Tom’s good mate FPLGoops is back for another season, writing a weekly FPL diary from the perspective of an “FPL Everyman”.
Follow him on twitter @FPLGoops.
Son Heung Min has been the epitome of a tumultuous start to the FPL season.
The usual rules have not applied. Crazy hauls, followed by blanks.
A complete dearth of clean sheets.
Absolutely nothing has been predictable!
Sonny himself is a player I Iove as a player as much as an FPL asset. He’s a joy to watch, a clinical finisher and always on my radar.
When Spurs lost 1-0 at home to Everton GW1, we couldn’t have foreseen the impact both Son and Kane would have on the FPL landscape.
Son was the most sold and then most bought player in 3 successive gameweeks as the unpredictability of his hauls mirrored a chaotic period for us managers.
Is it better to Stick or Twist?
I think a lot of us have timed it wrong. Taking bold moves and being punished or sitting tight and watching those moves we should have taken bear fruit.
It’s been bloody annoying.
After his fantastic haul at away at United. and with incredible upcoming fixtures, I took the plunge on Son and captained him in GW5.
I was rewarded instantly!
Whilst it was a relief to get a good captain haul, bringing Son in meant I had to sacrifice Werner and what did he do?
That’s right: he finally rewarded his patient owners!
I think this is symptomatic of my point above – when to stick or twist?
On the face of it, Werner had a great fixture vs Southampton, who play with a high line and were picked off by Spurs in GW2.
Werner had also come off the back of a morale-boosting goal and assist for Germany midweek.
Finally, he was given the chance to play in that no 9 role with the return of Pulisic to the side. If we apply captain hindsight for a minute, it looks an obvious hold.
Yet, he had been poor and out of position prior to the International break and did not constitute value for money when so many mid priced forwards were handsomely outscoring him. Add to this the form of Spurs assets who simply could not be ignored: surely, one of Son or Kane (in many cases both) had to come in! And I had 2 free transfers, so felt right.
Patience in FPL can often be rewarded. I’ve always lacked it. I prefer to make things happen. Jumping on a Spurs asset was suitable reward but I didn’t have the patience to hold out until the Friday press conferences in an International week – I saw Son and Kane rising, I felt Werner might fall and I wanted to act decisively.
In doing so I was caught out by the KdB injury. Had I waited I’d have been able to simply switch KdB across to Son. I could have kept Werner, given him one more whirl and I’d be well up. We have to discount any thoughts on ‘what might have been’.
We make decisions based on data and gut and I made mine.
I’m merely pointing out that in this game there are many ways to play smart and on this occasion, waiting until team news was available would have yielded a better result.
Will it help me next time? I don’t know. I think I play a certain way and it rarely includes being patient.
What else happened in my Gameweek? Fuelled by the Son captaincy I eked out 75 points. It’s something of a recovery. Salah scored, DCL scored, Jimmy got a fortuitous goal. Robbo got an assist and Emi in goal is proving to be a golden choice with a 9 point haul. Even Foden managed an assist. Annoyingly I benched the Saiss clean sheet.
However there are issues in my squad – which is a concern just a couple of weeks after playing the wildcard.
Reece James, who looked a bargain early this season, can’t get back in the team – at least not when it counts – and Brewster who came in as makeweight as part of the Son move was benched at home to Fulham.
I doubt I’ll play him much, but this seemed a fixture worth giving him a go – so it was infuriating he only got a short cameo. He’s a perfect 12th man if I keep this structure.
Podence, who I benched, started but again didn’t deliver anything. It feels as if I need a spring clean already!
KdB’s enforced absence meant a move across to Grealish. I was tempted with both Mane and Sterling – I had the money – and of course they both scored – but Grealish looks a player to own and, whilst he blanked, I’m happy I have him in there now.
Goops’ Unexpected Star of the Week
I’ve got to hand this accolade out to my boy Marcus Rashford. Not content with leading the cause to support under-nourished children, he’s had a doozy of a week on the football front culminating in a lovely winning goal at the Parc des Princes to give Man United a thoroughly well deserved victory in a match they were superb, controlled and a far cry from the humiliation of the Spurs (and Palace) games.
Prior to that he led United to victory at Newcastle in the PL, thrust into the CF role with Martial banned and leading very much from the front with 3 returns in the last 6 minutes to put some gloss on a much needed win.
He’s developing nicely as a player and suddenly looks the United player to own in FPL.
Goops’ Weekly FOMO Pick
Oh man it’s got to be Kane. I’m sure I’ll regret holding off this move as the guy is on fire, really looks the Kane of old and looks like hauling every game.
My FOMO last week was on Ings and Werner – called that right then!
I think I’ll be right this week too but happy to make do with Son and trust the Malah differential.
I now have all this money in the bank – over £5m – and I’m not the type of player to just leave it there.
VVD’s injury blow for Liverpool makes them less certain at the back but they remain formidable going forward and I’m tempted to back my hunch of bringing in Mane alongside Salah for the 2 home games against Sheffield United and West Ham – these are plum ties – and Mane at 7% ownership is a suprising differential with good opportunity to haul and this is backed up by Tom’s excellent data thread on explosiveness which was a key topic on the WGTA pod this week.
I could, of course, look to bring in Kane like everyone else, and the passage of time may dictate that to have been the best call. but with a rank of 2 million it’s time to take step away from the crowds and so I’ll stick with just Son and punt on the Liverpool double up.
It will need to be at the expense of Foden – but City are out of sorts and I think I can wait until their fixture swing to decide if I should move for either Sterling or Aguero, or of course back to KdB.
The captaincy is on Salah. I see no reason to ping that across to Mane – though his home record is good. Salah is the standout choice with great stats.
In order to fund this move I need to downgrade Reece James (who can’t get a game) with a 4.7 or less defender – my eye is on Lamptey. Whilst I don’t trust Brighton to keep a clean sheet his attacking stats are through the roof and I’m comfortable giving him a go vs hapless West Brom. It’s another hit though!
MY OR crept back into the top 2 million last week – what a time to be alive! I’m hoping I can make a concerted charge up the ranks and that not owning Kane isn’t too big a barrier! (at time of release Burnley are further depleted at the back – eek)
Good luck all!