#FPL OCD – Gameweek 12: “Chat sh*t get banged”
Give John a follow on twitter at @JohnOC1991
50/50. Half. Coin toss. On average, these decisions will, by definition, pay off 50% of the time. That being the case, I am looking forward to any that come my way in the future, because there is a hell of a lot of evening up to be done.
It was another good week for me generally. 55 points – that is 6 50+ weeks in the last 7 – and an ascent into the top 15k for the first time this season (including a 24 hour Saturday to Sunday foray into the top 10k). I now sit at, precisely, 13,782 in the world, towards the top of all of my mini-leagues, and that top 5-10k, that comfort blanket, that place I want to nestle, is within reach.
That is all well and good. However, I posited my captaincy dilemma last week. During a week of thought and statistical analysis, I started to narrow down my choices. Pelle was an initial frontrunner, but he was very quickly eliminated when I did some digging. His goal threat has decreased alarmingly, his shooting accuracy is horrific, and he was very quickly marked “NOT CAPTAIN MATERIAL”. He may even be marked “SELLING MATERIAL”, but more on that later. Sanchez, while playing in a historically chaotic fixture, was up against a good defence, and was not on form, so he followed Pelle, as did De Bruyne, whose goal threat also does not currently demand the armband (this may change with the return of Silva and Aguero, a situation which I will need to monitor).
It came down, in the end, to the two Leicester boys. Their form was impossible to ignore, their stats showing no sign of slowing, and my final 2 days of the week were spent switching between the two. I, you may have guessed, eventually plumped for Mahrez. The 3 key reasons: he had consistently outscored Vardy when the 2 had played 45+ minutes, their goal threat was similar over the previous 2 weeks (with Mahrez’s extra points as a midfielder), and…penalties. With livewires in the team, Leicester could always win a penalty. Who takes them? Mahrez. There you go Riyad, strap that armband on, and do me proud.
I would like to state, firmly, that few things make me happier than sportsmanship. Those moments when, in the sludge of modern day ruthlessness and greed, the darkness is pierced by the light of humanity. My favourite moment as an Everton fan growing up? Well, there weren’t many in the Walter Smith days, but one that sticks out is from December 2000. In the final minute of Everton vs West Ham, with the game finely poised at 1-1, Everton’s goalkeeper, Paul Gerrard, went down injured. The chance came to Paolo Di Canio and, with an open goal to win the game, the usually volatile Italian caught the ball to allow Gerrard to receive treatment. Goodison rose to its feet, the players applauded (well, the Everton ones at least – not sure the West Ham lads were so thrilled), and the game ended as a draw. The 9 year old John O’Connor saw this moment, and was thankful for sportsmanship, thankful that it still existed, thankful that compassion could override a footballer’s determination and will to win. Similarly, when England took the final wicket of the thrilling Edgbaston Test in the 2005 Ashes series, Andrew Flintoff ran over to Brett Lee, and consoled his bitter rival after a Herculean effort. Two sporting enemies, bearing no grudge the second the drama ended. These were truly glorious moments….ED. Glorious perhaps but no need to reference rounders on this site… 😉
Right, that’s out of the way now. Riyad Mahrez, you f*cking idiot. F*ck sportsmanship, do you think Jamie Vardy would have done the same for you? The Jamie Vardy who caused a scandal in a casino? The Jamie Vardy who, in his infinite wisdom, once posted on Facebook “Chat sh*t get banged”? *That* Jamie Vardy? Oh Riyad, he’s a knobhead, just take the penalty yourself. In fact, take the penalty, score, then hold a picture of Ruud Van Nistelrooy right up to Vardy’s face, look him dead in the eye, and whisper “the only record you’ll ever have is a criminal one”. I don’t care, just take that penalty.
The penalty reasoning behind my captaincy – so close, yet so far. That bloody do-gooder Mahrez had to go and be “generous” and a “nice guy”. Screw kindness, it has no place in sport when it affects something as important as my FPL team. So there I was, the penalty materialising and being *literally* given away by my captain. Again, that’s a 7 point swing. I’m at 13.7k, yes, but where could I have been if the coins had come down on the right side? Or if my captain hadn’t turned down a goal? I mean, seriously, how often has that ever happened!? People taking penalties off the penalty taker, certainly, I’ve seen that, but the penalty taker VOLUNTARILY giving away the ball!? I hate sportsmanship, I hate Di Canio, I hate Flintoff, I bloody hate it all. You’re the penalty taker, stick to the rules!!!
Ed… The important thing is that you are not bitter….
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, my team did well. My transfer of Huth to Smalling paid off handsomely, with Smalling, Van Dijk and Butland accumulating a whopping 26 points between them, and though my midfield did absolutely nothing, Vardy was supported by Kane’s 8 points up top.
Now we enter another dreaded international break, as FPL managers across the land try to calm their jerky knees and twitchy fingers. The last break was a reminder of how vicious they can be, and in case injuries pile up again, I will hold fire on my move until the end of next week. Should my team get through unscathed, I am likely to look at Pelle to Lukaku. I am generally averse to Everton players, just because I know all too well how unpredictable we can be, but Lukaku is impossible to ignore at the moment. He is having his best season so far, not just in terms of scoring but his all-round game, and he seems to be finding consistency. I am regretting not bringing him in a few weeks ago, but it is better late than never, and his upcoming fixtures are still appealing. Pelle could well punish me, but Southampton don’t look like scoring a huge amount goals, and Pelle’s stats are worrying. He has been very disappointing to own, and though it could backfire, I think I have to take the plunge.
I am yet to even look at my captaincy options, and as my present strategy of “thinking” is not working, may just pick a number 1-11. I could end up with Butland but, looking at his recent scores, that could be for the best.
Written by @JohnOC1991
John went to University, finished his degree, and got a good job in the City of London. He is now in the process of throwing it all away in favour of FPL, a game with no notable rewards for success. He firmly believes this to be the correct decision.