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Learning from The Great and The Good 19/20 – Gameweek 1

“Every move you make. Every vow you break. Every smile you fake. Every claim you stake. I’ll be watching you”

Welcome back FPL we’ve missed you! Although with the early launch I am sure many a manager was suffering from draft fatigue by the time the actual action kicked off.

Despite numerous protests, mainly from The Great and The Good themselves, I am back for a 2nd season to watch over them.

As a reminder The Great and The Good are a handpicked group of FPL celebrities (?), FF Scouts or prominent managers who I will follow to see what we can learn as they navigate their way through the season.

After weeks of pre-season scouting, an overwhelming number of RMTs and option a,b or c questions now was the chance for FPL managers to see if they were to achieve that important fast start.

SQUAD SELECTION

I am delighted to introduce the class of 2019/20:-

Mark Sutherns– The man who started Scout and the top performer in last year’s series. His team picks always attract attention in the FFS world. Using the special Sutherns summoning incantation I have woken him from his slumber.

Ville Ronka– He shies away from the public spotlight but this elusive legend remains one of the best managers around with a point to prove after last year. Already demonstrating his famed patience – his team ID is the only one over 1 million.

David Munday– Editor at the Scout and after his breakthrough season last year it will be interesting to see if this continues or whether he’ll be a one hit wonder. A FPL Chesney Hawkes if you like.

Let’s Talk FPL Andy– FPL You tube veteran. His second-place finish behind Mark amongst The Great and The Good last year secures his place. Just keep him away from Sanchez.

Az Phillips– Scoutcast regular. Possibly controversial based on last year but his strong finish means he keeps his spot. His specialist subjects are Brighton and wingbacks so ask him anything about Montoya.

Joe Lepper– Scoutcaster, famous for both his goals imminent table, his meet the manager series and his dullard tendencies he had to keep his place in the squad.

Sean Tobin– I’ve gone big for my first summer transfer with the signing of the current FFS Hall of Fame number 1. He’s very very good so worth following – enough said.

FPL General– Podcaster, FPL veteran, 3 out of last 5 finishes in top 500 but best not to mention his shocking season last season. Can he martial his troops and strike back?

Matthew Jones– Before we go any further click on the link to Matthew Jones’ team and look at his 10 year history. Now go and find me someone more consistent … A true FPL giant. Here we are now, entertain us.

Jules Breach– The presenter of the FPL TV show will bring some much-needed style to proceedings. She has steadily improved over her 3-year FPL career and finished at 22k last time round.

Geoff Dance– FFS Community Manager and his inclusion has nothing to do with his editorial control over this article. Absolutely nothing. Although he did want me to mention he once finished 49th overall and has 5 top 20k finishes to his name.

Neale Rigg– FFS Deputy editor and press Conference Guru on FFS, his ability to decipher Pep roulette will be invaluable to the squad. A 13-year veteran of the game which he means he has fond memories of Graham Alexander. No? Me neither.

This means Torres Magic, Granville, Niemi, Jay Egersdorff are now left to their own devices although I will be paying them a visit during the international breaks to see how FPL life is treating them.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE

What a start to the FPL season with the average score at 65!

Here are the first week scores and rankings for The Great and The Good (the pretty table will be back next week).

Ville Ronka – 90 – (OR 296,431)

Andy – 89 – (OR 343,610)

Sean Tobin – 89 – (OR 343,610)

Jules Breach – 87 – (OR 458,690)

Az – 86 – (OR 523,251)

Mark – 84 – (OR 669,883)

Joe – 84 – (OR 669,883)

David – 83 – (OR 750,059)

Geoff – 82 – (OR 839,678)

Matthew Jones – 82 – (OR 839,678)

FPL General – 82 – (OR 839,678)

Neale – 78 – (OR 1,230,883)

In a week of good scores Ville Ronka is the one to lead the way with 90 points although there is only a dozen points from top to bottom this week.

It was a week of fine margins with much dependent on your choice of keeper and which two of the three Liverpool defenders you picked. Ville got all the decisions right with Ryan, VVD, TAA all chipping in alongside the core Sterling and Salah points bonanza.

Neale was left at the wrong end of the GW1 table thanks to Heaton predictably returning little against Spurs and his gamble on the Tottenham men Lamela and Walker-Peters not paying off.

For once we should feel a little sorry for Mark who would have surely topped the table had he played Dunk and McGinn, in total he left 21 points on the bench.

With all the tough decisions being made before the big kick off perhaps the easiest one was to “Go with Mo”, as all The Great and Good opted for the Liverpool talisman. He repaid them with a goal, assist and even some rare bonus points.

TEMPLATE

The template for The Great and The Good looks like this :-

Pope (9) Button (7)

Digne (10) TAA (8) Lundstram (8) Robertson (7) Zinchenko (7)

Salah (12) Sterling (11) Dendoncker (8) Perez (7) Moura (4)

Wilson (9) Greenwood (8) Jota (7)

* brackets show number of teams they appear in

Not a huge surprise to see Salah and Sterling as the most popular picks with only Jules Breach going without the City man much to her cost.

Elsewhere The Great and The Good seem to have decided on a double up on Liverpool defenders despite some claims from pundits that they don’t appear as strong as last year at the back.

The cheap and cheerful options of Lundstram, Dendoncker (not a big fan of VAR) and Greenwood seem to have picked themselves but it’s the fourth/fifth midfield spot where there is indecision with Moura currently leading the way.

In terms of differentials across the teams, the newcomer Jules is doing her bit to stir the pot as she is the only one to have picked Kane and Martial. They both proved excellent picks and made up for Sterling’s absence from her squad for this week at least.

Ville Ronka also appears to have taken a punt in his choice of Murray, with the normally risk averse Fin picking the Brighton evergreen striker.

FORMATION – GOING BIG AT THE BACK?

It seems every season the arguments become more compelling to invest more heavily in our rear guards as the value in defence and the age of the attacking wing backs logically points to the deployment of four maybe even 5 at the back. This coupled with fewer consistent big-name forwards should in theory lead to the end of the go to formation of 3-4-3.

Yet, looking back at last season The Great and The Good overwhelmingly went to 3-4-3 as default using that formation 43% of the time over the 38 weeks.

However, closer examination reveals evolution over the season with 3-5-2 the preferred option in the 2H as they looked to capitalise on the multitude of options in midfield, which meant it moved to 45% utilization from GW 21 to GW38.

So back to the now and the current season. Is this the year 4-4-2 or even 5-3-2 becomes the new go to formation? The early RMTs seem to suggest the FPL community were willing to invest in LARD as Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Laporte and Digne caught the eye, however what of The Great and The Good?

The majority (58%) of them have jumped onto 4-4-2, however the more traditional types Mark, Joe and David have stuck to 3-4-3. It will be interesting to see if their resolve is tested should the lure of a double Liverpool and double City back line gains momentum.

Jules has gone with 3-5-2 which was Az’s starting formation until the Trossard train was derailed and his non-appearance meant a detour into a 4-4-2.

Perhaps Neale’s approach is the one that stands out, daring to go 4-5-1 and break the golden rule of flexibility. It is a big jump from his budget options Wesley/King to Kane/Auba if those big guns continue to fire. What will he do? Well, wildcard probably.

CONCLUSION

So, the first week is out of the way which for once felt very predictable. However, waiting for the line ups was especially nerve-wracking as we all paced around like expectant fathers waiting to see if our 4.0 and 4.5 certain starters were actually just that – certain starters.

Now that first adrenaline burst is gone what of our targets for the season? With every season getting more difficult as more players join the fray and more data available some would argue we need to revise our goals? Is a top 50,000 finish the new top 10,000?

For some it may be enough to achieve mini league glory, defeat a rival (hello Top Marx) or just to beat that annoying bloke who claims he knows the Liverpool team sheet 2 days ahead.

Whatever your motivation enjoy The Great and The Good ride!

Anyway, that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.

60 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 8 Years
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    It returns!

    So happy to see this series back, gives a fantastic insight - looking forward to seeing how this group fair and what I can learn from them. Good luck this season Greyhead!

    1. RedLightning
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      7 days, 19 hours ago

      Judging by your performance last season and in GW1, most of them could probably learn something from yourself!

    2. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Thanks! Good to be back. Your current form is making you difficult to ignore for next season’s squad.

  2. Das Boot
    • 5 Years
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    An enjoyable read, cheers Greyhead

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Very kind

  3. Jarvish
    • 4 Years
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    Nice sneaky reference 😉

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      I have no idea what you are talking about... never mind.

  4. barracuda
    • 2 Years
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    The only legend for me is Ragaboly. This man deserves to be included in the fantasy HOF.

    1. doyeon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 days, 2 hours ago

      No love for Mark, Ville? They are bona-fide FPL legends.

  5. barracuda
    • 2 Years
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    Followed by TM

  6. GARY AND JAMIE
    • 5 Years
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    My favourite article watching the legends at work...nice to be level at 84 with the mainstays of Mark and Joe....

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Cheers... hopefully your current form continues

  7. BigBillyBass
    • 1 Year
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    Great article. Flagged

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Thanks - I assume flagged for good reasons

      1. BigBillyBass
        • 1 Year
        7 days, 20 mins ago

        Yes definitely

  8. MINUS FOUR
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 days, 20 hours ago

    This is a very minor point but one every published writer (and editor) should try to remember:

    'Adverse' means harmful or unfavourable e.g. adverse conditions
    'Averse' means having a dislike or opposition to something e.g. risk averse

    1. MINUS FOUR
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 20 hours ago

      Moving past that, I love this series of articles. Well done on another enjoyable read. Looking forward to following their progress.

    2. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      7 days, 20 hours ago

      Ah that's my bad. Fixed, ta!

      1. MINUS FOUR
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 days, 20 hours ago

        No problem!

        ***jumps off annoying professional high horse***

    3. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Congrats on spotting the deliberate mistake. Your prize is in the post. Glad you enjoy the articles.

  9. Tommy Smith
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 days, 19 hours ago

    How many of the G&G will hod their transfer?

    1. RedLightning
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      7 days, 18 hours ago

      I would expect it to be all of them (unless they own Alisson).

    2. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Would agree with Mr RedLightning most will hold. Although I sense the newbies are looking to impress so there may be a knee jerk Martial transfer in the mix.

  10. Tommy Smith
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 days, 19 hours ago

    *hold

  11. Andy_Social
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    7 days, 19 hours ago

    Most gratifying to see I beat all the champs! For one week only, anyway.

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      I am currently sharing bottom spot with Neale on 78.

  12. doyeon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 days, 19 hours ago

    Great write-up, happy I topped all of these legends with 92 pts haha.....btw, what's your ID champ?

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      7 days, 17 hours ago

      Me? 4843

      1. doyeon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 days, 3 hours ago

        Greyhead but cheers anyway!

    2. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      2244.... focus on last year when looking on my history

      1. doyeon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 days, 3 hours ago

        haha cheers mate!

  13. Boris Bodega
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 days, 18 hours ago

    Do I get a prize if my OR is higher than theirs? 😉

    1. Game Over
      • 3 Years
      7 days, 18 hours ago

      At the end of the season.... maybe.

    2. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Yes it’s a huge prize arranged by a Nigerian prince I know so if you could just let me have your bank details...

      1. doyeon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        5 days, 2 hours ago

        lmao

  14. Game Over
    • 3 Years
    7 days, 18 hours ago

    So let's not all start panicking about scores between 80-90.

    A steady start is fine.

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 16 hours ago

      Agree... GW2 and 3 will be when the landscape of the season becomes clearer.

    2. Ole's at the wheel
      • 4 Years
      7 days, 15 hours ago

      ^ wooden spoony

      1. Ole's at the wheel
        • 4 Years
        7 days, 15 hours ago

        Dont know how this comment got here
        Sorry

  15. Aseel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 days, 16 hours ago

    Love this series! Thanks

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 12 hours ago

      Cheers, very kind

  16. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 days, 15 hours ago

    Great to see this back but why are you covering low level managers? Stick to the elite guys.

    1. df34
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 days, 12 hours ago

      Why is Jules there ? Her record is very modest. Great presenter and I enjoy the FF show, but can’t feel her being on that list is just for ‘gender optics’. Unlike Holly , who has a good finish to her name and great to listen to on The Breakfast Club and The Scoutcast tonight.

    2. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      6 days, 23 hours ago

      You better not be talking about me 😉

      1. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        Heh-heh! 😆

    3. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      6 days, 20 hours ago

      No real rhyme or reason to who’s tracked. Just a bunch of people I am (and hopefully others) are interested in following over the season. Obviously will accept donations if people are desperate to be included or excluded if I bring back next year.

  17. FourLokoLeipzig
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 days, 14 hours ago

    Excellent stuff, I’m happy to see this is back

    1. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 12 hours ago

      Thank you!

  18. Az
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    7 days, 14 hours ago

    "Possibly controversial based on last year..."

    Oi! xD

    Great article, love reading these (despite the passive aggressive tone of my introduction...)

    1. Werkself
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 days, 14 hours ago

      Could have been worse. At least he didn't describe you as having "dullard tendencies" (whatever that means). 🙂

    2. Greyhead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 days, 12 hours ago

      Clearly I need to improve on my Mourinho style man management skills.

    3. Geevious
      • 8 Years
      7 days, 4 hours ago

      So you know... how’s Montoya?

      1. Az
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 10 Years
        6 days, 23 hours ago

        Sitting pretty with 6 points from 1 game =D

        1. Geevious
          • 8 Years
          6 days, 23 hours ago

          Should I expect him to continue that form next week?

  19. Forza
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    6 days, 21 hours ago

    No disrespect to Jules Breach, but her inclusion is strange - nobody is a 'great' or 'good' FPL manager by virtue of being famous while finishing outside the top 20,000.

  20. flavio083007
    • 8 Years
    6 days, 16 hours ago

    will aguero be starting in gameweek 2 at home? he should mostly i guess.. and Mane ?

  21. hanssk
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 21 hours ago

    Will Kelly (Crystal Palace) be starting the next Gameweeks?

  22. Vic17
    5 days, 16 hours ago

    What do you guys think of Cancelo? Now I have Mendy.

    And Chilwell or Montoya?

  23. Swan - Villa Proud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 days, 9 hours ago

    Good thing this series is back!

    I have 14 of the 15 players in the template of these top level managers. Difference being Ryan (them) and Heaton (me)

    Gues who you should be following instead 😉