Goops’ Blog: Fine Margins (GW 14 Review/GW 15 Preview)

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.

Just a quick bonus blog with the games coming thick and fast to review the weekend GW14 fixtures and confirm my intentions for GW15.

Gameweek 14 Review

I wanted to continue my rise up the ranks this week but more than that I was in the mix for winning the November monthly cash prize in one of my mini leagues, and I’m also participating in FPLWolfpack’s Twitter FPL FA Cup competition.

So there was a lot riding on delivering a strong performance.

Tom was my main rival for the monthly prize. He was starting as favourite, with a 5 point lead and with similar squads, it was up to me to attack with the right differentials.

Taking a hit would put me on the back foot.

Fortunately, I had 2FT which I had used to move Sterling out to Son and upgrade Guendouzi to Pulisic.

Pulisic in particular was my sword pick against Mount, whom Tom was still hanging onto.

I was tempted to captain him to counter Tom’s choice of Abraham, but once Tammy was declared unfit and Tom had laid out his strategy to captain Mane, I decided not to tinker with a winning formula and made Vardy captain for a third straight week.

This would give Tom the chance to move further ahead on Saturday and leave me chasing on the Sunday – so when Mane surprisingly blanked vs Brighton it nudged the door ajar.

Sterling’s sale to facilitate my moves was always likely to result in early remorse and so it proved as he opened the scoring but KdB’s screamer (what a goal!) reinforced my belief Raz was the right City asset to remove.

I was depending somewhat on my Chelsea assets to fire.  Both Pulisic and Tomori were key to me closing the gap. When Chelsea conceded it was a blow but I still had an opportunity to move ahead of Tom if Pulisic led the recovery.  He looked dangerous but it just never came.  A blank against the league’s weakest defence.  Can you credit it ? An off day at just the wrong time.

So at the end of Saturday nothing had changed – the 5 point deficit was intact.

Tammy’s injury meant bench order would be crucial.  Even though Tom and I both have Lunny, I was actually relieved to be able to rely on the Lord to come off the bench as I knew Tom would play him. My other option was Cantwell.  Tom still has his cousin Todd in his squad but his dip in form, rotation risk and Arsenal’s managerial sacking made me ignore the fact that his goal at Everton may indeed spur him back into form so he remained rooted to 2nd bench.

I’d managed to secure tickets to make the pilgrimage to see my beloved but horribly mediocre United take on Villa at Old Trafford and I knew I might struggle to get any internet access so in theory was able to ‘enjoy’ the game in front of me without distraction and let the Leicester game run its course.

The deficit meant Vardy would likely need to score and claim bonus AND Leicester concede as Tom had both Soy and Chilwell, whilst I only had Soy.  It was a tall order and I wasn’t expecting to prevail.  I felt I needed to be on par or ahead going into the Sunday games.

When I got wind that Cantwell had indeed scored in a highly entertaining score draw I felt a twinge of regret but my final chance lay with a Vardy masterclass.  Could he land a third double digit haul in a row?

I was indeed unable to access the internet on my device but my brother-in-law managed some 4G signal enabling him to keep me periodically up to speed.

When I heard Everton had scored to take away the cleanie, it was all on Vardy.  An 8 point return with no Chilwell involvement would be enough to steal the monthly prize.

When Vardy equalised with less than half an hour remaining, he was sitting on max bonus as is often the case and for the briefest of periods, I’d snatched it.

And then just like that it was gone. Nacho fired a last gasp winner, Pereira assisted (not Chilwell at least). It went to VAR…. and of course, it was given.  It’s also enough for Ricardo to nab bonus points at Vardy’s expense and with that Tom had secured November by 1 point.

An impressive defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

All about those fine margins… Well done Tom (wp Goops – Ed.)

Whilst that was close (and painful) I fared better in the Wolfpack FA Cup head to head just pipping my opponent 58 v 55 to make it through to the 2nd round (or last 32).

TAA’s return to assisting form was welcome and a cheeky assist for Jimmy, whilst inadvertently wiping the Lunny clean sheet was his third return in a row and  he is proving a great pick.

Chelsea’s defeat at home to West Ham was a huge shock in both footballing and FPL terms and it ultimately cost me.

The Blues have the chance to redeem themselves for GW15 and I’m confident Pulisic proves to be a worthwhile punt.

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Doodle Corner

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

It wasn’t long ago that United were champions-elect and Liverpool’s season was over by November.  Well, we’ve come full circle with United parked in no man’s land, foot on the reverse gear with nowhere to go while Liverpool romp home with the title without competition. 

Some bookies have paid out.  It’s a sad state of affairs but Liverpool are back on their perch that Fergie so famously succeeded in knocking them off!

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Gameweek 15 Preview

I’m rolling my FT.  Lunny comes back in with a plum home tie vs Newcastle and if Tammy does play I have another dilemma on who to bench. Chelsea look the least secure at the back so it might be Tomori.

Cantwell will remain rooted to the bench.

Captaincy wise – I am sticking with Vardy.  Yes, Watford have changed manager (AGAIN) but Vardy is in terrific form and it’s nice to have an easy choice. I expect him to be heavily captained so in fact a differential pick could see a huge rank fall if he does indeed haul.  So be careful – sometimes it pays to stick with the obvious.

That’s it for now. Other regular features to return in the next chapter!

Back to back gameweeks are fun – this is part 2 of 3, so wishing you lots of green arrows.

Goops