Last week, after our win against West Ham, I wanted to wait a couple of days to write about the game so I could come down from my Eric Dier induced euphoria. Now, fast forward a week and it just does not look like my euphoria is going anywhere after Dier notched his second goal in as many games.
Since it appears you have to be pretty quick on the draw on this website to submit your own personal ratings of the players, I’ve decided to take a different approach. With the transfer window quickly shutting, not too soon I might add, let’s look at the players whose stock has risen as high as Apple and plummeted as much as my beloved Atari. Please take these with a grain of salt, we have seen two games thus far (the Europa League was not on television here in the States so I did not see it and therefore, cannot judge anyone who played in that game), so my sample size is still pretty small.
Stocks rising- I would say there are three individuals whose stock has risen very high; almost meteoric in nature. First, Eric Dier. Do we need to say more? This young kid has been a complete breath of fresh air for the squad. His versatility has proven extremely valuable, as witnessed by his move to right back after Naughton’s red card. While not nearly as fast as Walker, Dier has proven more effective in both his defensive skills and his, dare I say, goal scoring prowess. With the pending arrival of Fazio, will Dier be moved to the bench in favor of the more experienced and physically larger Fazio? With the way Dier is playing, I don’t see it happening and I hope it doesn’t as well.
Also on the rise is Erik Lamela. In the first game, I thought he looked average but oftentimes played it safe by passing back or parallel with not enough runs and through passes going forward. Boy, what a difference a week makes. Lamela looked confident going forward and his link up play with Eriksen looks fantastic. (I’m glad I have them both on my fantasy team.) The only way it could have been better would have been if Lamela had scored a goal in front of the White Hart faithful.
Another one whose stock is doing well is Capoue. Capoue has been solid at defensive midfield. As of the date of this article, no player has completed more successful passes in the Premier League than Capoue. His versatility was key in the first game because he more than capably filled in at center back. This allowed Pochettino to not have to waste a substitute on defense, thereby letting the players continue to attack. In the game against QPR, Capoue was again solid defensively and was key in distributing the ball going forward. I wasn’t too high on him before the season and viewed him as the lesser of the evils between him and Sandro. I’ve been married 14 years this week, I know when I am wrong and I’m starting to think I was wrong about Capoue. He’s better than I thought.
Honorable mentions-Chadli. Two goals in one game is fantastic, but I haven’t seen enough of him to go all in quite yet.
Stocks down-These may seem a little harsh, criticism always is, but their play, or lack thereof, speaks for itself. Without further ado, Kaboul has not looked nearly like the player we thought he would be at this point. I was really disappointed, and surprised, to see Kaboul getting muscled off the ball in the last two games. Cole had his way with Kaboul against West Ham. I thought it was a one-off until I saw him get muscled off the ball again against QPR. At one point, Kaboul was muscled off the ball by a QPR midfielder and less than a minute later, Vertonghen showed Kaboul how it should be done when he knocked Remy off the ball to get back possession.
I would also venture to say Lennon’s stock is going down. Not necessarily because he has played poorly, a la Kaboul, but because his play has not been up to the same level as that of Lamela, Townsend, or Chadli. His best attribute, his speed, is not what it once was and the other midfielders are more apt to attack the defense directly. His stock will drop more if Levy pulls the trigger on another midfielder by next week.
Since he has not even made the team and appears to be healthy, it is impossible not to put Sandro’s name on the list of those whose stock has dropped. He’s done nothing to play himself on this list, but his lack of play speaks volumes.
Now, for those players on the bubble, whose stock has neither risen or fallen Both of these guys have either not played at all or have played very little so my assessment is slightly skewed. It pains me that Soldado has not got more playing time. As mentioned in my first article, I am a big fan of Soldado’s. I think he is more consistent than Adebayor and more experienced than Kane. In addition, his play with Lamela and Eriksen looked really promising in the pre-season. I think Kane has a future and I am simply not a fan of Adebayor’s (his consistency and first touch are infuriating), so I’d like to see Soldado play more. If he does not see the field though, we’ll never know if last year was a fluke or not.
Paulinho is also on the bubble in my opinion. I don’t know why he was not on the bench today but I know he just came back to the team recently. I know there are a lot of cynics when it comes to Paulinho, but I am a fan. I would love to see his link-up play with Eriksen, Lamela, and Soldado. I think those four could really be the nucleus of a strong, creative, attacking team going forward.
So, that’s it. That’s my opinion. What’s yours?
I am TexasHostpur. COYS!
Have something to tell us about this article?