA.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started life at Old Trafford in such terrific form that he was soon given a full time contract and it was at that precise moment that United collapsed. The club couldn’t buy a win at the tail end of last season and that poor form has dogged them into this one. And yet there has been flashes that United do, in fact, have a quality team in them, it’s just been Solskjaer’s job to try and find it.

A more testing board would have sacked the Norwegian a couple of months ago to be fair and replaced him with Massimiliano Allegri who is currently without a job. But Allegri has stated that he doesn’t want to return to football until next summer. But maybe then after United’s recent up turn there is a case in keeping your manager and not sacking them at the hint that is everything is going downwards. Of course this stance can’t work every time but it is a thought.

Manchester United have had some difficult fixtures recently and it looks evident that these players are at their best when they are motivated by the bigger and stronger teams in the Premier League. Look at the evidence. United are the only team in England to take points from Liverpool this season as the two teams drew 1-1 at Old Trafford. United beat 2nd placed Leicester. They beat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 a week ago and then followed that up by beating the champions Manchester City by the same score line at the Etihad. It has been a fantastic few weeks for the club who are unbeaten in their last five matches.

This form has taken United up to 5th place and they are just 5 points behind Chelsea for a top four place. The club are scoring goals too and have 12 in those matches and there is a positive vibe around the club. Marcus Rashford genuinely looks like he has stepped up a level and looks world class. Daniel James is super quick and Jesse Lingard is doing a terrific job of late. It is all clicking for United.

One suspects though that it will be in the other games when United will be judged more, when they have to travel away to teams that are around them and in the bottom half of the league. Win those and get some consistency and then we can start talking about the return of this famous club. For now they remain a threat to the top 4 and Solskjaer looks like he has saved his job.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.