Fraud Watch Power Rankings

Before I get into this weekend’s rankings; I believe sports, especially football can make a positive difference in the world so it’d be a shame if I didn’t use this medium (pun intended) to discuss what’s happening in Nigeria. I’m sure we’ve all seen the #EndSars and other hashtags on social media, so please don’t stop tweeting, retweeting, protesting and donating. No matter where you are, your nationality, your social status, no one deserves to be treated the way SARS treat Nigerian citizens. So even if it doesn’t affect you directly, apathy towards the cause simply means you don’t care about the lives of people. So if you’re reading this, it probably means you’re passionate about football and into banter so let’s also be passionate about ending SARS today. #EndSars

With the international break finally over — thank goodness — we have regular league football to look forward to and of course players to look out for who have been underperforming according to the standards set for them by fans.

So who are the top 15 frauds in the league heading into this weekend’s fixtures?

15. Timo Werner, Chelsea

Last week: № 20

It’s time for us to discuss about Timo Werner. I’m sorry but he’s giving me major Fernando Torres vibes and I know I can’t be the only one feeling that. The longer he goes without scoring a league goal, the more people will start turning against him. Not exactly what you want for your 50 million signing.

14. Ederson, Manchester City

Last week: № 16

Ederson was very busy in the game against Leeds, busier than he’s ever been and he was up to the task for most of it, pulling off some very difficult saves but his one error, his rash decision to come out for a punch and missing the ball gifted Leeds United their equalizer and ultimately a point from the game. He has been making quite a few errors since the back end of last season and now everyone knows he’s not as good as the stats make him out to be.

13. Alphonse Areola, Fulham

Last week: № 10

He had what most would consider a good game against Wolves last time out but his team still lost. With a game against the league’s shyest team in front of goal, Sheffield United, Areola conceding any stupid goals due to poor goalkeeping would be ridiculous for someone of his ability.

12. Willian, Arsenal

Last week: № 13

Honestly, I have nothing to say about Willian as to regards his performance last time out because it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t brilliant either. He put in a good shift that day which is weird because that’s not the Willian I love to hate.

11. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea

Last week: № 11

With Eduoard Mendy likely out with a thigh injury, the general feeling is Kepa is going to start against Southampton and with all eyes are going to be on him. Mendy was yet to commit any error before getting injured whilst training with his national side and Chelsea fans were slowly gaining confidence in their defence again. But with Kepa back in the mix, Chelsea fans must be hoping that Danny Ings doesn’t bring his shooting boots or else they could be in for it.

10. Lucas Moura, Tottenham

Last week: № 6

On a day which Tottenham ran out as 6–1 winners, Moura managed to look less than average during the 45 minutes that he was on the pitch. He didn’t even manage to take a shot; his passes were poor and he lost almost all his ground duels. It’d have been better if he stayed on the bench rather than coming on to put on that shit show.

9. Dele Alli, Tottenham

Last week: № 9

Unlike his teammate on this list, Alli put up a good showing with crisp passes against United. Only reason he’s ahead of Moura is because he only played for 20+ minutes in such a big game. It simply means that Mourinho doesn’t trust him and only brought him on when his team was 5–1 up to fulfil all righteousness.

8. Joe Gomez, Liverpool

Last week: № 14

Joe Gomez had an absolute nightmare of a game against Aston Villa, which was very disappointing especially after his strong performance against Arsenal. From the start of the game till when he was subbed off, Gomez looked like he’s rather be anywhere else other than that pitch at that point in time. He kept losing his man and never seemed to be communicating well with van Dijk. I’ve never rated him; I don’t think he’s that good of a defender but he’s definitely not that bad. I almost started feeling bad for him. Almost.

7. Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

Last week: № 3

Didn’t feature at all in Arsenal’s win over Sheffield United but he should be given the nod over Nketiah this weekend in what is a big game against Manchester City.

6. Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City

Last week: № 7

The international break couldn’t have come at a better time for Mendy. After three consecutive terrible performances, he must have gone back to watch his clips and see everything he’s done wrong. His side of the pitch has been used by the opposition the most and it should be no different this weekend when they face Arsenal. Willian/Pepe vs Mendy is going to be an ugly battle especially considering the players but somebody is going to come out on top and City fans are surely praying that it’s Mendy.

5. Joelinton, Newcastle

Last week: № 5

Played almost the entirety of the game before being subbed off late on in his side’s 3–1 victory over Burnley and once again he managed not to score. He was rarely involved in the final phases of every attack, always seemingly managing to be more than a few yards behind the opponent’s box. Now, I’m not sure whether that is a tactical thing or Joelinton just being poorly positioned but for someone that cost as much as he did, you’d think the manager would set up his team to suit Joelinton. Anyways, I’m predicting a Joelinton goal this weekend against Manchester United.

4. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool

Last week: № 2

Still no goals yet for our favourite false 9 this season but it doesn’t matter because he got an assist in his team’s 7–2 mauling at the hands of Aston Villa. I mean, his job is not to score right ?

3. Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal

Last week: № 1

The relief on his face after his goal against Sheffield United was so clear to see. His impact on the game when he came off the bench can’t be ignored and that was arguably his best league game in a while even though it was still average. With Pep’s City side next in line and a showdown against one of the league’s worst defenders in Mendy, this game is perfect for Pepe to maybe get some form going, but I wouldn’t expect it if I were you.

2. Paul Pogba, Manchester United

Last week: № 4

Pogba cut a forlorn figure for the entirety of the game against Tottenham even before his team went down to 10 men and his performance was uninspiring for someone who’s supposed to be the star man. With a few months left on his contract, it’s easy to see why Pogba isn’t playing as well as we all think he should be playing but even if he wants his “dream move” to Real Madrid, Perez is not going to take a player that’s playing at his level no matter how big of a name he is.

1. Harry Maguire, Manchester United

Last week: Unranked

First of all, I’d like to apologize for having not added Maguire to this list before now. The Manchester United skipper has had a terrible start to the season for both club and country and could be blamed for his team’s heavy defeat to Tottenham a fortnight ago. Zero communication, poor leadership and atrocious defending have been his undoing and with Solskjaer hinting at giving the world’s most expensive defender his first league game off since signing last year, maybe this would be the solution to Manchester United’s defensive frailties.



football writer

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