#FPL OCD – Gameweek 13: “I would like to clarify that this was not one snap decision while drunk”
Give John a follow on twitter at @JohnOC1991
It looked like I had done it again. Lukaku was running riot, rampant against a shockingly poor Aston Villa side, and there I was, sat with the armband on Harry Kane. This very site had even run a Twitter poll to help me, but I was too stubborn, I could not look past the innate Evertonian pessimism that has recently proved damaging. The Pelle to Lukaku move was paying off handsomely, but it was there again, that niggling negative, that 50/50 captaincy error. I wasn’t going to be able to match this haul.
Oh Harry, how could I doubt you? You have been so good to me since I drafted you in, and boy have you outdone yourself this time. Two goals, maximum bonus, 26 points. Marvellous. It was a close call, but finally, finally, I captained my highest scoring player. A 4-0 Everton win with Lukaku succeeding AND a captaincy success, mmm that is sweet. Thank God I didn’t listen to you lot on Twitter! (This is a joke, please don’t hate me…)
It wasn’t a particularly special week outside of those two. Vardy and Mahrez delivered, as they do with almost monotonous consistency (more on this later), but other than that it was very slim pickings. Butland triumphed again, then I had 9 points from 6 players. Alexis Sanchez’s form is a real concern, with yet another blank leaving us to wonder how long we can persist with such an expensive liability. However, 69 points, and a rank of 11.5k. It’s all going swimmingly, almost alarmingly, well.
A key component of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic work was the theory of the ‘death drive’, or ‘Thanatos’. Posited as a counterpoint to ‘Eros’, it proposed that humans possess a subconscious desire to self-destruct, that the survival instinct was contrasted by an innate drive towards death. I mention this Philosophical notion as a potential explanation for my actions on Saturday night. I settled in to watch Manchester City vs Liverpool, and spent 40 minutes certain that this disjointed City team was no reason to tear apart my team and hit my wildcard button, a button that I have been cherishing since August. Then, from nowhere, one Sergio Aguero picked up the ball. Feeding off scraps all game, and just back from injury, Aguero took a touch, cut inside, and arrowed a gorgeous finish into the corner of Mignolet’s net. With one jolt of a right foot, I was reminded who this was, and all calm went out of the window. A bottle of wine later, that night, I hit the button. My first move? Aguero in…Vardy out.
Ed: I considered placing a picture of a juggling cat here to counter-balance the effects of John’s “Introduction to Psychology” section but then thought…nahhh.. let’s just run with it. Think of the obscure hits we’ll get from Uni students across the world searching for copy and paste content.
I would like to clarify that this was not one snap decision while drunk. Ed: cough. Prior to this weekend, I was torn on whether or not to use my wildcard this week. I was still 50/50 after the Man City game, the bottle of wine just…gave me the courage. It is a huge, huge, huge risk, almost certainly a turning point, one way or the other. Potentially, I have seen ahead of the curve, ditched an over-performing striker scoring at an unsustainable rate ahead of a much tougher run of fixtures, and brought in the best striker in the league before others have had the chance. Potentially. I have also potentially ditched the league’s in form striker, who comes at a bargain price, for an injury prone, unfit 13m player, and to get Vardy back, I would need to pay 7.4m+ having sold at 6.7m. If you want to challenge in the upper echelons of FPL, you have to take a gamble now and again. I have taken a massive one.
This is not the only risk. I have also instantly ditched De Bruyne, whose stats still fail to suggest “10.5-11m player”, and I believe I will keep the expensive Sanchez. His stats have also dipped, but we all know that he can suddenly turn it on when least expected, and his next 3 fixtures are enticing. So enticing, in fact, that I will also be drafting in Mesut Ozil.
How is it shaping up at the moment? I am by no means set, but as it stands: De Gea, Hennessey, Bellerin, Dier, Moreno, Dawson, Nyom, Sanchez, Ozil, Mahrez, Lanzini, Drinkwater, Aguero, Kane and Lukaku. I have concerns, primarily Lanzini’s capabilities as a 4th midfielder and, of course, going without the league’s top scorer. With regards to Lanzini, he appears to have taken on Payet’s role, and the early signs are that he could be a bargain. At 5.3, he is the stand out midfielder in his bracket, and is statistically outshining many at a higher price. I have to make sacrifices somewhere to afford Sanchez plus the front 3, and Lanzini seems a good bet. On the Vardy issue, I had to very, very reluctantly find a sacrificial lamb for Aguero. Looking at the fixtures, I could not ditch Kane or Lukaku, it would have been insanity. Ditching Vardy may well also be insanity, but those fixtures do not scream “running riot”, and Vardy and Mahrez could well be overkill. It is the least comfortable I have ever felt selling a player, but for an assault on the top 1k, maybe even higher, getting ahead of trends can be vital.
In a couple of weeks or months, I could well be looking back on this as the stupidest decision I have made in FPL, as the wildcard that ruined my season. I could also be looking at it as the moment that propelled me up the table, to unimaginably dizzy heights. It’s both fun and terrifying when you know you have just put your season on the line…
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.