Weekly Report: Credit Coleman and Literally Keeping it on the Deck

by Luke Bradshaw

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

While most trophies have yet to be handed out, we’re reaching the point where we can dish out fake ones, and I want to champion one in particular. The bargain of the season should really be a two way tussle between Javier Hernandez and Rafael Van der Vaart, with the Dutchman just pipping the very likable Mexican.

At £8m and £7m they are absolute steals. For less than a hundredth of that price however, Everton signed Seamus Coleman – £60k to be precise. Now admittedly they signed him in January 09, but this is his first Prem season, and he has proved to be a valuable player to the Everton squad.

The Irish winger turned 22 last October, and rapidly gained the admirations of every fantasy football manager – with him being listed as a defender – for his assists, goals (another one this week) and clean sheets. He, like most players picked up from the Irish league, is full of boundless energy and determination. Think Kevin Doyle, Roy Keane, Steven and Noel Hunt, Shane Long (clearly Reading have had a scout firmly set up across the Irish Sea for a while now).

In a side that has struggled, and punched below its weight this season, he has been a constant source of optimism. Everton fans should hope to enjoy his services for a while yet, and even if he moves on the profit made will be huge.

Despite struggling, Everton have stealthily creeped out of the relegation ménage et huit like a guilty walk of shame the morning after mixing with people they shouldn’t be. Behind them are a whole bunch of teams, all of which should be very fearful of the murky depths that lie beneath.

West Ham are on the up, now able to boast goalscorers, a decent midfield and even a sense of optimism. Blackpool are as hard to predict as ever, always scoring and always conceding, but have Adam back and Dudley James Campbell on his way. Wolves picked up another unlikely win, and have been pretty good all season; it looks like they’ve got enough to be safe.

Newcastle are getting sucked in, and while the quality of their strikers is frankly, abysmal, they have Barton and Nolan in tandem again. West Brom have enlisted the services of relegation repellent Roy, with his assistant Manuel Almunia. Villa look incredibly depressed, nearly as much as Blackburn, and Wigan picked up a huge last gasp win against fellow strugglers Birmingham.

The sheer number of teams means that each week there will always be ‘six-pointers’ aplenty. Also, what odds on a second city meltdown with Villa, West Brom and Birmingham all going down? I don’t think it will happen, but stranger things have.

Abroad, this was a nice touch from Valencia. Even further afield, this Thai story is brilliant if it really is true.

Favourite thing this week: The anecdote from his playing days that a teammate bet Sinisa Mihajlovic dinner for the entire Yugoslavia squad that he couldn’t hit the crossbar from the halfway line twice out of three attempts. He didn’t even need the third attempt. Job done.

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