Away: Bournemouth (1) – Home: Niasse (2)

Oumar Niasse doubled the Toffees goal total on the season with his 35 minutes of heroics, saving Everton from embarrissing defeat to Bournemouth. Niasse bagged his brace after coming in as a sub for the battered and bloodied Wayne Rooney, scoring his first goal with 13 minutes to go in the 2nd half. The game winner was the ultimate scrappy goal, as he corralled his own blocked header from 6 yards out and buried it home past Begovic. His efforts gave Everton their first two goals in the Premier League since August 21st, when their other top goal scorer on the season, Wayne Rooney, scored his 2nd on the season and remains on 2 in now 497 minutes.

While it would be something special for a magical 5.0m forward to emerge like a phoenix from the ruins that Lukaku left bare at Goodison Park, especially in a season currently defined by the plethora of marquee, expensive forward options, there is nothing here to make me truly believe we are witnessing the first roots of fantasy glory. Nobody knows, nay, not even Niasse, if he is suddenly going to supplant Wayne Rooney or Calvert-Lewin up top in the Toffee’s attack. What I do know, however, is that performances like his on Saturday are what make the Premier League worth watching. This is a player that Ronald Koeman (clearly not a football savant) had played a grand total of 0 matches prior to the weekend’s game. Rather than play a single minute during the first half of last season – playing time is slim pickings behind Lukaku – he was loaned last January to Hull City, where in 19 appearances and 1213 minutes under Marco Silva (definitely possibly a football savant), he scored 5 goals and made 1 assist, averaging just over 60 minutes a match. Koeman has never wanted to play him, but was forced to put him on for a clearly tired, ailing, aging and ineffective Rooney in a match that Everton did not really deserve to win.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I saw It over the weekend, and while I didn’t even come close to crapping my pants in fear (thanks hangover!), I’m about 99% sure that Harry Kane’s fear of August shares a creepy amount of commonalities with that homicidal crazed clown creature; both of them enjoy floating through open space (Kane on the pitch; the clown in a mind-altering expanse of sewer pipe only Mario would be jealous of), speaking in weird accents (seriously, listen to Harry Kane give an interview sometime), have an affinity for the color white (duh), and lastly, they both enjoy making red balloons go POP! (metaphorically speaking, that would be the hopes/dreams of all Gunner fans everywhere; FFS that’s not a spoiler! he’s a clown, he owns balloons!) Whether or not the fear of August (Augustamphobia?) has an actual effect on Kane’s past performances (it doesn’t), it’s good to see him conquering his “fears” and getting on the board with a brace, a very important and necessary step as he looks to become only the third player in Premier League history to win three consecutive Golden Boots. The other two are Prem Legends Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, who were 24 and 26, respectively, when they won the first of their three Botas Doradas. Kane just turned 24 this past July and has two under the belt. To paraphrase another mildy entertaining movie, you’re [once again] a wizard, Harryyyy!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to Week 2 of your new favorite fantasy footy analysis, Tapping Your Captain. As a quick, obvious recap, I’ll be suggesting captain’s picks in the official FPL game that you should possibly consider to get a leg (ha, soccer pun!) up on your competitors. I will make those suggestions in categories of obvious, weekly match up based, and subversive hipster pick to make everyone think you know more about soccer than they do.  Guess which category is my favorite?

Before we get into the picks, I’m also going to take a weekly and a cumulative tally of how brilliant or idiotic my picks have been.  What’s good analysis to you if you can’t track how helpful it is anyway? To get a little more specific, I’ll be reviewing picks with specific objectives in mind. For example, I’ll be okay with my Captain Chaos picks varying wildly, so long as every couple of weeks I hit a big winner.  Conversely, my Captain Clear-cut better not throw up too many stinkers.

So with that said, let’s review Week 1.

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The Prem is here, and we can all now rejoice. Now that the season has kicked off, I will be doing my best to fill your Mondays with sweet, fond memories from the games from over the weekend. I also ask for some patience as I work through how to best provide both a summation and meaningful outlook on the matches.

I was hoping to write about all 20 teams for this post, but it started to become lengthy and I started to get sleepy. So, here are my notes over the weekend on Arsenal to Liverpool (alpha order because why not?)…I will hopefully have Man City to West Ham by tomorrow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the start of one of my weekly features highlighting possible captain’s plays for the week. Besides the obvious research in suggesting potential captaincy choices, including sleepers, triple players, and matchup players, the real difficulty in this column is clearly making sure I pick a snazzy title. Captain’s Call?  Too on-the-nose.  In the Captain’s Chair?  No pop to it. Oh Captain My Captain? Too obscure. I’m losing readers already!

Please, blog, may I have some more?