Chelsea’s struggles have been well documented this season and with Mourinho’s inevitable sacking this week, we ask ourselves whether there will be a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the season ahead, following the temporary appointment of Gus Hiddink.
Several of Chelsea’s consistent performers have dramatically under-performed this season, namely Costa, Hazard, Matic, Ivanovic and this has had a significant effect on the current standings throughout the Dugout FC games this season. Several managers will have been no doubt been left wondering when some of last year’s star performers will start reaching the ‘Game week’ points totals achieved last season, or indeed whether to ‘stick or twist’ with big names by making use of the free agent pool.
Similarly Manchester United have also struggled this season. Van Gaal has been heavily criticised for his turgid style of play and when recent results have turned against him, speculation is growing that ‘The Special One’ may find himself at Old Trafford in the not too distant future. Whilst Van Gaal has gone on record saying he is “worried about his job”, I think Van Gaal will remain at the helm for the meantime, at least until the end of the season when the board may review his position.
Whilst Mata and Smalling have scored well so far, many of United’s key players from last year have underperformed against last season. Notable disappointments for ‘Dugout’ managers will be Rooney, Herrera, Carrick and De Gea. As with the Chelsea situation ‘Dugout FC’ managers will no doubt be taking stock over the Christmas period and considering changes for the second half of the season.
In complete contrast, nobody could have foreseen the outstanding performances of Leicester, Crystal Palace and Watford. The so called ‘Underdog’s have really upset the applecart and those who speculated in the draft on players from these teams will have been left feeling very smug indeed, particularly with struggles of the so called ‘Top Dogs’ mentioned above.
Manager’s who had a punt on Vardy & Mahrez continuing good form from last year will have been delighted that they both didn’t turn out to be one season wonders, as both players top the current player totals this season. Whilst this may not have been too much of a surprise to some, surely not many would have predicted exceptional points returns from Ighalo, Gomes, Cabaye, Nayom, Kante, Dann and Albrighton, who all make the top 50 scorers this season.
The key question is whether these teams / players will continue current form and I’m sad to say my feeling is probably not. There is an old adage / cliché in football, “form is temporary, class is permanent”. Certainly Chelsea’s players can’t continue their poor from and I’d anticipate an upsurge in points from the likes of Hazard, Costa, Oscar and Azpilicueta in the coming weeks. Whilst I feel Manchester United and Crystal Palace may maintain their current position come spring time, the busy fixture list will be detrimental to Leicester and Watford resulting in both teams fading slightly.
In summary, the Christmas period could be a busy time for ‘Dugout FC’ managers weighing up whether to ‘stick or twist’ with their squads. Who would swap Kante for Matic on current form?