And so here we are. The final frontier. Part 4. One guest. One massive guest. The greatest man to be associated with football since time began.A great deal of effort has been put in to get this man into the studio, so please put your hands together for the one, the only, the truly magnificent…WhoScored.com’s very own Ben “Mac Attack” McAleer.
Gooch United – Rating 5/10
Players in: Moussa Sissoko (100m), Joe Allen (free), Boring James Milner (free)
Graeme Gooch gambled on waiting until deadline day to make his big money move. Did the gamble pay off? In our view, not quite. Whilst Sissoko can cause havoc when he’s “on it”, he’s not “on it” often enough as shown by his Premier League scoring rate of 1 in every 9 games. The capture of Mustafi may have been a safer bet, and with Koscielny and Cech in the side would’ve caused many an opposition manager restless nights over the frightening thought of an Arsenal clean sheet. However, as a great philosopher going by the name of Stacey M. once said, diversification in defence is key. Time will tell if Gooch made the right decision.
Elsewhere in defence, a left-back Boring James is unlikely to get too many points, although penalty duty is certainly a bonus. Similarly, a deep-lying Emre Can is not likely to trouble the scoreboard often, even more so as his place is hardly guaranteed in the Liverpool starting XI.
Regardless of the transfer window dealings at the club, the squad Gooch has put together is worthy of respect. If Sane, Ian’s big crispy Nachos and Mkhitarynahn bread can all hold down starting spots things start to get very interesting indeed. Is this the season Gooch United trouble the upper echelons of the league?
Mac Attack’s view: “Sissoko is a decent pick up if you can get him cheap (rofl). Reckon he’ll start tomorrow as well. Milner’s a weird one as he’s going to play left-back, so will get forward, and he’s Liverpool’s penalty taker.”
Salamanders – Rating 5/10
Players in: Sofiane Boufal (95m), Hal Robson-Kanu (free), Eldin Jakupovic (free), Isaac Success (free)
Some might think the 5/10 is slightly generous for Sally here, but I think Boufal could be a big success this season. 95m is a huge price tag, so Andy will be hoping he can deliver, and ideally quickly. The Salamanders have had a tough start to the season, and need all the points they can get at the moment.
HRK could struggle for game time at West Brom, with Rondon and Berahino both likely to be in Pulis’ first team plans for the majority of the season. The arrival of Marshall at Hull could spell trouble for Jakupovic also, and Salvidge will no doubt be monitoring the situation closely to see if a change is needed between the sticks.
Another concern for the Salamanders is whether the arrival of Sissoko at Spurs will mean Deli is deployed in a deeper midfield role going forward. Lots of uncertainties for Salvidge to ponder over the coming weeks.
However, the main concern is obvious to everyone apart from the main man himself. Why the Salamanders did not bring in a recognised first-choice striker over the summer is beyond comprehension for everyone in the football world. Andrew can forget soggy Sunday, this will be a soggy season if Austin, Carroll and Robson-Kanu fail to light up the league this season. On a positive note, Success could be a decent signing and the Salamanders will be hoping he can complement their star-man KDB in midfield this season.
Mac Attack’s view: “Boufal and Robson-Kanu won’t start this weekend, though the former will be brilliant when up to speed. Jakupovic I doubt can sustain his high level of form. Success will likely start for Watford in due course, but lacks match fitness.”
Real Sosobad – Rating 1/10
Players in: Fernandinho (free)
A dismal window for Sosobad. Fernandinho. There’s not a lot to say here. He’ll get a couple of goals and assists over the course of season, but with Sosobad’s other midfield options it’s likely he might not even get into the starting XI.
However, it should be said that Russ was reasonably unlucky in trying to get in the star men. 100m on Pogba, 50m on Luiz and Mustafi, 15m on Wilshere and Alonso are all reasonable bids. Unfortunately some lunatic either bid more or lady luck didn’t offer the Sosobad the break they needed.
However, Sosobad fans still have a lot to look forward to this season. Russ has somehow managed to put together a decent squad for once and could genuinely be challenging for trophies if they start getting a bit of luck. There’s a chance that the Josh Club will be without their founder come the end of the season.
Mac Attack’s view: “Not sure how effective Fernandinho is at getting points, but if tackles and defensive work come into play, he’s worth it.” Unfortunately Mac Attack, they don’t.
Bobbond Allstars – Rating 7/10
Players in: Claudio Bravo (50m), Jack Wilshere (50m), Joshua King (free), Damien Delaney (free)
A very good transfer window for the Allstars. Despite the hefty price tag, especially for a goalkeeper, Bravo is likely to be an excellent signing. Wilshere for 50m is madness, but fantrax transfers are not what they once were. Ironically the arrival of Wilshere may mean Drew’s other signing King has a reduced role this season. However, if Wilshere and King can both get on the pitch, they will be involved in a significant number of Bournemouth goals this year.
Defence is a concern for the Allstars, with far too much uncertainty surrounding players starting. New signing Delaney falls under this category, with Kolarov and Sagna offering similar frustrations. With 6 defenders on the books, it’s perhaps an opportunity for Bond to look at bringing in an extra midfielder.
The strikeforce of Deeney and Kane should start firing soon, and Drew will be hoping this kickstarts what has been a turgid start to the season for the Allstars.
Mac Attack’s view: “King isn’t great, so I’d probably avoid (unless Bournemouth are playing a “lesser” side). Bravo will be good, despite lack of height, which he makes up for in shot stopping excellence. Delaney I’m not sure will be long term for Palace. Once Tomkins is fit, think it’ll be Tomkins-Dann in defence. Hope that’s what you were after?” Yes Ben, that’s exactly what I was fucking after, superb.
- 1. Chris Talling’s XI (8/10)
- 2. Bobbond Allstars (7/10)
- 2. Elm Grove Elite (7/10)
- 4. Ozone Athletic (6/10)
- 5. Salamanders (5/10)
- 5. Gooch United (5/10)
- 5. Peperami Barmy Army (5/10)
- 5. Clem’s Lems (5/10)
- 5. Lewey’s Legends (5/10)
- 10. The Hammerheads (4/10)
- 10. Boz’s Pandas (4/10)
- 12. Groovy Penguins (3/10)
- 13. Real Sosobad (1/10)
- 14. Team Fisher8080 (0/10)
A big thank you to Ben McAleer for his time today. Head over to his page at whoScored.com to read some of his great work. And a big thank you to the readers – this 4-parter has had more drama than an Arun Hall wrap party, and I’ve loved every second of it. #FTID