“Rip it up and start again”
The template is dead, or at least a bit poorly. These are exciting times in FPL land. Heavy hitters are flying in and out of teams and the matches are coming thick and fast. All this and we saw the start of the manager melee.
The city midfield was at the centre of the storm with The Great and The Good needing to make room for Sterling, Sane, and prepare for the Spurs assets in GW15. Yet it was the absence of Aguero which made all the headlines.
In the middle of all this we saw two of our managers morphing into one with Jay and Az’s GW teams looking identical. We also saw one FPL legend, Ville Ronka react in his trademark way by simply waiting patiently and riding the storm out.
So who are The Great and The Good? They are Jay Egersdorff, Ville Ronka, The Scout-casters (Joe, Andy, Az, David, Granville, and Mark), Eliteserien’s expert Niemi, and the last man standing Torres Magic.
A return to form for The Great and The Good who all scored over the average of 49 and eight of out ten achieved green arrows.
Torres Magic and Mark were the leading lights scoring 70, taking into account TM’s hit. He benefited from a full house from his defence with Doherty’s goal making up for the Wolves poor defence. He was a little lucky with Sterling coming in as vice captain for Aguero.
Mark meanwhile continued his good run with 10 green arrows over the last 12 weeks.. He showed faith in his defence playing 5-3-2 and they all returned. It could have been even better if he showed more belief in Fabianski and played him instead of the disappointing Patricio.
Az was the biggest climber this week moving up 76,000 places and maybe his decision to bring in Sterling will be the catalyst to see him back amongst the big boys.
There was only 17 points between the top and bottom of The Great and The Good. Niemi was the unlucky one, with David not far ahead, but they were only a city midfielder away from a green arrow.
TRANSFERS AND HITS
This is a summary of the transfers for this week:
Andy – Sterling (Hazard)
Az – Sterling (Salah)
David – No transfer
Granville – Sané, Arnie (Aguero, Gudmundsson)
Jay – Sterling (Mane)
Joe – No transfer
Mark – Van Aanholt (Mendy)
Niemi – Wan-Bissaka (Jonny)
Torres Magic – Sterling, Sané, Schindler (Salah, Fraser, Yedlin)
Ville Ronka – No transfer
*transfers out are in brackets
Sterling was the key transfer target. Ignored for many weeks by The Great and The Good, apart from the shrewd Mark, they now scrambled to get the FPL’s top scorer. Az in particular clearly regretted his decision to transfer him out in GW 10. He missed out on 45 points during this period.
His team mate Sané was the other popular choice with Granville and Torres Magic both taking hits to bring him in. He made an immediate impact.
Elsewhere, there were less dramatic moves with both Mark and Niemi seeing something in the Palace defence bringing in PVA and WB.
Mark remains the most prolific in the transfer market having made 18 with 7 hits over the season, this is double that of Mr Ronka.
Perhaps most surprising was Ronka’s decision to give up a transfer. He went into the week with 2 FTs but he is clearly waiting for the dust to settle before he makes his move, either that or he got caught out by the early Friday deadline.
After those transfers the template now looks like this:
Wan-Bissaka, Robertson, Doherty, Alonso, Alexander-Arnold
Salah, Hazard, Richarlison, Sterling, Hojbjerg
Aguero, Arnautovic, Jiménez
Ryan Fraser was the first victim of the template shuffle as he lost his place to Sterling. However, no one’s place appears to be safe and Hazard, Salah and Aguero must be looking nervously over their shoulder.
None of the big hitters are in the ten out of ten members club with Doherty and Arnie the only ones with this honour.
TEAM INVESTMENT AND VALUE
Average Cost of Player looks like this across the teams based on week 1 prices:
Goalkeeper – 4.5
Defender – 5.1
Midfielder – 8.4
Forward – 7.5
ITB – 1.4
The Great and Good appear to be saving their pennies for GW 15 with the average money in the bank increasing. Will it be Kane, Aubameyang, or Sterling on the arrivals list?
Looking at overall value Granville has lost his place at the top with Ronka and Mark now leading the way at 104.2 and only Torres Magic is in the 104 club.
FORMATION AND BENCH
This was the week for the defence with 50% of the managers going 4-4-2 and Ronka, Mark playing five at the back. Only Granville went for the “go to” formation of 3-4-3.
Over the season we have seen a growing fondness of 4-4-2 and it has now been selected 16% of the time by these managers with 3-5-2 declining to 19%. 3-4-3 still leads the way at 49%.
The bench was needed by eight of the managers this week and there were a variety of substitutes for the silver-haired Argentine. Richarlison was definitely the most popular but Balbuena for Ronka and Wilson for Jay were the most rewarding.
Over the season, Jay has had to look to his bench most often with 9 calls to his subs to start warming up but Granville remains the king of the tactical replacement averaging 6 points for those that have joined the action.
CAPTAIN AND DIFFERENTIALS
The weight of the world was on David’s shoulders as he looked to retain his perfect captain picks record. He could not have picked a more dramatic way to go 14-0 when his first choice Aguero dropped out and his last minute vice captain selection Hazard squeezed in an assist. Will he go 15-0?
He also remains the king of the captains when it comes to average points per armband at 19.3 but Mark and Az are fast approaching at 19 a piece after some good decisions over the last few weeks.
Overall it was a split decision for The Great and The Good who opted for either Sterling or the absent Aguero. Only Ville Ronka and Granville went against the crowd going with Salah and Hazard respectively.
In the end Sterling was the pick of the bunch rewarding Mark and his new owners Jay, Andy, and Az. Torres Magic also benefitted from having him as his vice captain. Joe and Niemi were less lucky as they got stuck with a blanking Salah.
The differential of choice was Felipe Anderson who rewarded Ronka with a goal. Spare a thought for Joe who continues to worry after the health of Gudmundsson but who has yet to be rewarded for his continued concern.
So with barely a chance to get a half time orange we will be plunged into GW 15 which will no doubt bring further spins of the Pep Roulette, Jose’s lucky dip, and Klopp Lottery.
Whilst we focus our attentions on the big decisions and the marquee transfers, what about the more trivial decisions?
This week has proven that the vice captain choice or even bench order could be just as crucial as agonizing over the heavy hitters.
What should we expect from The Great and The Good this week?
Anyway that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.