With Gameweek 23 coming to a close let’s take some time to look back and review which FPL assets put a smile on their managers face and who put themselves on the chopping block.
Ilkay Gündoğan (6m)Embed from Getty Images
Gündoğan continued his impressive run of form with 2 goals in City’s 4-1 demolition of Liverpool on Sunday night. At halftime it looked like Ilkay may be a contender for the Bad week shortlist after blazing a penalty high and wide with the score locked at 0-0.
The German midfielder quickly made amends in the second half rifling home a rebound after Allison parried Phil Foden’s effort. Gündoğan grabbed a second after a bizarre passage of play from Liverpool’s usually reliable number one.
Gündoğan claimed all 3 bonus points to secure a 13 point haul and take his tally for the season to 104 points making him the second cheapest midfield player to cross the 100 point mark, only bettered in value by West Ham’s Soucek (106).
Miguel Almirón (5.6m)Embed from Getty Images
I’m not expecting everyone to be rushing to buy Newcastle’s Paraguayan Midfielder but it would be unfair to leave the game week’s second highest scorer out. Almirón returned an impressive 15 points against Southampton with 2 goals and all 3 bonus points.
A brace in the first half for Miguel gave Newcastle a two goal lead at the break and Steve Bruce’s men shut up shop despite being down to ten men in the second half with almost every Newcastle player occupying their own final third.
Anyone debating a differential punt on Almirón would be wise to note Newcastle play Chelsea and Man United next, hardly ideal fixtures for the magpies.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (7.7m)Embed from Getty Images
Despite being rested by many managers this week (myself included) DCL displayed the poachers instinct that lead to him being an early season essential. Dominic was involved in Eveton’s first goal in the 49th minute when his cross was misread by De Gea who deflected the ball straight into the oncoming Doucoure who gratefully obliged from close range.
DCL benchers looked to have got away with just an assist left on the bench until the Everton striker prodded home from a Michael Keane flick on with the last kick of the game, a painful end to proceedings for United and FPL managers alike.
That stoppage time equaliser made it 2 goals in 2 games for Calvert Lewin who looks like he may just be about to hit another purple patch, I won’t be benching him for his double game week that’s for sure.
Stuart Dallas (4.8m)Embed from Getty Images
Dallas capped another impressive performance from Leeds who have now climbed into the top half of the Premier League.
Although the best visual performance has to go to Raphinha who is turning into a human highlight reel it was Dallas who came out on top in the FPL scoring with an assist and a clean sheet (that’s right they did class him as a defender).
The “out of position” defender started in midfield again and seemed to be everywhere, epitomising the high octane style of play associated to Bielsa. The ball broke to Dallas after Leeds forced a turnover on the half way line, he picked out Harrison who cannoned his shot past the keeper to opening the scoring (with a little bit of help from a Cahill deflection).
Leeds dominated throughout and the clean sheet never looked in too much danger apart from a wayward shot from Eze in the second half which should have at least tested Meslier. The Clean sheet secured all three bonus points and a 12 point haul for Dallas taking his total to 95 for the season.
Phil Foden (6.1m)Embed from Getty Images
A second feature for City who’s display against Liverpool was the stuff of champions. Foden bagged 2 assists, a goal and the maximum 3 bonus points to take the GW23 crown with 16 points! Foden again displayed his unbelievable talent and looks to be a world class player in the making.
His goal was well taken from a tight near post angle, I have watched Foden a lot recently and he seems to really like shooting from this position (he scored a similar goal vs Chelsea), if Foden was immune to pep roulette he’d definitely be the best value asset in the game.
Phil Foden is now on 83 points for the season, an incredible effort when you consider he has only started in 11 of his 17 appearances and is averaging 60 minutes a game.
Jeff Hendrick (4.5m)Embed from Getty Images
I don’t think anything could sum Newcastle up any better than managing to feature in both the best and the worst performances of the week. Despite Almirón managing to claim second place in the scoring Jeff Hendrick also managed to finish bottom of the pile with a pitiful -2 points.
I imagine my Geordie followers won’t mind me making fun of Hendrick too much as they did still go on to win but when Jeff seen red in the 49th minute I’m sure they were less than impressed. the standard -3 for a red and just 1 appearance point for being sent for an early bath before the 60th minute secured Hendrick’s place as GW23’s worst performer.
Allison (5.9m)Embed from Getty Images
We all have bad days and sometimes people forget that Footballers are Human and this applies to them too. Allison decided to have a really bad day against Man City though gifting 2 goals to the opposition via some terrible errors with the ball at his feet.
Allison managed to avoid any minus points but did come out with a less than impressive 0 points after conceding 4.
Antonio Rüdiger (4.6M)Embed from Getty Images
The irony is not lost on me that a player I picked out as a potential differential just last week repaid my faith with an own goal in his very next game. In fairness to Rüdiger he recovered well and had a solid game after this but his momentary lapse in concentration wiped out his teams clean sheet and burdened the German centre half with a -2, negating his 2 points for playing 90 minutes and leaving Rüdiger with an underwhelming 0 points.
Gary Cahill (4.5M)Embed from Getty Images
Cahill also managed to join the 0 point club after his lacklustre performance against Leeds in the final game of GW23. Conceding 2 and picking up a booking for bringing down Raphinha who humiliated the former Chelsea Defender with a Mcgeady spin nutmeg that wouldn’t look out of place in a FIFA skills tutorial.
Cahill earns his place in the bad week shortlist while also losing dignity to Bielsa’s Brazilian winger.
Tomáš Souček (5.4m)Embed from Getty Images
Finally we have to mention poor Tomáš, West Ham’s gentle giant is this weeks most unfortunate addition to team bad week after being sent off for an accidental elbow on Mitrovic which has already been overturned.
Souček was having a rough night as it was missing a couple of back post chances in the first half against struggling Fulham. When he ventured forward in the final minutes ready to try and connect with an imminent West Ham set piece owners may have been expecting one last chance from the Czech cheat code.
Unfortunately after consulting VAR for what felt like an eternity Mike Dean had other ideas and gave Souček a straight red for for an accidental movement of his elbow which grazed the face of Mitrovic, wiping the 3 points Tomáš had on the board in a heartbeat.
Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch. I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life and I send Mike Dean and his family my support. There is no place for abuse of any kind. It is in the past and I’m now focused on the rest of the season https://t.co/Tcofvo8a9X— Tomáš Souček (@tomassoucek28) February 8, 2021
Souček has been vocal on social media in the last day or so outlining that he does not want to see any abuse towards Dean and that mistakes should be forgiven, a message I would like to mirror, unless you have a howler in GW24 which will almost certainly see you included in next weeks article, you have been warned.