Santi Cazorla admits he is thriving as the chief midfield schemer for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. Everton will assess Marouane Fellaini’s knee problem on Monday, Paul Lambert talks up the displays of Brett Holman, Yohan Cabaye is a doubt for France due to a stomach problem , while Brendan Rodgers hopes Jose Enrique will return to training within the next fortnight…
Santi Cazorla has spoken of his happiness at Arsenal after making an instant impact this term. The Spaniard admitted he was somewhat taken aback by the praise he has received since moving to England from Malaga this summer:
“It could be that in the few months I have been there people have been talking a lot more about me. I feel important at Arsenal and I want to keep developing. The way Arsenal play and the responsibility they have given me is something I have always sought out. I think it’s a step forward in my career and I hope to improve a great deal in the future.”
After a quiet opening couple of appearances, Cazorla has gone from strength to strength, dictating Arsenal’s forward forays from his role in “the hole” behind a lone forward. Producing a goal or assist in four of his last five Gameweeks, he’s made a persuasive case for investment, with Saturday’s evening’s live match at West Ham affording Fantasy managers the perfect opportunity to scout his potential. He is already third most popular player in FPL this Gameweek, with over 34,000 Fantasy managers snapping up his services – with a trip to Norwich and three home games in the next five, the investment looks set to continue.
Everton have confirmed Marouane Fellaini will return to the club to have his knee problem examined further. The midfielder has withdrawn from the Belgium squad due to an injury picked up at Wigan on Saturday – although he finished the DW match, scans with the international squad have since picked up the problem. Selected by over 30% of FPL teams, Fellaini is one of the most popular players in the game right now but it seems his owners need to wait another few days for further prognosis after the Toffees revealed he is not due back until Monday – many Fantasy managers have already decide to sell on, with over 35,000 shipping him out on the back of Tuesday’s news.
Paul Lambert took time out to sings the praises of Brett Holman yesterday. The Villa boss talked up the importance of the Australian’s contribution this term, going on to say:
“Brett’s been unlucky not to score, but he’s playing really, really well at this time. He’s not shy to have a shot on goal and he’s a creative player. I always think if creative players can make things happen and score a goal or maybe slide the odd ball through, then you’ve got a player on your hands. It’s important we share the goals around. We need that threat but Brett’s all-round game is good at the minute, really good. He’s got energy to burn, and he’s a top lad as well. If he keeps going the way he’s going he’ll have a really good season. He’s got a great desire for the game, a great enthusiasm for the game.”
While the likes of Charles N’Zogbia and Stephen Ireland have struggled to force themselves into Lambert’s midfield on a regular basis, Holman has started six of the midlanders’ first seven matches. Having also dropped Darren Bent up front in the last two games, the former Norwich boss has been quick to show reputations matters little when it comes to team selection. Mainly fielded out wide this term, Holman’s display at the tip of a midfield diamond in the recent home draw with West Brom was particularly impressive without quite producing the Fantasy returns – although Villa’s form and upcoming fixtures are enough to dissuade even the most maverick of Fantasy managers, Lambert’s comments at least suggest the new boy will be relied upon more than most over the rest of the campaign.
Yohan Cabaye has been all but ruled out of France’s friendly with Japan tomorrow. The midfielder has apparently picked up a stomach problem and is also rated a doubt for Les Bleus’ World Cup qualifier with Spain on Tuesday, with concerns now over his availability for Newcastle’s trip to Sunderland in Gameweek 8. With the Tyne-Wear derby taking place on Sunday October 21, Alan Pardew will be hopeful Cabaye is able to shake off the problem, having only just returned to the first-team last weekend after missing out in the Gameweek 6 trip to Reading due to a mouth infection.
Brendan Rodgers is optimistic that Jose Enrique will return to training in the next week or so. Speaking to his club’s official website, the Liverpool boss revealed:
“He hasn’t been [available for selection] in the last couple of weeks. It’s unfortunate – he’s got a pain in his knee that he was struggling with. We’ve been trying to treat it conservatively. Hopefully within the next week to 10 days he’ll be back out on the training field and hopefully there will be no reaction. He’s a terrific player, Jose, and has got great qualities. We hope we can get him back sooner rather than later.”
Enrique has managed just one league start due to the problem, with his last appearance coming in the Europa League last month. With Glen Johnson moving flanks to fill in at left-back, Martin Kelly was in pole position for the vacant right-back until recent knee ligament damage sidelined him for several months. Teenager Andre Wisdom has stepped up impressively over the last few matches – handed a start in the Europa League win over Young Boys, he grabbed a goal and has now been named in Rodgers’ first XI for the last two league matches. With maximum bonus and a clean sheet on his home debut, Wisdom’s owners will be hoping Enrique remains on the sidelines for the time being – priced at 4.5 in FPL, he could be an intriguing cut-price punt if he can nail down a regular role. However, competition for starts in the full-back area is increasing at Anfield – John Flanagan is also edging back to fitness and has stressed his determination to challenge for a starting berth.
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