We’re inching closer to the end of the Premier League season with so much still to play for in the league and Fantasy Premier League. Here are my observations from my adventures from gameweek 33 of the Fantasy Premier League:
Theo Walcott returns from injury: On Saturday, Arsenal produced one of its worst performances of the season – misplaced passes, terrible defending, Thomas Vermaelen (6.7) – before a slightly bizarre refereeing decision saved the day. Theo Walcott (8.7) entered the game as a second-half substitute, and his pace unsettled the Norwich defense. That’s one thing that couldn’t be said for Gervinho’s (7.1) pace, which, as far as I could tell, unsettled only Gervinho, who was as clumsy as ever.
Darron Gibson should score more goals: Darron Gibson’s (4.7) long-range shots have a potent quality way beyond his comprehension called power. When Gibson played for Manchester United, I used to yell at the TV screen every time he received the ball, because I just knew he was going to shoot, and I hate it when players shoot from outside the penalty area – usually, there’s a better option. These days, Gibson doesn’t shoot often enough. Coming from me, that’s quite an accusation.
Reading keeps a clean sheet! This means absolutely nothing: When I say that you shouldn’t read anything into Reading’s clean sheet against Liverpool, I mean that you should watch the highlights, forget them and move on. Reading’s back four is bad on about a million levels; if goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (3.9) hadn’t played the game of his life, Adkins’ team would have been crushed.
Is Charles N’Zogbia back? Whenever I write about Charles N’Zogbia (5.8) – which isn’t often; he’s been pretty quiet lately – I like to remember the speedy winger who curled stunners home virtually every other week, and not the overconfident, overpaid excuse for a footballer who started 2011-12 on my fantasy team and finished the season with only two goals. (I also like to remember the time Joe Kinnear referred to him as Charles Insomnia.) On Saturday, N’Zogbia curled home a stunner.
Buy Gaston Ramirez – but not until next year: This season, Gaston Ramirez (5.2) has accumulated 89 fantasy points. As a biggish number floating in the middle of an English sentence, this statistic looks pretty impressive. And then you realize that Jason Puncheon – repeat: Jason Puncheon (5.2) – has earned 101, at which point the full gravity of Ramirez’s failure sinks in and you start to feel a little guilty, as if seeing Ramirez’s total were akin to seeing Ramirez naked. At Bologna, Ramirez was a genuinely brilliant player, one of the best creators in Serie A. Maybe next year.