Fans of wrestling will have heard of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. Well, the midweek Gameweeks of Champ Man 01/02 FPL are fast becoming Wednesday Night Chaos – and Gameweek 9 was no exception.
The big star delivered yet again in the main event but we also got to see a dead man walking rise from the ashes. That dead man? Juan Sebastian Veron.
Almost all managers had sold the Argentinean following his disappointing start to the season and subsequent injury. When he missed an early penalty at White Hart Lane, it seemed that everyone’s patience would run out. But Veron delivered in a crucial last half hour, firstly netting the equaliser through a mistake from Kasey Keller and then finding the assist for big star Ruud van Nistelrooy to score his second and kill the game.
A 3-2 win for Man Utd was also notable for the asset with the most net sales before Gameweek 9, Stefan Selakovic, punishing sellers with the opening goal of the night.
Chaos reigned supreme elsewhere with missed penalties and red cards again taking centre stage. Alan Shearer is owned by over 50% of Champ Man FPL managers and they saw their striker sent off on his return to former club Blackburn in a punishing 3-0 loss for the Magpies. Shearer is available for the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland in Gameweek 10 but then suspended for the trip to Anfield in Gameweek 11.
Another man sent off was Charlton defender Mark Fish, who saw red in the first half against Arsenal for a two-footed challenge on Ray Parlour. Charlton already led through Claus Jensen‘s freak goal on his return from injury but it seemed inevitable that Arsenal’s array of stars would respond. They failed to do so and Arsenal’s worrying loss of form continued, with Thierry Henry continuing to struggle to justify his FPL price tag.
Alongside Veron, a further penalty miss came from highly owned Bolton striker Henrik Pedersen. It looked like being a disappointing evening for owners but Pedersen provided the late assist for Paul Warhurst‘s winning goal as Wanderers pipped Southampton 1-0.
Chelsea’s struggles continued with a loss at Derby, making it four consecutive away defeats for the Blues and seeing pressure increase on Claudio Ranieri. The injury to highly owned Mario Melchiot in Europe sees owners likely to flock away from Chelsea in the coming days.
Owners had invested heavily in Leicester ahead of a friendly run of fixtures but the first week of that run didn’t provide the result managers hoped for. Dean Sturridge was substituted early, James Scowcroft couldn’t deliver and a late goal from Joe Cole stole the points in a rare away win for West Ham. The only silver lining for Leicester owners came from the bonus points, with three for Gerry Taggart and two for Matt Elliott.
Middlesbrough still top the league after taking three points home from Anfield against injury-stricken Liverpool. Haukur Gudnason had given Liverpool the lead after being given the nod to start with all of Liverpool’s first-team strikers injured. But Paul Ince responded within a minute and it was left to Allan Johnston again to net the winner and keep Boro top of the table.
The Teesside club are heading into a run of home games which will test their championship credentials but do at least have Alen Boksic close to a return.
Gameweek 10 sees Manchester United travel to Aston Villa, who managed a great away win at Fulham, but van Nistelrooy is likely to be the most-captained asset again this week.
Middlesbrough host Spurs in a massive game at the Riverside, while the early kick-off sees Arsenal face Leeds in a must-win fixture for the Gunners.
The late match sees Newcastle battle Sunderland. Will Shearer deliver a parting gift for many of his managers before his suspension?
Let’s hope we can all pin that captaincy down. Are you brave enough to ignore van Nistelrooy?