Mini-First Impressions

You couldn't swing a virtual dead cat on Twitter today/this evening without running into a comment about how great it was that the Chelsea/ManYoo match lived up to the hype.  And for once, the Twitterati were right, it was a heck of a match.  It had some exceptional goals from Rooney and Luiz.  It had controversy in the form of Luiz's foul on Rooney. And a huge talking point for the comments sections and forums in the form of the lack of Luiz Red Card as compared to the lack of the same for Rooney against Wigan.  Most importantly, it means that the title race is really back on.  Here are some additional thoughts from one thoroughly entertained blogger:

  • Liverpool Looking Up? - Vidic's red card makes the ManYoo match this coming Sunday much more interesting.  The heart of United's push to first place has been rock solid defending from Rio and Vidic.  With Vidic definitely out and Rio and Evans also likely out how solid will that defense be? Smalling and what partner in the middle? O'Shea? Brown? Could be ugly, especially given how strong Suarez looked even in a losing cause against West Ham over the weekend. 
  • Equal Treatment? - The next question will be whether Luiz faces a different fate than Rooney did in the wake of his clearly intentional foul.  I'm not sure if it was sufficient to be reviewed but if I were king of the world, it certainly would be.
  • Wide Open Again? - In other circumstances, you'd think that Arsenal would be the only team really helped by this outcome but with Arsenal finally experiencing their yearly catastrophic collapse due to a tragic mistake followed by a lot of injuries to key players.  It will be interesting to see if anyone else - Chelsea, Citeh, or Spurs - can climb back in on the heels of ManYoo and Arsenal potentially scuffling. 
  • Transfer Madness? - So here's the current standings in the "high profile players who changed teams in January" table.  Sturridge - 4; Luiz - 1; Suarez - 1; Carroll - 0; and Torres - 0.  The question now is whether Torres is being respectful to his old Liverpool employers and is waiting until Carroll returns to the line-up to start scoring goals so the two of them can be compared apples-to-apples when we in the media start reviewing the over-priced January acquisitions.  Too bad for Bolton that they didn't agree on a price for a permanent deal before the loan started.
  • Vindication? - For those who questioned my analysis of Scholes and Giggs and their (lack of) viability as fantasy options I give you the results - Scholes = 4.00 and Giggs = 2.5.  I suppose those of you who chose Scholes can argue that he outperformed his price (barely) and I'll give you that.  That said, and with apologies to Dennis Green, they were what their performances this season said they were.  Even those of us who aren't United supporters should do our best to remember two things - first, that they were amazing players in their day and second, that those days are behind them.
  • Reserves? - Was anyone else struck by the fact that in one of the biggest games of the season both this season's leading scorer in the league (Berbs) and last season's leading scorer in the league (Drogs) were both reserves? With Chicharito starting two in a row with no injury announced, you have to think that Berbs has been relegated to being a reserve despite his gaudy goal total.  At Chelsea, Drogba seems to have been dropped to second choice behind new acquisition Torres in matches that really matter.  I can't say I disagree with either choice, especially the Chicharito over Berbs decision but it is still amazing how many goals (and how much salary) were sitting on the bench today. 
  • Confirmed Two-Gamers? - With Everton losing to Reading in the FA Cup, Birmingham and Everton are confirmed as two-gamers in the upcoming matchweek for both Yahoo! and the official Premier League fantasy game.  Let the buying begin.
I hope you enjoyed the game as much as I did.

Cheers - Neal


  1. Chris Jones7:32 PM

    Re:- Scholes.

    He returned his (pitiful) value. It was all I was after so it was a good deal for me. However, deciding to hang on to RVP was certainly not.


  2. The Guad Squad10:46 PM

    Ruiz' "bump" was nowhere near the level of aggression and malicious intent that Rooney's was. Rooney raised and intentional swung his elbow, Ruiz merely shoulder/hip checked him. I see no comparison, I see a straight red for Rooney's and maybe a free kick for Ruiz but definitely not a card.

    ...but I just picked up Rooney before the DGW on my FPL team so I guess i can't complain...

  3. Anonymous2:32 AM

    Chicharito performs better coming off the bench, well he did get those 2 goals but i'll give him 30 minutes instead of 70.

  4. Anonymous6:04 AM

    @The Guard Squad
    first learn player names, than write your comments

  5. Anonymous7:32 AM

    @The Guard Squad
    learn basic thing first(player's name).don't trying too hard to impress

  6. farri7:56 AM

    already have carr and BFDB
    cahill or arteta??
    gardner or larson??

  7. jambulani4:44 PM

    any suggestions?:
    kolarov coleman baines
    nani vdv adam bentley
    carew beckford martins

  8. @jambulani:
    -Adam is out 2 games with yellow card -accumulation suspension.
    -VDV is injured? Or an injury risk.
    -Nani only has one game, against Liverpool.
    -Beckford might be injured, keep an eye on team news
    -Carew switch to Zigic
    I think you need more double gamers in midfield. Arteta, Osman come to mind. I have 10 DG in my team this week =)

  9. Bwoca7:09 AM

    Giggs was quality in the Chelsea game, no two ways about it. Admit it Neal, people are still talking about that back heel, and his outside of the boot cross was awesome too.

  10. fracca9:43 AM

    "people" are man u fans though. he back-heeled the ball, whoopy-doo, it didn't really contribute to anything. he crossed the ball, whoppy-doo, ditto. He was a great player, him still playing at a high level is a testament to his attitude and training, but he's nowhere near the player he was. same could be said about the manchester utd as a whole...

  11. lets hope united drop one more game, then it is arsenal's turn to take the league. they just need to stay healthy for all the games. the loss to birmingham didn't affect them as they whacked an easy opponent.

  12. Anonymous10:51 AM

    man u fans are talking about their old stars?

    Then let me talk about the new stars, Suarez or Carroll, I think they will beat VDS and the final score is 2:1 again!

  13. Nobody seems to be talking about the first half of the Chelsea game... Did that look like a United team that was past it? (fracca)

  14. Anonymous9:55 PM

    Just wait till SAF makes a move on david beckham. Then we are talking about an indestructible man utd force. ;)

  15. Anonymous10:44 PM

    @Bwoca: Last time I checked it takes 2 halves to complete a match :D

    Utd fell apart in the 2nd, lacked the quality of past Utd dominate teams, enough said.

  16. Anonymous1:20 AM

    SAF made poor substitutions allowing Chelsea back in it and ultimately to win. Scholes/Hernandez for Giggs/Berbatov.... or am I missing something. Was it not 1-0 for MU when that sub was made?

    I realize that Luiz should have been removed and that Smalling penalty was a bit contentious....