Elliot pays ultimate price for Old Trafford horror show
With Newcastle United seemingly in free-fall, Rafa Benitez opted to axe first choice keeper Robbie Elliot from the starting line-up for the midweek trip to the Hawthorns. Elliot had come in for fierce criticism from Newcastle legend Malcolm McDonald over his display in Newcastle’s 4-0 loss at Old Trafford, so taking him out of the firing line seemed a sensible decision and it was a moved designed to address the slide.
The Geordies fought back to earn a creditable 2-2 draw against West Brom but it remains to be seen whether Karl Darlow will retain the goalkeeping jersey at the expense of Elliot for this weekend’s clash with Chelsea.
Elliot is currently one of our FPL goalkeepers and to make matters worse, our short-term punt on Ben Foster, also seems to have backfired spectacularly, with Alan ‘Clean sheets have never been my priority’ Pardew now confirmed as the new West Brom manager.
In fact, stats released from Oulala reveal that Foster is one of the worst performing keepers in the top flight alongside the likes of Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet.
Clearly ditching Lukasz Fabianski wasn’t one of the smartest decisions we have ever made but our immediate concern is to ensure that we are not left without a selected shot-stopper in any upcoming gameweek.
We’re not convinced that Elliot will earn a quick recall so we need to find a replacement from our limited budget.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s Matt Ryan makes a certain amount of appeal but we continue to be impressed by the defensive improvement Crystal Palace have shown under Roy Hodgson. The Eagles produced another noteworthy xGA (Expected Goals Against) figure in their midweek M23 Derby and know that they will need to grind out plenty of clean sheets going forward if they are to get out of trouble.
While Wayne Hennessey is the type of keeper that can easily play the role of pantomine villain, he stands 12 cm taller than Julian Speroni, his rival for the number one spot at Selhurst Park and it is this height advantage that seems to have persuaded Hodgson that he is the right man for the job.
He comes into our FPL squad at Elliot’s expense but he doesn’t make the line up for GW15, although he will get a bird’s eye view of Foster in action!
Harry Kane keeps the armband but we are sweating on the fitness of a couple of our midfielders so we may have to call on our bench yet again!