FPL Goops: 19/20, Gameweek 8 Review/Gameweek 9 Preview – Manc Mayhem

Tom’s good mate FPLGoops is writing an FPL blog for us this year from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.

See his Intro Post here. Follow him on twitter @FPLGoops.

He’s also teamed up with Jeremy, otherwise known as FPL Doodles, to bring you an exclusive “Doodle Corner” every week. Follow Jeremy on twitter: @FPLDoodles1.

The season so far has revolved around owning and captaining the correct premiums.

With the league leaders, should you own Salah or Mane, with even Firmino entering the equation.

Similarly, for Man City, Aguero or Sterling is the main conundrum with De Bruyne, as I have eulogised at great length, a serious contender for perma-captain.

In my wildcard I switched out Sterling for Aguero but hung onto Salah.

Whilst that tactic has not reaped instant rewards, I was hoping for a delayed bounce with Aguero © at home to a Wolves team hampered by second season fatigue in the top flight and expected to be wearier still following a midweek jaunt to Turkey albeit securing a landmark victory.  Salah was also back at home fresh and energised from a brace in the Champions League.

Here’s how it wound up:

Gameweek 8 review

It wasn’t a Gameweek that will live long in the memory.

In stark contrast to early season where premiums offered some RoI, this was a peculiar week where none of them (bar Mane) scored anything significant: we’d have been better off with an alternative captain pick from the Chelsea Academy who are seriously earning their stripes.

I sound like a broken record but yet another captain blank.

I can at least take consolation that most players suffered that fate this week – a Gameweek average of just 36 landed me a green arrow with a paltry 39…  Yes, 39!!

I know I moan when I don’t reach 50 but to not even reach 40 was painful. Until they closed the books, Tammy was sitting pretty on all 3 bonus which would have crept me to a score beginning with a 4, but I was denied at the last.

In fact, if it wasn’t for Tammy and Mount getting in on the action (I’m not on this double up – yet…) the weekly FPL average could have sunk below 30 – not sure I’ve ever seen that happen.

The main reason for our collective malaise is the scarcely believable capitulation of City at home to Wolves.

They’re clearly suffering at the back with Laporte injured and Otamendi being hugely found out. However I’ve not had any reason to believe that any visiting team could keep them out at the other end, especially since their last home game was nearly record breaking with that 8-0 thrashing of Watford.

This is perhaps the beauty of FPL, it’s really impossible to predict. It was 45 long games ago that City last blanked – against Huddersfield in May 2018, when the title was already sewn up.

This defeat looks decisive already especially with Liverpool claiming a last gasp win over Leicester on Saturday – their 17th successive PL win dating back to last season – securing them an 8 point lead before we’d even reached the 2nd international break.

I used to be able to joke that Liverpool’s title ambitions were over by the time we reached this stage of the season. Well they’ve come full circle and it’s my boys United who have moved beyond a wobble and down the rabbit hole into Major Manc Mayhem.  They sit just 2 points above the relegation zone with a home tie in GW9 against…..you guessed it…Liverpool.

Let’s just look at this from the other perspective. We have Newcastle United, humbled 5-0 at Leicester last week and Bruce without a win against the club where he made his name in 22 attempts and without a home win since taking the helm.  They summoned both courage and belief.  The Longstaff local lad story is heartwarming.  More than this, they showed that this United side hold absolutely no fears.

You have to wonder if a heavy defeat vs Liverpool would surely spell the end for Ole.

Ole’s a club legend… but, let’s face it, the wrong choice at the wrong time despite those early heroics last winter and into Spring. I stood in the stands at Craven Cottage last March when Martial scored a magical goal and the away end boomed out Ole’s at the Wheel for a full 90 minutes.  It was epic. It felt like a new dawn.

How the mighty have fallen.

United’s fixture run is actually favourable on paper from GW10.  But, right now, you’d go nowhere near.  If there is a change at the top I would keep an eye on both Pogba and Martial as options for that run, much like Christmas last year in the early post-Mourinho bounce.

 

Gameweek 9 Planning

With De Bruyne injured, there was always the temptation to use a transfer ahead of this GW but I held my nerve, relied on my bench and now have 2FT at my disposal to use over the International Break. 

I think I may end up playing a mini WC and take a hit post IB.  I have cash reserves in both Salah and Son, neither of whom look like players I need to keep based on (lack of) points scored and, to a degree, form.

I was steadfast with Salah when others ditched – expecting some form of return from SHU away and LEI at home.  I’m less wedded now he’s blanked in those games.  Let’s face it, he probably has nothing to fear in the next 2 fixtures vs United at Old Trafford and Spurs at Anfield.  Both so called ‘top 6’ rivals are in freefall and Salah could easily deliver.

However, I don’t think I can overlook the tasty fixtures for 3 clubs on the up – Bournemouth, Leicester and Chelsea.

Callum Wilson is a player I like to own at some point – he delivers steady returns and can occasionally be explosive.  The Cherries have Norwich at home next.  What a fixture. Hard to overlook especially when this is followed by Watford, Man United & Newcastle.  It’s mouthwatering and Pukki’s party looks well and truly run – he might punish sellers but this switch is way too tempting.

Elsewhere I have my eye on James Maddison at Leicester and both Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea.  These look like excellent mid-priced midfielder options that can slot in for the next 4-5 Gameweeks and really boost my points haul.

I’ve no longer any issue removing Salah or Son to accommodate, at least until the fixtures turn again. 

 

Doodle Corner – Manc Mayhem

Jeremy (aka fpldoodles1) has continued to entertain the FPL Community with his sharp-witted Doodles pulling apart the weekend action.

For once Manchester – whether Blue or Red – was united in grief.

City for giving themselves a mountain to climb already to secure a hat trick of titles, and United proving beyond doubt to be so impossibly bad that you wonder how much worse it can get.

 

Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week

Man United’s pursuit of Sean Longstaff over the summer has been mocked by many as a clear sign of their fall from grace so it’s perhaps fitting he played a sizeable part in securing a huge win for Newcastle over United.  However, he can’t steal the headlines as his younger brother Matty Longstaff (who few knew existed) was handed his league debut to play alongside big brother and takes the honours this week with a truly fairytale debut goal.

Look how much that meant – if only United players could summon up that spirit.

 

Goops’ Weekly Pick

Well I picked that all wrong last week. Buendia did nothing as Villa ran riot at Carrow Road. In fact, he was culpable.  Can I claim an assist from Buendia on behalf of the opposition?

We all have our favourites in FPL and one of mine is the man I’m considering buying, Callum Hudson-Odoi.

I couldn’t believe Chelsea would contemplate selling him and at 4.5m last year was my 5th midfielder punt and it was so frustrating Sarri refused to cave in and play him.

At 5.9m and back in the team I think he will be a key player.  I’m betting on him to help unlock the Newcastle defence in GW9.

 

Gameweek Lessons Learned

I’m compiling a list of my personal key learnings each week.  I’ll start running out of space soon so just going to show the last 5 Gameweeks from now on:

Gameweek 4 – It’s so easy to over-react and over-manage when the chips are down. Take a deep breath and sleep on it

Gameweek 5 – Don’t read so much into fixtures. There are always a few surprise results so don’t bench players in form – they can score in any fixture

Gameweek 6 – Pay attention to who you put the vice captaincy on – rotation is a factor in FPL and it pays to be prepared

Gameweek 7 – Pep Roulette is part of FPL.  It will annoy you when it works against you but City attacking assets are worth the pain

Gameweek 8 – Key players will get injured. If they’re only likely to be out for 1 week then hold and use your bench.  You’ll be thankful for that extra FT the next week

 

I know IB’s are painful but take some well-earned rest (unless you have triggered your Wildcard!)

Let’s come out fighting to zoom up the ranks from GW9!

Goops