#FPL OCD – Gameweek 16 Review: How can you go back to the crowd when you have walked with the angels?
I don’t want to talk about it. There are weeks that I love writing this article; the words just pour onto the page, evoking the joy of a huge captain haul, a 90 point week, a mammoth green arrow. Then there are weeks like this one.
Why do we play this game? It is a thought that every FPL player has. I posited this question on Fantasy Football Scout, and the always excellent poster GreenWindmill suggested that the life of an FPL player is much like that of a golfer – all of the duffs, the slices, the bunkers, just for that one moment of a crushing straight drive, a perfect iron shot, or a drained long putt. We take the captaincy fails, the red cards, the missed penalties, just for those sweet moments of success. I have to hope I will experience one of those next week.
I think I may have broken my all time score this week. Clean sheets, assists, goals flying in, all there, all in my squad, the right players chosen…and rooted to my bench. Yes, I think I broke my bench high-score. 30 points. 30 points from 4 players. The 11 I chose to start? 51 (-4), and that was after Mahrez stepped in to redeem it somewhat. Prior to Monday night, my subs were almost matching my starting XI.
Hennessey, Nyom, Gosling and Dawson. It made sense to bench them, didn’t it? Nyom was a tough one, but Bellerin? Moreno? Alderweireld? De Bruyne? Ozil? I mean, come on, really? However, I did make a fatal error, an error that looks appalling in hindsight. I took a hit. Yes, to avoid playing that bench, that record breaking line up, I took a hit. My 2 injured starters, Aguero and Lanzini, were dumped, and in came Giroud and Coutinho. It was, again, a move that made sense, and Giroud scored, but it has been a costly decision. Last week, I sat here and advised you all to save FTs as much as possible, but I felt my hand was suddenly forced – I had dead wood that needed removing. I have set my team up nicely, but it has cost me a large number of points already. I guess I was right though – 2 FTs would have been a huge advantage. I…sort of…win….
The points were raining down for other teams – I bet a load of you got Nyom in for Kolarov, didn’t you? You bastards. My team suffered, and after weeks of climbing the rankings, and over a month in the top 15-20k, my hard work has crumbled in a weekend. I have fallen from 14k to 32k, and now I must dust myself off and start again. It is much easier to drop rapidly than climb in this game, and I cannot help but wonder when I will glimpse the top 10k again. It is cold outside the top 30k, I feel I am falling back into the wilderness. I know, I know, I’m having a good season, I’m being ungrateful, yada yada yada. The thing is, how can you go back to the crowd when you have walked with the angels?
There is a peculiar feeling to a poor GW like this, for it is not exactly a squad failing. Let’s paint a hypothetical scenario. I make bold (arguably stupid) benching decisions, and play Hennessey, Nyom, Dawson and Gosling. Hennessey is in for De Gea, Nyom and Dawson are in for Moreno and Alderweireld, and Gosling is in for De Bruyne (let’s say he didn’t come on for Man City). I also entrust Lukaku with the armband after his recent successes. In this scenario, this dream scenario, I now sit with 83 points. I know that this would never have happened, but my point is that, in another light, my squad has actually had a pretty good week. The failings were not with my wider group of players, they were with my decisions (and, let’s be honest, the whole idea of logic). Therefore, I am trying to keep a cool head, and look at my squad from a wider perspective. The players that are there can turn this around. To paraphrase Jose Mourinho, some are playing below their level, but unlike Mourinho, I will admit that I am culpable. My first teamers were disappointing, but my reserves proved that the squad depth is there.
I will try to hold firm this week, to not make any rash decisions, and assess the situation with 2 FTs. I got my moves wrong this time – I could have held, and I was also weighing up Ramsey and Ighalo, a combination that outscored Coutinho and Giroud. I think an extra GW to think things through will be beneficial. As for the armband this week, that appears a choice between Mahrez and Lukaku. Mahrez’s away statistics are quite incredible, but I never feel comfortable captaining a player against my own side. Lukaku is in form, but his potential for a huge haul appears to be lower than the Algerian’s. It could be another 50/50 that goes to the wire, and I need a strong captain after Kane’s blank.
I must remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and I have only had a minor trip nearing the halfway mark. There is still plenty of time to go through the gears once more. I will take stock, maintain a steady pace this week, and assess how to join the front-runners once more. I am stuck with the chasing pack, and I want to get out.
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.