December’s Giraffes and Lemons

Another new year and once more, after the craziness of last season, the top of the Premiership is beginning to take on a familiar shape. The title seems to be Chelsea’s for the taking and whilst Manchester City’s recent stumble may have taken some by surprise surely Arsenal’s recent downturn should come as no surprise to anybody.

My Team Giraffe for December doesn’t however go to the league leaders, Chelsea, who have continued to impress but instead to Manchester United, who under Jose are slowly making inroads into the teams above them. Whilst the title this season may be beyond the Red Devils I am beginning to feel more confident that my initial prediction that they would finish in the Champions League places will prove to be true.

At the other end of the table my Team Lemon of the month has to go to Crystal Palace for the second month in a row because even after the appointment of Grab the Cash Sam, look a team in disarray.

Here then is my updated prediction for the end of the season (and how it has changed since the start of the season):

  1. Chelsea (2nd)
  2. Manchester City (1st)
  3. Liverpool (5th)
  4. Manchester United (3rd)
  5. Tottenham Hotspur (6th)
  6. Arsenal (4th)
  7. Everton (7th)
  8. Southampton (10th)
  9. Stoke City (8th)
  10. West Ham United (9th)
  11. West Bromwich Albion (13th)
  12. Leicester City (12th)
  13. Bournemouth                (16th)
  14. Middlesbrough (11th)
  15. Watford (14th)
  16. Burnley (17th)
  17. Sunderland (19th)
  18. Swansea (15th)
  19. Hull City (20th)
  20. Crystal Palace (18th)

Although you could argue that Mike Phelan was always only going to be an interim appointment the way he has been treated by the Hull City Board has been disrespectful to say the least and this is why they get my Individual Lemon of the Month. Whilst Marco Silva may be the man to keep them in the Premiership the Hull board put their shirt on Phelan at the start of the season but instead have decided to replace him with a manager who had previously been linked to Nottingham Forest!

My Individual Giraffe of the Month also goes to a player who I have to admit I have never been a fan of but is beginning to look like the real deal, Dele Alli. The Spurs midfielder is beginning to have a consistent impact on the big games, something I felt he didn’t do last season and is beginning to remind of another player who was indispensable for his club, Frank Lampard.

A Bag Full Of Lemons – Week 21

Whilst I enjoyed my time away in Australia I have to admit the timing of the update which finally broke the Official FPL act on my phone wasn’t perfect. Therefore, with limited chances to update my team I lost some of the momentum I had been building up but, as is usually the case, when I finally got back to a decent internet connection my team didn’t do too badly this week, clocking up an above average 83 points.

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The natural selection of my Giraffe of the Week would be Harry Kane, who put in a captain’s performance in getting me 34 points but Marcos Alonso managed to garner an impressive 21 and in doing so wins the award. At the other end I normally hate highlighting defenders for scoring in the wrong net but Gareth McAuley’s own goal, combined with his side’s shambolic defensive display wins McAuley the Lemon of the Week.

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After so long away this week’s transfers are more about beginning to get my team back to where they should be so out goes Ramadan to be replaced by Arnie, who I hope after his match winning performance against Sunderland will go on a run of form similar to that of last season’s. In addition, the experiment with Shane Long is over and with West Brom playing a Sunderland team clearly short on confidence I have brought in Salomon Rondon.