“I walk this empty street. On the boulevard of broken dreams. Where the city sleeps. And I’m the only one, and I walk alone”
There are plenty of broken dreams coming out of gameweek 8 after a poor weekend for most. Many are left baffled and confused as to their next step; some will play wildcards, many will take hits whilst others will patiently wait out the storm hoping for a Green Day.
The build up to the weekend had seem straightforward enough, even with De Bruyne’s injury, City would be too good for a weary Wolves and now was a good time to bring in Aubameyang and Son to replace Liverpool premier options ahead of the fixture swing.
A plan was formed but unfortunately for The Great and The Good events took a different turn and the international break will leave many of them scratching their heads as to the next move.
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. They are the Scouts (Mark, Joe, David, Geoff and Neale), FPL “celebrities” (Az, LTFPL Andy, FPL General and Jules Breach) and finally from the Hall of Fame we have Ville Ronka, Matthew Jones and Sean Tobin.
The table below shows current performance:-
A tough weekend for most with the shock defeat for City hurting many of The Great and The Good as they had entrusted the armband with either Sterling or Aguero. Only Jules had dared to look beyond the Etihad with Aubameyang’s great start to the season proving too much for her to resist – yet even that didn’t work out.
Geoff was in fact the only manager to get over 50 points which in this troubled weekend saw him move up an incredible 560,000 places in the rankings! His Mane man was Sadio who overshadowed Salah, but he also had the Blues Brothers of Mount and Abraham to thank for his luminous green arrow.
Jules Breach remains in top spot but had a dreadful week with a misjudged punt of Mahrez meaning she only scored 28 points after that -4 hit. Neale is now only 2 points behind her thanks to solid 43 points with his Chelsea duo moving him to within striking distance of top spot.
Elsewhere, the pre-season favourites for The Great and The Good crown are struggling with Sean Tobin enduring his fifth red arrow in a row, Matthew Jones treading water in the 900,000s and despite a green arrow this week Mark has dropped 700,000 places since game week 3.
Az decided to act this week in order to stop the rot and move his team of misfits into the top 1 million, yet the short-term results are not good. Yet, we should remember a wildcard can only be judged in the long term and not against the barometer of what was a freakishly bad weekend.
The wildcard ins and outs are listed below, and the big move is moving on Salah to allow him to bring in Aubameyang with the rest just housekeeping to improve the depth of his squad. He also moved on De Bruyne for Mahrez, but I sense this was a one-week gamble with two million in the bank to bring in the Belgian berserker.
IN – Tomori, Periera, Saka, Mahrez, McGinn, Aubameyang
OUT – Matip, O’Connell, Salah, De Bruyne, Cellabos, Wickham
Lots to like in many of his moves with the fixture swing clearly in his thoughts as Periera and Tomori come in but it’s success will all be down to whether Aubameyang will regain his mojo after the international break and outscore Salah.
TRANSFERS AND HITS
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
Andy – Son (De Bruyne)
David – Mount, Tomori (Maddison, Masuaka)
FPL General – No transfer
Joe – King, Rico (Digne, Greenwood)
Jules Breach – Mahrez, Aubameyang (Kane, Tielmans)
Geoff – No transfer
Mark – Tomori (Dunk)
Matthew Jones – No transfer
Neale – Saka (Hayden)
Sean Tobin – No transfer
Ville Ronka – Aubameyang, McGinn (De Bruyne, Barnes)
*transfers out are in brackets
This week saw a split with managers either rolling the transfer in preparation for the break or taking a gamble on the likes of Mahrez, Son or even Saka.
Jules and Ville Ronka took hits this week and whilst previously the sight of a minus four against the Finnish enigma would have been headline news now it is common place, he has taken four hits already this season, the most of any of The Great and The Good. Has someone hacked his account?
The template for The Great and The Good looks like this :-
Pope (11) Button (7)
TAA (11) Lundstram (10) Otamendi (8) Tomori (6) Söyüncü (5)
Mount (11) Sterling (10) Salah (10) KDB (7)Cantwell (7)
Pukki (11) Abraham (9) Greenwood (5)
* brackets show number of teams they appear in
Chelsea players continue to infiltrate the template with Tomori now entering the squad at the expense of Digne. Also, worth noting that Mount is now the most popular midfielder which is quite an achievement with the array of premium assets competing for this spot.
Pukki still remains the most popular striker but I think the party may soon be coming to an end after another blank for the Norwich hitman this week.
PICK OF THE POPS
In my ongoing post-mortem of the season I have looked, courtesy of FPL Statisco, at the most popular players over the first eight game weeks across The Great and The Good.
Salah has been the most popular pick playing all eight weeks for pretty much all of the managers, the only exceptions being Geoff who decide on his no Mo strategy in his early wildcard which has now been duplicated by Az, whilst Sean dallied with the idea back in game week six but quickly brought him back with his own overhaul of his squad.
Perhaps the most telling indicator of success is the presence, or lack of it of De Bruyne with his name only appearing in Neale’s and Jules’ top five, who of course are the current leaders of this group of managers.
The international break is now upon us and gives us all time to lick our wounds and try to plan our next moves in the most unpredictable of seasons.
So far, seven of the managers have hit the reset button and played their wildcard but I don’t think it’s a big bet to say Mark, Matthew Jones, Ville Ronka and FPL General are considering throwing in their fantasy joker card. What will these FPL heavyweights do?
Do they dare to move on the Liverpool assets as they enter a couple of tricky fixtures? Do they start to stockpile Leicester and Chelsea players? Will more join the Auba express even though he failed to score this week? Is the Pukki party over and how hard is the hangover going to hit us? It’s going to be a long two weeks as we await the answers.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.
For those effected by any of the topics raised in the above article they can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greyhead19
Likewise, if you want to keep up with the Tweets of The Great and The Good you can find them here