The replies to Man City’s team announcements on social media provide an insight into the average football fan’s psyche.
Despite the fact Pep Guardiola’s side routinely thrash Watford, many of the most-liked replies to news of their starting line-up on Twitter this weekend were objectively negative.
“Why is player x playing? Why isn’t player y starting?”
If fans of the defending Premier League champions still haven’t learned to trust one of the greatest managers of all time to produce a home win over a team who have lost 22 of their 32 league games this season then what hope is there for the rest of us?
Inherently, football supporters love to moan, no matter how favourable the situation.
The odds of the City fans who objected to Guardiola’s XI learning from the straightforward 5-1 victory and adjusting their behaviour? Slim to none.
Gabriel Jesus (£4.3m) was the subject of much of the pre-match pessimism on Saturday only to respond with a remarkable performance.
The Brazilian scored four goals and provided the assist for Rodri’s (£3.4m) rocket, meaning he played a significant part in all of City’s goals against the Hornets.
Consequently, 5% of Dream Team bosses were rewarded with a sudden influx of 35 points – the biggest haul for a single game this season among all players.
Some gaffers may have earmarked Watford’s trip to the Etihad as a fixture to target but few would have predicted Jesus would be the big winner.
Kevin De Bruyne (£7.0m) banked seven points by virtue of two assists and a 7+ rating but Raheem Sterling (£4.6m) and Jack Grealish (£3.9m) were forced to settle for just three points each despite completing the 90 minutes.
And the fact Hassane Kamara scored a consolation goal meant all clean sheet points went up smoke – Joao Cancelo (£7.9m) actually finished the game with a minus point via a yellow card.
Jesus now has 153 points to his name at an average of 4.4 per game – he’s the eighth-best forward in the game.
The 25-year-old has scored 11 goals and provided 11 assists in all competitions this term having been reinvented as a right winger.
Jesus averages a goal involvement every 95.9 minutes in 2021/22 – an undeniably impressive statistic – but his Dream Team viability is limited because of his place in City’s pecking order.
Guardiola rotates his squad freely but it seems unlikely that the Brazil international will start against Real Madrid in midweek – the more important fixture for City this Game Week.
However, it wouldn’t a total surprise if Jesus started at Elland Road on Saturday – City beat Leeds 7-0 earlier this season…