#FPL OCD – Gameweek 18-19 Review: Over the last 4 Gameweeks, my bench has scored…82 points
Firstly, an apology. Actually, two apologies. I apologise for missing the previous Gameweek review (as expected, family and friends were inconsiderate about the importance of FPL, and felt “seeing them” should take precedence). However, my absence may have been beneficial for regular readers, as I am also sorry for one piece of advice I gave on these pages recently. I declared that a strong bench would be key over Christmas, as rotation was inevitable. Well, rotation was practically non-existent, and I can only hope that you have not been suffering the bench points that I have. More on that shortly.
Ed: Could have been worse John Boy!
If I had to summarise the 2 Christmas Gameweek’s in one emotion, it would have to be one of positivity. Ed: This is new… When we last met I had experienced a brutal drop from around the top 10k to below the 50k mark. 2 Gameweeks later, I have managed to breach the top 30k once more, with two green arrows leaving me at almost exactly 25k. My scores have been 65 and 74, and I have arrested the decline that looked set to destroy my season. However, the week has been more complex than that.
Let’s start with Gameweek 18. Both of the Gameweeks have been successful primarily because of captaincy hauls. After my inability to correctly deduce a 50/50, I wrote that they must even themselves out at some point, and it seems that, thankfully, that time has come. It is interesting to note that my strategy has been somewhat different; in fact, it has been barely a strategy at all. While I usually base my captaincy on thorough statistical analysis combined with factors I have learned from watching the matches, the frantic nature of Christmas and the games in quick succession mean that my choices have actually been made on instinct. Kane at home to Norwich and Lukaku at home to Stoke both just screamed “captain”, and they delivered 26 points each. I have to decide whether I have been overthinking my choices previously, or whether these two successes are anomalies, and I have got lucky with brainless captaincy decisions.
Though Gameweek 18 propelled me from 52k to 29k, it was one strangely fraught with frustration. My points all came from Kane (C), De Bruyne’s 16 points, and contributions of 6 from Alderweireld and Alli (transferred in for Gosling, with Coutinho benched), with the rest of my side consisting of five 2s, one 1, and one 0. Sat on my bench were 7 pointers from Hennessey and Moreno, and I was left with an irritating “what could have been”.
Gameweek 19 was somewhat similar. I have had greater contributions across the team – Lukaku (C) 26, Ozil 14, Giroud and Moreno 5 each, Bellerin 7, but again I am sat with two clean sheets on the bench, this time from Hennessey and Dawson. The frustration is heightened by the transfer that I made. Having sold Jack Butland on my wildcard, I was rather panicked to see his form continue. I had 2FTs and no real changes I wanted to make, so tried to rectify my error with De Gea to Butland. De Gea kept a clean sheet, as did Hennessey on my bench (I am paying the price for never starting him), and I ended up worse off. It has raised a question in my mind: is it ever better to waste a transfer??
It is not a move I have ever really considered before, there has always been something, no matter how minor, that I have wanted to change, but could it sometimes be the sensible move? It was a point raised on my wildcard, as I actually damaged a good team, and it is one that I am facing now. It is unlikely that I will not make a transfer this week (possibly Coutinho to Arnautovic), but do we sometimes reach a point where we are tinkering for the sake of it, to the detriment of our team? Transfers are our most precious commodity, but can they sometimes be our greatest downfall? If it was possible to accumulate more than 2FTs, I would certainly have done so, and would have gained 5-6 points.
It is my bench that has been the most extraordinary thing recently. I extolled the idea of having a strong squad, and I am pleased with my ability to do so – it is just that my bench has not been called into action, and I am getting benching calls wrong consistently. Over the last 4 Gameweeks, my bench has scored…82 points. 82 points from 12 players would be a phenomenal score, but 12 bench players? The players I deemed unsuitable for a place in my team? It is quite unbelievable. My scores have been decent, but it is a constant case of “what if?” Get my calls right and I would have rocketed back up to the top 10k. I am in a strong position again, but to get to where I want to be, I need to improve my decision making. We are exactly halfway through the season now; this is where it gets interesting.
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.