Only Fantasy Premier League can push you into the arms of your arch-nemesis.
The last 10 days have produced four frustrating incidents and one harrowing Match of the Day ‘Live’ experience that have caused me to do just that.
FPL is frustrating enough when you do follow the action throughout the day on a Saturday, but ignoring it all day and cramming all those emotions into eighty-five minutes is not something I’d recommend. It’s not good for the heart. It never ends well (for me at least). Especially not when you get 33 points from nine players, including your captain.
And so the scene was set for four moments which tipped me over the edge, as anyone who follows me on Twitter will know.
1. The hope. After that shocking Saturday in Gameweek 4, it was down to my Spurs duo of Christian Eriksen and Ben Davies to save me at Watford.
2. The desperation. Eriksen manages to connect perfectly with fresh air from point blank range. And yes, I was the only person to see him get a touch on Abdoulaye Doucouré’s own-goal, but he did, I’m sure of it. Mainly because I needed him to.
3. The kick when I’m down. Okay, so maybe Eriksen didn’t touch that ball, but I’m thinking at least he’ll get a point for the clean sheet and I’ll get one for Davies too. After all, Mauricio Pochettino owed me big time, having cost me points for a Spurs’ shutout in Gameweek 3. Full-back rotation has to be listed as one of his hobbies on any social media site he’s signed up to, I’m sure. But, of course, Watford equalise. Despair.
4. Salt in the wound. Just when I was starting to get over my FPL depression, Eriksen went and scored twice for Denmark against Wales, fittingly.
Four moments which sum up my FPL season so far. It’s been painful to say the least but I’m relishing the challenge of fighting back over the coming weeks and months.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. My Wildcard was activated quicker than Poch could rotate a full-back.
With Gameweek 5 just around the corner and a shiny new squad almost ready for battle, it’s time for me to stop moaning about the opening four rounds and prepare for a major assault on those ahead of me in the rankings.
The man I’m trusting to lead my troops into battle is my old foe Eden Hazard. For those who didn’t follow me on Twitter last season, here’s what happened.
Before I owned the Chelsea man he registered 56 points between Gameweeks 10 and 15, an average of 9.33 per match.
After I brought him into the fold he blanked in five of his next six. So I thought it would make sense to get him out on my Free Hit squad for Gameweek 22, where he promptly punished me with a 10-point haul.
Of course he scored just one point when he returned in Gameweek 23.
Christian Eriksen has nothing on this guy.
Buying Eden Hazard in GW16.
Before I got him (GWs 10 – 15) – 11, 3, 18, 8, 1, 15.
When I owned him (GWs 16 – 21) – 2, 3, 6, 3, 3, 0.
When I got rid of him on Free Hit (GW22) – 10.
When I owned him again (GW23) – 1.
— The General (@FPLGeneral) 15 January 2018
I try not to be stubborn with FPL. I avoid holding grudges for too long. With each new season, I see it as a fresh start for all players no matter how much pain they have caused me in previous campaigns.
I’ve been very impressed watching Hazard in recent weeks under Sarri. He was one of the main reasons for me activating the Wildcard. He’s returned attacking points in all four Gameweeks, despite starting in just two of them. With Cardiff, West Ham and Southampton in his next four, I’m banking on him to fire me up the rankings. I like the fact that he’s on penalties as well.
But remember that could all count for nothing against his biggest flaw: he’s now back in my squad. Apologies in advance to all those who own him or are getting him in this week.
Hazard’s team mate Marcos Alonso was another player who factored in my Wildcard activation. I can’t watch another Chelsea match without owning one of my all-time favourite FPL players. He’s flourishing in Sarri’s system, with a goal and five assists to his name already. It’s amazing to think he only managed two FPL assists last season.
Alonso: ” All my life I had played in a back-four, at Real Madrid Castilla and at Bolton. This is me going back to my natural position. I’m very happy with Sarri’s new system. I am just as happy or even happier than I was in Conte’s 3-5-2.” #CFC
— Bridge News 📰 (@cfc_wale) September 5, 2018
In fact, I’m all in on Chelsea on Wildcard. I may even triple up by holding on to Pedro for another couple of weeks with a view to moving him on for Richarlison when he returns from suspension.
Elsewhere, I’m leaning towards #NoSalah. I say leaning towards as it’s probably about 60:40 in Mané’s favour as I write this, but it’s a huge decision to have to make so early in the season and one I’ll be mulling over until Saturday morning. I can’t help but love the team I can get without Mo. The issue is getting him back in later won’t be easy.
From the eye test this season (which is always number one factor for me when considering players) I’ve been very impressed by Mané and I see no reason why he can’t match or even better Salah’s points over the next few weeks. I don’t want to own both during Liverpool’s tough fixture schedule.
I’m likely to be doing the Match of the Day ‘Live’ challenge again this Saturday as I’ll be out and about during the day so hopefully it’s a more enjoyable watch this time around. Keep me in your thoughts if you know I’ve had a low-scoring Saturday before I do.
Good luck to all in Gameweek 5. May your arrow be green.
You can follow the FPL General on Twitter HERE. He has achieved three top 500 finishes in the last four seasons.
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